DeKeyser News

December 19- 21

DeKeyer Elementary Information

Welcome to DeKeyser ~ Home of the DeKeyser Dolphins

Principal: Mrs. Shannon Hathcock

Administrative Assistant: Mrs. Lisa Russo

Clerk: Mrs. Heather Mansour

Office Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

School Hours: 9:20 AM - 4:10 PM (full days) and 9:20 AM -12:24 PM (half days)


39600 Atkinson

Sterling Heights, MI 48313

Office Phone Number: (586)797-4400

24 Hr Attendance Line (586)797-4499

Fax (586)797-4401


Monthly VIP Parking Winner

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Upcoming Important Dates

December 2022


Monday, Dec. 19

  • Spirit Day - Scarf Day
  • Monday Moments
  • Positive Office Referrals - Students Celebrated in Classrooms

Tuesday, Dec. 20

  • Spirit Day - Griswold Christmas - Ugly Sweater Day
  • Holiday Sing-a-long - 10:30
  • Youth Basketball - 6:30 - 7:30

Wednesday, Dec. 21

  • Spirit Day - Grinch Day
  • 1/2 Day - 12:24 Dismissal
  • PM Specials in the AM
  • Holiday Grams Delivered
  • End of 2nd Card Marking

Thursday, Dec. 22

  • No School - Dec. 22-Jan. 2

Friday, Dec. 23

  • No School

Saturday, Dec. 24

  • Christmas Eve

Sunday, Dec. 25

  • Merry Christmas!

Monday, Dec. 26

  • Kwanza Begins

Tuesday, Dec. 29

  • Inaugural 42 Strong Hockey Classic

Saturday, Dec. 31

  • New Year’s Eve
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Santa Shop

Thank you to Mrs. Gwisdalla and Mrs. Steffes for planning, organizing, and shopping for our DeKeyser Santa Shop. Thank you to ALL of the wonderful volunteers who spent the day with us helping our students shop and wrap their presents. What a magical day! The students were so excited to shop and so proud of what they found to gift to their friends and family. THANK YOU!

Check out the Facebook link at the top of this newsletter for pictures throughout the day!

DeKeyser Dolphins Care!

Thank you for helping us donate food to our local pantries for the upcoming holidays. All classrooms participated in a "Food Fight Challenge." Students from all classrooms collected non-perishable food items to be donated to Kiwanis who will then deliver food to our local pantries. Ms. Kraatz's students collected, counted, and reported totals daily for our challenge. The class with the most food donated will earn a pizza party.

Thank you for helping us spread kindness throughout our community!

We were able to collect a total of 1,485 items of food throughout the entire school! Mrs. Vachon's classroom won our "Food Fight Challenge" They collected the most items for our challenge. They collected a whopping 311 items. THANK YOU!

Kindness Council Announces Toys for Tots Collection

Our Kindness Council collected and organized the Toys for Tots Collection this year at DeKeyser Elementary. DeKeyser is proud to participate is this program run by the United States Marine Corps Reserve which distributes toys to children whose parents cannot afford to buy them gifts for Christmas. This program was founded in 1947 by reservist Major Bill Hendricks. The 2022 holiday season marks the 75th anniversary of the Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program!

Thank you to our community for your very generous donations! The students of DeKeyser were able to present the Marines with a check for $709.00 along with a HUGE collection of toys! The money that was collected came from our pajama spirt days in the month of December. Thank you to everyone who helped us spread kindness!

Kindness Council

Meet the Kindness Ambassadors for Student Kindness Council

Meet the Kindness Ambassadors for Student Kindness Council

Over the next few weeks, we will be introducing you to our Kindness Ambassadors who represent our Student Kindness Council at DeKeyser. We hope you enjoy learning a little about each of them.

Joseph Mann is a 4th grader in Ms. Trupp's class. Some of his favorite hobbies include running, soccer, and hunting. He is also interested in helping at school. Joseph joined the Student Kindness Council because he wants the school to be a better place. Joseph was recommended for the Student Kindness Council by his 3rd grade teacher, Mrs. Distelrath, who described Joseph as a leader and a helper to his peers. She also said he loves to be challenged and is an outside of the box thinker.

