Saturday, October 17, 2015

PRINTABLE DOCUMENT OF key telephone numbers in the school district


Taylor Parks Elementary School held its first Road Runner Rally of this school year.

Students joined together in the gym to hear announcements, pep talk, reminders and winners of the monthly drawing for students who received golden tickets during the month.

Then came the entertainment.  Kindergarten students put on a performance to rival anything on Broadway including a tribute to their principal, Ms Downie, for “Bosses Day.”

TAYLOR PARKS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL focuses on butterfly bags

Mrs. Johnson’s class at Taylor Parks Elementary School made smart snack butterfly bags.  Their recent edition of News-2-You focused on the yearly migration of the monarch butterfly. 

News-2-You engages students in rich literacy and language instruction while learning about diverse current event topics.  The students were excited to make their grape butterflies after a week of learning many exciting things about the monarch butterfly. 

Students were able to practice fine motor skills and math as they calculated how many grapes would fit into their butterfly’s wings.  They also created recipe cards so that they can share this lesson with their friends and families at home!

HOLLAND ELEMENTARY SCHOOL stuffed animals offer surprise

Second-grade students at Holland Elementary School brought their stuffed animals in to read and learn on Wednesday. They got to stay the night and this is what some of them were doing when everyone return on Thursday!

TAYLOR PARKS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL thanks heaven for 7-Eleven!

Once again Taylor Parks Elementary School became the recipients of a generous grant from 7-Eleven.  

Rani Signh, owner of 7-Eleven store located on Ecorse Road,  along with store manager Kim Salas, presented the school with a check in the amount of $711.  

Present to receive the check were our student service squad members, Principal Downie, and Me. Hernandez, student support consultant.  

Oh thank heaven for the local 7-Eleven!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

HOOVER MIDDLE SCHOOL breaks out in math mania!

There is plenty of “Math Mania” at Hoover Middle School these days.

The seventh- and eighth-grade students are showing their math maniac skills to their fellow classmates.  Mrs. Sternicki's eighth-graders are reviewing solving expressions using the correct Order of Operations. In Mrs. Ketvirtis' seventh-grade class, students are comparing integers.  

Look at these MATH ROCK STARS!

HOLLAND ELEMENTARY SCHOOL youngsters learn about plants

Holland Elementary School kindergarten students in Mrs. Madden's class had fun learning about plants and creating bean collages this week.

WEST MIDDLE SCHOOL welcome Ford Motor Company Astronomy Club

On Monday students at West Middle School were delighted to once again have the Ford Motor Company Astronomy Club visit.  

Club members  brought two telescopes and a variety of meteorites and moon rocks.  In addition to the fascinating information presented about the meteorites, the students were given an opportunity to view the sky from both  telescopes.  

One of the telescopes allowed you to see the sun and its sunspots. The other telescope was positioned to see the sun's prominence, which is similar to sun flares except  that have not left the sun's surface.  

West studnets are grateful to the club members, who gave their time to extend the eighth grade Earth Science curriculum.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

TRUMAN HIGH SCHOOL: Carpenters' union volunteers time to construct stage through city, schools joint cooperation

While the Taylor School District and the City of Taylor are separate governmental entities, when one can help out the other, they often do. One such instance started Sunday (October 11), thanks to our great friends from the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters Local 687.

Ron Maracle, along with Mark Styles, Michael Zocher, Burl Stanley and Ken Hassell, volunteered their time to create a stage and sound wall in the Truman High School theatre. Truman is a school that was built at a time when the “open” building plan concept was popular, and the round theatre room located in the middle of the high school not only lacks a true stage, but the walls stop about three feet from the ceiling, causing sound issues both inside and outside.

Economic Development Director George Sutherland, Administrative Assistant Kimber Dorton and Communications and Marketing Director Karl Ziomek met with school administrators and principals before the school year started in an effort to make sure that everyone understood that when the City of Taylor could help the school district, it would. Mayor Rick Sollars has made it clear to both the City staff and the school district that his administration is very willing to aid public education where it can.

One of the ideas that came out of that meeting was the creation of a stage for Truman. After that conference, the City’s team made contact with the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters Local 687 and together they met with Principal Melissa Skopczynski and her staff to work out the details of the construction. The local – and specifically Maracle – has been instrumental in many volunteer efforts throughout Taylor, including creating a pavilion at Taylor North Central Little League and the City’s Veterans Home Program.

In addition to this project, Local 687 will be helping the City’s parks maintenance staff relocate the inline hockey roller skating rink to Heritage Park later this month.

“This is all about the kids,” Maracle said. “This type of effort helps bring communities together. It’s all about a brighter future.”

“Ron is a great friend to the City of Taylor and its schools,” said Mayor Rick Sollars. “The union has always stepped up and volunteered when it could, for the betterment of the community.”

Maracle wanted to thank everyone that came out and volunteered their time on this project as well as everyone that has volunteered their time on other projects and activities in the past. He pointed out that none of these projects could be done without the time, dedication and commitment of union members.

Local 687 will be heading back to Truman on Sunday, October 18, to finish hanging the drywall, and mudding and taping, to complete the project.

By the way, both Dorton and Styles are graduates of Truman.

