University of Detroit Jesuit, Detroit, Michigan
Orchard Lake St. Mary's Preparatory, Orchard Lake, Michigan
Novi Detroit Catholic Central, Novi, Michigan
Brother Rice High School, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.
Birmingham Public Schools, Birmingham, Michigan
Westwood Community School District, Dearborn, Dearborn Heights, Inkster, Michigan
The Roeper School, Birmingham and Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
Cranbrook Schools, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
Marian High School, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
Academy of the Sacred Heart, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
Mercy High School, Farmington Hills, Michigan
Notre Dame Preparatory, Pontiac, Michigan
Regina High School, Warren, Michigan
Lincoln Consolidated Schools, Ypsilanti, Michigan
Grosse Pointe Public School System, Grosse Pointe, Michigan
Oakland Accelerated College Experience, Oakland County, Michigan
Oakland Opportunity Academy, Oakland County, Michigan
Oakland Schools Technical Campuses, Oakland County, Michigan
Virtual Learning Academy Consortium, Michigan
Bloomfield Hills Schools, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Comprehensive education at its finest.
Everest Collegiate High School and Academy. Clarkston, Michigan. An Authentic Catholic School of Distinction.
Oakland Christian School, Auburn Hills, Michigan. Oakland Christian School engages students in a rigorous and relevant education
Greenhills School, Ann Arbor, Michigan. Academic foundation for success.
Utica Community Schools, Image the Potential.
Lake Orion Community Schools, Lake Orion, Michigan. Providing an exemplary education for all learners
Shrine Catholic Schools, Royal Oak, Michigan. Faith. Family. Future.
Berkley School District, Berkley, Huntington Woods, Oak Park, Michigan. Engage. Inspire. Achieve.
AIM High School, Farmington Hills, Michigan. Aim High is a 6th-12th grade, tuition-based private school that provides an educational alternative
Parkway Christian School, Sterling Heights, Michigan. Challenging Minds. Capturing Hearts. Cultivating Gifts.
Franklin Road Christian School, Novi, Michigan. a K-12, coeducational, college-preparatory school with a nondenominational Christian philosophy.
Southfield Christian, Southfield, Michigan. Pursuing Excellence for the Glory of God.
Plymouth Christian, Canton, Michigan. A non-denominational, college preparatory Christian school

Dearborn Public Schools dispute inclusion on school shooting list

Officials with Dearborn Public Schools are taking issue with the district’s inclusion on a map of school gun violence used in the media following the Feb. 14 shooting at a Florida high school. The district released a statement Friday clarifying that the Jan. 26 incident where a single shot was fired into the air outside a Dearborn High School basketball game wasn’t comparable to some of the other shootings on the list. While some of the incidents listed were mass shootings, others included accidental discharges and a suicide, the district said. “Although these examples include a gun on school property, they are not comparable to the horrific mass shootings that have occurred at schools over the years,” the statement read. (Dearborn Press & Guide)

Related story:

> Detroit Free Press: Dearborn school shooting statistic called misleading

 

St. Mary's Catholic school in Wayne to close after 93 years

St. Mary's School, a mainstay in the city of Wayne since 1925, is closing its doors for good at the end of this school year. The K-8 school on Michigan Avenue has been on a steep, steady decline in enrollment over the past few years. It had 243 students in 2010-2011, but that number has dropped to 122 this year.  Officials estimate that if the school were to keep its doors open, St. Mary's would only see 110-113 students enrolled next school year. St. Mary's also is struggling with debt. According to a letter from Bishop Walter Hurley to parents, the parish is almost $5 million in debt, dating back many years, despite numerous grants from the archdiocese. (Detroit Free Press)

 

Taylor High School will offer academy-style learning

There are many changes on the horizon for students in the Taylor Public School system next year.The two existing high schools will be combined into one, renamed Taylor High School. The new school, inside the existing Truman High School, will take on the colors of Taylor Center, and a mascot -the Griffin- will be a mix of the Eagle and the Cougar that is used not at the two schools. Kennedy High School will be shuttered completely, with all of the students in grades 9-12 moving to the newly-named Taylor High School. Those changes might be the most visual, but the district is doing a complete overhaul of how they teach classes, and why they teach them in the manner they do. (Southgate News Herald)

 

Official: Schools thrive with funds from Wayne millage

Wayne — An educational enhancement millage that Wayne County voters approved in 2017 has lifted some districts out of budget deficits, increased pay for some teachers in Detroit and allowed other districts to upgrade buses and technology, officials said Tuesday. Randy Liepa, superintendent of Wayne RESA, a regional educational agency, told the State Board of Education on Tuesday at its monthly meeting that the 2-mil increase generates $77 million a year, or $370 per student, for 33 local districts. Money from the millage can be used for any purpose, Liepa said, but Wayne RESA is monitoring closely what districts are doing with the money, which will be generated for six years. (Detroit News)

 

Dearborn Public Schools considering three new boundary proposals

Board of Education trustees saw three new options for changing the high school boundary lines during Monday’s meeting and approved a special meeting for March 1 to discuss, and possibly decide, how to address high school overcrowding. The March 1 special meeting will start at 5 p.m. in the board meeting room at the Administrative Service Center. At that meeting, administrators will also present more information about potential costs for building a new high school or creating a separate ninth grade academy, said Supt. Glenn Maleyko. (Dearborn Press & Guide)

 

