Friday, January 30, 2009

Jump Rope For Heart - 2/13

Mrs. Arbour, our wonderful physical education teacher, has again organized students to participate in Jump Rope For Heart.

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.

This year's event will take place on February 13! I can't wait to see everyone jumping!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Student Council News: King Goes GREEN

From the Student Council:

This year, King School has a specific goal to become officially GREEN! We are taking the initiative to achieve this goal. Our first step is to take a pledge to recycle and save paper. Please help us to attain this goal! We are sending home a half sheet of reused paper with the steps you can take. Help make a commitment for King School so we can achieve our goals.

Together we can all make a difference and “Go Green!”

P.S. Here is the website to see what we can do in our schools, community and state.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

International Night - 2/5 @ 6:30 PM

King International Night!

King International Night is Thursday, February 5, 6:30-8:30pm.

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. For more information, or if you want to help, email .

Feast Volunteers Needed:
Please call Lisa Kohn 662-1601 or email
--Set up: immediately after school, 3:30-5:30
--Hosting: To receive and help place the food, trash patrol, etc. 5:30-7:30
--Clean up: 7:30-9:30

We're expecting to feed 1000 people--we need all hands to make the feast portion go smoothly. If you want to be a part but don't know what to do, help with the feast. It's easy and flexible and day-of. And yes of course you can take a (short) break to go see your kids perform.

Feast, Feast, Feast, Feast

A delicious part of King School's International Night is the potluck or "Feast". Attendees are to bring a dish from their cultural heritage that will serve 18 people (large quantities needed). Your dish can be an appetizer, salad, noodles, main course, dessert or any other culinary endeavor. You may recall that each dish must have a label card: name, ethnic region and boxes checked for any of the 12 common food allergies. NO NUTS, PLEASE.

In order to save copying costs, food label cards will NOT go home in student folders. You can pick up cards ahead of time in the school office and there will be food cards available on International Night, February 5th. Please label any dishes or serving ware that you would like to keep.

Food lines will open at 6:30 pm and performers will have first priority. Beverages include water (free from the PTO thermos) or juice boxes (price to be determined). Food lovers this is your night!

We anticipate over 600 diners, so anyone willing to volunteer for a 30 minute job, please contact Lisa Kohn:

Boxtops Contest

Hold on to those boxtops!! We will be having our 3rd annual boxtops contest during the month of April. Your students will be asked to bring in boxtops, they will be counted and the classroom that brings in the most will receive a smoothie party! E-mail Teri Henning with questions .

Would you like to help in the media center?

Submitted by: Mrs. O'Keefe

It's a new year...would you like to help out in the Media Center?

Every week, more than a dozen parents and grandparents help out in the Media Center, making our teaching and book circulation time more fun and effective. There are some class time slots listed below that currently have no volunteers scheduled. If you're interested in joining me in the best part of the school (okay, that's MY opinion) I'd love to have you come. No experience necessary, after a few weeks you'll be a library pro, and you'll get to enjoy lots of kids and books too. Please email me at if you're interested or have questions, and thanks.

Mondays: Griffith's class at 10:20-11; Gracey's class 1:30-2:10; Lake at 2:10-2:50; Huyck at 2:50-3:30.

Thursdays: Harris' class 9-9:40; Haddas' class at 9:40-10:20.

Fridays: Schaffer's class 9:40-10:20.

Another Successful Disability Awareness Workshop!

Last Wednesday (January 21st) was the Disability Awareness Workshop for the fourth grade students. This full and busy day for the students was successful due to the efforts of the many volunteers. In many ways, the entire King School community deserves thanks for supporting this program, as all members made some adjustments in their usual routines on that day. Special thanks go to the following people who worked at the different learning and activity stations during the workshop:

· Steve Schwartz, the guiding force for the workshops and our afternoon speaker
· King parents Jan Ahlersmeyer, Dawn Baker, Hassiba Bouzit, Laurie Galia, Sara Helmich, Tony Iannone, Lisa Kohn, Christine Kukucka, Amy Meltzer, Raphaela Moeller, Michael Niemi, Suman Shankar
· King student teachers Ashley Chrumka (Shafie), Megan Mattson (Jarjoura) and Kenneth Page (Gracey) [thanks to their King teachers for releasing them during the workshop]
· Center for Independent Learning staff: Sigrid Barnes, Lauren Boland, Lucy Brown, Jen Chapin-Smith, Anna Dusbiber, Carolyn Grawi, Melissa Sartori, Mary Stack, Walt Stover
· Community members Barb Byers, Kate Reman-Wait, Amy Sanderson, Eric Sieber

