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OPS CONNECTION A Publication of Otsego Public Schools November 2011 District Newsletter Volume I Issue 2

In This Issue: Spotlight On...

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OHS Woods and Water Club

Homecoming Recap

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Make-A-Wish, Royalty, Floats, Victory

Holiday Giving Begins

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Food Drives Underway

Community Connection Students travel to ArtPrize

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““Linking k Students d to the h World... ld ”


Woods and Water Club When you think of great qualities of Michigan, the outdoors often comes to mind. The beautiful landscapes, lakes and trails are inviting to thousands; our students are among those who take an interest in all there is to offer - hiking, biking, fishing, hunting. While these aren’t traditional high school sports, they are very popular in West Michigan. Two Otsego High School teachers recognized that and began the Woods and Water Club. “For some of them, it’s their sole activity,” says Advisor Tim DeVary, “It’s tradition for them, how they’re brought up, it’s such a big part of their life.” There’s also a comradery with this club, “it gives students who aren’t interested in typical high school athletics something else to be a part of,” says Advisor Josh Holmes. Another way this club is unique, is that it’s not just the kids who are involved. Their parents can join in all the activities, “I think that’s a big part of it, encouraging kids to spend time with their families,” DeVary said. The Woods and Water Club is in its third year, and there are about 60 students involved. Not every student participates in each activity, and that is how it is designed, for them to do what interests them. And those opportunities are expanding each year. Both advisors would like to see the club grow to include

Angel Tree Project

activities, “such as camping trips, canoeing and kayaking trips and even some environmental clean-up activities,” says Holmes. DeVary would also like to see area districts start similar clubs so competitions can be organized between schools, like an inter-conference bass tournament. Right now, the Big Buck contest is going on for deer hunting season; but the club also hunts other animals, holds fishing tournaments - both on water and ice - and organizes hiking and biking trips on area trails. Advisors are looking to line up several guest speakers as well, including pro outdoor sportsman, representatives from D&R Sports, and conservation representatives. To highlight all that the club is doing, and how it’s growing, DeVary and Holmes created a club website. There are photo albums up now, and there’s a plan for a students to write a blog focusing on their recent outdoor experiences, which just keep growing as this club gains more ground. Check it out at www.ohswoodsandwaterclub.com.

For kids, Christmas isn’t the same without a gift under the tree. But too many families must choose between food on the table and toys for the kids. That is where our National Honor Society comes in. From November 28th - December 12th, NHS will collect donations for the Angel Tree Project organized by the Otsego Christmas Basket Project. They collect names from local churches of those who may need assistance over the holidays, and kids’ toy requests are given to the NHS - this can amount to 200-300 requests each year. The students collect the money then buy the gifts at Meijer. Their goal is for every child to have at least one toy to open. Look for more on this project as it nears.

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Community

CONNECTION

Connecting with our Neighbors Make a Difference Day

Halloween Treat

Washington Street Elementary holds a “Make A Difference Day” each year to help Otsego senior citizens with fall yard clean-up. In this 10th annual event, seven families helped to clean up three lawns. It’s tradition to end at John Holcolm’s lawn - he helps the students connect with seniors in need and provides cookies and hot chocolate to reward their hard work.

Dix Street Elementary Learn N’ Grow Preschoolers took their Halloween party out of school walls to bring a little Halloween treat to others. Students put on their costumes and shared cider and donuts with residents at The Springs at Bronson Place, a nursing home in Kalamazoo.

Food Drives Underway

OHS Student Council collected hundreds of non-perishable items in their annual food drive for the Otsego Christmas Basket Project. The Middle School food drive starts November 7th for Christian Neighbors with a big incentive this year. Principal Bill Houseman has agreed to shave his head if students beat their record and collect 13,514 items. It runs until December 9th.

