Friday, October 2, 2015

Chatty Kathy: October 2015

And We’re Off…

I honestly cannot believe that October starts tomorrow.  Where did September go?  With four weeks of school under our belts, we are definitely off and running, so I wanted to remind you about the various ways to track your student’s progress and encourage you to take advantage of all the resources at your disposal:

  • Teacher Websites (  Teachers update websites every Monday afternoon.  The websites are a great way to know what’s happening in each of your child’s classes and to help jog your student’s memory about homework assignments and upcoming projects, quizzes, and tests.
  • PowerSchool parent portal (  The portal is a great way to keep abreast of your student’s progress in each of his/her classes.  Minimally, teachers are required to update grades once a week, but many update more often.  Remember, if you have multiple students in the district, you can create a parent account that will enable you to view all of your children’s grades with one log in.  Additionally, you can download the PowerSchool app on your smartphone.
  • Email:  Email is probably the quickest and most efficient way to communicate with teachers.  If you have a question about your student, don’t hesitate to contact the teacher.  In most cases, you’ll get a reply within 24 hours. 
  • Face-to-Face Meetings:  While we certainly can’t deny the ease and convenience of technology, there are human beings on the other end of the computer who are willing to communicate with you in person as well.  If you have an issue that requires face-to-face interaction, please call to set up a meeting.  Or, join us for parent-teacher conferences on Wednesday, October 28, from 4:30-8:00.

As noted in the letter that came home with registration materials, I will be working full time this year since Laura Hoehn took a new position in Livingston County.  Additionally, Rachel Scheidt joined us last January as our district-wide social worker.  She is at the secondary school on Tuesdays, Wednesday mornings, and Fridays.

I look forward to working with you and your student this year.  Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.  You can reach me by email at or by phone at 734.449.4461, ext. 3008.

Upcoming Events
PSAT Test for all juniors                   Wednesday, October 14
Drug Prevention Presentation           Friday, October 23 during 6th hour (more information will be forthcoming)
College Application Week                  Monday, October 26-Friday, October 30
Parent-Teacher Conferences             Wednesday, October 28, from 4:30-8:00 p.m.           
Financial Aid Night for Seniors         Wednesday, November 11, from 7:00-8:30 in the WLHS library

Free and Reduced Lunch
Students who participate in the free or reduced lunch program need to reapply each year for this assistance.  Last year’s eligibility expires on October 13.  That date is quickly approaching, and numerous students will be ineligible because they haven’t filled out the application to renew the assistance.  The purpose of this snippet is simply to remind you to fill out the application so your student can continue to benefit from this program.  Applications can be evaluated at any point in the year, and they’re available at  You can find out more by calling Mrs. Tomakowski at 449.4461, ext. 3029.

Honor Roll
I wanted to recognize those students who made the honor roll for the 2nd semester of the 2014-2015 school year.  To earn this distinction, students had to achieve a grade point average of 3.3 or higher for the semester.  Congratulations, students!  Keep up the excellent work.