We also thank:

the King PTO for their generosity in funding snacks for the students during both morning and afternoon sessions
Mrs. Arbour for the use of gym mats and other equipment, as well as adjusting her schedule to accommodate lunch in the gym so the multipurpose room could been used all day for the workshop
Mr. Karr for his assistance and participation throughout the day's events
Mrs. Greene and Mrs. Basta for their help in preparing materials for the workshop
Mrs. Knorr, Mr. Petty and Mrs. Shafie for their support of this program

It is our hope to continue this workshop each year for the fourth grade students at King. If you have any questions or comments about the workshop, please feel free to contact me. Thank you again for your support this year.

Kathy Grijalva (King parent & workshop coordinator)

Monday, January 26, 2009

Photos From Disability Awareness Day

Thank you to Kathy Grijalva, the King School 4th grade teachers, and all of the volunteers who participated in the fourth annual Disability Awareness Day at King School. The photos below show the story of the day! Thank you to Sarah Helmich for sharing her photos.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Kindergarten Round Up Information

Prospective MLK School parents are invited to our annual Kindergarten Round Up presentation on February 17 from 6 - 7 PM. During the presentation, parents will receive information about:
  • Kindergarten registration for the 2008-09 school year
  • The Half-day Kindergarten and Extended Day Option (EDO) Kindergarten at MLK
  • The Ann Arbor Public Schools Kindergarten curriculum
If you need FREE childcare during Round Up, please call 994-4485 to register. The childcare is sponsored by the MLK PTO and the KingCare childcare program.

After Round Up, families are invited back to MLK with children to several school events to help your child continue their transition to MLK School--and to showing their MLK PRIDE! Dates include:
  • Thursday, March 19 from 4 - 8:30 PM for the MLK PTO Book Fair in the multi-purpose room
  • Friday, April 3 from 6 - 8 PM for the PTO Silent Auction
  • Thursday, April 28 at 7PM for a concert from the 2008-09 Kindergarten students in the multi-purpose room followed by an Open House in the Kindergarten classrooms with the Kindergarten teachers
  • Friday, May 15 from 8:15 - 9 AM for Bagels and Buns Breakfast, a monthly MLK community event in the multi-purpose room
  • Friday June 5 from 6 - 8 PM for the MLK Ice Cream Social on the MLK playground
We're looking forward to seeing you at Kindergarten Round Up 2008! If you have any questions, please call us at 994-1940.

Friday, January 16, 2009

School Closed - 1/16/09

The Ann Arbor Public Schools are closed today due to wind chill temperatures below -20 °F.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Safeties NOT On Duty When Windchill Is ≤0 °F

With the very cold weather upon us, I'd like to remind you that safeties are not on duty during inclement weather. This would mean when the wind chill is below 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Checking out the various weather websites would be recommended to determine the exact wind chill in Ann Arbor. When spring finally arrives, thunder/lightning storms would also prevent safeties from being on duty. So, please keep this in mind when your child goes to school or when he/she goes home. A family plan on how your child would cross streets in case of future weather conditions is advised.
Tom Clarkson
Safety Patrol Coordinator

Drop-off Procedures Today

When dropping students off at King today:
1. Be patient, go slowly.
2. It is too cold to wait outside. Instruct your child to walk inside upon drop off and wait on the rugs inside the door until the bell rings.
3. If you are parking on Waldenwood, please park at least 20 feet away from the entrance or exit to the front drive. This will help to alleviate congestion and will keep traffic flowing.


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Drop-off and Pick-Up - Cold Weather Update

Good afternoon! I hope you are warm! At school we are all pretty warm since we stayed inside for lunch recess :-)

Despite our relative warmth inside the school, the temperatures outside have plummeted (obviously) and caused some to think about drop-off/pick-up safety and/or whether or not school can be canceled because it is too cold.

