Mustang Express

October 3rd, 2022

An Important Message from Mrs. VanWagnen

I wanted to take an opportunity to extend a huge thank you for helping us improve and streamline our dismissal process at Meadowbrook. Due to the efforts of parents, staff and students, we have worked to ensure the safety of every child, every day. I am so proud to be a part of such a committed and collaborative community.



Jennifer VanWagnen, Principal

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Picture Day is October 6th

Picture Day is coming! Order before Picture Day on with your student's School ID or Picture Day ID: EVTVKBBMH. Don't forget to wear your smile this Thursday!

Important Dates


10/4:PTA Meeting @ 9 AM (Meadowbrook Staff Lounge)

10/5: No School-Yom Kippur

10/6: Student Count Day

10/6: Picture Day

10/12: Flu Vaccine Clinic @ MBE from 2-5 PM

10/14: PTA Sponsored Mustang Mile

10/18: Kindergarten Field Trip to Blake's Cider Mill

10/19-10/21: 5th Grade Overnight Camp

10/21: Walled Western Annual Pink Out Game, Meadowbrook students invited

10/28: PTA Sponsored Trunk or Treat

10/31: Half Day of School (Staff Professional Development)

2022-2023 Student Safety Drills

Meadowbrook Elementary Families,

Since the 2019-2020 school year, we have shared information about district-wide efforts to improve our emergency responses. Most recently, our district has adopted ALICE, a research-based training program to ensure schools are prepared to respond to potential intruder events. ALICE is about empowering individuals and providing options or strategies beyond the traditional lockdown methods. Last week, the Novi Police Department facilitated ALICE training with Meadowbrook Elementary Staff.

This week, all K-5 classrooms will read the book, “I’m not scared, I’m prepared,” by Julia Cook, as we did during the 2021-22 school year. In the book by Julia Cook, comparisons to stranger danger, and additional resources linked below may be helpful for families that discuss the drills at home with their children.

In October, students at Meadowbrook Elementary will participate in two ALICE safety drills. During the October drills, all classrooms will review ALICE principles in an age appropriate manner. Teachers will use similar language and will utilize the same materials to ensure consistent implementation. Please see the chart below for what each drill will entail:

Kindergarten - 3rd Grade

4th - 5th Grade

Date of Drill #1:


  • Review of ALICE acronym

  • Discuss what a teacher might do to barricade a door

  • Discuss the on-site rally point outside

  • Visit the on-site rally point outside

  • Review of ALICE acronym

  • Practice situational awareness through designed activities

  • Discuss options to evacuate the classroom

  • Practice evacuating through the doorway of the classroom

Date of Drill #2:


  • Review ALICE principles

  • Review on-site rally point

  • Learn about exit options all around the school

  • Review ALICE principles

  • Practice barricading the classroom door

We will NOT simulate gunfire or other violent situations. We will engage in age-appropriate discussions and practice to prepare students. Lesson teaching points that may assist families with at-home discussions include:

  • We practice so we know what to do in an emergency. We’re not scared, we’re prepared!

  • Our job is to keep you safe. Your job is to listen and follow the adults’ directions.

  • Evacuation means to leave the building. Your teacher or a trusted adult may tell you to leave the building and go to a safe place.

  • If an adult tells you to leave the building. Listen, quickly go to a safe place, and then wait for helpers (police officers, firefighters, trusted adults, etc.)

Student safety continues to be our first priority. Additional safety drills will take place later in the school year. We will continue to collaborate with local law enforcement and families to ensure a safe learning environment for our children.

In partnership,

Jennifer VanWagnen

Principal, Meadowbrook Elementary

Helpful Links:

Talking to your Child about Safety - K-2

Talking to your Child about Safety - 3-5

Talking to Children about Violence - Tips for Parents and Teachers

Is My School Safe: How to Ease Your Child’s Anxiety

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Attendance Meetings with Principal VanWagnen

As parents, you play an important role in ensuring strong attendance in school. Research has shown that excessive absences, tardies and early dismissals can negatively impact academic and social progress in school. As a reminder, the district attendance policy is as follows:

  • 5 or more absences: 1st parent contact

  • 7-10 absences: 2nd parent contact including meeting with principal

  • 11-24 absences: Legal “Notice to Parents or Guardians with Non-Attendance of Children in School” sent to parent/guardian and referral to local agency

  • 25 or more absences: School district takes legal action through the Juvenile Court system to return child to school

Our Principal's Secretary, Kellan Watkins, has begun reaching out to families with 7-10 or more absences or excessive tardies/early dismissals to schedule a meeting with Principal VanWagnen. The purpose of this meeting is to support families, provide support services as needed, and ensure consistent attendance in school. We sincerely appreciate your support and partnership in this matter.

Attention 5th Grade Students: Student Leadership Opportunity

Permission slips were sent home on Friday, September 30th to all 5th graders interested in running for the Student Council's Executive Board.

  • Permission slips are due back by October 6th.
  • Campaigning (bringing in a poster and hanging it in the cafeteria) can start on October 10th.
  • Speeches will be held later in that week and is TBD

This is a great opportunity for students to get involved and positively influence our school!


Important Information: Curriculum & Instruction

i-Ready Diagnostic: Sep 12-Oct 14

i-Ready is an online program utilized by Walled Lake Schools that will help us determine your child’s strengths and areas for growth, personalize their learning, and monitor their progress throughout the school year. i-Ready allows us to meet your child where they are and provides us with data to inform instruction.

