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

In this issue

Read on to learn about:

  • Student involvement during 2019 MLK Jr. Day celebrations
  • Elementary school HAVEN visits
  • 3 reasons to attend the ROHS Open House
  • a special Keller assembly
  • Inclement weather
  • Upcoming events
  • and much more!

MLK Day spirit empowers young leaders around the district

This year’s MLK Day celebrations across the district honored the late civil rights leader through a variety of activities. But beneath the surface, the activities were also a celebration of student leadership.

The third annual MLK Day of Service, co-hosted by Berkley and Royal Oak, took place at Royal Oak High School. The day began with breakfast and a program of student performances, guest speakers and videos. Royal Oak students did an acapella performance of "I'm Building Me a Home" arranged by Anthony Trecek-King.

The opening video was produced by students at Royal Oak and Berkley high schools. Mike Conrad, video production teacher, said the collaboration between the two schools highlighted the theme of togetherness, and the students are already planning other videos they can work on as a team. In addition, the instant feedback the young filmmakers received was unique to the event.

“They loved it,” Conrad said. “In a school film production setting, students generally create a project and then it takes weeks or months for them to get views online. To be able to see a video less than 24 hours after they completed it and be able to see the reaction of an auditorium full of people was amazing. The immediate turnaround was phenomenal.”

After the program, more than 200 students, educators and community members worked on volunteer projects at ROHS and out at local organizations. Students, including several Girl Scout Troops, and families from around the district donated time and items to create bags for the homeless and blankets for patients at the DMC Children’s Hospital.

Royal Oak Middle School Student Council members partnered with MK Blanket Wraps to sew mittens for the homeless at the ROHS event. Founded by two sisters, one of whom is a ROMS student, MK Blanket Wraps set up three stations for volunteers and donated more than 100 mittens for the homeless.

The events at Royal Oak High School weren’t the only ways students got in the spirit of the holiday. At Addams Elementary, students worked on various service projects, from assembling healthy snacks and decorating lunch bags for students in Detroit to crafting origami cranes (an international symbol of hope) for the University of Michigan Psychiatry Department to creating placemats for Meals on Wheels.

Oak Ridge Elementary hosted MLK Jr. Day activities before the big event at ROHS. The school’s student senators decided they wanted to put on skits and read MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech before leading the entire school in a silent march around the school that concluded with a silent circle on the playground. Students and families used the quiet time to reflect on the messages of MLK.

The following day, the Student Senate hosted a day of service where all students created cards and participated in other service opportunities.

“Our Student Senate did a fabulous job preparing an MLK assembly for our school, Jason Parrot, principal, said. “The activities were a great way for our students to have a better understanding of the significance of this national holiday. Thank you to our Senators and teacher leaders for two very meaningful days.”

View videos and photos from the event below.

ROMS Student Council/MK Blanket Wraps
Addams Day of Service
Oak Ridge MLK Jr. Day Activities

HAVEN teaches all elementary students to ‘help themselves,' gender respect

Every year, all elementary students get a visit from HAVEN, an Oakland County non-profit that provides support to survivors of abuse and uses education to prevent violence.

The annual program for students K-2, Helping Kids Help Themselves, introduces children to personal safety and body ownership through the story of HAVEN’s raven, Daisy. Students learn the difference between good and bad secrets, how to identify a safe grown-up and that if abuse happens it is never their fault. The program helps children identify, trust, and communicate their own feelings.

Students in grades 3-5 participate in an annual gender respect lesson. The lesson is designed to support children in the development of safe relationships by providing information to increase the understanding of risk factors associated with gender disrespect. The students are also taught about inappropriate touches and how to report them.

“One of the things that’s great about the HAVEN presentations is that it’s K-5,” Lisa Shannon, supervisor of elementary education, said. “They’re hearing the message year after year, and it’s the same message.”

Shannon also said that since working with HAVEN, the district has included some of the same themes in fourth and fifth grade maturation lessons. In addition, parents have the option to opt their children out of the program.

3 reasons to attend the Royal Oak High School Open House

From 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, February 13, Royal Oak High School is hosting its 2019 open house. Everyone is welcome, but why should you attend? Check out three reasons below.

Reason #1 - Get to know the school, whether you’re a future student or community member

The ROHS Open House is the perfect opportunity for students and their families to see the school.

“While this event is primarily attended by current 8th graders, it's also an opportunity for our community to visit ROHS and see the great things happening here,” Michael Giromini, principal, said. “Future Ravens and their parents can learn more about the school and have the opportunity to see students' work, to talk with staff, and to get to know the building. Community members can see firsthand the wonderful resources they help to support."

Reason #2 - Learn about athletics, clubs and other ways to get involved

In addition to information about academic opportunities at the school, future Ravens and current students can learn about various ways to get involved at ROHS, straight from student athletes and members of student organizations.

“A student that is involved beyond the classroom, whether it be athletics, arts, and/or clubs, tend to have higher self-esteem, increased motivation, increased academic performance,” Don Watchowski, athletic director and assistant principal, said. “In addition they learn personal social skills such as discipline, persistence, communication, and time management. All in all, we hope the positive influences they gain from extracurricular participation simply lends to healthy and happier lifestyles."

Reason #3 - See the MYP Personal Projects

Future Ravens are International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme students and are expected to complete the Personal Project. Visiting the ROHS Open House allows 8th and 9th graders to see the culmination of their IB MYP experience, plus community members might learn something new from the projects.

"Those who attend will be able to see some incredible work that is being done by high school students that goes beyond the normal school hours," Ray McMann, teacher and IB MYP Personal Project coordinator, said. "They will see projects that our students are really passionate about. Many of these projects are also self-awareness journeys for the students, and they are excited that others want to hear what they have to say."

According to the International Baccalaureate, the aims of the MYP projects are to encourage and enable students to:

  • participate in a sustained, self-directed inquiry within a global context
  • generate creative new insights and develop deeper understandings through in-depth investigation
  • demonstrate the skills, attitudes and knowledge required to complete a project over an extended period of time
  • demonstrate the skills, attitudes and knowledge required to complete a project over an extended period of time
  • demonstrate responsible action through, or as a result of, learning
  • appreciate the process of learning and take pride in their accomplishments

Earth dome gives Huskies a new perspective

Keller students recently had a unique look at the world as Earth Dome visited the school.

Depending on the grade level, all students learned about continents, oceans, mountains, rivers, scale, time zones, latitude and longitude, geology and plate tectonics.

“The kids loved it,” Marcie Dryden, principal, said. “We try to align all of our cultural arts assemblies with our curriculum, and the earth dome assembly brought what they are learning in the classroom to life. The Earth Dome assembly gave our students a fun experience while they learned about earth science and being internationally minded.”

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.

Child Find for children with special education needs

Royal Oak Schools offers evaluations, programs and services to individuals who are identified as having, or who are suspected of having, a disability as defined in either the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

These services are available to eligible person’s ages 0-26 who reside within, or attend a K-12 school program within, the Royal Oak Schools attendance boundaries. Referrals are accepted from parents, staff members, community agencies, and other interested parties.

For more information about available services, parent/ student rights or referral procedures, contact the Royal Oak Schools Administration Office at 800 Devillen, Royal Oak, MI, 48073, or call 248-435-8400.

Upcoming Events

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

  • Wednesday, February 13, 6 p.m. - Royal Oak High School Open House
  • Thursday, February 14, 7 p.m. - Board of Education meeting
  • Monday & Tuesday, February 18 & 19 - Mid-Winter Break

Click here for the ROHS Athletics schedule

Click here for the ROMS Athletics schedule

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.


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