The week of October 26 yielded no new cases in WLPS. However, I want to reaffirm my commitment to sharing information as soon as possible with our parents so safety decisions can be made within each family. It is important to note that despite the recent burst of positive cases, none of them were acquired in our buildings nor have any close contacts tested positive for COVID-19. This is due, in large part, to strict adherence to safety protocols put in place at the beginning of the school year. We believe we can safely operate in-person instruction if we continue to be careful both at school and at home. I do work with the Washtenaw County Health Department weekly to evaluate local case data and determine if our current operational plan is the best one for our students and staff and will continue to do so, keeping our school community informed. Lastly, please keep the safety of all Trojans in mind when planning your Halloween celebrations this weekend. You can use this resource from the CDC ranking the risk of different Halloween activities.
I also want to commend the grit, resolve and creativity demonstrated by staff, parents and students so far this year. At the elementary school, a student in Mrs. Schneider’s 4th-grade class did remote instruction in a semi-truck while her dad drove! Parents have been forced to balance their jobs and their children’s schooling like no other time in recent history. Aside from a shaking camera, education did not stop that day. Mrs. Schmidli’s 2nd-grade class celebrated Halloween with a pumpkin party. Some students had to be in remote learning, but that didn’t stop the party for them. She brought the pumpkin and decorating materials to the child’s home!
A pandemic didn’t stop our WLHS Marching Band and Choir from practicing and moving forward with their music either. Earlier this week, they held an outdoor concert due to restrictions on indoor activities. It was a brisk night, but all embraced the opportunity to perform in front of friends and family. Luke Kritzman was honored with the Performance Award for Band Camp. Michael Corrie was honored with the Marching Trojan Award. The recipient of the Marching Trojan Award is chosen from those nominated by fellow marching band members as the student representing the pinnacle of marching band achievement. Congratulations to both of these musicians. I also loved the choir’s remix of Stranger Things, “NeverEnding Story,” to which they put their own unique twist and changed it to “NeverEnding Quarantine.” Hats off to Mrs. Fixler and Mrs. Jakrzewski-Smigell for inserting a little humor to keep our spirits up.
Our students, staff and WLPS families continue to make it a great day to be a Trojan.
Throughout October at WLMS/HS we celebrated Michigan College Month. During this month, students are charged with the goals of applying to at least one college/trade school/military branch, applying for a scholarship, and completing the FAFSA. While every school chooses to celebrate it differently, in our building, our Post-secondary Advisory Council takes a thematic approach to “hype” up the month to motivate our seniors to reach their goals and to inspire the student body to think about their post-secondary plans. This year’s theme is inspired by the Disney movie, The Incredibles, with the slogan Your Future: Don’t Hold Back the Incredible in You! The giant display pictured tracks the progress the students make on reaching their goals by the end of October. They earn an icon for each goal, and if they achieve all three, they get the coveted Incredibles “i” icon.
Seniors kicked off the month with a pizza and movie party (thanks to Marcos Pizza in Whitmore Lake for donating all the pizza) where they enjoyed a pizza lunch and watched, you guessed it, The Incredibles. Students who achieve all three goals get to enjoy a special surprise celebration at the end of the month that has included riding mechanical bulls, dunking staff in dunk tanks while eating hot dogs, and heading to an arcade. We also use our staff’s college and career journeys as a point of conversation and inspiration for our entire student body by compiling thematic posters highlighting everything from staff’s GPA’s, majors, minors, to favorite college memories. You can check them out on our Instagram or Facebook page as we’ve been sharing them throughout the month. Look extra close and you’ll notice other familiar faces in the roles of Edna and Buddy Pine.
At WLPS we define college as any credential beyond a high school diploma. Michigan College Month, a statewide initiative led by the Michigan College Access Network, might more accurately be called Post-Secondary Planning Month. While over 90% of our students do choose college as their post-high school plan, we recognize and encourage the value of trade schools, the military, and the workforce as valuable plans too. We look forward to seeing the Class of 2021’s incredible journeys.
WLHS is a U.S. News and World Report Top High School
It’s official! Based on rankings that U.S. News & World Report published last April, Whitmore Lake High School is a 2020 Best High School. U.S. News and World Report rank schools on their performance on state-required tests, graduation rates and how well they prepare their students for college. You can learn more about the methodology used to rank the Best High Schools HERE.
WLES families can find their weekly update HERE.