All students will complete the i-Ready Diagnostic during the window of September 12-October 14. The i-Ready Diagnostic is an adaptive assessment that adjusts its questions to suit your child’s needs. Each item a student receives is based on their answer to the previous question. For example, a series of correct answers will result in slightly harder questions, while a series of incorrect answers will yield slightly easier ones. The purpose of this is not to give your child a score or grade but to determine how to best support their learning.

The classroom teacher will communicate with families regarding when their class will complete this important assessment. In the meantime, take a look at the recommendations from iReady below:

What can I do to help? To help prepare your child for the i-Ready Diagnostic, encourage them to:

· Get a good night’s sleep and eat a full breakfast the day of the assessment.

· Try their best on each question and try not to rush.

· Try not to worry about questions they do not know—remind them that it is expected they will only get about half of the questions correct.

· Be respectful of other students who take longer to finish.

*If your teacher is requesting headphones to complete the diagnostic, please be sure to send them in. Thank you!

Thank you for your partnership! More information will be shared soon regarding how you can support your child complete online instruction at home.

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Mustang Mile is on October 14th

The PTA sponsored Mustang Mile is on Friday, October 14th! Click the link below to view the Mustang Mile Packet. Our school goal is $15,000 and the student goal is $50 Families, friends and community members can donate at All pledges are due on October 21st when prizes delivered. Parent volunteers are needed for set-up, run monitoring, and clean-up. Email Jessica Zoma at to help. Thank you!

Join the MBE and HWE Ski Club

Although we are sad to say goodbye to the beautiful summer weather, fun winter activities lie ahead for Meadowbrook families. The Ski/Snowboard Club via Hickory Woods Elementary (HWE) is welcoming the Meadowbrook community to participate in the upcoming ski/snowboard season. Beginning in January the club will meet weekly, after school, and allows HWE/Meadowbrook students (as well as their friends & family) to purchase lift tickets and lessons for a significantly reduced rate. Those who are interested will need to purchase a membership card directly from HWE for $25; included are two complimentary lessons at the site of our club’s choosing (likely Alpine Valley or Pine Knob). More information will be relayed as ski season approaches; however, if you know that your child(ren) will be participating, now is the best time to purchase seasonal ski/snowboard equipment. You may wish to consider the, “Junior Has A Fit” program through Boyne Country Sports[1] or used inventory from Play It Again Sports[2] as both can make skiing/snowboarding more affordable. Ski/snowboard rentals are about $25-$35 per day; purchasing your own ski equipment tends to be the most budget friendly way to partake in skiing and snowboarding.

If you have questions or concerns, please email the club organizer (Kim Rubin) at If you know that your family will be participating, please send an email to the club so that we consider your availability when determining which day of the week our club will meet. As a reminder, we welcome friends and family to partake in our discount; however, to be eligible, they will need to purchase a membership from HWE.

[1] Junior Has A Fit information is available by viewing Historically, the best time to trade in or purchase equipment is the last week of September or first week of October when their inventory is at peak volume

[2] Play It Again Sports will begin to debut ski equipment in October. View their website for more information

Safety Fair: October 13th

Come on out to enjoy free hot dogs, train rides, face painting, a Bounce House and more! All families that attend the "It Takes a Village Safety Fair will have an opportunity to leave with a safety plan for school, home and the community. It's going to be a fantastic event!

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District Information

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WLCSD Annual FLU SHOT/ COVID Vaccine Clinic Information

As we head into cooler weather, it’s time to think about flu and COVID-19 risks. Flu season will soon be upon us. Spending more time indoors means that there’s more opportunity for COVID-19 to spread.

To protect against these two threats, Walled Lake Schools will host a COVID-19 vaccine and booster clinic in conjunction with a flu vaccine clinic for all insured district employees and their insured dependents as well as subcontracted employees that carry their own health insurance coverage. Everyone MUST Bring Your Driver’s License and Health Insurance Card.

Protect not only your health, but the health of your family, friends, and colleagues as well. After all, a vaccine is your #1 defense!

Preregistration is REQUIRED for all Flu and COVID Vaccines and Boosters.

The booster available is the new updated mRNA Bivalent Booster!

The Clinics are walk-in and no appointment is needed, however you do need to register 7 days in advance to ensure we will have enough vaccines available for you at the location you choose.


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WLCSD Staff Nomination Form

In an effort to find additional ways to celebrate our staff, the WLCSD Community Relations department requests that families fill out the information below for staff who are rock stars in their classrooms and school communities. Please complete the form below and contact Dan Durkin ( with any questions you may have.

A sample of what these shout outs will look like on social media and in our District newsletters can be found below.
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Staff Spotlight: Meet First Grade Teacher Mrs. Price

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Set Up Your Communication Preferences in Skyward

Not receiving district and/or building communications?

If you are not receiving emails from Mrs. VanWagnen, including the Mustang Express, District Weekly Updates, please use the link below to double-check your preferences are correct.

Signing Up for SMS Messages via Skylert

In addition to receiving phone calls and email notifications from the school district in the event of a school closing or emergency, parents can also sign up to receive SMS Text messages.

Please find the helpful step-by-step instructions linked below as well as the video tutorial on signing up for SMS messages.

Connect With Us


Kellan Watkins

Principal's Secretary:

Jennifer Schloegl

Building Secretary:

Important Phone Numbers:

Main Line: 248-956-2700

Attendance: 248-956-2790

Please Review the Meadowbrook Handbook

It is very important that you take time to review the Meadowbrook Handbook which is filled with important information, policies and procedures.