Students travel to ArtPrize

Just hours before the 2011 ArtPrize winners were announced, Otsego’s 5th graders and 30 high school students were gazing at their work. Through an Otsego Public Schools Foundation grant, art teachers Cassandra Boyce, Kristy Vickers and Vicki Salvatori took seven busloads of kids to Grand Rapids, in a collaborative project where high schoolers work with the elementary students on art criticism. “Our goal was to have students participate in a local art event to see how artists display art, to have discussions on why they produce art and also to see the element a competition adds to the mix,” Boyce said. Students were able to see hundreds of works in the downtown area, including many of this year’s top ten. “Many of the students’ favorite thing was to go into the GRAM (Grand Rapids Art Museum.) They had never been in an art museum before,” said Vicki Salvatori of the elementary students’ experience, “everyone had such a great time.” 3


From the Superintendent Dennis M. Patzer

Servant Leadership Leadersh and Otsego Students As Su Superintendent, uperintendent, ther there are times when people from outside the District ask me to summarize an area arrea where Otsego students shine. Without hesitation, I start to tell them about the exceptional servant serv vant leadership that our students possess. First and foremost, a good leader serves others - our students stud dents comp completely “Get it.” At all levels across the District, Otsego students excel at serving others, building others up. oth hers, givingg to others otherrs and bu There erre are the the annual annu ual and very visible acts that include food drives, penny wars and other fundraising events, but what wh hat makes makes our students studeent unique is the scope of how they support special causes like the Make-A-Wish Foundation (funding (fu undiing An Andrew’s ndrew’s w wish) and the numerous Pink and Purple games to support cancer research. Also, our students come co ome up wit with th way ways to give and build others up - providing water filters, disaster relief funds and warm coats, just to name few. Our kids totally “Get it.” name a few w. Ou To o a large larg degree, this trait of serving and giving is something our students learned at home. So, congratulations and an tthank han you to our parents for providing the foundation for this lifelong skill. From my experience, the characteristics te ti our students display today will carry over into their lives after leaving Otsego. The fact that our students terist “Get “G it” when it comes to serving is cause for celebration and should make everyone associated with Otsego Public Schools extremely proud.

Welcome to Otsego, MI, USA! OHS is home to ten exchange students for 2011-12

A desire to learn English and experience the American culture - that’s what these young people say is behind their choice to be an exchange student. They say they’re enjoying the experience, the school spirit and football games. Some surprises have been high prices and the fact that Americans drive everywhere. This is the largest group of exchange students Otsego has hosted; these ten students represent eight countries. Take note of the flags hanging overhead in the common areas of the high school. They represent all the countries from where our exchange students have originated. Back row, L-R: Eduard Cortes, Spain; Andres Gonzalez, Mexico; Stefanie Lerke, Germany; Mirana Coujitou, France; Cecilie Johannsen, Denmark. Front row, L-R: Hikaru Ukita, Japan; Jakob Lobach, Germany; Roberta Santana, Brazil; Fernanda Silva, Brazil; Kseiya Pekhtereva, Russia.

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PPK Champ Headed to Ford Field

Just like the Detroit Lions, Mason Ingold will run out onto Ford Field this season. The Alamo 4th grader placed in the top 4 in Michigan in the NFL’s Punt, Pass, Kick program this fall and will compete for the State title at the December 11th Lions game vs. the Minnesota Vikings. He’s pretty excited, “It’s a big accomplishment for him,” says his mom, Carrie. He’ll punt and kick before the game and pass at halftime. If he wins, he has a chance to move on. The Top 4 state finishers compete for the national title.

Did You Know...?

The 50/50 raffles at our sporting events are sponsored by the Otsego Athletic Boosters and go to support student-athlete scholarships. In 2011, four graduates each received $750 scholarships from this revenue.


Homecoming Makes Wishes Come True Homecoming 2011 was all about “Fairy Tales.” Every grade level put their focus of the weeks leading up to homecoming into making a wish come true. OHS partnered with the Make-A-Wish Foundation’s Adopt-A-Wish program. The students were paired with Andrew, from Allegan, a 10-yearold boy living with Muscular Dystrophy. His wish was to go on a Disney Cruise with his family.

