Friday, September 23, 2016

News and Notes: 3.3


You can't turn on any television, radio, podcast, you name it, without hearing about the upcoming presidential election on November 8. And with an important vote on a sinking fund for the district, not a day goes by that we don't think about the local elections up for vote as well.

If you haven't familiarized yourself with the sinking fund proposal by checking out the documents on our website, or if you are looking for additional information in a quick and easy way, we have a great event coming up.  Next Tuesday, September 27, 6:00 p.m.-6:30 p.m., simply visit our Facebook page from the comfort of your own home, at your kids soccer practice, or anywhere you choose for a Facebook Live! Question and Answer session with me on the upcoming vote. I'll be answering questions submitted in advance HERE; and, if time allows, I will take questions posted in the comments of the video as well. Can't listen at that time? Just check out the page at your convenience, as the video will be posted for later viewing.

I hope you will tune in.

Trojan Pride
I want to take some time to recognize a few alumni and past staff members who continue to make WLPS proud. We shared this information on our Facebook page, already, but I found it important to highlight it here as well. Dan Houghton, Class of 2002, was promoted to Chief Petty Officer in the United States Navy on Saturday, September 17 at Selfridge Air National Guard Base. We shared Dan's military story in our special series honoring WLHS service men and women last year. You can read more about his impressive military experience here. We humbly thank him, and his family, for his continued service to our country, and congratulate him on such an impressive accomplishment.

Two recent graduates, Zac Bowen and Arthur Sutherland (pictured to the left), Class of 2016, kicked off their military career by graduating from boot camp this past weekend as well, becoming the newest members of the United States Marine Corp. Join me in congratulating them on their accomplishment and thanking them for their commitment to our country.

And last but not least, past Whitmore Lake Middle School science teacher, Mike Krebill, best known to students for his dandelion donuts and sumac tea and engaging lessons, is sharing his knowledge world-wide with the release of his upcoming book. The Scouts Guide to Wild Edibles is set to release November 15, 2016 and is available for pre-order on Amazon, so make sure to reserve your copy! We congratulate him on this accomplishment, another feather to add to his pretty full cap.

If you have a WLHS alumni whose accomplishments we should highlight, please submit information HERE. We not only love to share it with our community, but their stories are particularly inspiring for our current students who see a real-life example of the success that comes out of an exceptional, personalized education at WLPS.


Friday, September 16, 2016

News and Notes: 3.2

Let's talk money in this issue. I took some time last week, and again this week, to share with parents information on a tax which will appear on the November ballot (AKA: sinking fund). I handed out information sheets to those looking for more detail but wanted to make sure we covered our bases here as well. In reality, I know people are really busy with all kinds of issues that life tosses at them. So, I am refraining from hitting the information overload button, and instead come at you with some fast facts. 
  • The tax is a 3 year, 1 mill increase.
  • It is called a sinking fund...nobody knows why. I can guarantee you that the buildings are not sinking.
  • The Board's proposal will generate approximately $335,000 annually for 3 years.
  • The average annual cost to homeowners in WL is $75.
  • Sinking funds are better than a bond because they are short term and taxpayer contributions never go to pay interest. The amount of revenue slowly goes down as projects are completed. (Maybe that is why it is called a sinking fund?)
  • High on the priority list, if the proposal passes, are replacement of aging technologies and ventilation systems along with redesigning classroom spaces to best accommodate the learning taking place in them. Our athletic fields at WLHS will also get some much-needed attention.
I am open to discussing this topic with any group. My role is to share information, and I will, proudly, tell you how well we have been managing money in the past few years. For instance, the State of Michigan re-constructed its school loan borrowing fund a few years ago. That action sent tax increases, involuntarily, up to 9.8 mills in this district. We didn't have any control over the increase. However, we reacted to it. The Board has approved two refinancing plans over the past year. That 9.8 mill assessment will be brought down to 8.95 mills this school year, saving the tax payers money! Another example is the WLPS fund balance is climbing each year. We went from less than 0.2% to 6.6% in two years. Our turnaround and our approach to facility management has garnered the attention of many. Recently, I was working with a county superintendent north of here. He commented that only two districts have used a revenue-generating model to pull themselves out of financial stress--WLPS is one of them.
 
