School Finance Concerns by wuyunyi

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• VIP Grant Awarded
                               Wyoming Public Schools                                        Winter 2009

• Clothing, Food & Can         School Finance Concerns
  Drives                       A Message from Superintendent Felske
• Students Vote                    This past 2007-                      two decades, hopeful possibilities
• MiBLSi Impacts WPS           2008 school year                         include federal support for the auto
                               certainly had its                        industry and the prospect for a
• Newhall Students Tour        share of financial                       federal stimulus package that will
  GR Public Museum             challenges which                         aid the state. Please be assured that
• Frontiers Program            required Wyoming                         as we continue to move forward
                               Public Schools to                        during these difficult financial
• Oriole’s Keyboard to         reduce its operating                     times, Wyoming Public Schools
  Success                      budget by $2.5        Superintendent
                                                                        will continue to provide all of our
                                                     Jon A. Felske
• Book Donation                million.This took                        students with the best education
                               great cooperation from many of our       possible.
• Jackson Park Writers         employees who changed positions              If you have comments
• Gladiola’s Literacy Rodeo    and are performing additional            regarding our district finances,
                               responsibilities as we reduced our       school operations or policies, I
• T.E.A.M. 21 Grows            work force by eliminating more           hope that you would please call,
• Newhall’s Academic           than 30 positions.                       email or schedule a visit to my
  Achievers                        My concern for Wyoming               office.
• West Students Explore        Public Schools lies in the possibility
  Auto History
• FIRST Robotics
                               of a shortfall in the current 2008-
                               2009 school year State of Michigan        Winter Scene
                               School Aid Budget.
• Jackson Park Hosts           With the prospect of a
  Family Fun Night             nearly $1 billion revenue
                               shortfall statewide,
• Wyoming Park Band            Governor Jennifer
  Celebrates RIF at Newhall    Granholm may have to
• Wyoming Park Basketball,     execute a pro-ration
  Cross Country & JV           Executive Order by
                               January.This pro-ration
                               in school funding could
• Rogers Soccer, Athletes      be as high as $75 per
• Newhall Football, Soccer,    student or in excess of
                               $400,000 total loss in
  Volleyball & Cross Country
                               funding in the district.
• Jackson Park Soccer
                                   As we prepare for
• Innovations Academy          the most challenging
  Disc Golf                    economic conditions
                               we have faced in the last                 Designed by Innovations Academy student
• WPS Safety & Security                                                                       Cipriano Hernandez.
VIP Grant
to Board
by Sharon Wolfe
   A grant totaling $600
was recently awarded to
Board Member Shaltreece
                                    Above: Chad Bank, Avery Brown, Joe Termors, Alex Caldera
Reddick through her employer        and Jessica Soto take advantage of the Play Aways now
Consumer’s Energy.                  available to students at Newhall Middle School.

     This is the third grant that   Right: Alex Caldera shows off the Playaway she’s reading.
has been awarded to her in the
last six years.This was presented
to her through the company’s
Volunteer Investment Program
                                    A Big Thanks to Wyoming
and the CEEPSACER (Consumers
Energy Employees Providing
                                    Public Schools Foundation
Services Around Children’s          by Anne Marie Gaglio
Essential Resources) Program.           Newhall students would like                 the Playaway, students just press
     The VIP Program was            to say thank you to the Wyoming                 play to start listening immediately
established to recognize the        Public Schools Foundation for                   – there is no need for a separate
importance of employee and          donating Playaways and giving                   player, and it comes with earbuds
retiree volunteerism, and support   them the opportunity to read                    and a battery to make it play.
nonprofit organizations making a    books on each one.                                  We love them! They are all
difference in their communities.        Playaway is the newest format               checked out and have up to 12
The CEEPSACER (pronounced           of audio, combining a wide variety              holds on each one! Our kids are
“keepsaker”) Program support’s      of content with an easy-to-use                  reading and having fun at the same
America’s Promise for every         player all in one small unit.To use             time!
young person in America.
The five promises are: caring
adults, safe places, a healthy
start, marketable skills and
opportunities to serve.
                                      Taft Clothing Drive Helps
     Consumer’s Energy prides
itself on supporting employees        School Families in Need
who volunteer.                        by Judith Prusinowski
    The grant money will be               Counselor Chrissi Wondergem and Special Education Para Pro Becky
divided between Huntington            Steenbergen recently held a free clothing drive at Taft Elementary.
Wood’s Student Activities Fund
                                           Clothing was collected from the community and put out on tables
and Newhall Middle’s Friends
                                      during conferences for any family that needed them.There was no cost
and Family Fund.
                                      and no limit and many families walked away with much needed clothing
    Congratulations to Shaltreece     for their whole family.
Reddick and a big thank you
                                          The staff at Taft had the wonderful feeling of helping others during
to her employer Consumer’s
                                      these difficult times.
                                                                                                  Newhall Students
                                                                                                  Help Feed 30+
                                                                                                  School Families
                                                                                                  by Anne Marie Gaglio
                                                                                                       Newhall students and staff
                                                                                                  collected more than 1,200 canned
                                                                                                  goods for our annual Thanksgiving
                                                                                                  Food Drive. More than 30 baskets
                                                                                                           were filled to feed our
                                                                                                              own Newhall families.
                                                                                                                          Our 6th graders
                                                                                                                      won the contest
                                                                                                                       by collecting
                                                                                                                       almost 600
Above: Jessica Soto, Amber                                                                                             canned goods.
Grzeszak, Emily Swain and Alexis                                                                                       They received a
Martinez sort donations.
                                                                                                                      special treat from
Robbie Anderson and Gabby                                                                                            Mr. Lamar!
Menard (right) and Colin Kerkstra
and Victor Tran (far right) fill baskets.                                                                         A special thanks
                                                                                                          goes to Mr. Custer, Mrs.
                                                                                                  Donovan and Mrs. Baumbach for
                                                                                                  organizing the event.