Andrew thanks the crowd as he is honored at the start of the Homecoming game.

With an $8,000 goal to fully fund the trip for the family, students held a carnival, car wash, car A 17-15 Homecoming win over smashing event, sold t-shirts, bracelets and stars Allegan put the Bulldogs into the and collected donations at area businesses and from playoffs for a third straight year. local companies. Allegan, our opponent for homecoming, stepped in, too, raising more than $3,000 to support Andrew, who has been a student at Dawson Elementary since he was 3 years old. In the end, the community support was overwhelming; the students raised $12,776.34 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Michigan. The organization says that the remaining funds will go toward making another child’s wish come true.

Seniors Kenny Ledbetter and Hannah Larson were crowned Homecoming King & Queen.

We wish Andrew and his family a great time on their cruise this winter! Video: http://vimeo.com/30219031

From the Directors’ Chair Director of Elementary Instruction Alamo Elementary Principal Melissa Koenig

Sophomores won the float contest with Peter Pan!

Director of Secondary Instruction OHS Asst. Principal Heather Kortlandt

PLCs – “Best Practice” in Education Otsego is deeply invested in a process that is considered “best practice” in education today – organizing Professional Learning Communities, or PLCs. PLCs are an effective means of monitoring student growth so teachers can adjust instruction and create interventions to ensure individual student learning. PLCs have been established and running in the high school for four years. They are being implemented in the middle school this year, our first 3rd grade PLC began, and we have formed PLCs involving the entire K-12 spectrum; we are proud to say that we have over 18 PLC projects district-wide. This spring, our high school math scores were 18% higher than the State average. This result supports our feeling that we are headed in the right direction. We attribute this improvement to the Algebra I PLC project that began in 2009 and is supported by two after-school intervention programs. Last spring’s group was the first to experience these interventions. We will continue to monitor this data to verify the cause for the spike in math scores. Research and collaboration by the teaching staff takes a tremendous amount of time, but can positively impact student growth. This leads us to the model of Late Starts/Early Releases for our High School and Middle School. Under this model, we will carve out time for middle school and high school teachers to examine data and work in their PLCs. Our current plan is to schedule five occasions this school year by either starting school later or releasing students earlier. The administration will be making a recommendation to the Board of Education on how to proceed and we are targeting January 2012 for our first PLC release day.

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From the Classroom

TECH TALK

Those “ah ha!” moments that stay with us

TECHNOLOGY TRAVEL

- Mrs. Sarah Jewett, Alamo Elementary

Elementary Art Teacher, Mrs. Vicki Salvatori, will be taking Mrs. KlosterLarkey’s 4th grade class on an adventure to Poland - without leaving the comfort of their classroom. Mrs. Salvatori will use Skype to communicate with a classroom in Poland. I am very excited to be working on this project with Mrs. Salvatori and Mrs. Kloster-Larkey to help students discover new cultures and share ideas with technology; all it takes is a webcam, Skype, and a little planning since Poland is six hours ahead of us. As the project continues throughout the year, we will be posting updates on our website.

(This is from a thank you note to our Director of Technology, Michelle Triemstra.) I want to share with you what a fun 45 minutes my third graders and I had today. My third graders earn points throughout the day, week and month. The goal is to get to 300. Once obtaining the goal, they vote on what they want to ‘spend’ the points on. No surprise to you, the votes turned to using iPads. When they found out they were able to use their points using the iPads, you could have sworn they won a million dollars. When I announced to the class that Thursday was the day, they couldn’t contain their excitement. They learned prior to using the iPads that they would have to teach and share the. Once the iPads arrived in our classroom and they were passed out, the kids got to work. I heard comments such as, ‘I just completed multiplication’ and ‘Wow, you really worked hard on this... congratulations!’ The teamwork and goodwill observed was simply amazing.