Maya Bakhouche is also a 4th grader in Ms. Trupp's class. Her favorite hobbies are writing, drawing, and traveling. She is also interested in swimming and Anime (in particular Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba). Maya joined the Student Kindness Council because she wants to increase the amount of kindness and happiness at DeKeyser. Maya was recommended for Student Kindness Council by her 3rd grade teacher, Mrs. DeVoogd. She described Maya as very kind and helpful as well as a great leader who works well with others.

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Media Center

During the month of December, Dekeyser students have signed up to join a mission to introduce 100 million students to computer science and “Computer Coding” during Media Center.

Computers are everywhere, but fewer schools teach computer science than they did 10 years ago. Good news is, we are on our way to change this. If you heard about the “Hour of Code” last year, you might know it made history. In one week, more than 15 million students (about twice the population of New Jersey) tried computer science!

Computer science was on the homepages of Google, MSN, Yahoo!, and Disney. Students kicked of “Hour of Code” with videos highlighting the importance of learning “code.” Over 100 partners came together to support this movement.

This year, “coding” is even bigger. DeKeyser students will join in for the “Hour of Code 2022” during the week of December 5th – 9th. During this week and throughout the month of December, DeKeyser students will participate in the “Hour of Code” events during their media center times. Some of the highlights are that students will learn to “code” using Star Wars (beta) thus learning to program droids and create their own Star Wars game in a galaxy far, fay way. They will be using Blocks and JavaScript to accomplish their mission. K – 2 students will explore “coding” using MINECRAFT. “The Hour of Code”, organized by the nonprofit, is a statement that today’s generation of students is ready to learn critical skills for 21st century success.


Hello Dekeyser Families,

Over the past few months in Physical Education, we have been working on Teamwork, Positive Behavior, and Healthy Choices. Our standards we have been working on include overhand throwing, throwing to a target, kicking to a target, locomotion skills and cooperative/critical thinking games. The students have been showing steady progress in all aspects of development. It's so great to see the students getting back to normal procedures and enjoying their time in specials.

Mrs. Andras


On Wednesday, December 14th our 5th Grade Classes and 6th Grade Choir kids performed for their classmates and staff during the day and then again in the evening for their family and friends. This was our first school concert since 2019. They were all so very excited to finally perform again and did a fantastic job! We even had some of our wonderful staff members participate in the concert with us. I’m so very proud of all their hard work and their AMAZING performance!
DeKeyser 5th Grade Holiday Concert 2022


Our Learners are SO S.M. ART! With just a one-minute tutorial on post & lintel, tab & slot construction method technique our Science, Math & Art learners were able to construction these WON-der-ful, seasonal, three - dimensional, Art in the round, free standing paper sculptures!

Attached are pictures of our Sixth-grade learners activating their prior knowledge of two-dimensional shapes & three-dimensional forms while expanding their hands on experience developing fine motor and eye-hand coordination to create these free-standing paper evergreen conifer trees!!!

Making the season & us Bright!

Thank you for enabling me to create with your learners!

Sincerely your Art Educator,

Mr. T.

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During ISM students have had the opportunity to take a trip around the world and learn all about holidays and traditions that are celebrated in other countries. Honoring holidays from around the world creates a classroom culture of understanding, compassion and pride!

Click on our Facebook link for more photos.

UCS Wellness

CARE of Southeastern Michigan provides free resources, programs and more for Macomb County residents. In this episode, Gloria Licata, UCS school social worker, sits down with two representatives from CARE, Susan Styf, President and CEO, and Teresa Sandner, Program Coordinator for Parent Education, to learn more about the offerings CARE has available.


The UCS Wellness podcast is a resource created by Utica Community Schools, a K-12 school district located within Macomb County, Michigan. The UCS Wellness Podcast is released on the third Wednesday of each month throughout the school year. For more on UCS Wellness, visit

CARE of Southeastern Michigan:


Monday Moments

Podcademy: Celebrate Hope

Family Literacy Connection

UCS Family Literacy Connection is a communication compiled by the elementary literacy coaches/consultants of the UCS Literacy Department. Each edition will highlight activities to support literacy development at home. Please use this link UCS Family Literacy Connection - Fall 2022 to access the newsletter and share with your community.

Family Reading Fun

Let's Celebrate! Special Days Around the World | READ ALOUD | Storytime
How to Catch an Elf - Christmas Kids Books Read Aloud
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Upcoming January Events

Events are added regularly!

January 2023


Sunday, Jan. 1

  • Happy New Year!

Monday, Jan. 2

  • No School

Tuesday, Jan. 3

  • Welcome back!

