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871 Pinecrest
Ferndale, MI 48820
248-586-8675
robert.tolbert@ferndaleschools.org

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March

Montessori Students Explore the Origins of Writing

The Montessori students at FUEL have been studying the history of writing, following the 4th Great Lesson in the Montessori curriculum. On Thursday, they gathered natural materials outside to make paintbrushes. Lead teacher, Amy Pommereau, showed them how to grind charcoal between two rocks and mix in snow, much like early humans may have done, to make black paint. The children practiced grinding charcoal sticks with a mortal and pestle and then painted with the paint they made.

They added chicken feathers, milkweed seeds, and broom corn to make their paintbrushes, and tied them with synthetic sinew. Ms. Jen Boudoin, FUEL LATA and parent of a former Montessori student, led the children through the process of making paper. Each child was able to make their own piece of paper from recycled class paper, flower petals, and mineral flakes! We had a great time learning about early processes that led to writing!

 

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FPD Officer Shares a Book with Students

In celebration of Reading Month, Mrs. Trolinger's third graders were super excited to share a story from Ferndale police officer, J. Mahlmeister. They really enjoyed that she read one of their favorites, Officer Buckle and Gloria, while in uniform.

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Music & Movement Combine for Colorful Fun at FLower

This week was “Parachute Week” at Ferndale Lower! Kindergarten through second grade Music and P.E. classes combined together to do cross-curricular and cross-grade level activities with the parachute. There was so much laughter, fun, and learning! There was folk dancing, popcorn balls, mountain climbing, tents and more that incorporated essential skills of working together. Music and gym classes promote social emotional learning in a natural and organic way. It was so much fun!

 

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Golden Eagle Author & Illustrator Visit FUEL Classroom

FUEL had the opportunity to host our very-own-guest author and illustrator this week when students were joined by former Ferndale Golden Eagles Greg Williamson (5th grade teacher at FUEL) and Greg Abele! Mr. Williamson graduated in 1989, and this was Mr. Abele's first time back in Ferndale since 1984! They presented on the writing process, illustrations, and the innovation behind their book, What's the Recipe for Friends?

Mr. Williamson has published two other children's books with Peerless Press, and all three can be ordered direct at a discounted rate.

  • Why Do I Have to Wear Glasses?
  • How Do I Cure This Cold?

If you would like to purchase a copy, please download the form below and turn into the Ferndale Upper Elementary office with cash or check payable to Peerless Publishing along with your contact information.

Book Order Form

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Symphony Band Scores A Masterpiece

This past weekend, the Symphony Band played at MSBOA Band and Orchestra Festival and got straight 1 (superior) ratings from all 3 judges in performance, and a 2 (excellent) rating in sight-reading. That means a strong 1 rating overall.

Ferndale Director of Bands Elon Jamison reported, "The auditorium chairperson was blown away...Lots of directors have said things about the consequences of COVID about their performances today, but he said that it didn't sound like Covid had impacted us at all." Mr. Jamison praised the students for their hardwork since September that earned this high score. "I am SO proud of them. They've shown up every day and gotten better. I would say they've probably exhibited at least a year and a half of growth, in only 6+ months."

In addition, Wind Ensemble performed today (March 17th) at the Great Lakes Concert Band Festival at Easter Michigan University. This event is a non-rated, non-competitive festival affiliated with Bands of America, the national concert and marching band organization. It featured twelve high school bands from around the state (as far as as Manistee and Traverse City), as well as a performance by the EMU Wind Symphony.

Wind Ensemble performed a challenging 25-minute program, and did a phenomenal job. Performing groups were assigned a clinician after each performance, and Ferndale was fortunate to work with Dr. Stephen G. Peterson—recently retired Director of Bands at University of Illinois. While he gave them plenty to work on, he also had high praise for their musicianship and achievement. "When he was told that Ferndale HS has a student enrollment of less than 700, he was floored with what they played and how they played it! He assumed we were a large suburban school of 1500 students or more," Mr. Jamison said.

We are all so proud of our Golden Eagles and cannot wait to hear their beautiful sounds once again. The next performance of Symphony Band and Wind Ensemble will be on Wednesday, May 3, at 7:30 pm in the FHS Auditorium.

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Celebrating Love of Reading with the Superintendent

March is Reading Month, and we are bringing in friends and neighbors from all around town to show students their favorite books. Superintendent Goodrum stopped by Mrs. Lusk's 4th Grade classroom to read Magnolia Flowers by Zora Neal Hurston, adapted by Ibram X. Kendi, and illustrated by Loveis Wise.

