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News and Notes

News and Notes 4.18

Update on School Threat

This week I received news from the Washtenaw County Court system regarding the release of one the individuals involved in threats made against Whitmore Lake Public Schools.  While it is important for all to understand the privacy rights of individuals, I feel it is equally important for the parents to have an understanding of how a district responds to situations like these.  So, in as general terms as possible, students who are guilty of such threats are, by law and policy, subject to immediate review for expulsion, and long-term suspensions are immediately imposed.  WLPS will not deviate from the law as it relates to these types of threats. Further, any student pleading guilty to threatening a school has, as a condition of release, a restriction on being present at any school.  The court will not deviate from their consistent application of bond restrictions.  In short, I feel safe, and you should too.

It is also worth commenting on individuals initially involved who were released and not charged.  Again, in very general terms as not to violate any privacy acts, students investigated by police but not charged have the right to have his or her situation carefully reviewed by the district’s administration.  The safety of our schools is always at the forefront of these evaluations.  When a case is completely cleared of wrongdoing and re-entry plans are approved, it is the policy of the district to re-establish a healthy relationship and get students back on track.  Again, WLPS will not deviate from its policies with regard to the evaluation of school safety.  I would never allow a student on any of our campuses who I feared would compromise our safety.

Finally, I share few words of pride.  Parents and students have been overwhelmingly positive following this ordeal.  The staff at all our schools have demonstrated flexibility and creativity and quickly re-established and repaired broken relations.  And, of course, our police force has proven that this community puts its young people first by consistently assisting WLPS with added patrols and being a liaison with the courts.   Whitmore Lake is a place where we take care of each other and where it is a great day to be a Trojan.

Alumni Spotlight

 Emily Griffin, Class of 2011

Attended WLPS K-12

Central Michigan University: Bachelor of Science in Natural Resources Biology

Savannah State University: Master of Science in Marine Sciences

“I will be receiving my Master’s Degree on May 4th. My degree is Master of Science in Marine Sciences. I passed my thesis defense on April 10, which was titled “Examining Stock Structure of Common Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) Through Photo-Identification and Genetic Analyses.” I started at Savannah State as an intern. I conducted a dolphin prey assessment internship for a year prior to starting as a graduate student. I have had the opportunity to present my research at six conferences while in graduate school.

I am very lucky to have gone to Whitmore Lake Public Schools. WLPS allowed me to be creative and really figure out what I wanted to pursue. All the teachers and staff were more than helpful, and I truly enjoyed going to school every day. I recently found an old resume that Ms. Taylor (can I call her Jen now?) had us make in class, and my goal at the top of the paper was to “become a Marine Biologist.” That was cool to see because I’m getting there! I also wish I found that sooner because it took me a while to decide on a major in undergrad!”

Community Involvement

  • Many of the Marine Science graduate students volunteer around Savannah in community outreach programs that try to educate the public on marine science. I have gone to elementary schools around Savannah and talked a little bit about what our program does and why science is important.

Significant Honors/Awards

  • Best Masters Student Oral presentation at the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic Marine Mammal Symposium (SEAMAMMS) in April 2017 and 2018.
  • First place graduate student poster at Savannah State University Research Day in April 2017.

Are you, or do you know a Trojan alum making WLPS proud? Email info@wlps.net . We would love to hear from you!

3-D Printing

“We get to make something out of nothing,” said WLMS 8th Grader Hayden Collingham in regards to a project students did last month in Ms. Koch’s art class. That is what art is, right. And that statement could probably be said of any of their projects, but this one was a bit different. The something they made was 3-D items created by a 3-D printer.

Having used a 3-D pen before, when Christmas came around, Collingham’s parents gifted him with his very own 3-D printer. He enjoyed the process of designing an object and seeing it come into existence with the printer so much that he wanted to share the experience with his classmates in their first-hour art class.

Ms. Koch welcomed the idea. Collingham introduced the class to a program called Tinkercad and each student used it to digitally create an item of his or her choice ranging from dice cases, rocket ships, boats and people. Collingham’s dad then brought in the printer to help bring their items to life. Here you can see a time-lapse video of them printing a little dinosaur figurine.

It is great when a student feels excited enough and comfortable enough to share something relevant with their classmates. And it is even better when it is as unique as 3-D printing. Thanks to Hayden and his parents for sharing the 3-D printing experience with our students.

 Project Playground Update

Thanks to another successful Matching Monday lead by our PTO and our students who donated around $1,121 in change, we continue to make great progress towards our goal for Project Playground: $50k for Play. You can find more information here: https://www.pledgecents.com/cause/trghlc/project-playground-50k-for-play. A sincere thanks to all who have invested in this project. I look forward to giving you updates on our progress each week.

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