Friday, October 31, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
“American students are nearly eight times safer riding in a school bus than with their own parents and guardians in cars.
The fatality rate for school buses is only 0.2 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled (VMT) compared to 1.5 fatalities per 100 million VMT for cars”
Unequaled safety record.
There is no safer way to transport a child than in a school bus. Fatal crashes involving school bus occupants are extremely rare events, even though school buses serve daily in every community—a remarkable 8.8 billion student "to-and-from school" trips annually. Every school day, some 450,000 yellow school buses transport more than 24 million children to and from schools and school-related activities. Said another way to give perspective to the huge magnitude of pupil transportation, the equivalent of the populations of Florida, Massachusetts and Oregon ride on a school bus twice every day—almost always without a serious incident.
Trust the school bus for the best safety for your child
The Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences estimates that every year more than 800 school-aged children are killed as occupants in other motor vehicles or as pedestrians or bicyclists during “normal school transport hours.” Most of these deaths could be prevented if children rode in school buses. Parents need to know that driving a child to school—or allowing them to ride to school with other teenagers--is not a safety smart decision—hands down, the school bus is the safest way to and from school. Even worse, allowing a child to drive themselves to school, or riding with other teenagers to school, increases the risk of fatality by 10 percent.
Last year, 5 children were killed as passengers in school buses (one each in Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas and Texas). 45 states did not have a single child killed as a school bus passenger—an incredibly good national safety record. Between 1990 and 2000, an average of just six children each year died as school bus passengers. These tragedies typically involved unavoidable, severe circumstances.
Last year, 26 children were killed as pedestrians getting on or off a school bus, or while waiting at the school bus stop. Other motorists illegally passing a stopped school bus remain a problem in every community and the school bus industry urges strict police and judicial enforcement against violators. Over the past 10 years, an average of 29 children were killed in school bus-related pedestrian accidents - struck while getting on or off a school bus
School buses are the largest mass transit program in the U.S.
School buses provide approximately 10 billion student trips per year ---8.8 billion "to-and-from school" trips and an estim
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
-Susan Gechter & Christina Nedeltchev King of Hearts 5K Chairs
For a chuckle at home with your kids or to share with your school, visit: http://smallstep.gov/kids/flash/watch_tv_ads.html
Watch the 'bullseye' and 'grandpa' quick clip and I guarantee you will giggle - I did! Just how many healthy ads do you see on TV? Most ads are for fast food or junk food - not ads promoting fruit and vegetable consumption. Too bad! Don't forget to send fruits and vegetables for your child's daily snack - a good way to guarantee 5 a day OR 4 cups of fruits and vegetables!
Finally with the Halloween holiday approaching and bags of candy entering our homes and schools, suggest this tasty, healthy and nutritious option for your next school party - ORANGE SMOOTHIES! All you need are:
-Frozen peaches and or mangos (try Trader Joes)
-Low fat vanilla yogurt
-Orange juice or vanilla soy milk
Blend until desired consistency is achieved and enjoy! Serve with pumpkin muffins, here is a 'healthier" low fat version that I found
Try to make your party orange and black with as many healthy items as possible - opt for one sweet treat and lots of carrots, orange slices, black olives, pumpkin anything, mangos or peaches. Float cut up fruit in a ghoulish punch - green grape eyeballs and slimy kiwi are a big hit!
In good health,
If your family would like to do this OPTIONAL just-for-fun activity, please have your child bring in (or you drop off) your creation next Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday, October 29-31. I'll display them in the library, and then will ask the kids to bring them home for disposal. A smaller or medium size as opposed to HUGE might make this work easier!
Thanks for all of the ways you make reading fun for our kids. Enjoy our beautiful fall and lots of good books together.
The following student's art work is on Exhibit at Balas Administration Building (on State Street) until the end of November:
Tara Van Nieuwstadt
Monday, October 27, 2008
3 on 3 soccer is a game suggested by Curt Hinson in his book Games Kids Should Play At Recess, "Solutions For A Trouble Free Playground". The exciting parts of this game are:
* everyone gets to play;
* kids get to touch the ball more often during a game;
* everyone knows and understands the rules.
So that parents know too, here are the rules of 3 on 3 Soccer:
Objective: Kicking; trapping; dribbling with feet; teamwork
Equipment: Soccer ball; four cones; four wiffleballs
Organization: Students form two groups of three. The cones are set up to represent goals, approximately 8 - 10 feet wide, with a wiffleball on top of each cone. The goals should be about 60 to 75 feet from each other. Each group designates one player to be the goalie and the other two players to be the offensive/defensive players. The goalies stand between the two cones at opposite ends of the field.
