Free fresh food for families in need will be available at the Gerry Kulick Community Center, thanks to Gleaners Community Food Bank.
Distribution is from 2:30 pm - 4:30 pm.
- July 7
- July 21
- August 4
- August 18
- September 1
See the flyer for pick-up procedure, full details.
Today, we celebrate Juneteenth. Juneteenth is a festival held annually on June 19th to commemorate emancipation from slavery in Texas.
Why Texas, you may ask? Throughout the Civil War, Texas was not as closely monitored as other battle states. For this reason, many slave owners went to Texas in order to keep those they’d enslaved as long as possible. After the Emancipation Proclamation went into effect (Jan. 1, 1863), people enslaved in war-torn states often escaped behind Union lines or fought on its behalf, ultimately winning the war (April 9, 1865). However, approximately 250,000 enslaved people in Texas had no idea that their freedom had been secured.
On June 19, 1865, Union General Gordon Granger led thousands of federal troops to Galveston, Texas to announce that the Civil War had ended over two months earlier, and everyone had been freed. In the 1870s, a group of those recently freed pooled $800 together through local churches to purchase ten acres of land and create Emancipation Park to host future Juneteenth celebrations in modern-day Houston. In 1980 “Emancipation Day in Texas” became a legal state holiday in recognition of Juneteenth. State offices, however, do not completely close, as it is considered a "partial staffing holiday." Elsewhere, the holiday is also referred to as Emancipation Day, Freedom Day, and Black Independence Day. Many continue to celebrate Juneteenth. Throughout the nation people host cookouts, parades, and other gatherings to commemorate.
In 2019, Opal Lee of Fort Worth, TX began walking across the nation at the age of 92 to bring awareness to her campaign for Juneteenth to be a National Day of Observance. "Now, 46 states have it as a state holiday and there's no reason for it not to be a national holiday," she said. Opal kicked off her movement in Detroit in July 2019, specifically to gain the attention of the 20 presidential candidates in town for the CNN Democratic national debate. She, her family and friends, as well as Detroiters, walked from Hart Plaza along the Riverwalk through downtown to the historic Second Baptist Church (she walked to Washington DC as well). There is currently a proposal in the United States Senate to declare Juneteenth a widely observed holiday. For more information on Opal Lee's journey, check out opalswalk2dc.com
Get more background on Juneteenth and the history leading up the annual celebration from The Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History & Culture.
Summer is here, and the summer slide poses an especially large challenge after 3 months of distance learning. To keep students intellectually engaged and learning throughout the summer, our educators have organized the IXL Summer Challenge. Students only need to login to IXL using their Clever accounts and start practice their skills online. Reward will be given for reaching the learning hour milestones below.
K-5 Reward Levels
- 250 minutes
- 500 minutes
- 1000 minutes
6-12 Reward Levels
- 500 minutes
- 750 minutes
- 1000 minutes
Contact your teacher for ideas on which Subjects and Standards to focus on. Have fun and enjoy your summer!
UHS student Jada Charley has completed and self-published her first book! We are so proud of her ambitious accomplishment, and look forward to more great things in the future.
The book is available on her website for direct purchase on Thursday, June 18th.
From the author:
"Jada Charley went through a lot her teenage years. Those situations helped shape the person she is today. Although her journey is nowhere near complete, this book is just the beginning. This short book is filled with advice, letters from the author to the people in her life and herself."
The Ferndale Public Library is continuing their summer reading initiative this year. Each child is challenged to read (or be read to) for at least 5 hours between June and August.
Prizes will be awarded for progress tracked in the Summer Reading Tracker.
You'll also find a handful of challenges designed to get you and your children out of the house and away from screens this summer. Each time you complete one of these challenge, you'll earn a "Magic Bean" that will will enter you into our prize raffle at the end of the program.
For the safety of the community, the library will not have in-person programs this summer. They are currently in the processing of adapting existing weekly programs and previously scheduled special summer events to online formats, so please check out and register for events here:
The FERNDALE SCHOOL DISTRICT announces the sponsorship of the Summer Food Service Program for children. Free meals will be made available to children 18 years of age and under or persons up to age 26 who are enrolled in an educational program for the mentally or physically disabled that is recognized by a State or local public educational agency.
