Saturday, September 17, 2016

EVENTS OF NOTE this week in the district

Some upcoming events to remember:

  • Bread Day is scheduled at Myers Elementary School on Tuesday, September 22. Call (734) 946-6602 for more information
  • Gleaners Food Distribution will be held from 2-4 p.m. on Myers Elementary School on Thursday, September 22
  • Go to the Kennedy High School homepage for information on buying your 2016-17 yearbook
  • Kennedy's Homecoming Game (against Southgate Anderson) will be held on Friday, September 23. Parade starts at New Hope Assembly on Racho Road at 5 p.m. Dance is scheduled the next night
  • Parking lot enforcement begins at Kennedy on Monday, September 19. If you don't have parking pass, see Mrs. Huffman in the main office
  • Show your school spirit: Bulldog magnets are on sale for $3 in the main office at McDowell Elementary School
  • Don't forget the "Bucket Fillers" assembly at McDowell on Wednesday, September 28
  • Kennedy "reading buddies" will be at Taylor Parks Elementary School on Monday, September 19
  • There will be a school lockdown drill at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Taylor Parks.

For more information on any Taylor school, just visit their websites, which are located on the dropdown "Schools" menu on the district homepage.

FIRE SAFETY HOUSE is renovated, gets ready for school tours

The Rotary Club of Taylor, along with many others, visited the newly renovated Taylor Fire Department Fire Safety House Thursday, September 15 during a grand reopening celebration.

Soon enough, it’ll be fourth-graders from across the City’s schools that will be the visitors … learning important lessons about fire prevention.

Mayor Rick Sollars during the event lauded the efforts to renovate the house and restart the fire educational programs. He also told the Rotary members that he was glad they could view the facility now vs. what it looked like previous to the repairs.

The house had fallen into a state of disrepair after budget problems in the City led to staffing cuts in the Fire Department, along with changing ideas and uses for the building.

The house is located next to the Fire Station No. 3 on Ecorse Road near Taylor Meadows Golf Course. It was originally built in 1991 through a combined effort of the Fire Department, Masco and the Rotary Club. In fact, many members of the Rotary then attended the reopening.

Fire Chief Stephen Portis told the group that renovating and reopening the safety house was one of his priorities when it accepted the chief's position. He is already working with the Taylor School District on scheduling classes to visit later this fall.

Deputy Chief Stan Pochron outlined how important the house is, as well as its related educational programs. He told the group that when the program was active, there was a markedly decline in fire-related crime among youths in the community.

The program is in the final development stages. The department will be reaching out to all elementary schools in the City to schedule tours. During those tours -- aimed at fourth-grade-aged children – will teach fire precautions and how to react in an emergency. The department hopes that the children will help prod entire families toward better fire-related topics, like the importance of smoke detectors.

Playing important roles in the renovation were Home Depot (West/Telegraph Road location), which volunteered labor and materials for the project; Realty Transition; and the building maintenance crew from the City of Taylor.

The Safety House itself in made up of two levels with multiple exits. The bedrooms upstairs have a pair of doors, leading directly to stairs that take them downstairs toward the kitchen. Beds are also located in what would be commonly considered the living room, so that many students can take part in demonstrations simultaneously.

Piping channels smoke both upstairs and downstairs, simulating a real fire.

MCDOWELL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL hosts successful open house

McDowell Elementary School just loves families to visit us. Wednesday was Open House and staff was able to do a meet and greet as well as letting everyone know just how essential families are to a student's education.

The theme for this year is "Everyone is an essential piece to our overall success as a school" and the school takes it very seriously!

Pictured are but a few of the many smiles that shown brightly as folks walked around our building. The staff encourages everyone to join us at our parent meetings held at the end of the month (watch the McDowell calendar to get exact date) and to stay in communication with your child's teacher. 

Everyone is off to a good start of another successful year for creating the 2016-17 McDowell family!

MCDOWELL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL learns about the Constitution

McDowell Elementary School was busy this Friday, September 16, celebrating “Constitution Day.”

The United States Constitution is 227 years old. Throughout the nation’s history we have seen the functions outlined in our constitution put into action by members of government and also by “We the People.”

Classes thought of ways we have seen the functions of government work during our lifetimes. Many classes drew pictures or wrote a few sentences describing the way they see the Preamble in their life. Pictured is Mr. Hamilton's fourth-grade class having fun with this important lesson.

HOOVER MIDDLE SCHOOL students take the Innovation Challenge ... silently

Hoover Middle School students took on an “Innovation Challenge” this week.  Teams worked on communicating and working together – without using their voices – to build the tallest freestanding tower they could in five minutes. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

RANDALL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: Walmart program honors teacher

Mrs. Donna Cahalan's class would like to thank Walmart for the awesome beginning to the school year at Randall Elementary School.

As part of a special Walmart “Commander in Teach(ers)” program, Mrs. Cahalan, third-grade teacher, was presented with a  gift card and iPad mini on September 9.

