Mustang Express

October 17th, 2022

An Important Message from Mrs. VanWagnen

Halloween this year is a half day with dismissal at 12:25 PM. Students at MBE are welcome to wear a school-appropriate costume. Please note the following:

  • Students may not wear costumes, make-up or masks with blood or gore

  • Halloween scary masks are not permitted. Students’ faces must be visible during transportation and throughout the remainder of the school day.

  • Students may not bring any type of weapons or look-alike weapons

  • All accessories should be left at home

  • Students who ride the bus will need to bring their costume in a bag and change while at school. Please help your child choose a costume he/she can put on independently.

At 11:15 AM, we will host our outdoor parade*. Parents/guardians and younger siblings are invited to view the parade from the front of the building in the bus loop. There is no need to check-in at the main office because visitors will be outside and will not be entering the school. Parents are encouraged to carpool to alleviate congestion in the parking lot.

*In case of rain, students will parade through the building, into the gym. Parents may enter through the gym entrance, door 18, and wait for the parade there.

After the parade, students will return to the classroom. Some classrooms have requested parent volunteers to assist with the party before the parade. If your classroom requests volunteers, and your child’s teacher confirms that you have been selected, please sign-in at the main office and get a visitor’s badge. Only pre-arranged volunteers will be permitted. **We kindly ask that you make arrangements for any younger siblings if you plan to volunteer in your child’s classroom.**

Most importantly, we ask for your cooperation and patience, as it will be a very busy day here at school. Student safety is our top priority.



Jennifer VanWagnen, Principal

Congratulations to our October Student of the Month Nominees!

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The Walled Lake Consolidated Schools is again participating in a program to honor exemplary teachers/educators. We hope you will join us in an effort that will result in the selection of the Teacher/Educator of the Year for the Walled Lake Consolidated School District at the elementary, middle school, and high school levels. This honor will be bestowed at our Thursday, January 12, 2023 school board meeting.

Please use the attached fillable nomination form to nominate a deserving Meadowbrook educator and return to Meadowbrook Elementary NO later than Friday, October 21, 2022. Nominations can be emailed directly to or turned into the front office. Any full time, certified, tenured teacher/educator who spends 50% of his/her time in a classroom with a minimum of five (5) full years of classroom teaching experience is eligible to receive this award. Any person in the school community may nominate any teacher/educator in the District for this honor.

Join Us in Welcoming these Fabulous 5th Graders to the Student Council Executive Board!

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Important Dates


10/19-10/21: 5th Grade Overnight Camp

10/21: Walled Western Annual Pink Out Game, Meadowbrook students invited

10/21: i-Ready Diagnostic Window 1 Closes

10/21: Teacher of the Year Nominations Due

10/25: Coffee Hour and Chat with Principal VanWagnen @ 9:15 AM

10/26: Fire Drill

10/26: Buster the Bus in AM

10/27: Into to Instruments 5th Grade 2:15-2:45 in Media Center

10/28: ALICE Drill #2

10/28: PTA Sponsored Trunk or Treat

10/31: Half Day of School (Staff Professional Development)

LAYA's Adopt-a-Child and Shop With A Cop Applications

Please Note: The deadline to apply for “Adopt-a-Child” is Friday, Nov. 11, 2022 and the deadline to apply for “Shop With a Cop/Hero” is Friday, Nov. 18, 2022.

Mustang Mile Donations Due by October 21st

The PTA sponsored Mustang Mile was on Friday, October 14th. We have raised $10,410 thus far and our fundraising efforts will continue through 10/21! Please click the link below to view the Mustang Mile Packet and help us to reach our goal. Our school goal is $15,000 and the student goal is $50 Families, friends and community members can donate at All pledges are due on October 21st when prizes delivered. Thank you so much for your support!

