Class act

Harper Woods schools start new year

By: April Lehmbeck | Advertiser Times | Published September 11, 2014

 Beacon Elementary kindergarten teacher Kristi Scaglione walks with her new class during the start of school last week.

Beacon Elementary kindergarten teacher Kristi Scaglione walks with her new class during the start of school last week.

Photo by Deb Jacques

HARPER WOODS — The 2014-15 school year got off to a good start last week with some changes throughout the district, according to local school officials.

The district is launching its one-device-for-every-student initiative this year, but that’s not all of the new things going on in the district this year.

“The 2014-15 school year is off to a wonderful start at the secondary campus,” Assistant Principal Kente Rosser said in an email. “Our students arrived to school ready and eager to learn.  Students were greeted at each classroom door with a warm smile and a handshake from their teachers.”

“We are pleased to announce several new initiatives at the secondary campus, as well.”

Besides the districtwide 1-1 technology, the secondary campus is gearing up to launch a new initiative with a multimedia digital lab this October.

The secondary campus is launching a new recycling program that Rosser said would be woven into the environmental science curriculum. The program will be sponsored by high school science teacher Jennifer Martin.

They are also seeing big changes in sports.

“This year will be the first year that HWSD will compete statewide in (Michigan High School Athletic Association) in both boys and girls swimming,” Rosser said.

“Most importantly, we have implemented our Capturing Kids’ Hearts model of rapport-building among our students and staff members,” Rosser said. “We are pleased to announce that through our commitment to teamwork, we will accomplish our goals of student achievement for the 2014-2015 school year.”

The open house for the secondary campus will be Sept. 10, with the middle school open house starting at 5:30 p.m. and the high school beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Beacon and Tyrone elementary schools also kicked off the new year with technology in the hands of all students.

Beacon Principal Janet Gottsleben also commented on the excitement of the new school year, including growth in the number of students registering at the school.

“Beacon is bursting,” she said in an email. “We have added a second-grade (classroom) and (are) still growing this year. I think the secret of our school is out there because our enrollment continues to climb this week.”

“Perhaps it is the 1-to-1 iPads all our K-2 students are receiving this year, or perhaps it is the amazing math curriculum we adopted last year that is teaching numeracy at a level that is impressive on any scale? Not sure, but most of our visitors comment on the culture here at Beacon, as well,” Gottsleben said. “They claim it is something you can actually ‘feel’ as soon as you walk through the door. ‘Kind,’ ‘caring,’ ‘compassionate,’ ‘connected’ are just a few words I hear when speaking with our families and community.”

She also noted student achievement at the school as a reason that more families are choosing Beacon.

“We continue to hold high expectations for academics, as well as behavior, at Beacon, and it shows,” she said.