Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Academic Games - Games For Thinkers - Begins 10/7 @ 7 PM

Dear Parents of 4th and 5th Graders,

King School Academic Games will begin Wednesday, October 7th, from 7:00 to 8:00 PM in the
King School Music Room. For this first session, parents are required to attend briefly to sign up your student and be sure we have your correct phone number and email address.

Practice times have been set for Wednesday evenings from 7:00 to 8:00 PM, and Friday after
school, from 3:45 to 4:45 PM, and will be held in the King School Music Room. Practices will begin for interested students in either 4th or 5th grade on Wednesday, October 7th.

King Academic Games is sponsored by the King School PTO.

Students who wish to compete in tournaments can participate in the Michigan League of Academic Games (MLAG) Saturday Tournaments, held once per month from October through February at various schools in southeastern Michigan. The league requires any student who
wishes to participate in the MLAG State Tournament in March to have participated in at least 3 Saturday Tournaments. More information on tournament dates and locations will be available in a handout at our first practice meeting.

We look forward to meeting with you and your student on Wednesday the 7th.

Christy Vanek
Mike Vanek
Mrs. Vanek

What is Academic Games?
Academic Games (AG) is a group of games designed to test and improve a student's knowledge in several different subject areas. There are games that cover math, English, social studies, and logic. The primary purpose of AG is to make learning fun for students. All too often it seems, students turn off to Math, English, or Social Studies because they are bored or not challenged by the material. AG helps to solve that problem by making learning about the subjects more interesting and fun. There is also the added motivation to do well in order to succeed in competition.

Which games do students play in AG? *
The first game students learn is Equations, a mathematics game created by University of Michigan Law Professor Layman Allen in the mid 1960's. Players use numerals and mathematical symbols on special dice to create a goal, and then try to come up with a solution before their opponents.

Similar to the popular card game, "Set", On-Sets is a game that involves Set Theory, where students must find groups of colors using set operations. Linguishtik is an English Grammar game, where students must find a word and place it into a particular type of sentence.
On-Words is a word game involving spelling, counting, grammar, phonetics, word roots, inflectional endings, prefixes and suffixes

Presidents is an American History game that tests students' knowledge of the American Presidents, and the events that happened during their presidencies.

In Propaganda, students learn to recognize and understand different techniques of persuasion.

Wff N' Proof is a game of symbolic logic, where students must construct proofs to prove logical arguments that they create.

In World Card, students must research a particular topic and create a reference book to be used in competitions.

(These brief game descriptions came from the Michigan League of Academic Games website:, where more information on games and rules can be found.)
* Our King Elementary students will be learning Equations, On-Sets, On-Words, Presidents, and Propaganda

Friday, September 25, 2009

Picture Day - October 2 - Volunteers Needed

Picture Day is on October 2.

Parents can order pictures using the form sent home previously or by going to If you use the website, you will need the following school code: AA0404

If you can help at school on October 2, please call Mrs. Greene in the school office at 994-1940 or email her at greene at

About AAPS: Farm Fresh Features

About AAPS: Farm Fresh Features: "Farm Fresh Features this Fall!

The Ann Arbor Public Schools is happy to announce that Farm Fresh Features (formerly Farm Fresh Fridays) is back, providing our students with fresh Southeastern Michigan-grown produce every Wednesday and Friday in September and October. The Friday items are served in the Fruit and Veggie bars at the elementary schools, and are made available for the taking at the secondary schools. We will be featuring a farm fresh item on the cafeteria menu each Wednesday as well. Those items will be served as part of the hot lunch. All Farm Fresh Features will be available to all students whether or not they purchase hot lunch.
Fall 2009 Farm Fresh Features Schedule:
Sept. 9 - Musk melons from Ruhlig Farms (119kb PDF), Roscoe & Horkey Farm (89kb PDF)
Sept. 11 - Yellow Watermelons from Ruhlig Farms (42kb PDF)
Sept. 16 - Radishes
Sept. 18 Grape tomatoes
Sept. 23 - Fresh green beans
Sept. 25 Musk melons
Sept. 30 Cucumbers
Oct. 2 Watermelons
Oct. 7 Collard Greens
Oct. 9 Acorn Squash
Oct. 14 Yellow Squash
Oct. 16 Cauliflower
Oct. 21 Baked Potatoes
Oct. 23 Assorted Sweet Peppers
Oct. 28 Corn on the Cob (we're hoping for this to be participatory for kids to husk the corn the day before!)
Oct. 30 Butternut Squash

Farm Fresh Features are a project of the Ann Arbor Farm to School Collaboration whose members are:

* Ann Arbor Public Schools
* Chartwells Dining Services
* Project Healthy Schools
* The Agrarian Adventure
* Ann Arbor Farmers' Market
* Food System Economic Partnership
* Washtenaw County Health Department

The Farm to School Collaboration embraces local and regionally grown produce as not only a healthy choice for students but as a way to educate students on the availability of fresh foods in their area as well as supporting local and regional farms in their efforts to be sustaining contributors to our local economy."