  Oriole Park Students Raise Funds to Fight Leukemia

  The students at Oriole Park had a pop can drive and raised $107 for the Leukemia Foundation. Two 1st grade students at Oriole Park are
  undergoing chemotherapy treatment for leukemia and the students decided this would be a great fund raiser for the foundation. What a
  wonderful way to show their support and care! Pictured above are: Tony Tran, Faith Johnson, Elizabeth Schoof, Luke Bessette, Olivia Solis
  and Cienna Smith.

                Students Make Their Choice for
                                                                                           Obama Wins
                                                                                           by Jesus Hernandez
                                                                                               Parkview Elementary held a
                                                                                           mock election where all of the
                                                                                           students and staff participated.
                                                                                           The election took place on Tuesday,
                                                                                           November 4, 2008.
                                                                                                Discussion was also had
                                                                                             throughout the building as
                                                                                               students prepared to cast their
                                                                                                votes and the results were
                                                                                                      When the votes were
Top: Left to right standing in line
to vote: Kelsey Ohlrich, Keith                                                                   tallied, John McCain received
McBride, Kymariun Harris,                                                                       99 while Barack Obama
Jonathan Evans, Mackenzie                                                                      received 232.
Edson and Destiny DeVoss
coming from around the box
(just voted).
                                                                 Zariah Terry (left) and Evelyn Rivera (above)
                                                                 serve as election officials.

Oriole Gets
the Vote Out
by Craig Hoekstra
    Students at Oriole Park held
a mock presidential election on
Tuesday, November 4, 2008.
    A total of 256 students went
through the process of registering
to vote as they completed their
voter registration cards prior to the
big election day. In doing this, the
students learned the importance
of meeting a deadline as they
recorded their name, address and        Oriole Park students experience the voting
phone number if they wanted to          process.
have their voices heard.                chose between candidates John
    On election day, the students       McCain and Barack Obama.
went to the gymnasium as parent             At the end of the school day,
volunteers confirmed each               the students heard who won Oriole
student as a registered voter. After    Park. Of the 256 votes cast, John
registering, the students then          McCain received 112 votes verses
proceeded to a voting booth and         Barack Obama’s 144 votes.
President in Mock Elections

                                         Above: Makayla Grigware
                                       puts her ballot in the voting
                                   box. Left: Tony long shows his
                                      “I voted” sticker. Lower Left:
                                 Katarina Conkright, Kavon Parks,
                                          Michaella Tidwell run the
                                                         voting poll.

                        West Votes
                            On Tuesday, November 4, 2008,
                        students in Shannon Hendges
                        5th grade classroom held a mock
                        presidential election for all students
                        at West Elementary.
                            The kids loved participating in
                        the process. They registered, voted
                        and proudly wore their “I voted”
                           Our election results: Barack
                        Obama won with 254 votes, while
                        John McCain had 78.
                                                 MiBLSi Impacts WPS
                                                 Elementary Schools
                                              by Chrisi Wondergem, Heidi             the community.
                                             Workman, Kara Evenhouse                      These elementary schools are
                                             and Lori Brillowsky,                    utilizing a variety of approaches
                                             Elementary School Social                to help improve reading and be-
                                             Workers                                 haviors. For reading, teachers are
                                                  Parkview, Rogers Lane,Taft,        able to identify student progress
                                             and West Elementary are all par-        through use of DIBELS (Dynamic
                                             ticipants in a state wide grant         Indicators of Basic Early Literacy
Mr. Blackburn taks a pie in the face from    funded positive support program         Skills). DIBELS which helps identify
Madelyn Swain!
                                             called MiBLSi (Michigan Integrated      levels of struggling readers and to
Taft Principal Takes                        Behavior and Learning Support            monitor their progress after reading
                                            Initiative). MiBLSi is designed to de-   interventions.
Pie in the Face to                          velop support systems and sustain             For behaviors, classrooms in
Reward Students                             implementation of a data driven,
                                            problem solving model in schools
                                                                                     all four schools are using a sys-
by Mary McKeown                                                                      tematic “move yourself” board to
                                            to help students become better           provide students with reminders to
    Taft Elementary students are            readers with social skills necessary     make better choices of following
privileged to be a part of the              for success.                             school wide expectations.The four
Michigan’s Integrated Behavior and              The four goals of MiBLSi are to:     elementary schools share the fol-
Learning Support Initiative (MiBLSi)                                                 lowing positive statements: Be Safe,
grant, which focuses on how                 • Increase reading performance
                                                                                     Be Respectful and Be Responsible.
behavior affects academic learning.         • Reduce behavior problems               Students receive Power Paws for
    Through the MiBLSi grant,               • Have accurate knowledge of be-         displaying expected behaviors in
the students at Taft earn “power              havior and reading performance         all school settings. Students earn
paws” for demonstrating positive            • Use student performance infor-         prizes through weekly drawings
behavior on the playground, in                mation to develop and implement        and end of the month celebration
the lunchroom, on the bus and in              interventions.                         as incentives to promote positive
the classroom. Part of the MiBLSi                                                    behaviors.
grant targets an area of concern,                Research
                                            has indi-                                                               Behavior
addresses the issue and tracks                                                                                 expectations
behaviors to see incident decreases.        cated a link
                                            between be-                                                        are defined,
Taft has seen dramatic decreases in                                                                            taught and
the number of student discipline            havior and
                                            literacy. Chil-                                                    modeled by
reports over the last four years of                                                                            students and
data collection (see chart at right).        dren who
                                             fall behind                                                       staff.Through
    The students were challenged             academical-                                                       MiBSLi we
in October to have fewer than 25              ly are more                                                      teach, model,
school-wide discipline reports. If            likely to                                                        encourage
successful, Mr. Blackburn would                avoid aca-                                                      and correct
take a pie in the face. Our students           demic work by displaying inap-                                  expected
met that challenge and were very                propriate, disruptive behaviors.     behaviors over the course of the
successful. In October, our school              MiBlSi is designed to provide        school year.This creates an environ-
had only 20 discipline reports, and              extra support to students who       ment where each student can learn
during a pumped up school-wide                    struggle academically and/or       the life skills of being safe, respect-
assembly, Mr. Blackburn proudly                    behaviorally to help them feel    ful and responsible; helping them
took a pie to the face. We are so                  successful at school and in       be successful at school, home and
proud of our students!                                                               in the community.
                                            Newhall 6th graders were treated to a fun-filled and fact-filled trip to the Grand Rapids
                                           Public Museum. Among the highlights was a tour of “old Grand Rapids,” complete with
                                                                                               an old-fashioned phone (upper left).

