District News

Ferndale Schools distributes a weekly email newsletter, called the Eblast. Sign up below.

Ferndale Schools recognizes the importance of ensuring our websites are accessible to those with disabilities. We are committed to making our information accessible to all visitors and are actively working to increase the accessibility and usability of our website and, in doing so, adhere to many of the available standards and guidelines.

Review our complete Web Accessibility Policy »

Accessibility Complaints

Alternative access or assistance requests may be filed with the District's Website Accessibility Coordinator:

William Good, Communications Director
871 Pinecrest
Ferndale, MI 48820
248-586-8672
william.good@ferndaleschools.org

Students, prospective students, employees and the District’s guests with disabilities may report violations of the technical standard(s) used by the District, file a formal complaint through the District’s Section 504 and Title II grievance procedure (through the District’s Section 504 Coordinator), and/or contact the Web Accessibility Coordinators with any accessibility concerns.

Detailed grievance reporting instructions are here »

News Stories

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September
Montessori Alumni Return to Celebrate Peace

On Tuesday, The International Day of Peace, seven 4th and 5th graders who were from the Montessori "Sassafras Room" were invited back to help the current students paint peace poles. They were so helpful and all of the students and teaching staff loved having them back!

Montessori Teacher Amy Pommereau said, "Because I have had the children for 3 years, from 1st–3rd grade, we get very close and are able to build a close classroom community. We call our classroom the Sassafras Room because the Montessori method tells us that the classroom belongs to the children, not the teacher. So, it's not named after me. Often Montessori classrooms are named after trees, flowers, or other things found in nature. We always say, "Once a Sassafras, Always a Sassafras!" 

 

FHS Student Composer To Be Recognized

Congratulations to FHS student Alicia Erlandson who is being honored by Mata Jr. for her amazing compositional work! Alicia's award-winning original composition, Lemonade, will be performed and live streamed October 17, 2021 @ 7PM at matafestival.org/mata-jr-2021

MATA Jr banner

From MATAfestival.org

Music at the Anthology (MATA) is an incubator for adventurous emerging artists experimenting with composition, multi-media, collaborative performance art, and every imaginable sound in between. We present, support, and commission the music of early-career composers, regardless of their stylistic views or aesthetic inclinations. Founded by Philip Glass, Eleonor Sandresky, and Lisa Bielawa in 1996 as a way to address the lack of presentation opportunities for unaffiliated composers, MATA has since developed into the world’s most sought-after performance opportunity for young and emerging composers.

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UHS Building Improvements

University High School students can now enjoy outdoor seating during the day. The metal, weather proof tables are outside of the building near the UHS Learning Garden.

Additionally, the UHS Media Center has been fully renovated and features new flexible seating! Thanks to the community for your overwhelming support of the 2020 Bond which fully funded this project.

Lower Elementary Celebrates Constitution Day

Ferndale Lower Elementary students recognized Constitution Day last week. Each class participated in their own way. Several classes created crafts and sang songs, while others drafted their own class constitution. There were also discussions, video, read alouds, and lessons on US symbols.

  

Community Health Reminder

As the weather grows colder and traditional flu season approaches, please remember that it is essential that we do not send students to school if they are not feeling well. In addition to traditional signs of illness, we are asking you to watch for these symptoms of potential illness due to unique coronaviruses in circulation.

If your students are exhibiting any of the following symptoms, please keep them at home until 24-48 hours after the symptoms are gone:

  • fever
  • cough
  • sore throat
  • congestion or runny nose
  • nausea or vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • fatigue
  • muscle or body aches
  • headache
  • shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • new loss of taste or smell

If a student has TWO or more of these same symptoms, families should seek advice for further guidance from the health department, school, or primary doctor while staying at home.

Emotional Support Dog Returns to FUEL

Our amazing emotional support dog, Kiddo, is back in the classroom giving out free snuggles and love. The students have been so excited having Kiddo in class and serving up as much love to him as he gives. Don't worry if your child isn't that into dogs. Kiddo has learned to stay back from children that seem a little nervous of him until they invite him closer. We can't wait for Kiddo to be in all the classes!

For more info about Kiddo, you can read the Emotional Support Dog FAQ from FUEL!

 

FHS Theatre to Bring Focus to Artists of Color

Ferndale High School will be holding auditions for THROUGH THESE EYES: A Theatre Experience featuring the works of artists of color. Monologues and songs will be provided to students interested in auditioning, but students are also welcome to bring their own performing arts piece to audition with, including songs, monologues, poems, dance routines, or other performance pieces. Original work is encouraged.

Please contact Kelly Komlen with any questions. kelly.komlen@ferndaleschool.org

COVID-19 Quarantine Changes

Earlier this week, we received updated guidance from MDHHS with regards to our quarantining process with regards to close contacts of a COVID-19 positive case.

In the past, we have been advised by MDHHS and Oakland County Health Department to quarantine any close contacts (within 3 feet for 15 minutes, unvaccinated) of a COVID-19 positive case for 10 days.

However, this week, MDHHS revised their guidance.  We are no longer required to quarantine every close contact, provided that:

  • masks were being worn by both parties
    • the COVID-19 positive individual
    • the individual close contact
  • the close contact is asymptomatic
  • the close contact agrees to be tested each day prior to entering the school building (7 days).

Close contacts who were eating lunch with masks removed will most likely not qualify for this new guidance, because masks were removed for a significant portion of the contact time (over 15 minutes.)

MDHHS is also supplying free rapid tests for us to use to conduct this testing, so it will be free of charge for all families.

While we are eager to comply with this new guidance in order to minimize the impact on students and families, it will take some time to initiate this protocol. Our plan is to create a central testing location at Ferndale High School which will offer daily rapid testing for any students deemed a close contact from 7:30 am–9:30 am each morning. We hope to begin offering this within the next week, provided we are able to secure enough tests to begin.

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we navigate this new process.

Traffic Safety Reminder

Safety is our collective responsibility, especially when arriving to and departing from our school buildings. We can protect ourselves and our neighbors by allowing ample arrival time and observing our surroundings for the safety of all.

A message was sent home to FMS families last week, and we would like to remind everyone of those important traffic safety guidelines.

View the FMS Traffic Guidelines Page »

Parents Learn About Curriculum

Ferndale Elementary parents were invited to curriculum nights at Ferndale Lower and Upper Elementary Schools this week, and secondary curriculum nights will be hosted next week. Educators, parent groups, and community organizations were available for families to learn about curriculum and discover resources.

  

Upcoming Curriculum Nights

FMS Curriculum Night
Wed 9/22 | 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

FHS Curriculum Night/Senior Night
Thur 9/23 | Times TBD

Curriculum Quarterly — SEL Instruction and Our Students

The latest FPS Curriculum Quarterly is now available. Our Curriculum & Instruction Department will be releasing a new issue 4 times a year that will briefly highlight areas of teaching and learning in Ferndale Public Schools. We look forward to sharing our programming overviews with you.  If you have questions, please contact Johanna Mracna at johanna.mracna@ferndaleschools.org.

This issue focuses on our Social Emotional Learning goals and methods, presented by grade ranges. Please take a look, and stay tuned for future issues introducing our other pillars of education.

Read the Curriculum Quarterly for October 2020 - Literacy and Our Students »

Boys Soccer Decimates Centerline 8-0

The FHS Eagles Boys Soccer team destroyed Centerline in a sweeping 8-0 victory last Friday. The footballers are now 5-2 overall this season.

Their next home game will be Tuesday, September 14th at 7:00 pm vs. the Oak Park Knights.

FMS Field Day

Ferndale Middle School hosted 6th-8th grade students for an active day of outdoor activities. The FMS Field Day was well attended, and a good time was had by all.

 

Thank you to our Field Day organizing committee:Ms. Cole, Ms. Hutko, and Mrs. Coram. Additionally, we’d like to thank Mr. Warkoczeski for his assistance and oversight with event and site preparation. 

Most importantly, we’d like to thank all of our Ferndale Middle School students for not only an incredible afternoon but a spectacular first week of school. 

 

 

We Are Hiring

Ferndale Schools is hiring for the following positions

Contact Tammy Crossley at tamara.crossley@ferndaleschools.org or (248) 586-8662 for more details.

August
Students Return to Classrooms

Students were welcomed into classrooms across the district on Monday. All ages are attending classrooms in person, while Secondary students have been offered an all-virtual option for the fall. Safety guidelines in place include:

  • Indoor Mask Are Required
  • Ventilation and Social Distancing

Read more about our Safety Protocols

 

Food Services Updates

All meals will be provided free to all students in cafeterias this year.

Curbside pick-up will be available free to all children on Mondays 8:30AM-10AM. 5 days of meals will be given at this time.

No cash will be accepted when purchasing additional items at secondary schools. Student IDs will be scanned instead, and money must be added through MISTAR.

Read full details on our Food Services Page.