 

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Drumming with Ms. Lori

Ferndale Early Childhood Center spent two days drumming away with Lori Fithian, creator of Drummunity. Ms. Lori brought in many tall hand drums and a diverse range of other percussion instruments for some high energy, interactive fun! Our littlest eagles loved to create beautiful music together: shaking to the beat, beating to the rhythm, and bringing out the sound in everyday instruments from muffin tins to salad bowls!  More information about Lori and the traveling program can be found here:  Drummunity.com

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UHS Hosts College Fair

UHS hosted a college fair in partnership with the Michigan College Access Network this week. Over 50 colleges and universities were in attendance. UHS students enjoyed learning about different options for their post-secondary studies. Thank you to all of the institutions that came to present these opportunities to our students!

  

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Building Motor Pathways for Thoughtful Fun

We are FUEL our bodies and brains with a new motor pathway, integrating puzzles and simple thinking exercises with whole body movement. Like Ms. Meloche reminds us, its important to practice these fun activities in whatever way is comfortable for YOUR body. Exercises that include crossing the midline are very important for learning reading and writing.

Learn more about music and movement in our schools at our Brain Based Integration page

This Whole Child development exercise was created by our district-wide Occupational & Physical Therapy team: Megan Meloche, Jessica Guerra, and Torre Church. You can make your own Motor Pathway at home and share your pics and videos with us on the FUEL facebook page: Facebook.com/FUELschool or email them to contact@ferndaleschools.org.

 

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Student Art on Display at Affirmations

FHS student artists have several pieces of visual art on display at the Affirmations gallery space: 290 W Nine Mile Rd in downtown Ferndale. The opening gala was last Friday, March 3rd. FHS student Zoe Perrone exhibit multiple art pieces along with musical performances from her 2-piece band, Bear Paper Blanket. Other Ferndale student artworks include:

  • Freed and Pulling Out by Layla Rogers
  • Piece of Me by Alyssa McCrary
  • Spectacle and Thea by Zoe Perrone

Affirmations is an LGBTQ+ Community Center founded in 1989 to provide a welcoming space where people of all sexual orientations, gender identities & expressions, and cultures can find support and unconditional acceptance, and where they can learn, grow, socialize and feel safe.

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Seeking Stakeholder Involvement for Staff Interviews

As an inclusive employer of choice, Ferndale Schools prides itself on leveraging the opinions and talents of our stakeholders. In recent Leadership staffing decisions, we have adopted a strategy of involving staff, students, and parents in the interview process. We want to make sure this opportunity to participate is extended to all stakeholders. Please respond below to indicate your interest.

Interview Team Interest Form

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Winterguard Shows Off with Leading Performance

The Winterguard season is in full swing, and our award winning team is at the front of the pack. Your Golden Eagles took home second place at the Lakeland competition in February. Photos provided by Bateman Photography.

 

You can learn more about our Champion Dance Teams on our website.

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Black History On Display

Black excellence and culture were on display across the district. Large door displays were created by students and teachers at UHS and FUEL.

The votes are in, and the winner of this year's BHM Door Decorating Competitions are...

UHS: MR. KLEVEN

Thank you to everyone who participated! "I loved hearing the kids plan and talk about the doors," said Sarah Rodgers, UHS ELA teacher and Student Council advisor. Rodgers was thrilled to once again see this annual activity used as "an opportunity to empower our students, and joyfully celebrate their history and culture."

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Golden Eagles Swimmers Dive with Determination

The Golden Eagle Boys Varsity Swim Team had a great showing at the OAA Blue League Finals in Clarkston. Nick Foreman qualified for State competition and all-league in the 100 M Breastroke. Congrats, Nick and all of our Diving Eagles!

Click the full story for full result statistics.

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February

Elementary Students Present History & Art to Board of Education

Lower Elementary students were invited to the Board of Education meeting on Monday to teach our district stewards about history and culture with some beautiful art projects. The student work was wonderful, and the whole room enjoyed their presentations. Great work, little learners!

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Student Leaders Attend State Conference

Over the 25th-27th weekend of February, the Ferndale High School United Student Assembly sent 6 representatives and an advisor to the MASC/MAHS state conference for student leadership. In attendance were leaders from over 300 Michigan schools! This exciting event fostered an environment in which our student leaders were exposed to new and exciting ideas to bring back to Ferndale, as well as learn more on what it is to be a leader. Our Eagles attended student showcases, listened to powerful motivational speakers, and engaged in structured activities with student leaders from all across Michigan.

While this event was packed with activities to fuel the minds of our young leaders, this state wide event wasn’t all business. The fun-tastic “Rock the Love'' theme made the experience unique, fun and enjoyable. This included the neon themed student celebration where students danced the night away, socializing and networking all the while. The state conference left our Eagles ready to improve our school, take on more responsibility, and leave the experience with new friendships from other schools, as well as a strong bond with each other. To quote one Ferndale attendee, Devon Sears, “I will never be the same after attending this conference. Not only has my leadership improved, and my idea’s broadened, but the deep connection I was able to foster between my previously unknown classmates made this experience more than worth it.”

