DECEMBER 2013

Theme of the Month

Winter Ecology

 

Reminders

Join us for the WMAES Arts & Crafts show December 14 from 9am – 3pm in the WMAES main building.

WMAES Ornament Fundraiser will be accepting order forms until December 4. Visit our website for more information.

We are looking for parent feedback. Take our 2 minute survey so we can work to ensure WMAES is all you hoped it would be. Click here to take the survey.


Updates

Blood Drive: Thank you to all who gave during our blood drive. We were able to reach our goal 11 units. Seven of those who donated were first time donors – congratulations and thank you!

 

Green Kids

With the weather getting colder, Green Kids has a new schedule for those “not so fun” days:

Monday, Wednesday, and Friday:
If the weather is a bit too cold or just not fun… Grades 1-5 will be in the upper gym (located in the main building)

Pre-K and kindergarten students will be in the Green Kids room located in Building 100.

Tuesday and Thursday:
If the weather is a bit too cold or just not fun… Pre-K and kindergarten students will be in the upper gym (located in the main building)

Grades 1-5 will be in the Green Kids room located in Building 100.

Beginning with the new trimester, there will be one sign out for all grades with Ms. Melanie. Any group not with Ms. Melanie will have an “old fashion” sign out sheet for parental use.

All trimester 1 balances must be paid by December 6th at 6:00 pm. If a student has an unpaid balance after this deadline, he or she will not be able to participate in Green Kids until the balance is paid.

 

Winter Camp

Read more about the 2013-2014 Winter Adventure camps here >

CAMPUS NEWS

Congratulations Mr. KrebsbachPhoto of Mr. K

Earlier this fall, our very own Mr. Krebsbach was selected as a finalist in the Michigan Association of Public School Academies’ (MAPSA) Teacher of the Year.

A native of Minot, North Dakota, Mr. K. came to WMAES four years ago to make a difference in the lives of West Michigan children. He attended the University of North Dakota, where he received his Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education,
and then received his Master’s in Special Education from Minot State University.

Mr. K. was chosen from over 6,000 public charter school educators in the State of
Michigan for this extraordinary award. Mr. Krebsbach has made an outstanding impact on our students, and we are very thankful for having him as one of our educators. While he may not have been chosen as MAPSA’s teacher of the year, we at WMAES are extremely thankful for the support and dedication he's provided to the students, families, and staff at West Michigan Academy of Environmental Science.

We are so proud of you Mr. K.!

Toys for Eagles

As the holiday season approaches, the WMAES Student Council will be organizing a holiday toy drive for families in our district. Classrooms will be competing school-wide, bringing in toys for kids of all ages.

Toys will then be distributed the week before Christmas Break. The class that is able to donate the most toys will win an afternoon of snowshoeing and hot chocolate with the Student Council! If you know of any families in need, please contact Julie Tuuk or Melissa Moens.

Our Student Council is looking forward to making the holidays brighter for those around our school. Thank you for your support!

Young Fives

Letters to Uganda

The Young 5’s class has just finished writing letters to children who live in Uganda.

Several classes at WMAES are partnering with the organization, Pictures for Peace (Amazima), and the Young 5’s class was excited to be a part of this fun project. The students’ letters and pictures will travel to Uganda between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and our students will have the joy of giving to others in a special way. This is a great way to introduce the idea of compassion, our next Character Education trait! The students are happy taking the time to make someone else feel special, even though they have never met the person they are writing. What caring citizens we have in the Young 5’s class!

Young Fives

(left) Vanessa Guzman-Espino showcases a letter she wrote for the project. (right) A child in Uganda who happily opened their letter last year when we participated in the project.

Elementary News

And The Winner Is…

Fourth grade won the WMAES ArtPrize this year!

They worked extremely hard to showcase “WMAES” and kept recycling at the forefront. After the Thanksgiving break, students will begin working on their long division skills. For science, fourth graders will study plants and learn all about what helps make a plant survive.

WMAES ArtPrize Winners

Taking Holidays Across the World

Do you know how those in France celebrate Christmas? Or how one in China might take in the New Year? Well, second graders at WMAES will be learning about the holidays from around the world. They will “visit” different countries and take souvenirs from each place they visit. For OUR holidays, second graders will be visiting a retirement home to sing holiday carols to the residents showing their compassion.