June
TCEC Graduation

TCEC honored the graduating class of 2021 in an outdoor ceremony at Ferndale High School on Thursday. Congratulations to all of this year's graduates, and good luck on your future endeavors.

  

5th Grade Clap-Out

FUEL sent off 5th Graders to FMS in style this week, with a clap-out drive through event.

Congratulations on all of your hard work, Sixth Graders!

    

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FEA Awards $500 Scholarships

The Ferndale Education Association (FEA) has given three $500 scholarships this year to graduating seniors from each of the high school buildings.  The winners are as follows:

  • UHS- Richard Savaya
  • FHS- Micah McCreary Mills
  • TCEC- Denisse Rivas-Torres

The FEA is a collective bargaining organization consisting of Teachers, Counselors, Specialists, Therapists, Social Workers, Psychologists, Pathologists, and Interventionists working within Ferndale Schools.

FHS & UHS Graduate Seniors

Ferndale High School and University High School held ceremonies this week to celebrate our graduating seniors.

Here are just a few of our favorite photos. Event recordings can be viewed on school homepages.

FHS Graduation Video UHS Graduation Video

   

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TCEC Tree of Knowledge

Though this year has looked very different in the hallways at Ferndale's TCEC, our students and staff have been hard at work. Many of our students have remained virtual throughout this pandemic, even with Ferndale School re-opening to a hybrid learning environment, as many have siblings they have to help with school work at home, or have picked up jobs during these difficult times. The dedication to their school work and the flexibility of our program has allowed our students to continue to be successful.

Mrs. Lovins and Ms. Roy have continued to track and post our student accomplishments on our Tree of Knowledge in a modified format this year. Instead of individual leafs per student, giant leafs were used for each content area. All of our first semester grades were posted once we returned in March, then each consecutive month has been posted during the second semester.

As of June 3rd, TCEC students have completed over 2,690 classes and we have 117 graduates. With another week of school yet to go, we know that our students will be finishing up even more classes and a few more graduates fly away into the great wide world!

Awesome work!

Sewing Satisfaction in Learning Labs

Inspired by an activity Amy Pommereau does with her Montessori class, FUEL Learning Lab teacher Carolyn Ward decided to bring some end of the year joy to her learning lab students by teaching them to sew! Using brightly colored felt, embroidery thread, and needles with big eyes, the students have been creating all kinds of things from pockets to pillows to cat toys. Besides the pride that comes with completing  a project, the students completely connect with a traditional art and recognize the satisfaction it brings. In fact, ‘satisfying’ has become a very popular word among the students sitting around the sewing tables!

 

FMS Book Club Wraps Up School Year

Students met to discuss the last book of the year in the FMS Book Club! We read They Called Us Enemy by George Takei. We had a geat showing of 6th graders at this final book club of the year. FMS book will return next fall! Keep reading!

May
Farm Visits Lower Elementary

Upland Hills Farm came to Ferndale Lower, animals and all! The truckload included goats, sheep and a cow.

Students (and teachers) enjoyed learning about the animals and petting them. They even listened to them "talking". Thanks, Elementary PTA, for sponsoring this experience both for Roomies and Zoomies.

    

 

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FHS Students Create Food Pantry; Open to Community

FHS students planned, prepared, and stocked a new Community Pantry outside of FHS. English Teacher Kandis Pagonas led the project with students from her class.

"After a year of struggling to make and maintain connections, my students and I really wanted to do something that would bring us together and help the community at the same time," Kandis said. "After tossing around some ideas, we chose to create a community pantry. We know that the last year has been extraordinarily hard on many families, and this was a small chance for us to give to the community. After a year of virtual learning, it really felt good to do such a hands on project.  We hope to continue adding to the pantry and already have some other ideas for ways we can give back to the community."

All community members are welcome to take from the pantry and to make donations of non-perishable food items. (Nothing that will rot or needs refrigeration, please.) Thank you, Kandis and students for this wonderful opportunity to share with our neighbors.

   

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UHS Senior Drive-Thru Celebration

UHS held its second annual Drive-Thru Celebration for its seniors on 5/26. Students and families showed up to enjoy music, ice cream, and shout-outs from their teachers, support staff, and MC/Principal Mr. Gardner. Congratulations UHS class of 2021! "U" made it!

     

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FHS Senior Drive-Thru Celebration

Ferndale High School seniors were highlighted on Friday, May 21 at the Drive-Thru Celebration. Cars filled with the graduates, family and friends began their parade by picking up their personalized lawn signs provided by FHS. Next they were cheered forward to the entrance of the football field where Mr. Welborn announced the name of our senior. All cars and community members tuned into 89.7FM to hear the announcements.

   

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5th Grade Write and Share Non-Fiction Books

The FUEL 5th graders worked extremely hard to write their own nonfiction, how-to books.

What they once thought an impossible feat became a truly remarkable accomplishment! They each wrote 5 chapters which consisted of 14 paragraphs with headings and subheadings. In addition, they included a text structure, a table of contents, and a glossary.  At the end of the unit Mrs. Lepp's and Mr. Williamson's classes were able to share their hard work with teachers, staff and the 4th graders in book viewings  We are so proud of our talented authors!

 

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Recognizing Teachers and Support Staff of the Year

We are pleased to present the 2020-21 Teachers and Support Staff of the Year. Join us in honoring these exceptional individuals for their service and dedication over the last year.

FECC
Teacher: Emily Friedman 
Support Staff: Erin Journey

Lower
Teacher: Meagan Grammatico
Support:  Deborah Holt-Foster 

Upper
Teacher: Greg Williamson
Support Staff: Marcie Dupuis

FMS
Teacher: Samantha Coram
Support Staff: Deb Lofton

FHS
Teacher: Stephanie Gizicki
Support Staff: Kim Eby & Shannon Heron

TCEC
Teacher: Cody Lown
Support Staff: Madeline Michalik

UHS
Teacher: Brooke Brimacombe
Support Staff: Noel Hildreth

Special Ed
Teacher: Amanda Marentis
Support Staff: Kim Eby

Central Office
Staff Member of the Year: Aubrie Agnello

Transportation
All of Transportation

    

Click for More Photos!

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12+ Vaccination Clinic: May 20th at FHS

FHS and Bloom Pediatrics will be hosting a 12+ vaccination clinic on Thursday, May 20th.

Register Here

The Pfizer vaccine will be provided, and will require a second dose on June 10th. Parents must Complete This Consent Form for all students, and bring it the day of the clinic or email to ferndalevaccine@bloompediatricsmi.com

There are 250 total vaccine doses available. Register now!

Curriculum Quarterly - Science & Our Students

The latest FPS Curriculum Quarterly is now available. Our Curriculum & Instruction Department will be releasing a new issue 4 times a year that will briefly highlight areas of teaching and learning in Ferndale Public Schools. We look forward to sharing our programming overviews with you.  If you have questions, please contact Johanna Mracna at johanna.mracna@ferndaleschools.org.

This issue focuses on our science learning goals and methods, presented by grade ranges. Please take a look, and stay tuned for future issues introducing our other pillars of education.

Read the Curriculum Quarterly for May 2021 - Science & Our Students »

FUEL Plants New Trees, Achieves Evergreen Status

Thanks to a generous donation from Home Depot - #2731 in Madison Heights, FUEL was able to purchase two trees, a flowering Crabapple and a Cleveland Pear, which were planted on the grounds for future generations of students and families to enjoy. Planting the trees also helped FUEL to earn the Evergreen award (the highest award possible) through Michigan Green School.

Thank you to 4th Grade teacher Mr. Ian Grzesik for leading the Green Schools program and planting the new trees at FUEL.

Mr. Grzesik stands with one of the newly planted trees.

Kindergarten Round-Up Wrangles a Crowd

Incoming Kindergartners visited Ferndale Lower Elementary on Wednesday evening, May 12th for Kindergarten Round-Up . The excited new students stepped inside a school bus and took a tour of their new school, led by an audio tour guide. This is one of our favorite of events of the year, and we are so thrilled to have hosted our new and returning families safely.

   

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State of the District Mixtapes

Every year, we present the annual state of the district. To celebrate some of the innovations and adaptations we have developed during building closures, we are presenting the State of the District as a series of short videos, available for asynchronous viewing.

View the 2021 State of the District Mixtapes, which can be viewed altogether or clicked through in any order.

  • Preschool at FECC
  • Elementary (Lower & Upper)
  • Secondary (FMS, FHS, TCEC, & UHS)
  • Your District, Today & Tomorrow

The links are live at FerndaleSchools.org/2021.

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Teacher Honored with Military Flag for Supporting Military Family

This week, Major Zachary Shea presented Ms. Mikolajewski with a flag from the US Army. This flag honored Ms. M’s work teaching Major Shea’s daughter, Cora, and supporting their family while he was deployed for the last 11 months. 

Thank you Ms. Mikolajewski for supporting all of our Ferndale Families, and thank you, Major Shea, for your service to our country and for helping us to honor the other ways people are serving in our community!

