APRIL 2014

Theme of the Month

Theme of the month: Science Fair




April 30 – Blood Drive will be held from 10am – 1pm. See Mr. Snyder if you are interested in donating. Community is welcome!

See the calendar for more
important dates.



Parents, there seems to have been a misprint in the GR Family magazine. All Summer Adventure Camps are ½ off to all WMAES students. We are sorry for the confusion. Students are not admitted free to summer camps.


WMAES Students are Local Winners

Three students from WMAES have been named local winners in the 45th annual America & Me Essay Contest, sponsored by Farm Bureau Insurance.

Alyssa Jaurez, Isabelle TenElshof, and Glory Oliva were the first, second and third place winners for the local level. All three received award certificates for their achievement. Alyssa Jaurez’s name will also be engraved on a plaque for permanent display in the school.

Alyssa’s first place essay will now advance to the state level competition, from which the top ten essays in Michigan will be selected. The top ten statewide winners, announced in April, will each receive a plaque, medallion and a cash award of $1,000. In addition, the top ten essayists will be honored at a banquet in Lansing, meet with Michigan’s top governmental leaders, and be featured guests at a Lansing Lugnuts minor league baseball game dedicated in their honor.

Several thousand eighth-grade students from nearly 450 Michigan schools participated in the 2013-2014 America & Me Contest, which was conducted with the help of Farm Bureau Insurance agents across the state. The topic of the 2013-2014 contest was “My Personal Michigan Hero.” Alyssa’s essay, Officer Trevor Slot, a Great Hero was the winning essay from WMAES. Alyssa interviewed Officer Butch and visited Officer Slot’s memorial. An article was published in the October edition of the WMAES Journal featuring Alyssa and her essay.

Congratulations to all the essay writers. Good luck at the State Competition, Alyssa!

March Was Reading Month

This past month was full of reading activities for all the students at WMAES.

Both elementary and secondary participated in door decorating contests (photos can be found on our Facebook pages if you haven’t seen them), dress up days, celebrity readers and much more! There was also a Reading Month assembly held for elementary on Friday where the winners of the top reading classes were announced, as well as the college/career-writing winners. The students had fun reading and learning too. Thank you to all of our celebrities, parents, friends and staff who assisted during this time.

Top Reading Classes:
Mrs. Thompson – Kindergarten
Mrs. Lameris – Second Grade
Mr. Murray – Fifth Grade

College and Career-Writing Winners:
Kindergarten – Hannah TenElshof
First Grade – Ryder Zuinga
Second Grade – Damaris Sarabia
Third Grade – Amara Holman
Fourth Grade – Faith Helms
Fifth Grade – Claudia TenElshof

London Bridges…Don’t Fall Down

The WMAES Spaghetti Bridge Team was able to participate in a bridge building competition in March.

Students recreated the Old London Bridge from the 1200’s. Though the WMAES team didn’t win any of the events, the director of the event took a moment to mention how well behaved and enthusiastic our team was. Several other coaches and officials praised the students, their effort and teamwork.

PreK & Young 5's

Reminder: Preschool ONLY will not have school on Friday, April 18th.

Thank You!

Preschoolers wanted to send a special thank you to all of our special readers for March Is Reading month. The students were so excited and reading has never been as fun.

March also brings fun adventures to our classrooms as we begin our Science Fair Experiments. Students will be directly involved in making a hypothesis and collecting data – more information to come!

Me-Oh-My It’s Dinosaur Time!

Preschoolers visited the Dinosaurs Unearthed exhibit at the Grand Rapids Public Museum early April. Kiddos enjoyed hands-on learning with interactive stations that explored dinosaur sounds, anatomy and digestion, as well as fossil detective work. The kids dig site was also visited, entertaining amateur paleontologists as they found their own fossil discoveries. The extra dinosaur exploring provided further learning of the Dinosaur theme for this month!

Elementary News

The Roots of Science

First graders will be learning to write about science! Students will learn to write informational paragraphs about frogs and toads. Mrs. Shubert’s class will be collecting data for their science fair project to find out what will yield the best tomato plant. Students will be examining plants made from fresh seeds from a tomato and dried seeds bought from the store. The little scientists will also have fun watching the plants grow in the root-viewer received from donors through DonorsChoose.org.

Kindergarten Composts

Ms. Dembinski’s kindergarten class is asking “If we compost during kindergarten lunch for one week, then how many gallons of food can we prevent from going into the landfill” as their science fair project. WMAES’ new compost service can compost any food, not just fruits and veggies, and is simple and effective to use! Kindergarteners have been teaching other classes about sorting their plastics and composting materials at lunch. Students wanted to dive a bit further into environmental protection, using cloth napkins instead of paper. The cloth napkins are being used for snacks, treats, birthdays and folding the cloth napkins has become a classroom job. Alumni (first-graders) of Ms. Dembinski’s class have been reading to this year’s kindergarteners for March Is Reading Month.

Fourth-Grade Learns New Concepts

Fourth-graders in Mr. Krebsbach’s class will be exploring heat, electricity and magnetism in science class. For math, students will learn how to convert fractions to decimals and then to percentages. Ask your fourth-grader to help you in the kitchen – fractions can always be found there!

Dream Big

Second graders in Mrs. Heintskill’s class dressed up on Friday. The theme? Dress up as what you want to be when you grow up. The students didn’t have any issues deciding what to wear – proving that a WMAES education gives you no limits.

Middle School News

Bookworms are in the Building

Sixth and Seventh-graders are reading the third novel in the Gennifer Choldenko’s series – Al Capone Does My Homework.