Newhall 6th Graders Tour GR Public Museum
by Melissa Donovan
        What do you have when         on the way home on the bus, this                a peep was heard for close to an
225 excited middle school 6th         author found three favorites.The                hour as everyone was enthralled
graders try to solve a murder         first popular learning event was                by different atmospheric changes
mystery? What do you have when        the WHODUNIT exhibit. Setup by                  above, as when our round blazing
the same bunch of students, their     law enforcement, the interactive                sun (that great big ball of gas)
teachers and 46 chaperones are        crime scene challenged our young                was rolling toward us or far-away
surrounded by the darkness of         detectives to solve the mystery by              planets, stars, meteors, black holes
our cosmic universe and a billion     using science. Clues were given                 and comets challenged us to reach
stars? We have an extremely fun       through fingerprinting, interviews,             out and touch.
and worthwhile trip to the Grand      an autopsy (a combination of                        Our Michigan’s “Bear” legend
Rapids Public Museum, where our       virtual reality and video footage),             became alive and earthshaking
Newhall students participated         blood typing from splatters and                 with the deep soul sound of the
in the WHODUNIT exhibit and           other crime scene evidence.The                  majestic one-of-a-few-around
viewed the planetarium.This           real police car (lights and all) was a          theater organs. Afterwards, all the
wonderful, all-day trip occurred on   favorite attraction. We’re happy to             surrounding walled-musical parts
Friday, October 10, 2008.             announce that many students were                were explained.
    The first of our four special     able to solve this crime.
                                                                                          Students were treated to a great
6th grade field trips involved six        Two other draws were the 45                 lunch of Vitales pizza, submarines
different adventures, from the        minute planetarium display and                  and other nutritious sides. It was
carrousel ride and scavenger          the Legend of Sleeping Bear Dunes               a fun time for all. Special thanks
hunt around the museum to a           presentation accompanied by the                 go out to all of our parents and
planetarium show,“WHODUNIT”           gigantic theater organ. During                  other volunteers for chaperoning
and the story organ. We finished      the planetarium display, we all                 Newhall’s youngest. We also
with a walk around “old” Grand        laid back in our seats to absorb                appreciate all the time and energy
Rapids.                               the wonderful skies above. Not                  which went into this event by Mrs.
   Interviewing the participants                                                      Smith and Mrs. Phillips.
Frontiers Students Respond
Positively to New High School Option
by Allen Vigh
    This past fall, WPS offered a
brand new way for students residing
within the Kent Intermediate
School District (KISD) to acquire
their high school education.
     Frontiers is the new option
made possible by a “seat time
waiver” granted to WPS by the
Michigan Department of Education.
The program allows students to
attend Rogers High School for a
reduced amount of time and access
their courses in an online format.
Frontiers students are still full-time
high school students, still have full-    Frontiers students at Rogers High School (Front – Kelsey Blackburn, Ryan Strayhorn; Middle
time class requirements and are           – Allison Dekker; Back – Brandon Little, Jason Cordell) progress through their high school
required to meet all of the Michigan      coursework online.

Merit Curriculum graduation               number of different reasons are                 to earn the use of a district-owned
requirements.This program is              now also finding success here. And              laptop to work off-site. Upon
unique to this area and has been          even students who are academically              successful graduation from the
visited by many other districts to        accelerated are now able to work                program, students may also keep
observe this as a new model for           at their own pace and are on                    the laptop they have used.
education in the State of Michigan.       track to graduate early. In a self-                  To participate in the program,
     On the first day of school, 10       paced learning environment, every               certain criteria must be met.
students were enrolled in this            student has the opportunity to                  Students must already have at least
program. Frontiers now has more           finish courses early, as long as they           five high school credits and they
than 30 students in the program           can demonstrate proficiency and                 must go through an application
and expects even more to begin            learning in the required curricular             process. Applicants submit an essay
at the start of the second semester.      expectations.                                   describing their learning style
Frontiers has managed to meet the              Frontiers students are provided            and why they think the Frontiers
needs of students who, for a variety      access to solid academics and                   program would be a good fit for
of reasons, seek or require flexibility   rigor in their coursework, which                them. Applicants and their parents
in their scheduling.                      is aligned to the Michigan Merit                are also interviewed prior to
    Student response has been             Curriculum, just as any other                   acceptance into the program.
overwhelmingly positive and               traditional WPS high school course.                  Any student residing within the
the increased ownership in their          They are also given the opportunity             KISD may apply to the program
learning is already yielding strong       to prepare themselves for a more                as long as they meet the credit
results. Students previously from         collegiate, independent learning                requirements.The program is
home school environments are              environment by learning time-                   currently educating students from
taking advantage of this option           management skills, developing the               cities as far away as Alto and Cedar
as well as students with health or        ability to prioritize tasks and gaining         Springs.
employment issues that conflict           increased empowerment. Students
with traditional school hours             who demonstrate proficiency                         For more information about
are also accommodated by the              in their learning and good time                 the Frontiers program and detailed
flexible scheduling. Others who           management skills are able to earn              application information, please visit
have struggled academically in            more flexibility in their scheduling  
traditional programs due to a             of time on-site and are even eligible           htm or call 616-257-3077.

