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

In This Issue

  • Looking Back At The School Year
  • Teacher & Staff Appreciation Week
  • Summer Programming
  • Thank You For Your Donation
  • Community Support
  • Around the District
  • The Acorn Newsmagazine
  • Board Member Achievement
  • Royal Oak Schools Foundation Golf Outing & More
  • School Calendar: Important May Dates
  • Available Positions At The District
  • Social Media: Throwback and Thanks Videos
Lots of Changes This Year


As students returned to in-person learning this spring, many have been able to experience the updated facilities made possible by the Bond 2017 program approved by the voters. Students at Oakland Elementary can now eat lunch in their new cafeteria and servery, preserving the activities in the gym for physical education classes and special events. The school has a fully remodeled library/media center with all-new flexible furniture, technology, and collection moveable bookcases. The art and music rooms have been fully remodeled which will be enjoyed by all students when attending special area classes. For pick-up and drop-off, there is now a larger driveway, additional parking, and a new water retention basin. The entire school has new paint, new lockers, new and enhanced flooring, along with completely remodeled bathrooms and main office.

Students at Oakland Elementary say hello from their new lunchroom. Students participate in PE class in their new gym.

Royal Oak High School has completed the third phase of the bond work which started with a newly constructed athletic plaza that opened in the fall of 2019. Since then, ROHS has had two additional years of remodeling and construction including fine arts classrooms for band, orchestra, and choir, remodeled science rooms, all new furniture school-wide, updated technology, new learning spaces in the media center/learning commons, and a larger cafeteria with an entirely new servery area. Two new elevators were added to the main gymnasium hallway to make it easier for students, athletes, and spectators to access the mezzanine, gym floor level, and locker rooms on the lower level.

Addams Elementary and Early Childhood Center, and Upton Elementary have already started some pre-construction this spring which will continue through the summer, with a final completion date of September 2021. Renovations and improvements will take place throughout the entire school building, as Upton will also see an addition of a new gymnasium.

Each school had a new electronic message sign installed previously, and all elementary schools have received new playground equipment.

Top - students play at Oak Ridge Elementary. Bottom - students enjoy the curvy slide at Oakland Elementary.

While we would like to open the doors to the community to see the updates for themselves, we know that current restrictions on visitors must be followed. We hope to conduct those tours in the near future. For now, watch for an upcoming video that will encompass the entire set of projects to date. The last set of Bond 2017 projects will touch Royal Oak Middle School, Northwood Elementary, and Churchill Community High School and Administrative Offices starting in the spring of 2022.

We Appreciate You!


"We always appreciate the heartfelt dedication of our Royal Oak staff to the students and families in our district. This year, more than ever, their hard work and commitment has intensified, and deserves our continuous and well-deserved thanks." - Mary Beth Fitzpatrick, Superintendent
Summer Programs


Royal Oak Schools is excited to announce FREE summer programs for students DK-12. These classes will be available in person and remote. The staff and students will follow the COVID-19 protocols that are already in place. Teachers are being hired and courses are getting set, and we know the classes will be taught at Northwood Elementary, Royal Oak Middle School, and Royal Oak High School.

Subjects of study for DK-5 include English Language Arts (ELA), Math, Science, Coding, and Enrichment Classes. Courses for middle school students are ELA, Math, Science, and Enrichment Classes. And for our high school students, free credit recovery, free SAT/PSAT Prep, and Enrichment Classes.

Special Ed Students can also participate in extended school programming from July 6 - August 20. These classes will be held at Keller Elementary and at Churchill/TRIALS, Monday - Thursday from 9:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

For more information on summer school, click here.



We want to THANK the Royal Oak Meijer for donating a little cheer to Royal Oak Schools in February. They provided our district with $1500 in gift cards to support our efforts during remote and virtual learning.

"As your teachers and staff members continue to navigate uncharted waters and diligently work to creatively finds ways to educate your students by way of virtual or in-person classrooms, we wanted to support, recognize, and show our appreciation for everything you are doing," said Leslie Moreau-Megel, Meijer Human Resources.

"Again, thank you for everything you and your educators are doing to enrich young lives in the communities we serve!"

The district shared the gift cards between all of the schools and asked them to use them as they saw a need.

"The impact of COVID-19 on our district has been tremendous. Due to the generosity of our local community businesses and organizations, we have been able to do more during this challenging time," said Mary Beth Fitzpatrick. "A special thank you to Meijer Corporation who kept our staff in mind by donating gift cards for the purpose of thanking and meeting the needs of our staff."

Principal Dryden of Keller Elementary treated her staff to poop-emoji cupcakes.
Dr. Parrott of Oak Ridge treated his staff to a variety of snacks!

