Saturday, February 4, 2017

MCDOWELL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL features Tutor Time Tomassion!

At McDowell Elementary School, we call him "Tutor Time Tomassion!" Here is fifth-grade teacher Mr. Tomassion spending a little extra time with some great kids after school to explain a few things. 

MCDOWELL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: Where buddies meet at the library

Every month the buddies come out at McDowell Elementary School Library. This is Mrs. Alderman's class enjoying the stuffed animals and reading their books during library time.

MCDOWELL ELEMENTARY SCHOLL gets ready for Pennies for Patients

On Friday McDowell Elementary School had a kick-off assembly for its "Pennies for Patients" fundraiser. 

Since 1994, millions of dollars have been raised in pennies and other spare change by more than 10 million elementary, middle and high school students throughout the country. The funds, collected during a three-week period, benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Everyone who participates is a winner!

Here are kids learning about blood. The hula hoops’ represent blood platelets, red blood cells and white blood cells.

The school will be spreading the love as we sell "Candy for a Cure" ring pops and having a "Hero Hat Day" to raise funds.


It was a little loud this week at McDowell Elementary School. The students in Ms. Hutchison's classes had a great time setting up and hammering away, together little white boards provided by Home Depot. It was the first time “hammering” for a lot of the students. They loved it!

WEST MIDDLE SCHOOL students present bio and 'sign' out names

Students at West Middle School recently presented their biography to the class, then using the ASL fact sheet within the Helen Keller autobiography, used sign language to spell out their name. 

WEST MIDDLE SCHOOL students ID informational text

Students at West Middle School recently worked on identifying informational text.

KENNEDY HIGH SCHOOL DECA club members head for states

In January the Kennedy DECA Club participated in the District Competition at Eastern Michigan University and DECA President Kyle Wright placed highest in his competition category of Marketing Communications.

Wright, Violet Ramage, Makayla Reed and Dominick Brock will represent Kennedy at the DECA State Competitions in Detroit.

“Good job team, hard work pays off,” said Mrs. McKenzie.

CAREER CENTER finds out what it's like to work inside the Detroit Zoo

Business jobs are in every industry. In the fall, Mrs. McKenzie’s Computer Office Specialist class at the Taylor Schools Career Center visited the Detroit Zoo to get a behind-the-scenes look at the business jobs available at the zoo. During the visit, students met with the Chief Operating Officer Gerry VanAcker. He spoke with our students about careers in business and what it is like to work at the Zoo.

TAYLOR SCHOOLS SUGGESTS to get ready for Healthy Heart Month

The Taylor School District reminds everyone that February is Heart Health Month.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. The good news is that it also one of the most preventable.  

Making heart-healthy choices, knowing your family health history and the risk factors for heart disease, having regular check-ups and working with your physician to manage your health are all integral aspects of saving lives from this often silent killer.  

Make a difference in your community by spreading the word about strategies for preventing heart disease and encouraging those around you to have their hearts check and commit to heart-healthy lives.

SCHOOL TO HONOR longtime coach on 25th anniversary

Please come out and help the Taylor School District recognize and celebrate Coach Chuck Suttles’ 25th anniversary of coaching varsity basketball on February 21.

 The school district is asking anyone who played or coached with “Coach Chuck” to come out to Truman High School on February 21 to help honor him during the last regular season game of the season against Melvindale High School.

The school will have a short reception after the game and would like to get one big photo of everyone with the coach.

Whether you are a Taylor Center or a Truman graduate, boy or girl, we hope to see you there.

For more information, contact Truman Principal Melissa Skopczysnki at (734) 9546-6551 Ext. 10202.

JOHNSON EARLY CHILDHOOD CENTER: Children have fun outside

Preschoolers at Johnson Early Childhood Center recently enjoyed some time outside in the snow on the playground.

Some built snow people and others colored the snow with color paint in spray bottles. Parents sent their little ones in warn gear ready for the fun. The weather cooperated and everyone had a great time.

OFFICIAL STUDENT COUNT is Wednesday, February 8

Just a reminder that the annual February official student count day is scheduled for Wednesday, February 8.

The calculation and per pupil funding that schools receive each year is based on a blend of both spring and fall student count data. For instance, the 2017-18 “blend” will based on Wednesday’s “spring” count, along with later date to come from a count in the fall.

This year’s per pupil funding was based on a blend of February and October 2016 counts.

