September 20

Letter from the Office of the Superintendent

September, 2013

 

Dear Community Partner,

I would like to invite you to an event that is quickly becoming a tradition in the city of Dearborn, our third annual “Response to Bullying Kick-Off Extravaganza.”

This city-wide event, featuring the talents of our students and inspirational comments from community leaders, will take place Monday, September 30th at 6:00 PM in the fabulous Ford Community and Performing Arts Center located at 15801 Michigan Avenue.  Everyone is invited!  The theme for this year’s event is: “I was just kidding” doesn’t count, if it hurts, it’s not funny.

Two years ago the district, in partnership with the City of Dearborn and several local organizations, launched a city-wide “Response to Bullying” program to address the growing concern in our nation with bullying behavior.  Specifically, this program was designed to engage all members of the community in helping to identify bullying behavior, no matter where it is taking place.  Since the start of the program students, staff members, parents, and community members have made a commitment to end bullying before it can start by becoming “Up Standers.”

Thank you for your support over the last two years and we look forward to seeing you at the Performing Arts Center on September 30 as all of us join together to kick-off year three!

Sincerely,

Brian J. Whiston

Superintendent

September 18

Open House

Open House will take place tomorrow, Thursday, September 19th from 5:30-7:00 PM.  Please come meet your child’s teacher, learn about their classrooms, and schedule your fall parent-teacher conference.  Also, check out our wish board.  Teachers place stars on the wish board of supplies needed for their classrooms.  Remove the star from the board of item you are purchasing.

PTA representatives will be on hand in the lobby to answer questions and take memberships.PTA will also hold a bake sale.  Donations can be dropped off in the lobby.

September 9

Box Tops for Education

Welcome back to school…get your scissors ready!  It’s time to start clipping Box Tops for Education labels from many General Mills products you already use in your home.  These Box Tops labels are redeemed in order to purchase educational and fun items for Snow School.  You can find Box Tops on hundreds of your favorite items, everything from Kleenex tissue to Progresso soups to Cheerios, Go Gurt and Ziploc bags-and on hundreds of items in between!  Please send in your clipped Box Tops for Education labels with your student or drop them off in the box located outside the main office.  For you online shoppers, visit Box Tops Marketplace to easily earn eBoxTops for our school.  Thank you for supporting Snow School.

August 27

2013 S.M.A.R.T. School Bond

2013 S.M.A.R.T. School Bond

  1. Safety
  2. Modifications
  3. Additions
  4. Renovations
  5. Technology and Transportation

November 5, 2013 S.M.A.R.T. School Bond

The Dearborn Board of Education will be asking voters to approve a $76 million bond proposal on the November 5, 2013 ballot. The district will be working with each school to hold informational meetings for parents and community members when school resumes in the fall.

For additional information or if you have questions during the summer recess, please visit the district website, www.dearbornschools.org, or contact the Communications Office at (313) 827-3006.

The Development of the S.M.A.R.T. School Bond

During the month of April, meetings were held at each school to solicit input from parents and staff members regarding items that might be included in a bond proposal. Following the meetings, the information gathered was reviewed by a team from the school and architects in order to develop a plan to address the needs of each building.

A final proposal has been reviewed by the Board of Education and is in the process of being approved by the State of Michigan.

An important aspect of the voter approved bond is there would not be an increase in the mill. rate taxpayers are currently paying to retire existing bond debt. This is due to existing debt being paid off and thus the new bond proposal would replace what is being paid off.

Factors that led to the district putting together a bond proposal include the following:

  1. Parents have asked the district to consider adding a system of remotely unlocking doors and video cameras at entrances of all schools in order to enhance security.
  1. Over the last 5 years the Dearborn Public Schools has had an 8.1% decrease in the per-student funding amount provided by the state of Michigan resulting in fewer dollars available for general maintenance of the district’s 35 buildings, technology, and busses.
  1. During the same 5 year time period the amount of general fund dollars the district has been able to commit to the upkeep of facilities has decreased from just over $5 million dollars per budget year to just around $1 million per budget year.  The district has 35 buildings with an average age of 58 years. Twenty- three buildings are between 50 and 90 years old with 11 of those buildings being over 80 years old. This aging inventory of buildings has led to increased cost in order to continue to provide students with a safe, healthy, and energy efficient learning environment.
  1. The district has experienced annual enrollment growth over the past 25 years gaining more than 6,800 students across the district.   Although the growth has been good for the district, the additional numbers have had an impact on building capacities and stretched school resources.
  1. The State of Michigan is moving to a testing model that requires all students to have access to on-line testing. The state has not provided any funding to cover the cost associated with this massive increase in the daily use of technology in the classroom.
  1. The district has not purchased a new bus for its fleet of nearly 100 busses in 4 years and the average age of a district bus is 9 years old. The aging fleet results in more resources dedicated to maintaining a safe and “road ready” fleet of busses.
  1. The district has not asked the voters for funds for capital improvements since the 2002 bond. That proposal saw all projects completed on time and on budget. The district has shown good stewardship of tax dollars by refinancing bonds at lower interest rates saving tax payers millions of dollars.
June 19

Snow School Has Opportunity To Win Big!

Looking to add as much as $20,000 to their school budget, Snow Elementary has produced a short video and entered in the Lots2Give video contest sponsored by Big Lots.

Snow is looking to add Smart Boards to three  classrooms for cognitively-challenged students.  The Smart Boards, an interactive technology tool that combines computer, chalkboard, and overhead projector, would provide endless learning opportunities for the students.

Thirty seven schools from across the country will be selected as winners.  The school with the most votes will receive the $20,000 grand prize. Two schools will receive $10,000, four schools $5,000, and thirty schools will be awarded a $2,000 prize.

To vote visit the Big Lots, Lots2Give website at: www.biglots.com/lots2give.   Each electronic device in your home can vote up to three times per day.  Voting began on June 10 and runs through July 7.

In addition to the Lots2Give video contest, participating schools will be the recipients of an in-store donation program. Customers can help selected schools by donating $5 or $1 at participating Big Lots stores through July 7.  One hundred percent of donations will go to participating schools.

June 11

Don’t forget to vote EVERYDAY!

Dear Snow Elementary Friends and Family,

Our Lots2Give video, titled “Our Smart Board Dream” is ready to go! Remember to spread the word about our video! Public voting starts, June 10 & you can vote up to 3 times a day @ www.biglots.com/lots2give.  The grand prize is $20,000 and that will go a long way towards filling our technology needs!  The children are so cute and did such a great job.  Be ready starting Monday, June 10th and vote, vote, vote!!! We can do this! We can win!

Remember each “device” connected to the internet can vote three times per day. Once your third vote has been cast, you will not be able to vote until the following day.

We will not share vote totals throughout the competition, so make sure you are voting daily. Last year more than 400,000+ votes were cast to determine the winners.

Videos can be viewed and votes cast at: www.biglots.com/lots2give. You do not have to watch the video to vote for it. Voting will continue through July 7, 2013 at 11:59 p.m. ET.

Winners will be announced on August 10, 2013 – Big Lots Teacher Appreciation Day.

Don’t forget, customers can donate $1 or $5 to their selected school at participating Big Lots stores through July 7. One-hundred percent of the donations will go to the participating schools.

 

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