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Northville Connections Northville Public Schools Digital Newsletter: February 2021

Dear Northville Public Schools' Families, Staff and Community Members,

As we bid adieu to 2020 and welcome the new year, we invite you to join us in celebrating a variety of examples of leadership, service, perseverance and achievement, from within and beyond our classrooms, our schools, our community, and in some cases, stretching across the globe! Our students, staff and families continue to seek out new and different ways to connect with one other, learn, excel, and support one another as we navigate COVID-19, learning, social-emotional health and well-being, and safety in virtual and in-person settings.

Students at Hillside are enjoying their new learning spaces, as we opened the doors to the new wing of Hillside 2.0 in January. The new interior features plenty of natural light and bright colors perfect for wayfinding, flexible furniture suitable to enhance the learning experience and a plethora of collaborative learning spaces. In the Northville Record article about the new addition, Principal William Jones reflected on the joyful opening for students, noting that, "the looks on their faces was what you'd see when someone visits New York City for the first time." Hillside's renovation is possible due to the voters' support of the 2017 Bond. Thank you, Northville community, for supporting new and improved learning spaces for our students across the district. Demolition of the remaining unused portion of Hillside has begun, which will pave the way for the redesigned parking area slated for completion during Summer, 2021.

Thank you, Northville community, for joining us in expressing appreciation for the work of our NPS Board of Education, as we also celebrated National Board Appreciation Month during the month of January. At its annual organizational meeting in January, the Board of Education welcomed newly elected members to the Board, elected officers, and identified liaison and committee appointments. Information about our Board of Education can be accessed on our District website.

As we launched our second semester on February 1, 2021, we welcomed families electing to move from virtual to in-person to our school buildings, along with students moving to virtual from in-person, and began forming our new classroom communities. The Board of Education also reconfirmed our COVID-19 Extended Learning Plan in January, 2021, and reviewed our Mid-Year Report on Learning Goals.

We have a plethora of upcoming events that we are looking forward to as well, that are highlighted in this edition of Northville Connections: Early Childhood Open House, 2021-22 Kindergarten (and new student) Registration, and Parent Camp 2021. We also have a number of important District Updates, including a critical Non-Homestead Operating Millage Renewal that will be on the ballot at the upcoming May 4, 2021 election.

Thank you, families, for your continued patience, grace and perseverance during this unique school year. We are hopeful for what 2021 will bring as vaccinations are made available to more and more members of our community, and as we collectively continue our journey to open a World of Possibilities for and with each of our students.

With gratitude and hope,

Mary K. Gallagher, Superintendent

In this issue of Northville Connections:

  • NPS Celebrates Board Appreciation Month
  • STEM Worldwide FAA Airport Design Challenge Winners
  • Middle Schools Science Olympiad Invitational Update
  • NPS Educator, Jennifer Lawson, Published in Michigan Council of Teachers of Mathematics Newsletter
  • May 4, 2021 Election: Northville Public Schools Non-Homestead Operating Millage Renewal
  • Early Childhood Open House: February 23, 2021
  • 2021-2022 Kindergarten Registration Happening Now
  • Northville Parent Camp: February 27, 2021
  • District Updates: Breakfast Meals Available for All NPS Students, Update Covid-19 Screening Tool, COVID-19 Dashboard
  • ABCD Award
  • Upcoming Virtual Events

NPS Celebrates Board Appreciation Month

Northville Public Schools joined 544 local and 57 intermediate school districts across Michigan in celebrating January as School Board Recognition Month. In a year full of challenges for public education not seen in recent history, our school board members persevered through the adversity of 2020, and have grappled with providing the best possible education for our students given the ongoing challenges of a global health crisis. Celebrating School Board Recognition Month is one of the ways in which we can express appreciation for these dedicated public servants, who continue to devote hours of time to our district, students, families, staff and community, and who serve without monetary compensation.

School board members represent the views and priorities of their community in the complex system of maintaining and running a district’s public schools. They also reinforce the principle of local control over public education, which is an important, highly valued aspect of education in Michigan. Our Board of Education establishes the district’s vision, mission and goals while developing policies to achieve them; they encourage continuous improvement in student learning; and advocate at the local, state and national level in support of public education.