2022-2023 Student Safety Drills

Meadowbrook Elementary Families,

Since the 2019-2020 school year, we have shared information about district-wide efforts to improve our emergency responses. Most recently, our district has adopted ALICE, a research-based training program to ensure schools are prepared to respond to potential intruder events. ALICE is about empowering individuals and providing options or strategies beyond the traditional lockdown methods. Last week, the Novi Police Department facilitated ALICE training with Meadowbrook Elementary Staff.

This week, all K-5 classrooms will read the book, “I’m not scared, I’m prepared,” by Julia Cook, as we did during the 2021-22 school year. In the book by Julia Cook, comparisons to stranger danger, and additional resources linked below may be helpful for families that discuss the drills at home with their children.

In October, students at Meadowbrook Elementary will participate in two ALICE safety drills. During the October drills, all classrooms will review ALICE principles in an age appropriate manner. Teachers will use similar language and will utilize the same materials to ensure consistent implementation. Please see the chart below for what each drill will entail:

Kindergarten - 3rd Grade

4th - 5th Grade

Date of Drill #1:


  • Review of ALICE acronym

  • Discuss what a teacher might do to barricade a door

  • Discuss the on-site rally point outside

  • Visit the on-site rally point outside

  • Review of ALICE acronym

  • Practice situational awareness through designed activities

  • Discuss options to evacuate the classroom

  • Practice evacuating through the doorway of the classroom

Date of Drill #2:


  • Review ALICE principles

  • Review on-site rally point

  • Learn about exit options all around the school

  • Review ALICE principles

  • Practice barricading the classroom door

We will NOT simulate gunfire or other violent situations. We will engage in age-appropriate discussions and practice to prepare students. Lesson teaching points that may assist families with at-home discussions include:

  • We practice so we know what to do in an emergency. We’re not scared, we’re prepared!

  • Our job is to keep you safe. Your job is to listen and follow the adults’ directions.

  • Evacuation means to leave the building. Your teacher or a trusted adult may tell you to leave the building and go to a safe place.

  • If an adult tells you to leave the building. Listen, quickly go to a safe place, and then wait for helpers (police officers, firefighters, trusted adults, etc.)

Student safety continues to be our first priority. Additional safety drills will take place later in the school year. We will continue to collaborate with local law enforcement and families to ensure a safe learning environment for our children.

In partnership,

Jennifer VanWagnen

Principal, Meadowbrook Elementary

Helpful Links:

Talking to your Child about Safety - K-2

Talking to your Child about Safety - 3-5

Talking to Children about Violence - Tips for Parents and Teachers

Is My School Safe: How to Ease Your Child’s Anxiety

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Attendance Meetings with Principal VanWagnen

As parents, you play an important role in ensuring strong attendance in school. Research has shown that excessive absences, tardies and early dismissals can negatively impact academic and social progress in school. As a reminder, the district attendance policy is as follows:

  • 5 or more absences: 1st parent contact

  • 7-10 absences: 2nd parent contact including meeting with principal

  • 11-24 absences: Legal “Notice to Parents or Guardians with Non-Attendance of Children in School” sent to parent/guardian and referral to local agency

  • 25 or more absences: School district takes legal action through the Juvenile Court system to return child to school

Our Principal's Secretary, Kellan Watkins, has begun reaching out to families with 7-10 or more absences or excessive tardies/early dismissals to schedule a meeting with Principal VanWagnen. The purpose of this meeting is to support families, provide support services as needed, and ensure consistent attendance in school. We sincerely appreciate your support and partnership in this matter.

Important Information: Curriculum & Instruction

What is the Nurtured Heart Approach

The Nurtured Heart Approach (NHA) is a social emotional curriculum developed for building relationships in which students are intrinsically motivated both academically and pro-socially. Through first hand experiences of success these relationships provide immense opportunities for social emotional development and building of self-confidence. On a broader level, the NHA shifts building culture by actively nurturing positive and healthy relationships thereby creating a safe environment for its students.

