Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Tuition Pre-School Open Houses

If you have a child who will be 4 years old by December 1, 2008, we'd love to have you visit the Ann Arbor Public Schools' tuition pre-school program. We are pleased to offer this program at two outstanding locations. Children in the program benefit from a rich developmental curriculum, certified early childhood teachers, and support services that are uncommon in a traditional pre-school setting. The program operates according to the school district calendar, with flexible scheduling options available. If you'd like to learn more about this exemplary program, please visit one of our open houses:

  • Thurston Pre-School Open House (2300 Prairie): Thursday, Feb. 21 at 6:30-7:30 p.m.
  • Allen Pre-School Open House (2560 Towner Blvd): Thursday, March 6 at 5:30-6:30 p.m.
These open houses are an informal opportunity to meet the staff, explore the space and hear about the philosophy and program. While the presentation is geared for adults, children are welcome to attend with their parents.
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Monday, January 28, 2008

International Night Invitation

Dear King Families,

I’m looking forward to International Night at King School this Thursday from 6:30 – 8:30. I’m hoping that you will make time to attend also. It is truly one of the hallmark events on the King School calendar. I am particularly proud of our International Night Committee, who deserves many thanks for all of the planning and work that has gone into this wonderful event.

Please keep in mind that evening activities at King are family events. Parents and guardians are responsible for the supervision of their children. This means children cannot attend without a supervising adult. I have also reminded children that acceptable behavior at evening school events is the same as acceptable behavior during the school day. Thank you for your support.

Most importantly, I want to remind you about safety procedures for evening events at King. This is especially important when considering our typically high attendance at International Night. Please review the information sent home on Tuesday, February 28. In particular, please do NOT park in the front of King School. This area needs to be left open in case of emergency.

If you have questions, please feel free to ask.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Recess and Winter Weather

Outdoor lunch recess is scheduled each day at MLK unless it is raining or the wind chill/actual temperature is below 0 degrees Fahrenheit.

Parents--please send you child to school with all of the appropriate gear necessary to participate in outdoor noon hour each day. If you have questions, please feel free to call us at 994-1940.

Recess and Student Illness

From time to time, teachers receive requests asking that students stay inside during recess because of illness—or because they are recovering from a recent illness. Please know that if children are at school, they should be able to participate in all school activities--including recess. When students return to school after being ill, they must be well enough to participate at recess too. Of course we all want students to be at school as much as possible, but if a student's health is in question they should be monitored at home.

Safety Patrol and Wind Chill

Dear Parents,

There is some concern regarding safe temperatures for the safeties on outside duty. I'd like to attempt to help clear the issue. District policy for the Ann Arbor Public Schools states that when the wind chill is below zero degrees Fahrenheit, children should not go outside. Therefore, safeties will not be on duty on days when the wind chill is below zero. Checking wind chill temperatures can be very difficult to determine. If you have the internet available, you can check by going to:
or you may go to any other site that may assist you in determining the wind chill in Ann Arbor.

Some children may still continue to walk to school even though no safeties are on duty. Therefore, my suggestion is for you to review safe procedures of crossing the street with your child. This is a very important matter that needs your immediate attention!

Yours truly,

Tom Clarkson
Safety Patrol Supervisor

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

MLK International Night progress report 1/22/08

Dear King School International Night Team:
WOW!!! We are 1.5 weeks away from King School's fabulous International Night! Remember!
Thursday, January 31, 6:30-8:30. (and maybe a little later)
(If you are performing or working, plan to get there no later than 6pm or whatever time your team leader tells you to be there. Some teams start work when school gets out at 3:41).
NEEDED: STAGE DECORATION TEAM to put up decorations. Contact
If you have a country display or would like to make one, please bring it to the office this week and we will hang them on the walls so the kids can take their time looking at them and learning from them! Be as creative as you want to be. We are looking for wider representation and political balance. Please remember no flags. Contact our Country Display Chairs Padma Anupindi 769-5928 and Sandra Wong 418-3290 for questions.
PERFORMANCES: Attached is a program draft, please check the info there, esp the names, and send me any missing/incorrect info! Team Leaders: Please read all the names, not only the names in your group, to double check the kids who are in other groups and let me know about kids who are double booked that may not have enough time to change clothes. I think i have everyone spread out enough but i may have missed a few people. Thanks!
The order is tentative and will still change.
Please give your music on CD to Mrs. Vanek by Thursday 1/24 so she can burn one cd (this is new).
3 minutes max,
enter from ramp side, exit from parking lot side,
practice your bows,
have parents assigned for both sides of the stage to help get the kids on and off stage,
tell your performers when to meet (you can meet in the music room, but don't keep them there all night),
feed your performing kids before you come,
music must be on cd to mrs. vanek by Thursday 1/24
send me anything you want me to say to introduce your group
Remember time is very tight so speedy entrances and exits are key!