Breakfast and lunch will be available at three locations, three days a week, starting July 1st.
- Ferndale High School - 881 Pinecrest Dr.
- University High School - 2521 Bermuda St.
Royal Oak Township Community Center - 21272 Mendota Ave.
Meals will be served from 10:00 am to Noon - Monday, Wednesday, and Friday - until August 28th.
5th graders transitioned out of Ferndale Upper Elementary with a 17-minute video celebration on Thursday. The first 6 minutes is the actual "celebration" that would have been held on the playground. Thanks for a great year, and good luck to the incoming Middle Schoolers!
FHS and UHS seniors celebrated a major milestone this past weekend, and the commencement ceremony is available for viewing anytime at FerndaleSchools.org/grad or on our district facebook page. Congratulations, Seniors!
The last Blessings in a Backpack food bags are packed and will be delivered next week. Included will be a flyer, pictured, as well as masks for each kid on the program and one adult mask per household made by and donated by Mrs. Ann McDonald. Thank you Mrs. McDonald! Thank you to everyone who has helped pack, deliver, donate, and send help. This program would not exist without all of you!
We are in need of donations to continue this program next year. If you can, please visit blessingsinabackpack.org, follow the prompts, and type in "Ferndale 2061" to donate directly to us.
Additional food assistance programs can be found in our Community Resources page »
In conjunction with Lighthouse, St David's Episcopal Church in Southfield will be distributing 20 lb boxes of fresh produce every Thursday through August. Boxes will contain potatoes, onions, celery, carrots, cabbage, apples and strawberries. The hours of the distribution are Thursdays, 9:30 am – 1:00 pm. The church is located at 16200 12 Mile Rd, Southfield, MI 48076.
Thursdays 9:30 am - 1:00 pm
St David’s Episcopal Church
16200 12 Mile Rd, Southfield, MI 48076
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.
The wonderful Ferndale Special Education Staff created this curated list of follow-up parent resources that are linked to the questions/ topics of discussion from the SE Facebook Live session-
Hello Parents and Families!
Please make sure to check out this Ferndale Special Education Parent Resource Wakelet, for great tips, information, and resources. Content is previewed, selected and regularly updated by Amy Hawtin, Ferndale School Psychologist.
Ferndale Parents/ Family Members, If you missed the May 28 Special Ed Parent Meeting, you can view the presentation re: Behavior Supports here- see the link below!
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!
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.
- Teacher - Mrs. Camille Guinn
- Support - Ms. Shelby Martin
- Teacher - Mr. Michael Peri
- Support - Mrs. Susan Humphreys
- Teacher - Mrs. Jodi Prince
- Support - Ms. Hallie Griffin
- Teacher - Mrs. Michelle Morden
- Support - Officer Alison Shank
- Teacher - Mrs. Shannon Lopiccolo
- Support - Mrs. Kim Ellis
- Teacher - Mrs. Amanda Goodson
- Support - Mrs. Pat Tootikian-Hachigian
- Teacher - Mrs. Erika Bauer
- Support - Mr. Michael Shepherd
- Support - Mrs. Kim Shepherd
Jessica Decker (FHS junior) has won the 2020 ArcGIS Map Michigan contest (high school division). Her map on Palmer Park will now be entered in the national competition representing Michigan. Jessica took an ArcGIS mapping class at CASA with teacher Andy Bruen. ArcGIS is geospatial software to view, edit, manage and analyze geographic data and patterns.
During times of crisis, our students need extra support to process their emotions. The Michigan Cares Portal offers Michigan families and educators FREE digital lessons designed to help students in grades K-12 develop the skills required for social, emotional, and mental well-being. This portal will be freely available until the end of the 20-21 school year.
Topic covered include:
- Mental health
- Stress management
- Time management
- Nutrition and wellness
- Anger management
- Social media use (pressures and responsible use)
- And hundreds more!
We have an unusual summer ahead of us.
Typically, during the summer, it’s important for kids to have less structure than usual, so they can relax and recharge. This year, the needs of our students may be a little different. They may need routines & structured learning opportunities in a way they didn't in years past.
Michigan Virtual is offering Online Summer Camps & Courses for grades 3-12, a safe alternative that allows students to keep learning and potentially even earn school credit.
