Shorian Nation eNews

December 14th, 2020

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Newsletter Overview

Within this Shorian Nation eNews, you will read an an update from Superintendent Dr. DiPonio, virtual tree lighting ceremony, current building schedules, positivity project, CDC reminders, dissertation in practice, and stories highlighting inspiration, innovation, and celebration.

We are committed to keeping you informed as we confront COVID-19 together. If you have any questions regarding COVID-19 as it pertains to school and your needs, please email

Update from Superintendent Dr. DiPonio

Prior to the start of this school year, you were asked to make a selection regarding the instructional method you desired for your child. As we begin to plan and schedule for the 2nd half of this school year, we once again need you to have this discussion as a family and make a commitment, preferably by Monday, December 21st. We understand this is a difficult decision to make and with so many variables and unknowns, you may need some additional time to consider what is best for your child. Please feel free to contact us with any questions you might have. This is for all students K-12. We will continue to be as flexible and accommodating as possible throughout this time period.

Once again, you will have a choice of in-person hybrid instruction or a 100% virtual option. While our continued goal is a full return to in person instruction, our hybrid model will continue to be two days of in person instruction with both synchronous and asynchronous learning occurring on days your child is not reporting to school. Our hybrid instruction will continue to adhere to the safety protocols established prior to the start of the school year with the potential for modifications directed by the Center for Disease Control, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Macomb County Health Department. Our 100% virtual option will continue to be Lake Shore classes taught by highly qualified Lake Shore teachers. The LSPS Virtual Learning Option provides the same rigorous curriculum offered during our in-person learning. A Shorian student is a Shorian student, regardless of where the learning occurs.

Please make your selection by clicking this Instructional Method Selection link.

Families should anticipate the possibility of a change in teachers due to staffing needs. As more students shift to virtual, we will have to add teachers to our virtual offerings. As more students shift to in person, we will have to add more teachers to in person offerings. With as much change as has occurred this year, we will do our very best to try and keep our students with the same teacher. This will be the final selection of the year, however, we are committed to working with our families should a change be necessary down the road. Class changes occurring will go into effect February 1st.

Finally, I know as an educator and as a father just how difficult this year has been. While there is hope on the horizon, I have resigned myself to an understanding that this situation will last longer than I would have ever imagined possible. I want to encourage all Shorians to follow the recommendations of the CDC, MDHHS, and Macomb County Health Department and to know that as a school community we will get through this. Better days are not far away.

Virtual Tree Lighting Ceremony

Lake Shore Public Schools worked closely with our local health department and officials to ensure you, our Shorian Nation, could be part of kicking off the holiday season with us. Shorian Nation joined us from the comfort of their own home as we presented our Lake Shore Virtual Tree Lighting Ceremony.

Thank you to the following people who have assisted in making this event a reality:

  • 5th graders Abby Becovic, Emilia Demopoulos, Jadyn Lloyd from Masonic Heights Elementary
  • 5th graders Emma Bryant, Bruce O'Brien, Cameron Strzelecki from Rodgers Elementary
  • 5th graders Mayzie Gray, Fatme Ghandour, Delilah Beaver, Gabriella Beaver from Violet Elementary
  • Choir Directors Bernadette Wischmeyer and Kim Rueger-West
  • Superintendent Joe DiPonio, Lake Shore High School Principal Janelle Bross, Director of Maintenance and Operations Wayne Satterfield and the entire Lake Shore Public Schools Management Team
  • Tony Zarife and Aimee Kilcher from EOS Cafe
  • Special Guest Council Member Candice Rusie
  • Board of Education Secretary Elizabeth Munger
  • Drone Footage by Robert Stark
  • Video Production by Jayden Petty, Henry Kozak, and Nick Henderson
Lake Shore Public Schools Virtual Tree Lighting Ceremony 2020

Building Schedules

To access building-specific schedules, including start and end times, reference this link and follow the current schedules linked below:

Lake Shore High School
Virtual Schedule

North Lake High School
Virtual Schedule

Kennedy Middle School
Hybrid Students
Virtual Students

Masonic Heights, Rodgers, Violet Elementaries
Hybrid Students
Virtual Students

Positivity Project

Under the guiding principles of our districtwide initiative, the Positivity Project, the #PositivityinAction mindset is our top priority. These past two weeks we focused on the character strengths of KINDNESS and KNOWING MY WORDS AND ACTIONS AFFECT OTHERS.

People with the character strength of kindness are generous to others and never too busy to help out. They enjoy doing good deeds for other people.

