Monday, March 31, 2008

AAPS School Cafeteria Survey

The Ann Arbor Public Schools is interested in hearing from you about changes you’d like to see in the cafeteria menu items served in our school breakfasts and lunches. Input from this survey will be used when menu changes are considered. Thanks for your input!

Click here to start the survey!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Citizen's Millage Committee - Can you help?

Dear Parents,

On the upcoming May 6 ballot, the Ann Arbor Public Schools will ask for a renewal of millages. These renewals are:
1. The non-homestead and homestead (hold harmless) millage and
2. The 1-mill sinking fund.
To be perfectly clear, these millages are renewals of what already exists in support of the AAPS.

I am seeking one or two parent representatives from the MLK School community to be a part of the Citizen's Millage Committee (CMC). These parents would act as leaders of the millage campaign in the MLK community. They would specifically be responsible for disseminating information to other MLK parents about the millage renewals and encourage parents to vote on May 6. The CMC will act as a resource to whoever decides to help in this endeavor.

Once parents are identified, the CMC would like to have a meeting with the parent leaders from each building and principals. I hope you'll consider helping.

If you are interested this or if you have questions, please email or call me at 994-1940. Thank you for your consideration.


Jump Rope For Heart Success!

This year, through the efforts of Mrs. Arbour and MLK families and students, King School raised over $8000 for Jump Rope For Heart. You'll remember that last school year, King School was recognized as the most improved school in Michigan after improving 525% from 2005-06 to 2006-07. Nice job, everyone!

In case you didn't know (from the Jump Rope For Heart website):
Jump Rope For Heart is a national educational fund-raising program that is sponsored by the American Heart Association and the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD).

While participating at King, this program engages our students in a physical activity (jumping rope) with an option for raising funds to support lifesaving heart and stroke research. Students can ask friends and family for donations if parents feel it is OK. Either way, all students participate in physical fitness and better understand the value of community service.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

PTO meets on Monday at 7 PM

Last PTO meeting originally scheduled for last week (and was canceled) has been rescheduled for Monday, March 24 at 7 PM in the MLK media center.

Monitoring Technology at Home

From time to time, parents approach me with technology related issues/questions that happen at home between students who attend MLK. Actually, this happened again this week. This was a reminder to me of the challenges that parents (including me) face at home around the appropriate use of technology by children. And there are lots of challenges. In my experience, here are some of the biggest potential challenges:
  • Click here for other social networking websites
  • instant messaging from a computer or cell phone
  • text messaging from a cell phone or computer
  • email
  • cell phone usage in general
  • websites where children will enter their personal information in order to set up an account
I'm sure there are many more. If you know of another site or activity with which you have had concern, click comments below to share your suggestion with the larger group.

As a part of the discussion that takes place following these questions, it is often apparent that parents have questions about how to appropriately monitor technology. Of course, as parents of children who are (or are becoming) more computer literate than their parents, we must be ever-cognizant of our children’s on-line experience. Suggestions for parents include the following, some of which are from the FBI:
  • Communicate, and talk to your child about sexual victimization and potential on-line danger.
  • Spend time with your children on-line. Have them teach you about their favorite on-line destinations.
  • Keep the computer in a common room in the house, not in your child's bedroom.
  • Utilize parental controls provided by your operating system, your service provider, and/or blocking software.
  • Always maintain access to your child's on-line account and randomly check his/her e-mail.
  • Be up front with your child about your access and reasons why.
More at:

Of course, at school technology is monitored, blocking software is utilized, and children/families all sign the district computer-use agreement. I share this as a reminder and for your awareness.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

MLK Student Art Work On Display

The art work of students listed below is on exhibit for Youth Art Month (Y.A.M.) at Palio’s Restaurant in downtown Ann Arbor at 347 South Main Street.

A reception honoring Visual and Performing Arts in our community will be held on March 30th at 1pm at Palio’s. You are welcome to stop by Palio’s anytime for a meal or a viewing of your child’s artwork in the Window Gallery.

Thank You,

note: Student work not chosen for this exhibit will possibly be chosen for future exhibits.

