Saturday, April 15, 2017

DISTRICT ANNOUNCEMENT on closing of Kennedy High School

At the April 10 Board of Education meeting, the Board reconsidered the topic of closing Kennedy High School and combining into Truman High School. The vote to approve the high school merger passed 4-3.

The vote puts into action a two-year closure/combination process.

Specific information will be published soon to help inform parents and students about the process for our current eighth-grade students (next year's ninth graders) and much more.

The district leadership teams are meeting to finalize the plans for the first year of the high school combine process (the 2017-2018 school year when all ninth graders are housed at Truman High School).

In the near future, opportunities will exist for students, parents, sports boosters, band boosters, PTO/PTA groups, alumni association, and members of the community to work with administration on the important tasks of renaming and rebranding what the unified high school will be called when the merger is fully complete in the 2018-2019 school year. At that time, all high school students will be on what is now the Truman High School Campus.

The district administration will make sure to publicize opportunities for parent and community input as soon as these meetings are scheduled.

TRUMAN HIGH SCHOOL: Superintendent speaks to honors ceremony

At the Truman High School 3.333 GPA Academic Honors Ceremony this week, Superintendent Ben Williams was honored to be able to speak to the 140 ninth, 10th, and 11th grade students who have earned the distinction.

Board of Education members Pam Lakatos, Tom Zorn, Debbie Stellini and Assistant Superintendent Dr. Mary Ann Cyr were in attendance as well and helped the Truman High School administration celebrate their hard work.

These students have earned and maintained a minimum of a 3.33 GPA for one, two, or three consecutive years.

A big "Thank You" to Principal Skopczynski, Assistant Principals Rudolf and Green, Truman guidance counselors, teachers and staff for helping support and guide these highest achieving students along their educational journey.

Williams was very impressed with all of the students. Thanks also goes out to their parents, guardians, and extended families for helping them reach their academic goals. Keep up the good work and finish strong this last trimester!


Thanks to the generosity of many Eureka Heights Elementary School families, over 2,000 plastic eggs and candy were donated for the annual PTA egg hunt! The kids all had a great time and were most appreciative.


It can be difficult to find a dark sky viewing area, but the fifth-grade students at Taylor Parks Elementary School had the opportunity to view the night sky without leaving their own school.

Mrs. Ann Dwornick, resource teacher at the school, arranged to use Star Lab, an inflatable planetarium that allowed aspiring astronauts and astronomers to participate in engaging discussions about the solar system, constellations, and even some of the mythological stories the stars have inspired.

Always look to the STARS!

TRUMAN HIGH SCHOOL POHI enjoy trip to Ann Arbor

In March the Truman High School POHI program had the opportunity to attend Victors Day in Ann Arbor. 

They joined University of Michigan and Eastern Michigan University athletes as well as 700 other special needs students from Washtenaw County to try various sports. 

The students where given a Michigan t-shirt and two hours to move around visiting the different sports, get autographs and take pictures with the athletes. 

The students were provided lunch and were able to enjoy listening and dancing to music as well. 

The staff and students were very happy that the T. Walls Foundation allowed them to attend and said it was worth using their fundraising money to pay for transportation.  They can't wait to attend next year. 

AMARIO MASSEY wins prestigious foundation scholarship

DECA is pleased to announce the 2017 J. Willard & Alice S. Marriott Foundation Scholarship winners. Among them was Amerio Massey of Truman High School.

These DECA members will receive a travel scholarship to the International Career Development Conference (ICDC) in Anaheim, Calif.

These students will be competing in one of DECA’s hospitality events during the conference.

Congratulations to the following recipients:
  • Shayan Ali, Clements High School (TX)
  • Heather Assi, Barry Goldwater High School (AZ)
  • Avae Bernard, Royal Palm Beach High School (FL)
  • Destine Clark, Harrison County CTC (MS)
  • Richard Coleman, Southwestern High School (KY)
  • Blake Cubberley, Gatlingburg-Pittman High School (TN)
  • Gabriel Gonzalez, Lassiter High School (GA)
  • Markal Kelly, Plantation High School (FL)
  • Jarell Lyttle, South Plantation High School (FL)
  • Antonio Magalhaes Vieira, Maple Shade High School (NJ)
  • Amario Massey, Truman High School (MI)
  • Salina Meharenna, Ardrey Kell High School (NC)
  • Angelina Mora, Laramie High School (WY)
  • Nikos Papnikolau, George Washington High School (PA)
  • Bradley Robinson, Ponca City Senior High School (OK)
  • Ruth Romero, Clarke County High School (VA)
  • Nicholas Sccuccimarra, Billerica Memorial High School (MA)
  • Triston Smith, East Newton R-6 Schools (MO)
  • Audrey Tran, Granite Technical Institute (UT)
  • Delaney Zimmerman, Millard North High School (NE)