Mrs. Cahalan says she was truly honored with the surprise visit. With the generous gift she was able to purchase the following after the students voted on what they wanted for her classroom:
A new beanbag chair for reading time
20 new books
Recess games
Recess puzzles
Art sets
Comfy cushions for reading
Storage tubs for the student’s work

“I was humbled by the wonderful things that were conveyed by my principal, colleagues and former student,” she said. “However, Walmart’s ‘Commander in Teach(er)’ program is truly the winner here.  In a profession where you give so much of yourself, it is nice to know that community businesses support your efforts.  

“I think that this is a program that you should continue for as long as possible.  I am surrounded in my school by talented and gifted individuals who are equally worthy of this great honor.”


The new sign at Taylor Parks features the "Roadrunner" logo!
During the summer Taylor Parks Elementary School received a new, much needed, outdoor sign. The old one had seen better days and was literally falling apart.  

The new sign was provided by the staff at MI Custom Signs, located right here in Taylor. MI Custom Signs designed the new sign along with Principal Ms. Downie.  Installed over the summer, it welcomed back all the new and returning families.

Roadrunners … racing toward excellence.

The old marquee sign

Sunday, September 11, 2016

TOMMIE SAYLOR: Kennedy is a school with heart!

“The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet.”
-- Aristotle

By Tommie Saylor
Kennedy High School Principal

I have spent the better part of the last week telling parents, community members and new students all about Kennedy High School.  Yet, I never quite seemed to “hit the nail on the head.”

Try as I might, I just could not capture the essence of Kennedy.  I can spew numbers, statistics and brag about our accomplishments `and philosophies, but I can’t convey what it feels like to be part of the Kennedy family.

Next time, maybe I should just tell them about a recent graduate who has fallen mortally ill, with his dying wish to meet the Michigan State football team. 

Hearing this, Ms. Courtney Osborne sprang into action making phone calls trying to see if she could help this young man realize his final dream.  One of the phone calls Ms. Osborne made was to Coach Jim Carlisle, who using his coaching connections, was able to arrange a meet and greet between this young man and the MSU team.

Next time, I should tell them how Ms. Christine Huffman went well out of her way to help a student that does not even attend Kennedy.  Ms. Huffman received a phone call from a student that was desperately trying to enroll himself in school. What captured Ms. Huffman’s heart was the young man’s anguish trying to get enrolled in school without parental assistance. 

According to Ms. Huffman, the young man made multiple inquiries with several neighboring school districts. Ms. Huffman told the student to stop making phone calls and that she would find out which district he belonged and call him back. Moments later, Ms. Huffman was able to call the student back letting him know what school district he lived in, and the contact phone number and information the student would need to register. 

Needless to say, the student was extremely grateful that someone took the time to lend assistance.

Next time, maybe should tell them about how Ms. Osborne picked up one of last year’s graduates and took him off to college, and helped him move in. Apparently the family did not have gas money or a working vehicle to get this “full ride” scholarship recipient off to college. 

Perhaps I should explain how SFC Michael Burton graciously accepted the Truman JROTC cadets with open arms, each integrating into the Kennedy program without loss of rank, awards or citations. 

Maybe even explain how our counselors, Ms. Lezlie Smith and Ms. Kimberly Santiz, regardless of increased case load and Internet reliability issues have dedicated themselves to meeting with each and every student to adjust their schedules as necessary even if it means taking armloads of work home and working on weekends.

Simply, Kennedy High School is a school with heart. 

We don’t work to just educate the children of our community, we work hard to help raise the children of our community. Kennedy High School is more than just a school, we are a service oriented community center.

Helping students to find their greatness. Making Kennedy the school of choice. Excellence by design.

RANDALL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL benefits from local donation

From Dave Herndon at The News-Herald Newspapers:

For employees at Faurecia Emissions Control Technologies in Taylor, it’s all about giving back to the community they live and work in.

That spirit saw them donate more than $1,000 to the students and staff at Clarence Randall Elementary as a back to school present this year.

Bradley Janes, a representative from the company, spearheaded the donation drive at Faurecia. More than 20 employees went out and bought school supplies, while others made cash donations that were turned into more supplies to be taken to the school.

There were dozens of backpacks, more than 500 notebooks and thousands of pencils donated according to Janes.

“We’ve been doing this for a couple of years through other people’s donation drives,” Janes said. “This year we wanted a more active part in the process.”

The only rule they had in selecting a school was it had to be in Taylor.

“That’s where we are located,” Janes said. “That’s where we wanted to give back.”

Janes said they picked the building at random off of a list of local elementary schools.

The company makes exhaust systems for all three of the major automotive companies in Detroit, and is working with Taylor Public Schools to possibly create a co-op to give students on the job training.

“We recently had to hire about 20 employees and had to go through hundreds of candidates to find the ones we needed,” Janes said. “We’re hoping to create a co-op that would allow us to train students and then have qualified candidates to hire in the future.”

MCDOWELL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: Having fun despite the hot days

There have been some really warm days at McDowell Elementary School, but fifth graders had lots of good things to say about the beginning of school.

Here are their comments:
  • "It's been outstanding!"
  • "Mr. T (Tomossian) is fun!"
  • "Mr. T wants to slow us down and lower our heartbeats."
  • "Amazing!"
  • "Incredible!"
  • "I love it!"
  • "It's hard but fun!"
  • "I think I saw Mr. Young on Netflix."