HJM Q        K                                                                                Book Donation
                                                                                              Leads to

                                                                                              Better Reading,
F                                                                                             Brighter Smiles

DC                                                                           V
B                                                                             Y
A                                                                            Z
 Thanks to a donation of styrofoam from the 44th Street Olive Garden, Mrs. Majors 4/5
 grade classroom at Oriole Park features a gigantic keyboard to make it easier to point out
 specific keys when teaching lessons and helping students.
                                                                                              First grade students pictured: Jeffrey
                                                                                              Gomez-Fuentes (teacher Miss Schafter),
                                                                                              Cassidy West (teacher Mrs. Fonger) and
                                                                                              Aaliyah Negron (teacher Mrs. Ward).

                                                                                              by Peg Machuta

Keyboard to Success                                                                               In September, Gladiola
                                                                                              Elementary Media Center,
                                                                                              along with all of the other WPS

Makes Learning Easier                                                                         elementary media centers, received
                                                                                              a number of hardcover books from
by Roxie Mathews
                                                                                                   Among the 17 books Gladiola
     When teaching keyboarding                  kids to keep their eyes up and not            received are titles that focus on
to a classroom of students, it is               looking at their hands as they type!          good dental health, all written at
often difficult to point out any                    We made the keyboard out of               an elementary student’s level of
certain key you would like them                 Styrofoam donated by the Olive                interest – even one about Dora’s
to use. Not the case at Oriole                  Garden on 44th street.The students            visit to the dentist! Plus there are a
Park Elementary! We now have a                  typed thank you letters to the                nice variety of other titles. One that
GIGANTIC KEYBOARD mounted                       restaurant and sent a picture of              made a big hit with the 5th graders
on our wall for reference. It makes             the keyboard for them to see. What            is Traction Man, a comically written
it easy for pointing out specific               a great way for community and                 picture book about a super hero. An
keys when teaching lessons and                  classroom to connect!                         added bonus is that 14 of the titles
helping students. It also helps the                                                           are considered AR (Accelerated
                                                                                              Reader), so students can test their

 Community Corner                                                                             comprehension of the book after
                                                                                              reading it.
                                                                                                  Some of the students made
 by Juanita Raterink
                                                                                              thank you cards or signed ones
      Thanks goes out to the WPS support staff employees (WESSA) for                          from their class. Our sincere
 their generous holiday donation to each of the 12 school buildings.                          appreciation goes out to Colgate-
 Many families were helped in the form of hats, mittens, food baskets and                     Palmolive and their generosity.
 gift cards. A big thank you goes to Dr. John Fellows, Dentist, and Dr. Paul
 O’Grady, Orthodondist, for the free dental work they gave to one of our

Jackson Park
Attend Calvin
College Writers
by Peg Lubke
    Fifteen students from Jackson
Park Middle School (which
included 850 local students)
participated in the Calvin College
Middle School Writers Workshop on
Thursday, November 13, 2008.
    The nationally known authors
included Liza Ketchum and
Michael P. Spradlin. Both authors        Back row: Emina Nakic, Tasha Miller and Ian Tweddale. Third row: Jacob Robbins, Nicole
                                         Lyon, Taylor Cox, Kennedy Steel, Almina Hadzikic, Quesha Divers and Han Le. Second row:
presented ideas in workshops, gave       Heidi Glynn, Brianna Coulter and Alice Billins. Front: Jose Lopez and A.J. Tuinstra.
presentations about becoming an
author, described the difficulties       released book is the first of a trilogy,      opportunity to submit a literary
of publishing a young adult book,        The Youngest Templar: Keeper of               piece in a Golden Pen Award
and signed books for the students.       the Grail.                                    contest. Each student received
Ketchum recently released a                  Our students chose to                     a Young Authors tee shirt and
historical novel, Where the Great        participate in workshops of his/              a “Certificate of Enthusiastic
Hawk Flies. While Spradlin’s newly       her choice and were given the                 Participation!”

Gladiola Celebrates Literacy with Rodeo
by Dawn Judge
    What do “Griff” of the Grand                                                       nated from local area businesses.
Rapids Griffins,“Red” from Red Rob-                                                        The Gladiola Gators would
in and the staff from the Wyoming                                                      like to thank Family Video, Barnes
Public Library have in common?                                                         and Noble, Spectrum Lanes, Red
They all attended Gladiola’s Back-                                                     Robin, Applebee’s,The Grand Rap-
to-School Literacy Rodeo!                                                              ids Griffins, Marge’s Donut Den,
     More than 200 parents and                                                         Champions and T.E.A.M. 21 for their
students arrived ready to eat hot                                                      generous donations to our effort.
dogs, meet teachers and participate                                                    We would also like to thank the
in many different literacy activities.                                                 members of our Family Council for
Some of the most popular activities                                                    donating their time, beverages and
with the students were designing         Gladiola student Esmeralda Gonzalez meets
a personal writing journal, using a      the GR Griffins mascot, Griff.                     Our Literacy Rodeo not only
recipe to make “Rodeo Trail Mix,”            As students completed each                brought staff, parents and students
Tongue Twisters, and Hangman             activity, the teacher in charge of            together, it provided a great op-
Spelling. In addition to those activi-   that activity initialed their Rodeo           portunity to show the importance
ties, the students and their parents     Ticket. At the end of the rodeo, they         of literacy. After reading the parent
were even able to read a book and        put those tickets into a container            surveys, we believe that everyone
take an Accelerated Reader quiz to-      which made them eligible to win               found out that literacy can be a lot
gether on the computer!                  prizes the next day that were do-             of fun, too!
T.E.A.M. 21 Program a Success, Expands
by Trevor Davies and
Jessica Hughes
    A middle school student
recently said of the T.E.A.M. 21 After
School Program,“I feel safe and it’s
like a second home at T.E.A.M. 21.”
     This fall, more than 550 other
students in the city of Wyoming
have the opportunity to receive
academic assistance, complete
their homework, enjoy a nutritious
dinner and snack, improve
their physical fitness, learn
important character
traits and values, serve
their community, and
explore art, drama,
music and other
new skills, all as part
of the T.E.A.M. 21
    The program,
funded by federal 21st
Century Community
Learning Center dollars
awarded through the Michigan
Department of Education, has
experienced two back-to-back years
of growth.The 2007-2008 school
year marked the first expansion of
the program, adding two Wyoming
Public middle school sites, Jackson
Park and Newhall.
                                                       Top: Sarah Long, Michael Long and K’Saundra Long. Circle Right: JP teacher
     This fall,T.E.A.M. 21 celebrates              Melody Stuck and daughters Payton and Jordyn. Circle Left: Mohammed Al-Lamy.
                                                        Bottom: Shaniah Duncan, JaLeia Branch, Cameron Cook, Nathan Hawkins.
another expansion, this time into
five additional school sites.These
new sites are the first for T.E.A.M.     developed as a collaboration                 Adopting a birthday party theme,
21 beyond the boundaries of the          between the Wyoming Public                   some sites used this opportunity
Wyoming Public School district,          Schools and the City of Wyoming.             to celebrate the achievements of
with programs now in Godfrey-Lee         T.E.A.M. 21 has other reasons to             the first four years and look ahead
Public Schools, Godwin Heights           celebrate this fall, as this school          to the upcoming year, while other
Public Schools, and Kelloggsville        year marks the fifth year of                 sites focused on showcasing the
Public Schools. In addition to           programming for the initial three            activities and experiences that have
hosting six of the ten programming       Wyoming Public School sites,                 been keeping them busy during
sites, Wyoming Public Schools            Parkview, Rogers Lane, and Taft              after-school.These events were
remains an integral part of the          elementary schools.                          a great opportunity for teachers,
collaboration in serving as the              In early October, T.E.A.M. 21            parents, and other community
fiduciary for the program funds for      sites participated in a national after-      members to experience after-
all districts.                           school advocacy and awareness                school firsthand and celebrate the
                                         event called Lights On After-School.         successes of T.E.A.M. 21.
    T.E.A.M. 21 was initially

Students Recognized for Academic,
“Go for the Gold” Achievements

Achievers at
Newhall. Far
right: Treyvon
and Alicia
Stanford are
top students in
6th grade reading.
Right: Lucero Baena
wins a Go for the Gold
T -shirt.

by Anne Marie Gaglio
    On Friday, November 14,
Newhall staff and students
celebrated the end of the first
quarter at an all school celebration
assembly in the gymnasium.
     At the assembly many students
received awards for their academic     throughout the first quarter.          awards were given out at the
achievements earned during the             “Go for the Gold” is a program     assembly and 15 students received
first quarter of the school year. In   at school for acknowledging            Newhall t-shirts.
addition several students were         positive behaviors our students            Our second quarter celebration
given a Newhall t-shirt for being      exhibit making Newhall a better        assembly will take place in early
selected “Go for the Gold” students    place for all. In total, 86 academic   February.
West Students
Auto History
Classic Cars
    The students in Mrs. Sluys’
room at West Elementary got
to learn a little bit about the
history of the automobile when
Steve and Rick Sturim from
Steve’s Antique Auto Repair
brought over a 1933 Ford
Deluxe Coupe.
    The students enjoyed                                                               (Above) Back row: Steve Sturim,
comparing the features                                                                      Nick Schwennesen, Kelsea
                                                                                         Patterson, Michael Sanderson,
of the coupe to today’s                                                                   Anthony Benavidez III, Kierra
autos like doors that                                                                        Laster, Lacey Arellano, and
opened backwards and                                                                            Rick Sturim. Front Row:
                                                                                             Dasani Gray, Alisha Burns,
no turn signals.They also                                                                     Quori Nelson, Ryan Farley
were allowed to get a taste                                                                  and Sarah Stacy. (Far Left)
                                                                                             Dasani and Ryan with Rick
of how it might have felt to                                                                  Sturim. (Left) Anthony and
ride in the coupe as they sat in                                                                  Dasani look at engine.
the rumble seat.

FIRST Robotics Starts New Season
by Bruce Klemm
    Rogers and Wyoming Park            careers in science, engineering and   maturity, build self-confidence,
have joined forces this year to do     technology.                           learn teamwork and gain an
another season of FIRST Robotics.          FRC challenges high-school-       understanding of professionalism.
The team will be participating         aged young people working             Students have fun while building a
in competitions in Traverse City,      with professional mentors to          network of friends and professional
Grand Rapids, Lansing, and the State   design and build a robot, and         mentors who enrich their lives.
Championships in Ypsilanti.            compete in high-intensity events           FIRST isn’t about building
    The FIRST (For Inspiration         that reward the effectiveness of      robots, it’s about developing
and Recognition of Science and         each robot, the power of team         life skills.The kids learn skills in
Technology) Robotics Competition       strategy and collaboration, and the   relationships, teamwork, finance,
was founded by inventor Dean           determination of students.            fundraising, budgeting and project
Kamen to inspire an appreciation           Each year’s Kickoff event         management. The partnership
of science and technology in           unveils a new, exciting, and          between academia, the community
young people. FIRST combines           challenging game. From the Kickoff,   and industry…will build our future
the excitement of sports with          teams have just six weeks to solve    employees and future citizens. It’s
science and technology to create a     the season’s common problem           the hardest fun ever.
unique varsity sport for the mind.     using the same kit of parts and a         For more information on the
The FIRST Robotics Competition is      standard set of rules.                team or how to join, please contact
an annual competition that helps                                             Mr. Klemm at klemmb@wyoming.
young people discover the rewards         Throughout their FIRST
                                       experience, students gain   
and excitement of education and
Jackson Park Hosts Family Nutrition
and Physical Activity Fun Night
by Lanny Bastos
    A total of 220 people attended
Jackson Park Middle School’s
Family Nutrition and Physical
Activity Fun Night. This event
was sponsored by Michigan Model
for Comprehensive School Health
Education and organized by the
Physical Education Department.
One of the activities that prepared
students for this event was an
online physical activity and
nutrition assessment to identify
strengths and weaknesses in
their daily food intake and daily
    The main goal of this
event was to provide
samples of nutritious
foods that include items
that are missing from
most students’ diet.The
nutritious menu included
three kinds of soup, such
as Mr. Hartsfield’s famous
Chicken Gumbo, Cruz
Coriano’s Chicken Noodle
soup, and Miss Bastos’ Feijoada
(Brazilian Black Bean Stew)
and three types of Miss Diane            Top: Cindy Lengas, Fanusa Sharif, Yenni
                                         Neyra-Fontain, Brianna Silva, Arafata Sharif,
Szczesny’s salads, fruit trays and       Elizabeth Aleman and Mercedes Ugalde.
T.E.A.M. 21 Tropical Smoothies. A        Above: Kenia Quintanilla and Sandra Cruz.
tropical fruit punch was served and      Right: Kristol Estrada, Kirk Bloomquist, Julie
                                         Glynn, Mick Wauchope, Celina Yrlas and
quickly consumed due to the hot          Vanessa Garza.
temperature on this day.                                                                  you to those who made this event
                                         as participants browsed and                      so successful.
   Physical activities included          sampled the various food tables
basketball, tennis, soccer, volleyball                                                        A special thanks to Diane
                                         and got some new ideas for
and badminton where students                                                              Szczesny, who worked very hard
                                         healthy cooking from Nicole Foot’s
could burn some calories while                                                            with her T.E.A.M. 21 Cooking
                                         cookbook table.
hanging out with their friends.                                                           Class; cafeteria staff Donna Smith
                                             Participants used a passport                 and Barb Weed; and teachers Miss
     The Smoothie Table was very         card to record their activities and              Meyers, Mrs. Flood, Miss Lupke, Mrs.
busy serving different combinations      the food from each food group                    Jensen, Miss Cummings, Mr. Banks,
of fresh fruit and yogurt – making       which they used to participate                   Mr.Tubergen, Mrs. Hoeks and Mrs.
for an interesting experience in         in a drawing that evening. Many                  Salazar. A big thank you to Principal
cleaning up!                             students had a chance to win prizes              Bloomquist and Assistant Principal
   The cafeteria was nicely              such as movie tickets, basketball                Bentley for their support in this
decorated with fall harvest colors       and a brand new guitar. A big thank              event.
WP Jazz Band Celebrates RIF with Newhall Students
by Anne Marie Gaglio
     The Wyoming Park Jazz band
performed for the Newhall 6th
graders on Wednesday, November
5th. Each student received a free
book with the help of a Wyoming
Park band member. It was a fun
morning for

Top Right: Kelsey Baker, Ani VandeBerg, Autumn VandenBerg,
Courtney Leal and Brenna Oddy. Above: Ani VandenBerg,
Krystyna Sheets and Autumn VandenBerg. Right: Adam Dekker
and Dominic White.

Harsh Conditions Challenge Wyoming Park Cross Country
by Jason Pittman
    Although they were the                   personal records by dropping their          The Viking CC team ran over
smallest team in the Conference,             times below 20:00.                      half of their Invitationals and
the 2008 Wyoming Park Cross                      The girls team included             Conference meets in the pouring
Country team trained hard in                 returning runner Cherie Ramos           rain, running through knee-deep
the heat and the rain in order to            as well as Freshmen Stephanie           water and mud pits at the Sparta
improve their times.                         Bostwick and Miranda Lane. Lane         Invitational.
     Team Captain Cody Braendle              ran her first ever cross-country race       The team faced tough
led a boys team made up of                   at the TK Invitational and finished     competition this year but made The
returning runners Trey Doehring              with a remarkable time of 21:43.        Park proud by running their very
and Ray Russell and rounded out              Stephanie Bostwick set a new            best in every meet. Coach Pittman
by newcomers Andrew Denton,                  personal record with a time             was assisted this year by former
T.J. Doyle, and Jared Coffey. Both           of 27:54.                               team member and Volunteer Coach
Braendle and Doehring beat their                                                     Mark Shippy.
Wyoming Park
JV Football
Perfect Season
by Josh Baumbach
    The Wyoming Park Junior
Varsity Football Team completed
their season with an exciting win
on the road against Byron Center
on October 23rd.The Vikings, 8-0
prior to the game, fought hard to
remain unbeaten against a tough 7-
1 Byron team.
    It was a great way to end the
season and it marked the first time
in 24 years that a Wyoming Park                 success of the team. With their                  a tribute to the hard work and
football team would complete a                  help, the high-powered offense                   dedication of a great group of
season undefeated.                              averaged 30 points per game while                student athletes.The team would
    The Vikings 25-man roster                   defensively giving up an average of              like to thank the students, staff,
included five freshmen who                      only 14 points.                                  parents and community for their
contributed significantly to the                     The success of this season is               support this season. Go Park!

Rogers’ Soccer Team Wins 3-2                                                                          Rogers Athletics
                                                                                                      Fall 2008-2009
                                                                                                         OK Green
                                                                                                          Boys Soccer
                                                                                                          Shawn Irwin
                                                                                                      HM: Ricardo Navarrette

                                                                                                            DJ Hirdes
                                                                                                          HM: Brad Savin

                                                                                                             Girls Golf
                                                                                                       HM: Tessa Engstrom

                                                                                                           Boys Tennis
                                                                                                          Kevin Gordon
                                                                                                        Ryan Abrahamson
                                                                                                           Dan Joslin

                                                                                                         Cross Country
                                                                                                        HM: Alberto Flores

                                                                                                        HM: Bristal Mitchell
Rogers’ Shawn Irwin (in white jersey) makes a play against rival team Wyoming Park to win 3-2.