The bottom line is we know the quality of education is critical in this region. We intend on providing the best in the business; but without stability, the gains we make will be slow. More information will be presented to our stakeholders in the coming weeks. We will be updating our web page, Facebook page and Twitter accounts to keep you in the loop. I will also be hosting a Facebook Live Q and A on Tuesday, September 27 from 6:00 p.m.-6:30 p.m. where I'll be answering additional questions voters have on the issue. If you have a particular question, submit it HERE by Friday, September 23. Otherwise, tune in to our Whitmore Lake Public Schools page that Tuesday. It is also the topic of conversation at each Board Meeting, which are open to the public.
 
Keep the days of education in WL great. We want every day to be a great day to be a Trojan.
 
 
New Staff
Join me in welcoming those new to the WLPS staff.

1. Jaylon Sims, WLES Music Teacher
Fun Fact(s): Jaylon did not get his driver's license until he was 21. And while his paternal grandparents had 13 children and his maternal grandparents had 10 children, he is an only child.

2. Mandy McClain, WLPS Occupational Therapist
Fun Fact(s): She has plans to hike the Appalachian Trail one day,and is married with one cat and two hermit crabs.

3. Cara Lawhead, WLES Special Education Teacher
Fun Fact(s): Cara is engaged, and she and her fiancé have a beautiful two-year-old daughter named Dahlia. Her favorite children's book growing up was Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak.

4. Brittany Liss, WLES Paraprofessional, primarily in 6th grade as an academic interventionist
Fun Fact(s): Brittany's favorite food is steak and she has two dogs, which she says she loves and is obsessed with.

5. Lori Dancik, WLES Paraprofessional
Fun Fact(s): Lori has two children attending WLPS and one who graduated last year and is a freshman at Central Michigan University.

6. Meredith Lynn, WLES Title 1 Teacher
Fun Fact(s): She has a puggle named Sadie with her husband of six years, Brandon. She is an avid board game player, owning over 100 games.

7. Amber Masterson, WLPS Social Worker
Fun Fact(s): Amber lives with her husband, two children and a dog named Izzy. She is a Michigan State graduate.

8. Molly Lindeman, WLHS Math Teacher
Fun Fact(s): Another Michigan State graduate, Molly played center for her high school basketball team, even though she is only 5'5".

9. Amy Berg, WLHS Social Worker
Fun Fact(s): Married with three lovely boys, unlike Mrs. Masterson and Mrs. Lindeman, Amy is a graduate of University of Michigan. Go Blue!

10. Mai Huynh, ES and ECC Paraprofessional
Mai is quite a traveler, having lived in Kansas, Texas, Florida and now Michigan. And she is a self-proclaimed lover of any food as long as it is fried!

Friday, September 9, 2016

News and Notes: 3.1












Welcome Back!

The bulk of this week's News and Notes is reintroducing you to communications we use to share very important information. We want our parents and community to be informed, and we employ many types of tools to accomplish this goal.

I want to take this opportunity to also thank all of you for choosing Whitmore Lake Public Schools to educate your children. Our teachers have worked throughout the summer months getting ready to introduce the best teaching strategies and will be using the best curricular materials available to WLPS. We are always looking to improve our instruction, and I can say that nobody is outworking us.

A special thanks has to go to our maintenance, custodial and transportation staff. These people are also committed to your children and make sure our learning spaces are clean and ready for use and that our vehicles are safe. They worked all summer long getting things in proper condition. This is a difficult task given the age of a lot of the equipment with which they are working--but, they got the job done. I am proud of them, as well.

I hoped you enjoyed your first week at WLPS. It has been a great week to be a Trojan.

Keep In the Loop
Below is a brief description of all the tools we have available and the best ways to use them to have a successful school year.

www.wlps.net
Our website, newly designed, is kind of the end all be all for information. You can find bus schedules, lunch menus, staff contact information and teacher websites along with easy links to our PowerSchool, athletic and community recreation pages and more. One of my favorite new features on the site are the calendars. You can click between calendars specific for each building or department to get a clear idea of what is happening in the district.

Facebook and Twitter
For social media users, if you haven't "liked" our Facebook page or followed us on Twitter, I highly recommend you do. We have extremely active pages which provide daily highlights of the great things happening at WLPS, celebrate alumni accomplishments, remind families about upcoming events and programs as well as provide helpful education-focused tips for parents and students (a highlight from last year was our Dwight Schrute-themed financial aid facts memes. Good stuff.) We monitor it constantly, so if you have a general question and are unsure of who to direct it to, post it on our wall or tweet at us, and we will get you the information you need. This is the first place school closings are posted as well. I would say our most retweeted tweets involve snow days, hands down.

