Saturday, April 16, 2016

TRUMAN HIGH SCHOOL dedicates Little Theater

Truman High School students and staff held a "Cougar Pride" grand re-opening and dedication of its Little Theater on April 15.

The staff at Truman dreamed of having a stage in its round theater/presentation room for a long time. When officials from the City of Taylor approached the staff, offering to support school projects, Principal Melissa Skopczynski and others got the ball rolling.

Eventually, the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters volunteered their time and labor to put together the project. They coordinated the project with suppliers like Home Depot and Taylor School District maintenance staffers.

Together, they put together a permanent stage that fans out into the room; closed off the open-concept walls (for noise control); installed new flooring and paint; and created a safe structure to hang a 200-pound power screen from the ceiling over the stage front.

School staffers cut and sewed the old drapes into new designs to better work with the new stage and screen.

All the work has come together nicely.

For today's dedication, Principal Skopczynski served as a master of ceremonies. Jamal Al represented the carpenter's union and the entire Truman maintenance staff was on hand for the event, along with several City staffers. Assistant Supt. Teresa Winnie was also in attendance.

Mayor Rick Sollars lauded the teamwork that brought together the project, especially the carpenters, who have come to the community's aid in so many different ways, from current work at the future home of Enchanted Makeovers (just outside Heritage Park) to Little League pavilions and veterans' homes.

The high school's symphonic band played a number that recently was awarded in competition, and several school-made videos were played, thanking everyone for the effort. Naomi Pope did a wonderful job producing the videos. Joey Herrera spoke for the Truman students, crediting everyone for their support of the school and the district.

The Truman stage project marks the second joint project between the district and the City. Earlier, the City helped Hoover Middle School obtain a private donation to cover the snack program for its highly successful and heavily attended after-school program.

Next up? Many of the same volunteers plan on major renovations in the POHI center at Truman. Look for more on that in upcoming reports.

CHAMPIONS offers summer program and sign up for fall

Now there's one more reason to get excited about the best season of the year: spending it with Champions Before and After School Program!

The exciting summer camp is jam-packed with fun and learning to delight and engage your children. They can dive headfirst into the deep with Oceanography, peek under the big top with Circus Science, dream big as Junior Inventors, go undercover with Spy School and embark on creepy-crawly adventures with Insects and Arachnids.
  • Dates are June 20-August 26
  • Location is Kinyon Elementary, 10455 Monroe
  • Hours are 6:30 a.m.-6 p.m.
  • Rates are $50 registration per child

 School Age Tuition (5-13)
  • 1 day = $40
  • 2 days = $70
  • 3 days = $110
  • 4 days = $150
  • 5 days = $150
  • Activity Fee - $10 for each bussed field trip

Sign up today at<> or call (734) 729-7631 for more information.

Fall enrollment programs are also open.

TRUMAN HIGH SCHOOL football holds third golf outing

The Taylor Truman Football Program is hosting its third Annual Golf Outing Fundraiser to be held on Saturday, May 7, 2016 at the Wesburn Golf and Country Club in Rockwood.

Please join us as a sponsor for this event by either sponsoring a hole on the course for the outing or through donations of various prizes and raffle items. Sponsor signs will be displayed at the golf outing and also at every home varsity football game.

The team is in need of funds for growing athletic needs including uniforms, camps and many other needs that support a successful program. Every dollar made from this fundraiser will be used for the needs of the athletes in the program.

By being a sponsor, you will be promoting your company to a group of people who are very loyal to its sponsors. Companies make resources available to the athletes and our football program, for which it is grateful.

The team is anticipating a highly successful and well-attended outing.

To become a hole sponsor please fill out the attached sheet. If you would like to donate prizes and/or raffle items, please feel free to do so by contacting Coach Jeff Morrow. All donations are tax deductible.

If you are willing to support us, please fill out and return the attached form no later than April 23. Checks should be made payable to Truman High School.

Call (313) 608-1639 for more information.

SIXTH GRADE ACADEMY teacher wins grant

Mrs. Brewer, a teacher at the Sixth Grade Academy, recently received a $300 grant from MEEMIC for her classroom. 

Way to Go Mrs. Brewer!


Small group time activity at the Johnson Early Childhood Center included using various types of items to make flower prints.

Students were read the book, “Planting A Rainbow,” by Lois Elhert. They then took various colors of paint and made prints . These murals will be part of a rainbow to display for parents and students.


Taylor Garden Club donated a book to Kinyon Elementary School. The school thanks the club for they kind donation!

HOLLAND ELEMENTARY SCHOOL pupils learn about power point

Holland Elementary School’s fourth graders are teaching the second graders how to create Power Point presentations.

TRUMAN HIGH SCHOOL holds Drug Awareness & Prevent Program April 19

Thursday, April 14, 2016

EUREKA HEIGHTS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL families enjoy making quilt

Families enjoyed making a quilt during Mrs. Jones fourth-grade parent session at Eureka Heights Elementary School.

HOLLAND ELEMENTARY SCHOOL pupils enjoy presentations

Holland Elementary School’s Room 127 students were very proud of the hard work they did on their presentations. Their parents were invited to watch and they were quite impressed at what their children had accomplished!

WEST MIDDLE SCHOOL eighth-grade girls enjoy speaker at Exploration 2016

In late March, 22 eighth-grade girls from West Middle School attended Kingswood Middle School for “Explorathon 2016.”

