Friday, March 4, 2016

News and Notes: Volume 2, Number 23

A Well-Rounded Student
The manner in which children are educated in WLPS, and throughout the nation, has changed in the last decade. This is in large part due to testing and other accountability measures. Debating the rightness or wrongness of shifting values putting test results ahead of all other values is worthwhile. In fact, I welcome it because it makes our overall community more well-informed. However, the debate cannot, and frankly will not, immediately stop the testing. WLPS, like other public schools, will follow the law, and, currently, the law says testing reigns supreme. I bring this up because recently, the federal law which gave us so much testing, No Child Left Behind (NCLB), has been replaced with the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The likelihood that all testing will dramatically stop is unlikely, but I am hopeful that the new flexibility the ESSA offers will shift attention back to developing well-rounded students who possess abilities not completely measurable on standardized tests.

This hope of mine could not have been on display in a more significant manner than Thursday morning and Thursday evening. In the morning, the entire eighth-grade class lined up awaiting a bus to take them to the JET Theater in West Bloomfield to see The Diary of Anne Frank play. The students are finishing up their unit on the play, and their teacher, Mr. Stidham, saw this as a great opportunity for them to "see" the play's script, characters and plot come to life.  They were dressed well, fully prepped by Mr. Stidham on behavior expectations and learning objectives, and off they went. Their return was equally as cool to see. They clearly had a good experience and were led by a teacher who was proudly praising them for meeting all expectations. I could not begin to measure achievement gains from this one event, nor should I.  It was about the experience. And its impact went well beyond the classroom content which tests try so desperately to measure. (A big thanks to WLPS School Board President, Ken Dignan, for making a generous donation to cover the cost of the tickets and transportation for all WLPS eighth graders.)

The evening experience was equally as rewarding to witness. Our fifth and sixth-grade band performed on the same night with our seventh and eighth-grade band and choir. Developing a band at the elementary level has presented some challenges, but the performances were outstanding, and it was easy to see that our efforts are paying off. Developing literacy in the performing arts is so important. Starting it as early as possible creates students who demonstrate higher literacy in all subjects, making them more well-rounded. I could not imagine eliminating these programs from our children's lives. And, I doubt the parents would let me as I watched them file out of our theater clearly a proud, happy bunch. It was a great day to be a Trojan.

With that said, next Thursday, parents with students in grades seventh through twelfth will have another round of conferences with teachers. I urge you to try to attend because the review of grades which PowerSchool affords you only tells a part of the story.

Meet Jennifer Kramer, WLHS Athletic Trainer
March is National Athletic Training Month to help spread awareness about all that athletic trainers do. Athletic trainers are health care professionals who work with doctors and specialize in the prevention, emergency care, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of injuries and sport-related illnesses. I thought this was a great time to get to know our own athletic trainer, Jennifer Kramer, who joined us Fall 2015 from our athletic training provider, University of Michigan MedSport. Next time you see her at a sporting event, make sure to introduce yourself and thank her for what she does for our student-athletes. 

Q: What is your education background?
A: I received Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training with a minor in Biology from Central Methodist University. And I have a Masters of Arts in Exercise Physiology from the University of Alabama-Birmingham. 

Q: What company are you with and how long have you been with them? 
A: I work for the University of Michigan MedSport. I work at Northville Health Center at the MedSport Physical Therapy Department three mornings a week, and I am at Whitmore Lake High School every afternoon after school and as needed for events on the weekends. I moved up to Michigan from Alabama in January, 2015, for my position at MedSport. 
My fiancé and I reside in Whitmore Lake.

Q: How long have you been an athletic trainer? 
A: I have been a Certified Athletic Trainer since 2005.

I am from Missouri originally and lived in Alabama for 11 years before moving to Michigan. I worked as an athletic trainer in the collegiate setting covering college athletics for 8 years and have worked in a high school for 3 years.

Q: What is your role in our school?
A: I serve Whitmore Lake High School in the role of Athletic Trainer for the Athletics Department, and I am on staff with Whitmore Lake Community Recreation in the role of a Lifeguard at the pool.

Q: What have been some of your favorite parts about working with WLHS student-athletes?
A: I really enjoy working with our student-athletes here at WLHS on a daily basis. Every day is a new and different day here at Whitmore Lake, and I am thoroughly blessed to call Whitmore Lake High School my home as an Athletic Trainer. I enjoy the opportunity to work and live in a close-knit and cozy community. It's nice to work in a school where, when you walk down the hallways, the student-athletes know who you are and are happy to have you there.

Q: What have been some of your biggest challenges?
A: As an athletic trainer one of the biggest challenges is always being the bearer of bad news. It is never easy to tell a student-athlete that the injury she or he has sustained is going to need rest, rehab, surgery and, therefore, she or he is going to be out of activity for a while.  

Q: What do you enjoy most about being an athletic trainer? 
A: What I enjoy most about being an athletic trainer is the ability to work with the student-athletes and work around sports on a daily basis.

Q: What do you think are some of the biggest misconceptions about athletic trainers?
A: One of the biggest misconceptions is that athletic trainers are waterboys or girls, and all we do is tell people to "ice it" when they come in for an injury. Athletic Trainers are actually professional health care providers that are highly trained to handle emergency situations, evaluate, treat, and rehabilitate injuries for return to competitive athletics.

Another misconception of athletic trainers is that “athletic trainers” are “trainers.” In the profession of athletic training, we are, at times, closely referred to as personal trainers (known as “trainers”). The National Athletic Trainers Association has more information on the difference between “athletic trainers” and “trainers” (personal trainers). This information can be found at

Cooking Up Good Nutrition at the Early Childhood Center
Starting March 15 on Tuesdays from 12:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m., in partnership with Michigan Sate University, the ECC is providing a FREE six-week cooking class for families with children ages 0-5. With the help of an experienced chef, participants will learn how to make healthy, budget-friendly meals for their family.  Every week participants will receive food to take home to practice the recipe they learned in class. All the food is free and each family will receive a free cookbook, participate in food preparation to learn cooking and food safety, participate in an interactive grocery store visit with a $10 challenge and a certificate of completion at the end. While this program does target our low-income families, no ECC family is turned away. To register call 734.449.4464 x4001. Spots are limited. For more details, check out the flyer HERE.

No comments:

Post a Comment