January 11

Welcome to the Watch D.O.G.S. Blog!

Hello, My name is Mike Ghrist, Snow Schools Watch D.O.G.S. Coordinator.  Watch D.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students) is a father involvement initiative of the National Center for Fathering that organizes father and father figures in order to provide positive male role models for the students to enhance school security.  Today, there are more than 2, 610 active programs in 42 states that participate in the Watch D.O.G.S. program.

Thank you to all of the fathers and father figures who have made this program a success at Snow.  Snow School began this program in October of 2012 and have had over 80 dads sign up.  If you are interested in participating for a day please contact Miss Ashley in the office at (313) 827-6250.

Upcoming Events:

Wednesday, January 30th – Doughnuts with Dads

For more information about the WATCH D.O.G.S. program visit www.fathers.com and click on WATCH D.O.G.S.

 

 

December 17

From the Office of the Superintendent

Office of the Superintendent

December 17, 2012

 

Dear Community Members,

 

I know all of us are deeply saddened by the tragic event that occurred in Connecticut on Friday.  As rational people we struggle to understand actions that are totally irrational and try to make sense of explanations that never will.

When we see the faces of the innocent children, the victims of this tragedy, we can’t help but see the faces of our own students.  When we hear of the heroic principal and teachers risking their lives to save students, we feel the pain and sympathize with those who knew and worked with these brave individuals.  For all of us our hearts are filled with sorrow and as a community we offer our thoughts and prayers to the families in Newtown.

Our staff does an excellent job of having “the pulse” of their school and over the next few days will be paying extra attention to how the students are reacting to this tragedy.  If any child seems to be overly upset or concerned about this event, please know that we have outstanding resources available in our schools and students can talk with our highly-trained professional team of Social Workers and Psychologists.

Throughout our district we will be keeping the following in mind:

  •  Age appropriate discussion in the right classroom context will most likely occur but should not dominate the conversation of the day. This is especially true in the elementary grades where any in-depth conversation is best left to the parents.
  •  With younger students it is important to make sure they feel safe at school; we will remind them:

– That although this was a very tragic event that has made us all very sad, it did not   happen  at one of our schools, it did not happen in Dearborn, it occurred in another part of our country.

– Although adults and the news are talking a lot about this tragedy, this is rare and    nothing like this has ever happened here.

– Policemen, parents, teachers, and all school staff are here to keep them safe.

As always we want to work with our parents to create the safest possible learning environment.  We ask that parents keep the following tips in mind:

  •  Over-exposure to this horrible event at home may lead to students feeling distressed, overwhelmed, and frightened.  It is important to limit the amount of exposure to this event, especially younger children.
  •   24 hour news channels will show the same footage over and over.  For younger children they may not be able to understand that this event happened once and is not happening again and again.
  •  School is a safe place and we do have security procedures in place.

As a district it is important for parents to know that we continually work to ensure the safety of students and staff during the school day.  We have always and will continue to follow these procedures:

–          All staff must have their ID on them at all times and it should be visible.

–          All visitors must sign in at the main office and receive a visitor’s pass.

–          Students and staff are not to open any exterior doors for anyone.

–          As required, all schools practice their emergency drills throughout the year.

–          All schools do have a detailed security/crisis plan in place and it is reviewed each year.

–          The district has an excellent relationship with the police department and works closely with them to review security protocol and procedures.

We have been in contact with the Dearborn Police Chief and he has informed us that there will be a stepped up police presence around our schools over the next few days.

In the days ahead there will be much discussion about what we as a nation can do to try and stop these types of tragedies from occurring again. I’m sure that there will also be opportunities to support the families and community of Newtown. I hope that all of us personally, and as a district, can be involved in these activities. Although time may mend the wound that shattered this quiet community, those who were lost will never be forgotten.

Please know that by working together we will ensure that all of our schools continue to be a safe place for students to learn and achieve.

 

Regards,

Brian J. Whiston

Superintendent

 

 

18700 Audette

Dearborn, MI 48124-4295

Office (313) 827-3022

Fax (313) 827-3137

 

 

 

 

 

December 16

Security Procedures at Snow School

December 16, 2012

In light of the devastating events in Connecticut on Friday, I thought you might be wondering about Snow’s security procedures and plans. Snow, along with all schools in Dearborn Public Schools, is required to have an updated Crisis Management Plan every year. Our Crisis Management Team (CMT) schedules and conducts fire, disaster, lockdown and evacuation drills so our teachers, staff, and students know what to expect and the procedures to follow if a real emergency occurs. We have already held 3 fire drills and a disaster drill this school year and a joint crisis drill with the Dearborn Police Department is in the planning stages.

We control access into the school by requiring all outside doors to be locked except the front and back lobby doors. These doors are monitored visually by the office staff. Door 4 (near the parking lot) is locked at 8:45 AM each morning. All visitors to the building must check in at the office and sign-in to receive a Visitor’s Pass. Additionally, our Watch DOGS program is designed to have an extra set of eyes patrolling the hallways and playgrounds during high traffic times.

I, along with most child psychology experts, believe that it is a parent’s role to determine how and when to discuss these events with their child. Many experts suggest limiting your child’s exposure to the nonstop television coverage and reminding your child of how rare these events are. Suggestions for discussing what happened with your child can be found at: www.nasponline.org/resources/crisis_safety/  or http://assets1.mytrainsite.com/500051/tlcletterctshooting.pdf
I will be instructing Snow teachers and staff to refer all questions from children back to parents so you can respond to them accordingly. If your child is experiencing extreme fears and/or stress, please do not hesitate to contact the classroom teacher, myself, or our school social worker, Mrs. Chubb, so that we can put you in touch with appropriate resources in school or the community.

We will be reviewing our security procedures as a result of the tragedy last week and welcome your ideas and comments. While no security plan can be 100% effective at preventing access to someone who is determined to cause harm, please know that the safety of your children is our utmost concern at all times.

Mrs. Groover

December 11

Proposed Legislation Will Have Devastating Effects – Take Action Today!

Proposed Legislation Will Have Devastating Effects – Take Action Today!

Dear community member,
– 26 consecutive years of increased enrollment
– Graduation rate up 6%
– Five schools in Dearborn recognized by the state as “Beating the Odds”
– Continuous improvement on local and state tests
– A five year program allowing students to graduate with both a high school diploma and a two year college degree at no cost to parents
– Students earning millions of dollars in scholarships each year
– Districtwide Response to Bullying and Positive Behavior programs ensure a safe learning environment
– Choices for students include magnet programs, Early College program, STEM program, AP courses, and dual enrollment

Download :  Support Material.pdf

Does this sound like a school district that needs to be overhauled, reformed, and taken-over by a state controlled board? I don’t think so, but obviously some legislators in Lansing do.

Continue reading

December 10

Pop Bottle Drive

City Beautiful will be conducting a Pop Bottle Drive on Wednesday, December 12th in conjunction with Snow’s Family Math Night.  the group will be collecting plastic pop or water bottles and pop cans (no glass please!) to earn money to beautify the grounds around the school.  A box will be provided outside the office for the empty bottles and cans all day and through the Math Night activities.

Thanks, Abby Mullen and Jenna Alzoubi, Snow’s City Beautiful Junior Commissioners for heading this fundraiser!

December 3

DuVall wins Peanut Butter and Mac and Cheese Drive

 

At the beginning of school on Friday, November 30th, Mr. Hartling presented Mrs. Groover with a DuVall Penguin shirt to wear for the day at Snow Elementary.  This was the result of DuVall winning the competition.  However, we all had a tremendous victory raising over 1000 items for Blessings in a Backpack.
The final counts are:

DuVall – 725 items (501 M&C, 224 PB)

Snow – 276 items

Grand total – 1001 from both schools!  Amazing!!!

November 30

December 1, 2012

We are rapidly approaching the end of 2012 and 2013 will be here before we know it.  In the meantime, there is lots of learning and fun coming up in the next three weeks!  Be sure to check the school calendar, the PTA newsletter, Scoops, and your child’s classroom blog to stay current on what’s going on.

Two things I specifically want to mention are Math Night and our Watch D.O.G.S program.  Math Night is a fun event for students and families that focuses on math games and real life math applications.  Math Night this year will be held on Wednesday, December 12 at 5:45 – 7:00.  There will be food, prizes and lots of fun activities, so please plan to join us.  If you haven’t already sent in your RSVP, please do so as soon as possible so we can be expecting you.

Our parent involvement program for dads and other father figures, Watch D.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students) is in full swing now. Since the program began in late October, we have had a dad volunteer almost every day.  Students are so proud when they see their dad, uncle or grandpa helping out in classrooms, keeping everyone safe in the hallways or doing lunch and playground duty.  Our dads also have their pictures taken with their child, so check out our “Heroes of the Hallway” bulletin board just outside the Media Center.  We encourage every one of our dads or other father figures to sign up to be a Watch D.O.G. for a day this school year.  Just call the office to sign up!

The last day of school is Friday, December 21.  It is a full day of school.  If I don’t get the opportunity to speak with you between now and then, please know that I wish you and your entire family a wonderful holiday and Happy New Year!

 

Mrs. Groover

Principal