Schools

Published February 4, 2016

WEST BLOOMFIELD — Are we safe from space? 

Solar eclipses and solar flares can be dangerous, but sixth-grade STEAM students at Orchard Lake Middle School are on the case.

These future scientists, designers and literary scholars aren’t basing their findings solely on reading what is already known — they’re engaging in project-based learning and examining data to develop safety nets for space dangers. 

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Published February 3, 2016

BIRMINGHAM — The Birmingham Education Foundation will hold its 15th annual Unabashed Bash auction fundraiser to raise funds for grants for the Birmingham Public Schools district.

The event will be held beginning at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 6, at Somerset Collection, 2800 W. Big Beaver Road in Troy.

The money raised by the event helps supply grants to the 13 schools in the district to fund field trips and programs the schools might not be able to pay for otherwise.

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Published February 3, 2016

FARMINGTON/FARMINGTON HILLS — Farmington Public Schools Superintendent George Heitsch met with about 20 parents, volunteers and community members to discuss the current issues — and future changes — facing the school district during a coffee hour Jan. 22 at the Administration Building.

Heitsch discussed with the group how the school district might have less revenue next year and more than likely 350 fewer students.

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Published February 3, 2016

FARMINGTON HILLS — Henry Tanaka, academic dean of art, design and humanities at Oakland Community College, recently took the trip of a lifetime to Japan.

“This first visit to Japan for me was an amazing personal experience. I was brought up in post-World War II, and growing up, my Japanese heritage was an important factor,” Tanaka said in a press release.

As a fourth-generation Japanese-American, Tanaka said connecting with his cultural roots, among other things, was a highlight of the trip.

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Published February 3, 2016

A Stevenson High School music teacher and band director earned some local fanfare after being named a top teacher by School Band and Orchestra magazine.

Michael Sekich joined the ranks of the magazine’s “18th Annual 50 Directors Who Make A Difference Report.” The results were published in the magazine’s December 2015 issue.

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Published February 3, 2016

EASTPOINTE — At its regular meeting Jan. 25, the East Detroit Public Schools Board of Education voted 5-2 to approve an agreement with a company, Graduation Alliance, to help students who have dropped out or who are considered “at risk” to graduate with a high school diploma.

Vice President Charley Jackson and Trustee Julie DeVita cast the two no votes.

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Published February 3, 2016

FERNDALE — Thanks to a matching donation from the Daniel & Pamella DeVos Foundation, Michigan Youth Arts was able to provide Arts Equipment and Supplies grants to nearly double the number of classrooms in 2015 as it was able to provide in the program’s first year.

In collaboration with the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, Michigan Youth Arts offers up to $2,500 to any kindergarten through 12th-grade classroom in Michigan that has a focus on a fine or performing art. The grant program helped 43 classrooms in 2014.

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Published February 3, 2016

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — Dakota High School senior Bethany Moses was feeling a little stressed out during play rehearsal Jan. 27.

Having just completed midterms, she was now turning her full attention to her lead role in Dakota’s musical production of “Mary Poppins.”

“It’s been a little insane, but it will all come together. I know that definitely. It always does,” Moses said.

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Published February 3, 2016

C&G Newspapers

Known around the Utica Center for Mathematics, Science and Technology for her leadership, innovation and compassion, teachers said they were not surprised when the White House recognized Christina Li, 17, of Macomb Township, as a computer science education “champion of change” Jan. 26.

Li single-handedly planned and executed a weeklong computer science camp, called “Hello World,” for 30 middle school girls in the district during spring break last year. She plans to hold the camp again this midwinter break and has received about 36 applications.

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Published February 3, 2016

BIRMINGHAM — Seaholm High School’s next musical is right around the corner, and this year’s performance looks to Broadway for inspiration.

The school’s musical is based on the Broadway adaptation of the Tim Burton film “Big Fish” and the novel it’s based on, “Big Fish: A Novel of Mythic Proportions.”

