Friday, May 13, 2016

News and Notes: Volume 2, Number 30

This week our Instructional Data Coach and AP U.S. Government and Politics teacher, Jill Henry, is joining us as a guest blogger to introduce this week's News and Notes. Since 2009, 101 of her students have passed the AP U.S. Government and Politics test. She is an expert on the topic, and I thought a perfect person to speak to changes in our Advanced Placement courses at WLHS.

Tom DeKeyser
Middle and High School Principal

Advancing Student Learning with Advanced Placement Courses
By Jill Henry
Instructional Data Coach and
AP U.S. Government and Politics Teacher
Whitmore Lake Public Schools

This week 60 Whitmore Lake High School students joined more than 2.4 million other students at more than 20,000 schools nationwide to take an Advanced Placement (AP) exam. Sponsored by the College Board, the AP program allows high school students to participate in college-level coursework, and potentially earn college credit, while still in high school. At WLHS we offer AP U.S. Government and Politics and AP English Literature and Composition, and increased our AP class offerings for 10th to 12th-grade students to include AP Statistics and AP English Language and Composition for the 2015/2016 school year.

There are many benefits for students who enroll in AP courses. Students have an immediate advantage in the college admissions process. The AP designation on a transcript sends the message that a student understands the rigors of college classes and doesn’t shy away from a challenge. The ability to earn college credits not only saves time and money but increases the likelihood students will finish a bachelor’s degree in 4 years. It also allows some students the flexibility to study abroad or secure a second major. Perhaps most importantly, with the support of their AP teachers, students are able to develop critical thinking, time management and problem-solving skills that will prepare them for life beyond the classroom. In fact, the benefits are so numerous, and the connections to college and career success so strong, that next year all of juniors at WLHS will be enrolled in AP Language and Composition.

Congratulations to the hardworking students who participated in our AP program this year. We look forward to sharing the results of the AP exams and celebrating their continued success.

College 101
Six WLHS students will be heading off to the University of Michigan for the 2016 College 101 Program this June. From June 19-June 22, next year's 10th and 11th graders from around Michigan will participate in this four-day program exploring topics of career exploration, college access, academic enrichment and cultural awareness. They will stay on campus in a college dorm and attend a variety of academic presentations and informative programs during the day along with social activities to give them a taste for life on a college campus in the evening.

At WLHS, we strive to create a college-going culture from Preschool on up, and programs like this, in conjunction with our efforts, are invaluable.  This program is particularly beneficial to students who will be the first in their family to attend college as they don't necessarily know what to expect. Programs like this help them gain a greater understanding of what it is actually like to go to college.

Join me in congratulating Izaak Angel, Carissa Hurst, Kristina Lovely, Taylor Ray, Savannah Spangler and Nikki Thomas for admittance into the program.

For students and parents looking for additional information on how to participate in the program next year, visit the website here:

47th Annual America and Me Essay Contest Winner: Halie Pechette
Founded by the Farm Bureau Insurance in 1968, the America and Me essay contest encourages kids in Michigan to explore their roles in America's future. Over the past 47 years, over a half-million Michigan eighth graders have participated in the contest. And Halie Pechette, a student in Mr. Stidham's eight-grade Language Arts class, was named this year's local winner! Written based on the topic "My Personal Michigan Hero", all entries highlighted someone who has encouraged and inspired the writer to want to live better and achieve more.

Halie's entry will now move on to the state-wide competition where she will compete against over 4,000 entries from nearly 400 Michigan students. Statewide winners, which should be named soon, will receive a plaque, medallion and a cash award of $1,000 at an awards banquet in Lansing on Wednesday, May 25, 2016. In addition, the finalists will meet with state government leaders, be honored at Cooley Law School Stadium as special guests at a Lansing Lugnuts minor league baseball game, and enjoy a luncheon cruise aboard the Michigan Princess Riverboat on the Grand River.

Congratulations to Halie on a job well done! To read her entry honoring her aunt, click HERE.

"The Generic Sci-Fi Movie" Trailer Release
Last week we introduced you to the stars of an upcoming movie during an "E" Whitmore Lake High School exclusive interview. We are excited to announce the trailer for that movie has been released, and you are seeing it here first. Ladies and gentleman, we give you "The Generic Sci-Fi Movie" trailer.

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