THE DISTRICT DISPATCH Royal Oak Schools news, straight to your inbox

In This Issue

  • Summer Meals Program
  • School Closure Latest
  • Thanks to our Salvation Army family
  • SRL Academy
  • Helmets for 3rd Graders
  • Available Positions at the District
  • Social Media


Our meal program continues to distribute breakfasts and lunches, Monday-Friday, 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM at Keller Elementary and Royal Oak High School. This will continue through June 30. We applaud the strong commitment by our food service staff and volunteers led by Mr. Mike Jacobs, Food Service Director. Thank you! Plans are in the works for the whole summer - we'll let you know as those details are finalized.

Food workers prepping food rain or shine!

School Closure Latest

Hello June! In her address on Monday, June 1, 2020, Governor Whitmer released another set of parameters as the State of Michigan moves into the next phase of a reopening plan. We are carefully assessing these new parameters and the impact it has on our summer programs and camps. The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA), as mentioned by the Governor, provides the guidance by which we would be allowed to open our programs for students of Royal Oak. Updates regarding the opening of programs or the hosting of camps or clinics will be provided in the coming weeks. We anticipate some opportunities being opened on or about July 1.

We are pleased to share some of the summer learning opportunities that are available for our students. The offerings we have developed will assist students with ELA and math skill building using a variety of tools and formats depending on your child’s needs. These virtual options require registration so we can assign teachers to assist groups of students. They are all free of charge. There is an offering for high school students to obtain PSAT/SAT readiness classes for incoming 9th-12th graders. The flyer for these programs can be found on our website under “News” or by using this link. Additional options for high school students will be forthcoming. Extended School Year for students with IEPs is planned for July 6 - August 21. Teachers will reach out to parents to schedule meeting times.

Families who have obtained a Chromebook from the district may keep it through the summer months, with the exception of our high school seniors who have been asked to return the devices to the school.

We are busy working on learning plans for next year, and creating multiple scenarios for our return to school. We must keep in mind dozens of variables that will impact the plans including, but not limited to, learning platforms, teaching strategies, social distancing restrictions, cleaning protocols, health conditions in the general public and those we may face once students are back in school. Full face to face, or a blended schedule of online and face to face instruction, will both require rigorous health and safety protocols which we are planning. We also need to consider that some students may not be able to return to school due to their own health risks. If there is another outbreak or increase in the COVID-19 cases, we may be directed to close at any point in the school year, so improved transition plans are necessary. We have learned quite a bit from this unprecedented stay-at-home quarter of the school year.

Thank You For Your Service

The Mount family has lived in Royal Oak since 2013, but this summer, they will be moving to a different area to serve and a new family will be moving in.

"We have such an affection for Royal Oak and for our experience with the school system," said Catherine Mount.

Captain Peter Mount and his family were stationed in Royal Oak with the Salvation Army. Their presence in our community will be missed. They were involved not only in the area but made a significant impact in our schools.

The Salvation Army offers social services, community center programs, and Christian Congregational services to local communities all over the world. The Mounts are ordained pastors, and the structure of the Salvation Army is built on an appointment system with their clergy. So, at the discretion of their leaders, they move to different appointments to fill a need. Catherine Mount told us that while everyone knows that relocating can be stressful, they are confident that even in change, these details will work together for the good of each community effected.

The Mount family consists of two boys, Ben (12) and Jacob (8). They have only known the Royal Oak School system. Ben is a 6th grader at ROMS, and Jacob is a 3rd grader at Oak Ridge. "Ben completed all of his elementary years at Oak Ridge and connecting with the Oak Ridge community has been an incredible blessing during our stay in Royal Oak," said Catherine. "It is such a great community of families that have a unified goal of loving one another and being good citizens."

Catherine shared that while on a field trip when Ben was in second grade, his teacher asked her, “What do you do? When I asked Ben what you do for a living, he said that you ‘Help people’. That is exactly what we do," she said. "As pastors and administrators for The Salvation Army our job is to meet human needs without discrimination. We are motivated to do this by our faith, and it manifests in different services to the community. This includes help through The Salvation Army food pantry, utility assistance, toys and food for families during the Christmas season, a thriving after school program and summer day camp, an incredibly fun basketball program (SYBL), and of course spiritual care through congregational activities. We have a great staff that makes all of these wonderful ministries possible."

The family says they will miss "everything" about Royal Oak and Royal Oak Schools. "More than the quality of education (which has been excellent), we will miss the many teachers and staff who have so deeply cared for our family," said Catherine. "We will miss spending time with the friends, and the community groups that have filled our days with fun and activities; and the close knit community that always shows up when there is a need."

"Royal Oak is the best of all worlds. It’s a great community that cares for one another," Catherine said. "All at once it feels like home and comfort as well as cosmopolitan and cutting edge. It’s been a wonderful place for our family to grow, to learn, and to serve." The Mount family will be moving this summer to the Chicago area.