Ladywood parents, alumnae look at ways to keep a Catholic high school in Livonia

Could the Ladywood High School campus hold another Catholic high school later this fall? A group of parents and alumnae are working to do just that. The group, calling itself Project Blazer, has begun reaching out to families with students currently enrolled and to perspective families with middle school students going to high school next year to see if there is interest in keeping a Catholic high school at the Ladywood campus, 14680 Newburgh, in Livonia. The school, which is under control of the Felician Sisters, is scheduled to close at the end of the school year, something that was announced publicly in December. (Detroit Free Press)

 

Novi school district settles sexual abuse suit for $695,000

A lawsuit alleging that Novi Community School District district employees failed to act appropriately on reports of the sexual abuse and sexual harassment of a 13-year-old autistic boy by a troubled special-needs student was settled out of court three years after it was filed. The settlement, approved Nov. 27 by U.S. District Judge Terrence Berg, was confidential, but a copy obtained under Michigan's Freedom of Information Act shows the district agreed to pay the boy and his parents $695,000. The district must also expunge an electronic record saying the boy had engaged in improper sexual contact. (Observer & Eccentric)

 

Carlson students see firsthand dangers of texting and driving

While taking turns behind the wheel of a red Chevrolet sedan equipped with augmented reality technology, Carlson High School students learned the dangers of distracted driving. Wearing the augmented reality headset in the driver’s seat, each student sees a virtual city projected before them on a visor and uses the car’s fully functional steering wheel, pedals and blinkers to navigate on the virtual roads, complete with traffic and pedestrians on sidewalks. The AR headset still allows the driver to see their actual surroundings in the car for the distracted driving lesson. (Southgate News Herald)

 

Dearborn Public Schools host hundreds in regional robotics competition

Innovative robots with cutting edge technology filled the rooms at McCollough Unis School as 500 kindergarten through eighth grade students from across the region competed in the FIRST Tech Challenge Michigan State Qualifier Match and FIRST LEGO League Junior Exhibition. Dearborn Public Schools hosted the event Dec. 9. FIRST – For the Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology – is a world renowned robotics program that engages students in the application of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) in exciting competitive challenges using robots. (Dearborn Press & Guide)

 

Detroit archdiocese leading survey on Catholic schools

The region’s Catholic schools will use the results to develop long-range strategic plans. The Archdiocese of Detroit is distributing surveys this week to parents, faculty, staff and students in Grades 5-12 in the Monroe Vicariate as part of a campaign to strengthen and refocus Catholic education within the six-county archdiocese. Both grade schools and high schools will use their survey results to help develop new strategic plans by the start of the 2018-19 school year. The plans will be rooted in Archbishop Allen Vigneron’s pastoral letter, Unleash the Gospel, which calls on schools to be centers of evangelization and discipleship, accessible to any Catholic family seeking a Catholic education. (Monroe News)

 

Huron School District promotes high school Principal Donovan Rowe to superintendent

With the departure of longtime Superintendent Richard Naughton, the Huron School District has promoted one of its own, high school Principal Donovan Rowe, to the job. This year marks Rowe’s 19th with the school district. He started as a high school English teacher, and, while working in the school system, earned a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Michigan, Dearborn, with a focus on educational leadership. He went on to a role as assistant principal, and then served as the building principal for the high school for the past 11 years. (Southgate News Herald)

 

Pontiac Schools completes $12 million in renovations

Paywall: Pontiac High School over the summer and fall underwent major renovations on common areas, classrooms, technology labs and more as a part of an ongoing effort to update its school buildings through a five-year sinking fund millage passed in 2016. (Oakland Press)

 

Farmington Schools may sell Harrison High, but not for $1

Two things became clear at a Farmington Public Schools district building and site safety committee meeting last week. Board members are certainly willing to sell Harrison High School to the city of Farmington Hills to be used as a community center. And the sale price is going to be a lot higher than the $1 in the letter of intent signed by Farmington Hills Mayor Ken Massey. The committee wound up recommending Superintendent George Heitsch enter “more robust” negotiations with Farmington Hills officials over the sale of the Harrison building, which the district will close as a school following the 2018-19 school year. (Observer & Eccentric)

 

Metro Detroit teen earns rare perfection on ACT, gets pick of colleges

SHELBY TWP, Mich. (WJBK) - A 17-year-old high school senior likely walked her ACT exams last fall feeling pretty confident. Last week, she found out just how confident she should have been: her score was perfect. Katie Proffitt is a senior at Eisenhower High School in Shelby Township. She also spends half of her day at Utica Center for Mathematics, Science, and Technology. Her hard work paid off. "I saw it on my phone. I was like...'listen, I got it!' And everyone was going nuts and I was so excited! (Fox2)

Related story:

> CBS Detroit: Making The Grade - Perfect score on the ACT for a Macomb Co. Student

 

Clarkston superintendent resigns amid scandal

The superintendent for Clarkston Community Schools resigned Sunday after admitting to an “inappropriate relationship” with 19-year-old graduate of the district. Elizabeth Egan, president of the Clarkston Community Schools Board of Education, posted a letter Monday morning on the district’s website saying Superintendent Rod Rock notified the board of a relationship he had with a recent Clarkston High School graduate that he characterized as inappropriate. “He (Rock) indicated that the relationship started as a friendship and became inappropriate only after the now 19-year-old graduated. Dr. Rock felt the nature of this relationship compromised his ability to effectively serve as Superintendent of Schools. During a special board meeting last night, the Board accepted Dr. Rock’s resignation, effectively immediately,” the letter said. (Detroit News)

Related stories:

> Oakland Press: Clarkston superintendent resigns after notifying board of “inappropriate” relationship with recent graduate

> Detroit Free Press: Clarkston school official admits 'inappropriate' relationship with ex-student, resigns

 

Trenton schools seeking $56.9 million bond proposal for district-wide improvements

