At Horizon Elementary, our Husky mantra is “Be safe, Be kind, Be respectful, Be responsible.” We strive to promote these qualities each and every day in all areas of our school. We work to create and develop relationships with students and families, and we take our partnership in raising successful, productive, contributing members of society very seriously.
In February, Jim “Basketball” Jones led a character education assembly focusing on our Husky mantra. The assembly focused on students having a “Growth Mindset” and “Grit.” To be the best versions of ourselves, we have to take responsibility for our effort and for the choices that we make. Through the “Good Choice, Bad Choice, My Choice” discussion, our character was highlighted as a reflection of our choices, teaching our students to “do the right thing, the right time, the right way.”
Elliott Elementary has a lot happening at our school this year! On top of the amazing work that our teachers and support staff does to help our students be successful on an academic level, we are working to give our students the social and emotional skills to be successful in the 21st century and throughout their school career and into adulthood. Research has shown that students today are experiencing more anxiety and depression than ever before due to social media and other factors, so we are helping our students navigate how they can be in the mindset to learn by equipping them with the tools to manage the complexities of our world today.
So what would you see at Elliott that addresses this? Our students are learning self-regulation techniques that help them with their interpersonal and intrapersonal skills. We are participating in whole school yoga sessions on a monthly basis. Students engage in lessons and activities that require them to use higher-order thinking that incorporate teamwork and cooperation. Students are becoming advocates for each other by helping problem solve when a peer is stuck or struggling, thereby creating a network of support for each other. As we tell our students every day, “We love you and there is nothing you can do about it.” We love all of our Elliott families and appreciate them for making it the amazing school that it is.
Dimondale Elementary has been working with the Ingham Intermediate School District (ISD) to revamp and tighten procedures for school-wide Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS). This is a result of so many new staff members to Dimondale. Staff and students are receiving specific training and instruction on building and strengthening expectations. In May, all staff members will receive CHAMPS training, so explicit instructions and expectations are provided to students within classrooms. Dimondale is already planning for a PBIS kickoff assembly in August!
Family Math Night was a huge success. Dimondale partnered with MSU Outreach to provide over 15 different math games for families to conquer together. The games ranged in difficulty to involve all grade levels. Each family shared a dinner provided before the game session began. Families earned tickets to be entered into drawings for games and prizes including two Kindle Fires, Monopoly, Connect Four, Go Fish, Memory, Clue, Sorry, and many more. Dimondale’s next family event will be a literacy night in March.
At Wilcox Elementary, Partnerships Make a Difference!
Students at Wilcox Elementary School have been extending their classroom learning experiences this year through special events with our school and community partnerships. To highlight a few, Wilcox runs a program called “Book Buddies” where all students are partnered up with another student from a different grade level. Students read to each other, practice fluency and comprehension skills, and work on various projects with their book buddy classroom throughout the year.
Each year, we also partner with MSU’s English Language Learner Center, where international students from all over the world visit our classrooms to learn about school systems in the United States. The MSU students then host a special evening where they teach our students about their cultural traditions and customs.
Another partner of Wilcox includes Sparrow Hospital, who sponsors our spring Mileage Club, a favorite activity of all students. In this program, students work on improving their cardiovascular activity and walk or run during recess, enjoying prizes and incentives for reaching goals. It takes a village, indeed, and our partnerships help to make a difference in growing the experiences of our students.
The RAMS STEM academy at Sycamore has been amazing this year! Over 50 students have already participated in our after-school program taught by fourth-grade teacher Eric Grabow. An additional 40 students will participate in a new MakerSpace club using Ozobots (ozobot.com).
Sycamore’s after-school clubs focus on collaboration, problem-solving, teamwork, computer coding, engineering concepts, and robotics. Students also explore the basics of problem-solving and computer-coding using the program Scratch. Lego Bricks and an integration software program is used to strengthen their understanding of key science and engineering concepts while improving their problem solving, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration skills during Lego Club.
In our new Ozobot club, students will work with an Ozobot Evo to explore the wild world of robots. Students will engage in hands-on, teamwork focused activities that will introduce robots and coding concepts using colored patterns as well as software coding using iPads. By the end of the school year, over 90 Sycamore Stars will have participated in our after-school RAMS STEM academy at Sycamore. A big thank you to the DART Foundation and Sycamore’s PTO for their support with this program.
Washington Woods Middle School
Many new families have moved into our area this year, giving us a full building! New families in Holt area a great thing and we welcome them to the Washington Woods Family! Since our classes have been fuller than usual, we have adjusted our recess structure and some of our behavior procedures to ensure our school is a safe place for everyone. One of these changes includes a Responsible Thinking Classroom, where students can receive individual coaching and take breaks as needed, allowing them to be at their best and continue learning.
We are excited to have received nearly $20,000 of STEM materials from the Dart Foundation, as a part of a larger grant the district received. To begin, Mr. Cronkite has been able to offer three sessions of LEGO STEM after-school clubs this year. We’ve also received help from the Holt Destination Imagination Team Oh Brother, who are setting up our 3D printer and providing video tutorials for staff and students to learn how to use this and other new STEM equipment.
Hope Middle School
Attendance matters at Hope! We are working on supporting our families by encouraging attendance every day. We post our attendance on social media and proudly post our 100% attendance signs outside of our classrooms. Our Prize Patrol is also surprising students who miss two or fewer days with free pizza.
We also highly value our community partnership! The United Holt Methodist Church is our community partnership that supports our school with tutoring, meals, volunteering at our morning time before school, supplies, and building relationships with our students. We can’t thank them enough for the support.
Junior High School
We continue to be impressed with the talents and abilities of our student here at Holt Junior High School! On Saturday, Feb. 23, our Science Olympiad Team competed against 45 teams at the Holt Invitational. Jessie Bossenbroek and Ellie Malinowski placed first in the Elastic Launch Glider and Sophie Miller and Taylor Peterson placed fourth. Sophie and Taylor also placed third in the Boomilever competition.
On Tuesday, Feb. 26, our eighth-grade class was able to visit and tour the Wilson Talent Center in two groups to learn about the amazing opportunities to pursue careers in a variety of fields once they are juniors and seniors in high school.
In the month of February, we conducted a Black History Month trivia contest in which our first period classes researched prominent figures in black history based on the clues given during the morning announcements. Students learned about historians, authors, astronauts, activists, athletes, artists, monuments, and pioneers.
Our students will be performing Disney’s The Little Mermaid play on April 26, 27, and 28 at the Holt Junior High School Auditorium.
Holt High School
The students in Holt High School’s marketing program and business management and administration program participated in the DECA Regionals at Eastern Michigan University. The students pictured won their competition and competed at the state competition in March in Detroit!
DECA is a Career Technical Student Organization (CTSO) that prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality, and management in high schools and colleges internationally. DECA partners with businesses at local and broader levels to provide students realistic insight into industry and promote meaningful, relevant learning.