The Pez Press

Week of September 19th

A Note from Mr. Pez

West Maple Families,

A Happy Monday and start of the school week to each of you. Last week I was privileged to attend 5th Grade Camp with our students, staff, and parent chaperones. It was an amazing experience that provided students an opportunity to learn in an outdoor classroom, be presented new challenges, and allow for deeper connections among all participants. I would like to first thank our incredible and attentive group of parent chaperones. They were focused and helpful with every student under their care for the week. Kudos on a job well done! You can see a picture of them below after Capture the Flag, I think at this point the exhaustion was just starting to set in :) In addition, a round of applause for our school staff team who was there. I greatly appreciate their round the clock support of all students on all levels. They are rock stars! Finally, there is a wonderful story about Mr. Pez taking a dip in the middle of the lake as he exited his kayak. I will say this will be a memory my daughter will cherish for a long while. When I see you around events or school, ask me about it, you are sure to enjoy a laugh.

This week we look forward to completing our I-Ready testing, have an author visit from Erik Jon Slangerup, and have our 2nd graders attending a field trip.

There is A LOT of info in this newsletter. Please do you best to make your way through it all and I will work on being more concise in weeks to come. However, I am happy to have all the opportunities below to share with you!

I am appreciative of each one of you,



West Maple Spirit Wear Store

Check out our new West Maple Spirit Wear Store. Free Shipping on all orders until September 19th

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Virtual Lost and Found is back!

Items found are updated weekly on the West Maple website home page under the Lost and Found link. Please label your child’s items. Items with names get delivered directly to your child’s locker.

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Noon Aides Needed

We are critically low in the amount of noon aides we currently have to start this school year. Our lunches run from 11:10-1:30 this year. If you or someone you know may be interested, please send an email to, our secretary, Virginia Roberts We would love to hire 5 days a week but are also open to only a few days.

Milers Club

Hello West Maple family members-

Miler’s Club will start at West Maple in one week on Monday, September 19th! This is a PTA sponsored voluntary running club, which takes places every Monday during lunch recess for approximately 8 weeks in the fall, and then again in the spring.

The goal of this program is to encourage physical fitness and a healthy lifestyle. Students will run quarter mile laps around the field behind the playground and earn foot-shaped charms for every mile they run!

Students DO NOT NEED TO SIGN-UP. They just head out to the back field during their lunch recess and run as much or as little as they want.

To make this program possible, parent/family member volunteers are absolutely vital. This is a fun way to connect with your child and encourage their participation. Volunteers will help record student mileage, hand out water and foot charms, and cheer students on!

Volunteers are needed on Mondays from 11 AM- 1:30 PM. Please help make this program possible by signing up:

Thank you so much for your continued support. We couldn’t have so many great opportunities for our children without such a strong family support network!

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.

Kindest regards,

Dana Leischner

(248) 895-3497


Birmingham Public Schools is accepting applications for the Great Start Readiness Program, a FREE preschool opportunity for families that qualify. Children must be 4 years old by December 1, 2022. This full-day program is located at Bingham Farms, 8:30-3:30, Monday-Thursday. Please contact Laura Tinsley for an application and more information right away!, 248-203-5805.

4th and 5th Grade Sensational Singers

September 2022

Dear 4th and 5th Grade Parents,

I hope that you are all off to a magnificent start to the year! It has been such fun to reconnect with the kids this fall and get them SINGING!! :) Speaking of singing, I wanted to let you know that West Maple’s Honors Choir, The West Maple Sensational Singers, will be starting up on Tuesday, September 20, and I want to invite students who love to sing and perform to join me on Tuesday mornings before school to wake up through singing and moving with their friends!

Here are some of the ins and outs of Honors Choir:

1. Honors Choir meets weekly on Tuesdays from 8:00 - 8:40. (Students who are morning safeties can leave early for their posts!)

2. Any 4th or 5th grade student who enjoys singing and is looking for more chances to perform is welcome to join us!

3. Many of our performances are in the community, away from West Maple, and are often after school. I try to give as much advance notice as possible!

4. Opportunities often arise in December for us to perform within the community. As a result, the first semester repertoire includes combined winter songs, mixed with a few secular holiday songs.

5. Our spring repertoire will be lighter, fun songs that will be performed in the spring here at West Maple.

The success of The West Maple Sensational Singers is dependent upon our work together as a group. Therefore, it is extremely important that each member attend as many rehearsals as possible. Rehearsals begin at 8:00 am. Please try to be here on time so that we can use every minute to live up to our name! If your child is sick, please let me know so that I can set aside any music that he or she may have missed during rehearsal!

