April 29, 2022
On May 3, the Kalamazoo community will have the opportunity to vote on a bond proposal. If voters approve this bond proposal, there is expected to be NO increase in the tax rate, and the bond would provide $197.1 million to fund capital improvements in our schools.
Please watch the brief video below. For more about how to vote and the projects planned for each building here.
CIS Honors Champs Who Serve KPS Students
Communities in Schools of Kalamazoo celebrated its 15th annual Champs Celebration honoring community partners who share in the CIS vision— an engaged community where every child fulfills his or her promise— by actively putting forth time, energy, talent and resources to drive this vision to reality.
Loy Norrix junior Mary Besser shared a spoken word piece at the beginning of the program. Kalamazoo Central senior Yasmin Castro and 2021 graduate Trayshawana Thomas shared their experiences with CIS in a video segment.
According to the CIS press release, this year’s Champs are:
Milwood Magnet School seventh-grade science teacher Tracy Chappell "is a true ambassador and advocates tirelessly for students, their families, and for CIS."
Alaya Hunter, a senior at Kalamazoo Central High School, "challenges herself daily to step out of her comfort zone and help empower others."
Cathy Boris was honored with the Gulnar Husain Volunteer Award which recognizes CIS volunteers who emulate Gulnar’s belief that there is no greater calling than serving children. "Cathy supports students in at Northeastern Elementary School, providing classroom support, assisting on school beautification projects and providing one-on-one tutoring support."
Diane Lang was honored with the Diether Haenicke Promise of Excellence Award, named for Western Michigan University President Emeritus Diether Haenicke. "For more than three decades, Diane Lang devoted herself to educating students in the Kalamazoo Public Schools, most of those years serving as a math teacher at Milwood Magnet Middle School. Since retiring in 2007, she has continued to go above and beyond for kids. As a volunteer at the very school she once taught, she created a school store and engages students in learning the ins and outs of running this business. Considered a difference maker, a game changer, and a dream maker, Diane Lang has extended her reach through Communities In Schools of Kalamazoo, Pretty Lake, Kzoo Parks, and the Solstice Scholarship to empower students and help them pursue their dreams."
Jody Sikkema was honored for her commitment to students and families as a CIS site coordinator – having directly supported KPS students for over 16 years. "Jody currently works at Hillside Middle School and has passionately coordinated vital services for hundreds of students at multiple KPS schools over the years."
Board of Education Meeting Date Change
Note: The Kalamazoo Public Schools Board of Education's next meeting will take place on WEDNESDAY, May 4.
KPS Artists Win Honors in KIA High School Area Show
Congratulations to the following students for winning scholarships and honors at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts High School Area Show, a juried exhibition of works by high school students across the Southwest Michigan. The show is up at the KIA through May 22.
This year's juror was Le Tran, 2021 NAEA National Secondary Art Educator of the Year, 2021 MAEA Secondary Art Educator of the Year and Overall Art Educator of the Year.
This year's KPS winners and their scholarships and other awards are:
Kendall Connors, KRESA CTE Art and Design Career Skills, Kalamazoo Central: Indiana University, South Bend; Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design
Aanje' Greymountain, Loy Norrix High School: Grand Valley State University; Indiana University, South Bend; Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design; Western Michigan University; KIA Kirk Newman Art School Scholarship; KIA Directors Merit Awards (2)
Frank Jeffries, Kalamazoo Central: Kendall College of Art & Design, Ferris State University
Rose Shackleford, Kalamazoo Central High School: Indiana University, South Bend; Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design; Doris Miller Scholarship
Isabella Santos-Pye, KRESA CTE Art and Design Career Skills, Loy Norrix: Stamps School of Art & Design, University of Michigan
State Seal of Biliteracy Available for Bilingual Students
Bilingual students can earn a Seal of Biliteracy from the State of Michigan if they pass a world language assessment along with their normal graduation requirements. The seal honors students who are fluent in more than one language. Students can apply for the seal during their junior year by talking to their counselor.
For more information, contact Wessam Abdelaziz or Itzel Gomez-Avalos.