Thursday, September 24, 2009

King Parent Rita Wheelock Has Done A GREAT Job Sprucing Up The School Entrance - THANKS!

MEAP Letter To 3rd, 4th, 5th Grade Parents

Dear Parent/Guardian,

During the period of October 13-29, your child will be taking the Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP) test. Students in grades 3-8 will take a two-part Reading test and a Mathematics test; students in grades 4 and 7 will take a Writing test; students in grades 5 and 8 will also take a Science test, and students in grades 6 and 9 will take a Social Studies test. The state has scheduled specific dates for each subject area test and make-ups:

Subject Area Scheduled Date Make-up Date
Mathematics (Grades 3-8) October 20 October 21
Reading Session 1 (Grades 3-8) October 13 October 14, 19, 21
Reading Session 2 (Grades 3-8) October 15 October 19, 21
Writing (Grades 4 and 7) October 22 October 26
Science (Grades 5 and 8) October 22 October 26
Social Studies (Grades 6 and 9) October 22 October 26
General Make-up Sessions October 26-29

All students in these grades should take the tests. We are required by the federal “No Child Left Behind” legislation to give the test to all students, and individual schools are held accountable for full participation of their students. If you have concerns about a child with a disability or with limited English proficiency taking the test, please contact me to discuss available accommodations in the testing process.

Based on the state Grade Level Content Expectations, these tests reflect the knowledge and skills that will be important for students in today's world. Because the test is being given in the fall, it tests content covered in previous grades; for example, 3rd graders will be tested on content through the end of 2nd grade. The tests will help to identify those skills your child has learned and which skills may need strengthening. Here in the Ann Arbor Public Schools we use these results to help us improve the school program and work with individual students. In addition, the MEAP is used as the primary measure for state and federal accountability requirements. Additional information about the MEAP is available on the state website:

You can help your child do his/her best on the test by:

1) making sure that your child attends school on the days of testing;
2) making sure your child gets a good night's sleep before testing;
3) reminding your child to ask the teacher questions if she/he does not understand the test directions;
4) encouraging your child to do his/her best on the tests because the results will help him/her get a better education; and
5) letting your child know that you are confident in his/her ability to do his/her best.

Please call me or your child's teacher if you want additional information or have further questions or concerns about the tests.

Kevin Karr

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Wanted: Media Center Parent/Grandparent Volunteers

When?  during your child's weekly Media Center visit 
Where?  in our great Media Center
Doing what?  Checking out books with the kids, checking books back in and re-shelving them, assisting with projects and learning, and enjoying the kids! (Some computer experience is very helpful with the 3rd-5th grade classes, all other training is provided.)
Why?  --It's really fun and you get to know the kids well.
--I couldn't circulate all these books without you.
--Better learning always takes place when there are adult helpers around.
--Volunteers always say they end up learning as much as the kids.
--You get to check out books too!
Interested?  Please email me at for your child's library time, or sign up during curriculum night. It's best if I have one or two adults for each class. 
Can't?  That's okay too, I hope you can just stop in and visit sometime.  Thanks for whatever you do to help support your child's reading and learning, it's a pleasure to be a part of this community.  
Mrs. Ann O'Keefe

King School Clothing

Show your school spirit with King School clothing! Great short sleeve t-shirts & hooded pullover sweatshirts with fantastic new logos! Sample sizes and artwork are on display in the glass case by the main entrance.
Mix & match your styles! Youth & adult sizes available. Order more than one! Don't forget yourself! Orders due on Wednesday, 9/30. Please contact Susan Gechter at with any questions.