Trenton Public Schools officials are hoping voters will turn out to support a $56.9 million bond proposal on the May 8 ballot. Administrators submitted the proposal, including a list of all projects, to the Michigan Department of Treasury for approval Jan. 3. To develop the list, the district held a series of public forums to allow residents to ask questions and find out more details. (Southgate News Herald)

 

Residents favor proposal No. 2 to change high school boundaries in Dearborn

Of three proposals on how to change Dearborn’s high school attendance areas, Proposal 2 had the most support from the community, Dearborn Public School trustees heard Monday night. That proposal was the most similar to current boundary lines, while still shifting students away from the overcrowded Fordson and Dearborn high schools to Edsel Ford High School. But many other residents, including some who supported Proposal 2, felt the district needed to offer a better solution for how to divide students, reported Communications Director David Mustonen. (Dearborn Press & Guide)

 

Troy robotics students bring bell-ringing robot to Oakland Mall

Robotics students from Troy High School and Troy Athens High School brought their 2015 championship-qualifying robot to the Oakland Mall, but not before modifying it to ring a bell for the Salvation Army. Hammerheads 226 team stood outside the Macy’s store with the robot Friday, Dec. 22, from 4-8 p.m. The robot was built by a team of 150 students for the FIRST Robotics Championship competition. Six students further modified it to raise money for the Red Kettle campaign. (Oakland Press)

Related story:

> Detroit News: Robot rings Salvation Army kettle at Oakland Mall

 

Catching a wave: Students have 'gone boarding' in this Utica woodworking class

Aspen Starr was standing on the deck of a restaurant tucked into the mountains of Tennessee last month when she captured a photograph that would soon adorn the wakesurf board she's making at Eisenhower High School in Shelby Township. Today, that wakesurf board is nearly done. Starr, 17, spent a recent class sanding out some of the rough edges and looking ahead to finishing touches. "This is the coolest thing I've ever built," said Starr, who has spent years learning about construction from her father. "Not many kids get to do this. Every day, you don't hear someone say, 'Ooh, I made a surfboard.' " (Detroit Free Press)

 

Southgate superintendent to retire Dec. 31

It’s been more than 40 years since Leslie Hainrihar-Cretien started her career in education. At the end of the calendar year, she’ll call it a career, again. It’s somewhat a deja vu experience, she already retired, and from Southgate Community Schools, once before. She was the Anderson High School principal for a few years, and retired in 2012, only to return two years later and take up the district’s top job. When she returned to the district, it was tough times. They were in a large deficit, had just closed multiple school buildings and had little money to start fixing things. (Southgate News Herald)

 

Ladywood High School in Livonia closing in spring; cite drop in enrollment

Ladywood High School, the all-girls Catholic school in Livonia, is closing at the end of this school year because of declining enrollment.  The decision by the Felician Sisters of North America was announced Monday to staff, parents and alumni. Students will be notified at assemblies Tuesday. Enrollment at the school has dropped 60% since 2005, according to a letter from Sr. M. Alfonsa Van Overberghe, chair of the school's board of trustees.  Ladywood has 169 students in ninth through 12th grade.  (Detroit Free Press)

Related stories:

> Detroit News: Ladywood High closing at end of school year

> MLive: Livonia Ladywood catholic high school closing at the end of the school year

> Michigan Catholic: Felicians announce Ladywood High School to close at end of 2017-18

> Observer & Eccentric: School is closing, but Ladywood sisterhood lives on, alumnae say

> Observer & Eccentric: 'Any time a member of the Body of Christ hurts, we hurt:' schools react to Ladywood closure

 

Dearborn Public Schools to hold February meeting on high school overcrowding

New information and possibly new boundary line options are headed to the Dearborn Public School Board after the district held 10 community meetings to discuss potential changes to the high school attendance areas. A report with information and opinions gathered at the meetings should be presented to the board in January, said retired administrator Hassane Jaafar, who helped spearhead the community meetings. Trustees expect to schedule a special meeting for February to again tackle the issue of high school overcrowding, including changing attendance boundary lines. (Dearborn Press & Guide)

 

Lego Fest has youngsters going full STEAM ahead

It's tough not to be happy with the kind of success the Farmington LEGO Fest Expo saw Saturday at the Farmington STEAM Academy. With 40 teams — 20 in the morning session, another 20 in the afternoon session — the First LEGO League Jr. event turned out to be hugely successful. "It was the largest FFL Junior event in the state," said Tammy Luty, president of the STEAM Academy PTSA, which hosted the event along with the academy's robotics group and the Farmington Hackbots, the high school united team in the district. "It was really good." (Observer & Eccentric)

 

Cranbrook Kingswood Middle School teacher named ‘Science Super Hero’ by cable network

Science Channel announced the crowning of Ashlie Blackstone Smith as a December honoree of the network’s monthly Science Super Heroes initiative.  Blackstone Smith, a physical science teacher at Cranbrook Kingswood Middle School for Girls in Bloomfield Hills, was recognized for furthering science in her community and encouraging the next generation of innovators and problem solvers. An early adopter of educational technology and facilitative learning, Blackstone Smith counts “flipping her classroom” as one of her top achievements. (Oakland Press)

 

UCS students immerse themselves in 360 degree video technology

Utica Community Schools video production students are creating projects that will allow others to see their work in a whole new way. The district is one of only five Michigan communities partnering with Digital Promise to provide students with 360 degree technology for video production courses. “The 360 Filmmaking Challenge continues our focus to give students real-world experiences with the technology that is shaping their future,” Superintendent Christine Johns said. “Virtual reality is transforming the automotive, health care and defense industries in our region, and our students will have a competitive advantage for careers that are emerging in their own back yards.” (Macomb Daily)