Angel, Gabrielle Marie

Angel, Izaak Lee
Arnett, Carly Kay
Askew, Hannah May
Bachman, Ronald Walker
Barwick, Austin Charles
Battista, Brittany Rose
Battista, Sydney Grace
Bauer, Ryan William
Beloskur, Taylor Payge
Blount, Adrianna Rosemarie
Bolda, Mallory Nicole
Bower, Kayla Starr
Burchi, Max Mitchell
Burkart, Samantha Jane
Carlson, Kristina Lillian
Chapin, Michaela Kay
Chapman, Amelia Hugh
Cirino, Parker Joseph
Corrie, Danielle Elizabeth
Couch, Kalian Ashleigh
Cucuro III, Ronald Duane
Curts, Claire Lily
Daoust, Madison Catherine
Demond, Elizabeth Anne
DeWitt, Skylar Christine
DiDio, Alaina Maria
Dreffs, Ezra Alexander
England, Cody Levi
England, Savannah Marie
Everard, Paige Renee
Fanson, Hunter William
Farr, Alexzandra Hunter-Noel
Ficaj, Marie Michelle
Figot, Rachel Kathryn
Florkowski, Alexa Amber
Florkowski, Justin Thomas
Flynn-Sypien, Sydney
Forbes, Amy Lynn
Foster, Alivia Rose
Fountain, Deacon Bouyor
Germain, Cassandra Ann
Gesek, Kendall Bryn
Gesek, MacKenzie Leigh
Gimson, Jamie Lee
Glenn, Jamie Elizabeth
Gray, Britney Nicole
Griffin, Cole Thomas
Grooms, Kailey Autumn
Haling, Meaghan Kelly
Henning, Caleb Michael
Henning, Cole William
Hennings, Cody Steven
Hess, Isabella Frances
Hilbert, Kaitlyn Ann
Hite, Kelsey Ann
Howard, Michele Yvonne
Hoxey, Amanda Katherine
Hula, Linsey
Hurst, Carissa Jo
Iaquinto, Samuel Joseph
Iaquinto, Spencer Steven
Jaski-Kuehnel, Aidan Henry
Johnson, Brittney Kay
Johnson, Hailey Margrett
Johnson, Kiara Marie
Kah, Malia Ann
Kandikova, Alexandra
Kelley, Kaitlyn O'Brien
Kelley, Mackenzie Rose
Kelly, Quinlan
Kildemand, Sofie Isabel
Klager, Kari May
Kowalewski, Dillin Jade
Krueger, Austin Jeffrey
Lama, Audrey Jean
Lama, Brooke Charlene
LaMont, Kevin James
Langer, Nolan Paul
Leach, Steven Joseph-Michael
Lobbestael, Alec James
Lovely, Kristina Marie
Lund, Courtney Gene Dallaire
Majesky, Kohl Francis
Majewski, Kyle Anthony
Maulbetsch, Samantha Ann
Mayo, Amy Ellen
Mayo, Eric Thomas
McCormick, David Joseph
McCormick, Savannah Lee
McGibbon, Grace Kathryn
Meyers, Angela Marie
Milbocker, Eric Raymond
Monroe, Hannah Louise
Morrison, Kellie Corrin
Morton, Joseph Allen
Nagy, Mitchell Leslie
Pasciak, Kennedy Renee
Pechette, Halie Marie
Peltier, Aiden Francis
Peltier, Solstice Jane
Percha, Wyatt Joseph
Porter IV, Bobby Cecil
Powers, Hannah Irene
Prast, Brendan Charles
Prast, Megan Marie
Price, Olivia Golden
Ramirez, Mary Therese
Ritchie, Jarrett James
Robertson, Hailey Victoria
Rodrigues, Jonah Riley
Rogers, Lydia Joyce
Romine, Catherine Diana
Rubin, Keith Jeremiah
Russell, Tara Lee
Sanderson, Laura Elizabeth
Schroeder, Amelia Grace
Schwennesen, Claire Marie
Schwennesen, Matthew James
Seigle, Chase Michael
Sherrod, Briita Jo-Lynn
Smith, Aiden Carlton
Spangler, Chelsea Dakotah
Spiegelberg, Evan Frederick
Standlick, Bre'Anna Marie
Stefanovski, Carter Thomas
Tanner, Austin Michael
Tatum, Erika Lynn
Taylor, Brionna Nicole
Taylor, Eveliina Christine
Taylor, Zachary Jonathan
Terry, Hannah Marie
Tetreau, AnnaBella Grace
Thigpen, Jaidan Armiah
Thoman, Ryan John
Thomas, Nikki Lynn
Turner, Victoria Marie
Vanover, Angelica Rae
Vega, David Michael
Vershum, Blake Steven
Wagner, Karolyn Nicole
Wald, Dhane Austin
Wilkins, Riley Elizabeth
Zaman, Yasmine
Zielke, Charlotte Jean

Love and Logic
The following is an email from Dr. Charles Fay of the Love and Logic Institute.  I wanted to share it with you as it seems particularly relevant this time of year.

Power Struggles End Learning
There are few things more disheartening and perplexing than seeing our children fail to earn the sorts of grades they're capable of.  For many of us, the natural reaction is to jump into lecture, threat, and punishment mode:
  • What sort of college do you think you're going to get into with those grades?
  • If you don't start applying yourself, you can forget about going out for soccer.
  • That's it! You're grounded until you bring up those grades!
Sometimes this approach works. Too frequently it doesn't.
If your child is underachieving, and these types of traditional techniques have not been successful, there's a good chance that you've got a power-struggle on your hands.  For many children, their favorite way of gaining the sense of control or freedom they desire is to resist learning and achievement.  The more the adults in their lives try to force them into learning, the less they do.
There are no quick and simple "fixes" for underachievement.  Fortunately, there are long-term solutions.  These solutions are possible only if the adults involved are willing to stop trying to control something they never had control over to start with.  No matter how badly we want to, we can't force kids to learn.
The first step in reaching underachieving kids involves ending the control battle. This starts by saying, "I can't make you learn…but I can help you learn. You're the one who needs to decide. I will love you regardless of how easy or how hard you make your own life.”