Sadie Marinaro
Rhea Cong
Madelyn Bowers
Eli Shavit
Jocelyn Zhang
Max Brodkey

Ist Grade
Juliana Canton
Khai Johnson
Emily Huang
Kevin Wu
Ivy Han
Ayman Said

2nd Grade
Luke Renken
Daniel Lee
Kazumaza Kawai
Vidhya Rajaprabhakaran
Ellen reed
Claire Derng

3rd Grade
Austin Choi
Jessica C.
Sophia Iannone
Ryo Sugimura
Aylin Gunai
Christopher Jing

4th Grade
Karin Mayaji
Tara Van Nieuwstadt
Luca Angelio
Yuna Kawai
Maya Foster
John Cristiano

5th Grade
Karen Guan
Breanna Barton
Milani Dasgupta
Vivian Nweze

Silent Auction Donations Update

Submitted by: Amy Cell

Be sure to mark your calendar for Friday, April 18th for King's Silent Auction & Science Night! You won't want to miss out on any of the fabulous items that will be up for bid, including the following: Fabulous children parties, Japanese Hot Pot, Oil Paintings, Ocean Nails Gift certificate, Showcase Cinema Gift Package, Computer Troubleshooting, Detroit Tigers Package, Antigua Timeshare, Chinese Family Style Meal, Toddler sweater, Audubon Bird Outing, Bike Helmet, Signed Hockey Jersey, Homemade cookies, Anatolia Food Products, Financial Coaching, Babysitting, Quilt, Music Lessons, Books, Year's Supply of Hommus, Flashlight Radio, ESL Classes, Colorado Timeshare, Ethically traded items and MORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A HUGE Thanks to the following for contributing so far: Lily Au, Ken Morishima, Evan & Connor, George Schumacher, The Schweitzer Family, The Dubin Family, The Damschroder Family, Meilan Huang, Elsie Orb, Washtenaw County Audubon Society, Carl Hagelin & U-M's Ice Hockey Team, Dennis Pontius, Girl Scout Troop #557, Neslihan Gunal, Susan Hamady, Dave Palmer, Kris Palmer, Ann Reindel Flucke, Erin Zurbuchen, Leah Tremonti, Lisa Kohn, Family of Lisa Quinn, Bev McGuckin, Francine MacBride

We still need many more donations to be able to provide the level of support that our PTO children deserve! This is our only fundraiser! Please complete the attached form and send to at your e

Silent Auction, April 18th - Needs Volunteers!

By Bonnie Mauch

All Hands on Deck! This Silent Auction Ship is about to sail... Sink or Float? That depends on the King Community.

How can you help?

Thursday evening:
Set up starting at 6:15pm until all the tables are assembled. This time may work well for you if you're busy Friday during the day.
Friday starting at 9 am to 4 pm:
Set up... sign up for 1 or 2 hour blocks as we do tablecloths, displays, bid sheets, etc...
Friday evening:
Food Table: one hour blocks to assist diners through our international smorgasboard.
Auction Table: one hour blocks to monitor bidding, bid sheets
Raffles: one hour blocks selling tickets
Check out: Assist bidders in obtaining prizes and collect money. Clean Up: Lots of help needed here. Take down tables, general clean up.

Book Fair Results: What a Great Road Trip!

The King School Scholastic & Used Book Fairs was a huge success! We would like to thank the King families for shopping at the Book Fairs last week AND for donating such fantastic books to the Used Book Fair. We would also like to thank the teachers, administrative staff, and custodial department for all of their patience and understanding the past few weeks.
Additionally, we would like to thank our amazing volunteers for helping collect and sort used books, assisting customers, or working as a cashier. A huge thank you to GEORGE SCHUMACHER who took the day off from work to help us set-up tables, move heavy boxes of books, and set-up the Book Fairs! We couldn't have done it without him!

One more thank you goes to the King PTO for donating $1 worth of King School coupons to every student at King - just for being an amazing King School student! That's over $430 worth of books donated to our students alone!

The Classroom Wish Lists were a big success. Over 65 NEW BOOKS were purchased and donated to various classrooms and the library by individual King families. Way to go!

Finally, the King PTO donated a NEW BOOK from the Scholastic Book Fair to every classroom as a thank you to the students for their enthusiasm and help with the Book Fairs.

Enjoy your new books!

-Susan Gechter & Diane Alson, Book Fair Chairs

Sunday, March 16, 2008

No School - Friday, March 21

As a reminder, there is no school scheduled on Friday, March 21.

Congrats, Academic Games Team!

Seven of our AG students attended the Michigan League of Academic
Games State Super Tournament on Tuesday through Thursday of last week.

Our 2 fourth graders who attended: Yong Ho Cho and Mason DeVarti (from
Burns Park Elementary, who practiced and participated with the King
team all year), were teamed up with students from other cities to form
a "combination team." This team finished third in the state in 4th
grade Elementary Minor Presidents.

Our 5 fifth graders who attended: Topher Wang, Andrew Hiyama, Evan
Sanfield, Deniz Guliari, and Alan Yeh, together made up our team known
as the Ann Arbor King School "Ace and 4 Kings." Each student played
individually in games against two other students from different teams,
and at the end of each round, players scores were added together to
form the team score. The opponents changed from round to round.