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.
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.
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!
To all of our Ferndale Special Education Parents: we hope this message finds you and yours well!
The Special Education Department would like to assess your interest in participating in our Ferndale Parent Group. The group will be organized by our district's school psychologists, Amy Hawtin and Amanda Coffman, and will include all district parents who have children with special needs. The meetings will be held virtually once a week for about an hour.
The mission of the group is to help parents empower each other during the COVID-19 pandemic and remote learning period. Our district's school psychologists will plan to cover different topics with parents each week, and will link parents with resources on how to support your children with special needs in the home setting. Parents can choose which sessions they would like to participate in, it is not a commitment to attend every session, although we welcome and encourage you to!
Please let us know if you are interested in participating in the group by responding to the short survey below:
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.
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!
On Wednesday, March 18th, Blessing in a Backpack passed out bags of food to families in the parking lot of Renaissance Vineyard Church. The effort was overseen by 3rd Grade Teacher Lindsay Gonska and 6th Grade Teacher Elaine Zold. Parent volunteers Mary Fulmer and Danielle Sargeant were on hand to pass out the food alongside Ferndale Schools employees Patti Collins and Cheryl Dirkse. Many families were able to get their bags at the pickup location. For those who weren’t, Transportation Supervisor Cheryl Dirkse led the effort to load up district bus #3 and start driving to homes and delivering bags. The delivery team even came back in Thursday morning to finish up! The volunteers gave out as many bags as they could, even giving away a lot of food to people who don't have kids in the Blessings in a Backpack Program. “We didn't say no to anybody,” said Mrs. Zold.
We would like to extend a warm thank you on behalf of the communit to Pop’s for Italian on 9 Mile for making 250 sandwiches for our kiddos in need, Renaissance Vineyard Church for being our pickup spot, ALL of the volunteers for helping, Life Skills Village for packing the bags, and the people who have donated to help keep this program going.
Blessings in a Backpack will be doing another pickup time in a few weeks when more is known about how long schools will be closed.
Mrs. Zold summarized her experience with important words for all of us, “Mr. Rogers was right, ‘In scary times we need to look for the helpers.’ Today, I found some.”
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.
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.
11 FHS students, committed to The Detroit Economic Club Career Readiness Academy, participated in Session 6 today and worked on their elevator pitches and practiced interviewing skills. A great afternoon being mentored by local business leaders who are committed to serving our students.
The robot is complete! (for the most part). We still have a few kinks we need to work out, but it is in working condition. The drive team is practicing driving and shooting with the robot. The programming team is working on autonomous, which is the first 15 seconds of the match where the robot drives on its own using code.
Their first two competitions are coming up later this month, and are free to attend. Please come out and show your support!
- FIRST Robotics: Detroit District
- at Renaissance High School on March 13th and 14th
- FIRST Robotics: Woodhaven District
- at Woodhaven High School on March 27th and 28th
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.
UHS Student Council visited Forgotten Harvest today. We packaged 3,240 pounds of grapefruit! The kids had a wonderful visit!
In February, FMS Impact Hour classes decorated their classroom doors in honor of illustrating a person or event as it relates to Black History month. The winner was Mrs. Bruner's classroom.
Great news from a successful United Student Assembly(USA) of Ferndale High School trip! Four of our students went to the MASC/MAHS conference this past weekend. This conference is a gathering of the student government organizations (Student Councils and Honor Societies) from schools all across Michigan. Firstly, they made connections with student leaders from different schools while getting useful and motivational information from various speakers such as A’ric Jackson and Chris Fields.
Then they participated in an extensive community service project in which they donated–with the addition of positive messages of support–different foods to the Feeding America non-profit. Additionally, these students had the opportunity to share and receive presentations from different schools on events like coin stalls and other successful fundraisers, as well as Ride with Pride, a program to incentivize positive behavior in young adults for the betterment of the community.
Our students had the ability to participate in leadership and decision making activities. These activities included working as a delegation with other students to create a new mental health law. They also had practice with money allocation in an activity where they were presented with different high-need roleplay situations and had to debate and decide which situation would receive a grant of $1000.