"I haven't been back inside the building since I graduated," Styles laughed. "Been to plenty of football games, but not inside here. I'm glad we could do this."

HOLLAND ELEMENTARY SCHOOL's qualified reading interventionalists

Holland Elementary School is proud to have two qualified reading interventionists hard at work this year.  Hats off to Mrs Maudlin and Mrs Gervasi because they are great assets to the staff.

WEST MIDDLE SCHOOL science student participate in pollution lab

At West Middle School, the seventh-grade science students participated in a lab in which they identified local and global pollution sources.  

They collaborated in groups discussing and debating various ways how they can limit the amount that they contribute to air pollution.

Many students suggested riding bikes and walking around town to get where they needed, and turning off lights when leaving a room.

The students also constructed ozone molecules using mini-marshmallows.  They also simulated how the ozone layer is destroyed by several different types of pollution.

WEST MIDDLE SCHOOL students learn about social insitutions

The seventh-grade grade Social Studies classes at West Middle School have been learning about social institutions, which are long lasting patterns designed to help society last for more than three generations.

Students were asked what they would put in an imaginary time capsule to let people know 1,000 years from now how we lived. Of course, cell phones and video games made the list, but, so did maps, the American flag, and books. 

Monday, October 12, 2015

TOMMIE SAYLOR: Variety (as in education) is the spice of life

“Everybody is a genius.  But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
-- Albert Einstein

By Tommie Saylor
Kennedy High School Principal

I have a friend that is rather talented in mathematics.  So talented he resigned his long-time high school teaching position and returned to the university to obtain his Doctorate in mathematics. 

He has been at it for several years now, and without a doubt, he is one of the smartest guys I know, especially when it comes to the art of theoretical mathematics.  Often when we get together, he takes the opportunity to talk about higher-level math, stuff that is so far above my level I have no idea what he is saying. 

I’m sure he can see this in my eyes as I politely listen while he “flexes his intellectual muscles.” It is usually at this point where he arrogantly announces that the advanced degree I received, a Master’s in Educational Leadership with and emphasis in Secondary Administration, is by far inferior to the degree he is seeking. 

In his mind, a degree in administration is child’s play: weak, simple, and unworthy as compared to an advanced degree in mathematics.  True genius is measured by one’s level and/or knowledge in mathematics, perhaps even by physics (the practical application of mathematics), and by nothing else. In his mind, all humankind can neatly and categorically be measured, weighed and placed into little intellectual boxes based on no other measure than a person’s mastery of mathematics.

Though I admire his aptitude in mathematics, I disagree with his conclusions. As human beings we are far from one dimensional.  It is our diversity that makes us strong, our ability to independently become proficient in a multitude of skills that makes each and every one of us a genius in our own right.  Though I hold a degree in Biomedical Science with a minor in Chemistry, Physics, and Geology, when my car will not start, my lights don’t work or my plumbing goes bad, I’m clueless as what to do.  Simply, it is a multitude of intelligences that makes our world possible, and as such, we should celebrate our individual talents as opposed to measuring each other by that which we cannot do.

As educators, our mission in life is to draw a student’s talent out from within them, and place this talent on display for the individual to see.  Through the lessons that we teach, we must allow our students to explore themselves, to stretch their abilities and to find their genius. 

Our success is not measured in how many classes they pass or fail, in scores posted on college readiness tests (ACT, SAT) or in their GPA.  Our success is measured in how many students leave our halls prepared for life after finding their hidden talents, their passion in life, their genius.

How and where will you lead them. Making Kennedy the school of choice. Excellence by design.

BLAIR MOODY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL celebrated constitution

On September 17 Americans celebrated the U.S. Constitution. The Constitution was created by when the founding fathers of the nation used teamwork to enact the law of the land. The fourth graders of Blair Moody Elementary School used teamwork to create their own classroom Constitution. Each student agreed and signed the document.

BLAIR MOODY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL turn Dr. Seuss into science lesson

Blair Moody Elementary School students recently had an enjoyable time asking questions, defining a problem and then planning and carrying out an investigation (Science and Engineering practices in the Next Generation Science Standards).

They did this using Oobleck; a gooey green substance brought to life by Dr. Seuss in his book, Bartholomew and the Oobleck.  

The students identified the properties of Oobleck through hands-on exploration. What fun they had learning to become little scientists!  The teams thoroughly investigated the strange substance asking questions, and deciding how to describe the substance.  They listed all the properties they could think of and then we held a Scientific Convention.
The purpose of the Scientific Convention was to establish the "laws of Oobleck."  Everyone needed to agree on the properties.  After the voting was over we had a list of the "laws of Oobleck."  

With the laws in mind, students had to design a spacecraft that could land in an ocean of Oobleck.  The spaceship had to take the "laws of Oobleck" into account.  The drawing would be incomplete without labels and a written explanation (a descriptive paragraph) of how the spaceship could land in an ocean of Oobleck. 
In the end, the teacher explained that the students were really working and learning in the same manner as scientists do. They worked in the Science Laboratory, held a convention and designed a spacecraft.  They followed the Scientific Method, the same method that professional scientists use. 

The Viking scientists used the same processes as they figured out how to explore the surface of Mars with the Mars Rover.