Breakfast Club
We’ve all been told that breakfast is the most important meal because it refuels the body and jump starts a person’s day, and research proves this to be true.  According to the Mayo Clinic, breakfast not only starts a person’s day off right but also lays the foundation for lifelong health benefits. People who eat a healthy breakfast are more likely to

  • Consume more vitamins and minerals and less fat and cholesterol;
  • Have better concentration and productivity throughout the morning;
  • Control their weight;
  • Have lower cholesterol, which reduces the risk of heart disease.
Breakfast is especially important for children and adolescents. According to the American Dietetic Association, children who eat a healthy breakfast are more likely to have better concentration, problem-solving skills, and hand-eye coordination. They may also be more alert, creative, and less likely to miss days of school.

Have your student come join us for a healthy breakfast, served daily in our cafeteria for only $1.60, and $.30 for those students who qualify for reduced lunch.

Calling All Males Ages 17-18
The law requires virtually all male U.S. citizens (regardless of where they live), and male immigrants residing in the U.S. (permanent resident aliens), to register for Selective Service within 30 days of their 18th birthday.  Therefore, to be in full compliance with the law, a man turning 18 is required to register during the period of time beginning 30 days before until 30 days after his 18th birthday... a 60-day window.

Early Submission:  It is now possible for a man to submit registration information early, as long he is at least 17 years and 3 months old.  Selective Service will keep his information on file and process it automatically later in the year, when the man is within 30 days of reaching his 18th birthday.  An acknowledgment card will be mailed to the man when his registration is processed.  To submit early registration information, follow the same procedures as men who are 18 through 25 years old.

Registration Options:
Online:  Young men may now register online with Selective Service at

At the post office:  Selective Service "mail-back" registration forms are available at any post office.  A man can fill it out, sign it, affix postage, and mail it to Selective Service, without the involvement of the postal clerk.

By mail:  A young man may also register by filling out a Reminder Mailback Card. Selective Service sends this card to many young men around the time they turn 18. Mailback cards are also available at some post offices. A man can fill out the card at home and mail it directly to Selective Service. Forms will be sent to: Selective Service System, Registration Information Office, P.O. Box 94638, Palatine, IL 60094-4638.

Check Box:  Another way a young man can register is to check a box on the application form for Federal Student Financial Aid (FAFSA form). A man can check "Yes" on Box #29 of that form, and the Department of Education will furnish Selective Service with the information to register the man.

Opportunities for Students
United Way Varsity Letter in Community Service:  The Varsity Letter in Community Service recognizes high school students for their outstanding volunteer work during the year by presenting them with a high school specific varsity letter in community service. Students participating in the program complete 145 hours of volunteer work from May 1 to April 30. All hours are verified by the Labor Participation Committee.  The basic requirements are as follows:
  • Be a student in grades 9-12 in Washtenaw County
  • Complete at least 145 hours of community service from May 1, 2015 to April 30, 2016 (only 3 hours per week!)
  • At least 50 of the total hours MUST be in non-school related activities
  • Have at least one school-related volunteer activity
  • All volunteer activities must be verifiable
  • All Varsity Letter Applicants are honored at a reception in early June.
For more information and to access the application packet, go to -04-29-10.doc.
HOBY Leadership Seminar:  Each year, a WLHS sophomore is selected to represent our school at the weekend-long Hugh O’Brien Youth (HOBY) leadership seminar, held at various colleges around the state.  The selected student’s registration fees will be paid by the National Honor Society, but the student will be responsible for transportation to and from the seminar site.  This program has received rave reviews from all of our students who have participated in past years, and it’s a wonderful opportunity for students to broaden their horizons and prepare for post-high school experiences.
All interested students are asked to submit an essay of 250 words or less.  Students should see Ms. Rickard or Mrs. Easlick for the essay topic.  These essays should be submitted to the counseling office by October 16.  For more information, visit the website at

