WBSD Weekly Update
Friday, March 11, 2022
Dear WBSD Families,
We are saddened by the events that are taking place in Eastern Europe. We recognize that many of our families might be directly affected by the series of developments. As always, it is our priority to support all of our students, during difficult times. At this time, it is important to communicate to students and families with ties to this region that we care, and we continue to hope for a peaceful resolution.
Furthermore, current events such as the conflict in Eastern Europe can be particularly frightening for some children. Students can experience feelings of confusion, sadness, helplessness, anger, and anxiety as they try to make sense of the news in the world around them.
It is important to us that all of our students and families feel supported by our school community. You may be looking for tips on how to talk to your child(ren) about what they may be seeing via social media or in news reports. Experts state that talking with students and having open discussions about the feelings they may be experiencing, specifically related to conflicts in the news, can help them understand what is happening so they feel safe and begin to cope with the situation. The sources below might be a tool to help facilitate conversations at home:
American Psychological Association, How to talk to children about difficult news
National Child Traumatic Stress Network, Talking to children about war
If your student(s) needs extra support, please feel free to reach out to your building administrator or use the Talk to Us resource on the WBSD website. Through education, care, and compassion we can continue to guide and support our students as they process this information.
Dr. Gerald Hill, Superintendent
Visitors and Volunteer Policy Update
Unscheduled visitors coming to the building will not be permitted to enter past the front office. Drop-in visitors will not be allowed to enter the building without a pre-scheduled appointment. We will continue this approach in an effort to maximize safety & security while minimizing disruptions to learning. Families are welcome to schedule in-person meetings with administrators, teachers, counselors, and other staff. These meetings should be scheduled in advance and communicated with the main office. The option to Zoom for meetings will also continue to be available.
Volunteers, both parent/community volunteers (Reading Mentors, Watch DOGS, classroom volunteers, etc.) as well as student mentors in programs such as the professional apprenticeship, are permitted under the following circumstances:
They must have approval from the principal and teacher before volunteering.
ICHAT background checks are still required for all non-student volunteers.
Interested volunteers must also complete a volunteer form and provide a copy of their driver’s license/ID to the school's office staff upon request.
Creating Belonging at the New West Bloomfield Middle School
Next year is the year. We will open the doors to our brand new, state-of-the art middle school. It will be bigger. It will be better. And, it is leading to eager anticipation.
With that said, if you are the parent of a current 5th grader, this transition can definitely create uncertainty and some uneasiness. Parents might wonder, How will my child adjust? They are going to an even larger building, with 6 different teachers instead of 1? They may even wonder, How will you keep my child from getting lost in the shuffle–both physically and emotionally–within this enormous new middle school? These are fair questions.
Our middle school team has great answers. These answers begin with intentional connection. We are creating tight-knit families within the middle school known as houses. Each house consists of a pod of classrooms, where learners will spend a large chunk of their day attending their core classes. So, instead of having to traverse all across the middle school from class to class, our learners will have the luxury of spending the majority of time within their house, with a familiar team of peers and a trusted collection of amazing educators. Learners will share this house experience with roughly 150 other middle schoolers, where they will have a committed team of teachers that will serve as experts in the whole child. That’s right! Each house consists of a dynamic interdisciplinary team of teachers that share the same group of students so that they can provide a family-like atmosphere and a phenomenal experience that ensures everyone is seen, heard, and cared for.
Suddenly, the size of a giant new middle school with 800 learners doesn’t feel so big.
Another key element of the House experience is Advisory Period, where students have the opportunity to experience support, connection, and guidance through a multi age setting for a small part of the day. We know that middle school learners are constantly looking to their peers for connection, a sense of belonging, and cues of how to do life. The Advisory Period structure ensures that we leverage the middle school desire for peer connection and influence in a positive way.
In my recent visit to West Bloomfield Middle School, I had a chance to ask some of our middle schoolers about the unique opportunity that Advisory Period presents, specifically when it comes to generating a sense of belonging. The resounding theme was this: our younger students look up to our older students, and our older students love the chance to lead by example. Be sure to check out the video above.
Meanwhile, teachers like Mike Weingarden are ecstatic to have a chance to work with an interdisciplinary team of teachers through the upcoming House structure. He pointed out to me that some of his best experiences as a teacher were when he had a team of teachers to work with that focused on a common collection of learners. When he speaks of the new middle school structure, he speaks with extreme enthusiasm.
As the enthusiasm builds, we look forward to providing you with additional updates. In the meantime, our community can find comfort in knowing that our entire middle school staff is already busy planning for the design of an amazing House experience for every middle school learner.
West Bloomfield Preschool Academy Registration is OPEN
WBPA where students play, learn, and grow together!
Check out the video below to hear from Laura Poxon, WBSD Early Childhood Coordinator. Tours available by appointment, contact (248) 865-6466.
Congratulations Evans Scholarships Winners!
Four WBHS students were awarded Evans Scholarships. A full-ride scholarship to college! Each caddie has a unique story that reflects the scholarship’s four selection criteria: a strong caddie record, excellent academics, demonstrated financial need and outstanding character.
Top Left: Joseph Scherff, Pine Lake CC
Top Right: Daniel Wisely, Orchard Lake CC
Lower Left: Amarian Johnson, Franklin Hills CC
Lower Right: Trevor Navarre, Pine Lake CC
Congratulations! These four WBHS students have each shown excellence in the classroom, in their communities and on the golf course.
WBHS Women's Basketball
Check out the video below for highlights of the game and hear how Coach McAllister motivates the team. West Bloomfield Women's Basketball team defeated Farmington Hills Mercy in the Regional Semifinals. The Lakers dominated and won the game 72-42 to advance to the Regional Finals against Grosse Pointe North!
Lakers Win Regional Title!
WBHS Women's Basketball is moving on to the quarterfinals!
Congratulations Alexandria Bothuell!
Alexandria is the MHSAA Wrestling Girls' Division, Michigan All-State, 4th Place Winner!
Congratulations HOSA Students!
36 students attended the HOSA State Leadership Conference for future health professionals in Traverse City. Yael Mizrahi, a WBHS junior, received a well-deserved, 1st place award in Human Growth and Development, qualifying for the international HOSA competition held in Nashville, Tennessee. Exceptional competition status was also awarded to Saniyah Syed, Natasha Selektor, Claire Laureman, Lucy Zate, Advika Surnilla, Nayan Mallubhotla and Paige Harris for placing within the top eight in the state of Michigan for their competitive events.
Laker Express at the Pistons Game
Sheryl Hauk is proud to lead the Laker Express in singing the National Anthem at the Detroit Pistons Game, March 2022.
Congratulations Brooke Webster!
Brooke will go on to the Regional Competition for her essay submitted to the West Bloomfield Optimist Club.
West Bloomfield Township Public Library
· History in the Making: Women’s Rights (Kids)
Graphically Diverse YA Book Club: Nimona
Wednesday, March 16 at 7 PM via Zoom
Young adults in 6th to 12th grade can register for this virtual graphic novel discussion. Those registered will receive a kit containing a copy of the graphic novel, snack, & small book tie-in gift—all yours to keep! Registration required.
Library Card Application & Renewal
Library cards may be requested or renewed on our website.