How to play: The two offensive/defensive players from each team attempt to get possession of the ball and try and kick it, knocking a wiffleball off the opponents cones. A point is scored when a wiffleball is successfully knocked off. The game is continuous. As soon as a goal is scored, the other team may get the ball and head up the field.
Lifeskills tip: The players on each team should switch places with the goalie every three goals or so.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Congratulations goes to Kobie Mueller who recently placed third in the national Little Mo Tennis Tournament which was held in Austin, Texas. Over 1,500 children from across the United States competed in this tournament. Thank you also to Kobie (and his Mom) for sharing his success with us at school.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
This morning was a bit more hectic than previous mornings. I suspect the colder weather had something to do with it. The change in weather increases drop offs and there may have been some parents who are new to the revised drop-off policy for this year. I did observe three incidents where I actually approached other parents:
* Two parents backed their cars up rather than waiting for the cars to move ahead. Both were reminded of the no backing up policy.
* One parent let her daughter exit on the left and actually started pulling away before her daughter was a safe distance from the car. I let her know that she should exit only on the right. The look in the girl's eyes (frightened from the moving car) verified quickly that she would not do that again.
* The woman who needed to exit the car to help her kid(s) should consider parking. I do believe you spoke with her but just wanted to point this out as well.
With that said, I still think most parents are doing an excellent job with drop off. It's clear they know what to do and are following the rules. Many now wave to me as they drive by! Nice job getting the word out and making your presence known out there.
To review in a nutshell:
1. No backing up in the load/unload zone;
2. Students only exit cars by stepping out of the car and on to the curb;
3. Parents must stay in cars while in the load/unload zone. Use a parking area if you need to exit your car.
Thank you. If this leads to any questions for you, please don't hesitate to ask.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Mark it on your calendars now and tell your friends!
International Night is an incredible evening of pride and celebration for the King School Community. We begin with an International Potluck of delectable dishes from around the world. Then we have a Showcase of Student Performances (325 students last year!) such as Arabic Debkeh Dance, Korean Tae Kwon Do, Bolivian Dance, Dutch song, Thai dulcimer, American Hip-Hop, Indian bhangra dance, Chinese fan dance, and more! We also decorate the hallways with informational Country Displays and art projects for a World Tour. We also try to help with International Crafts during lunchtime enrichment that week. We are also always open to new innovative ideas!
Performers should start organizing and rehearsing now.
We need a Queen of the Feast (or two) to organize the potluck.
We will have our first and only organizational meeting on Wed., Nov. 5, 6:30-7:30, location to be announced.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org .
Frances Kai-Hwa Wang King International Night Chair
Contact Karen Schumacher at email@example.com with any questions.
Monday, October 20, 2008
Please join me in thanking our 5K co-chairs Christina Nedeltchev and Susan Gechter -- and the volunteers that helped them -- for their work to make this annual event such a wonderful tradition.
Extra catalogs are in the office or simply order online! Make checks out to King School Space Camp.
www.sallyfoster.com our account number is 253608 or just remember “King School Space Camp”
We can continue to accept orders through Monday, October 20th!!!
Please Check it Out!
King School 5th Grade Parents, Teachers, and Students
Friday, October 17, 2008
Dear MLK Families,
We’ve had a great beginning of the school year so far. From the excitement of the first day of school to curriculum night to our first University Musical Society field trips to parent-teacher conferences and MEAP tests this week, things have been moving along well. Even drop-off and pick-up are going fairly well ☺. I hope you agree. In any case, we’ve got a great community here. I hope to see many of you this Sunday at 1:30 for the PTO King of Hearts 5K. I hear that set-up volunteers are coming at 12:30.
Do you have a question? . . . or a suggestion?
Please give me a call, drop me a note, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Of course, your child’s teacher can help too.
At curriculum night I introduced our dynamite new staff members, but I now realize I haven’t written about them for the benefit of those who weren’t able to attend curriculum night. Here they are:
• Mrs. Lisa Teshima joins us as a first grade teacher. Most recently Mrs. Teshima taught at Northside School in Ann Arbor and has also taught in the Grosse Pointe school system.
