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FWCS Visionary November 2017

2017 Showcase Set For Nov. 11

Fort Wayne Community Schools will host its annual Showcase from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 11, at Northrop High School, 7001 Coldwater Road.

Showcase gives families an opportunity to learn more about the variety of educational options available within FWCS, including how technology is integrated with instruction at all grade levels and in every building. Students are able to demonstrate that technology isn’t just using high-tech toys; technology enhances instruction from teachers.

New this year to Showcase will be a musical instrument “petting zoo,” where participants have the opportunity for a hands-on experience with one of a variety of musical instruments. The “petting zoo” is courtesy of Mynett Music.

Showcase is a free event featuring the district’s elementary, middle and high schools, including FWCS’ seven magnet schools, high quality neighborhood schools and Programs of Study at the high schools. At the event, parents can receive information and ask questions about how to choose and apply for the program that best suits their children’s needs. While all students are assigned a school based on where they live, for decades, FWCS parents have been able to apply to have their child attend one of the magnet schools or request an intra-district transfer to attend a different school within the district.

FWCS offers the Montessori curriculum at Bunche Early Childhood Center (pre-kindergarten and kindergarten) and Towles Montessori Elementary School (first through sixth grades); New Tech is offered at Towles Middle School for seventh- and eighth-graders. The arts magnet program is offered at Whitney Young Early Childhood Center (pre-kindergarten and kindergarten), Weisser Park Elementary School (first through fifth grades) and Memorial Park Middle School (sixth through eighth grades). Croninger Elementary School offers a magnet program focusing on communications, and math and science are a special focus at Irwin Elementary School. Magnet schools have no boundaries and draw students from throughout the district.

Each high school will have information on their Programs of Study: Project Lead the Way-Engineering at Northrop; Global Studies/World Languages and Early College at North Side; Project Lead the Way-Biomedical at Snider; International Baccalaureate at South Side; and New Tech Academy and Early College at Wayne.

Parents wanting to request that their child attend a different school must have their school assignment application submitted by Friday, Dec. 15. Applications will be available at Showcase, at schools and online at www.fortwayneschools.org. If there are more applicants than spaces available at any of the schools, the school lottery will be Jan. 19 at 9 a.m., to determine admittance.

There will be special appearances at Showcase by Star Wars characters (including a presentation on the building of an R2D2 droid) and Johnny from the Fort Wayne TinCaps. This year there will be a carnival, free face painting by Northrop cheerleaders and the United Way of Allen County will give away free books; cosmetology students from the FWCS Career Academy will offer free haircuts and manicures.

Attendees can register for an array of door prizes, including picnic tables made by construction trades students at the FWCS Career Academy or an iPad, sponsored by school PTAs.

Showcase is sponsored by Sodexo and ProFed. More information on the schools, FWCS departments, entertainment and sponsors can be found at www.fortwayneschools.org.

Additionally, FWCS schools will offer Tuesday Tours from mid-November to mid-December. These special tour times allow parents to visit any of the schools to see their inner workings. This year, Tuesday Tours will be Nov. 14, 21, 28 and Dec. 5 and 12. Times for elementary school will be 9 to 11 a.m. and noon to 2 p.m.; for middle schools, 8 to 10 a.m.; and for high schools from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Bunche and Towles will offer tours from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. and noon to 2 p.m. Of course, the schools are always available for tours, simply by calling the office of the school in which you are interested.

Please follow this link below to our Facebook event page and click that you are going to Showcase so you can help us spread the word on Facebook.

FWCS Seeks Community Input On Future

Fort Wayne Community Schools is inviting parents and community members to participate in a community engagement project designed to determine what measures should be used to gauge school success and to identify what FWCS is already doing well and where the district has opportunities to improve.

Board members are leading the remaining sessions in November to gather input from the community.

The remaining community meetings will be on the following dates. All meetings will be from 5:30-7 p.m.

  • Nov. 14 – Snider High School, 4600 Fairlawn Pass
  • Nov. 16 – South Side High School, 3601 S. Calhoun St.
Northrop students see Fort Wayne history from different perspective

Northrop High School U.S. History teacher Andrew Wyss, with help from special education teacher Ben Caywood, took 120 students out on the Summit City’s rivers to learn a bit about local history.

While it sounds like a massive undertaking, not all 120 students went at one time. The students were taken out in four groups of 30 (each of Wyss’ history classes took separate trips). We reached out to Wyss and Caywood with some questions. Here, in Wyss’ own words, is a little bit about this unique field trip.

“In my U.S. History classes, we study the early history of Fort Wayne, the founding of our city by the U.S. government, the resistance of Native American tribes in the region, and the importance of the three rivers in settling this region for Americans and natives. I really try to emphasize the legacy still present in our city connected to Native tribes, Anthony Wayne and the three rivers and in the past I created a couple tours and photograph projects for students to see these statues, buildings, streets, etc.

“As I became more aware of the kayak rental business (Fort Wayne Outfitters (FWO) & Bike Depot on Cass Street) and having kayaked the rivers with my family, I had this idea of taking students kayaking on the rivers and seeing some of the historical sites. In talking with FWO & Bike Depot, they were thrilled at the opportunity and gave me names and the contact info for the two local historians, Bob Jones of the Old Fort and Matt Jones of the Allen County Partnership for Water Quality. Both of these gentlemen are tremendous local resources in our community and their knowledge and expertise should be harnessed by all schools. I shared with these two my idea and what my students had studied and they also were thrilled at this unique opportunity. They then organized our float plans, which started at Johnny Appleseed Park and ended at the FWO & Bike Depot. Our trip included numerous ‘talking points’ as well as historic and environmental sites where information was shared. We also had a ‘hop-off’ spot at Trader’s Point where we walked to the Old Fort and Bob Jones shared some info with each group.