The Nurtured Heart Approach changes the way we see things by teaching us to look through a different lens, one that is focused on what is going right instead of what is going wrong. The Nurtured Heart Approach teaches the skill of seeing and energizing the positives by giving students very specific recognitions and praise rather than generic compliments that have little or no meaning to students. By giving very specific praise students are more motivated to make better choices both socially and academically. The communication style of the “The Nurtured Heart Approach” helps bring out the positive character traits in students, helping each and every student to become the best version of who they really are. The focus is on noticing what students are doing right and giving positive energy and specific praises for making the right choices, while decreasing the negative energy given to inappropriate behaviors. With “The Nurtured Heart Approach” students feel more engaged during class and throughout the building because they hear their teachers and staff honoring who they are and speaking about their greatness. When students are recognized for their success and positive choices they begin to crave even more recognition for doing the right things. With this framework, students really want to be in class because they want to be a part of their own success. The classroom climate and building culture begins to change into a loving place where students feel they belong. And as a result, all students begin to feel more connected not only to their teacher but also to their school.

If you want to learn more about the Nurtured Heart Approach, please join Mrs. VanWagnen at Meadowbrook for a Coffee and a Chat on Tuesday, October 25th at 9:15 AM .

In Partnership,

Jennifer VanWagnen

Meadowbrook Elementary Principal

Update on Behalf of Mr. Russo Regarding Parent-Teacher Conferences

Dear Meadowbrook Community,

It has been said that crisis often offers opportunity. Much of what we experienced amidst the core of COVID will gladly be forgotten and left behind. Yet, some of our experiences during that time offer potentially improved and more efficient ways of doing business and making connections. For this school year we are holding conferences virtually. Many factors influenced this decision:

· Attendance rates of virtual conferences from the last two years

· The privacy offered between teachers and families

· The time saved for families with multiple children in our schools

Once our conferences are completed, a survey will be sent to all families, teachers and building level administrators. Survey results will then guide which way conferences will be held (virtual/ in-person /hybrid) next school year and potentially school years beyond the 2023-2024 year. Thank you for your continued partnership for every child, every day.


Mr. Nick Russo

Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources

i-Ready Diagnostic: Sep 12-Oct 14

i-Ready is an online program utilized by Walled Lake Schools that will help us determine your child’s strengths and areas for growth, personalize their learning, and monitor their progress throughout the school year. i-Ready allows us to meet your child where they are and provides us with data to inform instruction.

All students will complete the i-Ready Diagnostic during the window of September 12-October 14. The i-Ready Diagnostic is an adaptive assessment that adjusts its questions to suit your child’s needs. Each item a student receives is based on their answer to the previous question. For example, a series of correct answers will result in slightly harder questions, while a series of incorrect answers will yield slightly easier ones. The purpose of this is not to give your child a score or grade but to determine how to best support their learning.

The classroom teacher will communicate with families regarding when their class will complete this important assessment. In the meantime, take a look at the recommendations from iReady below:

What can I do to help? To help prepare your child for the i-Ready Diagnostic, encourage them to:

· Get a good night’s sleep and eat a full breakfast the day of the assessment.

· Try their best on each question and try not to rush.

· Try not to worry about questions they do not know—remind them that it is expected they will only get about half of the questions correct.

· Be respectful of other students who take longer to finish.

*If your teacher is requesting headphones to complete the diagnostic, please be sure to send them in. Thank you!

Thank you for your partnership! More information will be shared soon regarding how you can support your child complete online instruction at home.

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Save the Date: Buster the Bus

Buster the Bus will be traveling to Meadowbrook on Wednesday, 10/26/22. Our K-2 student will be invited to attend an assembly and perform a bus evacuation drill.

Assembly for 1st and 2nd Grade: 9:30 AM, with bus evacuation drill following.

Assembly for Kindergarten @ approximately 10:30 AM with bus evacuation drill following.

.*Please have your students bring their coats.

