District Student Achievement Team

November 2018

Happy thanksgiving!

When we think of Thanksgiving we often think of leaves that have changed color and are falling from trees. We also think of visiting with family and friends, and watching Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Of course there are the traditional football games on television and the yummy turkey dinners with all of the holiday trimmings. However, Thanksgiving is more than any one of these fond memories; it’s about bringing people from all walks of life together for a common purpose. We are fortunate to have one another and to be able to do the work we do to help improve the lives of our students. We can always find the good and positive aspects in our lives.

This season take the time to reflect on what actions you can take in the coming year to fully express the meaning of Thanksgiving. I urge you to share your time and talents with others who could use your help. Let’s decide to put love into the world and act with kindness toward those around us. While Thanksgiving is one day, let’s choose to be thankful and kind all 365 days of the year.

Special Services Update

Assessment Update

M-STEP (Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress)

  • Given to students in grades 3-7 to measure student progress on academic standards in English language arts & mathematics
  • Given to students in grades 5, 8, and 11 to measure student progress on science (field Test) and social studies standards

PSAT (Pre-SAT by College Board)

  • PSAT 8/9 given to students in grades 8 to measures student progress on academic standards in ELA and mathematics and prepare for SAT taken in high school
  • PSAT 8/9 for students in grades 9 (no statewide reporting)
  • PSAT 10 for students in grade 10 (no statewide reporting)

MME (Michigan Merit Exam)

  • given to students grade 11
  • consists of three required components:
  1. SAT with Essay to measure student progress on ELA and mathematics standards and college readiness
  2. M-STEP to measure student progress on science and social studies standards
  3. ACT WorkKeys to measure career skills

Michigan Assessment for Special Student Populations

  • MI-Access for students with significant cognitive impairment
  • Alternative assessment program that measures student progress toward Michigan’s state alternate content standards
  • Students are eligible to take MI-Access when the Individualized Education Program (IEP) team has determined that general assessments, even with accommodations, are not appropriate for the student
  • MI-Access alternate assessments are administered at three levels, for students who have, or function as if they have, a significant cognitive impairment, and whose instruction is most closely aligned to the Essential Elements within the:
  1. MI-Access Functional Independence (FI) –High Range of Complexity
  2. MI-Access Supported Independence (SI) –Medium Range of Complexity
  3. MI-Access Participation (P) –Low Range of Complexity
Big picture

Instructional Technology Team Update

District Updates

Bond Update

Last summers work is all wrapped up and we are off and running on the projects to be completed this coming spring and summer. Contracts have already been awarded for the replacement of the remaining original doors and windows at the Education Center and contractors have already begun on the replacement of the building emergency lighting system and hot water system.

Bids have been accepted and we are currently finalizing recommendation to the Board of Education on the WWMS Auditorium Renovations. We anticipate starting the work in the auditorium on May 1st.

The bid package for the Athletic Complex renovation at WWT is currently open to bidders with bids due on December 3rd.

Federal and State Funding - Grants Update

Title I Parent and Family Engagement Event

A BIG thank you to the Westwood Wildcats for hosting our most recent Title I Parent and Family Engagement Event. A special shout out to the Warren Library for sponsoring a space for us to provide a field trip for our families. On November 5th, families had the opportunity to meet at Westwood Elementary for a healthy dinner. Following dinner, WWPS provided a bus to visit the Warren Library. Once at the library our families were able to take a tour of the facilities and register for library cards. WWPS, in partnership with the Warren library provided an opportunity for parents to gather together to hear from Nancy Sulkowski & Trisha Rutledge, two of our literacy coaches, on how parents can help their child become a better reader and reinforce strategies used in school. While parents were engaged in their learning session, students were able to make a pumpkin craft they were able to take home. It was a fun event that we hope to repeat in the years to come.

Title II: Dr. Taylor Elementary Professional Development

As an elementary team, we're excited to continue our work with Dr. Michal Taylor. She is providing professional development to our entire K-5 teachers to support their implementation of guided reading and roll out of our new Literacy Footprints materials. This last session each participating teacher shared with the group various perspectives of a recent lesson that they taught. They received feedback from their peers, as well as Dr. Taylor's support. Additionally, Dr. Taylor modeled the writing portion of the Literacy Footprint Guided Reading lesson with a group of students. We appreciate the students' participation and the teachers' willingness to share with their colleagues their current instructional practices.

35A Additional Instructional Time Grant

Our elementary team is excited to get our extended day tutoring started at each of our schools. Each school may have a different grade level focus but the Leveled Literacy Intervention (LLI) support provided will remain the same regardless of building plan. Briarwood and Pinewood Elementary Schools are scheduled to have two tutors a piece. Westwood is approved to have three tutors. We still have positions available for teachers to provide this support to our students. Participation in this student support will be based on invitation only and based on the needs detailed in students' Individual Reading Plans. Our elementary administrators and teachers have been hard at work making sure all our struggling readers have a plan in place and the teams have communicated with parents.

Competitive FIRST Robotics Grants

As a district, we’ve recently submitted our application to help support our 1st Lego League team through Michigan’s Competitive FIRST Robotics (VEX) Grants Program. The grant provides funds to help with team costs and a stipend for a mentor. The Competitive FIRST Robotics (VEX) Grant Program is made available to districts that provide pupils in grades K-12 with expanded opportunities to improve mathematics, science, and technology skills by participating in events hosted by science and technology development program known as FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology). The competitive FIRST Robotics Grants support the MDE’s Top 10 in 10 goals two, three, four, and six through several key activities:

  • Engaging students in well-rounded learning experiences
  • Providing coaches and mentors with professional learning opportunities and SCECHS
  • Ensures equitable access to programming and resources
  • Establishes partnerships with job providers, community colleges, and higher education.

With the help of Ms. Breean Jarvie, Elementary STEM teacher at Pinewood and Briarwood Elementary Schools, we’re starting with the creation of one upper elementary FIRST Lego League team.

FIRST Lego League encourage students to practice imaginative thinking and teamwork. Guided by our new coach, Ms. Jarvie, our FIRST LEGO League team will research a real-world problem such as food safety, recycling, energy, etc., and are challenged to develop a solution. They also must design, build, program a robot using LEGO MINDSTORMS technology, then compete on a table-top playing field.

The program aims to provide students with an engaging and fun experience while they learn to apply science, technology, engineering, and math concepts (STEM), plus a big dose of imagination, to solve a problem. Along their discovery journey, they develop critical thinking and team-building skills, basic STEM applications, and even presentation skills, as they must present their solutions with a dash of creativity to judges. They also practice the Program’s signature Core Values.

  • Discovery: We explore new skills and ideas.
  • Innovation: We use creativity and persistence to solve problems.
  • Impact: We apply what we learn to improve our world.
  • Inclusion: We respect each other and embrace our differences.
  • Teamwork: We are stronger when we work together.
  • Fun: We enjoy and celebrate what we do!

Past Challenges have been based on topics such as nanotechnology, climate, quality of life for the handicapped population, and transportation. By designing our Challenges around such topics, participants are exposed to potential career paths within a chosen Challenge topic, in addition to solidifying the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) principles that naturally come from participating in the program. Team members also learn valuable life and employment skills which will benefit them no matter which career path they choose.

Thank you to Ms. Jarvie, Ms. Walter, and our participating students’ families for their support of the project.


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The Art of Gratitude: Teaching Kids to be Grateful

It doesn't always come naturally. This season of giving thanks, consider these 10 ways of teaching kids to be grateful. (Metro Parent)