BHS Bucks Principal's Update

October 2021

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Dear BHS students and families,

Homecoming week is always a fun time at the high school. I have included many pictures in this newsletter that I hope you enjoy as much as we did. Our dress up days of the week had a lot of participation this year. Personally, I loved seeing all the lumberjacks and Disney characters. My favorite day of the week though is always spirit day. Our students and staff go all out for Buchanan pride and the energy in the building is electrifying. A huge shout out to the students and staff that participated in the Powder Puff Football game Tuesday night. The weather was extrememly pleasant and the sportsmanship on the field was impecable. Thank you to our student council and advisors who make it all happen! They plan the days of the week, pep assemblies, powder puff, traveling pep assemblies, videos and floats, this team of teachers and students are amazing. The traveling pep assembly started off with a little rain, but we were able to visit every building to spread the school spirit and share our Buck Pride. This year, we added a couple new spots to our trip; the students were able to parade downtown during the day and stop and see our senior residents at Buchanan Meadows. It was such a success, we may have to add it to our itinerary every year! A very special thank you to Rachel Carlson, Lisa Holok, and Jessica Elliott for making Homecoming a special event for the entire community.

Parent-Teacher conferences are coming up and will be virtual again this year. I will be sending out a parent page of all the teacher booking links and directions on how to schedule. Parents may choose a phone call or Google Meet conference. Unfortunately, time is limited and it is impossible for every teacher to meet with every parent, so please sign up early. At any time if you would like to schedule a meeting with a teacher, feel free to reach out to them personally via email to set up a time. We believe the parent-teacher partnership is extremely important for our students to be successful and will be happy to meet with you.

I hope you have a wonderful autumn and enjoy what beautiful weather we have left this year. As always, it’s always a great time to be a Buck!

Mrs. DeMaio

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Ketchup Solutions & ASA

Our no missing work policy is helping kids get back on track. Whether they use that time during lunch to catch up, or use it as a motivational tool to get their work done before they are required to stay for lunch, our kids are showing improvement. Our data shows that less missing assignments means less failures. However, due to absences, some students are still falling behind. Please talk with your kids if they have more than 5 missing assignments and create a plan for them to catch up. We are using every available resource we have right now to ensure kids have the time they need to catch up without missing current instruction. Not only do we use our lunch time, students have ICE time built into their day to get the extra help they need. We also offer ASA (After School Academics) for students who need more time outside of school.

If you and your student are having difficulty creating a plan to get back on track, please call the school and schedule an appointment to meet so that we can work together to help your student be successful. Powerschool is a great resource for keeping informed on missing assignments. If you are having difficulty logging in to PowerSchool, please call the main office and Mrs. Cantu will help you login.

PowerSchool and Parent Communication

Buchanan High School uses PowerSchool to enable students and parents to view current data: grades, attendance, contact information, the Daily Bulletin for student announcements, etc. You are encouraged to check PowerSchool often! If you need assistance logging in to PowerSchool please contact the High School office, or email and someone will be able to assist you. Parents should be vigilant in reading communications sent from the high school.

October 13 - Testing Day!

October 13th is a HALF DAY! All students will be testing.

8th graders have finished taking the fall NWEA test in both Math and English. This benchmark assessment is required by the state to help understand the growth and achievement of our students. We give this assessment three times a year (fall, winter, spring) to measure our success.

8-11 graders will be taking the PSAT Suite of Assessments on October 13. We use these results to determine how well our students are being prepared for taking the SAT (college entrance exam) to determine if they are college or career ready by the end of their junior year. This data helps us meet the specific needs of our students. We also use these results to help us determine course placement and schedules. It is very important to us that students perform to the best of their ability on these assessments.

12th graders who signed up to take the SAT again this fall will also be testing. Seniors who are not testing will not be required to come into the building. They will however have an online assignment they will need to complete in order to be counted for attendance purposes. If seniors do not complete this assignment, they will be counted as absent.

All students should plan to arrive to school on time as testing begins immediately at the start of the day. Please be sure all students have a couple of pencils and their calculators.

FAFSA NIGHT - October 21

Oct 21st, 6-9 pm in high school classroom 113. Open to all BHS senior parents and students who are looking for help with and more information about the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) which opened October 1st.. This form is required to take advantage of state and federal aid (grants, loans, scholarships). It is also a part of the process for applying for financial aid at most post-secondary institutions. Financial Aid advisors from Lake Michigan College will be here to help you with trouble-shooting and completing your FAFSA from start to finish. This will be open house style, so please come as early as possible. Both student and parent/guardian should be in attendance. You will need several documents handy to complete this process, so please bring the following (electronic or paper copies):

1. Social security number for applying student and parents

2. Student's driver's license

3. Federal Tax return information (IRS 1040 or similar), including W-2 from student and parents.

4. Records for untaxed income, such as child support received, interest statement from investments, veterans benefits, etc.