Public Schools funding in Michigan is based in part on statewide per-pupil grants. In general, the greater the number of students attending any district, the greater amount of grant money the local system receives from the state. Taylor averages over $7,000 per student in state funding.

Remember: Every student counts!

CALLING ALL ALUMNI! Connect wit the alumni association

Do you know that the Taylor Schools’ alumni has its own association and website? It’s true, and it can be found right on the home page of the Taylor School District’s website.

The alumni association encompasses graduates of Taylor Center (1953-97), Truman (1974-present) and Kennedy (1966-present) high schools. It welcomes all graduates and was created to reconnect grads with old friends.

The alumni board consists of Caroline Patts, Judy Barnhart LaFleur, Mary Swartout Rusnak, Sheri Graham Engelbrink, Nancy Mascaro Miller and Gail Smith Hardin.

The site offers attractive options like current news, newletters, reunion information, obituaries, school profiles and a way to contact the association.

For further information, write Taylor Alumni Association, 11501 Beech Daly Road, Taylor, MI, 48180-3941.

TAYLOR ELEMENTARY SCHOOL receives visit from Superhero

Can math really be fun? You bet it can, with the help of SuperHero Doug Sheer.

Sheer has been presenting math to children in the most informative and outrageous ways, and his visit to Taylor Parks Elementary School did not disappoint.

During Math Family Night, Scheer touched on concepts such as volume; area; mental math; understanding odd and even numbers; in such a way that entertained and informed not only our students but the adults as well.

STUDENTS SEEKING JOBS? City of Taylor schedules job fairs

Students seeking part-time and seasonal work should take note that the City of Taylor will hold its two annual Job Fairs at the Taylor Sportsplex and the Lakes of Taylor Golf Course later this month.

The first fair is scheduled for 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Sportsplex on Thursday, February 23.

The second is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, February 25, at the Lakes of Taylor Golf Course.

These fairs are aimed mainly at seasonal hires, especially in the Golf, Parks and Recreation Departments. Golf course personnel, cooks and wait staff, lifeguards, etc. 

Anyone attending should come prepared; dress appropriately, be prepared for an interview and bring a resume.

DRUG USE IS TOPIC of town hall meeting

(Via Dave Herndon, The News-Herald Newspapers)

Taylor School District families should take note that the war on drugs is heating up, thanks in part to the ever-changing, more potent market for illegal drugs that kill users at a much higher rate than before.

Taylor Police Chief Mary Sclabassi said she worked on an undercover team in the 1990s where it was a huge deal that she bought a couple of bindles of heroin. Now it’s common to find large amounts of the drug during routine traffic stops.

Hundreds of people, from teens to elected officials, turned out at Wayne County Community College on Thursday evening for the first of what likely will be many town hall meetings on heroin and other opiates. Heroin and other illegal opiates kill more than 90 people a day nationwide.

“This isn’t just a problem, it’s an epidemic,” 23rd District Judge Geno Salamone said. “Just 10 years ago almost no one had a heroin story; now most everyone in that room does.”

Attendees learned about the increasing number of users, deaths and other statistics; where to turn for help if friends or families become addicted; and many other ways to identify issues relating to the problem.

According to a report released by the Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office, there were 19 deaths in Wayne County between August and September 2016. For the entire year, there were thousands of overdoses and 507 deaths in the county.

Eight communities in the county had at least five opiate-related deaths in 2016, including Allen Park, Lincoln Park, Southgate and Taylor in the Downriver region.

During the town hall meeting, which lasted more than two hours, speakers from the City of Taylor, Beaumont and many other organizations spoke on their perspectives of what opiates are doing to society.

Of the 507 opiate-related deaths in Wayne County last year, 486 were accidental. Sclabassi said that is because drugs are now far more potent than they were just a few years ago and people are accidentally overdosing themselves.

“People are dying, not because they are choosing to,” she said. “When people are dabbling in prescription drugs, at some point that is no longer satisfying that high and they move on to heroin.”

Lt. Mary Capp of the Michigan State Police said part of the problem is that drugs such as fentanyl are far more potent than heroin, and are cheaper to produce.

“Fentanyl is used to treat terminally ill patients,” she said. “It is 80 times more potent that morphine. It is being cut into heroin because it gives people a better high and it’s cheap.”

She said drugs are coming in from Mexico and are laced with both fentanyl and carfentanyl -an even more potent drug- because the average user doesn’t know the difference and it increases profits on the sale of the drug.