Lower Elementary Bikes to School

Wednesday, May 5th was Bike to School Day, and Lower Elementary celebrated with a bike parade!

Bike to School Day (B2SD) is a national event that builds awareness for communities to be more walkable and bikeable by planning bike themed events at community schools. We want to encourage all students, parents, and teachers to get out and get moving whether it is walking, biking, running, skipping, or rolling to school.

Billboard Recognizes Ferndale's Fred George

You may see a smiling face you recognize on a digital billboard this month. To celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week, Lamar Advertising recognizes outstanding teachers annually through the Lamar Loves Teachers program. This year, Ferndale Upper Elementary Behavior Interventionist Fred George was recognized for his outstanding work with students. Congratulations, Mr. George, on a well deserved acknowledgement.

April
UHS Grad Building Community in Strides

Runner's World featured UHS Grad Joe Robinson (class or 2009) in an inspiring follow-up article recently. Robinson co-founded the Detroit running group , We Run 313, which now includes more than 250 runners. Read the article to discover how Joe is supporting healthy lifestyles, engaging social change, and supporting neighbors in need through running and community building.

Read the Runner's World Article

joe robinson running with the running group he co-founded.

Early Learning Resources

In collaboration with the Michigan Department of Education, REL Midwest has created a series of guides designed to help families support their children and students with the building blocks of reading and math. The resources include two sets of instructional guides, with one set focused on early reading instruction and the other on early mathematics instruction.

The documents are linked below, and can always be found in our Elementary Academics webpage: ferndaleschools.org/academics/elementary/

Reading Resources

Math Resources

 

FHS Inducts 9 Thespians

Ferndale High School's theatre program honored nine students at the Thespian induction ceremony Monday, April 26. These students have met requirements of the International Thespian Society through their participation in FHS fall plays and spring musicals, both on and off stage. Pictured are inductees, from left, Wyatt Thompson, James Brisson, Quinn McKee, Milo Meade, Logan Stoll, Jenna Decker, Lucy Reinke, Cameron Meesseman and Samson Perrone.

3-Year District Calendars, Pending Approval

The following District Calendars are pending approval from the Ferndale Schools Board of Education and the Ferndale Education Association.

Ferndale Schools 2021-2022 District Calendar  

Ferndale Schools 2022-2023 District Calendar  

Ferndale Schools 2023-2024 District Calendar

3 FHS Ballers Named All-County

Congratulations to FHS basketball players, Jack Kennedy, Trey Lewis, and Jason “Deuce” Drake who were named All Oakland County! Statechampsnetwork.com had this to say about the student athletes:

  • Jack Kennedy (Ferndale 6-9 Sr. F/C) — After not playing last year, “Da Prez” patrolled the post with purpose, efficiency and a pit-bull type spirit in becoming the X-Factor for the first Ferndale final four team in three and a half decades.
  • Trey Lewis (Ferndale 6-5 Jr. G/F) — Smooth as silk, tough as nails swingman with ice in his veins and a killer instinct to score the rock.
  • Jason “Deuce” Drake (Ferndale 6-1 Jr. G) — The definition of a gunner and clutch performer.

Read about the complete OC dream team

Trey Lewis takes it to the house with decisive flair.

Battle of the Books 2021

Ferndale Area District Library staff were on hand this week to host 2021's 5th grade Battle of the Books!  The Fuzzy Pandas (Ekitu Burde, Samantha De La Mora, Lauren McMiller, and Kazu Tran) came out on top after a tie breaker in a very competitive trivia-style competition.  Each year, FUEL 5th graders are challenged to read and study 5-6 novels and become "Battle Book Experts!".  This year's selections included a diverse cast of characters, cultures, and formats, including the super popular graphic novel Roller Girl.  Participants were able to keep their copies of the books at the end of Battle.  Many thanks to our Ferndale librarians for their incredible creativity in putting this together this year, as well as to our 5th grade students and teachers for all of their reading and hard work leading up to the Battle!

 


Ladies Tennis Shuts Out Southfield 8-0

On Tuesday (April 13th) the Ferndale girls tennis team beat Southfield 8-0 for the first time since the two Southfield high schools merged! WINNERS include:

  • 1 Singles – Emily Foster
  • 2 Singles – Ella Shock
  • 3 Singles – Abigail Dolunt
  • 4 Singles – Kate Stokes
  • 1 Double – Charlotte Keller & Ava Verkeyn
  • 2 Doubles – Maddie Krycian & Claire Christin
  • 3 Doubles – Audrey Binion & Lillian Kahsin
  • 4 Doubles – Alexis Callicoatte & Johany Mendez

 


COVID-19 Vaccines Open to All 16+

COVID-19 Vaccines are now available to ALL MICHIGAN RESIDENTS AGES 16 AND UP. The resources below will allow you to register conveniently, or visit FerndaleSchools.org/District/Health/Vaccine for our vaccination page.

County Vaccine Distribution

Learn more about the COVID Vaccine from the Center for Disease Control (CDC)

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Garden Club Cleans Up

Last Thursday 5 learning lab garden club members helped clean up some of the garden beds behind FUEL. At that time, the tulips were hardly showing their stems, but we learned they'd soon bloom. Everyone got to take one home today. The weekend warmth really brought them on. Beautiful!


Equity Development Team Meeting

The Ferndale Equity Development Team will hold a quarterly community meeting on

Wednesday, April 14th
6:00 PM – 7:30 PM

If you are interested in joining, please email Robyn Camblin for Zoom information Robyn.Camblin@ferndaleschools.org.

FUEL Reading Pop-Up

Ferndale Upper Elementary (FUEL) hosted a reading pop-up before Spring Break, including free books for kids and a fun bookmark dyeing craft. All of these books were donated by parents to share the joy of reading with more families in our community. Thanks to everyone who came out, and a special thanks to parent Carrie Muxlow for putting the pop-up together!

March
FHS Inducts 31 New National Honor Society Members

FHS National Honor Society inducted 27 sophomores, 2 juniors, and 2 seniors this spring.

Ferndale High School is extremely proud of the newest National Honor Society Inductees as well as all of the FHS NHS members both past and present as they continue to set the standards for character, service, leadership and academics for all of our students.

Read the full list on names in the full article.

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FHS Student Wins Aspirations in Computing Award

Congratulations to Reina Shields, a 2021 NCWIT Aspirations in Computing (AiC) award recipient! Reina was selected from over 4,200 applicants from all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., Guam, Puerto Rico,
the U.S. Virgin Islands, U.S. overseas military bases, and Canada.

The NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing (AiC) honors 9 th -12 th grade students who self-identify as women, genderqueer, or non-binary for their computing-related achievements and interests, and encourages them to pursue their passions. Award recipients are selected based on their aptitude and aspirations in technology and computing, as demonstrated by their computing experience, computing-related activities, leadership experience, tenacity in the face of barriers to access, and plans for post-secondary education.

If you would like to see just one example of Reina's coding, try this scaled down version of the classic snake game. Play Snake!

Great Job, Reina!

UHS Senior Night Honors Athletes

This week was Senior Night for UHS Basketball and Cheer. UHS Senior Night honors outgoing Seniors during their last  home game. Congratulations on all of your athletic achievements over the years, eagles!

View more photos in the full article.

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5th Graders Take Virtual Tour of DIA

5th graders in Mrs. Carp's and Mr. Vaughn's 5th grade classrooms took a virtual field trip to the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA). Classes were able to view artwork and museum spaces, analyze art from the museum, and create their own collage!

Thank you to the amazing DIA teachers—Byron, Kathy, Stephanie, & Zak—for providing such a lovely experience. 

Check out the photos from this week (and last week for Mr. Davis' class) below!

 

FECC Winter Fun Festival

This week, Ferndale Early Childhood Center partnered with Oakland County Parks and hosted a pop-up event for their families!  The weather did not cooperate for the initial plan of a Winter Fun event, but the carnival style games were a big hit! Families were able to enjoy a beautiful afternoon safely socializing with other school families.

Clay Art Pop-Up at FLower Elementary

This past Monday K-5 students had the opportunity to create their very own clay pinch pot. Students met at lower elementary where they were then given a ball of clay and shown how to create a pinch pot. Once the students were done with the pinch pot they then had the opportunity to draw on the sidewalk using chalk. Everybody seemed to enjoy creating their pinch pot as well as the warm weather.

Swim Team Finishes Season

The Ferndale Swimming Eagles have wrapped up their season. Congratulations on an impressive showing, athletes!

DECA Marketing Participants Excel to State and International Levels

Senora LoPiccolo and Ms. Oliver want to congratulate this year’s DECA competitors. We are very proud of the hard work and time all of our Ferndale students devoted to demonstrate their business and marketing knowledge. This year six students competed at the District 8 competition in December. All students were required to take a 100 question test and perform a role-play in a business situation. Five students were district finalists and competed again at the Michigan State Career Development Conference in March. Three students won and became state finalists. One of the three was a DECA state champion and will move on to the International Career Development Conference in April.  Senora LoPiccolo and Ms. Oliver can’t speak highly enough of our students’ achievements this year!