The Michigan chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) announced on Sunday, May 3, the student production award winners. Hannah Frassetto, a senior at Royal Oak High School, took home the honor for Short Form Fiction for her project, "Daydreamin'." Her project was part of the high school's 3rd Year Advanced Film Production class. The task was to tell a story with only visuals, no dialogue. Here is the link to her short film: https://vimeo.com/370989468. Hannah will be attending Grand Valley State University in the fall.

Senior, Hannah Frassetto, producing her award-winning project.

Every summer, PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Lab program select approximately 20 students to attend a week long Summer Academy that allows students to produce right alongside the professionals at PBS NewsHour in Washington DC. This year, the plan was to take the Academy "On The Road" to Arizona and hold it at the Walter Kronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University, but, unfortunately due to Covid-19, SRL was forced to change that plan. This year's Academy is now a 10-week long virtual workshop where students will continue to learn from the pros and further their experience. Royal Oak Junior, Emily Birnbaum ('21), was selected to be a part of this program. In the fall, Emily will be in year 3 of the Advanced Video/Film program at Royal Oak High School. The ROHS Video/Television program has been a PBS Student Reporting Lab since 2014.

Congratulations to Emily Birnbaum who was selected, along with 29 distinguished students from 17 different states, for the 2020 PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs Student Academy.

Bike Helmets Donated

The Optimists Club of Royal Oak donated bike helmets to the 3rd graders of Royal Oak Schools.

The Royal Oak Optimists Club donated new bike helmets to all current third graders. "We are grateful to be able to provide the helmets for each student at each school," said Rick Bremer, of the Royal Oak Optimist Board. "Thank you again for the opportunity to benefit Royal Oak children."

The board was informed a head count and teacher name for each class of third graders at each school. The helmets were packaged accordingly, along with a letter from the Optimists. Staff from the Custodian Maintenance staff picked up the helmets and will handle getting the helmets to the children during pick-up of materials, most likely in the first week of June. The donation included helmets for the special ed students at Addams and Keller Elementary as well.

EduStaff is the district’s partner for substitute teachers, paraprofessionals and secretaries. If you are interested in learning more, please go to www.edustaff.org for information and to apply.

Individuals interested in working with and caring for school age children before and after school for our Young Oaks (Latchkey) Program should contact the Addams Early Childhood Center at (248) 288-3220.

For instructional and administrative positions, check the Oakland Schools Consortium portal at http://bit.ly/ROSJobs

If you have further questions, feel free to contact Beth Caverly at the District Offices: elizabeth.caverly@royaloakschools.org or (248) 435-8400 x1210.

Be sure to keep an eye on school websites and communications for events specific to your buildings and activities.

There's always something going on at the district! Follow us on Facebook @RoyalOakSchools and Twitter @RoyalOakSchools and Instagram@roschools for more updates and other news. Check the district website, too, for information.

Speaking of Social Media - a lot of creative content has been shared during the pandemic. Check out these links below.

The ROHS Diversity Club hosted RO LIVE, a YouTube Live Virtual Concert where ROHS students, staff and alumni came together to showcase their talents and celebrate the class of 2020!

ROHS Links students created videos (along with many thoughtful cards and signs) to share with residents at the Royal Oak Assisted Living.

A special thought goes out to our Class of 2020 as they end their K-12 career in Royal Oak Schools and move on to bigger and better things in life. Whether they are continuing their education, going into the military, or heading to the work world, we wish them well. Our year will not end as it typically would have for these students either, but they hold a special place in our hearts as they move ahead with their futures.

Comments? Story ideas? Send them to communications@royaloakschools.org

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The District Dispatch Mission: To inform all with an interest in the Royal Oak Schools community and deliver information straight to them through stories of our people, our successes and our future.


Created with images by 煜翔 肖 - "untitled image" • Annie Spratt - "Young teen doing schoolwork at home after UK schools close due to the Coronavirus." • kevin Xue - "untitled image" • Joey Huang - "Japan, Fushimi Inari, Senbon Torii" • Murillo de Paula - "Person pedalling a bicycle" • Free To Use Sounds - "You can see these signs everywhere in Denver! So much work here! If you're new to my Unsplash account and you're curious about how we can travel around the world and record sounds full-time, just follow us here on Instagram @freetousesounds because we love to talk about it and share our journey! If you are looking for royalty free sound recordings just visit our website www.freetousesounds.com Thank you!" • Merakist - "Social Media in Colorful Alphabets" • Joshua Hoehne - "untitled image" • Austin Distel - "Facebook page of an entrepreneur's social media on desktop and mobile. This photo is free for public use. Please credit this photo in caption with link to "www.distel.com"."