In the effort to meet requests from our community and to increase the overall wellness of our dedicated staff, we have compiled a list of staff favorites as a resource for those who would like gift giving ideas prior to the holiday season.

We encourage you to spoil our Shorian Nation staff, letting them know how much they are appreciated.

Disclaimer: If you do not see a form for a specific staff member, it wasn't turned in.

People with the strength of KNOWING MY WORDS AND ACTIONS AFFECT OTHERS know that everything that they do and say can affect people in a positive way.

Preschool teacher Cheri Zweng at Masonic Heights Elementary truly understands how her words and actions affect others. This is what prompted her to ask for donations from her own friends and family to ensure every child in her classroom became a part of the Scholastic Book Club. This meant that every child would be able to take home a Scholastic book each month. In addition, they keep one copy inside the classroom to read, summarize, sing parts of the book song, and make predictions together.

Having a teacher read aloud to students helps increase their reading level, because it models fluent reading for students. Thank you, Mrs. Zweng and her generous social circle, for raising over $150. Foster a love for literature by establishing a reading routine with your class-sponsored Scholastic book at home, too!

2020 is throwing a lot of challenges our way. Tapping into our positive relationships and our character strengths, by demonstrating #PositivityInAction, will be critical in helping us be resilient and successful in the face of these tough times.

Looking forward, our upcoming character strengths are SELF-CONTROL (12/13-12/19) and OPTIMISM (1/3-1/9).

CDC Reminders

Take steps to care for yourself and help protect others at Lake Shore Public Schools and our community by practicing healthy habits to help slow the spread of COVID-19:

  • Wear a mask
  • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds
  • Clean and then disinfect frequently used surfaces
  • Stay home if you’re sick
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Put space between yourself and others

Learn more about staying safe and healthy by visiting the CDC website.

Mask Up Lake Shore Public Schools

Dissertation in Practice

Lake Shore Public Schools has partnered with Michigan State University on a student led Dissertation in Practice (DIP). The DIP is focused on what factors drive parents' decisions in school choice and its effects on community. The research will be used to better understand the school decision making process for parents, and hopefully, to support school leaders and policy makers in ensuring all families have access to excellent schools.

We firmly believe that hearing directly from parents like you is the best way to understand this issue, and we hope that you would be willing to participate in a 45 minute interview, conducted virtually, about how and why you decided to attend Lake Shore and your community. The research team is looking to interview families that attend both as a resident and through schools of choice. The interviews will commence following this initial request, no later than the week of December 14th .

Anything you share would be completely confidential. Your names would be omitted from any research, and during the interview, you could stop at any time. If you are interested in volunteering for an interview, we are happy to work with your schedule to find a time that works for you. On behalf of Lake Shore Public Schools and the Michigan State University Research Team, thank you for considering this. It would truly be an honor and a privilege to hear your story, and your insights would be invaluable to this research project.


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Meet the Potts Family

Paul and Gina Potts have selected virtual learning for their two children, 11th grader Connor at Lake Shore High School and 2nd grader Nick at Violet Elementary.

She claims that her family has had a "phenomenal experience" and her 16 and 8 year old boys have echoed that same sentiment. The high-quality professionals like Dr. Lewis, Mrs. Peacock, Mr. Gardiner, Dr. Lip, Mrs. Glombowski, and Mrs. Turner, who they have worked closely with, has helped shape Connor’s appreciation for the current online structure which is, in his opinion, "far superior than the traditional setup". This family, comprised of many Lake Shore graduates by the last name of Palmeri, is finding successes in spite of COVID-19 challenges.

Connor describes himself as an anxiety-filled kid that doesn't love school, but when virtual school became the only option, he thrived. Through personal organization and the ability to complete assignments weekly instead of daily, he found his rhythm. He would have been the kid in class who remained quiet, almost unnoticeable, but with Google Meets came opportunity to feel more comfortable and, in return, ask questions. In addition, he feels that his experience, for a 16-year-old, is preparing him for college online coursework.

In comparison, Nick is a social butterfly. The virtual option was chosen for Nick because the family did not want to worry about social distancing and masking up at school. Luckily, Nick's outgoing personality hasn't been removed by learning from his living room. For example, at 11am on a Tuesday, we watched him sing songs, move along, and interact with his teacher, Mrs. Rueger-West, and classmates through the computer screen. At one point, he needed a brain break between subjects so he decided to demonstrate the unique talent of balancing a Gatorade on his forehead.