 

Melvindale middle school students will showcase fitness game they created at national competition

Sitting in front of a laptop loaded with microcontroller programming software, Orlando De Jesus, a seventh-grader at Melvindale’s Strong Middle School, pointed to his classmates, Gabriel Gonzalez and Lucas Hammond. “Us three, we’re the programmers,” De Jesus said. He began to explain a technology-infused fitness game that he and 19 other Strong Middle School classmates not only created in their TECHFIT afterschool program, but also will be showcasing at the program’s national competition next week at Purdue University. (Southgate News Herald)

 

Clarenceville students top robotics competition

Seventeen area robotics teams from nine different schools put their technical skills to the test at the sixth annual Oakland County Competitive Robotics Association championships held Dec. 2 at Clawson Middle School. This middle school tournament pitted two-robot alliances against opponents in the game from VEX called In the Zone. Robots scored points by stacking cone-shaped game pieces onto goals and moving these goals into scoring zones in both autonomous and radio-controlled modes. (Observer & Eccentric)

 

Downriver high school boosts camaraderie between freshmen, upperclassmen through peer mentoring

The buzz of about 100 students’ voices filled Huron High School’s cafeteria on a recent Monday and Tuesday. But it wasn’t lunch time. It was an after-school study session, where upperclassmen help freshmen study for final exams, complete with snacks and hot cocoa for all to enjoy. It’s called Cocoa and Cram. Social studies teacher Rachel Faber said freshmen coming from middle school don’t necessarily understand the rigor of final exams in high school. (Southgate News Herald)

 

How 10 days in Japan changed the lives of 10 Pontiac students

Ten middle school students from Pontiac traveled to Japan this fall in what turned out to be a life changing experience for the young teenagers. Five students from Pontiac Middle School and five from Pontiac’s International Technology Academy traveled with their chaperones to Kusatsu, within the Shiga Prefecture for 10 days in late October, staying with host families, immersing themselves in the lives of the people and culture of Japan. They visited shrines, attended classes at different schools throughout the city and took part in traditional activities like learning how to dye with indigo. (Oakland Press)

 

Oakland County houses of worship teaching middle schoolers about religious diversity

Houses of worship across the county are participating in a program that educates middle schoolers about the importance of religious diversity. The Religious Diversity Journeys Program, an interfaith program organized by The Interfaith Leadership Council of Metro Detroitfor public and private school students, is being taught through April. The goal of of the program is for students to gain a greater knowledge and understanding of southeast Michigan’s many religions and help prepare them for an increasingly diverse society by touring houses of worship and speaking with those of different religious backgrounds. (Oakland Press)

 

Utica students on board as one of four Michigan districts with unique CTE program

Utica Community Schools students are among a select group of districts taking part in a unique career and technical education (CTE) that gives them a start-to-finish look at one of the nation’s fastest-growing industries. The “Gone Boarding” program, one of the four in the state of Michigan, allows students to design, build and test surfboards, snowboards, stand up paddle board and skateboards. “This program allows kids to come up with something unique that is right in their wheelhouse,” said CTE teacher Ryan deCardenas. (Macomb Daily)

 

Dates set for Trenton community forums; school district to discuss needs, bond proposal

Although no dollar amount has been released, Trenton Public Schools is planning three community forums to discuss assessments for improvements and a possible bond proposal. District officials have planned to hold forums at 7 p.m. on the following dates and locations: Dec. 4, Hedke Elementary School, 3201 Marian. Dec. 5, Trenton High School, 2601 Charlton Road. Dec. 6, at Anderson Elementary School, 2600 Harrison Street. Officials have been assessing its facilities and program priorities for the past year. (Southgate News Herald)

 

Bill angst: School officials troubled by concealed weapon package

With apologies to Elizabeth Barrett Browning and in reaction to the Michigan Senate's passing of legislation allowing concealed weapons in schools, school officals like Plymouth-Canton Superintendent Monica Merritt are saying, "How do I not love thee, let me count the ways." The bills they don't love were approved earlier this month by the state Senate, allowing the concealed carry of handguns in places that have traditionally been off-limits to guns, such as schools, churches, day care centers, bars and stadiums. Rhe three-bill package, which now moves to the state House, passed the Senate in 25-12 votes, over strong objections from Democrats, one day after it cleared a Senate committee. (Observer & Eccentric)

 

Roeper kicks off membership with Malone Schools Online Network

As one of 22 members schools and the only school in Michigan, The Roeper School kicked off its participation this fall in the Malone Schools Online Network (MSON). Roeper high school students can now delve deeper into their passions or explore a new field of inquiry through advanced online classes that supplement the school’s already challenging curriculum. Online classes, such as American Voice, American Speech: Word as Action from Anne Bradstreet to Donald Trump, Data Structures and Design Patterns, Comparative Ecosystems, and Advanced Applied Math Through Finance, take place in a digital classroom with state of the art video conferencing technology in the new Naas Learning Commons at the Birmingham Campus. (StudentandEducator)

 

Troy High’s new auto lab seeks to be a career maker

Troy — A new automotive lab at Troy High School is sparking interest among students to pursue mechanic careers, as business leaders across the region express concerns over a shortage of skilled-trade professionals, including those capable of working on today’s technology-laden cars and trucks. Designed to mimic a modern service center, the new lab was born from the joint vision of district educators and local companies who see learning opportunities like this as critical to attracting more young people to the profession. Recent U.S. Department of Labor data projects 351 job openings for automotive mechanics across southeast Michigan each year for the next five years. Nationwide, the number of open positions for mechanics is expected to approach 24,000 annually through 2024. (Detroit News)