Based on team scores, the "Ace and 4 Kings" finished with the following honors:
* Second in their division, and the 6th best score out of 59 teams
competing in the state in 5th grade Elementary Basic Equations.
* Tied for Third in their division in 5th grade Elementary Basic On-Sets.
* Eighth place in the state (out of nearly 30 teams of 5th and 6th
graders), and honorable mention in Propaganda.
* Also honorable mention (finishing in the top 1/3 of all seventy 5th
and 6th grade teams who competed) in the state in Presidents.

Congratulations to all 30 students on our King School Academic Games
team, and to these 7 students who represented our school so well at
the state tournament.

Thank you to the King School PTO for sponsoring Academic Games at King
School once again this year.

Mr. Vanek and Christy Vanek, King AG Coaches

Report Cards Go Home - Monday, March 17

Spring report cards will be distributed at the end of the day on Monday, March 17. The reports give a spring snapshot of achievement for parents to see where students are currently performing. We hope the information will be helpful to parents. Of course, if you have questions after looking it over, please call your child's teacher. In all cases, I encourage parents to talk with their children about their learning, to praise their child's progress and encourage them to keep focused on what they need to do to learn each day.

In addition, here are a few typical questions and answers about report cards:
Q1: How do I know what my child is expected to know and be able to do at their grade level?
A1: Please refer to the Michigan Grade Level Content Expectations on the Michigan Department of Education website. These are used and reviewed periodically by the curriculum coordinators in Ann Arbor to determine appropriate curriculum for each grade.

Q2: Why doesn’t my child get letter grades (A, B, C, etc.) on his/her report cards in Ann Arbor?
A2: Letter grades are a form of grading many parents are familiar with as part of their own educational experience. Grades as a form of grading are often subjective and do not necessarily reflect what a child knows or what they need to focus on next. Using the concepts reflected in the GLCEs, more of a “standard” can be applied to teaching and learning for students. With the GLCEs, MLK School and the Ann Arbor Public Schools have established clear targets that reflect what the State of Michigan believes children should know and learn at a particular grade level.

When you receive your child’s report card, you’ll see reading and writing growth is measured in terms of continuous progress, which you might hear your child’s teacher call “the continuum.” This continuum shows which outcomes a child is currently achieving, which outcomes they have already achieved, and which outcomes they’ll be focusing on next in their learning. Sometimes an outcome on the continuum is achieved quickly and other times mastery requires additional practice and time. Using this assessment information, teachers are better able to meet the individual needs of students wherever they fall along the continuum of skills.

Q3: How do teachers determine a child’s reading level?
A3: Periodically each student participates in a “running record” with their teacher. During a running record, the teacher listens to a child read and asks the child questions about the reading. Afterward, the information gathered during the running record is analyzed to determine a child’s current level of performance. The analysis includes information about the child's accuracy and comprehension of what they are reading, and it is used to determine if the child's current instructional reading level is too easy, just right, or too difficult. In a nutshell, the running record gives information about what a child needs to work on next to become a more proficient reader.

Q4: I noticed my second grader (for example) is not yet achieving some of the outcomes for second grade. Should I be concerned?
A4: The outcomes represent end of the year targets, so at this point in the year it is not always concerning. If you are concerned or have a question, please contact your child’s teacher.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

MLK Silent Auction - Help Needed

The announcement below is from the PTO organizers of the annual MLK Silent Auction. In the past few years, the silent auction has become the main fundraiser for our PTO, which supports so many important MLK activities. Please do what you can to support this worthwhile event.



Help, I need somebody, Help! Not just anybody Help! We need your Help RIGHT NOW! If this lyric sounds familiar (hint: Liverpool, England, circa 1960's), you are probably an ADULT PARENT of a KING SCHOOL STUDENT. Please read ON:



WESO - Supplies, Teaching Materials; University Musical Society Field Trips -
2006 Mexican Ballet/2007 Shen Wei Chinese Opera
Periodicals, subscriptions, mini-grants for teachers ($6800), transportation to the following field trips ($4000): Greenfield Village, Lansing, Leslie Science Center, UM Exhibit Museum, Kensington Park; World-famous authors and musicians who visit our school and who MEET and TEACH our KIDS!!