Click HERE for our Facebook page.
Follow us on twitter @WLSchools.

Also check out my twitter handle @WLPSPrincipal. Other twitter pages of interest include @WL_Athletics, @WLHS_Yearbook, @TheTrojournal, @WLHS_Band, @WLHSSpirit, and @WLHSstuco. Also check out WL Community Recreation on Facebook.

PeachJar
In lieu of stacks of papers sent home in backpacks, which pile up on your counters at home, we distribute all flyers digitally thanks to our friends at PeachJar. You will receive flyers in your e-mail daily, so as not to miss anything. This is key when our Whitmore Lake Community Recreation department rolls out a new season of programs because no one likes missing soccer sign up or having to pay the dreaded late fee. If you are not receiving PeachJar e-mails from us, head HERE to register. 

ParentLink App
Now imagine being able to access everything I mentioned above, all in one place. We've got an app for that--literally. With our WLPS app, you can check the calendars to see what is happening in each building, access PowerSchools, browse PeachJar and even read my weekly blog every Friday! When schools are closed or we need to get a message out quick, we send out push notifications through the app as well. If you haven't downloaded it yet, I highly recommend you head to your App Store or Google Play and search for Whitmore Lake Public Schools.

Blackboard Connect E-mail and Phone Notifications
We will continue to send out e-mail blasts and/or phone messages when we have a building or school-wide message to get out. This is how you will be notified of school cancellations, important meetings or issues that need to be addressed, etc.

If you have any questions about the tools above, feel free to contact our Community Relations Director, Maria Carter-Ewald at maria.carter-ewald@wlps.net
 

Friday, July 29, 2016

Special Edition News and Notes: Please Vote on August 2

This News and Notes has a special purpose--sharing information about a couple of very important ballot proposals.  Please give some of your time to learn about the issues; I’ll try to condense them.

“Operating Millage Renewal”
The first proposal is an “Operating Millage Renewal.”  What is it?  This is a renewal tax on businesses and second homes in the district.  Every ten years we have to renew this tax on non-homestead properties. This tax is NOT imposed on your primary residence, but you can vote on it.  

Quick Facts About the Operating Millage:  
  • This renewal comprises approximately 20% of our overall budget.  
  • WLPS voters last approved it in 2007.
  • It is often referred to as the Non-homestead Renewal.
  • Homeowners are exempt from this tax but can still vote on it.

“Sinking Fund Millage”
The second proposal I call the “sinking fund” but the ballot language calls it “Millage Proposal, Building and Site Sinking Fund Tax Levy.”  I like my version better, but tax attorneys tell me otherwise.  What is it?  A 1 mill, 3-year proposed tax which will be used to update and acquire technology, repair facilities and renovate some classrooms.

Quick Facts About the Sinking Fund Millage:
  • The revenue generated will be used immediately to acquire and update the district’s wireless backbone allowing the use of additional devices in the classrooms in addition to using current technology more effectively.
  • Some elementary classrooms will be renovated (e.g. art and music rooms).
  • Athletic facilities will be repaired.
  • The ballot includes language about “purchase of real estate…”  That is required legal language.  WLPS doesn’t have any plans to purchase property.
  • How much will it cost?  Most homeowners will pay less than $100 per year for 3 years.  (1 mill is $1 for every $1000 of taxable home value).
  • How much will 1 mill generate?  Approximately $335,000 a year for 3 years.
  • Why do we need it?  A sinking can only be used for renovation/repair. However, by using sinking fund revenue when appropriate, we can protect our instructional funds (general fund).

You can find more information on these proposals on our Facebook, Website or at the links below.
For additional information on voting poll locations and more, click HERE.

The actual ballot language for each proposal is below. 

Thank you for voting on August 2. 

OPERATING MILLAGE RENEWAL PROPOSAL
This proposal will allow the school district to continue to levy the statutory rate of not to exceed 18 mills on all property, except principal residence and other property exempted by law, required for the school district to receive its revenue per pupil foundation allowance and renews millage that will expire with the 2016 tax levy.

Shall the currently authorized millage rate limitation of 19.4972 mills ($19.4972 on each $1,000 of taxable valuation) on the amount of taxes which may be assessed against all property, except principal residence and other property exempted by law, in Whitmore Lake Public School District, Washtenaw and Livingston Counties, Michigan, be renewed for a period of 10 years, 2017 to 2026, inclusive, to provide funds for operating purposes; the estimate of the revenue the school district will collect if the millage is approved and levied in 2017 is approximately $2,028,912 (this is a renewal of millage that will expire with the 2016 tax levy)?