TOMMIE SAYLOR: Closing marks a great opportunity

“Change is the law of life.  And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”
President John F. Kennedy

By Tommie Saylor
Kennedy High School Principal

(Editor's Note: The Board of Education voted Monday to close Kennedy High School and merge high school operations into the Truman High School building. More information is to come.)

The decision has been made.

Now we have upon us a great opportunity, a once in a lifetime chance to transform the educational process for generations of students, not just into a long list of lessons, but into a dynamic and life altering experience. 

Like a large lump of clay born from the merger of water and earth, we as the artists shall mold, shape and bake the clay into the most durable, functional and enriching educational experience to have ever been crafted from our chaotic world. 

Simply, the union of Harry S Truman High School and John F. Kennedy High School is an epic opportunity to “get it right”, to finally do all those things we have always wanted to do for our students, to decisively and with great intent create an educational experience second to none.

So when people ask me how I feel concerning the closing of Kennedy High School, well, I am sad to see such a fine school close. Kennedy has earned so many honors, awards and recognition; served so many generations of students; and is so rich in tradition come. 

But I am as excited as a giddy school boy, a kind of excitement I have not experienced since I first entered the classroom, It’s the kind of excitement that makes one’s mind run at warp speed thinking about all the possibilities now laid before us.

There is an excitement peppered with flecks of fear not wanting to mess this up, yet laced with dreams of what the future could hold.

We have the opportunity to create new traditions, earn new honors and awards and forge an educational culture and climate more powerful than ever before experienced by the people of Taylor.

Do we miss the caterpillar with its brilliant stripes and fuzzy appearance, or do we delight in the majestic beauty of the butterfly?

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

MCDOWELL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: Pupils can't wait for gym

Gym does the body good! This is Ms. Lavender's first-grade class at McDowell Elementary School waiting in line for gym. They say that they love gym class. Who wouldn't like running around and learning sports right in the middle of your day? Look at those cute faces!

MCDOWELL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: Testing calls for support

Shh! We're testing …

This month begins a very important time for McDowell Elementary School, M-Step Testing.  The staff wants your child’s state assessment experience to be as relaxed and stress-free as possible. Your positive outlook and supportive manner going into these assessments also will influence your child’s experience.

Remember, testing is a part of learning. State assessment results do not impact student grades. They are designed to provide information on student knowledge and ability in relation to state grade-level content standards that identify what educators and employers believe students need to know and be able to do to be career-and college-ready upon graduation.

Schools and district use the results for curriculum planning and school improvement initiatives that benefit all students.

RANDALL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: Guest readers participate in program

March was an exciting month for Mrs. Holstein's first grade class. March is reading month at Randall Elementary School.

There were many guest readers that read to her class. They included Superintendent Mr. Williams, retired Randall teacher Mrs. Pytel, Board of Education member Mrs. Lakatos, student readers from Mrs. Ostrowski's class, Andy Armadillo from Texas Roadhouse, Landon from Mrs. Collin's 5th grade class, and some students from Mrs. Holstein's class volunteered to read to their peers.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

CHOPPING BLOCK announces April specials

The Chopping Block at the Taylor Career Center will be open at various times this week. Special on Thursday, April 13, is a Turkey Club and soup! For a more in-depth look at the facility's offerings, click here.

SOME WEBSITES can be a real aid to parents, students

There are many educational websites on the Internet that can aid parents and students in their schoolwork. To take a look at the sites recommended by the Taylor School District, click here.


Below is a phone list of all of the schools in the district.