PLEASE CONTACT LISA KOHN at or by phone: 734-417-7129.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Crossing Guard Update

This morning it was reported that there was no crossing guard at Glazier Way and Tremont. As some of you know, this has been a fairly frequent occurrence on Wednesdays this school year. I am sharing this information so that you can make appropriate plans with your child if they must cross but when they arrive there is no adult assistance. Some families have shared the following solutions:
  • I walk with my child on Wednesdays. This way I can help him/her cross.
  • I have instructed my child to wait until an adult arrives to cross.
  • Maybe there is a parent who can fill-in on Wednesdays when the crossing guard is not present? If you can help, please do!
IMPORTANT: Some parents may not be aware that crossing guards are hired and employed by the City of Ann Arbor, not the Ann Arbor Public Schools. While I have been in contact with the city and I do understand their difficulty, please direct questions specific to the filling of the crossing guard position to the city by calling call Sean Lee at 994-2865. If you have other questions/concerns, please call the MLK school office.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Free Lead Toy Testing

Please join us for this unique opportunity. Congressman Dingell and the Michigan Department of Community Health look forward to sharing more information about toy safety and providing a free lead testing opportunity for your children’s toys, jewelry and other items.
(For time’ sake, there will be a limit of 3 testable items per individual if there is a line.)

Tuesday, March 18th, 2008
2:00pm – 7:00pm
Washtenaw Intermediate School District Building
1819 South Wagner Rd.
Ann Arbor, MI 48106
(Near Wagner Rd. and Scio Church Rd. in Ann Arbor)

Friday, March 07, 2008

Used Book Donations Needed

It's time to clean house! Please collect your children's, adult, preschool, & young adult books to donate to the King School Used Book Fair. Donate your VHS tapes, DVDs, CDs, computer software, games & puzzles too! We would like to have a HUGE selection of books for our students and families at the Used Book Fair.
Please drop off all used book donations today - Wednesday, March 12.
Books may be sent in with your child or you may drop them off at school in either of the "Donated Used Books" boxes by the front door or the school office.
We can't wait to collect and sort your treasures!
See you at the King School Scholastic & Used Book Fairs next week!
-Susan Gechter & Diane Alson
Book Fair Chairs

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Black Parent Support Group

AAPS District Wide Black Parents and Students
Support Group Meeting

2007/08 Theme: Effectively Advocating with Confidence, Consistency, Endurance, and Passion

1111 N. Maple Rd.
Ann Arbor, MI 48103
734/662-3564 (o)

Monday, March 10, 2008
6:30 P.M. – 8:40 P.M.

6:30 p.m. - Parent/Student Networking and Sharing
7:10 p.m. - AAPS Staff/Parent Networking &Updates
7:35 p.m. - Student Exposition
7:45 p.m. - Glenn Singleton – Pacific Educational Group, AAPS Partners in quity(
(What impact does an equitable vs. inequitable educational environment have on our children and society, and how can the student and parent (individually and collectively) personally impact equity transformation?)
8:30 p.m. - Closing Remarks
8:40 p.m. - Adjourn

Future Meetings (Locations Pending):
April 7th, 2008 (Monday)
May 5, 2008 (Monday) Jamie F. Almanzán, Director of Teacher Development, Pacific
Educational Group (
June 9, 2008 (Monday)

*You may bring a supply of informational handouts you’d like to share on scholarships, summer opportunities, parent and student resources, school/community events and programs, tips and advice, etc.

Children are welcome! ☼ Bring a friend or neighbor! ☼ Light Refreshments!

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. –Martin Luther King, Jr.***
We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face… We must do that which we think we cannot. –Eleanor Roosevelt ***
Champions aren’t made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them – a desire, a dream, a vision. –Muhammad Ali

Sylvia Nesmith - Chair (734) 747-8543, 481-7045,
Visit the AAPS DW BPPSG site at:

REMINDER: No School on March 10

Elementary students do not attend school on March 10. The day is set aside for teachers to begin writing report cards, which will go home on March 17.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

School Closed - March 5, 2008

The Ann Arbor Public Schools are closed today, March 5, 2008, due to the weather.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Summer School 2008

March 3, 2008

Dear Elementary School Parents,

We are very pleased to share that we are expanding our popular elementary summer school program—better known as the Summer Learning Institute.

In addition to serving the needs of incoming 3rd graders we are adding options for students at both ends of the elementary school experience: those graduating from kindergarten to first grade but not yet reading at a C text level and not yet demonstrating proficiency in early numeracy, and those graduating to middle school who are not yet proficient on critical 5th grade math targets.

The Summer Learning Institute (SLI) for first graders transitioning from kindergarten will be 3 weeks long, from July 7 to July 25. Because we want this learning experience to be both developmentally appropriate and academically successful, the classroom instruction will be an integration of explicit literacy and math strategies, enriched with kinesthetic movement through music. The summer school teachers are some of the best, most effective teachers in our district. There will be one teacher for every 10 first grade students. Parents will be invited to join the class on Friday of each week for ongoing parent involvement activities in addition to the parent orientation and evening open house.

We will continue to offer a robust 4-week SLI experience in a 1:15 teacher/student ratio setting from July 7- August 1st for third grade students who are transitioning from second grade but have not yet mastered essential end-of-year outcomes in reading and mathematics.

Both of these Summer Learning Institute programs will be located at Allen School along with Green Camp, a summer program sponsored by our Recreation and Education Department. Families may sign up for early drop off childcare each morning before summer school begins and may enroll in the afternoon Green Camp hosted by Ann Arbor teacher, Dave Szczygiel. Morning and noon-time transportation will continue to be provided for all summer school students. Students who choose to enroll in the afternoon camp may bring a sack lunch. Lunch supervision will be provided.

The fifth grade mathematics Summer Learning Institute will occur for 2 weeks, June 16 to June 27, and be housed at Scarlett Middle School. With the new high school graduation requirements in mathematics, it is critical that students enter middle school with secure skills. The objective of these daily 3½ -hour sessions is to strengthen the enabling skills that prepare students for success in algebra. Students will be involved in a variety of activities that will keep them actively engaged in learning and promote mastery of essential skills.

Your student’s principal and/or classroom teacher will notify you later this spring if your child is eligible to attend the Summer Learning Institute. We urge you to take advantage of this highly successful summer experience. It is very important that all our children begin the next school year confidently and comfortably ready to succeed. Your child’s academic success is very important to us.

Do not hesitate to ask your student’s teacher about this exceptional opportunity. More information regarding summer school events, Green Camp and day care will be forthcoming.

Lee Ann Dickinson-Kelley

Monday, March 03, 2008

PTO-Sponsored Writing Workshop for the 3rd and 4th Grades: “Poetry in the Wild”

Get your pencils sharpened…
This 5-week writing workshop is led by Carolyn Berge, a former AAPS teacher and a current professor of writing at EMU, who specializes in “Writing for Elementary Teachers”. Students will examine nature, gather observations, and use their creativity to explore exciting writing projects. At the end of the workshop, the writings will be published in a King community online journal.

The workshop will be held on Wednesdays from 4:00 to 5:00 pm starting on March 12th and ending on April 16th (no workshop on Feb. 27 during break week), at King School. On April 16 we invite parents and friends to a reading of the students' work.

This workshop is PTO sponsored and free of charge to families. The number of participants will be limited to 40 students from the 3rd and 4th grades. We will fill the available slots on a first come-first serve basis. Registration forms will come home the week of March 3rd. Questions – please contact Camille Ziolek or Alisha Faciane

Parent Workshop: Writing at MLK

Come and learn more about the Ann Arbor writing curriculum that your child participates in!

Writing Night
sponsored by the MLK School Improvement Team

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Please join us as teachers present aspects of the Lucy Calkins writing program and how it is used to teach Ann Arbor's writing curriculum. Parents interested in attending should print and fill out the information below and send it in to school by March 5. If you have any questions please email me, Colleen McAlinden, at

We look forward to a night of sharing and learning!

Writing Night sponsored by the School Improvement Team
Thursday, March 13

Yes, I would like to attend the Lucy Calkins Parent Night

Name(s) of participants: ________________________________________

Child's name and grade level: ____________________________________

Grade level presentations I would like to see:
___ K-2
___ 3-5
___ Both

If you need childcare for your school age child, you will need to sign up ahead of time.

___ I will need child care for ____ children

Please list their names and ages: __________________________________________


Do you have any specific questions about the Lucy Calkins writing program that you would like addressed in the presentation?

___ No, nothing specific

___Yes, _________________________________________________________________

Sunday, March 02, 2008

SURVEY: World Language in Elementary Schools

The Ann Arbor Public Schools is exploring the possibility of including Elementary World Language as a part of our school day. We recognize that the diversity within our Ann Arbor Community is increasing; many families speak a language other than English. We further recognize that students attending our schools today will live and see employment in a world that is globally inter-dependent. When students learn a language other than their own, they also learn a different culture and world perspective. The Ann Arbor Public Schools wants to prepare all our children for future success and opportunity.

The State of Michigan has recently developed K-12 World Language standards; proficiency will be required to graduate from a Michigan high school.

We would like to get your perspective regarding the possibility of including Elementary World Language for all elementary students. Please complete the following survey by 5:00 pm on Friday, March 14, 2008. Please note that this Zoomerrang Survey will allow for only one survey submittal per computer. If there is more then one person in the household who would like to take the survey, you can either log into it from another computer or fill out a hard copy of the survey (available at the school offices.)

Thank you very much for your input.