MILLAGE PROPOSAL, BUILDING AND SITE SINKING FUND TAX LEVY 
Shall the limitation on the amount of taxes which may be assessed against all property in Whitmore Lake Public School District, Washtenaw and Livingston Counties, Michigan, be increased by and the board of education be authorized to levy not to exceed 1 mill ($1.00 on each $1,000 of taxable valuation) for a period of 3 years, 2016, 2017 and 2018, to create a sinking fund for the purchase of real estate for sites for, and the construction or repair of school buildings and all other purposes authorized by law; the estimate of the revenue the school district will collect if the millage is approved and levied in 2016 is approximately $335,428?

Friday, June 10, 2016

News and Notes: Volume 2, Number 33

If there are phrases I hear too often it is "The year flew by,"  or, "It goes so fast. Blink, and you'll miss it.' Admittedly, this year, it did go by at a relatively fast rate. But with graduation last Sunday (which was live streamed on our Facebook page, and you can check out the video in case you missed it) and a ceremony for our 6th grade students yesterday as they wrap up their final year at the elementary school., we are definitely ending the year on a high note. And if I have kept my schedules straight, we are quickly headed for the last day of school on the 15th.

Before summer break begins, please take a minute to recap the year with me in my last installment of News and Notes for the 2015/2016 school year. Below are my top stop stories from this school year, which "flew by." Feel free to share with us on social media what your favorite moments from this school year are.

2015/2016 School Year's Top 15 Reasons Why It is a Great Day to be a Trojan
Number 15: NN 2.18, WLPS: We're Kind of a Big Deal
Number 14: NN 2.24, 5 Million in Tax Payers Savings
Number 13: NN 2.29, Super Science Day
Number 12: NN 2.16, Intro to Blue Lion
Number 11: NN 2.7, WLES Student Council
Number 10: NN 2.9; 2.16 and 2.21, Retirement of Jim Vibbart and introduction to new board members Shelli Kritzman and Laura Schwennesen
Number 9: NN 2.14, Aimee Taylor's Bringing Science to Life Award
Number 8: NN 2.24, Map to Khan Academy
Number 7: NN 2.9, Financial Stability
Number 6: NN 2.3, WLES Guitar Class
Number 5: NN 2.2, Summer Literacy Program
Number 4: NN 2.17, Varsity Competitive Cheer Aim for Three-Pete
Number 3: NN 2.6, Trobots in Lansing
Number 2: 2.12, Start of Chromebook Campaign
Number 1: NN 2.29, Teacher Appreciation




Friday, June 3, 2016

News and Notes: Volume 2, Number 32


In recognition of graduation this Sunday, I asked a member of the Class of 2016 to provide a special edition of Friday's News and Notes, highlighting her experiences at WLHS.

Enjoy learning from a student's perspective reasons why it is a great day to be a Trojan.

Tom DeKeyser
WLPS Superintendent
WLMS and WLHS Principal

My Time at WLHS
By Kate Bauer

Kindergarten to 12th grade...13 short years...13 years I will remember and cherish for the rest of my life. Some say "high school is the best four years of your life," while some cannot wait to graduate and take that next step into the real world. In light of graduation, I have come to realize that high school will be something I will always remember, something I will tell my kids, grandkids, neighbors and friends about until the day comes where the experiences slowly vanish into distant memories.

Get Off the Couch
From the frightening first day of freshman year where I felt like I was being judged by all of the upperclassmen to my last prom with all of my close friends, there is one large life-lesson I will take away from my time at WLHS: get involved. No matter how nice it is to come home from school every day and take a 5-hour nap, you will regret not participating in everything that goes along with high school. I was a 5-hour napper at the beginning of high school (I think everyone is at one point), but then it hit me. Why am I wasting these precious years of my life sitting at home when I could be making memories? After seeing the light at the end of my freshman year, I joined student council, color guard, basketball, marching band, Key Club and National Honor Society (NHS).Through my involvement in these various extracurriculars, I created stories to tell and friends that will always have a spot in my heart.

