Around The Horn – Fall 2018


The Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) for the Bearcats at Dimondale Elementary has been active in recruiting parents to participate in monthly meetings to discuss what is happening at the school, any concerns that need to be addressed, and how to best support students and staff. The PTO understands just how important it is to have a strong partnership with parents, teachers/staff, and the community. The PTO recently conducted a poll to determine the best time to meet. After reviewing the results, the PTO determined that the monthly meetings will generally be held on the third Tuesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. in the school library.


Elliott Elementary School has much to be proud of and we are looking forward to an amazing school year! Last year, one of our achievements was receiving a score of 92.35 on the Overall Index Score that the State of Michigan uses to rank schools on a scale of 1-100. We know that there are great things happening at Elliott, but it’s nice that the state recognizes it as well!

Last year we initiated our Strive for Five (or less) attendance program in which we encourage students to set a goal to be in school as often as possible and those who had five or less absences for the year received special incentives along the way. Students helped us keep track of their attendance by highlighting classrooms that had 100 percent attendance.

Our students also participated in Junior Achievement, a program that brings in local community members to help students learn how to be entrepreneurs and how economics work in their communities.

Elliott purchased new playground equipment that our parents helped raise money for. Our new swing set is bigger and better than the old one that was removed. Our PTO sponsored fun family events like the Spring Fling and the Walkathon. Students were recognized and celebrated for the positive behaviors they exhibit through fun events such as our Pixar Movie Shorts Afternoon and turning Mrs. North into a human sundae. We look forward to another amazing school year and all the fun things that come with it!


Horizon is fortunate to have parents who are very involved in the education of their children. They help their children at home, they attend school functions, they volunteer in the building, and they support the school in many ways.

HOPS (Horizon Organization of Parents and Staff) is an active, fun, parent organization that meets monthly. Together with teachers, they learn about school curriculum, district issues and day-to-day building operations. They also promote enrichment opportunities, plan family activities, make decisions about how to support students and classrooms through fundraising, and much more. All parents are considered members of HOPS and are encouraged to attend the monthly meeting where concerns are addressed and questions are answered. HOPS meets on the second Tuesday of the month in the school library and meetings last between an hour to an hour and a half. We hope to see you there!


Throughout the 2017-18 school year, we were delighted that over 60 Sycamore Elementary students joined an after-school club to promote kindness and compassion. Kendal’s Kids’ Kindness Club met monthly with the support of over two dozen parents volunteers, teachers, and community members. The various activities each month were organized by teacher Denise Schaffer and area experts. They included promoting World Kindness Day, creating placemats for area shut-ins, connecting with military personnel, and even how best to shake hands and be a good friend. Sycamore’s Kindness Club received the 2018 Education Excellence Award from SET SEG! This year marked the 25th anniversary of the SET SEG award program, and what better way to celebrate than to give Sycamore’s Kindness Club $2,500 to support the program. Other celebrations this year included ongoing partnerships with the Ingham Intermediate School District on teacher embedded professional development, implementation of several whole-child health initiatives, First Presbyterian Church’s A-Team mentoring program, new water filling stations as a result of Delta Dental’s “Water’s Cool at School” grant program, and even the creation of the first annual Fourth Grade Legacy Project through which students design and help construct an outdoor “reading boat.” Without a doubt, it was a year of celebrations focused on student, parent, school, and community partnerships.


The Wilcox Student Council dedicated their year of work to a variety of community and school initiatives. In December, the students planned, organized, and ran a baked goods and used book sale to benefit Give-a-Kid-a-Christmas. The council raised over $800 for local families. In March, the council organized a building-wide program to donate change for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. As a building, the whole student body raised over $1,600. This past June, Student Council members volunteered at the Wilcox Carnival to raise money and donations for Ingham County Animal Control. They raised over $100 in ticket donations and boxes of items to donate to the shelter. Their year-long projects include: building recycling, collection of pop tabs for the Ronald McDonald House, and a variety of volunteer opportunities at school-run events, and PTO fundraisers.

Their most exciting project this year was the addition of a Free Little Library to the school science garden. Officers Chloe Buckley, Drew Desrochers, Gabby Jones, Riley Mason, Natalie Parrot, and Madalyn Stroup, led the initiative, and Holt students Simon and Isaac Menold, graciously donated all materials and built the library for the building.

The Little Library is up and running and is a wonderful addition to the garden. Students and families can read books about nature, science, and more while enjoying the beauty and nature that the garden provides.


This year Hope Middle School held the First Annual Hope Family Ed-Camp! Activities included a meet and greet presentation with an award winning author, a free book, a make-and-take project, social media support for parents, a technology activity for students, and a free catered dinner from Olive Garden. Our goal is to have a Family Ed-Camp each year! We want to continue to bring families together for learning, fun, and food. Having partnerships with our families is a top priority and will support student success.


Washington Woods would like to thank all of our families for successful fundraisers last year. Washington Woods has purchased and installed a new set of swings on our playground. Students have been asking for swings for years and over Memorial Day Weekend 2018, we were finally able to get them up! If you have a chance, swing by and check them out! As we look toward the 2018-2019 school year, the Washington Woods staff anticipates great things from all of our students and is glad for the community we serve.


Our students have experienced amazing success in a variety of competitions this school year. The band and choir programs achieved the highest scores in festival competition in the last seven years. Students from our Science Olympiad Team earned the right to compete at the State Competition at Michigan State University with Sophie Miller and Ethan Antieau taking first place over all other competitors in the Wright Stuff challenge. Jake Bortnichak qualified and competed at the State Geography Bee held in Chicago. The Quiz Bowl team competed at the National Competition in Chicago, winning two matches. Students from the Destination Imagination Team earned multiple top ten finishes in the Global Competition held in Knoxville, Tennessee. Lastly, our students involved in our athletics programs continue to shine with Onome Oghor earning the top position in the state for the long jump. We are very proud of the achievements of all of our students. WE ARE…HOLT RAMS!


One highlight of the year for Holt High School was a visit by the school’s Links program to Potter Park Zoo. The Links program is a peer-to-peer program where high school students with Autism or other disabilities that impact socialization, behavior, and independence are paired with a fellow student who acts as a peer mentor. This is an annual trip that the kids all look forward to. It allows our students to get out in the community, work on social skills, and create memories for a lifetime. Over 100 students had the opportunity to walk around the zoo with their friends, enjoy the animals and beautiful weather. After spending time in the zoo, the students gathered at the pavilion for some much needed Fat Boy’s Pizza. The trip concluded with a huge game of kickball.

This year we had eight alumni of the HHS Links program join us. It is living proof that the friendships made through the Links program extend beyond high school. This is awesome to see since the main goal of the Links program is to create lifelong friendships!