  • Kalezhanaeé Bell — District Competitor — Apparel and Accessories Marketing
  • Camille Nagy — District Finalist — Principals of Marketing
  • Kirsten Zvibleman — District Finalist — Automotive Services Marketing
  • Taliya Maddox — State Finalist — Marketing Communications
  • Micah Mills-McCrary — State Finalist — Retail Merchandising
  • Bebe Butters — State Champion — Restaurant and Food Service Management

Ferndale Bowling Eagles

The Bowling Eagles are off to the lanes, and they are in great form.

Curriculum Quarterly – Social Studies & Our Students

The latest FPS Curriculum Quarterly is now available. Our Curriculum & Instruction Department will be releasing a new issue 4 times a year that will briefly highlight areas of teaching and learning in Ferndale Public Schools. We look forward to sharing our programming overviews with you.  If you have questions, please contact Johanna Mracna at johanna.mracna@ferndaleschools.org.

This issue focuses on our social studies learning goals and methods, presented by grade ranges. Please take a look, and stay tuned for future issues introducing our other pillars of education.

Read the Curriculum Quarterly for March 2021 - Social Studies & Our Students »

Dangers of Diet Culture: Nutritionist Bonnie Green

We hosted a presentation from Bonnie Green—Registered Dietitian, Ferndale Schools Head Start Program Nutritionist, and yoga teacher—as she discussed diet culture and how it is harmful to our health, including the potential to cause an eating disorder. Bonnie also discussed the different types of eating disorders, prevalence, populations at risk, health consequences, and what families can do to help. Check out the video on our Facebook Live page.

February
Student Artists

Congratulations to the eight Ferndale students who were recognized for their artwork in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards 2021! Students were invited to celebrate with a virtual Ceremony & Exhibit on Tuesday, March 9, 2021.

 

  • Angel Carpenter
    • Three Silver Keys in Digital Art
    • Two Honorable Mentions in Digital Art
  • Keith Harvey
    • Two Silver Keys in Photography
    • One Honorable Mention Portfolio
    • Four Honorable Mentions in Photography
  • Emma Herzig
    • ​​​​​​​One Honorable Mention in Digital Art
  • Mia Maccomochie
    • ​​​​​​​One Honorable Mention in Photography
  • Alexandria McDonald
    • ​​​​​​​One Silver Key in Photography
    • One Honorable Mention in Photography
  • Ava Montgomery
    • ​​​​​​​Two Gold Keys in Photography
    • Two Silver Keys in Photography
    • One Honorable Mention in Photography
    • One Honorable Mention Portfolio
  • Elliot Reid
    • ​​​​​​​One Gold Key in Sculpture
    • Two Silver Keys in Architecture & Industrial Design
    • One Silver Key in Digital Art
    • One Honorable Mention in Drawing & Illustration
    • One Honorable Mention in Digital Art
  • Skyler Speedwell
    • ​​​​​​​Three Honorable Mentions in Photography

Love is a Strange Sight to See, Emma Herzig, Digital Collage

 

Terabithia, Alexandria McDonald, Photography

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Nirvana Day — February 15th, 2021

Presented by the Traditions And Holiday Observances(TAHO) Initiative. Learn more about the TAHO Initiative.

Nirvana Day or Parinirvana Day is an annual Buddhist festival that remembers the death of the Buddha when he reached Nirvana at the age of 80. Nirvana is believed to be the end of the cycle of death and rebirth. Buddhism teaches that Nirvana is reached when all want and suffering is gone. Nirvana is often described as a state of bliss or peace, which may be experienced in life, or it may be entered into at death.

Nirvana Day is considered a traditional day for pilgrimage, especially to the city named Kushinagar, located in the modern-day state of Uttar Pradesh in India where Buddha took his last breath. Nirvana Day observances tend to be solemn. This is a day for meditation or reading the Parinibanna Sutta and a time to reflect on death and impermanence. Buddhists around the world celebrate Nirvana Day by meditating or by going to Buddhist temples or monasteries.

On this day, some monasteries and temples hold meditation retreats. Others open their doors to the community at large, who bring gifts of money and household goods to support monks and nuns. Buddhists believe meditation is very important for well-being. It is a way to clear the mind and encourage positive thinking. To meditate you need to find a quiet area where you can concentrate and focus on breathing deeply.

January
Be the Light In Our Community

As Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman spoke recently to our nation:
"...there is always light,
if only we're brave enough to see it.
If only we're brave enough to be it."

We are going to shine our lights in the community and spread messages of hope, dreams, peace, love and kindness for all to see. In the materials that students picked up last week, there was a bag for each student to decorate and a battery light. We are asking ALL students to create a bag with their special message and let it shine at your home on the evening of Friday, February 5th. Then, I encourage families to walk or drive around our school communities and see the unity that we share together as a School Family!  This project is being completed by students at Ferndale Early Childhood, Lower and Upper!

Additional bags are available at the Ferndale Lower Elementary Office M-Thr from 8:00 am – Noon while supplies last for others in our community to participate. Masks and social distancing are required at all Ferndale Schools locations at all times.

National Freedom Day – February 1st, 2021

Presented by the Traditions And Holiday Observances(TAHO) Initiative. Learn more about the TAHO Initiative.

This day commemorates the day that President Abraham Lincoln signed a joint congressional resolution proposing a 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution which officially outlawed slavery.

According to 36 U.S. Code § 124, the sitting President can decide for themselves if they’re going to proclaim the holiday for that year. On this day, some people take time out of their busy schedules to honor freedom and equality. The day may also be celebrated with breakfasts or BBQs, movie screenings, book readings, and luncheons. In some areas, celebrations are observed with a fireworks display.

National Freedom Day is not only a commemoration of the historic 13th Amendment but also a day when all Americans can celebrate the freedom they share with their fellow Americans.

Senior Corp Partners for Over 25 Years

Ferndale is proud to have partnered with Americorps - Senior Corps for more than 25 years. Caring adults 55 or older who would like to give back to their community can serve as Foster Grandparents.  I am pleased to introduce you to our 4 grandma’s that support students at our school.  They have been learning new skills and are ready to begin with classes this week.  They will be part of a class family as another caring adult and mentor in student’s lives. Watch for more details as we begin to schedule read alouds and chat times with Grandma for all to enjoy!  We welcome back:

  • Margaret Preston - Ms. Pirronello’s 
  • Deborah Grant - Mrs. Majeske’s
  • Cassandra Love - Ms. Leist’s
  • Valerie Paul - Mrs. McNeil’s

Annual Peace Walk Marches On

Several Lower Elementary families met outside the school on Monday to honor a school tradition, the annual Peace Walk to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The families held signs and marched around the building and down the block to celebrate peaceful protest, solidarity, and racial justice.

 

Bond Sales at Low Interest Rates Save Taxpayers Over $4.5 Million

The US Federal Reserve has set fixed interests at record lows to prevent inflation during the current economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic response. Selling bonds at the low interest rates of 1.89% and 0.76% means that taxpayers will owe less money to bond holders over the 21 year lifetime of the bond: $4,740,798 less, to be more precise. These savings are directly passed on to taxpayers. This interest rate was also made possible by an "A+" rating due to positive enrollment trends and extremely strong wealth holdings across the district. We are so excited to share this good news with all of you, and so proud to serve a community that supports our local schools and voted for our school improvement bonds at an outstandingly high rate in the 2020 special election.

Click More to Read the Full Press Release

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MDHHS Covid-19 Vaccine FAQ

the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services has issued a list of Frequently Asked Questions and answers. For more information, click the link to view the PDF.

COVID-19 Vaccine FAQ

December
ABC 7 Meteorologist Meets with 3rd Grade Classes

Mrs. Meli's 3rd Grade class was visited virtually by ABC Channel 7 meteorologist Kevin Jeanes on Wednesday to support thier science curriculum. Kevin began his visit with a virtual tour of the news station to provide students with ideas about the behind the scenes work that goes into being meteorologist on television. Next, Kevin started to expand on the process of the research and dedication that accompanies tracking the weather with the most accuracy. Students learned detailed explanations about various severe forms of weather. These explanations included what happened to form the weather, why the systems formed, and how the weather came to be.

 

This information related to the current content area of focus at FUEL: severe weather projects. Our third-grade students are participating in researching various severe weather systems and crafting a presentations based on their findings. In addition, students were given the opportunity to ask Kevin Jeanes questions about his work as a meteorologist. The excellent questions from our students focused on severe weather systems and different types of clouds. The cloud focused questions were specific and related to a previous module from our weather unit. The answers to these questions assisted in building on students current knowledge, while expanding on new information.

After both sessions concluded, Kevin inform me that he really enjoyed his time with each group. Kevin felt that for a third grade class the students were knowledgeable and asked informational questions. Way to go, Eagles!