Kids will always be kids.

Thank you, Potts Family, for sharing your #VirtualVisit love. We hope Connor will be able to attend in-person Game Club and Nick will have in-person conversations with classmates in the near future.

Outdoor Wifi Locations

In addition to the 30 hotspots distributed to both students and staff, Lake Shore Public Schools has installed several outdoor wifi locations, in easily accessible places, for speedy drive-up connectivity.

No one needs a password as all LSPS devices are configured to connect to the LSPrivate wifi. The range of these outdoor APs is roughly 300 feet.

Refer to this list for specific building locations:

Lake Shore High School

-Outside staff entrance

-13 Mile Road, outside of math wing

Kennedy Middle School

-Outside front entrance

Rodgers Elementary

-Outside front entrance

SCACE Pavilion

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Power of a Hug

A hug can bring feelings of safety, happiness, and more. When someone receives a hug, for most, their body releases the hormone and neurotransmitter, oxytocin. Increased levels of oxytocin have been attributed to happiness and the reduction of stress and anxiety.

Even though staying at least 6 feet (about 2 arms' length) from other people who are not from your household is the new normal, words of affirmation can be just as important. Overshare how much your classmates, teammates, and staff mean to you through texts, Schoology messages, and Snapchat. Leave the hugs to your family who will always love you unconditionally.

KMS Incorporates P2 at Lunch

Lunch is a time to take a mental break and reenergize. The added bonus of this timeframe at Kennedy Middle School is the offering of Positivity Project activities connected to the weekly character strength.

For example, during the week of Creativity, students put pen to paper and designed the best Halloween costume for their administration. During the week of Perspective, students looked at ink blot pictures and discussed what they saw. During the week of Bravery, students submitted short written and video messages about someone in their lives that they considered to be brave.

Flipped Wax Museum

On this #ThrowbackThursday, we wanted to share with you a then and now comparison of our Wax Museum, an exhibition of wax dummies, typically representing famous people and fictional characters, to the community. This year, the assignment was expanded to the entire 4th grade, for both in-person and virtual learners, across the district.

Requirements were similar for the research and speech portions which included the name of person, date of birth, place of birth, and date of death if passed on, a famous quote, family and childhood information, major accomplishments, and interesting information.

In 2019, students presented their biographical speeches to a live audience, sharing their research and wardrobe in-person. In 2020, students recorded their speeches using Flipgrid:

In both years, there was a beautiful variety of people including Harry Houdini and Mary Anning. The stories behind the selections were interesting, too. Last year, when Logan Holcomb, who played the role of Babe Ruth, shared that he has played baseball for four years and loves the sport, he did so with what seemed like a large live audience. In reality, it was small in comparison to this year. With access to Flipgrid, the roles of Katherine G. Johnson, Bruce Lee, and Alexander Hamilton can watched and rewatched by the entire Shorian Nation!


Ms. Waldman Named Teacher of the Week

Congratulations Ms. Waldman, representing Masonic Heights Elementary, for being named

100.3 WNIC's Teacher of the Week. She will receive a plaque, a Dunkin Donuts gift card, and a Kroger gift card.

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Kindness is Everywhere

Wherever there is a human need, there is an opportunity for kindness and to make a difference.

Through the generosity of Jed Billings, who wanted to spread cheer to our local seniors in memory of his grandmother, the Lake Shore Cheer Program provided a large, beautiful wreath to be donated to Lakeshore Senior Living. Varsity Cheerleader Piper Nysen was given the honor of presenting resident Ms. Grace and Wellness Supervisor Rachel Smith with this seasonal gift.

This past Saturday, several Rodgers Rockets braved the rain to ring the bell to raise money for the Salvation Army! A special thank you Mrs. Kraus, Mrs. Roy, Ms. Asni, and Mrs. Nicholl for their time.



Because MDHHS extended the epidemic order, which includes 25 person small outdoor gatherings, we postponed our Shine on the Shores event.

The rescheduled date is Wednesday. March 17th at 7pm.

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Happy Holidays and New Year

Due to the holiday break, there will be no school from December 28th-January 4th. We wish you a happy holiday season and new year!


Lake Shore Public Schools will provide an exceptional education for all 3,217 students in a safe and nurturing environment including 1,400 students who opted for virtual learning. Our guiding principles, Inspiration, Innovation, Celebration, are woven into the fabric of everything we do and will be the focus of every update. Expect an eNews email biweekly update as a reliable way to communicate with our stakeholders.