We'd also like to thank the following for their recent generosity:

  • Chartwells - the Royal Oak Schools food service donated $2000 to be put toward a scholarship
  • Lions Club - the Royal Oak Lions Club voted at their March board meeting to donate $1000 to all Royal Oak Schools elementaries to be used towards Fine Arts Programs
  • Motor City Gas - Rich Lockwood donated FDA/WHO approved hand sanitizer produced in his downtown Royal Oak whiskey distillery
  • TJ Maxx - the Beverly Hills store on 13 mile donated many, many face masks and coverings for students and staff


April 21 was Administrative Professionals Day!

One of Royal Oak Schools admins was surprised with a lot of shiny balloons to say thank you. Caleb Foster, of the Special Education department, was the recipient and he was humbled to be recognized. "I'm lucky to work for such a great department," he said.


Royal Oak Rotary is a community service organization and part of Rotary International. Their focus, according to Lew Lake, Royal Oak Rotary President, is to support the youth in our community. "Scholarships have been the focus of much of our activity," Lake said. "Each year we hold a fundraiser, this year virtually, to raise funds for our two types of scholarships."

Applications for scholarships are now available from the Rotary. The first of the two scholarships are open to high school seniors that have at least a 3.5-grade point average. The second scholarship program is called "Strive." Strive students are chosen by high school counselors because of their need for an "extra push" to graduate high school. Seniors at Royal Oak High School can apply by using this link.

The Rotary presents 4 $1500 scholarships to students. In 2020 they gave out 11 scholarships. Students need to apply by May 3! They will be interviewed by members of the Rotary before a decision is made. This is the 38th year for Rotary scholarships!

MORE: The Schuele Scholarship may be for you. Past winners include several Royal Oak students. If you are interested, check it out for your student: Robert A. Schuele Scholarship

And for more scholarship information, check out the Scholarship page on the Royal Oak Schools website.

Around the District



Mrs. Morris and Mrs. Carroll had fun working with students to plant seeds in honor of Earth Day. The children are looking forward to watching the seeds grow into sunflowers.

Children plant seeds to celebrate Earth Day!


Registration for the 2021-22 school year is tentatively scheduled for May 10, 2021. Registration will be a lottery-based system. If you are interested in Young Oaks Latchkey please complete the lottery form (located by school here) and you will be notified if we can enroll you or add you to a waitlist.


On Arbor Day groups are encouraged to plant trees, care for trees, educate others about trees, or even climb trees! In celebration of Arbor Day, students from Addams Elementary received saplings from the City of Royal Oak Parks and Forestry Department to recognize this important day. This is the 44th year for an annual Arbor Day event in Royal Oak, which is proud to be a member of the Arbor Day Foundation and honored to be a part of Tree City USA.

Right: Addams students carry in the saplings. Pictured: Ari Salomon, Addison Kuhlman, Lucas Grieves, and Elena Ovies.


Keller kindergarteners have wrapped up their "Where We Are In Place & Time Exhibits." These pictures are of the children's interpretation of what constitutes a home, how a home reflects cultural and geographical influences, as well as family values.

They built model homes to reflect different locations around the world. They were then able to speak to why the homes were different due to the location, resources and climate.


ICYMI: "Northwood's Got Talent" premiered last month. You can watch the performances here.


Oakland families can take part in a virtual paint night this month on May 6 at 6:30 PM. Oakland's very own art teacher, Ms. Beistline, will be guiding our families through a scavenger hunt paint experience! Pre-registration is required. A google meet link will be sent out prior to the event.


Oak Ridge students took part in "Wild About Reading" this spring, hearing stories from the Superintendent to Miss Michigan. Donations were collected and over $14,000 was raised. The Wild About Reading bookmark winners were recently announced: Kindergarten Winner: Cora Guy, 1st Grade Winner: Layla Dua, 2nd Grade Winner: Micah Ford, 3rd Grade Winner: Kayla Cullison, 4th Grade Winner: Emerson Wicke, and 5th Grade Winner: Ethan Ford.

Left: 1st grade winner Right: 4th grade winner


While learning more about Earth Day, 5th graders at Upton Elementary decided to reboot their school garden that was created in May of 2019. Due to the pandemic and the cancellation of in-person classes last spring, the garden wasn't tended to by the 5th grade Green Owls. However, after taking a virtual and in-person tour of the garden recently, students decided to make it their mission to create a bigger and better garden for the entire Upton community to enjoy. Plans are underway to research plants that are native to our region, self-sustainable, and include a space for some vegetables and herbs. In the coming weeks, the 5th graders will grow plants from seeds to create the school garden and make a plan for its upkeep and future growth.

Throwback to 2019, pre-pandemic, as students from Mrs. Vanevery's class complete the original garden.


Get your ROMS gear at the school store so your incoming 6th graders can be decked out and show their ROMS pride! They are also planning for a celebration for the 8th graders on June 10/11. Look for more information on this coming soon!


Royal Oak High School focused on bringing awareness to the prevalence of mental health issues last month by taking part in 'U Matter' week.

A U Matter wall was created with students and staff adding messages throughout the week.


Graduation Announcement! Commencement will be May 20 at 7 PM outside, on the grounds of Churchill High School.