Sixth-grade is also reading Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls, and seventh-grade is still enjoying Walk Two Moons by Sharon Cheech. These bookworms have also been very busy creating Powerpoint presentations to display their experiments and data for the WMAES science fair


High School News

Juniors Prepare for College

The WMAES Juniors were able to partake in the annual trip to the National College Fair at DeVos Center on April 2nd.

Students explored their college and university options and had the opportunity to talk with representatives from a variety of schools – both in and out of the state. This is a perfect time to share your “college selection” story with your scholar! Don’t have an exciting story? Why not make it a date and explore the college campuses together?

Sticky Science

This month in Natural History class, high school students will be conducting experiments dealing with maple sugaring. The WMAES elementary students have been working hard with Miss Holly and Mr. Shawn to tap Sugar Maple trees and collect sap to be made into syrup, but high school students are asking important questions about the process. Does it matter how high up the tree taps are placed? Will less sap be collected if the taps are placed at 10 feet above the ground or at 2 feet? Is sap that is darker in color going to contain higher sugar content? What about Maple trees that have never been tapped before? Will they produce a higher volume of sap than trees that have been “working hard” for our campus? The results of these experiments are still in the process of being discovered. Check back next month to hear what we find out!

Student Council

Student Council members volunteered at the Kid’s Food Basket, Tuesday, March 25.  Members are still continuing to promote the Green Team initiative on campus by volunteering their time in the cafeteria at lunch, helping students identify where to place their compost, trash, plastic and etc.



Students interested in playing for an athletic team next year need to get a physical. Physicals dated April 15 or later are in good standing for the entire 2014-2015 school year. Get your physical early!

Varsity Boy’s Soccer practice is scheduled for August 13 from 8am until noon. All interested male students, currently in grades 8-11 are encouraged to join. Sports physicals need to be submitted to the school by August 13 before being permitted to participate. All games are currently scheduled to be away games. We look forward to hosting some games in the future.


The GREEN Scene

With the “polar vortex” fading fast, the sapping season finally started to arrive.

The main factor that determines when the sap will flow is the temperature. With the unusually cold winter, we got a bit of a late start. When the temperature is above freezing during the day and below freezing at night, the sap starts to flow. Freezing and thawing temperatures create pressure and force the sap out of the trees. This trend usually lasts a few weeks, long enough for WMAES to collect a few hundred gallons of sap.

WMAES has approximately 20-acres of sugar maple trees that sap is collected from. Each year, staff and students collect somewhere around 300 gallons of sap. That might sound like a lot, but it takes 40 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of syrup. When the sap is collected, it is comprised of 97% water and 3% sugar. Enough water needs to be evaporated to bring it to 66% sugar, 34% water. It’s a lot of work to evaporate that much water out of the sap!

The syrup made will be used for a pancake breakfast for many of the students that helped collect the sap. The students can’t get enough of our syrup! So the next time you’re at the store and see some maple syrup, don’t be surprised if it’s really expensive, there’s a lot of work that goes into making it.

- Miss Holly and Mr. Shawn


Club Updates

Outdoor Bound Club

Outdoor Bound club enjoyed a tour of the Ottawa county parks on Saturday, March 29. Club members started with a quick hike out to Lake Michigan through Rosy Mound natural area and were greeted with breath taking views of the ice on the lake. Next up was a hike along the Pigeon River at Hemlock Crossing. All stopped at the nature center for some hot cider. The day came to an end with a sprint up the North Ottawa Dunes stairs for another gorgeous view. The next trip is scheduled for May 2 - see Mrs. Sherman for details.


Run Club

Run club meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:45-4:45 and is available to any 6-12th grade students. Students need a signed waiver to participate, which can be picked up from Mr. Johnson. Run club focuses on core training, healthy eating/living and training for the upcoming 5/3 River Bank Run. You don’t need to be a runner to join – all levels are welcome!

Music Club

Students meet in Mr. Treman’s class after school to share in their interest of playing music. This student-created club began meeting a month ago. Most members play guitars or are interested in learning and listening. It can get loud, but there haven’t been any complaints yet. This club is for secondary students and meets irregularly on Tuesdays.


Entrepreneurial News!

On March 28, the Entrepreneurial Students traveled to Central Michigan University (CMU) to attend the New Venture Competition.

During the visit, students observed over 20 teams competing for $75,000 of start-up capital. Our students had the opportunity to interact with business professionals from across the country to receive advice on starting a new business. The students also received a tour of CMU to learn about the College of Business Administration. This was a great experience for the senior class, because they were able to take away many contacts they can use during the WMAES Make-A-Pitch Competition happening May 25th. During this competition, eight seniors will compete for a $1,000 scholarship award for the best sustainable business idea.

Senior, Hunter Redmond, said “Going to the New Venture Competition was very beneficial for me. I am going to CMU for Logistics Management and Business Administration, so being able to tour the campus gave me some great insight as to where I’ll be living, working and learning for the next few years of my life.” As for experiencing the competition, Hunter commented “The competition gave me some great tips to apply to my Make-A-Pitch Competition so I can hopefully take home the scholarship”.













NO SCHOOL - Spring Recess



NO SCHOOL - Spring Recess

NO SCHOOL - Spring Recess

NO SCHOOL - Spring Recess

NO SCHOOL - Spring Recess

NO SCHOOL - Spring Recess














Earth Day Concert 1:30pm

Parent/Teacher Conferences




Parent/Teacher Conferences


Blood Drive
10am – 1pm