THE WOLF'S HOWL Week 21 - February 1, 2019


While this week of school was shortened due to inclement weather, we still have a lot to celebrate. The Wass Professional Learning Community has recently received recognition for character education, student learning, and student achievement at the state and national levels.


On Monday, Wass received the Michigan School of Character recognition by Character.org. We are only one of three schools in the state of Michigan to receive this honor for the 2018-2019 school year. The Wass staff, parents, and students have been on an eight year journey implementing character education practices guided by the 11 Principles of Character Education Framework. In our school, we call this the Wass Wolves' Way. We are proud to be on this journey alongside Larson Middle School and Athens High School. Today's Wolves will be tomorrow's Rebels and Red Hawks. We all believe that we need to have a positive and safe learning environment in order for students to excel intellectually and academically.


I was also notified one week ago, Wass is one of 13 schools (out of over 4,500 public and private schools) that the Michigan Department of Education has nominated to receive the U.S. Department of Education’s National Blue Ribbon Award for 2019. National Blue Ribbon Schools are public and non-public elementary, middle, and high schools that are producing outstanding results for all students. They have demonstrated consistent excellence, and made progress in closing gaps in student achievement. The National Blue Ribbon Schools recognition program is part of a larger U. S. Department of Education effort to identify and disseminate knowledge about effective school leadership and promising instructional practices.

Our school was nominated as an Exemplary High Performing School. For more information about award criteria and eligibility, please visit the U.S. Department of Education Eligibility and Criteria website

We will find out in the Fall of 2019 if we officially receive this honor.


At the start of the 2018-19 school year, I was made aware that our school was rated #1 in the state of Michigan for Best Public Elementary School by Niche.com. The 2019 Best Public Elementary School ranking is based on rigorous analysis of key statistics and data from the U.S. Department of Education. Ranking factors include state test scores, student-teacher ratio, student diversity, teacher quality, grade school ratings, and the overall quality of the school district. We have been rated highly by this site over the past few years, but never #1. Many Wass Parents that have moved into our community have shared with me that this site helped them identify Wass based on its rankings.


I would like to thank the Wass staff, students, parents, and PTO for making the Wass learning community a positive and successful school. The accolades and recognition our school has received simply point out what can happen when everyone works together to support teaching and learning. As we continue to focus on process, instruction, pedagogy, safety, and a positive learning environment for all our students, we know that the REAL WINNERS are our students. Thanks for being a part of a special community. Our best is yet to come!


Character.org is a great resource that we use often to get ideas and research to develop The Wass Wolves' Way. Here are some great articles that our staff has used to develop Wolf Pack lessons and other character education practices in our school.

Our Jan. 31 All Pro Dad meeting has been rescheduled for Thursday, February 7. The topic is LOYALTY.

Please RSVP at the link below.

Chris Fritzsching - Team Captain - Wass Elementary


The Wass fifth graders performed on Tuesday night in the Athens High School auditorium at the Troy School District Festival of Song. They sang two songs (All of Me & Hall of Fame) in a performance along with Costello, Hill, Larson, and Troy Athens. You can see their performance in the videos below. Nice job Mr. McNurlen and Wass fifth graders!

Here is a list of important dates for school programs and activities that you might consider placing on your calendar.

  • Feb. 4. - 1st Grade Informance for Miss Naugle's Class @ 2:45 PM
  • Feb. 4 - 5th Grade Band & Orchestra Concert
  • Feb. 5 - 1st Grade Informance for Miss Pickelhaupt's Class @ 2:45 PM
  • Feb. 6 - Early Release Day
  • Feb. 7 - Wass Family Bingo Night
  • Feb. 11-15 - Box Top Contest / Collection
  • Feb. 13 - K-2 Reading & Writing Parent Night @ Morse Elementary (6:30-7:45)
  • Feb. 18-19 - Mid-Winter Recess - No School
  • Feb. 27 - Early Release Day
  • Feb. 28 - Parent - Son Banquet
  • March 7 - End of the 2nd Marking Period
  • March 8 - Teacher Work Day - No School for Students
  • March 14 - 3rd Grade Vocal Music Concert
  • March 27 - Early Release Day
  • March 29 - April 5 - Spring Break
  • April 10 - Kindergarten Information Night


The 2019 Parent / Son Banquet will be held this year on Thursday, February 28th from 6:30 PM to 8 PM. Volunteers are needed to help set up, decorate, serve food, assist at craft, photo, and sundae stations, and clean up after. If you have any questions, please contact Porsche Fischer at porsche.fischer@icloud.com. Please consider volunteering for one of the wide varieties of volunteers that are needed by clicking the sign-up genius link below:



We will be hosting a Parent Book Club on Tuesday, March 5 at 7:00 PM. Please join us for a book study on Mindsets for Parents: Strategies to Encourage Growth Mindsets in Kids. You can purchase this book on Amazon at the link below.

If you are able to attend the Wass Parent Book Club on Mindsets for Parents: Strategies to Encourage Growth Mindsets in Kids, please sign up so we can plan intelligently. Several Wass staff will lead our conversations on Tuesday, Mar. 5, 2019 from 7:00-8:00 PM.

Come join Mr. Cavataio and start your morning off with some family exercise on Tuesdays. Waking Up with the Wolves takes place on the Wass Indoor Track from 8:00-8:30 a.m. during the winter months.


The Wass PTO raises significant funds every year through your normal purchases at Kroger and Amazon! These funds go right back into the classroom, directly impacting all Wass students. If you have not registered yet (especially at Kroger and Amazon), simply click on the link to find out how. Please consider asking family and friends to sign up for this FREE benefit for our Wolves. Thank you for supporting the Wass PTO.

Have a great weekend! #BeWassKind

Matt Jansen - Principal - Wass Elementary

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