Addams "Peer to Peer Program" is a peer-to-peer support system used for students with diverse needs. The program has been a part of the Addams school community for the last 5 years. The program gives friends an opportunity to learn that we all have different challenges and strengths and that we can work together to help each other. Many students who participated at Addams have continued this work through the transition to middle and high school. Despite the challenges that the pandemic brings, the Addams Peer to Peer Program has carried on socially distanced lunch meetings.

The Acorn




The Acorn Newsmagazine is a publication of Royal Oak High School. It is produced by students in a class taught by Ann Maudlin. Students actually apply to be on the staff. This year there are 14 students involved.

Maudlin says that students will use their abilities as global thinkers and ethical reporters as they research, report, and publish articles on local, national, and world issues for the monthly news magazine.

"The Newsmagazine course offers students the opportunity to develop sound journalistic standards, provide balanced coverage of school news and current events, and gain experience in photography and publication design,” said adviser Ann Maudlin. “It’s about learning and working together, capturing and honoring the stories taking place at ROHS, sharing ownership of the end product, and hopefully, making memories along the way.”

LEFT: Junior Katie Lynch (foreground) and senior Mackenzie Adams begin working on their stories for the senior wills edition of the magazine. RIGHT: Nicole Morehouse, Acorn Co-Editor-in-Chief, maps out a calendar of deadlines for an upcoming issue of the magazine.

Editors-in-chief are Nicole Morehouse and Evie Pinho (Class of 2021). "Grace Leahey (Class of 2021), has been incredibly dedicated to the layout of the magazine this year because of the remote learning conditions. Her work has been invaluable," said Maudlin.

The class is offered as a full-year course (English elective and visual/performing arts credit) to students in grades 10-12. It is called Newsmagazine 1/2 and can be entered mid-year.

Follow this link for recent publications of 'The Acorn'.


Marty Cardamone has been on the Royal Oak Schools Board of Education since 2009. He is also active with the Oakland County School Board Association, serving as their Vice-President.

Recently, he was recognized by the Michigan Association of School Boards for accomplishing the Master Board Member Award.

Mary Beth Fitzpatrick has shared that public school board members are able to take advantage of classes and workshops designed to support their role. "We appreciate his dedication to expanding his knowledge of school board member responsibilities, in order to better serve our community," said Fitzpatrick.

According to the MASB website, the Board Member Awards Program, with basic certification as its cornerstone, was developed in 1990 with input from both veteran Michigan school board members and representatives from higher education and state administrator organizations. Its goal is to enhance the ability of school boards to improve Michigan public schools and the achievement of 1.4 million Michigan students.

"Congratulations Mr. Cardamone on your achievement!"

Fore! A Good Cause


It's time to book your foursome and save your spot in the Royal Oak Schools Foundation Golf Outing and BBQ! This annual fundraiser is scheduled for Monday, June 21 at the Metamora Golf and Country Club.

In years past, this fun event included a shotgun start after breakfast, a banquet, and a silent auction. This event was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Without the golf outing, the foundation created the project, Royal Oak Farmers Market Haul. They collected orders, sometimes 85 a week, and delivered to those that ordered from the market every Saturday morning. This successful endeavor is continuing starting May 15.

Scott Brown, head of the fundraising committee for ROSF said, “It’s truly a sign that spring is here when people start calling to order vegetables to be delivered to their house.” He added that the golf outing is really going to be exciting adding a barbecue after the event. “There will also be free bus transportation from Royal Oak High School to Metamora,” he said. “And there won’t be a silent auction this year,” Brown added, “because we hated to hit up local businesses who are still recovering from the pandemic, but there will be lots of other fun planned.” For information on either of these events, click here.

Royal Oak Schools Foundation is an educational charity as defined by the IRS tax-exempt status 501(c)(3).

Important Dates for May


Use this link for the 2021-22 district calendar.

May 9 is Mother's Day

Board of Education meets on May 13

Churchill Graduation Day is on May 20

May 26 is the last day of school for Seniors

May 31 is Memorial Day - No school on this day

Memorial Day Parade 9 a.m. - Royal Oak



We're hiring substitute teachers. Edustaff is the district’s partner for substitute teachers, paraprofessionals and secretaries. If you are interested in learning more, please go to http://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.

We're hiring custodians to join our team of cleaning professionals. Interested individuals can apply here.

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

Employment opportunities with Royal Oak Schools can be found on our website under Employment/HR. If you have further questions, feel free to contact Beth Caverly at the District Offices: elizabeth.caverly@royaloakschools.org or (248) 435-8400 x1210.

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. We also have videos posted on our YouTube page. Check the district website, too, for the latest information.

Speaking of Social Media - did you see this piece on Frentz and Sons Hardware on the WOAK Facebook page? #ros100 #throwbackthursday

ICYMI: Don Watchowski was recognized at our April board of education meeting for 10 years of service as an Athletic Director. Watch this video to hear from some of his colleagues on this prestigious award.


Send them to: communications@royaloakschools.org

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