• Ms. Stephanie Harris joins us as a fifth grade teacher. Ms. Harris is a newly hired teacher in the Ann Arbor Public Schools after student teaching at MLK School during the fall of the 07-08 school year with our own Mrs. Gracey and having two long-term substitute teaching positions last winter in the AAPS.
• Mrs. Ann O’Keefe joins us as our new media specialist. Mrs. O’Keefe spent the last eight years as a media specialist in Indian Prairie School District in suburban Chicago.
• Mrs. Kelly Boone is the teacher in our Cognitively Impaired communications classroom. Mrs. Boone actually started in the middle of last year, but this is the first year she has started at MLK.
• Mrs. Jessica Anderson is the Speech and Language Pathologist at MLK this year. Mrs. Anderson is newly hired and last worked as an intern at the Ann Arbor Preschool and Family Center.
• Mrs. Mary Spence joins us as our psychologist. She is widely known in Washtenaw County for the exceptional work she’s done for the Washtenaw Intermediate School District.
Front Drive Update
How do you think things are going in the front drive during drop-off and pick-up? Please let me know. I’ve appreciated the input I’ve received so far about our procedures. If you need a reminder about what the procedures are, please go to the King School website OR type the following link:
If you’d like to receive a hard copy of the procedures, please call the school office and we’ll send one home.
A dedicated and helpful group of parents helps me each morning and afternoon to monitor drop-off and pick-up. I couldn’t appreciate them more. When you see any of the following parent volunteers, please thank them for what they do (in no particular order):
• Lola Killey
• Padma Anupindi
• Sumi Bhojani
• Luna Ganguly • Ray Stocking
• Jin-Wen Wan
• Mendan Chu
• Amy Cell • Alena Stocking
• Kathy Grijalva
• Michal Morah
If you’ve secretly wanted to help also, I’d appreciate your help as well. Give me a call or email and we’ll get you on the schedule too!
Thank you also to our PTO Board this year. The work and effort of the PTO Board this fall—and all of the volunteers who support them---has been tremendous and has certainly contributed to our good start up. The teachers and I appreciate the support of our PTO!
Almost all families have signed up for parent-teacher conferences. Our goal is to have a conference with each family. We all know that students do better when there is good communication between teachers and home. The parent-teacher conference is often a starting point for families and teachers to identify strengths, needs and priorities for the upcoming year. If you haven’t scheduled a conference, please call the school office today!
School Improvement Team News
The MLK School Improvement Team met for the first time of the 2008-09 school year on Friday, October 3. The purpose of the MLK SIT team is to:
• Support the requirements of Education Yes!;
• Facilitate the improvement of MLK School through the analysis of achievement data;
• Implement strategies to support Education Yes! strand 4;
• Fulfill the requirements of Public Act 25 of 1990.
If you would like more information about Education Yes! or the School Improvement Team, please call me.
School Renovation Update
The plans for the MLK renovation were presented at the PTO meeting this past week. The general plans can be viewed in the school office if you didn’t attend PTO.
We will have an estimated surplus budget (money projected to be left over after the bond is fulfilled) of $171,000. This money can be used to fund "wish list" items, which were generated last year as part of the planning process. In no particular order, the "wish list" items show below. Not all of what shows on the list will necessarily be purchased. At this point we are brainstorming.
That said, one item will most definitely be at the top of the wish list: asphalt. Here’s why: Everyone on the planning team and who participated in last year’s meetings about the front drive thought it was clear we wanted the front drive to be resurfaced (but not reconfigured) because this is what was recommended. However, somehow resuracing was not included in the projections at the PTO meeting this week. This means that a chunk of the surplus will go towards asphalt and resurfacing. This is only alarming in that the planning team and I were expecting it to be included already. In addition, in the discussions I’ve had with many MLK parents about the renovations, I’ve shared that it was recommended to have the front drive resurfaced. Nevertheless, I've been reassured that this won't be a problem going forward.
If you think of something to be added to the list below for considersation, please let me know.
* Resurface asphalt areas in front of school and parking lot
* Ident-A-Kid visitor check-in system technology package (computer, printer, webcam)
* Ceiling mount existing data projectors in art room, music room, computer
lab, in media center and in office conference room
* Update signage around building
* Update cosmetics of parking lot entrance to make it look like an entrance (sign, planter)
* New classroom furniture – tables, chairs
* Elmo document projectors for all classrooms
* Smart/Active boards for all classrooms
* Replace hallway flooring, add pattern
* Replace flooring in classroom storage areas
* Carpet in the media center
* Carpet in teacher's lounge
* Ceiling tile replacement in media center.