Contact the Feast Committee Chair Lisa Kohn,, 662-1601! Entails set up, clean up, trash patrol, serving food, greeting people, decorations, etc. Mostly day of event, 3:00-9:00. If you pick up your kids after school, consider helping with the initial set up right when school gets out at 3:41. We need all hands!


If you signed up for the Tech Team, Chair Kun Yang,, 222-9497, will contact you soon. Entails set up of video equipment for simulcast and recording, manage and set up microphones system, making DVD of performances. Mostly day of event, 3:30-9:00. If you are technically minded and want to be a part, contact Kun now!

Red Envelope Team: Lei Ding,, 327-0162, Yu Tang,, 222-9497

Entails helping stuff red envelopes, passing out red envelopes, helping get kids on and off stage, cleaning stage before last song. Some prep work, mostly night of event, 6:30-8:30. Easy!

Team Leaders: Please forward this email to your team members if they are not on the list already

Thanks so much everyone! Things are really shaping up! See you soon! Contact me with any questions!

Frances Kai-Hwa Wang

King International Night Chair

Thursday, January 17, 2008

FYI: Fatal Shooting in Ann Arbor

Dear MLK parents,

Please be aware of the following Ann Arbor news story. The Ann Arbor Police Department has assured the AAPS there is no danger to the public or to the schools. Our end of the school day procedures will take place as usual.


from Ann Arbor Police investigate fatal shooting

The University of Michigan issued a security alert while Ann Arbor police search for a suspect in an off-campus shooting death Wednesday night.Authorities said a 29-year-old Ypsilanti man was killed inside a duplex near the university's north campus Wednesday night. Police withheld his name and aren't discussing a motive.They're hunting for a 28-year-old male resident for questioning. Police said he is considered armed and dangerous.

from the U-M Crime Alert

Ann Arbor Police Department are looking for a person of interest - Andrew Robert Myrick, white male, 28 years old, 6', 200 pounds, heavy build, black shoulder-length hair and brown eyes. He should be considered armed and dangerous.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Invitation to King School International Night 1/31/08

You are cordially invited to attend
Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School International Night
3800 Waldenwood Dr., Ann Arbor 48105
Thursday, Jan. 31, 2008, 6:30-8:30 PM

Bringing us together. Celebrating our diversity.

Enjoy an international potluck of amazing foods from around the world and Ann Arbor! Take a tour around the world by strolling through King School's hallways. Watch our King School students come together to celebrate our diversity by performing Arabic Debkeh Dance, Korean Tae Kwon Do, Chinese Yo-Yo, Bolivian dance, Japanese Obon Dancing, American Hip-Hop, Indian dance, African American gospel music, Ukranian song, Israeli dance, and more!
The children have been working really hard on their performances and would be proud to share their cultures and heritages with you!
6:30-7:30 International Potluck
7:00-8:30 Student Performances—300 kids in 20 performances of music, dance, martial arts, more!
Performances will be simulcast in the gym.
Please bring a dish to pass (enough to feed 12-14 people)
With serving utensil
Without nuts or peanuts please!
Label with name of dish, country of origin, and ingredients
Please dress in traditional/heritage clothing
Sponsored by the King School PTO
Please mark your calendar! We are looking forward to sharing this special occasion, the highlight of our school year, with you.

Frances Kai-Hwa Wang
King School International Night Chair
Ann Arbor Chinese Center of Michigan Outreach Coordinator Asian American Village acting editor

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

2008 MLK Day Event at U-M

Looking for something to do to celebrate the life and legacy of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.? Wondering how to help your school-age students grasp the reasoning behind having the day off from school and or celebrating this historic figure?

Come join us on MLK Day, Monday, January 21, 2008 where CREATIVITY, DIALOGUE, & ENTERTAINMENT is on the program for students in grades K-12.

The University of Michigan hosts the largest MLK Symposium in the world, and has the premier Children & Youth Program. This premier program is specifically designed to engage students at each of the elementary and secondary grade-levels. The two programs run simultaneously in the same building. Guided by teacher-leaders from the School of Education and volunteers from the School of Social Work, The Ginsberg Center for Community Service and Learning and many more campus schools and organizations, K-12 students enjoy both small and large group activities which focus on the work of Dr. King and how it relates to their lives today.