Support King School 5th Graders - Buy Sally Foster and Tupperware

It's that time of year again.  The 5th graders are beginning to plan for their trip to Space Camp in May.  In order to make this long standing tradition a reality, we are raising funds through Sally Foster and Tupperware.  The catalogs and ordering procedures will be in your child's backpack on Friday, October 2nd.   Sally Foster offers a wide range of gift wrap and gourmet treats.  In case your stocked up on Sally Foster, we've expanded our fund raising to include Tupperware.  You'll find quality, practical items for your child's lunch box, kitchen prep and storage needs -- a great option for families looking to go "green".  Please look over the packet and support our 5th graders.   The sale will take place October 2 - 16.  Through on-line ordering options, the fund raiser can be extended to family, neighbors and co-workers.  Thanks for your supp

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Fourth Graders Digging For Nature's Recyclers

Third Graders In Spanish Class

Fire Alarm At King Today

Dear MLK Families,

I’m writing the let you know we had an unexpected fire alarm at school today at about 8:55 AM.

The fire alarm was the result of a King Care childcare worker putting a plastic bin on the stove inside the King Care office—something clearly against both school and King Care procedures. Apparently when the bin was placed on the stove, it nudged one of the knobs and turned on a burner. Shortly thereafter, plastic began melting causing a bit of smoke and odor in the hallway around the King Care office.

Upon seeing the situation, we followed our building safety procedures and evacuated the building. Students and staff stayed outside for about 10 minutes while Head Custodian Mr. Harris and I determined that any risk or danger had been safely mediated.

Because it is not typical for us to have a fire drill during morning entry, I want you to know how appropriately students responded going either with their own teacher or with an adult who works at King School. This was exactly the right thing to do! If you have an opportunity, please reinforce this with your child (and maybe tell them how happy Mr. Karr was that students stayed with adults who work at King School during the fire alarm).

Last I want to assure you that Mrs. Brescol, the King Care director, and I have spoken at length about the situation today and the steps that need to take place to make sure this can’t happen again. This includes reexamining storage in the King Care office, developing written procedures for King Care storage, and a twice yearly review of the procedures with King Care staff.

If you have questions, please call me at 994-1940 or email me at


Monday, September 14, 2009

Message Regarding Meal Pay Plus

From Chartwells Food Service:

> I am writing to inform you that the Food Service server that
> controls all
> of the Point of Sales machines in the district is experiencing some
> major
> difficulties . This will affect any Mealpay Plus payments that parents
> have made to the district in the past 48 hours. It will also affect
> balance updates that should have shown in the last 48 hours.
> In the secondary schools the computers can run independently but it
> may
> cause some slow lunch lines because the payments that were made
> today may
> not show up in accounts tomorrow.
> We will instruct our Food Service employees to allow all students
> who's
> parents have made payments to go though the lines with no
> difficulties.
> If parents call please advise them that we are working on the
> problem. We
> will notify you as soon as the server is up and running.

Friday, September 11, 2009

King Students Use Hand Sanitizer To Prevent The Spread Of Germs

Curriculum Night - 9/15 @ 6PM

The MLK staff and I are looking forward to meeting all parents next Tuesday, September 15 at our annual Curriculum Night.

The schedule for Curriculum Night is as follows:
6 – 6:40 Classroom presentations
6:45 – 7:05 State of the School presentation in the multipurpose room
7:10 – 7:50 Classroom presentations

While at Curriculum Night, please be sure to sign up for a parent-teacher conference and don’t forget to visit our non-classroom programs and staff including Physical Education, Vocal Music, Reading Intervention, Resource Room, English as a Second Language, Art, Computer Lab and the Media Center!

Please note that Curriculum Night is a night set aside for teachers to present to parents. It is the one evening event of the school year we ask for parents only. This will let you focus on what the teachers are presenting and will allow all teachers to present to you in their instructional spaces.

With our first major evening event comes a reminder to follow our evening safety procedures which includes NO PARKING in front of King School. Please plan to park on Waldenwood Drive but NOT in front of King School.

We look forward to seeing you next Tuesday evening!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

A spirited game of 4-square on the MLK playground

Picture Day is October 2

In case there is any confusion, picture day is on October 2.

Parents can order pictures using the form sent home previously or by going to If you use the website, you will need the following school code: AA0404

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Kindergarten Noon Time Bus Schedule

AM Kindergarten Drop-Off Schedule
11:59 - Depart King School
12:02 - 1082 Greenhills Dr.
12:10 - Skynot at the Triangle/799 Skynob Dr.
12:19 - Green Road @ Vintage Valley
12:26 - Parkway Blvd @ Ridgeside Circle N
12:29 - Garden View @ Parkside Dr.
12:33 - Dixboro Road N @ Erin Ct.
12:37 - Geddes Road @ Valleyview Dr.

