Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Speak Up - Survey

Speak Up 2010 Survey

The Ann Arbor Public Schools is participating in the Speak Up annual national educational technology survey. We'd like to invite AAPS students, parents and teachers to share their thoughts on key educational issues.  The survey runs through December 17, 2010: Please consider logging on and participating.  At the end of the survey, our district will be able to access the aggregate data submitted by survey takers in our district and use it for future discussions and planning.

To participate:

1) Go to http://www.speakup4schools.org/speakup2010/

2) Click the link to the appropriate survey

3) Type in your school's name (try the short version first, e.g. Mitchell instead of Mary D. Mitchell, Bryant instead of Clifford E. Bryant), select MI from the State pull-down list, then click the Find School button

4) Click the name of your school in the list presented

5) When prompted for the "secret word" enter aaps then click the Login button.

6) Students, teachers and administrators will be prompted to click the appropriate survey; parents will be taken directly to their survey.

Speak Up is one of the biggest education technology surveys in the country. It is an excellent, widely-used survey that informs the many articles relating to technology integration and public perceptions of tech use in schools you see in education journals. For more information about the Speak Up project see http://www.tomorrow.org/speakup/speak_up_faq.html

King School International Night Fast Approaching! Sign Up Now!!!

Performances: Signups for King School International Night (Thurs Feb. 10) performances are underway! Please email Frances fkwang AT aol DOT com if you would like to participate. Reminders: all performances must be under 3 minutes! Music must be prerecorded on CD. Colorful costumes a plus! Dance, music, poetry, song, more (be creative!) encouraged. Parents and siblings and friends welcome to perform together. With Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays looming, practices must begin ASAP! There are video recordings of previous years' performances in the library if you need ideas of what to expect. Remind fifth graders that this is their last chance! 

Maypole: I also have a lead on a maypole and a maypole dance teacher if anyone would like to organize a group of 8-16 kids to dance around a maypole.

Coins and Red Envelopes: For anyone traveling abroad over the holidays: Please bring back small coins for us to include in the children's red envelopes! The more countries' coins we have the better! (and any other sort of small flat knick-knacks like stickers) We also need 300 red envelopes if anyone is going to China or Taiwan at Christmas time. 

Country Posters: For those who would like to be a part but do not have time to participate in a performance, everyone is invited to make a country poster to teach about a special country or culture that you like! This is a great family project, especially over the holidays when you have some free time. Posters will be displayed for two weeks before and after International Night. Posters must be flat and able to be taped to the wall. Photos are great! Creativity encouraged! Celebrations of achievements of Americans of that ethnic heritage appreciated by the kids! Maps are cool, but no flags please. Contact Padma p_anupindi AT hotmail DOT com for information.

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, Israeli folk 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 are also always open to new innovative ideas! 
Frances Kai-Hwa Wang (Nico's mom)

PHOTO: Kindergarten Students Are Exploring Symmetry

Monday, November 22, 2010


Watch for a flyer that will be sent home in your child's backpack.
Gifts are due December 10.

Submitted by Rachel Sabb Community Action

2010 Trick or Treat for UNICEF Results

Thanks to all of the King School students who participated in Trick or
Treat for UNICEF.
This year $340.00 was donated to help children in need globally.

Academic Games Update

Congratulations to the King Elementary Academic Games team for winning
the 3rd place team trophy at the regional tournament last month! More
than a hundred students from 14 schools traveled from as far as Grand
Rapids, Jackson and Oxford to Huron High School for the tournament on
October 16, 2010 where the King School team competed in the game
Equations. At the November tournament this past weekend, Kng School
competed in both Equations and a set theory game, On-Sets (results to
be announced in December). We are very proud of our students for all
their hard work which led to this achievement!

AAPS Gift Policy

With the upcoming gift giving season upon us, please be aware of the following AAPS Board of Education policy:

"Ann Arbor Public School employees may not accept gifts of more than token value from individual students or parents or from groups of students on school property."

