Saturday, November 5, 2016

NOVEMBER BALLOT: If approved, issues could mean additional millions to the Taylor School District

On November 8, Taylor School District voters will have an opportunity to consider two ballot initiatives that would directly impact all students in the district. Each will be on the Presidential Election ballot.

The first is the Taylor School District School Improvement Bond

The district, working in conjunction with Mayor Rick Sollars and the City of Taylor, took the opportunity to ask voters to consider a school improvement bond with a rate of 0.96 mills. 

This rate was chosen specifically to match an expired city of Taylor millage levy to ensure that this school improvement bond, if approved, would have a net zero impact on residents' tax bills. The former 20-year bond levy, which expired in August 2015, targeted purchase and renovation of large sites in the southwest corner of the community.

Funds from this school bond, if approved, would generate approximately $1.19 million per year for the next five years. 

These funds are specifically targeted to support the purchase of new school buses, repair and upgrade school buildings, and purchase instructional technology.

The second question is the Wayne County RESA enhancement millage.  The enhancement millage, if approved, would levy 2 mills for six years, and would bring approximately $2.6 million per year to the Taylor School District. 

This millage would cost the average homeowner about $8 a month.  These funds, if approved, would be used to improve district technology infrastructure; purchase instructional technology for students and teachers; repair, replace and upgrade roofs, boilers, windows, exterior doors and parking lots; and to maintain low class sizes for our students.

TOMMIE SAYLOR: Give discipline a time to take its course

“Do not train a child to learn by force or harshness; but direct them to it by what amuses their minds, so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each.”  

By Tommie Saylor
Kennedy High School Principal

“And nothing is being done…”

Those are words that instantly infuriate me. I’m not sure if students, parents, community members, teachers and staff understand how insulting those words are. 

When a student makes a mistake and is referred to the office, a whole slew of options and actions are instantly engaged.  Assuming that what took place is not an automatic suspension (i.e. a fight, weapons charge, drugs, etc.), a wide variety of decisions are considered. Therefore, a day or two delay may occur between the infraction and the final decision.  During this delay evidence is gathered and decisions are made.

Unfortunately, we often hear that “nothing is being done.” This could not be further from the truth. We need the time to make a correct decision, and address the offender’s actions in a productive manner. 

Remember, we are a school, not the criminal justice system. We are here to teach the offender a better way. This does not mean that I’m going to “hold their hand.” But it does mean that I’m not going to victimize the offender, which only serves to perpetuate a negative cycle. 

Research tells us that suspensions alone do not serve as a deterrent to negative behavior. Suspending without educating the student guarantees that when the student comes back from the suspension, so does the problem. To make the correct decisions take time.

If a student commits an offense and is not severely punished by the end of the day, don’t come to me and say that, “nothing is being done.” Trust in the fact that we will handle the situation.  Just because you did not see us take the student out back to the woodshed does not mean that nothing is being done.

We are an educational facility even though through disciplinary practices we can also teach students lifelong lessons that pay dividends.  We are here to teach students a better way, not hammer them. We are here to show them options, not perpetuate a cycle of negativity.

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

HOOVER MIDDLE SCHOOL Scarecrow Challenges winners are many!

The winners of the Scarecrow Challenge at Hoover Middle School were Mrs. Claypool's class (above), which took first place for Most Creative and actually had the most overall votes. Mrs. Atkison's class was voted Most Unusual. Honorable Mentions were Mrs. Federle's class (second most creative and overall votes) and Ms. Evans’ class (second most unusual, third most creative and third overall votes). 

HOOVER MIDDLE SCHOOL student of the month is Ajon'tae Hodge!

MCDOWELL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL class visits Petting Farm

Mrs. Vanderworp's third-grade class from McDowell Elementary School went to the Heritage Park Petting Farm on Friday, October 28. As you can see by the pictures they had a great time. Our student reporters bubbled over about their fun trip.

Kaylee said, "I touched a beautiful cow and she was so soft!"

"I learned that the pig is the cleanest and smartest animal on the farm," said Tristina. 

Pigs also have spiky fur and sound like puppies according to Bradley.

But Mykel liked the bunnies the best.

Everyone agreed that the farm had a very interesting smell, if you know what they mean...

WEST MIDDLE SCHOOL students visit Detroit Historical Museum

Last month, a group of 100 eighth-grade Social Studies students from West Middle School visited the Detroit Historical Museum.  

The docents at the museum were very helpful in informing the students about the early history of the great city of Detroit.  

Detroit was settled in 1701.  This largely forested area was first known for fur trading. Later it became known as the Motor City. Even though Henry Ford did not invent the automobile, he revolutionized the industry by instituting the assembly line and the $5 a day pay for workers.  

The students enjoyed visiting the streets of days long gone by with their stone and wood roadways.  The trip was capped off with lunch at PizzaPapalis in Greektown.  This was a wonderful trip that allowed everyone to experience the Detroit of yesteryear and today.  

RANDALL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL's Spooktacular (second of two posts)

Friday, October 28 was Randall Elementary School’s seventh annual Spooktacular, sponsored by the Mustang Student Council.

This is the second of consecutive posts. Here are more photos.

RANDALL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL holds seventh Spooktacular (first of two posts)

Friday, October 28 was Randall Elementary School’s seventh annual Spooktacular, sponsored by the Mustang Student Council.

Spooktacular has been an event at Randall that the students and staff anticipate. Many volunteers came this year to help pass out Halloween candy at the classroom doors. Randall even had the privilege of Officer Hopper passing out candy to our students.

The lower elementary school classes start a traditional parade down the halls and outside on the blacktop for the parents to view, all the while collecting candy as they pass by the classroom doors. The upper elementary school hall classes then parade down the hall and again outside for our visitors to view. Once back inside the classes start their Halloween celebrations.  

Even the adults at Randall love Halloween and many staff members dressed up to make the students smile!

RANDALL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL 'team' a big hit on Halloween

The Randall Elementary School third-grade team of Mrs. Cahalan, Mrs. Mitroka, Mr. Newsome and Mrs. Ostrowski organized Halloween stations for the third-grade classes on Friday, October 28.

Students drew, painted, colored, cut and glued together Halloween projects. There were also stations for bingo, ring toss, and beanbag tic tac toe. The team would like to thank all the volunteers who came to help!