First, safety needs to be on our minds at all times during drop-off and pick-up at King. As a community we have done a GREAT JOB of following the drop-off/pick-up policy; however, temperatures of 5 °F and lower have caused almost twice as many cars at King in the morning than on other days. To help, please do the following if you drop-off and/or pick-up at King in the next 8 - 10 weeks:
  1. Above all else, you'll need to be patient while dropping-off or picking-up. With as many cars as we have in front right now, it is going to take a bit longer to get in and out. If your child is older and/or able, you might consider dropping them off a block or so away from school letting them walk to school. Thank you for your cooperation.
  2. Follow the drop-off/pick-up policy. This IS a requirement. From some of what I saw happening over the last few days in the drop-off zone (writing a note to child's teacher, backing up, not pulling forward as far as possible, dropping a child off from the left-hand lane), it looks like there are some new parents to the drop-off/pick-up zone. Please read the policy and follow it.
  3. Emphasize after-school procedures with your child. Make sure your child knows where they are going after school (bus, KingCare, walking, picked up).
Secondly, there have been questions about whether or not school can be closed due to cold weather. The AAPS policy states that schools will be closed if sustained wind chill temperatures are -20 °F or below. Over the last 18 years, I can recall two occasions when the AAPS closed because it was too cold. Essentially this would happen to protect students when it is not safe to walk to school or wait at the bus stop for the required amount of time. As in all school closing situations, decisions are made as early as possible. I will post information on the King website and will send out an email to the community whenever school is closed.

I hope this helps.

Monday, January 12, 2009

International Night Invitation

You are cordially invited to attend

Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School
International Night
Bringing us together. Celebrating our diversity.

3800 Waldenwood, Ann Arbor, MI, 48105
School Phone: 734-994-1940

Thursday, February 5, 2009, 6:30-8:30 pm

6:30-7:30 International Potluck
7:00-8:30 Student Performances—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

6:30-7:30 International Potluck
7:00-8:30 Student Performances—music, dance, martial arts, more!
Performances will be simulcast in the gym.

Please bring a dish to pass (enough to feed 12-16 people)
With serving utensil (labeled)
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

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, Japanese Obon Dance, American Hip-Hop, Indian bollywood dance, African American gospel music, Bolivian Dance, Ukranian song, Israeli folkdance, and more!

The children have been working really hard on their performances and would be proud to share their cultures and heritages with you!

Sincerely yours,
Frances Kai-Hwa Wang
King School International Night Chair

Sincerely yours,
Frances Kai-Hwa Wang
King School International Night Chair

Friday, January 09, 2009

Parent Writing Workshop Opportunity from

MLK Parents--If you haven't been to one of the Parent Writing Workshops previously at MLK, you should considered attending the one below sponsored by

How to Help Your Child Write: A Workshop for Parents.
Monday, January 19, 2009, 6:30-8pm

Do you need ideas on how to foster your child's creativity? Are you looking for sure-fire ways to support your student writer? If so, this is the workshop you've been waiting for. Join Kim Pavlock & co. from the Eastern Michigan Writing Project for what is sure to be a life-changing evening. (This workshop is for parents only, no children please. We have plenty of workshops for kids, as you well know.)

Space is limited, and YES, it's free, so register for this workshop now by emailing Hope to see you there!

10 Myths About Learning To Write

During the 2006-07 and 2007-08 school years, the MLK School Improvement Team offered several parent education sessions entitled "Parent Writing Workshop." About 120 MLK families attended the sessions with presenters from the Eastern Michigan Writing Project, who shared helpful information that translate into the "Do's" and "Don'ts" of helping with writing. CLICK HERE if you'd like to review the suggestions from the meetings. If you'd like to attend a similar session on January 19 from 6:30 - 8 PM sponsored by, CLICK HERE for more information.

Whether you came to the sessions or not, I thought King parents might be interested in the piece below, which I found in an online newsletter I receive. While the enumerated list is interesting, the explanations of each item really struck me as helpful and clarifying. I encourage you to print this, put it on your refrigerator (or somewhere else you will see it as time goes by), and read it from time to time.

10 Myths about Learning to Write

from the National Council of Teachers of English

Do you have fond memories of learning to write? Most people would say “No!" They’d probably add, "Writing was hard—I never got it right!"

Learning to write IS difficult. But sometimes people get discouraged for the wrong reasons. They fall into the trap of believing things about writing that just aren't true.

Members of the National Council of Teachers of English want to set the record straight with this list of myths about learning to write.

1. Kids hate to write.
It's sad but true that some kids come to hate writing through bad experiences. Yet no one is born hating to write. For instance, kids love to tell stories—their own stories—from events at school, other kids, TV, daydreams, and more. When kids begin by writing their own stories, they learn to love to write.