Musical Director Laurie Frick said the rights to the musical just became available to perform when they were deciding what to put on, and she was looking for a show with a large chorus.

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Published February 3, 2016

ROCHESTER — The Rochester Community Schools Board of Education recently nominated and elected its officers for 2016.

On Jan. 11, Pat Piskulich was unanimously elected to serve as board president, replacing outgoing President Jennifer Berwick. The board — which elects members for various leadership positions each January — also unanimously elected Sandra Fiaschetti as its vice president, Michael Zabat as secretary and Kristin Bull as treasurer.

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Published February 3, 2016

ROCHESTER — Standard & Poor’s recently upgraded Rochester Community Schools’ bond rating from AA- with a negative outlook, to AA- with a stable outlook for the $128 million unlimited-tax general obligation school bonds.

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Published February 2, 2016

ROCHESTER — Looking for a cure to your midwinter blues? The Adams High School Booster Club, in support of the athletic department’s 22 sports and over 50 teams, is hosting its fourth annual Comedy Night fundraiser this weekend. 

“We use a Mark Ridley’s Comedy Castle-quality comedian right here in Rochester, so it provides the opportunity for people to come out in February, when the midwinter blues hit, and see a good show right here in town,” said Adams High School Athletic Director Jason Rapp.

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Published February 2, 2016

GROSSE POINTE WOODS — Between academics, trying to fit in socially and hormonal changes, middle school is often a challenging time for many students.

That is why the counselors at Parcells Middle School in the Grosse Pointe Public School System have aligned their counseling department with criteria that follows the American School Counselor Association national model. 

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Published February 1, 2016

EASTPOINTE — East Detroit Public Schools teachers, students and their families have stepped up to gather water and money for the people of Flint, who are still struggling to get potable water after reports that the city’s drinking water supply is contaminated with lead.

Students collected the donations Jan. 21-22 in the district’s classrooms and school buildings, according to East Detroit Federation of Teachers President Lincoln Stocks. In all, they managed to collect $1,000 for water-related needs and 600 cases of water for the beleaguered city.

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Published February 1, 2016

CENTER LINE — The Center Line Business Association has a brand-new logo to help promote its mission, thanks to some local students.

The association members recently held a contest with students in Donna Giacona’s visual imaging class at Center Line High School.

About 25 students participated in the contest, and junior David Brown was named the first-place winner. The logo he created will be used for the CLBA’s website, brochures and stationery. For the accomplishment, Brown received Detroit Pistons tickets, which the business Elite Ink donated.

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Published January 27, 2016

FARMINGTON HILLS — Farmington Public Schools will see about $166,000 in savings after school officials approved a new contract for 33 FPS administrators. 

“These are the types of things, unfortunately, we have to do these days in this kind of economic environment,” Trustee Terry Johnson said during a Jan. 12  study session.

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Published January 27, 2016

CLINTON TOWNSHIP — Brendan LaRose was simply walking through the halls of Chippewa Valley High School when choir director James Pecar recognized the student wasn’t utilizing what was then an unknown gift, his voice.

Pecar convinced LaRose, now a senior, to join his choir shortly thereafter, and despite only having one short experience in drama prior to this year, LaRose is playing one of the key roles in Chippewa’s production of “Shrek the Musical.”

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Published January 27, 2016

SOUTHFIELD — A health insurance company that calls Southfield home recently donated a $10,000 technology grant to Southfield Public Schools.

Priority Health, a Michigan-based nonprofit health insurance company, presented the award to the Board of Education Jan. 12.

Although school officials are still unsure what the technology grant will be specifically used for,  Superintendent Dr. Lynda Wood said they are grateful for the donation.

“The children will utilize this well,” Wood said at the meeting.

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Published January 27, 2016

Troy School District seniors’ scores on a new assessment test soared above county and state numbers.

After 44 years of the Michigan Educational Assessment Program test, 80 percent of Michigan students across the state sat down in front of computers to take the first-ever Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress, or M-STEP. A paper-and-pencil option also was available, which was how Troy School District students took the test.

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