A final thank you to Kevin Jeanes and all of our third-grade classes for attending this event with such great enthusiasm. All classes were on time, had great listening bodies, and fantastic participation.

 

Chromebook Support Guide

The Technology and Curriculum & Instruction Departments have collaborated on a slide presentation full of helpful tips to keep your Chromebook running at it's best. View the slideshow below.

Chromebook Support Guide - Student & Family

Curriculum Quarterly - Math & Our Students

The latest FPS Curriculum Quarterly is now available. Our Curriculum & Instruction Department will be releasing a new issue 4 times a year that will briefly highlight areas of teaching and learning in Ferndale Public Schools. We look forward to sharing our programming overviews with you.  If you have questions, please contact Johanna Mracna at johanna.mracna@ferndaleschools.org.

This issue focuses on our Mathematics learning goals and methods, presented by grade ranges. Please take a look, and stay tuned for future issues introducing our other pillars of education.

Read the Curriculum Quarterly for December 2020 - Math & Our Students »

Family Tech Tip: How to Shut Down a Chromebook

To keep your device running smooth each day, establish a routine for completely powering down and charging your device! Closing the lid of the Chromebook does not power it down completely, but puts it in sleep mode. Over time, never powering down your device completely and only using sleep mode can slow it down!

See below for two quick ways to completely power down your Chromebook.

  • In the lower right hand corner of your chromebook, click on the clock and select the power button to shut down completely.
  • You can also hold down the Power button on the keyboard. This will open up a window on your screen to select Power Off. 

Big picture

Middle Schoolers Present Amazing Artwork

The FMS Virtual Art Show is now viewable online, and we are so proud of our blossoming creatives. A panel of judges selected the winners, who will each receive a gift card.

1st - Julia Markle - $100

2nd - Mia Page - $50

3rd - NaShaylin Dennis - $25

You can view all of the artwork on the Google Page created by FMS Art Teacher Lori Tousignant.

FMS Virtual Art Show

1st place artwork Neon Thoughts by student Julia Markle

Michigan Learning Channel Now Broadcasting K-3 Content!

K-3 families: you can now tune in to Channel 56.4 in the Detroit area or watch educational content live from 8:00 am–Noon, Monday–Friday on the Michigan Learning Channel. The Michigan Learning Channel is a statewide public television partnership offering instructional content to support the education of students and to provide alternative resources for families and teachers. This free programming is being broadcast via special on-air channels established by each of the participating public television stations in Michigan.

All content is also available as a livestream and stored for on-demand viewing on a variety of digital platforms, ensuring accessibility to all students, teachers and families across the state.  You can view the content or the daily programming schedule on the website – MichiganLearning.org – where videos are organized by grade and subject.

Volleyball Takes District Championship - Finishes Season Strong

The Ferndale High School Girls Volleyball Team finished their season strong last month. After taking their 3rd CONSECUTIVE District Championship on Nov 5th, the team advanced to the Sweet 16 in the State Tournament. The Golden Eagles finished as Regional Runner-Up  in the Regional Championship. Congrats on a slammin' season, Eagles!

November
Protect Your Children from Adult Content, with FREE State Registry

Are your children safe while online? Michigan families, especially minors are becoming inundated with advertisements from alcohol, tobacco, gambling and adult content marketers through email, text messages, and other online inboxes. Thankfully, the State of Michigan offers a free program to stop adult advertisements from reaching e-mails, mobile phones (text messaging ads) and select instant messenger IDs. The Michigan Child Protection Registry, like the Federal Do Not Call List, is a free do-not-contact service for Michigan's families. To register for the free service, visit ProtectMIChild.com.

4th Grade Pop-Up Provides Harvest Meal to Local Songbirds

Fourth graders met on the FUEL playground to make made bird feeders. This pop-up was last week, before Governor Whitmer's new executive order was in place. All wore masks and were physically distanced. Thank you to Carrie Muxlow for organizing, all of the families who joined and stayed safe, and everyone who donated supplies to make this day successful!

FHS Student Choreographs Perfomance at CASA

This video-recorded performance is from the in-person CASA dance class. It was choreographed by Moya Ingram, a Ferndale High student. The video features; Ashanti Moore, Brandon Baker, Christal Davidson, Anjilena Omolaro- Fox, Kayla Weaver, Payton Chaffin, Julie Bedford, Dallis Davis, Sehara Thomas and Moya Ingram. Excellent work, Moya and all of the dancers who performed!

 

AVID Welcomes Captain Zach Shea, LIVE from Kuwait

On Thursday, November 12th, the AVID group hosted their second guest speaker. Captain Zach Shea joined us live from Kuwait (where it was 10:30 pm) to talk with us about his career as an architect and an Army Reserve officer. Captain Shea just started month 7 of a 12 month deployment in Iraq. He works as an architect for military projects. He spent an hour talking with our Avid students about his career path, his military experience, and his travels. He answered a lot of questions.

Thank you, Captain Shea and the rest of the Shea family!

Superintendent's Excellent Award Honors Two Students in November

This month's recipients of the Superintendent's Excellence Award are:

Nicholas Foreman–Ferndale High School 9th grader–is our first honoree. "Nick’s enthusiasm for learning and self motivation are contagious. He has worked really hard and I believe his efforts should be recognized."--Bridget Guerra

Nick's Qualities/Likes

  • Soccer
  • Skateboarding
  • High Achievement
  • Motivated
 

Kierra Wallace–TCEC student–is our second honoree. "Her work is exceptional and she sets a positive example for others to follow." Erika Bauer

 

Kierra's Qualities/Likes

  • Strong Voice
  • Basketball
  • High Achievement
  • Positive role model

These excellent students will be honored at the November 16th Board Meeting.

FUEL Celebrates Summer Readers

As our students transition from Lower Campus to Upper Campus we wanted to do something that would connect them from campus to campus and keep them in the spirit of learning. With that in mind, we partnered again this summer with Kids Read Now, a national non-profit to provide our students and families a way to stay focused on reading throughout the summer in a fun, meaningful way.

For the past three years our 2nd grade students and families had the chance to participate to receive 9 books throughout the summer. Students select the books and then read them throughout the summer and return via mail for each book.

We would like to shout-out our 44 now-third-grade students who participated in the full program and completed ALL nine books this summer! These students celebrated last Friday in a pop-up event with a literacy-focused magician and received a certificate and prize for their participation and hard work all summer!

Congratulations to the following students

  • Aiden Togger, Alexander Theolet, Arianna Squalls, Benjamin Stone, Brice Bowman, Calvin Leonard, Chelsea Lee, Cillian Reynolds, Dawsyn Rocheleau, Deane Estrada, Demari Collier, Desmond Koehler, Dominic Damico, Evan Murray, Evelyn Duckworth, Evelyn Lintner, Gavin Comerford, Gavin Rucker, Gracie Ross, Guillermo Leyva, Jeremiah Howard, Jonah Strockis, Kendall Wartley, Kennedy McReynolds, Lillian Jacokes, Lilly Terraccino, Madeline Weakley, Michael Darden, Michael Rogers, Morgane Saulnier, Myles Lawrence, Oliver Cooke, Ordell Stokes, Parker Radowiec, Renault Schultz, Safia Elturk, Shawn Bernard, Sheldon Hall, Stella Agans, Sullivan Chism, Winston Hall, Zachary Rood, Zoe Agans, Zoe Vasquez

We want to say thank you to the families who participated in the program and in turn supported a love of reading with their child. We look forward to the summer of 2021 for our current 2nd graders to participate in this important transition activity!

Michigan Releases COVID-19 Exposure Alert App

As part of the state’s continued efforts to slow the increasing spread of COVID-19, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget (DTMB) today announced the statewide rollout of the COVID-19 exposure notification app MI COVID Alert.

The anonymous, no cost and voluntary app, piloted in Ingham County and on the campus of Michigan State University last month, lets users know whether they may have recently been exposed to COVID-19.  Users can confidentially submit a positive test result into the app and alert others in recent proximity that they may have also been exposed to the virus.

Michigan.gov App Page  

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FUEL Garden Planting Pop-Up

In the beautiful, warm weather, FUEL students were invited to do some fall planting for spring flowers and veggies on Thursday, November 4th. We also did some more digging in the back gardens for potatoes and some much needed cleanup and soil enrichment in the BIG GREEN gardens in front of school. With the help of our new garden liaison–Emma R.–Ms. Hillebrand, Mrs. Jeffrey, the kids all had a great time. We can now look forward to beautiful tulips in the spring and some yummy garlic slips to cook up.

FUEL Fitness Outpaces Expectations

During the Month of October some FUEL staff members decided to take on a Step Challenge to see who could "out step" their leader, Katie Jeffrey (who never stops moving!). Rules were simple: walk, run, or jog just get moving during the weekdays (Monday - Friday) and submit your total steps at the end of each week. Weekly results were reported out to the participants highlighting those who successfully Out Stepped Katie Jeffrey that week and also celebrated individual growth of increased step totals from week to week. This friendly competition took place over the last 5 weeks with 21 participants! 