Join the MBE and HWE Ski Club

Join Now by Clicking Here:

Ski/Snowboard Club Membership Application

Although we are sad to say goodbye to the beautiful summer weather, fun winter activities lie ahead for Meadowbrook families. The Ski/Snowboard Club via Hickory Woods Elementary (HWE) is welcoming the Meadowbrook community to participate in the upcoming ski/snowboard season. Beginning in January the club will meet weekly, after school, and allows HWE/Meadowbrook students (as well as their friends & family) to purchase lift tickets and lessons for a significantly reduced rate. Those who are interested will need to purchase a membership card directly from HWE for $25; included are two complimentary lessons at the site of our club’s choosing (likely Alpine Valley or Pine Knob). More information will be relayed as ski season approaches; however, if you know that your child(ren) will be participating, now is the best time to purchase seasonal ski/snowboard equipment. You may wish to consider the, “Junior Has A Fit” program through Boyne Country Sports[1] or used inventory from Play It Again Sports[2] as both can make skiing/snowboarding more affordable. Ski/snowboard rentals are about $25-$35 per day; purchasing your own ski equipment tends to be the most budget friendly way to partake in skiing and snowboarding.

If you have questions or concerns, please email the club organizer (Kim Rubin) at If you know that your family will be participating, please send an email to the club so that we consider your availability when determining which day of the week our club will meet. As a reminder, we welcome friends and family to partake in our discount; however, to be eligible, they will need to purchase a membership from HWE.

[1] Junior Has A Fit information is available by viewing Historically, the best time to trade in or purchase equipment is the last week of September or first week of October when their inventory is at peak volume

[2] Play It Again Sports will begin to debut ski equipment in October. View their website for more information

Safety Fair: October 13th

Come on out to enjoy free hot dogs, train rides, face painting, a Bounce House and more! All families that attend the "It Takes a Village Safety Fair will have an opportunity to leave with a safety plan for school, home and the community. It's going to be a fantastic event!

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WLCSD Annual FLU SHOT/ COVID Vaccine Clinic Information

As we head into cooler weather, it’s time to think about flu and COVID-19 risks. Flu season will soon be upon us. Spending more time indoors means that there’s more opportunity for COVID-19 to spread.

To protect against these two threats, Walled Lake Schools will host a COVID-19 vaccine and booster clinic in conjunction with a flu vaccine clinic for all insured district employees and their insured dependents as well as subcontracted employees that carry their own health insurance coverage. Everyone MUST Bring Your Driver’s License and Health Insurance Card.

Protect not only your health, but the health of your family, friends, and colleagues as well. After all, a vaccine is your #1 defense!

Preregistration is REQUIRED for all Flu and COVID Vaccines and Boosters.

The booster available is the new updated mRNA Bivalent Booster!

The Clinics are walk-in and no appointment is needed, however you do need to register 7 days in advance to ensure we will have enough vaccines available for you at the location you choose.


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District Information

WLCSD Staff Nomination Form

In an effort to find additional ways to celebrate our staff, the WLCSD Community Relations department requests that families fill out the information below for staff who are rock stars in their classrooms and school communities. Please complete the form below and contact Dan Durkin ( with any questions you may have.

A sample of what these shout outs will look like on social media and in our District newsletters can be found below.
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Set Up Your Communication Preferences in Skyward

Not receiving district and/or building communications?

If you are not receiving emails from Mrs. VanWagnen, including the Mustang Express, District Weekly Updates, please use the link below to double-check your preferences are correct.

Signing Up for SMS Messages via Skylert

In addition to receiving phone calls and email notifications from the school district in the event of a school closing or emergency, parents can also sign up to receive SMS Text messages.

Please find the helpful step-by-step instructions linked below as well as the video tutorial on signing up for SMS messages.

Connect With Us


Kellan Watkins

Principal's Secretary:

Jennifer Schloegl

Building Secretary:

Important Phone Numbers:

Main Line: 248-956-2700

Attendance: 248-956-2790

Please Review the Meadowbrook Handbook

It is very important that you take time to review the Meadowbrook Handbook which is filled with important information, policies and procedures.