Wednesday, Jan. 4

  • 3 To Be Successful Kickoff Assembly 10:30
  • 3 To Be Successful Student Stations 2:00 - 3:10

Thursday, Jan. 5

  • Kindness Council Meeting 8:15 am

Friday, Jan. 6

  • 3 To Be Successful Student Stations 10:00-11:10

Monday, Jan. 9

  • Monday Moments
  • Report Cards available through PowerSchool @ noon
  • ATG Meeting - 4:15 - 6:15

Tuesday, Jan. 10

  • PTCG Meeting - 6 PM
  • Youth Basketball - 6:30 - 7:30

Wednesday, Jan. 11

Thursday, Jan. 12

  • Youth Basketball 6:30 - 8:30

Friday, Jan. 13

Monday, Jan. 16

  • No School – Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • PTCG Restaurant Night - Chipolte

Tuesday, Jan. 17

  • Soccer Shots (K-2) 4:15-5:00
  • Youth Basketball 6:30 - 7:30
  • Pathways To Success 6:30 - 8:30 Henry Ford II High School

Wednesday, Jan. 18

  • SAVE THE DATE - GIZMO NIGHT - Info coming soon

Thursday, Jan. 19

  • Kindness Council Meeting 8:15 am
  • Just Around the Corner for Girls - 4th / 5th Grade Maturation Program for Girls
  • Youth Basketball - 6:30 - 8:30

Friday, Jan. 20

Sunday, Jan. 22

  • Chinese New Year

Monday, Jan. 23

  • Monday Moments
  • Chocolate Fundraiser Kickoff Assembly
  • STEAM - 4:15-5:15 (Stage)
  • ATG Meeting - 4:15 - 6:15

Tuesday, Jan. 24

  • Soccer Shots (K-2) 4:15-5:00
  • Youth Basketball 6:30 - 7:30

Wednesday, Jan. 25

  • Young Rembrandts - 4:15-5:15 (Art Room)

Thursday, Jan. 26

  • Youth Basketball 6:30 - 8:30

Friday, Jan. 27

Monday, Jan. 30

  • Monday Moments
  • STEAM - 4:15-5:15 (Stage)

Tuesday, Jan. 31

  • Soccer Shots (K-2) 4:15-5:00
  • Youth Basketball 6:30 - 7:30
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The Macomb Intermediate School District (MISD) will be presenting maturation programs for fourth grade and fifth grade girls and their mothers/guardians, at which time they will answer growth and development questions. The virtual events will take place on Thursday, October 13, 2022, Thursday, January 19, 2023, and Thursday, March 16, 2023, from 6:00 - 7:00 p.m. The attached has registration details.
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Important – Second Semester Report Cards

Second semester report cards will be available only through PowerSchool accounts. Please note, the report card link is not available through the PowerSchool App. Parents will need to use a browser (Edge, Chrome, Safari, etc.). If you use only the PowerSchool App, we recommend you try to log on through a browser. If you need to reset your password, please see the directions at this link. If you need assistance, please call our office at 586-797-4400 or email


For more information on how report cards will be shared, where to access the report cards, how to request a new password or set up a PowerSchool account, please see this link.

Report cards will be available through PowerSchool beginning at noon on Monday, January 9, 2023

Community Enrichment Opportunities

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See below for news from previous DeKeyser News updates

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Important: Please read! Second Marking Period Report Card Information

UCS is moving to a more secure method for sharing report cards with you. Previously, report cards were distributed over email to the addresses we have on file for families. Now, report cards will be accessed from your secure PowerSchool account.

Report cards will be posted in your PowerSchool account at noon on Monday, January 9, 2023.

Here are the top three things you need to know:

  • Access to the report cards will not be available through the PowerSchool app. The report cards are available by logging into your account through your favorite browser (Edge, Chrome, Firefox, Safari, etc.).
  • We strongly encourage you to make sure you can access your account by a web browser. If you need technical assistance, please contact our school office.
  • You must have a PowerSchool account to see the report card. If you do not have an account, please follow the instructions at this link.

For more information on how report cards will be shared, where to access the report cards, how to request a new password or set up a PowerSchool account, please see this link.


We believe outdoor recess is an important and valuable part of our students’ day. Fresh air, exercise and time spent outside afford students a break from the structure of the classroom With the ever changing Michigan weather, it is imperative that your child is dressed appropriately and is prepared to play outside. During the winter season, every child should have a jacket, gloves or mittens, and a hat. If there is snow on the ground, snow boots and pants are necessary. If students do not have snow boots they will be limited to the blacktop area on the playground. Don't forget to label all your child's items! Thank you!