* Upgrade sink and sink cabinet in the staff lounge
* Move classroom sinks closer to the center of the counter space
* New toilet in office bathroom
* Update older drinking fountain across from office
* Cabinet in office for medication
School Dates Coming Up
10/25 - MSU v. UM in football
10/27 - MEAP-Make-up ELA Part 2
10/28 - MEAP-Make-up Science
10/29 - MEAP-Make-up any subject as needed
10/30 - MEAP-Make-up any subject as needed. No testing after today.
11/4 - No School For Students; AM Professional Development and PM report writing.
11/4 – Election Day
11/7 - Popcorn Friday – popcorn will be served as a snack during the school day
11/7 - Picture Retake Day
11/7 – School Improvement Team meets
11/11 - PTO meeting
11/26 - 11/28 -- Thanksgiving break
12/1 - School resumes
12/5 – School Improvement Team meets
12/5 - Popcorn Friday
12/9 – PTO meeting
12/19 - Last day before winter break.
If you have questions or if there is something that needs clarification, please don’t hesitate to ask.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Are you in 3rd or 4th grade, love the outdoors and being creative? If the answer is "yes," then this writing workshop is for you! Be prepared to go outdoors, observe nature, and become more aware of your environment. You can choose to write letters, poems, stories, songs, or favorite memories. You can also add drawings, photos, or paintings to your written pieces. Bring your curiosity and love of nature with you on this fun writing adventure!
This PTO-sponsored workshop is free to King 3rd and 4th graders. It runs on Wednesdays after school until 5pm, beginning on October 15th with our final celebration on December 3rd. Space is limited, and we enroll on a first-come-first-served basis. Look for the sign-up sheet in backpack-mail soon!
Questions? Contact Camille Ziolek email@example.com
Please join us for breakfast and conversation: Friday, 17 October 2008, 8:15am until school starts.
Bagels $1 (cream cheese included)
Orange Juice 50 cents.
Christina Nedeltchev, Angela Johnson, Line vN
For our first activity of the year, King school students will be participating in the UNICEF coin collection drive on Halloween again. UNICEF boxes have been ordered and will be distributed to students toward the end of October. For more information about UNICEF visit www.unicef.org
We have been collecting a list of 'much needed items' for King School families that are financially struggling this year. If you can help with a donation or the purchase of an item, please contact Susan Aaronson, firstname.lastname@example.org . If you have a middle school student who is selling magazines and you would like to find out more about donating educational magazines to families and community centers that are in need, please also contact Susan.
Our PTO plans to continue with the winter coat drive and community snowflake gift giving campaign in December. We will be working with the Student Council to coordinate other community service activities.
Last year, Community Action encouraged classrooms to raise money for Pennies for Peace - building schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Students also collected change and donations for disaster relief in China and Myanmar. This money was donated to Save the Children. We organized our annual winter coat, hat and mitten drive and donated items to House by the Side of the Road. King school families donated over 100 gifts to community families in need at the holidays through our annual Snowflake giving campaign. Our students collected change during the week surrounding Halloween and we donated over $400 to UNICEF. We have a wonderfully generous community and we thank you all for your contributions. Please send Susan any feedback on how better to support both our local and global community in need.
Did you forget to register? You can register on Sunday -- Race Day for $10/family. A limited amount of King of Hearts shirts will be available for purchase on a first come, first serve basis for $10 each.
Don't forget to wear your King of Hearts shirt on Sunday. We can't wait to see you there!
Contact Susan Gechter at email@example.com with any questions.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
We will have a surplus (money projected to be left over after the bond is fulfilled) of $171,000. This money can be used to fund "wish list" items which were generated last year as part of the planning process. In no particular order, the "wish list" items show below.
One thing will be at the top of the wish list: asphalt. While I think everyone on the planning team thought it was clear we wanted the front drive to be resurfaced, this was not included in the projections last night. This means that a chunk of the surplus will go towards asphalt. This is only alarming in that I was expecting it to be included already. I've been reassured that it won't be a problem going forward.
If you think there is something to be added to the list below, please let me know and I'll add it so it can be considered.