If your child is interested in joining us, our first rehearsal is next Tuesday, September 20! I will hand out a commitment form on Tuesday, which your child can bring home with them. Please have students return their forms by our second rehearsal, which will be Tuesday, September 27.

I can’t wait to see your kids on September 20 at 8:00! Come straight to the music room ready to sing!! :)

Mrs. Richardson

Greetings from the Art Room

It's been such a treat welcoming new students and seeing old students in art class. We've started (and almost finished) our first art projects for the year. This year, as in previous years, the kids will get to work with all media - drawing, painting, pastels, clay, sculpture, and digital. As projects are completed, I'll be taking pictures and uploading them to Artsonia.

Artsonia is the world's largest collection of student art, published by teachers and students from around the world. Parents and family can view the art online, leave comments and order keepsakes featuring the artwork. If you've authorized your child's online gallery in the past, there's nothing new you have to do to view the artwork. If you haven't, your child will be bringing home printed instructions for you to do so if you choose.

I hope you enjoy all that we're going to create this year,

Alex Mitevski

West Maple Elementary - PTA

Dear West Maple Families,

Welcome back to all returning families and a big WELCOME to all of our new West Maple Wolves! It’s with great enthusiasm that we invite you to get ready for another exciting and successful school year.

We look forward to getting to know your family. We hope you will join us for our monthly PTA meetings, which will alternate every other month (morning and evening) to accommodate busy schedules. Our first meeting is on Tuesday, September 20th at 7PM. Please mark your calendars for these important dates at the beginning of the school year, more details to come!

Tuesday, September 20 New Family Dinner 6PM

Tuesday, September 20 PTA Meeting 7PM

Thursday, September 22 Room Parent Meeting 7PM (ZOOM)

Committee Chair Meeting 7:30PM (ZOOM)

You can join the PTA at Your dues support our programming, teacher and facility grants and include a physical school directory and access to the online directory. Once you have joined, you can also download the Membership Toolkit app for easy access to the directory on your phone.

For the PTA to be effective and truly representative of the school, everyone’s participation is essential. We will need room parents to help connect our classes and our community, and if you would like to volunteer please contact Amy Brody ( A link to a google form will be coming soon!

We would like to thank you in advance for your support. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at the emails listed below. Together we can make this a great year!

Your 2022-2023 PTA Board

Tracie Fienman President

Danielle Gadharf Vice President

Amy Brody Vice President

Amanda Kill Secretary

Karen Smith Treasurer

Beth Butchart Asst. Treasurer

Sue Camaj Ex-Officio

What is the PTA?

● The Parent Teacher Association is a national organization of families, students, teachers, and administrators devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of family engagement.

● The West Maple PTA is committed to providing an inclusive and collaborative environment that will enable the best learning and enjoyable experience for our children.

● We believe parent participation enhances our capability to make the biggest difference for our children.

Why should you join PTA?

● Be involved! At PTA meetings and events, you can raise concerns, suggest ideas, and give input on how funds are spent.

● Build community! Meet other parents and interact with their families at the many social events like the Back to School Carnival, Movie Night, Bingo Night and so much more!

● Benefit your child(ren)! When parents get connected to the school, children get better grades, do better on tests, and have fewer discipline problems. When you build relationships with your child’s teachers, administrators and office staff, it will be far easier to communicate about any problem (or victory) that occurs throughout the year.

Where does the money go?

● Modernized furniture to build collaborative learning spaces in every classroom.

● Staff grants, reading programs, google expeditions.

● School assemblies that coincide with curriculum.

● Promotes fitness through popular Miler’s Club, Fun Run and Kid’s Heart Challenge.

● Gift Cards for teachers to purchase startup materials in classrooms.

● Supports programs such as Math Pentathlon, Battle of the Books and Science Olympiad.

● Supports artistic programs to encourage talent outside of the classroom through the National PTA Reflections program and 3rd-5th grade musical.

● Sponsors New Family Welcome Dinner, Back to School Carnival, Wacky Waldo, Trunk or Treat, Staff Appreciation week and SO MUCH MORE!

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Please join us for this year's New Family Dinner! The West Maple PTA will be hosting a pizza dinner in the cafeteria from 6:00-7:00 pm on Tuesday, September 20th. All new parents and kids are welcome. Mr. Pez will speak and answer your questions, and our new students will have a chance to play in the gym.