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Winter Festival Brings Community Together Again

Communities In Schools and the PTA hosted a Winter Festival for K-5 students and families. It was a perfect way to have fun with the family during this cold and dreary winter. Students were able to make snowflake crafts, potato stamping, go snowman bowling, play pin the nose on the snowman, and eat yummy snacks. Sponsoring organizations were also on hand to share helpful information and resources with families. There were four drawings for gift cards and June Fair tickets throughout the night, and every student left with a prize!

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FECC Welcomes Incoming Families

The FECC Open House on Thursday welcomed families to explore our classrooms and play spaces, meet staff and parents, and connect with parent organizations. Thank you to everyone who came to check us out and everyone who supported the event!

Learn More about FECC Begin Pre-K Enrollment

 

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PJ Party Concert & Gallery

Ferndale Lower put on their first concert in FOUR years on Thursday this week. The night was split into two concerts with 7 total first grade classes performing "Pajama Party." Music Teacher Meagan Grammatico and Art Teacher Ashley Balogh have collaborated every year where students create artwork that goes along with the theme of the concert and it is displayed in the gym!

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Kindergarten Discovers the Paintings of Miss Alma Thomas

Kindergartners at Ferndale Lower Elementary learned about expressionist painter Alma Woodsey Thomas. In addition to a talented artist, Alma Thomas was gifted teacher and dedicated community advocate for arts and culture. Alma was proudly unmarried her entire life, committing her life's ambition to the development of herself and her community with outstanding results. She was the first woman in the US to earn a BFA in Fine Arts and the first African American woman to have a solo exhibition at the Whitney. Read more about Alma and her many landmark accomplishments. in our full article.
 

View a Google Slides Gallery of Alma Thomas expressionist paintings that inspired the project


 

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Black Alumni Speak to Students

Our Black History Month theme this year at Ferndale Upper Elementary is Black Excellence & Joy. At FUEL, we believe it is important to balance perspectives within Black history by educating students on the many Black innovators, leaders, and trailblazers throughout history, as well as those who are influencing our present and future. One way FUEL focused on Black Excellence this past week is by inviting Black Ferndale graduates from FHS and UHS into the classrooms to speak to students about their experiences growing up and graduating from Ferndale. They inspired students by sharing what their path to their current career has been. Our students were incredibly excited to learn from each guest speaker. We are thankful to have so many successful Ferndale graduates who can motivate current students to strive for excellence!

Pictured below are Herb Ivory - Educator ('65), Ezra Tillman - Pastor ('99), Johnnie Peoples - Med Pilot ('95), Corbin & Kyra Newman - Juvenile Detention Officer & College Student ('14 & '20), Crystal Brock - Entrepreneur ('98)

Special thank you to our graduates who came to speak: 

Johnnie Peoples '95, Herb Ivory '65, Joshua Nicks '14, Andrese Cockroft '14, Ezra Tillman '99, Baxter Hall '99, Mark Staton '99, Kyra Newman '20, Corbin Newman '14, Tiffany Torres '00, Eric Royal '02, Christian Chapman '09, Quinn Wright '99, Ernest Holly '09, Aaron Dawson '09, Travis Wilder '00, Darlene White '09, Janessa Huston '99, and Crystal Brock '98! We are so grateful for your support and your inspiring stories!

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5th Graders & Middle Schoolers Spell E-X-C-E-L-L-E-N-C-E

Congratulations to the FUEL 5th graders for competing in our fifth annual 5th Grade Spelling Bee this past week!

 Our winner this year was Finnegan Downing from Mrs. Lepp's homeroom!  Finn will compete at the Oakland County Regional Championship on Saturday, March 3rd at Oakland University along with students from across the county in grades 5-8!

Great job to all of our 5th grade competitors, including Aiden Bander, Leonard Graves, Zachary Rood, Desmond Koehler, and runner-up Apollo Newman!! We are so proud of all of you!

Middle school student also competed in a Spelling Bee this week, and the winners are:

Winner—Jan Hartzer  (8th grade)
Runner up—Koncel Platt (6th grade)

Excellent performances were given by all competitors.

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UHS Student Council Supports Forgotten Harvest

UHS Student Council visited Forgotten Harvest on Friday. This was our second visit of the year, and we beat our previous record! The group sorted and packaged enough food to provide over 12,000 meals to families in need. We had an amazing time, and are excited to go on our next community service trip, which will be planting trees with The Greening of Detroit!

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Mr. Peace Assembly

Mr. Peace brought his unique style of energy, fun and emotional impact to student assemblies this week at Ferndale Middle School and Ferndale High School. Thanks to Mr. Peace for sharing your message of healing and hope with our students.

 

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FMHS PTO Shares the Love with Staff

The Ferndale Middle & High School PTO hosted a staff appreciation luncheon this week to thank and support our teachers and staff. Food was provided by The Balkan House, with cookies and beverages available for all. Thank you to the PTO for the meal and to all of our staff for everything you do!

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