Related story:

> Oakland Press: Auto repair facility revamped at Troy High

 

Utica schools expands opportunities with coding program

Heritage Junior High School ninth grader Anthony Tenn understands the importance that his new computer science course will have on his life. “Coding is the future,” Tenn said recently. “You can’t stop technology. It’s going to continue moving forward.” Tenn and his peers at three Utica Community Schools junior high schools are taking part in a new computer science program designed to introduce important concepts of coding and computer science. The Computer Science Discoveries course is among expanded offerings made possible by the district’s partnership with the national non-profit, Code.org. (Macomb Daily)

 

Head Start provider ends support for Detroit program, affecting 122 jobs and 400 seats

DETROIT - A nonprofit that supports Head Start programs in Detroit is withdrawing from a collaborative that runs early childhood education platforms, resulting in 122 layoffs and leaving the seats of about 400 children in jeopardy. Southwest Solutions is currently part of a "Thrive By Five" collaborative that runs Head Start and Early Head Start programs in partnership with Development Centers, Focus: HOPE and Starfish Family Services, which is the lead agency for the collaborative. Starfish Family Services and Southwest Solutions issued a joint statement on Oct. 30, announcing Southwest Solutions is withdrawing from Thrive By Five as of Dec. 31. Families were notified Oct. 31. (MLive)

 

$104 million-plus slated for Northville schools after bond plan win

A $100 million-plus bond proposal approved by Northville School District voters on Tuesday will mean changes at every district building. The 25-year, $104.85-million plan will raise money slated for building infrastructure upgrades, added security features at each school and modernized, flexible learning spaces. Plans include added dining, multipurpose and athletic space at a crowded Northville High School, and Hillside Middle School will be largely rebuilt, on school property just west of the existing building, with some features of the older building incorporated into the new one. (Observer & Eccentric)

 

School proposals: Madison bond fails; victories elsewhere in Metro Detroit

A $29.3 million bond proposal in the Madison District Public Schools failed in Tuesday's election, impacting the district's plans to create one site to educate its middle and high school students. The vote was 1,317 no to 476 yes. But everywhere else in Metro Detroit, school-related proposals on the ballot either won or appeared headed toward victory. For instance in neighboring Lamphere Public Schools to create a special fund to cover major repair and remodeling projects received a better reception from voters. It passed by a vote of 1,355 yes to 716 no. (Detroit Free Press)

 

Center Line, Warren Woods school issues win

Macomb County voters were in a generous mood Tuesday, approving money issues for the Center Line, Warren Woods and Armada school districts. Center Line voters endorsed a $59.3 million bond issue for a new elementary school and other facility upgrades, with 56.3 percent voting yes. The proposal — a 25-year bond — will increase property taxes in the district by 4.9 mills. That's an increase of $196 a year on a home with a market value of $80,000. In the Warren Woods district, a $20.3 million bond issue passed with 53.6 percent voting yes. The bond issue will increase property taxes by 2.2 mills, costing the owner of a $100,000 home $110 more per year. (Detroit News)

 

Royal Oak voters approve $59.9M bond for school district

Voters passed a $59.9 million school bond in Tuesday’s election that will fund building, technology and other improvements in the Royal Oak Schools district. With 11,949 ballots cast, 72 percent favored the bond. Clyde Esbri, co-chair of a residents’s group called Royal Oak Schools YES!, said he and others campaigned for the bond and got good feedback from residents. “Royal Oak, overall, has been supportive of school initiatives like this over the past decade,” he said. “We have school board members that have been fiscally responsible and I think that’s why the taxpayers were comfortable supporting this bond.” (Oakland Press)

 

Auburn Hills passes $30M bond for Avondale Schools

Auburn Hills voters overwhelmingly approved a $30.7 million bond proposal for the Avondale School District. The proposal passed with 64.51 percent of voters in favor of the measure and 35.49 percent voting against it. The bond funding will be used in several areas at the district, including adding four new school buses, utility sheds at each building, updating and renovating security entrances and housekeeping measures such as replacing roofs and boilers. (Oakland Press)

 

Troy school sinking fund approved

Voters in the Troy School District overwhelmingly approved a one-mill building and site sinking fund in Tuesday’s election. With all precincts in the city of Troy counted, the vote totals were as follows: Yes: 9,553. No: 4,554. The votes in favor of the proposal represent about 68 percent of the total. A small portion of Warren lies in the Troy School District; results from that city were unavailable Tuesday night. (Oakland Press)

 

Oxford voters approve bond, sinking fund for school district

Oxford voters approved a bond proposal and sinking fund for Oxford Community Schools. The bond proposal is for $28.28 million and will be used for remodeling, furnishing and re-equipping school buildings, purchasing school buses; and developing and improving playgrounds, parking areas and sites. With a total of 4,468 votes, 2,525 people voted to approve the bond proposal and 1,943 people voted against it. (Oakland Press)

 

Farmington voters approve Headlee override proposal funding school operations

Voters in the Farmington have voted to approve a proposal, which gives the school district the authority to override the Headlee Amendment to the Michigan Constitution and continue to levy 18 mills on non-homestead properties. The proposal passed with 9,309 votes, 70.60 percent to 3,877 votes, 29.40 percent. The 18 mills, which represents $18 per $1,000 of a property’s taxable value, will be levied rather than the Headlee reduction rate of 17.8452 mills, or $17.84. (Oakland Press)

 