FUEL Staff Members managed to take a total of 4,726,817 steps in 22 days!

Stained Glass Pop-Up

On October 30th, students K-5 were able to come and create a stained glass vase using a recycled tennis tube. Students were able to show up in their costume if they wanted as well. Some of the students attempted to do it with the wind blowing, while other students took their project home to complete it.

October
Two National Merit Semifinalists

Two FHS students, Gwynn Bell and Elena Deegan-Krause, have been selected as National Merit Scholarship semifinalists. Congratulations, scholars! For more information about this prestigous honor, read the full press release.

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Free Live Tutoring Tool through Ferndale Public Library

The library subscribed to Tutor.com this fall, which offers free live tutoring on top of a bunch of other cool stuff.  Students can get access to Tutor.com with their Ferndale Library card.

Gain Study Skills with tutor.com.  Get organized, set goals, take notes, create better study habits, and learn research skills. Get one-to-one guidance from our expert Study Skills Coaches-FREE.

First Grade Festivities

First graders gathered last Friday for a halloween hangout. The pop-up event included pumpkin and candy corn decoration creation stations and more fun for the costumed kiddos. Thanks for coming out, first grade families!

 

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FMS Book Club Gets Together

The firs FMS Book Club had an Amazing turn out, with 13 students gathering under the FMS entrance awning. Students had read the book Tight by Torrey Moldonado, and the kids really were engaged in the discussion. Book Club leader Aaron Blatt, English teacher, said, "It was a nice change from the online routine. Ferndale Middle Schools kids seriously are the best!" The book club has selected books dealing with a diverse  range of issues including  LGBTQ topics, multi-racial families, and mental illness. We're thankful to be in a community that supports conversations about these topics.

Curriculum Quarterly - Literacy & Our Students

The latest FPS Curriculum Quarterly is now available. Our Curriculum & Instruction Department will be releasing a new issue 4 times a year that will briefly highlight areas of teaching and learning in Ferndale Public Schools. We look forward to sharing our programming overviews with you.  If you have questions, please contact Johanna Mracna at johanna.mracna@ferndaleschools.org.

This issue focuses on our literacy learning goals and methods, presented by grade ranges. Please take a look, and stay tuned for future issues introducing our other pillars of education.

Read the Curriculum Quarterly for October 2020 - Literacy and Our Students »

Click to view the Curriculum Quarterly for October 2020.

MDHHS provides COVID-19 guidance for holiday travel and gatherings

CONTACT: Lynn Sutfun, 517-241-2112, SutfinL1@michigan.gov

LANSING, Mich. – The holiday season will be different for Michiganders this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To ensure families do not miss out on being together during the holidays, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has issued guidance on how to travel and gather safely during the holidays.
“Celebrating the holiday season with family and friends is one of our most cherished traditions,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health.

“Even though the way we celebrate may have to be different, the guidance issued today shows there are still many ways to spend quality time with family and friends safely during this festive season.”

Traveling and in-person gatherings increase the chances of getting and spreading COVID-19. Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others. However, if you decide to travel for the holidays, follow these safety measures to protect yourself and others from COVID-19:
   • Wear a mask and keep your nose and mouth covered when in public places.
   • Avoid close contact by staying at least 6 feet apart from anyone who is not from     
     your household.
   • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand
     sanitizer (with at least 60% alcohol).
   • Avoid contact with anyone who is sick.
   • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

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FECC Pumpkin Painting Pop-Up

So much fun was safely had at the FECC Pumpkin Painting Pop-Up Tuesday. Thank you to all that made it out.

 

Dussehra (also known as Vijayadasami)—October 25, 2020

This cultural education segment is presented by TAHO, an service of the Ferndale Schools Diversity Committee.

Cultural Tradition:

Hindu

Why is this date important to the culture?

Traditionally, the festival of Dussehra (also known as Vijayadasami in many parts of India) is a festival that celebrates the the triumph of good over evil in traditional Hindu religion through mythological stories such as King Rama’s victory over Ravana (the demon king) or the Goddess Durga's victory over the demon Mahishasura. Among many Dalit and tribal communities across India, the festival is marked as part of the struggle against persistent caste discrimination in Indian society.

How do members recognize/observe this date? Include common cultural practices.

Dussehra is celebrated on the tenth day following a nine-day religious period called Navaratri that is celebrated in Autumn of each year. The actual days of religious observance are based on the Hindu lunar calendar. Dussehra is observed as a public holiday all over India.

Many people observe Dussehra through special prayer meetings and food offerings at home or in temples throughout India. Common events include performances of the Ramlila (the short version of the Hindu epic Ramayana, the story of Rama's life), religious processions, blessing of household and work related tools, and preparation of special foods to mark festival celebrations.

Many who celebrate Dussehra believe that it is lucky to start a new venture, project, or journey on Dussehra.

How can non-members sensitively and appropriately acknowledge the date?

Participate in gift giving and prayers for peace and justice.

FMS Students Zoom with Dax Shepard

On Thursday, October 15, our 6–9 grade AVID classes hosted our first guest speaker, actor Dax Shepard. Mr. Shepard joined us via Zoom for a casual and inspiring conversation. He shared stories about his own education and youth, including his path to a successful career in acting and writing with dyslexia. Mr. Shepard told stories that help us understand the importance of persistence, good choices, and surrounding ourselves with people who will lift us up. Students asked great questions and participated in a conversation that made their teachers proud. Thank you, Dax and Adrianne Quinn–our FMS parent who set this up for us.

FUEL Garden Keeps Growing Bodies and Minds

FUEL gardens are still serving the kids and the community nutrition and learning opportunities. Click the link to read Mrs. Hillebrand's letter about giant sunflowers, massive pumpkins, and potato hunting.

Dried sunflower heads are set out in the school for students to taste.

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UHS National Honor Society Inducts New Members

UHS National Honor Society inducted 23 new members in an outdoor ceremony Tuesday evening, October 13th. The outdoor event was safely attended by the family members of the inductees as well as University High School staff and administration, including Superintendent Bazzi.

University High School is extremely proud of the newest National Honor Society Inductees as well as all of the UHS NHS members both past and present as they continue to set the standards for character, service, leadership and academics for all of our students.

Read the full story and see more photos by clicking the link.

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FHS NHS Elects New Executive Board

The National Honor Society at FHS has a new executive board.

Co-Presidents:

  • John Pablo Rojas
  • Robyn Jennings

Vice-President:

  • Elijah Pool

Thank you to the new board members for their service.

Welcome Our New Theatre Director

Ferndale High School and the Ferndale Musical Boosters are proud to announce the new Theatre Director, Kelly Komlen. Please click the Read More link to read Kelly's letter to the community. As Kelly will tell you in her letter, she has 20 years of professional stage experience and 10 years of instructional practice. Kelly is planning a Fall production, and details will be coming soon! 

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FUEL Poppin' Pop-Up

On Tuesday, October 13th, Mr. Davis and Mrs. Carp's Classes met up at FUEL for their first ever Pop-Up event, "Pop-Up. Drop-Off. Pick-Up". Students and families came to pick-up their October materials, drop off completed work, and enter a class raffle. Masks were required according to District Safety Guidelines. They even enjoyed popcorn, treats, and finally, a family photo opportunity. It was a lot of fun connecting in person! 

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Choir Pop-Up Makes Beautiful Music, Together

Thirteen students attended our first FHS Choir Pop-Up Event on October 5th. "It was wonderful to be able to get together to sing & reunite!" said Choir Director Kimberly Schroeder. Students also received a care package with a friendly note which read, "Take note: we think you are awesome! We are so happy to have you in the choir program."

 

Detroit Fire Visits Lower Elementary

The Detroit Fire Department visited with Kindergarten classes in our latest Elementary pop-up. Students learned Fire Safety, practiced staying low and belly-crawling, and saw firefighters put on all of their fire safety gear. Thanks for the lessons and for the safety and security you provide everyday, firefighters!

 

Kindergartners spaced out on the lawn to look, listen, and learn about fire safety

Kindergartners practiced staying low and crawling to safety.

 

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UHS Haunted Homecoming

Student Council held a Drive Through Haunted Homecoming Celebration on Saturday, October 10th.  Students picked tickets at different arrival times and showed up in costumes. Upon arrival, they were able to get professionally photographed by our Picture Perfect student photography group led by Mrs. Sherri Bryant.

Student Council did all of the planning and decorating before the event including adding 9 full-sized skeletons scaling the sides of UHS and a 20-foot spider web! Each of our guests and families received a "U-Swag Bag" full of goodies and received pre-packaged catered subs and beverages.

Our Haunted Homecoming Court ran digital campaigns based on our UHS Character Rocks: Respect, Leadership, Compassion, Kindness, Integrity, Community, and Gratitude.  