The girls heard from several successful women from a variety of STEM careers.  The keynote speaker was Dr. Thoms.  She explained that although she was only one of three women in her medical school class, she continued to reach her dreams and goals.  
The students also attended workshops on many interesting topics, such as plastics, physical therapy, engineering, veterinary science, chemistry and mathematics.  
This was an amazing opportunity to raise career awareness.  To interact with women and girls from all walks of life was invaluable. As one of our students remarked "It was inspiring to meet so many strong, smart, women."

WEST MIDDLE SCHOOL: Venture to skating rink is a STEM lesson

Earlier this month, the West Middle School academic incentive trip was to the Lincoln Park Roller Rink.  

Students began their visit with an introductory lesson on the STEM concept.  They learned that we used the principles of STEM in very aspect of our every day life. 

For further understanding, the students were asked to take apart and reconstruct a roller skate. From this activity they learned the properties and function of the many skate parts.  
After being treated to lunch, the students tied up their skates and skated to their favorite tunes.  Beginners and experienced skaters enjoyed the day.  

A good time was had by all, including the staff.  


Sunday, April 10, 2016

TOMMIE SAYLOR: If we are going to establish state mandated tests, let's do it the right way

“When you wage war on the public schools, you’re attacking the mortar that holds the community together.  You’re not a Conservative, you’re a vandal.”
Garrison Keillor

By Tommie Saylor
Kennedy High School Principal

Once again, the State of Michigan does not understand basic educational methodology. It is changing the State Mandated Test.  Or should I more accurately say, has decided to defund the current SAT test, and will no longer have schools give the M-Step test. 

The real issue is that the state has not yet made an announcement as to what will replace the SAT and M-Step.  In the eyes of our legislators, the next testing cycle is a year away, so they feel that they have plenty of time to pick and fund a new standardized test.  In reality, if a new standardized test is not selected soon (by the end of this school year?) then it is almost certain that our students will not do well on whatever test they select. 

That will happen because, without advanced notice, teachers will not be able to adjust their curriculums to accommodate the new test.  If the State of Michigan waits too long to select their latest version of educational assessment, students will suffer and schools will appear to be failing their most basic mission. 

What is truly horrific is that this is not the first time the State of Michigan has traveled this road.  In fact, this is the third consecutive year in which the state has announced a change in its mandated test. If it follows the same pattern established the last two years, it will not announce the new test in time for schools to make the necessary curriculum changes to be successful. 

The State of Michigan has proven once again that they do not understand educational methodology, the process that educators utilize when creating curriculum, assessments and lessons. 

Good educational methodology starts by answering this question: “What do you want the students to know?” Of all the nuances of any specific subject or field of study, before you can teach the material to the students, you need to make a determination as to what you want the students to know and master. 

Once this has been determined, then you must answer this question: “How will we know that the students have learned the material?” Some type of measurement must be created to determine what the students have mastered, and this is often accomplished by what we call a final exam. 

After the exam has been created, then the educator must divide the material to be taught into small “bite size” pieces or units, each with their own assessment (test) that is directly related to the final exam. It measures the student’s level of mastery of the material taught in that specific unit. 

Only after the individual unit assessments have been made, can the instructor begin creating lessons that prepare the students for the unit tests. That process leads and prepares the students for the final exam, which measures if the students learned the material we wanted them to learn. 

In essence, good educational methodology dictates that we create the test before we deliver the lesson, not after the lesson has been taught.

Some people argue that this method is “just teaching to the test.” I agree, because if you’re not teaching to the test then you are just crazy, or more accurately, committing educational malpractice.

The test is an assessment of what you want the students to know.  If you’re not teaching what you want the students to know, then you’re just wasting time in the classroom. And that is time, I may add, that can ill afford to be wasted. 

The State of Michigan does not seem to understand this process. They keep changing the assessment. They keep moving the target, without letting those of us in the classroom know what they want the students to master before the lessons have been taught.

When that process results in poor test scores, they are quick to blame those of us in the classroom for not properly preparing the students to take a test – when we had no idea what was on the test.

This is just another example of why politics should play no part in the educational process, and why non-educators should never be allowed to make such basic educational decisions. 

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

RANDALL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL children launch headlong into dinosaurs

Randall Elementary School’s theme for March is Reading Month this year was “Dino-rific Reading!”

This year Randall participated in "One School, One Book" for the fifth time. 

The entire school, including staff, read “The Enormous Egg” by Oliver Butterworth. Every night throughout March, students read a chapter at home. The next morning at school, they had a trivia question on that chapter. With Easter being early this year, the students did read a couple chapters over a few weekends. Names were drawn for prizes on those who answered the question correctly. 

“The Enormous Egg” is a story about a young boy Nate Twitchell, who hatches an egg and gets an Enormous surprise. It is a Triceratops. This Triceratops' name is Uncle Beazley and there is a statue in the National Zooological Park in Washington, D.C., of him (at top).

Randall started the month with an assembly and dinosaur prints on the hallway wall (Student's wondered how they got there). They ended the month with everyone enjoying the story and learning a lot about dinosaurs!

MCDOWELL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL hears cheers for outstanding students

Congratulations rang out at McDowell Elementary School recently when “VIP Bingo” was played by students. They got to play after having exhibited fabulous behavior in school.

They participated in "Candy Bingo" arranged by Ms. Hutchison. Families were invited to share this time with their special child. McDowell had 42 families come and join in.

The bigger kids helped the little kids. Lots of treat bags, smiles and fun made for a winning combination!