Guest Contributors: Tom DeKeyser & Michelle Heuft, Professional Educator and WLES Parent
Kindergarten is the focus this week and next. In fact, be sure to tune in to my “Off the Deep End” Facebook live feature to hear from Kindergartners. I’ve challenged a few a cannonball contest at the WLPS pool!!
No cannonballs this week, though. This week we Dive Deeper into why parents choose WLPS. I have asked one to share thoughts on why WLES was chosen for Kindergarten, in particular.
Michelle Heuft kindly agreed. Michelle is a professional educator. She works as a teacher in another school district. Her perspective is unique as she gets to interact with staff at WLES as both a parent and a teacher.
Thanks to Michelle for giving her feedback and sharing a few things she feels make WLES truly exceptional. I asked about our small school approach, the staff at the Whitmore Lake Elementary, and the parent-teacher organization (PTO). Her responses are below:
I have chosen to enroll my preschool student into kindergarten at Whitmore Lake Elementary School (WLES) next year because of the school size. As the parent of a 2nd grade student at WLES, almost every teacher in the school knows my older daughter by name. I know that my child will not just be another number lost in the crowd. Smaller class size means more opportunity for teacher interaction. This means more reading time, math time and one-on-one time. With a smaller school, my child will have more opportunities to participate in all activities, more opportunities for scholarships, and better relationships with her teachers. As a teacher, I can say with confidence that my smallest classes, and classes with support staff, have benefited the most.
Teachers and Support Staff
The WLES teachers are one of the most important reasons for choosing to enroll my children in this school. Each teacher that my 2nd grader has come into contact with has been outstanding. I feel that each teacher has been genuine, caring, and has helped my daughter to grow tremendously. Being active in the school has shown me the passion WLES teachers have for their craft. This passion extends to the students. Kids at WLES are bursting with excitement for learning. As a teacher for a different district, I see all of the great work the teachers at WLES are putting into the curriculum. I appreciate all of the hands-on activities and project based learning taking place. WLES teachers show students how to apply their skills to the real world. Teachers at WLES make up a good part of the PTO. They spend their free time helping the school and volunteering for events that support the students and their families. The Title 1 staff (reading support and intervention staff) help to ensure students get reading support, as well as perform to the expectations set by the state of Michigan. Each time I am in the building I can see all of these things taking place. Kids are moving, creating art, reading with support staff, and gleaming with excitement.
The PTO at WLES helps to provide great after school activities, such as North Pole Night, The Family Dance, and The Family Fun Fest in the fall. Volunteers in this organization work to ensure that each year families get to participate in great activities at a low cost. Any parent, teacher, or community member can be a part of this great organization to make the school even better than it already is. It is great to know that I am able to be involved in the school as much as I would like to be.
Thank you, Michelle, for your words and for choosing Whitmore Lake Public Schools. You have helped make today a great day to be a Trojan.