Newhall                                 FOOTBALL

Fall Sports
by Anne Marie Gaglio
     November marks the start of
our Winter I athletic programs
which means our fall
sports have concluded              VOLLEYBALL
for the year. Again,
Newhall had
much to
celebrate with                                                                        Above: Row 1 – Larry Dickson, Devin Scott,
                                                                                     Michael Reynolds, Steven Talsma and Hunter
their athletic                                                                    Halas. Row 2 – Jared Nostrant, Tyler Doyle, John
teams.                                                                               Wosoba, David Houseman, Demaceo Lopez,
                                                                                     Germaine Green and Justin Wustman. Row 3
     Boy’s                                                                         – Miro Maric, Branden Jimenez, Collin Kerkstra,
8th grade                                                                             Bryce Coffman, Shawn O’Leary and Marcus
                                                                                     Silva. Row 4 – Ryan Wolters, Trevor Bauman,
football                                                                              Ryan Wilson, Tyler VAnStee, Tyler Davis and
took 1st                                                                                                        Bryan Rodriguez.
place in the                                                                        Left: Row 1 – Audra VanderKlay, Keyhna Jones,
WMMSC                                                                               Jessica Krasean, Brandi Petti-Goode and Catlin
                                                                                     Willey. Row 2 – Alexis Baker, Ashleigh Stafford,
Gold Division                                                                         Brianna Popma, Amber Grzeszak and Regina
finishing with                                                                       Hooker. Row 3 – Devin Garcia, Maiayla Manley,
a 5-1 record.                                                                  Lupe Aburto and Daisia Jones. Row 4 – Hailey Spell,
                                                                                  Olivia Barstow, Anisha Weeks, Maria Morales and
7th grade football                                                            Taylor Savage. Row 5 – Becca Sayen, Victoria Latella,
started slow, but                                                                  Linsey Worden, Tori Bennett and Jackie Holland.
continued to improve
throughout the season
winning two of their final three
games.                                 Right: Row 1 – Anthony Benevidez, Jessica Gagarin
                                        and Ariel Delany. Row 2 – Logan Beukema, Casey
    Both volleyball teams improved                                Meyer and Einar Aguilar.
dramatically throughout the season.
Each team won five straight dual
matches to finish the regular
season.The 8th grade volleyball                                                              CROSS COUNTRY
team tied for second place at
the season ending Gold division
invitational at Wayland.                                                                                      Left: Row 1 – Robert
                                                                                                             Krizanovic, Zeke
    The boy’s soccer team                                                                                    Prause and Eric
completed the season with an 8-4                                                                             Dejager. Row 2
                                                                                                             – Nathan Umoh,
record tying for second place in the                                                                         Branden Schafer,
league.                                                                                                      Adrian Labra, Tien
                                                                                                             Nguyen and Thinh
    Lastly, our cross country                                                                                Tran. Row 3 – Arturo
athletes had a wonderful season                                                                              Ornelas, Alec Saenz,
                                                                                                             Melecio Terrones,
improving their personal best times
at every meet.
                                       SOCCER                                                                Chris Jimenez and
                                                                                                             Dor Mangek.

Wyoming Park Boys Summer Basketball Win
Second National Championship in a Row
by Tom Vanderklay
    The Wyoming Park Boys              Shootout but were upset in the        on both the 2007 and 2008
summer basketball teams had            semifinals by Holland.They also       championship teams.
another very successful summer         played in the Byron Center and           The rest of the championship
in 2008, including winning the         Hudsonville camps.                    team included Juniors Jorge
Division 5 (School Team) National          The 2008-2009 Park varsity        Beauchamp, DeVontae Hudnell,
Championship in Fort Wayne             boys were 33-23 this summer           Aaron Reynolds, Brad Dempsey, and
Indiana on July 26.                    against very good competition.The     Cody Mott.
    All three High School Teams        Vikings participated in The Grand         Sophomores Josh Gruszcynski
played a full summer schedule          Valley Shootout (5th), Aquinas Team   and Bryan Adams.Tom Mott is the
after the annual summer basketball     Camp (5th),The West Michigan          head AYBT coach and was assisted
camp in early June.                    Shootouts (second), and AYBT          by Mike Reynolds and Jason
    The freshmen team won the          teams played in local tournaments     Bleyerveld.
Byron Center and Hudsonville Team      including Holland (runners-up) and
                                       Battle Creek (Champions).                 Other varsity players
Camps and went 41-8 including                                                throughout the summer included
playing some JV teams.They                 The 2008 National                 Seniors Josh Mansfield, Andrew
also made it to the quarterfinals in   Championship in Fort Wayne was        Galganski, Bryan Powell, Sam
Fort Wayne.                            the second in a row for The Park.     Walker, Brendon Coe and Mark
   The JV team was the number             Two senior players, David          Thrash.
one seed at the West Michigan          Chan and Jordan Huffman, played          Sophomores that played
                                                                             with the varsity included Brock
                                                                             VanderKlay and Shane Thurkettle.
                                                                                Senior Bryan Powell, Senior
                                                                             Brendon Coe, Sophomore Shane
                                                                             Thurkettle, and Sophomore Brock
                                                                             Vander Klay also had tremendous
                        Insight Notification                                 AAU seasons this Spring and
                                                                             Summer with their respective
                          Sent By E-mail                                     teams, including winning
                     Would you like to be notified by e-mail                 championships throughout the
                     when the Insight Newsletter is available                Midwest.
                     to view on-line? If so, please send your                    Bryan Powell was an important
                        e-mail address to Sharon Wolfe at                    player for the Grand Rapids Storm
                                           which made the Semi-Finals in
                                                                             the AAU National Championship
                                                                             Tournament in Las Vegas.
                                                                                 Brendon Coe was a pivotal
                                                                             player for Camp Darryl, but hurt his
                                                                             ankle and was sidelined much of
                                                                             the AAU and school summer season.
                                                                                 Shane and Brock were
                                                                             also valuable members of the
                                                                             Courthouse Kings.
                                                                                The teams also played in
                                                                             Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, and North

Jackson Park
Beats Hopkins 6-2

  Top Left: Devin Ferhatovic. Left: Eddie Burdalic. Above: Sergio Cruz (11) with Jamo
Irwin (4) and Eddie Burdalic (7) in the background.

