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

In this issue

  • Student Connectors bring classmates together at Royal Oak Middle School
  • Cross Country teams finish the season strong
  • Upton first-graders lead service-learning experience for local organization
  • Bond webpage updated with completed photos and Oakland design renderings
  • 2020 Kindergarten Parent Information Night
  • 2020-21 district calendar
  • Save the date: 2020 MLK Day of Service
  • Available positions at the district
  • Inclement weather notifications
  • and more!

Student Connectors bring classmates together at Royal Oak Middle School

Within the last few years, Royal Oak Middle School has implemented a program called ‘ROMS Student Connectors' to help sixth graders as they make the move to their new school.

"The contemplation of the transition from the cozy, intimate settings of our elementary schools to the middle school experience can be rife with worries for students and families," Principal Todd Noonan, said. "What we have seen since the deployment of this leadership group is a significant decrease in visible anxiety of our entering sixth graders. Kids now enter ROMS on day one, knowing that this is going to be a warm and welcoming place to learn--and have fun--for three years."

Seventh and eighth graders serve as mentors to the sixth graders, meeting them first during Bulldawg Bound, the sixth grade orientation program that takes place every August. During Bulldawg Bound, students are introduced to their new school through presentations from administrators, teachers, and students, tours, a scavenger hunt, navigating the cafeteria during lunch, and, of course, practicing opening their lockers.

Throughout the school year, seventh graders act as tutors to the sixth graders during LEAP lessons, and at the beginning of the year, eighth graders get to know the sixth graders during lunch. Periodically, ROMS Student Connectors also gather to greet the sixth graders as they arrive at school.

The Student Connectors program aims to make sure the incoming sixth graders aren’t too nervous about the change of environment that comes with entering middle school. Having the seventh and eighth grade students serve as mentors helps to make sure that the sixth graders have someone they can turn to if they feel lost.

“It kind of just gives [the sixth graders] a shoulder to lean on if they need help, if they don’t know where to go,” Hannah Spring, an eighth grade ROMS Student Connector, said at a recent Board of Education meeting.

Cross country teams finish the season strong

The Boys and Girls ROHS varsity cross country teams both finished their spectacular seasons this month.

The boys team placed first in the region with three all-regional runners (Bryan Hanes, Adam Hill and Ruark Wicka). In their league, the team tied for second and had four all-league runners (Adam Hill, Bryan Hanes, Connor Myatt and Ruark Wicka). They ranked 23rd in the state.

"This year's success was the product of lots of steady, consistent work over many months," Dave Barnett, boys cross country coach, said. "Because they've put in so much time together, they're great teammates. They encourage and support each other through thick and thin. I'm excited to have a great group returning next year. We had a really solid group of senior leaders on our team this year. Over the course of their careers, they helped build a culture that assures that expectations will be high for every team."

For the first time, the girls team qualified for the state finals, finishing third in the region. They had three all-regional and three all-league runners (Kate Meinecke, Izzy Fairless and Nicole Morehouse). The team finished third in their league and 27th in the state.

"The biggest contributing factor in the team's success this season was that the girls ran over the summer either on their own or with teammates," Dela Jackson, girls cross country coach, said. "Seeing all the hard work these ladies had done over the summer and during the season coming together as a family and qualifying for the State Finals made me very proud. They finally bought in on what needs to be done for future seasons. It was capped by getting to see them celebrate as a team qualifying for the State Finals the same way that I was able to with my teams when I ran in high school."

Upton first-graders lead service-learning experience for local organization

Leadership comes in many shapes and sizes. At Upton Elementary in recently came in the form of some first-graders.

Heather Dorogi, Upton first-grade teacher, said that her students were learning about kindness and empathy while reading the book “Boxes for Katje.” In the story, the main character’s town survived WWII on boxes of supplies from the U.S.

“After reading it, a small group of girls in my class addressed me and asked if the could 'do boxes' too,” she said. “We decided it was an awesome opportunity for a service learning project.”

Dorogi explained that after some research, the group decided they wanted to benefit Teen Clean Closet, a local organization that collects new toiletry and hygiene items for local children in need. TCC has locations at schools and community spaces throughout the community where students can discreetly find items they need.

“We thought this was the perfect spot because it's for Royal Oak kids,” she said. “So the students made flyers to send home, a video for parents, talked to the class to get their help and we spent two weeks collecting. I am so proud of this class and their kind hearts.”

Oakland renderings, more available on updated bond web page

Many construction projects around the district have wrapped up, including those at Oak Ridge Elementary and Keller Elementary. That means the bond teams are preparing for the work to come this spring and summer.