CAREER CENTER 313-295-5757

EUREKA HEIGHTS 734-946-6597

HOLLAND 313-295-5795

HOOVER 313-295-5775


KENNEDY 734-374-1229

KINYON 313-295-5802

McDOWELL 734-374-1240

MOODY 313-295-5807

MYERS 734-946-6602

RANDALL 313-295-5812


 TAYLOR PARKS 734-374-1246

TITAN 313-295-5738

TRUMAN 734-946-6551

WEST 313-295-5783

ATTENTION PARENTS: Learn how to get involved

Many of the traditional avenues of parent involvement – attending parent-teacher conferences, volunteering in the classroom, and getting involved with the PTA – are wonderful activities that will make a lasting difference in your child's educational experience while increasing the quality of the school.

But there are simpler things that parents can do in the course of day-to-day life that can also have a great impact on their children's academic success.

SCHOOLS CLOSED on Good Friday, April 14

Pre-K through 12th graders are off on Good Friday, April 14.  Classes return to their regular schedule on Monday, April 17.


The Mustang Book Corral is being held from 8:15-8:30 a.m. April 12 at Randall Elementary School.

FRESHMAN PSAT, ACT Workkeys scheduled April 12

PSAT testing for ninth graders, and and ACTWorkkeys is being held for 11th graders, on April 12. There is no school for 10th and 12th grades that day.

PSAT, SAT TESTS scheduled April 11

PSAT (for 10th graders) and SAT (for 11th graders) is being held on Tuesday, April 11, in the Taylor School District. As result, there is no school that day for ninth and 12th graders.

CLASSES RESUME at regular times on Monday, April 10.

We hope everyone had a good spring break. Classes across the Taylor School District resume at regular times on Monday, April 10. 

For more information, always click on the district calendar.

TOMMIE SAYLOR: Do not fear involving parents in the classroom

“At the end of the day, the most overwhelming key to a child’s success is the positive involvement of parents.”
Jane D. Hull
By Tommie Saylor
Kennedy High School Principal

Why do so many teachers fear parents?

Research tells us that when we go out of our way to involve parents in the educational process, students benefit.  As educators we all know that when we remain in contact with parents, students benefit.  I have said a hundred times that parents can be our worst nightmare or our biggest allies. Often the difference is communication, allowing them to be part of the educational process. 

I have even heard instructors lamenting over our low numbers of participants at Parent-Teacher conferences, sporting events and after-school activities.  Why do we complain about insufficient parent involvement, while on the other hand fail to involve parents? Why do we fear picking up calling them? Why do we fear having parents visit our classrooms?

I have never said anything to a student that I would not say to them if their parents were sitting right beside them.  This is true when I was a classroom teacher, and is still true today.  In fact, I have a tendency to be harder on a student when the parent is in the room than when the parent is not.

If you are doing your job, and doing it professionally and proficiently, why fear the most important person in your student’s life? 

Oh, I can already hear your thoughts: “What happens if …” 

But let’s be honest with each other: 99.9 percent of the parents who come in to visit our classrooms do so without issue or incident.  As for the other .1 percent, the instructor just simply needs to contact the office and I will intervene. But to fear the huge majority because of a tiny minority does not make sense. It does more harm to our students than good.

In my eyes, the educational process is like a three-legged stool: The teacher, student, and parent.  Remove any one leg and the entire process falls apart.  Given this, if a parent wants to visit their student in class, wants to go to school with their student, I will allow them to do so.

I do have specific rules regarding a parent visiting the classroom.  The parent must come to the office to get a visitor’s pass. I sit down with the parent and brief them on what they can and cannot do. If at all possible I like to give the staff at least a 24-hour notice, but sometimes this is not possible given circumstances.  Besides, if an instructor needs advance notice because they want the opportunity to change what they are doing in class knowing a parent will be in the audience, then maybe what they had originally planned was rather suspect to begin with. 

If what you are doing in class is educationally solid, then having a parent in class should not make a difference. Educating students should not happen behind a veil of secrecy; it should be open and transparent for all to see regardless of what is taking place in the classroom.

Having a parent in class is a one-and-done experience.  If the parent wants to make a habit of visiting classrooms, or wants to spend multiple days in school with their child, then a background check is required. I understand the importance of balancing student safety with parent involvement. 

But I also understand the importance of the parent in the educational process, and we ignore this fact at our own peril.

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