- Resurface asphalt areas in front of school and parking lot
- Ident-A-Kid visitor check-in system technology package (computer, printer, webcam)
- Ceiling mount existing projectors in art room, music room, computer
lab, in media center and in office conference room
- Update signage around building
- Update cosmetics of parking lot entrance to make it look like an entrance (sign, planter)
- New classroom furniture – tables, chairs
- Elmo document projectors for all classrooms
- Smart/Active boards for all classrooms
- Replace hallway flooring, add pattern
- Replace flooring in classroom storage areas
- Carpet in the media center
- Carpet in teacher's lounge
- Ceiling tile replacement in media center.
- Upgrade sink and sink cabinet in the staff lounge
- Move classroom sinks closer to the center of the counter space
- New toilet in office bathroom
- Update older drinking fountain across from office
- Cabinet in office for medication
Not all of what shows on the list will necessarily be purchased. At this point we are brainstorming.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Before I reveal the correct answers, I want to make this clear:
The purpse of this was to continue to bring awareness to our safety practices in and around MLK School. That said . . .
No one really did anything wrong in the picture. So . . . if your neighbor's car (or your Dad's car) is pictured, it doesn't mean they have done something wrong :-) The cars pictured belong to some of the most dedicated and supportive King parents in our community.
Here are the correct answers to "What is wrong in this photo?"
1. There are cars parked in the "Bus Only" zone and cars are not allowed there during drop-off. This was the main thing I hoped everyone noticed.
2. Several of you are very saavy and noticed it isn't 8:37 in the morning. From your knowledge of King School, you might have realized the sun was setting and it was closer to 6:00. The cars that were parked were actually parents who were picking up their children from King Care, the after school program at King. For the convenience of King Care parents, it is perfectly acceptable to park in front of King after 4:15 PM.
If you responded to me or posted a comment on the blog, I will enter your name into the drawing for a major prize. I may even reveal what the major prize is along with my next reminder.
Thank you for your help in making MLK the best it can be. If you have questions or feedback, please contact me.
Monday, October 13, 2008
It is 8:37 and morning drop-off is in full swing at MLK School. The scene in front of the school shows below.
So . . . what is wrong with what you see in the photo? Click to enlarge the photo if needed.
Please click the "Comments" link below and tell us what is wrong. Please include your name. All those who respond correctly will be entered into a random drawing for a major award from Mr. Karr :-)
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Some of the highlights of the renovations to take place primarily in the summer of 2010 include:
- electrical upgrades
- installation of a new security system
- replacement of classroom flooring
- updating of all bathrooms in the building
- installation of lockers in hallways
- replace cabinetry and sinks in classrooms
- repaving of front drive
- replacing the heating system
- installation of wireless infrastructure
Friday, October 03, 2008
A few MLK 5th graders are very, VERY lucky. They showed me ONE of the lucky four peddled plants on Monday. By Friday, their collection had grown substantially! Below you will see several 4-leaf clovers and even a 5-leaf clover.
Ann Arbor Fire Department Station 5 visited MLK School on Friday, October 3 to visit with Kindergarten - third grade students. The topic of the visit was fire safety and prevention. Below you'll see some photos of the visit. Thanks to Mrs. Jarjoura, one of our wonderful second grade teacher, for being a great volunteer and helping the fire fighters show off their equipment! It was ashame that there could be only one volunteer because first grade teacher Mrs. Teshima was really hoping to try on the fire fighting equipment too. Next time . . . :-)
Thursday, October 02, 2008
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
Hi! My name is Mrs. Vanek, and I am your child’s vocal music teacher. All students at MLK participate in vocal music.
The Elementary Vocal Music Program at King School is designed to provide a variety of musical experiences that will allow all children to respond to, create, and perform music. These experiences are conceptually based and sequentially developed so that ultimately the child will become an independent and active participant in music as both a sensitive creator and intelligent consumer.
The emphasis in the music classroom is on learning about the basic elements of music. These are rhythm, melody, harmony, form, tone color, and expressive qualities. Concepts relating these six elements are explored through activities such as singing, creating, moving, reading, playing instruments, and listening.
Musical performances by the children are given in conjunction with grade level open houses in the spring to enable you to hear and see the progress your child has been making. The dates for the open houses and performances are:
- Kindergarten Tue., April 28th
- First Grade Thu., May 14th
- Second Grade Thu., May 7th
- Third Grade Thu., April 23rd
- Fourth Grade Thu., April 30th
- Fifth Grade Tue., May 5th
If you have any questions regarding the music program at King School, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org . Also, I will be available at the all school conference night on Monday, October 13th.