Friday, April 29, 2016

News and Notes: Volume 2, Number 28

Next week, we make our way into May. I like May. I like knowing our athletic fields will be almost completely dry in another week. And, there are a couple of big dates in May which are worth noting because they always motivate me to be better: Mother's Day and Teacher Appreciation Week.

Now, the two might not seem to have much in common. To me, both are reminders that caring for and improving the lives of young people is critically important-- so important, in fact, that celebrating the two should be a year round event. At least in May, we get to express our gratitude formally.

On the mom front I have it pretty good, honestly. My own mother is as cool as they come. And my wife is the best mom in the world (a poll was taken this morning in my kitchen, actually, and she won!)

At WLPS, I get to work with and experience the dedication of dozens of teachers and paraprofessionals each day. It is an all-at-once humbling and exciting experience seeing these individuals working so well with your children. Today alone, I saw staff at all the schools interacting with students of every age and ability with complete respect and compassion. The tasks seem endless, but the attitude while performing them is genuinely positive. This passion for helping kids grow and the collective efforts the staff puts into this is what makes Whitmore Lake a special place to be.

Next week, thank your mom...thank all moms. And thank your teachers and paraprofessionals for the role they play in improving the lives of our community's children.

Distracted Driving Awareness
Today our 7th-12th grade students participated in Michigan's Department of Transportation's distracted driving ThinkFast Interactive Awareness Program. Sponsored by Nissan North America and the Michigan Office of Highway Safety, with no cost to the district, this comprehensive and interactive program covered everything relating to teen drivers, focusing much attention on distracted driving. The goal is to improve driver and passenger safety with the hopes of eliminating teen crashes and fatalities in our area.
Now this wasn't your typical assembly where students sat and heard horror stories to help hit the point home. Instead, it is an age-relevant, super-engaging, energetic format. You can get a better idea of the student experience here:
With prom taking place this Saturday, this a very pertinent topic for us to cover with our students. I encourage all parents to ask your student what s/he learned and discuss the topics further to reinforce how serious driving safety is year-round.

How Books are Made

Coming off March is Reading Month and gearing up for Book Bingo in June, our students continue to experience the excitement of reading. However, thanks to the generosity of Vicki Spencer, a parent in our district, our second-graders learned first hand how books are made during their visit to Cushing-Malloy Book Manufacturer in Ann Arbor.

During a personal tour by Ms. Cushing, students saw how book engraving was done before computer technology, watched the computerized book engraving process as well as the inking and printing of book pages. They also saw how pages are folded and cut into book sections and watched the books being bound for distribution. Students also were able to enjoy a cookie and drink break in the employee break room before receiving backpacks and notepads courtesy of Cushing-Malloy. And if that wasn't enough, Cushing-Malloy also donated several boxes of paper to the second-grade classrooms for art projects.

Thanks to students donating the funds to cover the cost of bus transportation and Ms. Spencer providing the entire second grade with a pizza, salad, juice box and mini cupcake for lunch, the trip was at no cost to the district.

Ms. Spencer is a parent in our district and her mother and deceased husband were employees of Cushing-Malloy. She also works with her mother to clean the company offices. We thank her and Cushing-Malloy for their generosity to teach our students how books go from pieces of blank paper to the items they check out of our school library.

Prom Throwback
As our students head to prom this weekend, here are some pictures of our staff's prom moments for your enjoyment.  Thanks to the Junior class for all their hard work in putting on a great event.

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