PM Kindergarten Pick-Up Schedule
12:07 - Skynob Dr. @ Skynob Ct.
12:08 - Skynob at the Triangle/799 Skynob Dr.
12:16 - Parkway Blvd @ Ridgeside Circle N
12:23 - Dixboro @ Village Green
12:24 - Geddes Rd. @ Valleyview Dr.
12:35 - Arrive King School

Hand Sanitizer Available In Lunchroom

Monday, September 07, 2009

First Day Reminders

Dear King Families,

The excitement of a new school year is upon us! The contractors have completed the renovations, Mr. Harris and company have put a nice shine on the school, Mrs. Greene and Mrs. Basta have been completing student enrollments, the teachers have been preparing their lessons . . . and EVERYONE is going to be happy to see the kids return tomorrow morning and for learning to begin at King School again.

Before we get to the first bell tomorrow morning at 8:45, I thought it would be good to remind everyone of a couple things:

1. Safety is #1 during drop-off and pick-up. For parents, this means you are required to follow our procedures. If you think you need to become more familiar with the drop-off and pick-up procedures, please click here.
2. I could use some volunteer help during drop-off and pick-up times. I am looking for volunteers to help for 15 minutes one day a week, starting the first day of school. If you can help, please click here to indicate when you can help.

I’m excited to be back at MLK School this year again. We have a wonderful community, and I love working with all of you to make King the best it can be. Let’s have a great year!

If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to call us at 994-1940.



New King School Clothing!

Show your school spirit with King School clothing! Newly designed short sleeve t-shirts & hooded pullover sweatshirts with fantastic new logos! Sample colors & artwork are on display in the glass case by the main entrance. Mix & match your styles & logos. Youth & adult sizes available. Order more than one...don't forget yourself! Stop by the table near the main entrance on Curriculum Night (9/15) & at the PTO meeting (9/16) to see them in person & place your orders. Orders are due by Wednesday, 9/30. Contact Susan Gechter at with any questions.

PTO Meeting, 9/16 @ 7 PM

Everyone is invited and encouraged to attend the first PTO meeting on Wednesday, 9/16 at 7:00 pm in the King School Library. See what's planned, find out how to get involved, & much more! Kids can sit & watch a movie in the library while we meet. See you there!
Submitted by Susan Gechter, PTO President

Math Olympiad Parent Meeting - 9/17 @ 7 PM

Dear parents,

King school will start the Math Olympiad for Elementary and Middle Schools program (MOEMS) this fall for 4th and 5th graders. The MOEMS has been a major math contest for school children for 30 years. In the 2008-2009 year, 150,000 students participated in the program, representing 49 US states and 30 countries. Its stated goals are:
• To stimulate enthusiasm and a love for Mathematics
• To introduce important Mathematical concepts
• To teach major strategies for problem solving
• To develop Mathematical flexibility in solving problems
• To strengthen Mathematical intuition
• To foster Mathematical creativity and ingenuity
• To provide for the satisfaction, joy, and thrill of meeting challenges
Sign-up will be in mid- to late-September. Everyone who wants the challenge is welcome, regardless of the level of math proficiency. We will hold approximately 12 after-school training sessions. Five contests will be held at King school from November to March. In each contest, students will have 30 minutes to solve 5 word problems.

An informational meeting for interested parents will be on Sept. 17th at 7pm in the King School Media Center. I will show sample contest problems and outline our plan for training and contests. We need a lot of volunteers (some on-site, some at home) to work in all areas from keeping a team roster and coordinating volunteers to coaching the team and monitoring the contests. Just as the King School Science Olympiad, we will make volunteering mandatory: if your kid signs up, you need to volunteer. I will also provide information on volunteering at the info. meeting.

If you have any questions, please email

Jing Liu, PICO (Person In Charge of the Olympiad)

The World Visits King School

Over the course of the last six months, visitors from 25 countries have logged on to the MLK School Website!  Look at the flags toward the bottom of the front page of the MLK website to see if your home country has visited our site.

Drop-off and Pick-up Volunteers

Friday, September 04, 2009

Action Steps for Parents to Protect Your Child and Family from the Flu this School Year

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends 4 main ways you and your family may keep from getting sick with the flu at school and at home:

  1. Practice good hand hygiene by washing your hands often with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.

  2. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow or shoulder; not into your hands.

