Keller Staff Notes

By: Marcie Dryden, Principal

January 18, 2016

Mission Statement

The mission of Helen Keller Elementary School is to establish and maintain an educational community that empowers all students to become principled, independent inquirers who are socially responsible global citizens.

WKBS -- Keller Daily News Broadcast

Our Keller Daily News Broadcast highlights school achievement and IB news!

Baby It's Cold Outside!

Another reminder to all parents of the need to have your child properly equipped for the winter weather. Whenever possible we are looking to get our students outdoors for recess, as research shows that there is great cognitive, social, emotional, and physical benefit over the long-term; not to mention that the active time outside gets their brains better wired to learn during the day. This being said, we use 12- 15 degrees (feels like temperature) as our general guidelines for whether or not to keep the kids inside. Do be aware however, that the preference (for the benefit of the kids) is to get them outside and moving.

Please do your part and be sure that your child have proper jackets, snow pants, boots, hats, and gloves so they can be best prepared during the winter weather.

Extra Extra

Here is a wonderful article from the Detroit News about one of our students at Keller. Way to go Aubin!!!

Haven Lesson Training Survey

Teacher’s Survey (LINK). It is important to them that staff provide feedback that can be used to improve the process in the future or to garner support in getting programming implemented in other school systems.

Math Expressions Update

TO: K-5 Math Teachers

FROM: Lisa Shannon

SUBJECT: Math Expressions Pacing Update

As the second half the year is almost upon us, I would like to take a minute to highlight some suggestions/recommendations the math committee would like to make. As you begin to plan, please keep in mind the pacing of your units. As I look through the data on Pearson, it looks as if most of us in the district are just finishing unit 2! Most of the grade levels have 7-8 units to complete by the end of the year. At this pace, that doesn’t look promising.

The math committee would like to make the recommendation of taking the story problem unit/or pieces of the unit and placing it at the end of the year for grades 3-5. Please see the table below. Since our program is very heavy in story problems and problem solving strategies, we felt these units could be placed at the end. The last units, geometry, fractions and data/measurement are very important parts of the curriculum that need to taught and not rushed through.

Another suggestion I would like to make is making use of the data. As I look at Pearson and find standards that have 70% or higher proficiency level on the pretest, these are the standards we should not be spending time covering, but instead pulling small groups to reach those students that did not make proficiency. Using our data wisely to drive our instruction will help us teach all the standards we need to by the end of the year.

These are merely suggestions that give you some flexibility as your plan. As always, please use your professional judgement and what is best for the students in your classroom.

Grade and Word Problem Unit

3rd: Unit 5

4th: Unit 4

5th: Unit 6

Discovery Streaming Workshop

Oakland Schools is hosting “Day of Discovery” on Friday, January 29 . Educators who attended the REMC sponsored “Day of Discovery” last spring were very excited about the wealth of resources available in the Discovery Streaming subscription and left with many new ideas of how to incorporate the resources into their classrooms.

The cost is only $20 and lunch is provided. Click on the button below for the flyer.

Great Kindness Challenge

The Great Kindness Challenge is a proactive and positive bullying prevention initiative that improves school climate and increases student engagement. The Great Kindness Challenge is one week devoted to performing as many acts of kindness as possible. Students will be provided a checklist of 50 kind acts (as examples), students accept the challenge and prove that bullying is weak and kindness is strength. We proudly accept the challenge with other Royal Oak Elementary schools.

Please stay tuned... WKBS will be sharing all the details on their next broadcast and information will be put into your mailbox.

No Late Starts in January

Please remind parents, through all your communication avenues, that there are no late starts in January.

Learning in Action

5th Grade Modes of Transportation

National PTA Reflections Art Contest

Our Keller Elementary community is proud of all the students who participated in this year’s PTA Reflections art contest! There were 57 works of art submitted related to this year’s theme, “Let Your Imagination Fly!” The entries in each category were fantastic. The whole school celebrated all of the artists in an assembly on Thursday, December 17.

Big thanks go out to all of the parent volunteers who made Reflections happen this year and all the teachers/staff who helped out. The PTA would also like to thank Creative Arts Studio in downtown Royal Oak for allowing us to use their fantastic space for judging the Visual Arts and Photography entries. In addition, we were extremely lucky to have four talented artists from our community serve as this year’s judges: Derek Cookson (, Francesca Gagliano (, Monica Hemenway (http://www. and Megan Segel (graphic artist). We are so grateful to these artists for giving their time and feedback to our students.

Congratulations to the following students who will have their artwork advance to the state PTA for the next round of competition!

• Dance Choreography: Ryan Anglebrandt (K-2); Sarah Milligan (3-5) • Film Production: Julia Malone (3-5)

• Literature: Olivia Johnson, Leah Milligan (K-2); Julia Malone, Sarah Milligan (3-5)

• Music Composition: Sarah Milligan (3-5)

• Photography: Brendan Abbey, Ivy Orthmeyer (K-2); Angela Johnson, Hunter Prokurat (3-5)

• Visual Arts: Evangeline Baas, Christian Drake (K-2); Ashlee Akers, Elyse Finch (3-5)

Unplugged Week

Unplugged Week is coming during one week of January 25 through January 29. Keller families are encouraged to go “unplugged” and omit recreational TV, video games and computer use. Look for information to be sent home soon detailing the fun “unplugged” activities planned, and options for each night of Unplugged Week.
PD Agendas

Click on this link for all Professional Development agendas


Positive Behavior Intervention System

Essential Agreements

*We are respectful

*We are safe and in control

*We are responsible learners

Keller Creed

I will act in such a way that I will be proud of myself and others will be proud of me too.

I came to school to learn and I will learn.

I will have a good day.

Learner Profile Highlights

Don’t forget that the highlighted monthly learner profile and weekly behavior focus is on the Google calendar (every Sunday).

Remember to like us on Facebook

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