As a community, we are fortunate to have an actively involved, deeply committed Board of Education dedicated to leading and supporting our ongoing quest to Open A World of Possibilities for and with our students that will prepare them for life and work in a global society. This responsibility requires the time and energy to prepare for, and attend countless meetings and school functions; review agendas, documents, proposals, and reports; and make difficult decisions that are both fiscally responsible and focused on what is best for the students, families, staff and community of Northville Public Schools.

The Northville Board of Education is made up of seven members, each of whom brings varied perspectives and experiences to the table, working together in partnership with educators and administrators to provide Northville students experiences, opportunities and endless possibilities steeped in tradition and excellence. Our community gives us its best to fulfill the duties of the school board requiring countless hours of thoughtful dialogue, engagement, research, attending school and community functions, and much more during each term. Each Board member serves as a voice of the community along with building connections between community organizations and the district. At Northville we are proud of our long history of board members who have created lasting imprints in our community history.

The Board of Education members serving Northville Public Schools and their years of service include:

  • Ms. Sarah Prescott, President; five-and-a-half years
  • Ms. Angela Jaafar, Vice President; two years
  • Mr. Roland Hwang, Secretary; six years
  • Mr. James Mazurek, Treasurer; 2011 -2018, recently elected
  • Ms. Suzanne Lynn, Trustee; two years
  • Ms. Lisa McIntyre, Trustee; recently elected
  • Mr. Lindsey Wilson, Trustee; recently elected

We also recognized the following individuals who stepped down from the Board of Education at the conclusion of their term on December 31, 2020 for their leadership and service:

  • Ms. Cynthia L. Jankowski, nine years
  • Mr. Matthew Wilk, eight-and-a-half years
  • Ms. Laurie Doner, four years

Northville Public Schools celebrated the Board of Education and welcomed the newest members during the January 12 and 26, 2021 Board of Education meetings. Residents are welcome to express gratitude to the Board with a note of thanks sent to the NPS BOE email account at npsboe@northvilleschools.org.

Each schools' PTAs or PTSAs showed support and appreciation of the Board of Education with gifts of flowers, donations of books for school media centers and gift cards to use within the Northville community.

We hope you will join Northville Public Schools in taking an opportunity to show your appreciation for these servant leaders, who work together with our staff and families to prepare today’s students to be tomorrow’s leaders.

Cooke School shows appreciation of the Board by decorating a window.

NPS Middle Schoolers Named STEM Worldwide FAA Airport Design Challenge Winners

Northville Public Schools students participated in the FAA Airport Design Challenge under the team name Aireos. Students were expected to create a team of 5 students and submit weekly assignments from the official FAA over the course of 6 weeks. The main assignment was to recreate an actual Airport in Minecraft by following the precise FAA guidelines and implement new innovations into the original design. The Northville team chose to recreate Gerald R. Ford International Airport.

The video below was submitted to the FAA on December 6, 2020. On January 4, 2021, the team consisting of four Northville middle schoolers learned that they had been selected as one of the 12 finalists out of a total of 1200 participants from 21 countries around the world. On January 21, 2021, during a live virtual award ceremony, the team was awarded third place in the world in the 7-12 grade team level! The Northville team was the youngest placing team in the 7-12 grade grouping and first Michigan team to be named finalists.

Team Aireos: ✈️

  • Arjun Saini - Hillside (Team Lead)
  • Ritvik Ellendula - Meads Mill
  • Chet Sands - Hillside
  • Iyi Akinyemi- Meads Mill
  • Justin Ambrozaitis - Texas

The team would like to convey their sincere thanks to Hillside teacher Ms. Cannistraro-Hall for introducing this opportunity to the students.

The Airport Design Challenge gives students the opportunity to design virtual airports in Microsoft Minecraft based on guidance from FAA aerospace and engineering experts. Participating students meet aviation professionals during the challenge and learn about the aerospace industry. More information about this program can be found on the FAA website.