Employment opportunities, posted both internally and externally, are accessible through the district’s online job application site Individuals seeking promotional opportunities are advised to regularly visit the site. Application to vacant opportunities should be made through the system and in accordance with the process as identified on the specific posting. Instructional positions posted only for internal staff with specific application instructions will still be communicated via memo and not through the online applicant system.

Interested in being a volunteer?

If you are interested in volunteering for the 2022-2023 school year (field trips, classroom helpers, copy moms, book fair events, holiday shop, field day, and more!) each adult must fill out a volunteer background check. I have attached the form below and it will be included in your child's 1st day of school paperwork. The form takes approximately 2-3 weeks to process, if you would like to check one thing off your "to do" list a little early, please feel free to email it to

Forms must be filled out each year.



Breakfast will be available to all students starting at 9:00 AM until 9:20 AM. The cost is $1.75.


Students may either bring their own lunch to school or purchase a lunch. Elementary lunches with milk will be $2.75.

Student Lunch Hours

Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd: 12:10-12:30

3rd & 4th: 12:35-12:55

5th & 6th: 1:00 -1:20

DeKeyser Grade Level Colors

DeKeyser grade level shirts will be on sale all year. If you would like to order a shirt for your child, please contact Lisa Russo at

Students who do not have a grade level shirt can always wear a shirt of the same color on our spirit days.

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DeKeyser School Spirit Wear Store

Introducing our School Spirit Wear store. This store will be open all year. You may order at any time. I will move the store to the bottom of our newsletters starting next week. Please email the office if you should have any questions. If you would like to see something in our store, let me know and I can see if we can add the item.

School Year Calendar School Year Calendar At A Glance

Events are regularly added to the calendar!

February 2023


2/1 Young Rembrandts - 4:15-5:15 (Art Room)

2/2 Kindness Council Meeting 8:15 am

Groundhog Day

2/8 Count Day

Young Rembrandts - 4:15-5:15 (Art Room)

2/14 Valentine’s Day

PTCG Meeting – 6PM

2/15 Young Rembrandts - 4:15-5:15 (Art Room)

2/16 Kindness Council Meeting 8:15 am

1st Grade Music Concert 6:30 (6:15 line up in classrooms)

2nd Grade Music Concert 7:30 (7:15 line up in classrooms)

2/20 President’s Day

STEAM - 4:15-5:15 (Stage)

2/20-2/24 No School - Mid Winter Break

2/27 STEAM - 4:15-5:15 (Stage)

March 2023


3/1 March Is Reading Month Kick Off

Spring Pictures

3/2 Read Across America Day – Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss –

Red/White/Black/ Dr. Seuss Spirit Day

Kindness Council Meeting 8:15 am

3/6 STEAM - 4:15-5:15 (Stage)

3/8 Young Rembrandts - 4:15-5:15 (Art Room)

3/12 Daylight Saving Time Begins

3/13 STEAM - 4:15-5:15 (Stage)

3/14 PTCG Meeting – 6PM

3/16 Kindness Council Meeting 8:15 am

3/17 Happy St. Patrick’s Day

3/24 1/2 Day - 12:24 Dismissal

April 2023


4/3 – 4/7 No School – Spring Break

4/9 Easter

4/11 PTCG Meeting – 6PM

4/13 Kindness Council Meeting 8:15 am

4/20 Kindness Council Meeting 8:15 am

4/21 Earth Day celebrated – playground clean-up

May 2023


5/1 Happy Staff Appreciation Week!

5/4 Kindness Council Meeting 8:15 am

5/9 PTCG Meeting – 6PM

5/11 VIP Breakfast

5/12 VIP Breakfast / Flower Sale - PTCG

5/17 Happy Mother’s Day

5/18 Kindness Council Meeting 8:15 am

5/19 Spring Fling - PTCG

5/29 No school – Memorial Day

June 2023


6/1 Kindness Council Meeting 8:15 am

6/2 Field Day

6/8 1/2 Day - 12:24 Dismissal

Kindness Council Meeting 8:15 am

6/9 1/2 Day - 12:24 Dismissal


We are pleased to share with you the calendars for the next two school years. To view the calendars, please see this link: