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

In This Issue

  • District News: Return To School March 1
  • COVID-19 Response Video
  • Bond Work Updates
  • Community Support Spotlight: ROYA
  • Enrollment: Kindergarten, Schools of Choice
  • Partnerships at Home
  • Tech Help
  • Look Back: MLK Day of Service
  • Senior Project Spotlight
  • Alumni/Royal Oak 100 Years
  • ICYMI: Thank Your From Mayor of Royal Oak
  • School Calendar: Important Feb. Dates
  • Available Positions At The District
  • Social Media: Flashback February
District News


At the Regular Meeting of the Board of Education on January 14, it was voted to proceed with a hybrid return to school plan starting March 1, 2021.

Current, fully remote programs remain in place. Many special ed students have already returned for in-person learning.

We are all hopeful that the new vaccine and positive trends in the data in our area will continue as we work toward a return to in-person learning on March 1.

If you have questions, please make sure to contact your principal and watch for further updates in the weeks to come.

Important Links:

We're ready for your return! Check out our buildings with this link.

COVID-19 Response


When the schools closed their doors in mid-March 2020, many local organizations stepped up to help out the community.

CMNtv produced this video on behalf of Royal Oak Schools to show how the food service has been supplying meals to families every weekday for free, and how groups like 'Blessings In A Backpack' packed and delivered meals to many families weekly, sometimes with art items in the bags or even socks, for over 10 months now.

Thank you to the following groups mentioned in the video:

Please check our website for current times and locations for food pick up.

Check It Out

Bond Updates

Work was approved at the January board meeting for new windows at Royal Oak High School (ROHS) over the next two years, and many of our schools will be getting new roofs. Work at ROHS and Oakland is wrapping up, while plans are being finalized for our next two schools, Upton and Addams.

Current work includes renovations and updates at the High School and Oakland Elementary. High school athletes will see new mens and womens locker rooms. Two new elevators will be available for students and guests to get to the Welcome Center, Gym, and Auditorium. A new logo was placed on the floor outside the gymnasium.

Updates and Renovations at Royal Oak High School

Oakland Elementary has a new addition that includes a classroom, cafeteria and a set of restrooms. All of the parking lot work is also completed outside of the addition. The kitchen is improved with new equipment and with more space.

Updates and Renovations at Oakland Elementary

You may have noticed the earth being moved at Upton Elementary. That's because construction has begun for a new addition that is scheduled to be complete for the 2021-22 school year.

Renovations will include a new gym, with the current gym being turned into a cafeteria with air conditioning, and two classrooms along with many other updates.

ROYA Gave Over $80,000 Out In 2020


Each month we like to introduce to you a community group that goes above and beyond to assist the families of Royal Oak Schools. The Royal Oak Youth Assistance, or ROYA, has a mission to strengthen youth and families and to reduce the incidence of delinquency, abuse and neglect through community involvement. ROYA serves all kids who live in Royal Oak or attend the Royal Oak Schools. Just in 2020, they provided over $80,000 in emergency needs funding for almost 90 families and 231 kids.

In a normal year, ROYA would spend up to $1500 on families in need, or by sending kids to summer and day camps, providing skill building workshops, or a mentor. But in a pandemic year, that all changed. Board Chairperson Sam Lynch said, "We're focusing on emergency needs right now, and I don’t anticipate those needs reducing any time soon." From March to July of 2020 ROYA helped with automobile issues, clothing, groceries, paying mortgages or rent, utilities and medical bills. Families in need can apply for an emergency grant.

ROYA states on their website that every child under 18 who lives in Royal Oak or attends Royal Oak Schools whose family is low-income qualifies for a $200 emergency needs grants once per fiscal year. You can read the income guidelines here. They say they will work with each family on a case-by-case basis. Applications for grants must be filled out for each child in the household. You can e-mail mincklern@oakgov.com for an application.

ROYA's mentor program is always looking for more mentors. "Finding role models to be in the lives of kids who need mentoring is a positive," said Lynch. "Biggest issue is there's not enough mentors." There are many positive programs for kids provided by ROYA. The Skills Building Program provides funds to young people who can benefit from a new learning experience. They also offer family education programs and counseling.

As you can imagine, now more than ever, Royal Oak Youth Assistance is in need of donations. You can help out by donating your time and/or your money. DONATE NOW with this link.

And volunteers are always needed. ROYA will meet with interested volunteers and match their skills with a committee that interests them. Maybe it's bowling in the annual spring Bowl-A-Thon (which is canceled this year due to the pandemic) or joining the board. Board meetings are once a month and last about one hour. Besides a social worker and an administrator who works part-time, everyone else at ROYA is a volunteer.

“As a Royal Oak Schools educator, parent, and graduate, being involved in a program that has no agenda other than directly helping our kids, has not only impacted me professionally by proactively intervening with students that are struggling but also enriched my life personally as I have seen the positive impact that ROYA has had on families in the community that I care very deeply about.” - Sam Lynch, Principal Oakland Elementary School and ROYA Board Member

Please call 248.219.6502 for more information. Or go to: https://www.royaloakyouthassistance.com/ for more details.

"To have an organization that allows kids to do what they should be doing anyway is great."


What you need to know about enrolling for kindergarten: The current enrollment period is for resident students. Your child must be five (5) years of age on or before September 1 in order to be eligible to attend kindergarten. If your child is not five (5) years of age by the September 1 enrollment eligibility date, but will be five (5) years of age no later than December 1, you may still enroll the child in kindergarten. You must notify the school district, in writing, prior to the beginning of the school year and complete a Kindergarten Age Waiver.

Processing of enrollment for the 2021-2022 school year began on January 28, 2021. All enrollments are virtual including the uploading of required documents for pre-enrollment. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there are limited enrollments taken in-person at the Administration Building for the school year 2021-2022 and they are by appointment only. Please see the "How to Enroll" portion of the Enrollment website for more information.

An informational video can be seen here.

Use this link to meet your student's principal and to tour the elementary schools.

The Schools of Choice application window for students who are non-residents in grades K-8 will be open for the 2021-2022 school year from March 1, 2021 to March 26, 2021. Students enrolled through Schools of Choice are eligible for continued enrollment in Royal Oak Schools through grade 12 as long as their enrollment in Royal Oak is continuous.

Remember, families must reside within the boundaries of the Oakland Intermediate School District in order to apply. For questions or for more information on Schools of Choice, contact the Enrollment Office at: (248) 435-8400, x1260.

Learning Series for Parents and Caregivers


Oakland Schools notices how difficult this time has been on parents juggling homelife and school life. With that in mind, they have developed a series of short articles and podcasts exploring learning on the home front for parents of children of all ages called, "Partnerships @ Home." Topics range from math fun at home to talking about race and racism.

Oakland Schools is the intermediate school district serving Oakland County. They offer a variety of support services to schools.

These sessions are all free and virtual and take place on Wednesday nights from 7 - 7:45 PM.

Use this link for more information on Partnerships @ Home.

Tech Trouble?


Technology support is available for your student during this time of school building closures. Things you should know: For issues with your student's account, such as passwords or login issues, please contact your building principal or student's teacher. And for issues with wireless connectivity and/or borrowed district computing devices, please contact the Oakland Schools' service desk at 248-209-2060 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday - Friday.

You can reach the Oakland Schools Technology Help Desk at 248-209-2060, or by email: servicedesk@oakland.k12.mi.us.

Click here for more, like tips for creating a trouble ticket, how to utilize Google Apps for Education, and more.

Day Of Service


The Martin Luther King Jr. holiday was on January 18, 2021. It was the 26 anniversary of the day of service that celebrates the Civil Rights leader’s life and legacy. Observed each year on the third Monday in January as “a day on, not a day off,” MLK Day is the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service to encourage all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities.

On that day in the past, Royal Oak Schools and Berkley Schools would have been ready to celebrate the holiday with a Day of Service for 2021 through a collaborative community project. Due to the virus and so many restrictions, that same type of celebration and activity was not possible.

Instead, we created a list of local opportunities in our area where members of the community could donate their time or and service. You can see that list here.

Here's a brief look at some of the projects that took place on this year's Day Of Service.

The Royal Oak Woman's Club organized a contactless donation drive for this year's day of service. They collected items for four different organizations; Soles 4 Souls, Operation Smile, Welcome Inn Homeless Day Center, and the John D. Dingell VA Medical Center.

Royal Oak Woman's Club members helped to organize all of the donations before sending it off to the organizations.

Addams Elementary also arranged for a contactless donation drive with the goal of filling 400 Snackpax! Each grade was assigned a different food item to bring in for the donations.

Students were encouraged to add their own creative flair to the Snackpax and decorate the paper bags.

Can Collection For Cash

Royal Oak High School Senior Nicholas Regan (LEFT) organized a bottle and can drive for his senior project that was able to raise money for multiple charities in our area. But during a pandemic, it's not as easy as you'd think to do this type of project. Nicolas told us, "Doing a bottle drive seemed like a good idea, but it had a few flaws. For one how would I collect the bottles?" He decided that remote pick-up was the way to go. People provided their address and he made the trip to pick up the bottles and cans.

As collection day grew closer, Nicholas realized that he was going to need more days to pick up the items. He increased the pick ups to five days, returning the bottles and cans to stores daily. He had over 40 addresses to visit. He raised $1,287.

"Nicholas is living into the ROHS ideal of 'enter here to learn, go forth to serve.' I'm impressed by his creativity and determination in making sure he could complete a meaningful project safely in these uncertain times. Our ELA 12 Senior Service Projects provide powerful connections between learning and action." - Michael Giromini, Principal Royal Oak High School

The charities that benefited from the bottle and can drive were Teen Clean Closet, Royal Oak Youth Assistance, Metro Detroit Youth Clubs and Welcome Inn Day Center.

"I want to say thank you to anyone who donated to the bottle drive, every bottle made a difference. I also want to thank the charities for what they do and for helping me along the journey. To anyone who is striving to make a difference already has, by striving/pushing for change in the first place."

After graduation Nicholas is pursuing college with an interest in Environmental Sciences. In the meantime, he wants to continue to make a difference in some way, shape or form and even volunteer at a food bank or soup kitchen.

Alumni Nominations

If you are an alum of Royal Oak Schools we want to hear from you. Royal Oak Schools is searching for recommendations of alumni to feature on our alumni page on our website. If you're an alum or you know someone who is, that has an interesting job, a unique success story to tell, or wants to brag about their accomplishments, nominate them to be profiled by our district.

Tell us your story! Use this link to fill out an alumni profile and share your story with the Royal Oak Schools community.

Did You Know? Royal Oak is turning 100 in 2021! Watch for stories from alumni over the next few months. We'd like to connect with you and your family and hear your story about school in Royal Oak over the years.

You can reach out to Mary Sier at 248-435-8400 x 2184 with any information you may have to help us create our own Royal Oak Schools 100 years timeline!

Thanks From The Mayor


At the Royal Oak City Commission meeting on Monday, January 11, Mayor Michael Fournier read the proclamations linked below. He recognized and honored all Royal Oak Schools staff for their work with students in the community, and the members of the Royal Oak Schools Board of Education for their volunteer service to the school district.

Superintendent Fitzpatrick was happy to be able to accept the proclamation on their behalf and echoed the nice things that were shared about Royal Oak Schools staff.

"As always, I share in their appreciation for all that you do and for the work and support of the Royal Oak Schools Board of Education," Fitzpatrick said. "At the regular board meeting last week we did include our own formal recognition of our board and their commitment to our community."

Mayor Fournier was first elected to the Royal Oak city commission in 2011 and has been serving as Mayor since 2016. You can read the proclamations below:

Proclamation Honoring Royal Oak School District Professional Educators and Support Staff

Proclamation Honoring Royal Oak School District Board of Education

School Calendar


Remember, free meals are available Monday - Friday for your family. They can be picked up between 11 - 12:30 p.m. at our middle school and high school.



The City of Royal Oak is now accepting applications for school crossing guards. The school crossing guard provides assistance to children and other pedestrians in crossing at specified streets along school routes and performs related work as required, according to the job description. If interested, you can apply with this link.

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 now 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 - Take a look at #FLASHBACKFEBRUARY

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.

Have a happy Valentine's Day!


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