District Student Achievement Team
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
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:
- SAT with Essay to measure student progress on ELA and mathematics standards and college readiness
- M-STEP to measure student progress on science and social studies standards
- 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:
- MI-Access Functional Independence (FI) –High Range of Complexity
- MI-Access Supported Independence (SI) –Medium Range of Complexity
- MI-Access Participation (P) –Low Range of Complexity
Instructional Technology Team 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
Title II: Dr. Taylor Elementary Professional Development
35A Additional Instructional Time Grant
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.