Recognition ceremony boosts morale at Dearborn Heights District 7 schools

Spirits just got a bit brighter in a school district where the employees admit morale has sunk quite low the past few years. While professional development days aren’t necessarily something that teachers look forward to, one such day recently boosted the spirits of Dearborn Heights School District No. 7 employees. Supt. Jennifer Mast and Asst. Supt. Kevin Brock planned the day to encourage all employees and foster team spirit. (Dearborn Press & Guide)

 

Cranbrook names new director of schools

Aimeclaire Lambert Roche, head of The Bishop’s School in La Jolla, Calif., and president of the Board of Directors at the California Association of Independent Schools, has been named the next director of Cranbrook Schools. Roche will succeed Arlyce M. Seibert, who last winter announced her plan to retire after the 2017-18 school year. Seibert is in her 23rd year as director of Cranbrook Schools and 47th year at Cranbrook. The announcement was made by Dominic DiMarco, president of Cranbrook Educational Community; Jamison Williams Faliski, chair of the Board of Governors of Cranbrook Schools and co-chair of the Search Committee; and Jonathan Borenstein, co-chair of the Search Committee and immediate past chair of the board. The schools’ Board of Governors and the Cranbrook Educational Community Board of Trustees voted unanimously in favor of Roche’s appointment. (Observer & Eccentric)

 

Melania Trump talks inclusion, poses for selfies at West Bloomfield school

Bryce Hairston was star struck from the moment First Lady Melania Trump walked into the cafeteria at Orchard Lake Middle School in West Bloomfield this morning. “I was like, in awe,” said Bryce, 13, an eighth-grader at the school, where Trump and U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos paid a surprise visit Monday morning. The point of the visit: To kick off the “Week of Inclusion” that is part of National Bullying Prevention Month and promotes the goal of getting students to treat each other with kindness and to befriend others. (Detroit Free Press)

Related story:

> Detroit News: First lady takes on isolation at West Bloomfield school

 

Madison school district seeks approval on $29M bond proposal

Voters in the Madison public schools district will decide Nov. 7 whether to approve a $29.2 million bond for a plan to combine the middle school at the high school and make a number of other improvements. If approved, residents in the area served by Madison District Public Schools in Madison Heights would pay 5.24 mills more in school taxes. For the owner of a house with taxable value of $45,000 that means paying $235 annually for the bond’s 30-year repayment period. The 1,100-student district has two other voter-approved bonds it is paying off and approval of the proposed bond would bring the total school tax levy up to 13 mills. (Oakland Press)

 

Detroit Country Day School invests $30M in buildings

Amid student and faculty fanfare, Detroit Country Day School kicked off a $14 million renovation and expansion of its Middle School on Tuesday. The project will provide students with enhanced learning spaces and new technology and allow fifth-grade students to be added to the Middle School building through grade level learning centers created for grades 5 and 6 and grades 7 and 8, school officials said. Renovations also include dedicated classrooms for each Middle School teacher, space for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM) project-based learning and an instrument/music room with practice and storage space. (Detroit News)

 

Forum to be held Thursday on Farmington Public Schools ballot question

The Greater Farmington Area Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring a question-and-answer session on Thursday, Oct. 19, on the Headlee restoration millage proposal for the Farmington Public Schools. The proposal will appear on the Nov. 7 ballot. It asks voters to give the school district the authority to levy 18 mills of non-homestead millage on all commercial, business, rental properties, vacant land and second-home properties. When property values grow faster than the cost of living index, it triggers a millage reduction, required by the 1978 Headlee Amendment to the Michigan Constitution. (Oakland Press)

 

Oakland County School Drinking Water Station Program will increase access to water for students

The Oakland County School Drinking Water Station Program is being formed to promote public health at area elementary schools. The county budgeted $500,000 in Fiscal Year 2017 for the implementation of a countywide program and will soon be reaching out to schools to gauge interest in the stations. According to the finance committee approved policy, the program’s purpose is to promote public health and to establish positive lifelong nutrition habits by providing increased access to water to elementary school children between and during meals and snacks. (Oakland Press)

 

Oakland County school districts receive perfect school bus inspection grades from Michigan State Police

The Michigan State Police has given several county school bus systems perfect inspection grades for the 2016-2017 school year. Novi (37), South Lyon (60) and Bloomfield Hills (58) were the only bus systems in the county, with fleets larger than 30 buses, that received a perfect score.  The 2017-2018 school year inspections are being conducted through August 2018. (Oakland Press)

 

Hazing alleged at Dearborn’s Fordson High School

Dearborn Public Schools officials have investigated an alleged hazing incident at Fordson High School. In a letter to parents this week, Principal Heyam Alcodray said administrators had learned about the alleged episode on school property. Details were not disclosed, but Alcodray described it as an isolated, “rogue” incident and said the youths involved have been identified and disciplined. “This type of behavior is unacceptable, in violation of policy, and will not be allowed at Fordson High School,” the letter read. “Hazing is a form of bullying and can be considered harassment. The consequences for taking part in such activities can be severe and have legal implications as well.” (Detroit News)

 

UCS Foundation provides $35,000 in scholarships to support district's college culture

For the ninth straight year, the Utica Community Schools Foundation for Educational Excellence is supporting the district’s College Culture through a donation to the UCS Superintendent’s Scholarship Program. On Sept. 25, the nonprofit foundation presented a $35,000 scholarship donation to the UCS Board of Education for the annual Superintendent’s Scholarship Fund. The scholarship money is the result of the foundation’s Evening of Excellence fundraiser, held each spring. In total, the foundation has contributed more than $250,000 for scholarships. (Macomb Daily)

 