FAA Airport Design Challenge consisted of:

  • Small teams of students work together to learn about their local airport and to complete development tasks in Minecraft
  • Five weeks of organized lesson plans covering topics from airport layout, pavement, lighting, structures, and innovative growth
  • Weekly knowledge check quizzes, which will be turned in accompanied by screen shots of student progress.
  • Collaborative work between students, parents, and teachers performed in a virtual environment
  • STEM based applied knowledge in math, engineering, and career development

Watch the team's submission video:

Middle Schools Science Olympiad Teams

The Meads Mills Science Olympiad team placed top 10 in 16 events and earning a first-place trophy during the Cobra Invitational on Saturday, January 23rd! Thirty-eight teams participated in the invitational. A few events of several that students participated in during the invitational included: Anatomy and Physiology, Meteorology, and Experimental Design.

Hillside students also participated at the Cobra Invitational. This was the team's first Invitational in Michigan and third of this season. Hillside placed overall 6th out of 40 registered teams and students placed in many events for which they will get medals (top 6 will get medals from Cobra.)

15 Hillside students competed in 21 events:

  • Circuit Lab: Jishnu Kandalam & Laya Mantha, 6th place
  • Digital Structures: Rishabh Mavatoor, 1st place
  • Dynamic Planet: Laya Mantha & Srihan Sankepalle, 4th place
  • Experimental Design: Amogh Mavatoor, Keerthana Venkatesh, Roshni Rao, 6th place
  • Food Science: Amogh Mavatoor & Varnika Jakka, 3rd place
  • Heredity: Andrea Diaz & Isabella Alexander, 2nd place
  • Mousetrap Vehicle: Andrea Diaz & Isabella Alexander, 3rd place
  • Write It CAD It: Jishnu Kandalam & Rishabh Mavatoor, 5th place

This latest achievement follows the NPS student accomplishments from the Lake Braddock Invitational held in December. Northville was represented by 2 teams comprised of Meads Mill and Hillside students. The tournament had a total of 88 teams with teams from across the country.

Three Northville groups placed in the top 10 in the following events:

  • Digital Structures placed 2nd (Rishabh Mavatoor, Swara Rege) and 6th (Malik Hadjit)
  • Vehicle Design placed 7th (Isabella Alexander, Andrea Diaz)
  • Water Quality placed 11th (Jishnu Kandalam, Varnika Jakka)

Meads Mills Middle School has been actively participating in the Science Olympiad program since 2006 placing in the top 3 in the Michigan State Competition and top 10 in the National Science Olympiad competition since 2012 with the exception of the year 2019.

Science Olympiad is a co-curricular educational program with a mission to inspire the next generation of scientists, health professionals and engineers. Students have the opportunity to explore topics that often they would not experience in their normal school day. For some activities, the experience is very “hands-on”, as students create designs, solve problems and learn the importance of teamwork.

NPS Good News!

NHS Student Starts Virtual Tutoring Program

Mehmet Tascioglu started Connect Me, a tutoring program that matches high school tutors with virtual students struggling to learn virtually. The program aims to provide services to students from low income households or children of essential workers. The story was first written about in the Northville Record.

Anthony Gennaro of Meads Mill

Meads Mill Student Appears in Broadway Artists Alliance of New York City’s Live Streaming of Dear Edwina Online Edition

Anthony Gennaro from Meads Mill appeared in a live virtual streaming of "Dear Edwina" Online Edition, produced by BAA Onstage. Originally conceived as a one hour, staged children’s musical, Anthony and 25 other Broadway Artists Alliance of NYC students were part of the first educational production of this new online version of Dear Edwina, and will be the featured singers on the official learning tracks sent to all future companies that put on this version of the show.

NPS Educator, Jennifer Lawson, Published in Michigan Council of Teachers of Mathematics Newsletter

Northville Public Schools Hillside teacher, Jennifer Lawson, recently had the opportunity to write an article for MCTM (Michigan Council of Teachers of Mathematics) and was published in their recent newsletter. In the article, she demonstrates for educators how to use the Pear Deck software to increase student engagement. Congrats Ms. Lawson!

May 4, 2021 Election

Northville Public Schools Non-Homestead Operating Millage Renewal

On May 4, 2021, all registered voters in the Northville Public School District will have the opportunity to vote on an Operating Millage proposal that would renew the current millage rate of 19.2383 mills on all non-homestead property for five years, 2022 to 2026. This millage applies only to non-homestead property such as businesses, rental properties, and second homes. Even though owners of primary residences are not affected, state law requires a district-wide election to approve the Operating Millage.