Oakland Elementary will go under construction in the spring of 2020. Projects at the school include:

  • Construct a new kitchen and servery (new space and location to better serve students)
  • Construct a new multipurpose room
  • Construct new instructional space
  • Remodel and relocate Spanish/music classroom
  • Remodel learning commons
  • Install new EPIC system for classroom sound enhancement and building security
  • Install new flexible classroom furniture (varies by grade levels)
  • Upgrade electrical systems
  • Replace lockers
  • Replace select flooring
  • Replace select doors
  • Make building security enhancements

The bond page on the district website also has photos of the completed work at Keller Elementary and Oak Ridge Elementary. Be sure to check the page periodically for updates and photos.

2020 Kindergarten Parent Information Night

Parents interested in enrolling their students in kindergarten for the 2020-21 school year can join us at 6:30 p.m. on January 29, 2020 for Kindergarten Parent Information night.

The event gives parents an opportunity to visit their child's future school to meet staff and learn about the curriculum, including details about the district developmental kindergarten program.

  • Addams Elementary, 2222 W. Webster
  • Keller Elementary, 1505 N. Campbell Road
  • Northwood Elementary, 926 W. Twelve Mile Road
  • Oakland Elementary, 2415 Brockton Avenue
  • Oak Ridge Elementary, 506 E. 13 Mile Road
  • Upton Elementary, 4400 Mandalay Avenue

Call 248-435-8400 or check out the "Enrollment" section of the website for more information. New student enrollment for in-district families will begin on Thursday, January 30, 2020.

A resident child must be five (5) years of age on or before September 1st in order to be eligible for kindergarten or developmental kindergarten.

If a child is not five (5) years of age by the September 1st enrollment eligibility date, but will be five (5) years of age no later than December 1st, the parent/guardian may still enroll the child in kindergarten. The parent must notify the school district, in writing, prior to the beginning of the school year. Notification, by way of a completed Kindergarten Age Waiver, must be received in order for a child born between September 1 and December 1, to be enrolled in kindergarten.

Royal Oak Schools welcomes Schools of Choice students from Oakland County. Students enrolled through Schools of Choice may continue in the district through grade 12, as long as their enrollment is continuous. The Schools of Choice application window for families will be finalized at the December Board of Education meeting and posted on royaloakschools.org following the decision.

2020-21 calendar now available

The 2020-21 School Year Calendar is now online. View it for the first day of school, late start dates and breaks. Building-specific calendars, including special events and activities, will continue to be updated throughout the summer.

Find the calendar here: http://bit.ly/ROCal2021

Save the date: 2020 MLK Day of Service

The city of Royal Oak, Royal Oak Schools, Berkley Schools and the city of Berkley will be teaming up once again for the MLK Day of Service on Monday, January 20, 2020.

The event honors Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a short program in the morning, which has alternated locations between Royal Oak High School and Berkley High School since 2017.

The 2020 celebration will take place at Berkley High School with a breakfast preceding the 8:30 a.m. presentation of short performances and speakers.

Check the Royal Oak Schools website (royaloakschools.org) for more information as the event gets closer.

Staff positions available at Royal Oak Schools

Royal Oak Schools is seeking substitute teachers and secretaries, support staff, crossing guards and latchkey staff.

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 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.

Inclement weather reminder

Unless families are alerted via an official district channel, school is in session. The district broadcasts pertinent, time-sensitive information using a variety of media. When needed, our Emergency Notification System (SchoolMessenger, populated with information from MIStar) broadcasts information by telephone and email to emergency contacts for Royal Oak Schools students. If appropriate, messages will be posted on social media, the district website, shared by principals and/or sent to local media for publication. All of these channels are official district methods of communication and may confirm if school is closed.

To ensure you’re receiving phone and email communications, logon to the MIStar Parent Portal to update your contact information. You can follow @RoyalOakSchools on Facebook and Twitter, too.

That's old news: in case you missed it in November

ROHS students perform for annual Royal Oak Veteran's Day ceremony - Read the Royal Oak Review story here.

Oakland Elementary hosts science night with sensory-friendly time - See photos here.

Upcoming Events

Mark your calendars. There is plenty to look forward to in November:

  • Tuesday, December 3 - ROHS Winter Band Concert, 7 p.m.
  • Wednesday, December 4 - ROHS Winter Orchestra Concert, 7 p.m.
  • Wednesday, December 11 & Friday, December 13- ROHS Winter Choir Concert, 7 p.m.
  • Thursday, December 12 - Board of Education Meeting, 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, December 14 - ROHS Performance during Royal Oak parade, 6 p.m.
  • Thursday, December 19 - Jingle Bell Jazz at the Royal Oak Farmer's Market, 6 - 9 p.m.
  • Monday, December 23 - Friday, January 3 - Holiday Break

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 for more updates. Check the district website, too, for information.

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.