Advisor Kenton Maki: "Our students had a wonderful time! It was amazing to connect...even at a safe physical distance apart."

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"Safe For School" Hotline from Oakland County Health Department

Oakland Together has announced a new call-in tool offering guidance for parents and students. This telephone screening resource is available to assist parents in pre-screening and identifying potential illness in children prior to entering school buildings.

The hotline is supported by Beaumont, and all screenings are conducted by healthcare professionals. Hotline staff can help answer questions about COVID-19 symptoms, the need for testing, and what is considered high-risk.

Safe for School Hotline is supported by Beaumont

COST: No cost for parents/guardians of Oakland County school-aged children
WHEN: 5:00 AM – 8:00 AM
Monday through Friday
October 12 - December 30, 2020
 

Call 248-551-4242 to reach the hotline.

FECC Gym Transforms

Several facility improvements were completed over the summer, and continue across the district. The home of our earliest learners has seen one of the latest transformations, turning the Harding gym into an indoor playland.

The FECC gym features a new climbing wall and a vinyl floor covered in roadways, rivers, and centers of activity.

Parent University: Personal Internet Security Tips

Mrs. Jeffrey has started a Parent University series where parents teach other parents about different subjects.  With students learning virtually right now, the first presentation was on personal internet security. You can view the video on YouTube by clicking on the image below.

September
Garden Harvests Continue at FUEL

On Tuesday, FUEL students attending Learning Support Labs were able to harvest 1.5 pounds of carrots–planted by Mrs. Winne and her son–and 2 more pounds of potatoes. Squirrels have been busy harvesting as well, but there are still more harvests to be had this fall!

Guidance for tracking assignments

We have put together some assistance for tracking student assignments in two virtual learning tools being used across the district: Google Classrooms and Canvas. You can find the guidance in the Returning to Learning Hub on the Distance Learning » Technology page.

You can also view the guidance on the webpage on the webpage linked below:

Assignment Tracking Guidance: Canvas & Google Classrooms

STEAM Pop-Up Teaches Biology and Art

Mrs. Alison Maes hosted a biology pop-up last week. The students are learning about comparative anatomy starting with the skeletal system of vertebrates. After learning about the anatomy, physiology and ethology (behavior) of owls, students removed the bones from an owl pellet. The students then identified the species that had been eaten by the owl while also identifying and painting each bone. Next, the students re-articulated the skeletons and then placed the posing skeletons into their student-made, themed sets. The themed sets included a distance learning environment, a halloween haunt, Geary Skate Park, and a lunar landing!

Montessori Begins Sending Monthly Learning Boxes

Montessori is a curriculum with great emphasis placed on didactic materials. Moving to an online format creates some very unique challenges for our Montessori program! With everyone being at home, monthly subscription boxes have become more and more popular. So, Ferndale Schools Montessori Teacher Amy decided to put the two together. Thus, the FrasBox was born! (The name FrasBox is a play on their self-assigned classroom nickname: the SassaFRAS Room.)

With a team of amazing volunteers to create materials and deliver the boxes, children in the Sassafras Room will receive a box of didactic materials delivered to their door to help with their learning each month. This allows them to have the sensorial opportunities necessary to move them from concrete experiences to abstract reasoning.

Special thanks to the following family members for making materials, delivering boxes, and picking up boxes from children's homes so that Mrs. Pommereau can sort things out and have a new box ready to go next month! Half of the Montessori families volunteered to help out in some way!

  • Veronica Kisor
  • Jennifer Rogers
  • Jen Beaudoin
  • Sylvia Oatley
  • Kirsten Suer
  • Dennis O'Connell
  • Emilie Macaulay
  • Susie Oswald
  • Christina Mossine
  • Tecla Wolfe
  • Jessica Paruch
  • Lucas Harrison-Zdenek
  • Megan Owens

Here is a picture of some of the items that went out to kids this weekend:

Mrs. Pommereau said she is "Feeling beyond grateful for this AMAZING community of learners! It truly takes a village to raise a child and I am so honored to be apart of these families' village!"

Athletics Update and Guidelines

As announced earlier, Ferndale Schools Fall sports season will continue due to the Governor Whitmer's new Executive Order 2020-176.  Please review the Spectator Guidelines and Student Athletics Participation & Release Waiver below.

Playworks Pop-Up Playdate Goes Great

Ferndale Lower Elementary students were invited to a very fun and active Pop-Up with Playworks on the Lower playground. Students had a great time while staying safe and enjoying the beautiful weather. Watch for more pop-ups throughout the year!

Celebrating Labor Day

Labor Day is a United States national holiday, honoring working people, their contributions, achievements and sacrifices. Today, Labor Day is observed on the first Monday in September of each year and was first celebrated informally on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City when 10,000 people formed a march for workers' rights. At that time, the average American worked 12 hours a day, six days a week. In 1894, workers organized the Pullman Strike. President Grover Cleveland sent the U.S. Marshals and 2,000 U.S. Army troops in to break up the strike, resulting in 13 deaths and 57 injuries. Labor Day was officially named a federal holiday later, in an effort to reconcile with workers after the Pullman Strike. The 8-hour workday was officially established for many industries in 1937 by the Fair Labor Standards Act. The effort to provide fair labor practices across the country continues today. For more information on the state of labor statistics in the U.S. today, visit Burea of Labor & Statistics Website.

Today, as part of the Labor Day celebrations, street parades are held all over the country. The Labor Day weekend is generally seen to mark the end of the summer season. Summer cultural activities end, and fall activities, such as school and sports events, start around this time. In many areas school classes resume shortly before or after the Labor Day holiday weekend. 

There are no formal greetings and verbal acknowledgements for this day; as a federal holiday many people do not work and many businesses are closed.

The TAHO Initiative is a project of the Ferndale Public Schools Diversity Committee.

Ferndale Library Releases Online Card Request Form

Student library cards are now available through an online sign-up form. While all FPS students have access to the library, new students to the district are encouraged to request a library card to support easier access.

August
UHS Vice Principal

University High School is excited to announce our new Vice Principal, Julie Patterson! 

July
New High School Principals

Ferndale Family,

It is with great excitement that I announce the hiring of Radhika Issac as the new principal of Ferndale High School and the promotion of David Gardner as the new principal of University High School.

With 20 years as an educator, Radhika brings experiences as a classroom teacher, curriculum coordinator, and administrator to Ferndale Public Schools. Leading with empathy to build meaningful relationships is what defines both her professional and personal focus. Radhika actively facilitates opportunities to grow equitable access to curriculum and instruction for all students, families, and staff. She has been a learner, leader, and advocate for social justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion in both at the district and county level.


"I am eager to join the Ferndale Public Schools family. I look forward to connecting with each student, family, and staff member at Ferndale High School as we continue to build a community that honors our history and culture. I will strive to support students and staff as we develop our purpose, create a plan, and find our passions," Radhika Issac, Principal, Ferndale High School.

David Gardner graduated from Ferndale High School and has been a leader at University High School for more than a decade, first as a teacher, then counselor, assistant principal, and now principal. David inspires everyone around him to be a better educator, colleague, mentor, and person. The meaningful and authentic relationships he establishes with students and staff have lead to significant increases in student academic achievement and growth at UHS.

"I am excited and prepared to continue working on behalf of the students, families, and staff of UHS and Ferndale Public Schools. I recognize the strong work ethic and innovative practices of the UHS team and pledge to support them as we continue our journey of equity through inclusive and relevant curriculum and instruction and meaningful socio-emotional practices. UHS is a special place and I consider myself fortunate to be given the opportunity to continue the growth of its student-centered culture," David Gardner, Principal, University High School.

Our Ferndale Family is incredibly lucky to welcome these outstanding educational leaders to their new roles.

Dania H. Bazzi, PhD

Superintendent, Ferndale Schools

June
7 Students Complete Early College Program

Last Thursday, seven Ferndale Public Schools students graduated from the Oakland Schools Accelerated College Experience (ACE) Early College program. Congratulations to:

  • Christopher Banks
  • Lexie Crosby
  • Sydney Embry
  • Victoria Patterson
  • Sage Porter
  • Raffy Angelo So
  • Jacoya Williams

In addition to receiving their high school diploma, they each earned approximately 60 college credits. Well done, scholars! You have made the entire Ferndale Public Schools family very proud, and we wish you all the very best of luck.

May
FHS Alum in Mission Control

2007 FHS graduate Katy Olesnavage, a Thermal Hardware Engineer for SpaceX, was on Mission Control for the Crew Dragon rocket launch. The rocket successfully delivered two astronauts to the space station. Way to go, Katy!

Band Debuts Outstanding Collaboration

Thank you to video prodution superstar Stacey Jamison, Band Director Elon Jamison, and our fantastic student musicians for putting together the 2020 FHS Band Virtual Performance of Make Our Garden Grow. You can view the performance below or on YouTube after a fascinating 3:45 introduction by Mr. Jamison.

Thanks for the Positive Feedback

This week, we received the results of a community survey conducted by the City of Ferndale through the Cobalt Community Research Company.  This survey showed tremendous gains in the community's perception of Ferndale Schools compared to the previous time the survey was conducted in 2009.  Below you will find several slides showcasing the tremendous growth.

survey results showing improvement ratings of 13% - 19% across all school district metrics.

Bar graph showing 19% improvement of community experience related to Schools Overall.

Bar graph showing 13-19% improvement of satisfaction for Schools Overall, Meeting the Needs of the Community, Preparation of Students for Solid Careers, Preparation of student for College, and Communication with the public. The bar graph compares 2009 overall results with 2020 overall results, as well as like-sized district in Michigan, statewide scores, regional (midwest) scores, like-sized districts nationally, and nation-wide scores. Ferndale Schools ranks at or near the top in all categories and against all comparison metrics.

While we are very excited to see this renewed confidence you have shown in our progress, we also want to assure you, that as an organization committed to continuous improvement we will not rest on our laurels but rather continue our efforts to provide each student with the world class education they deserve.

More...
Writing Workshop with Jack Cheng Zooms Onward

FMS teacher Aaron Blatt hosted an interactive writing workshop with Jack Cheng, author of the 2017 novel See You in the Cosmos. Jack took the kids through the writing process by leading the students in mapping out a character, developing a plot, and finding the character’s internal motivations. The Zoom session met for an hour and a half, and the students were engaged throughout. Jack was originally scheduled to meet the kids in person during March is Reading Month, which was cancelled due to building closures statewide. Jack generously offered to do an online writing workshop and Q&A instead, and we are so thankful he did!

Students attended a writing workshop with author Jack Cheng via Zoom.

April
FPS Expands Online Learning Tools with IXL

Students at Ferndale Lower Elementary, Ferndale Upper Elementary, Ferndale Middle, Ferndale High and University High Schools now have access to IXL, an online resource to support student learning. 

Students in kindergarten through 8th grade can practice skills in math, language arts, science and social studies.

High school students (grades 9-12) can practice skills in math and language arts. 

IXL’s content covers the full range of grade level content, making it an enrichment opportunity for all students. While some teachers will be assigning specific content for students, students can also practice skills of their choice. Students can access IXL by using the following link: ixl.com/signin/ferndaleps and clicking “Sign in with Clever,” and then “Login with Google” (students must be logged into a Ferndale Public Schools Google account). 

Contact your students’ teacher or Tom Maes (Tom.Maes@ferndaleschools.org) if you have any questions.

March
TCEC Graduates 12 During Building Closure

While online learning presents many new challenges for students, parents, and teachers alike, virtual classrooms are nothing new at the Tri-County Educational Center. Through the school building closure, TCEC continues to offer high-quality online learning options for all of its students. 126 courses have been completed by TCEC students since the state-wide school building closures began on March 13th.

On Monday, March 16th, 10 more students earned their diplomas.

  • Fayge Alsamawi
  • Dominique Carter
  • Shantique Clark
  • Sheena Crisp
  • Natalia Merow
  • Carmella Moore
  • Charlethia Robinson
  • Ricky Santiago
  • Akiah Sharp
  • Mykel Vernon

Two other students completed their course of study on March 13th:

  • Mory Cisse
  • Kamilah Helton

Congratulations to all of our TCEC graduates. We are so proud of your achievements!

Tentative Return Date - April 13th

After consulting with the FEA and other Oakland County School Districts, we have determined that Spring Break will continue as originally planned (April 6th-10th).

Due to the uncertainty created by the rapidly evolving nature of the the COVID-19 outbreak and the many logistical hurdles we currently face, there is not a responsible way to change spring break at this time. We want our students back in school as soon as it is safe, and logistically feasible to do so.

Thank you for your understanding during these challenging times.

As of now, our plan is to return to school on Monday, April 13th. Please know that this date is subject to change based upon guidance from Governor Whitmer and health officials.

Please email me if you have any questions or concerns. We are here to help. 

Take care,

Dania

dania.bazzi@ferndaleschools.org

District Wellness Committee Seeking Members

Ferndale School Family is looking for volunteers to be part of the District Wellness Committee. The committee will support our new Strategic Plan goal to examine, motivate, and ensure physical, mental and nutritional health and overall wellness for our entire school family. This committee will be comprised of families, community members, secondary students, and staff members. If this is of interest to you, please email Dina Rocheleau at Dina.Rocheleau@ferndaleschools.org.  

Our first meeting will take place on March 23 at 4:00 pm, Ferndale High School, Room 333. Once the team meets, we will make a collective decision on what dates and times work best for the team.

Get Texted Tech Balance Tips

How can we help kids thrive in the world of media and tech? Managing media and tech consumption is not always easy. Now, you can receive Tech Balance text message tips and reminders to your phone.

Receive text message tips about how to practice healthy media habits at home with your family! Just text the word kids to 21555

More...
February
Ferndale SEL In the News

The Detroit News featured Ferndale Schools in a recent article about Social-Emotional Learning. Here's a short excerpt:

“It’s really important to know our students on a deeper level,” [Ferndale third grade teacher Jodi] Prince said. ”We know if they come to school hungry, did they sleep last night? These are the ways for students to feel they belong. It’s a strong desire to feel like they are walking into a family here.”

These rituals are part of the district’s social emotional learning curriculum, which teaches children as part of their school day to understand and manage emotions, feel and show empathy toward others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.

Follow the Link for the full story.

Joshua Cook Heads to State Wrestling Meet

On February 15th, the Ferndale Eagles wrestling team took the District Championship title for the second year in a row. At the Regional Meet on the 22nd, FHS Sophomore Joshua Cook placed 2nd at 189lbs, making him our newest state qualifier. This marks 26 straight years in which Ferndale High will be represented at the State Championship Meet! Good luck Joshua, and go Eagles!

FHS ACE Early College Student named to All-Michigan Academic Team

Ferndale High School ACE student Sage Porter, in her final year, has been named to the All Michigan Academic Team for Phi Theta Kappa.

More...
TCEC Inducts 7 Honor Society Members

TCEC is excited to induct their first National Honor Society members. Students were nominated by staff based off of their commitment and dedication to their personal successes. These students embody the characteristics of the Honor Society's four pillars which include scholarship, service, leadership and character and we couldn't be prouder to have them represent TCEC.  Our seven members are: Deanna Ashford, Chanj Barnes, Devon Cooper, Makayla Drew, Devere Fogle, Avonte Patterson and Ahmajaye Williams-Jackson.

Wrestling Takes League Championship, Again!

THe FHS wrestling team captured the league championship for the second consecutive year. Way to go, Eagles!

Support Scholarships with FEA Swag

Support the Ferndale Educational Association with some cool gear! A portion of all purchases will go to the FEA Scholarship Fund.

FEA Swag ShopFor more info about our Technology Integration strategy and past projects, visit ferndaleschools.org/magazine/techgrants/

January
UHS Student Nya Williams Codes for the Win

Nya Williams made the University high school family proud as our first Finalist in the Advanced Web Design contest sponsored by Michigan Women in Technology. Her impressive website highlighted a Braille development aid. Using HTML and Javascript, the website had outstanding functionality and sleek design. Nya was awarded an honorable mention, a cash prize, and a backpack full of tech goodies. Way to go, Nya!

Chiropractor Teaches 6th Grade

Dr. Andrea Whedon from Claddagh Chiropractic Wellness center visited Mrs. Philip's sixth grade science classroom to discuss the importance of our skeletal system and muscular system. Students learned how our body systems have to work together to keep us healthy. Thanks, Dr. Whedon!

Dr. Whedon shows sixth grade students spinal posture using a skeletal model.

Ferndale High BBall Defeats the Undefeated

Story and images from MLive:

Despite turnover issues, missing a lot of shots in the paint and trailing by as much as 11 points in the first half, Ferndale was able to claw its way back in the second half on its home court for a 52-48 win over previously unbeaten North Farmington on Tuesday night.

 6-foot-6 senior Colin Golson was in the paint, scoring 10 of his game-high 23 points in the fourth quarter. Scoring his points in the paint -- an area where both teams struggled to convert throughout large portions the game -- Golson made Ferndale's biggest buckets down the stretch.

"It started off pretty rough," Golson admitted. "… I don't know, it just started clicking."

Read More on MLive.

Wrestling Wins Again

The Ferndale Eagles Wrestling team continued their winning ways last night at Avondale High School. The Eagles raised their season record to 7 wins and 2 losses with victories over Avondale 49 to 27 and North Farmington 56 to 12.

Last nights victories gave the Eagles a 2-0 League record as the quest for league and district titles begins in 2020.

More...
Ferndale Students Talk about Winter Play on ABC 7

Some awesome Ferndale students showcasing the importance of play. Thank you Playworks Michigan!

Watch the Video on YouTube