2. Real writers get it right the first time.
Most of us can't even write a grocery list without making some changes. Even famous authors, poets, and journalists have to produce a few rough drafts before arriving at their best work. The important thing is to keep writing until you've said what you mean.

3. Kids have nothing interesting to say.
Are you kidding? Anyone who's spent any time around kids knows they're full of lively and unique ideas about the world around them. And they always seem to find things to tell their friends. If we just give kids chances to write down their ideas, we’ll be amazed with what they come up with.

4. You have to know what you are going to say before you begin writing.
The funny thing about writing is that it actually helps you think. Many writers don’t discover exactly what they’re trying to say until after they’ve written for pages. Writing not only helps kids think deeply, but it helps them find out what they already know—not just in English class but in everything from math to biology to music.

5. If you can’t spell, you can’t write.
Oh, yes you can! Good writers first write all their thoughts and ideas. Then they revise, revise, revise until they’re satisfied they’ve said what they want to say. Then—and only then—is it time to edit for spelling and other rules such as capitalization, punctuation, and word usage.

6. Writing is built one sentence at a time.
Writing is made up of words and sentences but it’s actually written first as chunks of ideas. Kids don’t need to master the sentence before they go on to the paragraph. They just need to start writing any way they can—revising is for later.

7. Only great writers can be creative.
Baloney! Different types of writing—including creative writing like poems and plays—have different challenges, but there's no law that says kids have to learn one type first. What's important is that kids choose the best type of writing for what they want to say—whether a poem, a letter, or a report.

8. Good writers work alone.
There's probably a good writer somewhere who likes to write in a quiet closet. But most writers today are people who work in busy offices or classrooms, and who write with frequent input from their coworkers and peers. Young writers learn even more when they are part of a "community" of others—sharing ideas, asking questions, and revising their writing.

9. You can spot a good writer at a glance.
There is no gene for writing! Good writers don't all look the same, they don’t all learn the same, and they don't all use the same methods. Some writers jot a lot of notes before starting to write; others jump right in; some writers outline; some doodle in the margins while they think; some write best to music; some write best sitting under a tree. The point is that all writers are individuals and need to discover what works best for them.

10. Poor marks make good writers.
A student paper dripping with blood-red marks on every line does not a better writer make. Kids do learn best when they get feedback, but harsh grading isn’t the answer. Writers improve by first learning what parts they wrote well and then focusing on what parts still need work.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Adult English Classes During The Day

Do you know someone 19 or older who is ready to finish high school or improve English language skills? Daytime ESL classes and day and evening GED Prep classes are offered at convenient locations through AAPS Adult Education. Classes are free and class sizes are limited, so call today for registration and class schedule information: 997-1237 or 994-2300 Ext 53246

Bingo Night Is Coming!!!

Thursday, January 15, 6:30-8:00
K & 1st grade families play in the multi-purpose room from 6:40-7:00 p.m.
2nd and 3rd grade families play from 7:10-7:30 p.m.
4th and 5th grade families play from 7:40-8:00 p.m.
Small prizes will be given to every child.

*There will be no food sold this year. Water will be available.*

Bring your King School water bottle to fill up!

If you would like to help with this PTO funded social event, please print this e-mail and fill out the bottom of this sheet and return to your classroom teacher, or contact Melanie Snook at 761-2945 or .

Grocery Scrip New Year's Resolution

This year, make a resolution to get and use a grocery scrip card. It's an easy way to earn money for King. Busch's, Kroger, Hiller's and Whole foods all donate 5% of your purchase amount to the King PTO when you use the card. Best of all, the cards (except Whole Foods) are rechargable, so you can keep the same card forever and recharge it at any checkout lane using cash, check, debit card or credit card. If you use the card consistently, you can easily earn hundreds of dollars a year for King, with little effort and at no cost to you! Card order forms will be going out in Friday folders on January 9. If you have questions about grocery scrip cards, contact Heather Schweitzer at .

Thanks for your support!

Silent Auction - Our PTO's Big Fundraiser

Friday, April 3, 2009 is the King School Silent Auction. Last year, we raised over $21,000 for King's PTO. If you saw the auction catalog or attended the event, you know that there were many wonderful items up for bidding: Theater tickets, a UMS concert, restaurant certificates, delectable food baskets, Tiger tickets and so on. At this time, we need solicitors to make phone calls/contacts with local patrons who have supported our auction in the past. Can you make/or contact at least 5 businesses? No "cold calls"'ll be contacting folks who know about the auction and have donated in the past.