Ben Caywood, Special Education teacher at Northrop, helped me in the planning and execution of the field trip as well. Knowing he had a wealth of kayaking experience, and also wanting another adult to accompany the groups, I immediately recruited him to join.

The students did a great job on each trip and represented Northrop High School very well as they interacted with different people from our community. Many of them got out of their comfort zone and took on a physically demanding task on the water (they paddled for four miles). They also did a great job of listening throughout the journey to our narrators as they shared information at numerous floating points. In their reflections they have written and in speaking with them, the students really enjoyed the experience, getting out onto our rivers (which many no longer view as dirty and disgusting), and thought it was neat to see our city from a totally new perspective. I also feel that the whole kinesthetic learning experience benefitted them by actually seeing and experiencing the history that we studied in class.

I absolutely plan to continue this trip and try to improve it in the future.”

Children’s author visits schools, talks about reading and writing

Scott Savage, author of books for middle-age children - such as FarWorld and the Case Files series - visited a dozen FWCS schools in October to talk to students about reading, writing, creativity and changing the world.

The visits all preceded a book-signing Savage had at Barnes & Noble at Glenbrook Square, which sponsored his tour of Fort Wayne schools. The signing coincided with a fundraiser for the FWCS Study Connection program.

Savage first talked to students about changing the world. At Arlington, he asked students if they believed they could change the world. When he received a largely negative response from students, he told three stories.

First he told of Alexandra “Alex” Scott, founder of Alex’s Lemonade Stand. Just shy of her first birthday, Alex was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a type of childhood cancer. At age 4, she had her first childhood cancer fundraiser in her front yard and raised more than $2,000. By the time she died in 2004, young Alex had raised $1 million. To date, the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation has raised more than $150 million toward Alex’s dream of curing childhood cancer, and is funding more than 800 research projects nationally.

Does it sound like she changed the world? Savage asked.

“Yes!” the students responded.

Savage went on to tell the students about Malala Yousafzai, the Pakinstani girl who was shot on a school bus by the Taliban after speaking out against their ban on education for girls. She is currently enrolled at the University of Oxford and continues to fight for girls’ education around the world.

Finally, he told the students about Ryan Hreljac, who heard about African villages that were without clean water when he was in first grade. He set out to raise enough money to build a well and asked his parents for help. They offered him $70 to do extra chores. Ryan then took his idea to service clubs, school classes, anyone who would listen and he raised $2,000 for his first well at Angolo Primary School in Uganda. Today, the Ryan’s Well Foundation continues to bring clean drinking water to vulnerable people and has built 1,166 community-led clean water projects and 1,245 latrines.

After inspiring the students with the fact they can change the world, Savage moved on to speak about reading and storytelling.

He then walked students through a story writing exercise in less than five minutes. At each school, this involved bringing students to the front of the assembly to act out various roles from protagonist to obstacles and outcomes.

Savage’s visit was capped off by the book signing on the evening of Oct. 25. As part of the visit, Barnes & Noble donated a portion of sales to the FWCS Study Connection program.

FWCS schools welcome business, community leaders as guest principals

Fort Wayne Community Schools welcomed 54 community members into our schools to serve as guest principals for the annual Principal for a Day event this year. A majority of the guests – representing local businesses, service organizations and community groups, as well as some elected officials – visited their assigned schools the morning of Thursday, Oct. 19.

The guest principals visited from the beginning of the school day until before noon, experiencing what a principal goes through in a day. From welcoming students into a building to dealing with concerned parents to working directly with teachers to improve academic achievement, principals do it all. The guests saw the amount of time principals spend in the classroom, a key component to ensuring each student is educated to high standards.

Following the shadowing experience, the principals and their guests had lunch, prepared by students in the FWCS Career Academy’s Culinary Arts Program.

“I always enjoy showing off what is going on in our schools,” Superintendent Wendy Robinson said. “Principal for a Day takes it to an extreme with guests in every single building on the same day. Our guests are often surprised by what they see because schools are so different today than when they attended school. I love hearing the excitement our guests have after spending a morning in our schools; excitement that often turns into new long-term community partnerships.”

The guest principals come from a variety of occupations, leadership positions and organizations in our community. The following is a list of the schools participating and their guest principals: (to see the list, click here).

For a first-person account of serving as a guest principal, check out this blog post

Health Corner:

Fight the Flu, get a flu Vaccine

The Fort Wayne-Allen County Department of Health advocates everyone receive a flu vaccination, and has put into place a website to make scheduling such immunizations easy.

The Heroes Need a Plan website includes information on respiratory protection as well as an interactive map with locations of available flu shots.

The flu is a contagious respiratory illness that’s caused by the influenza virus. Symptoms range from mild to severe and sometimes lead to pneumonia, bronchitis and ear infections, according to information provided by our partners at Parkview Health. Every year, more than 200,000 people (mostly elderly) are hospitalized for flu-related complications. For more flu facts, go here.

The Centers for Disease Control recommends everyone who is at least 6 months old should get the flu vaccine every year, but especially:

  • Those with medical conditions, such as asthma, diabetes and chronic lung disease;
  • Pregnant women;
  • Children younger than age 5;
  • Seniors ages 65 and older;
  • People who live with or care for other who are at high risk of developing serious complications.

Additional information about the flu is available at the website for the Allen County Flu Task Force.

Seeking school assistants

Fort Wayne Community Schools is seeking interested candidates for school assistant positions. If you desire to see young people be successful, check out available openings by clicking on “Non-Teaching Support/Substitute Positions” at the link below.

Created By
Joyce McCartney
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