For more specific information see the MLK Children & Youth website at

Monday, January 14, 2008

5th Grade Bake Sale - Friday, 1/16

bake saleKing School 5th graders sponsor popular Baked Food Sales throughout the year in their efforts to raise money for end-of-the-year field trips and specific classroom needs. This year we are promoting an even greater variety of snacks that include healthy choices.

The next Baked Food Sale will be onJanuary 16. Items are priced at 25¢ each. Look out for some great snack selections!

Bagels and Buns!

Come join us for breakfast and conversation:
FREE Starbucks coffee!
Fri, Jan 18th, 8:15 am until school starts. Bagels $1, buns $2, juice 50 cents.
PS: Calling early risers: Join our B&B volunteers, contact Julie at, or Line at, if you're interested.

Photos from Bingo Night!

Bingo Night was a great success. We had at least 165 BINGO players--and every one of them yelled BINGO before the night was over. Personally, I was really happy to see so many families having fun at school, and I enjoyed being the "caller" for third year in a row! Thanks to Melanie Snook for chairing this dynamite PTO event!


Monday, January 07, 2008

BINGO NIGHT is coming!

This Thursday night, January 10 from 6:45-8:00 is the 4th annual MLK Bingo Night!

K and 1st grade families play in the multi-purpose room from 6:45-7:05 pm
2nd and 3rd grade families play from 7:15-7:35 pm
4th and 5th grade families play from 7:40-8:00

If you have more than one child, you can choose which session you will play.

Small prizes will be given to every child.

Pizza and drinks will be sold. It is strongly recommended that you preorder your cheese or peperoni pizza by emailing Lisa Kohn at Pizza is $10 per pie. There will only be a few extras, so please preorder by Wed. night, Jan 9!

See you then for all the fun!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Ann Arbor superintendent prepares to tackle budget

Between the start of another hard budgeting process and the rollout of a new five-year strategic plan, Ann Arbor Public Schools Superintendent Todd Roberts has a lot on his plate in the next couple of months.

And that doesn't include the day-to-day stuff, or even the fast approaching opening date of a new high school.

Roberts talked about two of the biggest issues - the budget and the district's new strategic plan - as he got ready for students and staff to come back from winter break.

Q: What are some of the big issues facing the district?

A: Work on the strategic plan was completed prior to break, thanks to staff members, community members and parents, about 150 people, who worked to put it together. It's the end of about seven months of work.

It will be going to the (school) board at their first meeting of February (Feb. 6). We're working right now on the phasing of the plan - it covers five years - as well as how it impacts the budget.

We're also beginning to develop the budget for the 2008-09 school year. That will take place over the next several months. We're working on getting our projections together in the next couple of weeks. We'll go out to the community to get their input and hope to present it to the school board in the late spring.

Q: What should parents look forward to in the strategic plan?

A: Some of the real emphasis in the plan is on making learning more personal. That includes personalized learning plans for each student, along with how we can make our schools more personal.

It also looks at how do we ensure that we have adequate resources.
We also looked at our education program and not only how we measure up locally, across the state, with the nation, but also internationally.

We also talked about how we make sure we are doing a good job communicating with our community.

Q: Are there big changes included in the strategic plan or just minor tweaks?

A: Some of them are tweaks of things we are doing. Some of these are significant, such as world language at the elementary level.

Q: Will the district have to make cuts in the 2008-09 budget as it has been doing over the last several years?

A: We certainly are projecting a deficit. Hopefully it won't be as significant a deficit as in previous years, with the retirement rate being rolled back as well as us getting the benefits of previous year's cuts.

Q: The district recently received $4.8 million from the state in a settlement of a dispute over tax money from the Scio Township Downtown Development Authority. Would that wipe out the deficit?

A: The $4.8 million is money that was our money. In the 2004-05 school year, we ended with a $6 million deficit, a lot of which was the result of the state taking the money away from the district.

This is one-time money. We don't expect the state to continue to give us $4.8 million each year. That means we shouldn't use it for recurring costs, or we'd be faced with the same issues next year.

It will allow us to look at some other needs in the district that are not recurring costs. With the new state standards for high schools, we are looking at some new textbooks at the secondary level.

It still doesn't solve our structural problem, with costs increasing more than revenues are.

Q: Are you projecting any increase in the per-pupil aid coming from the state for the 2008-09 year?

A: We're going to project a zero increase, like we did for this year. If there is an increase as we move through the budgeting process, we can change that.

Q: What else is going on in the district parents should be looking for?

A: There will be a lot of opportunity for input around the budget as we work through that process. We'll also be out talking about the strategic plan. Parents should pay attention to be part of those opportunities.