Friday, November 19, 2010

PHOTO: First Graders Learn About Picasso and Cubism

AAPS Educational Foundation Grants Announced

ANN ARBOR - The Board of Directors of the Ann Arbor Public Schools Educational Foundation has neared completion of its review of grant proposals and has determined to fund the following programs for the 2010-2011 academic year as part of its Initiatives for Excellence:
Elementary World Language ($108,400):  In 2009-10, Ann Arbor Public Schools launched the Ann Arbor Language Partnership (A2LP) collaboration between the Ann Arbor School District and the Teacher Education Program at the University of Michigan School of Education.  For this 2010-11 year, this program provides twice a week Spanish language instruction to nearly 2,500 third and fourth grade students attending the Ann Arbor Public Schools.  AAPSEF will support this collaborative effort to make the AAPS school system a leader in preparing students for work in a global economy.  Funds contributed will cover the District's partnership contribution to the University of Michigan as well as costs for materials and supplies.  For more information on the program, click here.
Elementary Enrichment Coordinators ($55,220).  This is the second year of AAPSEF funding for a program that brings cohesion and best-practices planning to the district's use of curriculum-enhancing activities.  Elementary Enrichment Coordinators work with each of the elementary school clusters (the group of schools that feed a middle school) and examine current activities.  They then work with building administrators and classroom teachers to bring greater depth to the curriculum through academic games, hands-on classroom activities, field trips and connections to higher education resources.  For a look at last year's activities in this program, click here.
Environmental Science Program ($35,479).   This program, established in the early 1960's, is one of the oldest environmental science programs in public school history.  It has a broad scope, touching points in the school curriculum from grades one through six.  Specifically, AAPSEF funds will be used to support field trips related to the program for children at all 21 AAPS elementary schools.  The cost breakdown of the trips is simplified here: Kensington Metropark, first grades, $16,286; Gravel Pit and Life Cycles, second grades, $5,464 and $2,319; and Hydrology and Planetarium, sixth grades, $11,410. To learn more about the environmental education program, click here.  Support for this grant is made possible by a gift from IMRA, America.
            ACT's EXPLORE and PLAN Assessments ($22,000). The EXPLORE assessment will be administered to all AAPS eighth graders and the PLAN assessment will be administered to all tenth graders.  These tests help students find their academic strengths and weaknesses, and focus on their career inclinations at the outset and midway-point of high school.  The premise is that these assessments help guide students in career choice and course preparation for college or other post-secondary work.  Guidance staff then coordinates meetings with parents and students to help interpret the results and create a plan for their future.  The assessments are also helpful as a tool to prepare students for the Michigan Merit Exam.  For more information, click here.
5th Grade Instrumental Music Program ($10,000). All AAPS 5th graders have the opportunity to experience instrumental music hands-on. Ann Arbor's award-winning high school music programs build on this early foundation.  Most importantly, this program ensures access to the best in music education for all students at all schools.  In Ann Arbor Public Schools, no one is left out because of an inability to pay for private music lessons.  AAPSEF funding will support the repair of musical instruments and purchase of new and replacement music books for fifth grade students for the 2010-2011 academic year.
The Ann Arbor Public Schools Educational Foundation's Board of Directors is continuing research into other district program applications and will determine additional funding this month.  Due to the generous support of the Ann Arbor Public Schools Educational Foundation's donors, the Foundation is able to make substantially larger contributions to the school district this year than in the past.  Total support from the AAPSEF will total over $300,000 for the 2010-2011 academic year.   Approximately $40,000 remains to be distributed from dollars raised through the One Million Reasons campaign, and will be granted to programs in early childhood education, math and science, as stipulated by donor preference.
The Ann Arbor Public Schools Educational Foundation (AAPSEF) is an independent, community-based, non-profit organization committed to helping all Ann Arbor Public Schools students achieve their highest potential by providing community support for innovative and excellent educational opportunities.
For more information and interviews, contact Wendy Correll at wcorrell@aapsef.org or (734) 994-1969.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Report Cards: Questions and Answers

Report cards were distributed to students on Wednesday, November 17.

Q1: How do I know what my child is expected to know and be able to do at their grade level?
A1: The State of Michigan's Department of Education sets the standards for what students in each grade should know and be able to do. They call these standards Grade Level Content Expectations or GLCEs for short. School districts in Michigan--including the Ann Arbor Public Schools--use the GLCEs to guide what curriculum is taught at each grade level. For example, the third grade math GLCEs say that students should be able to "Use multiplication and division fact families to understand the inverse relationship of these two operations, e.g., because 3 x 8 = 24, we know that 24 ÷ 8 = 3 or 24 ÷ 3 = 8; express a multiplication statement as an equivalent division statement"; because of this, these concepts are taught in third grade with multiple experiences throughout the year. You can download copies of the GLCEs here or if you need a hard copy, please call your child's teacher or the school office.

Q2: Why doesn’t my child get letter grades (A, B, C, etc.) on 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 and the associated Ann Arbor curriculum, King 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. This is marked for each student by teachers and reported to parents in November, March and June of each school year. Using this assessment information, teachers are better able to meet the individual needs of students wherever they fall along the continuum of skillfulness.

Q3: How do teachers determine a child’s reading level?
A3: Periodically each student in class 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 their reading. Afterward, the information gathered during the running record can be analyzed to determine a child’s current level of performance. It also gives information about what a child needs to work on 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.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Thanksgiving Break - No School

There will be no school from November 24, 25, or 26 in observance of
the Thanksgiving break.

Thank You Turkey Trot Volunteers

Thank you to all the parent volunteers who helped pass out cider and
donuts after the kids finished running or walking at the Turkey Trot!
Thank you to Busch's for donating the gift cards as prizes for the

International Night: Indian Group Performance

All King students are welcome to participate in the Indian group
performance for International Night. If your child is interested,
please email sguduri@gmail.com before Dec 2nd. Practice will be on Mon/
Thursday in the King Multi-purpose room. If you have any questions,
contact Sujata Guduri at sguduri@gmail.com.

Science Olympiad Coaches Needed!

The 9th Annual Washtenaw Elementary Science Olympiad is coming up at the end of the school year, and enthusiastic coaches are needed to help prepare our kids for the tournament!
There are 18 different events that test different skills.  Coaches for the following events are still needed: Chopper Challenge, Mystery Architecture, Potions, Science Jeopardy, Sink or Float, Straw Tower, and What Went By (the previous Circuits coach is also willing to train a new coach). Event descriptions can be found at http://www.aaps.k12.mi.us/wesowizards.home/events_2010 . Get a friend and coach an event together!
Coaches are responsible for holding practices (usually starting in February), staying with kids until they are all picked up, ranking the kids in your event so a team can be put together, putting together a display for science night (possibly interactive in some events), guiding our kids to and from your event on Tournament Day. 
If you are interested in coaching, please contact Vivian Lin and Erika Levin, this year's King Elementary Science Olympiad co-head coaches, at vhl@umich.edu and emlevin@umich.edu .
Student signups for Science Olympiad will be in January--keep a lookout for the signup link in the eNotes then!

Message for 3rd, 4th, 5th Parents: Kids and Online Safety

Dear parents and guardians,

Please check your child's backpack for an outstanding booklet being
sent home to you called NET CETERA: Chatting with Kids About Being
Online. This free government brochure offers excellent explanations
and tips about raising safe and smart children in today's technology
filled world.

While our children of all ages are getting more and more tech-savvy,
they often don't have the maturity and judgement to act in
appropriate, safe and ethical ways. This booklet will really assist
you as you work to guide them.

As always, we are so happy to partner with you as we work together to
raise King kids.

Ann O'Keefe, Media Specialist
Kevin Karr

Thursday, November 11, 2010

PHOTO: Amate Bark Paintings

In Ms. Wayne's Visual Arts Studio, 4th grade students explored the history of park paintings in South America as well as the purpose, processes, and symbolism found in typical bark paintings.  The students followed up by producing their own version by using characteristics and styles used by the artisits of Latin America while exploring the examples of bark paintings presented in class.

Science Olympiad Coaches Needed!

The 9th Annual Washtenaw Elementary Science Olympiad is coming up at the end of the school year, and enthusiastic coaches are needed to help prepare our kids for the tournament!
There are 18 different events that test different skills. Coaches for the following events are still needed: Chopper Challenge, Estimania, Mystery Architecture, Potions, Science Jeopardy, Sink or Float, Straw Tower, and What Went By (the previous Circuits coach is also willing to train a new coach). Event descriptions can be found at http://www.aaps.k12.mi.us/wesowizards.home/events_2010 . Get a friend and coach an event together!
As a reminder, coaches and co-coaches are responsible for (not an all-inclusive list):
- Holding practices regularly, usually once per week, from about Feb-March until the date of the tournament
- Keeping attendance
- Staying w the kids after practice till they are ALL picked up
- Ranking the kids in your event so that the team can be put together
- Coming up with a display for Science Night. This year we would like to bring back the more-interactive displays, at least for events that are conducive to such a presentation.
- Guiding our kids to and from your event on Tournament Day (date to be determined)
If you are interested in coaching, please contact Vivian Lin and Erika Levin, this year's King Elementary Science Olympiad co-head coaches, at vhl@umich.edu and emlevin@umich.edu .
Student signups for Science Olympiad will be in January--keep a lookout for the signup link in the eNotes then!

King Chronicle - from Mr. Karr

November 2010

Dear King School Families,

So far the fall at King has been wonderful.  Our students are hard working, kind, productive, and energetic.  Our parents have been thoughtful, supportive and so helpful.  Our teachers . . . what can I say . . . they are doing a great job!  I appreciate the privilege of working in this wonderful community. Thank you for your continued support in making King School the best it can be.
Today I'm writing to share updates of which I think all King families will want to be aware.  

Report Cards
All students will receive their fall report cards on Wednesday, November 17.  It is my hope that the contact you've had with your child's teacher during Curriculum Night and at the fall parent-teacher conference has given you a useful understanding of the report card.  It is intended to be a "snapshot in time" to report your child's current achievement. Of course, if you have questions about the report card, please contact your child's teacher. 
You also might be interested in knowing about a presentation I made at a PTO meeting last year about report cards.  The slides from the presentation can be viewed online at: http://tiny.cc/reportcards.

PTO = Wow!!!  . . . Budget, Field Trips, Turkey Trot, Planning Meetings: 
I want to thank the PTO Executive Board for their hard work so far this year.  The budget they've set is supportive to each child at King, and it supports programming that continues to make King School one of the most unique and successful schools in the state.  The budget includes support for:

·    Every child to attend a University Musical Society (or similar) production this school year;

·    A grade level field trip for each grade;

·    Needy students at King;

·    Academic Games;

·    Science Olympiad;

·    Math Olympiad;

·    Teachers to purchase classroom materials;

·    International Night;

·    And more! 

Last, for all families who were able to support the PTO's request for dues this year . . . on behalf of the King staff, Thank You!
International Night Planning
Thank you to everyone who attended the International Night planning meeting on November 9.  I'm always so grateful to Frances Wang and all the parents and teachers who assist in making the event King School's most exciting and meaningful tradition. For more information, please watch Frances' website about the King International Night at http://kinginternationalnight.blogspot.com/.

School Improvement Plan
The latest updates about school improvement at King can always be viewed at
The King School Improvement Team (SIT) and the King staff have identified four achievement foci for the school. In a nutshell, the goals are:
1. King students will write paragraphs
2. King students will revise their writing
3. King students will read at            grade level
4. King student will achieve math outcomes related to algebra
To address these goals, we track which students are not achieving their corresponding grade level outcomes and teachers use this information to help address difficulties a student may be having.

In addition to what happens in the classroom, the SIT works to help parents become involved in understanding and addressing the goals.  As part of the SIT meetings this fall, we've been in discussion about the best ways to do this.  Please look for more information as the year progresses.  If you have suggestions or questions, please feel free to email me at karrk@aaps.k12.mi.us or the SIT co-chair Camille Ziolek  (acziolek at oaklandcc.edu)


 P.S. Thank You for ALWAYS following the Drop-off and Pick-up Policy. We're getting better at following this, but we still have a ways to go.  Thank you for your support!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

What should I do if I'm not receiving eNotes?

If you are not receiving eNotes from King School and would like to, please call or stop by the school office to update your email address in PowerSchool.

There are two other situations (I can think of) that may prevent a you from receiving a school email:
1.  You've previously indicated they did not want to receive the messages from King School in which case you'd want to call the school office to indicate you'd like to begin receiving them again;
2.  The email was classified as spam for some reason on your email system or program. 

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Bicyclists - Please Walk To Glazier - SAFETY FIRST

Many students enjoy riding their bikes to King School.  Of course there are walkers as well.  From time to time the bicyclists and walkers interact . . . and it's not so positive.

To help with this, Mr. Karr asks that all students riding bicycles WALK their bicycles until congestion is reduced.  This may mean students need to walk their bicycles as far as Glazier Way.  Either way, let's instruct our young cyclists to share the sidewalk and to be safe which means walking for a short time is necessary.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Composting Help Requested For Winter

Are you willing to help in continuing our composting program at King school during the winter months?  If so, we need your help!  

The King Composting Team (which is part of the student council) is in need of parent volunteers willing to take our winter compost to the local city drop off site.  The City of Ann Arbor does not come and pick up compost during the months of December through March.  We are looking for parents to come Tuesdays and Fridays for pick up and drop off.  Our goal is to have winterized composting onsite sometime in the future, but until then we need to take it to our local center.  If you are interested in helping, please contact Ms. Shah at shahn@aaps.k12.mi.us or give her a call at (734) 994-1940.  Thank you for your support.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

King School International Night Organizational Meeting - 11/9 @ 6 PM

Tuesday, November 9, 6-7pm, King School Library
Now that soccer season is over, it is time to start organizing and rehearsing for King School's International Night! Please come to our one and only organizational meeting to learn more about International Night, sign up for committees, meet others, organize groups, look at photos, and learn the behind-the-scenes secrets for King School's most spectacular event of the year. A lot of key people graduated last year, so everyone welcome!
More updates coming soon to http://kinginternationalnight.blogspot.com/
If you can, stay a little longer for the PTO meeting immediately following, too!
Thanks, Frances Wang (Wang Kai-Hwa) (contact: fkwang@aol.com)

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

King Student Council Food Drive - 11/1 - 11/19

The King School Student Council Canned Food Drive is back!  We are collecting non-perishable foods from November 1 - November 19.  Our goal is to collect over 4000 food items!  

Everything collected will be donated to Food Gatherers.  Food Gatherers exists to alleviate hunger and eliminate its causes in our community by reducing food waste through the rescue and distribution of perishable and non-perishable food, coordinating with other hunger relief providers, educating the public about hunger, and developing new food resources.

Here are some suggestions of canned and dry goods recommended that are nutritious and easy to donate:

Tuna Fish or other canned fish or meat
Beef Stew, Meat Soups
Hearty Soups
Canned Spaghetti or Pasta
Beans (kidney, pinto, green, yellow, refried or black beans)
Baby Food or Formula
Ensure or other nutritional supplement drinks

Dry Beans
Dry Pasta
Powdered Milk
Pancake or Baking Mixes
Granola Bars
Peanut Butter
Jelly (in plastic jars)

NOTE: Food Gatherers does not accept opened containers and expired products, and asks that you avoid items in glass as they sometimes break in transit. Thank You!

*Please consider donating items with "pop tops" that don't require a can opener.