National Honor Society, Marching Band and More
When I got my letter that I was eligible to be a part of NHS, I was really proud of myself. By being invited into NHS, I was not only being recognized for my academic accomplishments but also my involvement in the school and community. My favorite memories from NHS were collecting cans our school donated and taking them to the local food pantry each year around the holidays. The smiles we received when we were lugging all of the cans in was something I will always remember. I knew they genuinely appreciated each and every donation. I loved NHS because I felt like I was truly making a difference and know I will carry that with me as I leave WLHS and continue to make positive contributions in the world.

Joining marching band was one of the best decisions I made during my time at WLHS. While it was such a valuable experience, the one thing I will remember (all band kids will attest to this) is the woodpecker story from Mr. Kirby, our band teacher. I went to band camp three times, and each time the woodpecker in his story would be described bigger than the last. This is just an example of how Mr. Kirby made band so much fun. From wearing tennis shoes that were so worn out there were holes in the toes to cracking random jokes in the middle of band practice, his sense of humor made the experience one to remember.

In addition to my time involved in extracurriculars, a moment in high school I will not forget was when our football team went to playoffs my sophomore year. I remember the whole school was full of spirit. Everyone made signs, decorated the school, wore their gear, the whole nine yards (pun intended). As we took the packed fan bus to Clinton, people from the community were lined up all through town to cheer on the team as they made their way through town. I loved the feeling of the whole thing. It was almost as if for a second, everyone from Whitmore Lake was one big family.

Moving On
I am excited to take all I have learned at WLHS as I attend Eastern Michigan University in the fall. While my major is not yet decided, I am leaning towards pursuing a degree in Spanish. With this degree, I would enjoy any job where I'd get to possibly travel, learn more about the Spanish culture or simply just speak or write it. In the meantime, I will be applying for jobs as a flight attendant. If an opportunity comes with that career, I will take it. I value traveling and learning about new cultures so much, and know I would enjoy any career that lends itself to those experiences. And given the tools I’ve gained at WLHS, I know all these are options before me. I just need to make it happen.

Part of me will always be in Whitmore Lake no matter where life takes me. This small town has been very influential, helping me become the person I am today--stronger, independent, hardworking and appreciative. For that, I would like to thank the teachers, staff and anyone else who has made this high school and community the way it is. Despite how much I hear my classmates say they can't wait to finish high school, I know each and every one of them will grow to miss the simplicity of life we had here. To my classmates, I wish you all the best in these next years of your life. I thank you for the good, bad, and the ugly; you all mean the world to me. To my mom and dad, thank you for supporting me and pushing me so hard in school; it really has paid off. Even though I might not have recognized the value of what seemed like constant nagging, I admire the compassion and love you both showed me and the drive you instilled in me.

Friday, May 20, 2016

News and Notes: Volume 2, Number 31

Sinking Fund
At the May 9 Board of Education meeting, a proposal was supported unanimously to ask voters of the Whitmore Lake Public Schools to support a 1 mill increase for a three year sinking fund. Voters will see this proposal on the August 2, 2016 ballot.

In the coming weeks, I will be preparing question and answer sessions along with materials delineating what it is we will do with the revenue this fund generates. Right out of the gate, I can tell you our top priority is addressing technology needs. We plan on rebuilding our wireless infrastructure which will allow us to bring in more devices for student use. We started down this road in the fall with our Chromebook campaign, and we want to continue to bring in the best resources for our students. A sinking fund allows WLPS to fix many of our biggest technology issues while preserving our general fund, which just adds to our financial stability.

In addition to technology, investment in our facilities comes at a critical time. We need to maintain our properties, and we need to keep pace with ever-increasing technology demands. We are a much stronger district today than we were a few years ago; and I know, with our community's support, I will make that same claim a year from now.

As always, today is a great day to be a Trojan!


New Guitar Class' First Concert
Our new guitar class at WLES had their very first concert performances last week and this week. Our 5th and 6th graders took to the stage to showcase the skills they have learned this year. This is the first year we have offered the course, (see NN 2.3) and it is safe to say it has been a hit. While all the students in the class are enjoying learning something new, many have developed a strong interest in playing the guitar as well. A good indication of that is when the school year began, we only had one student bringing a guitar from home. Now we have 12.

WLES music teacher, Lisa Shanks, said teaching this class have been one of the most fulfilling experiences of her teaching career. Trying something new and working with small class sizes (the largest class having 14 students in it) she has the opportunity to get to know the students better as individuals, and they just have a blast!

Ms. Shanks has already begun developing an advanced guitar curriculum to offer to our 6th graders next year. We look forward to watching the program grow.