                                        Place at Disc
                                        Golf Tourney
                                        by Robyn Gransow-Higley
                                            Congratulations to
                                        Innovations Academy students
                                        Rachel Furman and Mark
                                        Choryan.They placed individually
                                        at the Michigan Alternative
                                        Athletic Association’s Annual Disc
                                        Golf Tournament in October.
                                     Rachel Furman
                                     and Mark Choryan

         Wyoming Public Schools
        3575 Gladiola Avenue, S.W.
                                                                       WPS Safety and Security
        Wyoming, Michigan 49519                                        by Bobbie Bentley,
               (616) 530-7550
                                                                                                                           from windows. A Shelter in Place
Please visit us at                               District Safety Liaison                             Drill dictates all outside doors and
                                                                            Safety is an issue that we take                windows be locked, but students
        Board of Education 2008-2009
Mary VandeWater ..................................President            very seriously in Wyoming Public                    may continue working. A Lockdown
Deborah Fewless...........................Vice President               Schools. All staff members, substi-                 Drill demands that all students
Craig Popma ..........................................Treasurer                                                            and staff find an area to hide from
Dennis Bush ..........................................Secretary        tute teachers, volunteers, and visi-
Joan Austin ................................................ Trustee   tors must wear identification badg-                 potential danger within a build-
Shaltreece Reddick .................................. Trustee          es while in any school building. All                ing with doors locked, windows
Susan Sheets ............................................. Trustee
                                                                       visitors must report to the office                  locked, lights off and everyone out
Board of Education meetings are open to                                and sign in and they must also sign                 of sight.
the public and held at the Administration
Building each second and fourth Monday of the                          out when they leave.                                    These drills are done to help
month at 7:00 p.m.
                                                                            Cameras have been installed in                 students and staff be better pre-
                    Administration                                     all of our buildings. Each elemen-                  pared for emergency situations. We
Jon A. Felske .................................Superintendent          tary is equipped with up to 16                      are blessed in that we have not had
Dr.Tom Reeder ...........Associate Superintendent
Gerald Hopkins ...........Assistant Superintendent                     cameras while all middle and high                   to face a crisis that puts our stu-
Scott Powers......................... Director of Finance              schools have 32 cameras apiece.                     dents at risk. We are working hard
James Nora .........................Technology Director                                                                    to prevent a crisis from happening
Don Hebeler....................Director of Operations                      Safety drills are conducted in
Harry Knol........... Director of Special Education                                                                        in Wyoming Public Schools.
                                                                       each building. State law requires 6
Mike Slager .......................Food Service Director
                                                                       Fire Drills, 2 Severe Weather Drills                    Safety and security are every-
Insight is published by the Wyoming Board of                           and 2 Shelter in Place/Lockdown                     one’s business. If you witness any-
Education as the official newsletter for residents                                                                         thing suspicious happening near
of the Wyoming School District.                                        Drills per year. A Fire Drill requires
                                                                       the evacuation of the building.                     one of our schools, please call that
                  Sharon G.Wolfe, Editor                                                                                   school’s administrator immediately.
                                                                       A Severe Weather Drill requires
Items for publication in the Insight should be                         students and staff to find a secure                 We are here to serve you and your
sent to the following address:
                                                                       place within the building away                      children.
              Wyoming Public Schools
              Communications Office
                2950 Clyde Park S.W.
            Wyoming, Michigan 49509
        (616) 530-7500 (616) 531-8350 (fax)
                                                                                           Wyoming Public Schools (e-mail)                                                     REGULAR BOARD MEETING DATES FOR 2009
In compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act                          January 12, 2009 ...........7:00 p.m.         April 20, 2009 ...............7:00 p.m.
of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments                                January 26, 2009 ...........7:00 p.m.         (Note:Third Monday in April)
of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act                                                                              May 11, 2009................7:00 p.m.
of 1973, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, the                             February 9, 2009 ...........7:00 p.m.         (@ Gladiola Elementary)
Elliot-Larson Civil Rights Act of 1977, and the                              February 23, 2009 .........7:00 p.m.
Americans with Disability Act of 1990, it is the                                                                           May 18, 2009.................5:00 p.m.
policy of Wyoming Public School District that no                             March 9, 2009 ...............7:00 p.m.        (Budget Hearing)
person shall, on the basis of race, color, religion,                         March 23, 2009 .............7:00 p.m.      June 8, 2009 ..................7:00 p.m.
national origin or ancestry, sex, age, disability,
height, weight, or marital status be excluded                                                                           June 22, 2009 ................7:00 p.m.
from participation in, be denied the benefits of,                                      Regular Board Meetings are held the 2nd and 4th Monday of the
or be subjected to discrimination during any
program, activity, or in employment. The lack of                                               month at 7:00 p.m., unless otherwise specified.
English skills will not be barrier to admission
or participation in educational programs. The
following people have been designated to                                                                                                                   Non-Profit Org
handle inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination                                                       Schools                                             U.S. Postage
policies. Inquiries related to discrimination on
the basis of race, color, origin, age, height, weight,                                                                                                      PAID
                                                                                                                                                          Grand Rapids, MI
sex, or marital status should be directed to                                                                                                               Permit No. 131
Thomas Reeder, Assistant Superintendent, 3575
Gladiola SW,Wyoming, MI 49509, (616) 530-7556.
Inquiries related to discrimination on the basis of
disability or religion should be directed to Harry
Knol, Director of Student Services, 3575 Gladiola,
SW,Wyoming, MI, 49509, (616) 530-7525.
Insight design by Lorena Deiters.
Insight printing by Printech, Inc.                                     School Communications Contest

                                                                       2001 Award Winner

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