This millage generates about $10 million annually for Northville schools, representing 13% of the overall General Fund budget. The money received from the Operating Millage supports the District’s day-to-day operations, including payment of salaries and benefits, classroom supplies and materials, and student transportation and building maintenance. Failure to pass the millage renewal would result in a significant loss in operating revenue for the school district beginning in 2022.

This is not a new tax. This millage was last approved by voters in November 2011, when voters approved a millage rate of 20.9100 mills. That millage has been reduced to 19.2383 through subsequent Headlee Amendment adjustments, and the District is seeking to renew the reduced rate of 19.2383 mills.

Additionally, this millage is vital to ensuring the District receives the full per pupil allocation from the state. In order to receive this full allocation, school districts must levy the statutory maximum operating millage of 18 mills. Although the current ballot proposal requests 19.2383 mills, the District cannot levy more than 18 mills, just as occurring today. The remaining 1.2383 mills would serve as a hedge against future Headlee adjustments, thereby ensuring the District can continue to levy 18 mills and receive the full per pupil allocation from the state.

In summary, this millage maintains the current school tax for business owners, is not levied on primary residential property -- but represents a significant source of operating revenue for the District.

In coming weeks, please watch for more information that will be made available about the Operating Millage. However, until then, please contact Mike Zopf, Assistant Superintendent of Finance & Operations on 248-344-3511 if you have any questions about the Operating Millage.

Northville Parents: It’s Time to Start Thinking About Kindergarten Registration

Northville Public School families, now is the time to start preparing for kindergarten registration for the 2021-2022 school year. Parents and guardians are encouraged to register new kindergarteners starting this February. Students should be five years of age on or before September 1, 2021 to qualify to start kindergarten in the Fall of 2021.

To begin the enrollment process visit the Northville Schools Enrollment webpage to schedule a virtual appointment with a member of the Office of Student Data. Details about documents necessary for enrollment will be provided on the Northville Schools Enrollment webpage.

If circumstances prevent you from being available for an appointment during the dates listed below for your child’s school, please select an appointment at any other school. If you are unsure of which school your child will be attending, please view the Attendance Boundary Map on the district website.

  • Amerman: February 9, 10, 11
  • Winchester: February 23, 24, 25
  • Thornton Creek: March 2, 3, 4
  • Ridge Wood: March 9, 10, 11
  • Moraine: March 16, 17, 18
  • Silver Springs: March 23, 24, 25

Parent Orientation and Kindergarten Round-Ups will take place for each elementary school. These events allow future students and parents an opportunity to get to know their school, teachers and building leaders. The following are the dates for each Kindergarten Parent Orientation and Round-Up. During the registration process, you will receive information to access and attend Parent Orientation and Round-Up.

All six of Northville’s elementary schools have achieved the prestigious “Lighthouse School” designation in their The Leader in Me journey. Based on Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, The Leader in Me is an innovative, school-wide model that emphasizes a culture of student empowerment that helps unleash each child’s full potential. Applying the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, teachers and students internalize enduring leadership principles that nurture the skills students need for success in the 21st century.

Northville Public Schools Early Childhood Education Virtual Open House

Who Should Attend

Any perspective or returning families looking to enroll in Summer 2021 and/or the 2021-22 School Year.

What to Expect

Families will learn about 2021-22 program offerings and tuition rates, hear from various Early Childhood staff and enjoy video tours of our locations. Join us to find out what sets us apart.

When and Where

The video will be sent on Monday, February 22, 2021, prior to Open Enrollment on Tuesday, February 23, 2021.

Contact Us

248-465-2550 | ecteam@northvilleschools.org

To learn more, visit earlychildhood.northvilleschools.org.

Northville Parent Camp

Saturday, February 27, 2021 | 8:30 am to 1 pm

Northville Public Schools and the Northville Educational Foundation will again host the annual Parent Camp on Saturday, February 27th from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Through a special Parent Camp website and zoom sessions, this year it will be virtual! The event will include resources, speakers, and workshops, presented to empower Pre-K through High School parents with practical knowledge and tools to help equip them to support and guide their children.

This year, the morning will begin with a keynote address from speaker, Dr. Jim Harris, whose topic is “Understanding Trauma & Stress: A Guide for Parents.” While it is no secret that raising children in society today is nothing sort of challenging, Dr. Harris will help parents better understand the developmental landscape as it relates to trauma and stress.