Look for a Silent Auction meeting the week of January 12th. Details to appear in the next E-notes.

If you think you can help with solicitation or might be interested but not sure what it involves, please contact auction chair: Lisa Kohn email: or phone: 734-417-7129.

King International Night Country Displays

For those who would like to be a part of King International Night (Thursday, February 5, 6:30-8:30), but do not have time or ability to perform, we invite you to make an informational poster about any country or culture (or one aspect of a culture, like food or song or language) to hang on the walls for two weeks prior to the event. This gives our students another way to learn about the many countries and cultures around us. This is a great family project for over the holidays! Be creative! Be colorful! Photos and graphics and maps are good. Posters must be able to be hung on the wall (so no table-top displays like dolls). Posters from previous years may be reused. Please, no flags or politics.
For more information, email .

Frances Kai-Hwa Wang
King International Night Chair

Disability Awareness Workshop Volunteers Needed

On Wednesday, January 21st, 2009, all King fourth grade students will participate in the Disability Awareness Workshop. This is the third year that King Elementary has held this hands-on, activity-based workshop whose main purpose is to help students understand how difficult and complex daily living can be for individuals with a variety of disabilities. The program includes activities centered on an empathetic understanding of physical, speech, hearing, vision and learning impairments. The students participate in a wheelchair obstacle course, wear glasses that give them momentary vision impairments, experience speaking with an electric larynx and complete exercises that simulate several reading disabilities. The goal is for the students to learn -- through this hands-on experience -- that people should be respected no matter how they may look, act, walk or talk.

This workshop was developed by parents in the Rochester Community Schools Special Education Parent Advisory Committee in 1998. It has now expanded to many schools in Oakland County. In the Ann Arbor Public Schools, the workshop was first held at Logan Elementary School in 2005. In subsequent years, this increased to 4 buildings (2006), 7 (2007, when King was added), 11 (2008) and again 11 elementary schools for 2009, the workshop's fifth year in Ann Arbor.
Please consider volunteering to help with the workshop. We need 20 volunteers in the morning from approximately 8:30 am until 11:50 am, when the students have their lunch break. You are welcome to remain for the rest of the program (12:45 pm to dismissal). Past experience proves that this is a fun and meaningful experience for all of our children as well as the volunteers.

Volunteers will be trained to oversee students as they rotate through nine different stations, including:
Physical Impairment Centers: Wheelchairs; Walkers; and Fine Motor Activities
Vision, Hearing and Speech Stations: Hearing & Speech; Vision; and Learning Disabilities
Accessibility Checklist (students work in teams to complete a checklist that requires some measuring and math computations)
Thank you for contributing to the success of the workshop. Please contact me with any questions.
Kathy Grijalva, 332-3396,
King Parent Coordinating the Workshop

Attention Online Shoppers!

If you enjoy shopping online at sites like Lands End, Eddie Bauer, The Gap, etc., check out and click on "Marketplace." Our school will earn a percentage of everything you purchase. The amount varies by vendor. What a simple and easy way for our school to earn money!!! Contact Teri Henning (734)332-0503 or with any questions. Happy shopping!!

Homework Help!

The Ann Arbor District Library now has available live online homework help for students grades 3 and up. It is available 7 days a week from 2pm-11pm at any library location (during open hours) or from home with your library card. Chat online with live tutors who will help students: understand homework problems, build skills and critique your writing. Help is available in Spanish and English. Homework Help is powered by Brainfuse and is available with tutoring in these elementary, middle school and high school subjects, including Advanced Placement:

· English/Language Arts
· Writing lab (submit your paper or resume for critique)
· Math (including Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, Trigonometry and Calculus)
· Science (including Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Earth Science)
· Social Studies
Live online at AADL.ORG/HOMEWORK

The Downtown Library is also hosting onsite tutoring by the University of Michigan's Circle K on Wednesdays f rom 4-8pm for school aged children in the story center. For more information contact the youth desk at 327-8301.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Welcome to MLK School for 2009!

Kids, teachers, secretaries, noon-hour assistants, custodians, and the principal alike are all smiling today at MLK School. It seems everyone is happy to be back to teaching and learning . . . and who can blame them for feeling that way in our school community!

Let's make 2009 the best year ever at MLK!