ZooBOTix Made Kzoo Proud at World Competition
The Linden Grove and HIllside middle school ZooBOTix #16646 robotics team placed 18th out of 80 teams in their division at the First Tech Challenge (FTC) robotics world competition in Houston this past weekend.
The 13 team members prepared for more than four months for the competition, which featured 160 FTC robotics teams from 15 countries and 44 states. Nearly all of the other teams comprised high school students. Michigan is the only region that requires all FTC members to be in middle school.
The Linden Grove team was the highest ranked team from Michigan (although all Michigan teams performed well above their ages). And the team was the unofficial No. 1 ranked middle-school team.
The five-day competition included all day competitions, with students operating the team robot, scouting other teams, handling obstacles on the playing field in which their robot had to maneuver and perform tasks such as picking up objects and loading them into an holding area. Students also fielded questions from judges and other teams and made repairs throughout the competition.
Coach Marc Dyksterhouse said, "The maturity, poise, and skill these young kids demonstrated is just unbelievable. The goal of FIRST Robotics is to turn STEM into a sport to allow kids to show as much passion for learning and engineering as they do for basketball, volleyball, or soccer. FIRST tells the participants that this is the only sport where everyone can turn pro."
Team members are:
Keegan BieremaMiguel Cruz-Davis
Global Reading Challenge Returns for In-Person Contest
Congratulations to Milwood Elementary School's Gann's Global Gals for winning the first in-person Global Reading Challenge competition in two years. The team was coached by Jennifer Gann.
Overall, 115 teams from 14 schools participated in the school. library branch, and district levels of the 2022 Global Reading Challenge, in which students read several assigned fiction and nonfiction books and then competed in a quiz bowl style competition. Six of those teams made it to the final round of the challenge, which was held Monday at the Kalamazoo Public Library Central Branch.
The six district finalists were Milwood and:
Winchell's Global Tornados, coached by Dionna Roberts
El Sol's Encyclopedias, coached by Sheila Buehler
King-Westwood's Fantastic Books and Where to Find Them, coached by Terri Luzenske
Kalamazoo Virtual Learning Program's VIPs, coached by Alexandria Hopp
Northglade's Montestories, coached by Danielle Howard
The competition was designed to promote the use of libraries and introduce readers to a wide variety of literature and multicultural reading materials. Students develop the ability to read for retention, which benefits them throughout their educational career.
KC Students Compete in WMU Pitch Day
Kalamazoo Central students Cassandra Nash, Maya Alkema, Kian Parker and Nick Alkema participated in the Western Michigan University Bronco Pitch Day on April 8 at the Haworth College of Business.The Bronco Pitch Competition is an opportunity for students to pitch their innovative business ideas for a chance to win prizes and receive feedback.
All four competed in the semifinals and finals, with Nash and Maya Alkema winning first-place awards. Maya Alkema, Nash and Parker competed in marketing, while Nick Alkema competed in business management.
'Wonder Media' Helps Explore Impact of Digital Media
Loy Norrix High School journalism teacher Tisha Pankop says the new exhibition "Wonder Media: Ask the Questions!" at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum is "a great experience on media literacy." Students can earn a $15 gift card for visiting.
The exhibition features 14 unique, interactive stations designed to challenge visitors understanding of and relationship to digital media. Activities include "Whack a Fact," participants throw a ball to identify a fact; "Escape the Fake," a digital news game; and "Fact Check This!" in which visitors help a journalist track down the real story behind a viral photo. Visitors learn about algorithms that drive social media and news sites.
A joint project between Kalamazoo Valley Community College and Western Michigan University, the exhibition was designed by Sue Ellen Christiansen, a WMU journalism professor and KPS parent.
Parkwood Upjohn Elementary School
Start date: August 2022
Elementary STEAM Teacher
To be Determined
Job ID: 4002
District Literacy Coach
Instruction and Student Services
Job ID: 4003
District Math Coach
Instruction and Student Services
Job ID: 4004
Food Service positions available at various schools
Job ID: 3781