WLES continues to accept donations of guitars or monetary donations to assist in the purchase of ideally 15-25 new guitars over the next few years. In order to optimize student learning, it would be best for each student to use a guitar during guitar class instead of sharing, which is a possibility as interest in the class continues to grow.

If are you interested in supporting the program, contact Ms. Shanks at lisa.shanks@wlps.net.






























Book Bingo Coming this June 

While teachers at WLES wrap up the school year celebrating the strides their students have made, they are simultaneously thinking about ways to keep their kids learning during summer break so all the progress is not lost. In NN 2.21, I highlighted a grant we received to run an early literacy summer school this year.

Our staff is taking that concept one step further and have created an event to provide EVERY student at WLES with at least ten books for him or her to keep and read over the summer in and effort to curb summer learning loss. Details on Book Bingo can be found in the flyer HERE.

Support for the event has been strong within the community already. The Pinckney American Legion donated $1,000 (member Tom Kaiser is pictured below awarding WLES teacher Heidi Roy-Borland with a check), the Greater Whitmore Lake Area Kiwanis donated $500 and the Kiwanis of Whitmore Lake donated $200 to purchase new books. In addition, WLES staff, families and community members have donated an additional $600 to date along with GoFundMe donating $100 as a thank you gift during Teacher Appreciation week. In total, we have received $2,400 in monetary donations, at least 300 books and a gift card to Barnes & Noble as a raffle prize. 
But there is still a need. If you would like to support this event, here are some ways you can help:
  • Donate new or gently used books by Tuesday, May 31 in the bin in the lobby of WLES.
  • Donate funds here gofundme.com/234mguc.
  • Volunteer and help sort books, set up on June 6 (beginning at 4:00PM) and/or help at the event.
  • Solicit or donate additional prizes for raffle related to reading (ex: beanbag chairs, lamp, gift cards to Barnes & Noble, special book sets, etc.)
  • Promote event on social media.
  • Recommend authors or book series for purchase
Since this is slated to be an annual event, as you clean out your bookshelves throughout the year, donations to WLES to support this cause are welcomed year-round!
 
Special kudos to sponsoring staff members Caroline Semrau, Heidi Roy-Borland and Deb Moran for serving on the Book Bingo committee and making this powerful event happen for students and families in Whitmore Lake!

The new www.wlps.net
We are excited to announce the release of our brand new website! In redesigning the site, we kept our parents and community members in mind, making sure it is user friendly and with important information as easy to find as possible. We also wanted to make sure the website accurately captures the high-quality education we provide, making as strong of a first impressions as walking in one of our buildings would.

Keep in mind this is just the first phase; some content is still available only on the old site, as we will continue to move everything to the new one. But I encourage you to check it out, click around and send any feedback to info@wlps.net. With it going live just today, as the DNS propagation continues, you might see an "under construction" message or be referred back to the old site. Just give it a little bit more time and check back throughout the weekend.

New Math Curriculum
By Jill Henry
Instructional Data Coach and 
AP U.S. Government and Politics Teacher
Whitmore Lake Public Schools


Everyday Mathematics has been approved by the Board of Education for implementation at Whitmore Lake Elementary School beginning with the 2016-2017 school year.

Everyday Mathematics was developed by educators at the University of Chicago and is already in use throughout much of Washtenaw County. The program is a research-based and field tested curriculum aimed at developing students into mathematical thinkers. Everyday Mathematics emphasizes the use of real-life examples, repeated exposures to mathematical concepts, regular practice of basic computation skills and a variety of problem-solving strategies.
 
Everyday Mathematics spreads out the learning by revisiting content throughout the school year and across grade levels. This approach leads to better long-term mastery of math facts and concepts and is effective for all types of students, including students who may struggle with math. The program incorporates the Standards for Mathematical Practice which are aligned to current curriculum benchmarks and assessments. These standards encourage students to think mathematically by looking for patterns and connections, showing their thinking, and persevering in solving problems. Games are also an important feature of Everyday Mathematics. Games are integrated into the curriculum to satisfy lesson objectives and reinforce key ideas.
 
Our teachers will have instructional materials by the end of the May and will participate in professional development beginning this summer. We believe the use of Everyday Mathematics from Kindergarten through 6th grade and the additional time and training focused on the teaching and learning of math, all combined with the exceptional, personalized education already provided by the dedicated staff of Whitmore Lake Elementary will lead to higher student achievement.


We are planning a parent night for next fall for Elementary parents to learn more about Everyday Mathematics, so keep an eye out for additional information.