Profile in Courage Essay Contest:  In honor of JFK’s political career, students are invited to participate in the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Essay Contest. This program challenges students to consider the quality that JFK admired most in public life:  political courage.  Students in grades nine through twelve should submit an original and creative essay of 1000 words or less that demonstrates an understanding of political courage as described by JFK in his book Profiles in Courage.  The essay should describe and analyze an act of political courage by a U.S. elected official who served during or after 1956.  The essay may focus on an issue at the local, state, national, or international level.  Students must use at least five varied sources and are encouraged to use primary source material.  The deadline for submission is January 6, 2016.  For complete guidelines, visit

Opportunities for Parents
National Depression Screening Day—Thursday, October 8 Depression affects approximately 1 in 10 adults in the United States. Screenings are a good way to find out if depression may be the cause of feelings of prolonged sadness, anxiety, irritability, loss of pleasure, hopelessness or worthlessness.

The University Psychological Clinic will be participating in National Depression Screening Day.  Free online depression screenings will be available through the clinic. Based on screening results, a mental health professional may recommend a more comprehensive evaluation.   For specific questions, please call 734.764.3471.

Luncheon Lecture Series 2015-2016—Barriers to Engagement and Learning for Children and Youth:  How to Help
The Washtenaw Area Council for Children, Safe Kids, Strong Community is presenting the 2015-2016 Lecture Series Barriers to Engagement and Learning for Children and Youth:  How to Help.  The cost is $15 per lecture or $50 for the entire series (buffet lunch included).  All luncheon lectures take place from 12:00 to 2:00 p.m. at the Washtenaw Intermediate School District, 1819 S. Wagner, Ann Arbor.  The dates are below.  For more information or to register, contact Marcia at or visit

Thursday, October 13              Building Bridges, Not Barriers
Tuesday, November 24           Don’t Bother Me, I’m Busy Being Angry
Tuesday, February 11             When Social Media Becomes Anti-Social
Thursday, March 8                   How Complicated Lives Create Barriers         

Teens Using Drugs:  What to Know and What to Do
“Teens Using Drugs: What to Know and What to Do" is a free, two-part workshop series presented monthly in Ypsilanti.  It is designed to help parents, families, teens, and people who work with teens learn to understand and identify teen substance abuse problems and take appropriate, timely, and effective action to help.  Part 1 provides information on understanding and recognizing teen substance abuse.  Part 2 provides information on what should and should not be done to help when a teen substance abuse problem is suspected.  Part 2 includes a recovering teen speaker.  The program will be presented by a Dawn Farm or Growth Works therapist specializing in adolescent substance abuse.

The series is co-sponsored by Dawn Farm, the Livingston and Washtenaw Regional Coordinated School Health Program Council, and Saint Joseph Mercy Health System Greenbrook Recovery Center. All presentations are free and open to the public. Registration is not required.  The programs are presented at the Saint Joseph Mercy Health System Education Center, Classroom EC4 (second floor), 5305 Elliott Drive, Ypsilanti, from 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on the first (Part 1) and second (Part 2) Tuesday evenings of each month from October, November, and January through June.  Free literature and resource information are provided as elective handouts. Ample free parking is available. Certificates to document attendance are available on request.

For additional information about the “Teens Using Drugs: What to Know and What to Do” workshop series, please contact Dawn Farm at 734.485.8725 or, or check the website at 
Parenting Through Separation and Divorce
The University Center for the Child and the Family (UCCF) is offering a workshop to help parents understand their children’s needs as they face the challenges of separation and divorce.  It offers specific suggestions for creating the most beneficial post-divorce parenting relationships. The workshop is free and open to the public, and it is an approved alternative to the SMILE program presented by Friend of The Court.  It is held at the UM Center for the Child and the Family, which is located at 530 Church Street, UM East Hall, Suite 1465, Ann Arbor, MI.

This workshop is available October 5, November 2, December 7, February 1, March 7, April 4, May 2, June 6, and August 1. Registration is required. Please call 734.764.9466 to reserve a place. Lectures are from 7:30-8:00 p.m. Free parking is available in the UM Church Street structure.  For more information, visit
For the Senior Supplement, click HERE.

Kathy DeKeyser
School Counselor
Whitmore Lake High School
734.449.4461, x3008


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