After the keynote address, parents can select from multiple topics as they attend three breakout sessions. Topics include, “Mindset Matters: Parenting during a Pandemic,” “Getting Ready for College,” “Resources for Parenting during Distance Learning. . . and Beyond!” and many more.

For more details and to register for Parent Camp, go to www.SupportNEF.org. Special thanks to Northville Parent Camp's presenting sponsor, Michigan Educational Credit Union, and supporting sponsors, DTE – MIGreenPower, Community Financial Credit Union and Royal Truck & Trailer.

The Northville Educational Foundation is an independent 501(c)3 organization whose mission is to foster and enhance educational opportunities and academic excellence for all students by providing aspirational funding beyond the Northville Public School District’s resources.

District Updates

Breakfast Meals Available for All NPS Students

Starting Wednesday February 3rd, Northville Public School Food Service Department will be providing 5 days of breakfast meals for pick up at Meads Mill Middle School. If your student attends any NPS school or program you can pick up 5 days worth of breakfasts every week for free. Meal pick up will be every Wednesday at Meads Mill from 12:00pm-12:30pm.

Covid-19 Student Symptom Screening Daily Form Updated

The Wayne County Health Department 's COVID-19 Student Symptom Screening Tool for Families, based on guidance from MDHHS separates symptoms into two categories and asks if you have any new, unusual or worsening symptoms in those categories.

Additionally, the form asks if you have been in close contact with anyone that is positive. If any response is yes, you must keep your child home and contact your school to report any symptoms and the absence. It is critical that children are screened at home EACH MORNING before coming to school. This process is what helps keep our students and staff safe in school and a primary contributor to allowing us to continue in-person learning for students.

Read more for important information about the COVID-19 Student Symptom Screening Tool, reporting COVID-19 cases to schools, and COVID tracking updates.

The NPS COVID-19 Dashboard is accessible from all school websites.

NPS COVID-19 Dashboard

The Northville Public Schools COVID-19 Dashboard, with a link to a more detailed NPS COVID-19 Case Transparency Report, provides up-to-date information about COVID-19 reported positive/presumed positive cases affiliated with NPS students and/or staff members and resulting quarantines. Northville Public Schools Board of Education approved COVID-19 Extended Learning Plan and COVID-19 Response and Preparedness Plan are also available online, along with documentation of the review of COVID-19 risk mitigation protocols by the Wayne County Department of Health, Human and Veteran Services.

Two formal documents, required by law, specifically outline Northville Public Schools (NPS) 2020-21 operational and instructional plans, available for review on our district website: NPS COVID-19 Preparedness and Reentry Plan, approved by the Board of Education on 8/11/20; and the NPS Extended Continuity of Learning Plan, approved by the Board of Education on 9/22/20. The NPS Extended Continuity of Learning Plan will be reviewed, reaffirmed and/or revised on a monthly basis through the 2020-21 school year.

ABCD Award: Above and Beyond the Call of Duty

Nominate NPS Staff for contributions "Above and Beyond the Call of Duty."

The ABCD, Above and Beyond the Call of Duty, Award is open to nominations from students, parents, and staff for significant contributions by NPS employees that go beyond the norm. At least annually or by semester, all staff are eligible, there is no set number of awards.

Students, staff or parents may complete and submit this form detailing something truly Above and Beyond the Call of Duty by an NPS staff member. Submissions are received by the Office of Human Resources and will be reviewed by the Board’s Human Resources Policy/Personnel Sub-Committee for consideration. Individuals receiving this ABCD Award may be recognized at the public Board of Education meetings and/or in District communications.

Northville Public Schools Upcoming Events

February is Black History Month

February 9

Virtual Board of Education Meeting via Zoom, 6:30 pm

February 12

Teacher Professional Day - Half Day for All Students; AM only

February 15

Mid Winter Recess - No School

February 16

Mid Winter Recess - No School

February 23

Early Childhood Virtual Open House Video Available

February 27

Virtual Northville Parent Camp via Zoom, 8:30 am - 1 pm

Follow NPS online!

The Northville Connections Digital Newsletter is created by Northville Public Schools Communications Specialist Sarah Jacobs. Have a story to share? Send an email to jacobssa@northvilleschools.org or call 248.344.3507.

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