5. Bank and investment account statements

Please RSVP to the event here

College Night - October 25

Oct 25th, 7-8:30 pm in the high school auditorium. Open to all senior and junior parents and students who want to know more about the college-going process. The target audience will be those families with little-to-no experience with post-secondary education, but all are welcome. The presentation will be based on the questions asked by parents ahead of the presentation on the following survey, as well as the following:

1. How will my student know which college to attend?

2. What is involved in applying to college?

3. What are the benefits/drawbacks of attending a community college?

4. How can we get help paying for college?

A copy of this presentation will be made available on the Buchanan High School website should you not be able to attend.

Standards Based Mindset

Myth 2: Standards-Based Grading Is More Work for the Teacher

Buchanan High School is working to improve our processes and procedures to help teachers manage this new concept. If implementing standards-based grading is more work, then it may not be implemented correctly. However, it is important to recognize that the best interests of students and the best interests of teachers' workloads can, at times, be at odds; what's most efficient for teachers is sometimes not most effective for students. We know that the middle of any new implementation effort always feels messy until the practices become habit. This is especially true for teachers who have had many years of established traditional grading practices.

Although every new implementation has it's wrinkles to iron out, we are working to ensure that student grades reflect their learning. It's different work, not more work. For example, some teachers have offered more opportunities for reassessment, but have also moved away from grading everything students produce in favor of more formative assessments with more feedback. Our goal is to move to spending more time designing assessments and planning instruction that is focused on clear learning targets while focusing on what is necessary for students to show mastery of those learning targets.

Students at Work and at Play!

8th Grade Science

Mrs. Lentz's class had a great learning experience about building sustainable environments while making terrariums. Check out this link to see these amazing students at work.

Homecoming 2021

Click on the homecoming picture below or this link to see pictures from our fun week of school!
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  • October 13 - Half Day,Dismissal at 11:00am
  • October 18 - Picture Retake Day
  • October 19 - NO SCHOOL
  • October 21 - LMC Financial Aid FAFSA help
  • October 25 - College Overview Night
  • October 27 - Half Day (Hours 1-6) Dismissal at 11:00am & Parent/Teacher Conferences
  • October 28 - Parent/Teacher Conferences
  • November 3 - Half Day (Hours 1-6) Dismissal at 11:00am
  • November 24 - Half Day (Hours 1-6) Dismissal at 11:00am
  • November 25 - 26 - NO SCHOOL (Thanksgiving)
  • December 1 - Half Day (Hours 1-6) Dismissal at 11:00am
  • December 16 - Half Day Exams 1-3, Dismissal at 11:00am
  • December 17 - Half Day Exams 4-6, Dismissal at 11:00am, End of First Semester
  • December 20 - 31 - Winter Break
  • January 3 - Second Semester Begins
  • January 17 - NO SCHOOL
  • February 2 - Half Day (Hours 1-6) Dismissal at 11:00am
  • February 21 - NO SCHOOL (President's Day)
  • March 9 - Half Day (Hours 1-6) Dismissal at 11:00am
  • March 16 - NHS Induction & Academic Letter Awards
  • March 17 - Half Day (Hours 1-6) Dismissal at 11:00am , Parent/Teacher Conferences
  • March 21 - 25 - Spring Break
  • April 6 - Half Day (Hours 1-6) Dismissal at 11:00am
  • April 15 - Half Day (Hours 1-6) Dismissal at 11:00am
  • May 4 - Half Day (Hours 1-6) Dismissal at 11:00am
  • May 27 - Commencement
  • May 30 - NO SCHOOL (Memorial Day)
  • June 7 - Half Day Exams 1-3, Dismissal at 11:00am
  • June 8 - Half Day Exams 4-6 Dismissal at 11:00am

Buchanan High School

High School: 695-8403

(option #2) Stacey DeMaio, Principal

Abby Cantu, Administrative Assistant

(option #1) Brian Pruett, Assistant Principal

Anna Smith, Administrative Assistant

Miranda Capron, Attendance & At-Risk Interventionist

Donna Southwell, Academic Interventionist

(option #4) Student Services

Brandon Flowers, Counselor

Sue Lentz, Administrative Assistant

(option #3) Mark Frey, CTE Director

(option #5) Karin Falkenstein, Special Education Director