Thank you to Branden Nicholas, Kaiya Scott, Alondra Hopkins and Jackson VanderMeer for representing Ferndale High School at the highest level. Thank you to the USA advisors Julie LoPiccolo and Jacob Mell for chaperoning the trip.
Oakland County authorities warn the community of a phone scam targeting older adults with the caller impersonating Oakland County Health Division employees. Numerous older adults reported receiving a phone call from the Health Division requesting social security and Medicare numbers for: Medicare billing, a Medicare breach, or because their doctor said they qualified for a knee brace. Oakland County Health Division does not contact residents to request personal or protected information over the phone.
“This scam targets older adults to obtain their sensitive information by impersonating our organization,” said Leigh-Anne Stafford, health officer for Oakland County. “If you receive a call and are unsure if it is a scam, ask the caller for their name, a return phone number and avoid sharing any personal information over the phone. Then report suspicious behavior to authorities.”
Madelyn Porter and Tony Lucas performed at Ferndale Upper and Lower in celebration of Black History Month. Thank you for the wonderful lessons and experiences. A brief video is available on our Facebook page.
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.
Tonight, members of the cast of “She Loves Me” did a showcase at the Ferndale City Council meeting. Ferndale Mayor Melanie Piana took a photo with the students after their performance!
The musical - while fairly unknown in our community - is based on several popular movies:
- "Shop Around the Corner" with Jimmy Stewart
- "In the Good Old Summertime" with Judy Garland
- "You've Got Mail" with Tom Hanks & Meg Ryan
It is the story of 2 co-workers who dislike each other at work but come to find out that they are pen-pals who really love each other.
Performances run the weekend of March 23rd and March 27th.
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!
As part of the Leadership class at University High School, small groups of students are planning and implementing service projects for the UHS community or the community as a whole. UHS students Bobbie Bolden, Robyn Bolden, Tatiana Wilbourn, Anthony Boudreaux, and Lamoune Meeks held fundraisers and donation drives to support Common Ground Sanctuary in Oakland County. Common Ground Sanctuary helps teens and young adults suffering from substance abuse, housing insecurity, suicidal tendencies, and other challenges. Last week, they delivered their donations, which will go to these young people in the residential crisis centers.
Ferndale High School ACE student Sage Porter, in her final year, has been named to the All Michigan Academic Team for Phi Theta Kappa.
The FHS Robotics team is an excellent opportunity for students to get active in the community, on top of learning 21st century applied science skills.
The team regularly participates in charity events. Last week, the team packed lunches for the homeless and delivered them to a local church for distribution. “It’s always a good reminder of how fortunate we are.”
The team will also be holding a Blood Drive at FHS on March 3rd from 8:00 am -2:00 pm in the FHS Nest. To join us, sign up at RedCrossBlood.org Event Page
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.
Friends of Royal Oak Township's (FOROT's) after-school Double Dutch activity at FUEL was a jumping success! Students were introduced to a creative social activity which included fun, fitness and friends. The activity created a teamwork environment through basic jump rope skills (turning and jumping in the ropes), unity circles, and encouragement from peers and volunteers. Students were confident, anxious, and impressively able to jump in the ropes from the onset. Our volunteers made it happen. Jill Echols, Tiana Starks, and Blake Howard, thank you for your time, energy and dedication to the youth, Double Dutch and our mission. #Jump4Health #FOROT4Health
THe FHS wrestling team captured the league championship for the second consecutive year. Way to go, Eagles!
To celebrate the 100th day of school, Mrs. McNeil’s Kindergarten class collected 100 items (canned foods, toothpaste, shampoo, etc.) to donate to Open Hands Food Pantry.
On Friday, 2/7, the FHS NHS made 80 lunches for the South Oakland Warming Center shelter program.
The lunches were delivered to Genesis in Royal Oak where adults are provided shelter at night. Transportation is provided between a network of churches where different services are provided during the day.
Support the Ferndale Educational Association with some cool gear! A portion of all purchases will go to the FEA Scholarship Fund.
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!
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.
The 2020 Concert of Dance–titled "Fantasy or Reality"–was held on Thursday, January 9th. The dancers performed beautifully under the exceptional direction of Ms. Janet Whinham. Bravo to all!
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.
Some awesome Ferndale students showcasing the importance of play. Thank you Playworks Michigan!