IPAD

INTEGRATION

Even our youngest students are getting some insight into today’s latest technology. We deployed dozens of iPads throughout the elementaries, including our three preschools. Students are highly engaged using the various educational apps on the iPad. For those of you who have iPads at home or are hoping to receive one for Christmas, you can access a list of apps that are currently installed on our iPads by visiting http://www.otsegops.org/sites/ default/files/iPadAppListing.pdf or using your favorite QR reader app on your Smart Phone.

SMART Tools Netbooks have been integrated into our secondary science department and are proving to be valuable tools in the classroom. Teachers are seeing a more engaging learning environment, as students utilize Explore Learning Gizmos - interactive online simulations. The district also purchased SMART Response Systems for the Middle School Science teachers. With these remotes, students punch in their answers at the same time which gives teachers the ability to instantly track quiz or test results and lesson comprehension. It provides them immediate insight into student learning.

Other QR codes for iPad apps

Create A Car

Stack the States

Director of Technology Michelle Triemstra 6


Community Education

WHO TO CALL Administration Office, 400 Sherwood Street, Otsego, MI 49078-1281 Superintendent Dennis M. Patzer................................... (269) 692-6076 Director of Elementary Instruction Melissa Koenig ................................................................. (269) 692-6149 Director of Secondary Instruction Heather Kortlandt............................................................ (269) 692-6162 Director of Technology Michelle Triemstra ............................................................. (269) 692-6222

Fall & Winter Programs Youth Recreation Boys’ and Girls’ Hoopster Basketball For grades 3-6, this is a developmental program with weekday practices and Saturday games. • Registration Deadline: Nov. 21st • Practices Begin: December 5th

Transportation Office, 560 Washington Street, Carrie Barnhart, Supervisor..............................................(269) 692-6245 Communications Director & Newsletter Editor Holly McCaw.......................................................................(269) 692-6073

Little Dawg Basketball For grades K-2, this beginning basketball program emphasizes fundamental skills through drills and mini games on Saturday mornings at Dix St. Elementary. • Registration Begins: December 1st • Registration Deadline: January 12th • Program Begins: January 14th

Otsego High School, 550 Washington Street Principal Hervé Dardis .................................................. (269) 692-6166 Attendance ........................................................................ (269) 692-6170 Guidance Office ................................................................. (269) 692-6175 Athletic Director John Kubiak......................................... (269) 692-6163 Otsego Middle School, 540 Washington Street Principal Bill Houseman .................................................. (269) 692-6199 Attendance ......................................................................... (269) 692-6203 Special Education, 540 Washington Street Director Alice Hoekstra .................................................... (269) 692-6233

Winter Voyagers Winter Voyagers activities will be December 19-23 and include trips to Pirate’s Island, Jungle Joe’s, & Plainwell Lanes. There will also be a Minute to Win It party, Pizza party and a Holiday Celebration where kids can watch a holiday movie, do crafts, decorate cookies and enjoy hot chocolate. Look for dates, times and sign-up information in early December on our webpage at www.otsegops.org.

Swim at the Pool (located at Washington Street Elementary) Open Swim - Lap Swim - Aqua Aerobics - Swim Lessons. Check our website for days and times of each offering. November: Lap Swim: Mon. & Thurs., 8:30-9:30pm Open Swim: Tues. & Wed., 7:30-9:30pm Aqua Aerobics: Mon., 7:30-8:30pm