  3. Stay home if you or your child is sick for at least 24 hours after there is no longer a fever or signs of a fever (without the use of fever-reducing medicine). Keeping sick students at home means that they keep their viruses to themselves rather than sharing them with others.

  4. Get your family vaccinated for seasonal flu and 2009 H1N1 flu when vaccines are available.

If flu conditions become MORE severe, parents should consider the following steps:

  • Extend the time sick children stay home for at least 7 days, even if they feel better sooner. People who are still sick after 7 days should continue to stay home until at least 24 hours after symptoms have completely gone away.

  • If a household member is sick, keep any school-aged brothers or sisters home for 5 days from the time the household member became sick. Parents should monitor their health and the health of other school-aged children for fever and other symptoms of the flu.

Follow these steps to prepare for the flu during the 2009-2010 school year:

  • Plan for child care at home if your child gets sick or their school is dismissed.
  • Plan to monitor the health of the sick child and any other children in the household by checking for fever and other symptoms of flu.
  • Identify if you have children who are at higher risk of serious disease from the flu and talk to your healthcare provider about a plan to protect them during the flu season. Children at high risk of serious disease from the flu include: children under 5 years of age and those children with chronic medical conditions, such as asthma and diabetes.
  • Identify a separate room in the house for the care of sick family members.
  • Update emergency contact lists.
  • Collect games, books, DVDs and other items to keep your family entertained if schools are dismissed or your child is sick and must stay home.

Talk to your school administrators about their pandemic or emergency plan.

For more information:

  • Visit:
  • Contact CDC 24 Hours/Every Day
    • 1-800-CDC-INFO (232-4636)
    • TTY: (888)232-6348

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Afternoon Kindergarten Update

Parents who received PM kindergarten class placement letters found they indicated that Ms. Cooper would be their child's teacher.

In a late change to staffing, Ms. Cooper will NOT be teaching the PM kindergarten at King School. Instead our AM kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Sanders, will stay at King School all day and will be the teacher for both the AM and PM class!

King School's Welcome Back Dessert, 9/10 @ 7 PM

Hello everyone and welcome back to King School!
The King School Welcome Dessert will be held on Thursday, 9/10/09 from 7:00 pm to 8:15 pm on the King School playground.
Bring your family and your favorite desert to share. Enjoy the company of others in the King School community!
We need some volunteers to help with set up, clean up and for parking lot/safety. Please sign up at this link:

Please contact Sujata Guduri at with any questions.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Welcome Night For New Families - 9/2 @ 7PM

If you are new to King School, please join Mr. Karr and the King PTO for Welcome Night For New Families at school tonight.

You'll hear from Mr. Karr, hear from the PTO and go on a student led tour around the school. Everything starts at 7 PM and ends at 8. See you there.

Thanks to our wonderful PTO for their help getting this great event up and running!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Fruit and Vegetable Snacks Only Please - Food Allergies

During the first four weeks of school we will be evaluating food allergy response plans for students with medically sensitive needs. During this time, please send ONLY fruit and vegetable snacks to school. This is necessary to be responsive to the increasing number of medically sensitive situations with which we are faced.

AAPS Wellness Policy: I also want to note the AAPS has a Wellness Policy that covers both nutrition education and nutrition standards. In particular, the policy states that foods of minimal nutritional value will not be served during the instructional day, including the meal service period.

What does this mean for you? I encourage families to consider healthy choices, such as non-food items, as part of birthday and classroom celebrations. Of course, there is no way to mandate this kind of thing, but I am very aware how important the promotion healthy choices to students has been to the MLK community. Some healthy food suggestions include:
  • Fresh fruit and vegetables
  • Yogurt
  • Bagels with low-fat cream cheese
  • Baby carrot and other vegetables with low-fat dip
  • Fig cookies
  • Animal crackers
  • Baked Chips
  • Low-fat popcorn
  • Granola bars (but may contain allergens)
  • Soft pretzels and mustard
  • Pizza (no extra cheese)
  • Pudding
  • String cheese
  • Cereal bar
  • Single-serve low-fat flavored milk
  • 100% fruit juice
  • Flavored bottled water
My recent healthy discovery: While shopping recently (at Costco), I picked up a product called "Trio Bars." They taste good, come in a variety of flavors and contain no trans fat, no additives, no preservatives, no cholesterol, are Kosher, and have no gluten, dairy or wheat. If they sound interesting to you, you might enjoy them as a healthy choice.