County public schools brace for implementation of third-grade retention law

In an effort to boost reading achievement in the early stages of elementary school education, public schools across the state of Michigan are conducting universal screening and diagnostic testing of kindergarten through third grade students. The testing is in response to Public Act 306, passed in October 2016 by Michigan lawmakers, called the Third Grade Retention Law. The law was passed to ensure that students exiting third grade are reading at or above grade level requirements. (Macomb Daily)

 

Wednesday is Count Day: It's important to get your kids to school

Let's be clear: Michigan school officials want kids in school every day. But they really want kids in school on Wednesday, one of the most important days of the school year. "There's just a hard, truthful reality to making sure that students are there that day," said Nikolai Vitti, superintendent for the Detroit Public Schools Community District. "But we want to try to build that culture so that that's happening every day, for students in every school." (Detroit Free Press)

 

Blue ribbon: Gallimore named one of nation's top schools

Over the summer, parents and teachers at Gallimore Elementary School worked hard to turn an under-used computer lab into a thriving STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) lab. It's the latest example of a collaborative environment that exists between stakeholders in the school that has earned Gallimore national recognition. (Observer & Eccentric)

 

Rochester Community Schools hosts students, staff from China

“This exchange program enables students and staff from both countries to make personal connections so they can explore the similarities and differences that exist between educational systems, cultures, political systems, geography and history,” said Executive Director of Elementary Education Michael Behrmann. The visit will take place from Oct. 2 to Oct. 15. The students and staff are from Zhangjiagang Experimental Primary School (Zhangjiagang, Jiangsu Province), Liangfeng Middle School (Zhangjiagang, Jiangsu Province), and Xishan Senior High School (Wuxi, Jiangsu Province). Xishan High School students will visit from October 2-8. (Oakland Press)

 

Utica Community Schools perform at annual Band-A-Rama

Utica Community Schools award-winning high school marching bands presented their annual Band-A-Rama at Stevenson High School’s Runkel Field, Sunday. Band-A-Rama showcases the district’s high school musicians in on-field performances. Ticket proceeds benefit the Louis Gonda Memorial Music Scholarship to fund opportunities for UCS band students to further their music education. (Macomb Daily)

 

Kids need help with reading? Aid is just a text away for Lake Orion parents

Destiny Narloch is a busy mom of four kids. So when it comes to getting tips for helping her children with reading, quick and simple rules the day. That's why she likes a new program in Lake Orion Community Schools — field-tested last year — that sends text messages to parents who sign up for them. Those texts come chock full of helpful hints and things parents can do on the fly with their children to boost their reading and writing skills. "I just like the simplicity of it," said Narloch, who was part of the field-test that included about 70 parents. "If there's anything that can help the parent help the kids and then in turn that helps the teacher ... it's a good thing." (Detroit Free Press)

 

Local high schools face off in third annual Battle of the Bands

It was a packed house at Pontiac’s Wisner Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 30, for this year’s Battle of the Bands High School Marching Band Competition. The annual event, which serves as an annual fundraiser for the Pontiac High School and Pontiac Middle School music departments, featured nine local marching bands this year from around southeast Michigan: Notre Dame High School, Avondale High School, North Branch High School, South Lake High School, Oxford High School, Waterford Kettering High School, Waterford Mott High School, Roseville High School, and Anchor Bay High School. (Oakland Press)

 

Houses, condos planned for school sites in Livonia, Westland

A projected 143 housing units are coming to Livonia and Westland with the Livonia Public Schools district's sale of three school sites — two unused and one that is soon to be vacant — to a Novi home builder. The sites, one in Livonia and two in Westland, total about 36 acres and the purchase prices total $2.7 million. The LPS Board of Education, with a series of unanimous votes, approved the purchase agreements with Infinity Homes Inc. last week. (Observer & Eccentric)

 

Northville schools want $100 million bond approval from voters

Are Northville Public Schools voters willing to forgo tax decreases in order to pay for more than $100 million in building improvements that would reach every district school? That question will be answered in November, when voters weigh in on a $104.85 million bond proposal. The money would be used for building infrastructure updates, enhanced security features and the modernization of learning spaces. (Observer & Eccentric)

 

Utica schools, local libraries team to offer virtual library card

All Utica Community Schools students will have access to a whole new digital world, thanks to a virtual library card offered through partnerships with local communities. UCS K-12 students will have free digital access to special collections and reference resources through their local libraries. Students and parents will also be able to connect with a network of online tutors through Tutor.com. “The virtual library card is an example of how local leaders continue to work together to enhance opportunities for our students,” said Superintendent Christine Johns. “The virtual library card promotes an important focus on literacy by providing all students access to the digital resources offered at their local library.” (Macomb Daily)

Related story:

> Detroit News: Program lets students check out ‘virtual’ library card

 

Merger flips demographic script at Ferndale schools

Ferndale — Separate and unequal: That was the makeup of two elementary schools here before they merged last year in an attempt to desegregate classrooms and create a level education field for Ferndale Schools’ youngest students. Kennedy Elementary School was majority white and not economically disadvantaged. Most parents served 40 hours of volunteer time a year and a lottery had determined admission. Roosevelt Primary School was majority black, a majority of students lived in poverty, volunteers were harder to come by and enrollment was open to all. State test scores in 2015-16 showed a similar dichotomy: Kennedy students were about 58 percent proficient in third-grade reading. At Roosevelt, the proficiency rate was around 24 percent. (Detroit News)

 

North Farmington students gain internet fame for senior IDs

You remember ID day in high school, right? We can probably guarantee it was never as fun as it was at North Farmington High School recently. How fun? Seniors at the school each year are allowed to pose for ID photos dressed in crazy costumes and this year they dressed as their favorite celebrity, movie character or meme. The results? Hilarious. And it's earned the school instant fame on social media, thanks to the #NFID18 hashtag. (Detroit Free Press)