“They put the fentanyl in there and sell it as heroin and make a lot more money,” Capp said. “The non-pharmaceutical forms come from Mexico and China.”

Lethal doses of fentanyl are about the size of 32 grains of salt; carfentanyl can be lethal at about nine grains of salt.

“No one knows what they are buying if they buy it off the street,” Capp said.

GODDARD-PARDEE CONSTRUCTION could increase travel time to and from schools

Anyone who travels through the Goddard Road and Pardee intersection on their way to or from school should leave a little more time, beginning this week.

A sewer maintenance project at Pardee and Goddard is scheduled to kickoff on Monday, February 6.

The City of Taylor has contracted with Bidigare Contractors, Inc. to perform a sanitary sewer maintenance project at the southeast corner of Pardee and Goddard.  Mobilization and traffic control was scheduled to begin last Wednesday and the maintenance work is scheduled to begin Monday.  

The project will last approximately three to four weeks.  Work will take place between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m., Mondays through Fridays.

The right lane of northbound Pardee Road from Goddard Road south to Cloverlawn Street will be closed to traffic during the project.  During this period vehicular traffic to Malek Al Kabob, Little Caesars Pizza and Goddard Liquor Store will need to use the Goddard Road entrance.

Pavement removal and sewer maintenance work activities will begin the week of February 6.  Once work is complete, Pardee Road will be temporarily restored to allow normal traffic use.  In the spring, the contractor will return to construct permanent road restoration work.

Trash pick-up will continue on the regularly scheduled days.  Continue to place the trash receptacles at curbside on the opposite side of the street that work is taking place on, or at the center of the street next to a repair area.

The City of Taylor apologizes for any inconvenience this work may cause.  The City and Bidigare will try to limit the inconvenience .  Your cooperation in this matter will be greatly appreciated.  Should you have any questions please contact Greg Mayhew, City Engineer, at (734) 374-1473, or by email at

BLAIR MOODY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL raises over $1,100 for charity

Blair Moody Elementary School pupils recently raised over $1,100 for the Lymphoma and Leukemia Society for Children. The children were encouraged to fill small boxes with change and they ended up raising a grand total of $1,156, well above their goal of $900.

KINYON, WEST named Michigan Reward Schools

Two Taylor School District schools have been named to the Michigan Reward School list. Kinyon Elementary School and West Middle School have been honored.

Howare Reward Schools determined? They are based on the top-to-Bottom ranking methodology, which includes data from achievement, improvement, and achievement gaps in standardized scores. All schools with two years of data for 30 or more students in two or more tested subjects are included in the ranking.

What happens once a Reward School is named? Schools will be recognized for their achievements through a communication that is disseminated to local media.

Reward Schools will have their promising practices highlighted at conferences such as the Michigan Department of Education’s School Improvement Conference and other events including educator networks and professional organizations.

MDE is seeking other supports for Reward Schools, including increased flexibility in the use of federal grant funds and corporate and philanthropic support.

Reward Schools are those that have achieved one or more of the following distinctions:
  • Top 5 percent of schools on the Overall School Rankings
  • Top 5 percent of schools making the greatest gains in achievement
  • “Beating the Odds" by outperforming the school's predicted ranking and/or similar schools.

Both Kinyon and West received their designations by “Beating the Odds.”

Monday, January 30, 2017

TAYLOR PARKS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL takes tour of City Hall complex

Second graders from the classes of Mrs. Zielinski and Mrs. Bailey at Taylor Parks Elementary School visited the Taylor City Hall complex on Monday morning, stopping in the City Council Chambers, Taylor Veterans Museum and Police and Fire Departments.

They received a treat when Mayor Rick Sollars -- a Taylor Parks graduate himself -- stopped by to say hello and talk to the classes. Some of the members of the group took the chairs of the officials who usually govern the city (council, mayor, clerk, treasurer, etc.) and even voted on a make-believe resolution, approving $25,000 in new playground equipment for a park in the community.

Given that the group consisted of all second graders, the motion passed unanimously!

Later, Jack Myers, councilman and chairman of the Veteran Museum, explained the facility to the classes, who then took time to examine the exhibits in the museum before heading for the police and fire stations.

Hopefully, the boys and girls from Taylor Parks enjoyed the tour as much as the staff of the City of Taylor enjoyed having them stop by ...