Please use the Signup Genius below to RSVP. If you have any questions, please email Liz Sak at or Elana Schwartz at

Following the meeting, please consider joining us for this month's PTA meeting. We hope to see you there!
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Latino Family Network (LAFAN) Birmingham Public Schools - Meeting

Monday, Sept. 26, 7:00 p.m.

Education and Administration Center, Sycamore Room

This is LAFAN's first meeting of the year. Everyone is welcome to attend, whether you have Latino Heritage, just want to learn more about the culture or make new connections.

LAFAN mission is to connect Hispanic/Latino families within our district, to provide educational excellence and equity to our students and to celebrate family traditions and values.


Thursday, Sept. 15, 6:30 p.m.

Education and Administration Center, Sycamore Room

This is the group’s first meeting of the year and will be a social gathering. All are welcome to stop by and get to know the BAAFN a little better! See the BAAFN Flyer for more information.


Our first meeting of this school year will be Tuesday, September 20th @ 7:00 pm in the BCS Media Center.

We will have a guest speaker from Affirmations in Ferndale joining us for our first meeting. Justin Bettcher (he/him) is the Community Engagement Manager at Affirmations and he will be a fantastic source of information/support/resources for anything parents have questions about. Justin knows firsthand from his work at Affirmations what LGBTQ+ kids and teens need from their parents, their families and their school to thrive.

If you would like to be added to their email list, please contact

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Board of Education Candidate Forum

The Seaholm and Groves PTAs are hosting a BPS Board of Education Candidate Forum on October 11 at 7 pm at Seaholm High School. Save the date to hear from and learn about all six BPS Board of Education candidates that are running for the two open spots on this November's ballot. Families from all BPS schools are invited to attend.

Important Dates

Tuesday, September 20th - New Families Dinner – Join us at 6:00 p.m. at West Maple Elementary.

New K-5 parents and students attend. A specific email will be sent directly to new families.

Tuesday, September 20th - First PTA Meeting “All are welcome and needed!” Please join us at 7:00 p.m. – West Maple Media Center

Thursday, September 29th– ½ day of school – 8:49 A.M.-12:05 P.M.

Friday, October 7th- West Maple Picture Day - flyers will be coming home soon

Friday, October 7th- Bagel Day

Saturday, October 8th-5th Grade Run Beverly Park 9:00 am

Sunday, October 9th-SOS Run Seaholm

Tuesday, October 18th- PTA Meeting @ 9:00 AM in Media Center

Friday, October 21st- Trunk or Treat 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

New Lunch Account Payment System

This is important information for parents and guardians regarding their student's online lunch activity. BPS has made the transition from Send Money to School to Family Portal.

The parents/guardians need to click on the link

Parents/guardians will need to register an account with a username and pass phrase. Once this step is completed, you will receive an activation email to make deposits, transfer funds, and add parental restrictions.

It is highly recommended that all parents/guardians to watch the tutorials, so they understand the new platform.

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5th Grade Run

Attention Parents of Incoming 5th Grade Students!! The Birmingham Physical Education Department with Support from Chartwells Dining Services and the Birmingham Education Foundation is proud to present the annual 5th Grade run!

Here is what you will need to know:

  • Saturday, October 8th, 2022 at 9:00 a.m.

  • 1 mile run/walk

  • All Birmingham Public Schools 5th graders are invited to participate!

  • The location will be at Beverly Park in Beverly Hills, MI

  • Registration will be online

  • The start and finish will be at Beverly Park

  • The cost is $5 which will be collected online.

  • Every participant will get a t-shirt that is registered by the given deadline.

The school with the highest percentage of participants will get a trophy and bragging rights for the year. Thank you for your help in promoting this event. Please let us know if you have any further questions or comments. - The Birmingham Physical Education Teachers

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S.O.S. Strides 5K and 1 Mile

Save the date and register today!

Join Team West Maple!!

The Strides for SOS 5K and 1 Mile Run/Walk is happening October 9, 2022. It’s the biggest SOS fundraiser of the year and a fun event for people of all ages! Click on the link below to register or to become a family sponsor.

Never done a 5K? There’s plenty of time to get ready for your first. Check out a Couch to 5K app or website for training plans and you’ll be ready in no time.

SOS assists families in the BPS community with financial needs and volunteer services. Your participate in Strides for SOS will help ensure that SOS can continue supporting families throughout the year.

BEF Welcome Back Fundraiser

Each year, the BEF typically grants upwards of $100,000 towards projects that enrich and enhance education for all BPS students. If every family in our district gave just $35, we would start the year with more than $175,000 to grant, allowing teachers to provide innovative experiences and opportunities that go above and beyond for our kids. Please visit and make your donation today.