 

Grosse Pointe Schools rethinks way it keeps Detroit kids and others out

GROSSE POINTE, MI - Grosse Pointe Public Schools is considering changing the enforcement of its residency policy, which currently includes an anonymous tip line that can lead to third-party investigations of whether students actually live in the district. Student residency has long been a charged issue at Grosse Pointe Schools, which does not enroll Schools of Choice students who live outside the geographical boundaries of the district. Most Michigan schools have started accepting Schools of Choice students as a way to boost their funding, because state dollars follow the student. (MLive)

 

First day jitters experienced by all including Utica superintendent

Tuesday’s first day of school arrived with partly sunny skies and a good chance of tears. “I remember my first day vividly,” said Utica Community Schools Superintendent Dr. Christine Johns, who surprised her students and their parents with a ride along in the morning that included an entourage of media capturing all of the thrills that go along with the first day of school. “My mom did my hair, and I’m pretty sure I was wearing a new dress,” Johns added. “I had a stay-at-home-mom, so leaving her was devastating, but I was greeted at the school by such kind and caring teachers that I adapted quickly.” (Macomb Daily)

 

Brother Rice students go on mission trip to Peru

This summer, nine Brother Rice students embarked on the school’s annual mission trip to Lima, Peru. The students from the Bloomfield Hills Catholic school spent a week experiencing a different culture and using their hands to build and serve. The trip was led by Spanish teacher Andrew Cielieski. He shared a blog of the daily experiences and the impact the immersion trip has on the young missionaries. (Oakland Press)

Related story:

> Michigan Catholic: Brother Rice seniors serve the poor, fellow Christian Brothers, in Peru

 

Wayne-Westland school board selects Shelley Holt as new superintendent

A Fontana, Calif., educator has been selected as the new Wayne-Westland Community Schools district superintendent. The district has offered the position to Shelley Holt, currently executive director of student services for the Fontana Unified School District. With contract negotiations underway, it's not clear yet when Holt will start work. Outgoing Superintendent Michele Harmala's last day was Aug. 31; she's taking a position with Madonna University. "She brought a lot of energy. She has a wealth of knowledge on issues, on diversity and relationship building," Wayne-Westland school board President Shawna Walker said. "The new superintendent understands that we have a strategic plan in place and is willing to work with that. She is very compatible with what we are trying to do." (Observer & Eccentric)

 

Walled Lake, school district fight over building’s fate

Walled Lake – City officials are facing off against their local school board over a decision to shut down and demolish a school building and sell off the property for commercial purposes. It’s something that has been percolating in the city of 7,000 for at least six years, the decision following lively school board meetings, forums and this summer, the closure of the Community Education Center on North Pontiac Trail in the center of the city’s business district. The brick building, built in 1922, is a former school that in recent years has been used for a variety of daytime and evening education programs. (Detroit News)

 

Oakland County students will find a lot has changed as they go back to school

When most Oakland County students go back to school Tuesday, Sept. 5, they’ll find new faces in many principal’s offices, new programs and new schedules in their schools. Here’s a list of what to expect, as supplied by the county’s public school districts. Programs: This school year, the district will open a new program for gifted learners.The two classrooms, housed at Avondale’s Woodland Elementary, are multi-age (third and fourth grade) settings that bring together students as intellectual peers rather than age peers. Avondale is planning to add more grade levels to the program in fall 2018. (Oakland Press)

 

Back to school: New faces and places will greet local students

Of all the changes made to local school districts over the summer, perhaps none was as significant as East Detroit Public Schools, which re-branded itself as Eastpointe Community Schools. The new identity follows efforts by the state School Reform Office, which briefly had a CEO take over academics at four under-performing schools, as well as whittling away at a multi-million dollar budget deficit. It also encapsulates moves to boost achievement, expanding half-day and full-day early childhood programs, a restructuring of the middle school and rolling out new programs including the rigorous International Baccalaureate Programme. (Macomb Daily)

 

Birmingham Covington: Building a Student-Centered School

A group of middle school students in full beekeeping gear examines one of the hives their school keeps in the woods nearby. “Ooh, there’s honey!” says one excitedly. “I see nectar!” says another. These eager fifth and sixth graders from Birmingham Covington, a public magnet school in suburban Michigan focused on science and technology, are empowered to become self-directed learners through hands-on experiences in and outside their classroom. Birmingham Covington’s student-centered philosophy is embedded throughout the curriculum, from third- and fourth-grade classes focused on teaching individual resourcefulness to an almost wholly independent capstone class in seventh and eighth grade called Thinkering Studio. (Eductopia)

 

Metro Detroit pitches in for school supplies

It takes a village to provide school supplies in many Michigan districts. School supply drives, private donations, teachers and parents are all pitching in to provide basic classroom necessities for Michigan’s 1.5 million students when they return to school in coming weeks. While parents and more often teachers are the first in line to purchase the bulk of items needed, school supply drives have become more common in Detroit, Pontiac and Flint, where many children live in poverty and parents cannot afford the long list of needs for to school. (Detroit News)

 

Romulus school proposals fail, Grosse Pointe public safety millage passes

Voters in several Wayne County communities weighed in on millage proposals Tuesday, including Grosse Pointe, where residents OK'd a proposal to pay for new public safety facilities.

Some communities also picked city council candidates to move on to the general election in November.  Here are the results: Grosse Pointe voters approved a nearly $13-million bond proposal to pay for new public safety facilities. The measure passed by a margin of 53% to 46%, with 783 people voting for it and 685 against it.  (Detroit Free Press)