Hit the Gym

Otsego Community Recreation & Adult Education 501 Grant Street Director Tim Syrek ........................................................... (269) 692-6225 Alamo Elementary, 8184 N. 6th Street, Kalamazoo, MI 49009-8808 Principal Melissa Koenig.................................................. (269) 692-6150 Attendance ......................................................................... (269) 692-6148 Learn N’ Grow Preschool ................................................. (269) 692-6152 B.A.S.E. Supervisor Amanda Stone ................................ (269) 692-6140 Dix Street Elementary, 503 Dix Street Principal Mark Rollandini ............................................. (269) 692-6099 Attendance ..........................................................................(269) 692-6110 B.A.S.E. Supervisor Lacey Stout ......................................(269) 692-6114 Learn N’ Grow Preschool ................................................ (269) 692-6099 Washington Street Elementary, 538 Washington Street Principal Heather Badders .............................................. (269) 692-6069 Attendance ......................................................................... (269) 692-6080 Learn N’ Grow Preschool ................................................ (269) 692-6092 B.A.S.E. Supervisor Kaleigh Hoisington ....................... (269) 692-6088 OPS Website ...................................................................www.otsegops.org OPS Foundation Website .....................................www.opsfoundation.org Facebook.........................................................www.facebook.com/otsegops

SEEKING NOMINATIONS... OUTSTANDING CITIZEN AWARD

The Indoor Track and Weight Room at Otsego High School will open to the public on November 1st. Fees: • Track: Free • Weight Room: $2, District residents $3, non-District residents Call 269-692-6225 for more information on any of these programs and get registration forms on our website at http://otsegops.org/commed.

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It’s time to nominate adult volunteers for the annual Outstanding Citizen Award. Who is taking the extra time to help impact our students and how are they making a difference? Fill out the form online, or pick one up at any school office. Go to www.otsegops.org and look under “Announcements” to find the link. Forms due by January 27, 2012. For more information, contact Holly McCaw at hmccaw@otsegops.org or call (269) 692-6073.


From: Otsego Public Schools 400 Sherwood Street Otsego, MI 49078-1281

To:

Nonprofit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Otsego, MI Permit No. 23

Postal Customer **ECRWSS**

Calendar of Events November 2011 14 Board of Education Meeting, 7pm, DSE Media Center 22 MS/HS students 1/2 day 24, 25 Thanksgiving Holiday, No School December 2011 1 OMS/OHS Band Concert, 7pm, OHS Auditorium 2 Holiday Parade, 6pm, Downtown Otsego 2-3 Medieval Dinner, 7pm, OHS Cafeteria 5 Blood Drive, OHS, 8am-2pm 8 Stars Concert, 7pm, OHS Auditorium 12 Board of Education Meeting, 7pm, OMS Media Center 14 OHS Winter Vocal Concert, 7pm, OHS Auditorium 19 Winter Break Begins January 2012 3 School resumes 9 Board of Education Meeting, 7pm, Board Room 26 MS/HS Evening Conferences 27 MS/HS students 1/2 day, Afternoon Conferences 30 Alamo/Dix St. 3rd Grade Concert, 7pm, OHS Auditorium 31 Washington St. 3rd Grade Concert, 7pm, OHS Auditorium February 2012 9 Pre-Festival Band Concert, 7pm 13 Board of Education Meeting, 7pm, Board Room 15, 16 Elementary students 1/2 day, Conferences 17 No School, Mid-Winter Break 21 Pre-Festival Choir Concert, 7pm OPS CONNECTION is published 4 times per year with printing by Premiere Printing Corporation, 720 N. Main St., Plainwell. It is distributed to all residents of the Otsego Public School district. Residents in the district who live north of “F” Avenue receive their newsletter via the Community Shopper’s Guide. Residents who live south of “F” Avenue and residents with Allegan and Gobles addresses receive their newsletter via the U.S. Post Office. Changes of address, suggestions, questions and contributed articles should be signed and sent to Holly McCaw, OPS CONNECTION editor, Otsego Public Schools, 400 Sherwood Street, Otsego, MI 49078-1281. For more information, call Holly at (269) 692-6073. The Otsego Public School District complies with all federal laws and regulations prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, sex, color, national origin, or physical or mental handicap. Upon request to the Superintendent, the District shall make reasonable accommodations for a disabled person to participate in any building activity.

OPS Connection Nov. '11  

Otsego Public Schools District Newsletter for November 2011.

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