A weekly update from the West Bloomfield School District
December 17, 2021
Dear West Bloomfield Families,
I would like to express my gratitude for everything you do, day in and day out, to support the wonderful students of the West Bloomfield School District. I would particularly like to express my appreciation for how you have responded over the past 18 months to very challenging circumstances. It has been particularly difficult the past few weeks as we have been dealing with the continued Covid pandemic crisis and school safety issues which culminated in our lockdown, early dismissal, and transition to virtual learning for the remaining days of December 2021. Our teachers, staff, administration, and the Board of Education are grateful for the caring, compassion, and resiliency you have shown. We are in awe of the bravery and dedication shown by our students to help keep all of us safe. Your continued support under these trying circumstances is greatly appreciated.
My wish for all of you is a relaxing, restful, and enjoyable winter break with family and friends. May the 2022 New Year bring joy, hope, and happiness for a great finish to a challenging school year.
Dr. Gerald Hill
The Board of Education has begun the search for a new Superintendent. The Michigan Leadership Institute (MLI) has been hired by the Board to find the best possible candidate for the position. The Board is asking for input to assist them in setting the criteria for the next Superintendent. We invite you to complete the short survey below.
Responses to this survey will be submitted to the MLI Search Consultant and will be presented to the Board for their consideration.
Survey link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/WH36V6G
Thank you for your input!
Congratulations, Eric Pierce!
"I am fortunate to have an amazing team in WB! This award is not just for me, it is a recognition of the joint efforts put forth by my whole department. I am honored to accept this on their behalf."
The award was delayed due to Covid, therefore it was presented to him on 12/16/22.
SCHOOL SAFETY OFFICIALS ENCOURAGE STUDENTS TO SEEK OUT MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES
Parents and Trusted Adults Should Familiarize Themselves with
Potential Indicators of a Mental Health Crisis
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 16, 2021
LANSING, MICH. The Michigan State Police Office of School Safety, Michigan Department of Education, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, and Community Mental Health Association of Michigan are committed to working in cooperation to support the mental health and well-being of students, families, school personnel and everyone affected by the senseless and tragic events in Oxford.
“The tragedy of the Oxford shootings, layered upon the collective trauma of the prolonged pandemic, has made many of us, as Michiganders, more fearful, more anxious, more reactive,” said Robert Sheehan, CEO of the Community Mental Health Association of Michigan. “Now is the time for all of us to be attentive to the needs of each other and reach out rather than pull back; to listen with patience rather than lecture; to collectively build upon - and, where needed, rebuild - what has made our relationships and our communities strong. Only by taking these steps will we turn post-traumatic stress into post-traumatic growth.”
“Schools must be safe havens,” said State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice. “The mental and physical health of students and school staff are to be protected and nurtured. We must all commit to the state’s Top 10 Strategic Education Plan goal of improving the health, safety and wellness of all learners, and the requisite resources—financial, human, temporal—to meet this goal.”
Following the tragedy at Oxford High School, the ongoing pandemic and with the stressors of the holiday season, it is important to be aware of potential indicators of a mental health crisis:
- Cognitive reactions: Inability to stop thinking about the crisis, loss of objectivity, an inability to make decisions or an inability to express oneself verbally or in writing.
- Physical reactions: Chronic fatigue and exhaustion, gastrointestinal problems, headaches and other aches and pains, loss of appetite or difficulty sleeping.
- Emotional reactions: Excessive worry or anxiety, numbing, irritability, anger or rage, distressing thoughts or dreams, suicidal thoughts and/or severe depression.
- Behavioral or social reactions: Alcohol and substance abuse, withdrawal from contact with loved ones or an inability to complete or return to normal work responsibilities or daily tasks.
It can be difficult to talk to someone you care about who may be experiencing a mental health crisis or other trauma. When engaging in these conversations it is helpful to utilize active listening skills: Be attentive, repeat what you heard or ask for clarification, reflect feelings without judgement, ask open ended questions, and summarize what is being shared. If you or someone you know is experiencing any of the above indicators, please seek professional help.
“MDHHS is committed to ensuring students, staff and their families have access to resources as they navigate coping with this tragedy,” said MDHHS director Elizabeth Hertel. “It’s okay to ask for help for mental health needs and we are ensuring access is available if, when and where help is needed.”
“Every student in Michigan deserves to feel safe and supported in school,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “I am proud of the work we have done to put our students and teachers first by making the largest education investment in Michigan history, but we still have so much more to do. After the tragedy at Oxford High, we have to step up to ensure nothing like this ever happens again. I want to remind everyone that it is okay to not be okay. We should lean on each other and invest in resources for our kids and communities.”
FLL Robotics Competition
West Bloomfield Township Public Library
The Main Library and Westacres Branch will be closed on Friday, December 24 and Saturday, December 25. They will reopen on Sunday, December 26 at noon. Both locations will also be closed from Friday, December 31 through Saturday, January 1. They will reopen on Sunday, January 2 at noon.
The Library Is Where You Are
Library cardholders can access library materials even while the building is closed. Use your library card and phone, tablet, computer, eReader, or TV to stream digital movies, books, audiobooks, music, magazines, and more. Learn more at wblib.org/eLibrary.
Winter Reading Program
December 13 – February 13
Research shows that children who read for pleasure and choose their own books perform better on standardized reading tests than those who rarely read outside of school. The library’s winter reading program encourages children up to 5th grade to read to earn books and small rewards. Open to West Bloomfield Library cardholders. Logs are available for pickup from the Main Library and Westacres Branch.
Library Card Application & Renewal
Library cards may be requested or renewed on our website.
Professional Apprenticeship Internship Class
Are you a current 10th or 11th grader? Do you want to INTERN with a professional outside of school in your field of interest during 6th or 7th hour? If you answered yes, then the...Professional Apprenticeship Internship Class is for YOU!
Volunteer Internship Possibilities Include:
Legal Internships (Lawyers or Judges)
Political Internships (Government Officials or Political Campaigns)
Education Internships (Teachers or Administrators)
Business, Non-Profit, or Community Organization Internships
Link: Professional ApprenticeshipApplication/2022-23
Check out our district and building calendars in order to stay up to date on all events going on in our district!