Learning to Graph

First graders have had an exciting month! In preparation for Thanksgiving, students took a survey tallying their favorite Thanksgiving foods. Using their research, students then made tally charts. Later they will be creating their own bar graphs using M&Ms. In science first graders will be studying the weather: how to measure it, what to do in case of severe storms, and even writing their own “realistic fiction” stories about weather.

Middle School News

Now That’s Dramatic!

The WMAES Drama Club had its first meeting at the end of October. Drama Club will take place every other Tuesday from 3:30 until 4:00 in room 107, and is led by our high school Environmental Science teacher, Leanne DeYoung. Students can participate in various activities such as improvisation games, monologues, and short informal skits.

Drama Club is available to all students in grades 7-12. The next meeting will be December 10. All students seeking to express their artistic side and learn more about the art of acting are welcome to attend the fun and engaging meetings. No sign-up required!

High School NewsPhotos of students outdoors

Going “Outdoors”

Our Outdoor Bound club spend a gorgeous Saturday in October at Silver Lake State Park.

Students spent time climbing sand dunes and rolled down them, enjoyed lunch along the shores of Lake Michigan, and had a wonderful time enjoying one of Michigan’s unique ecosystems. The next trip will take place December 7.

 

High School “Hunger Games”

As our high school students finished reading “Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins, Mrs. DuBois wanted to get students involved with the novel. The result, an academic version of the Hunger Games was created. Four “districts” were made, allowing students to choose their tribute – the one that will represent their district as the most skilled member. Students spent five days competing in challenges in the following subjects: math, science, English, social studies, and physical education. Standings are posted daily on each district’s poster outside the classroom for all students to see their progress after each challenge.

It’s All Upstream From Here…

The high school Environmental and AP Biology lab has approximately 200 chinkook salmon eggs. West Michigan Academy of Environmental Science participates in “Salmon in the Classroom” through the Michigan DNR. Students are currently tracking the water quality of the fish tanks and the fish mortality rates. Around mid December, the salmon will begin to hatch and will continue to grow until they are released in the spring. All are welcome to join us during that exciting time.

Athletics

On-line registrations for Girls on the Run will begin December 9 and end January 10. GOTR is for girls in grades 3, 4, and 5. The official season at WMAES will begin March 4 and will run until May 22. Participants will meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:45-5pm. Please visit www.kcgotr.org to register. We will be hosting an informational meeting on December 12 in the high school gym between 4:00 and 6:00pm to assist with the registration process, and answer any questions you may have. *A light dinner will be served at 5:00pm. Please email jessicaheintskill@choiceschools.com if you have any questions.

Updated basketball and volleyball schedules are available on the website.

Spanish

Preschool and kindergarten students are working on their numbers, 1 through 10, in Spanish. Please be sure to continue Spanish counting at home!

First graders are reviewing their colors and talking about life in Mexico.

Second graders have accomplished counting to fifty! They are also exploring life in Puerto Rico.

Third grade has wrapped up a unit on the Spanish alphabet and will begin studying about life in the Caribbean.

Fourth graders are also working on their Spanish alphabet – perfecting all the rolling “r’s”. In their next unit, they will begin studying the geography of North and South America.

Fifth graders are exploring the ancient civilizations of Spanish heritage. They have finished their studying of the Mayans, and are now learning about the Aztecs.

The GREEN Scene

For three weeks, WMAES families collected glass, plastic, paper, tin and cardboard and delivered it to the Environmental Science room.

During that time, high school helpers would weigh the recyclables and record the data. After that, Miss Holly and Mr. Shawn would deliver about 10 truckloads of recyclables to the recycling center downtown. A lot of work went into gathering the recycling from home, and we are thankful for everyone’s help!

In total, 14,734 lbs. of material was recycled in less than a month’s time!

This totals:
• 3,721 lbs of plastic, glass, and tin
• 2,700 lbs of food scraps, milk containers, and lunch trays (which were also made into compost)
• 8,313 lbs of paper

This averages out to be 22 lbs of recycled material per student.

Mrs. Bailey’s class recycled the most materials at the elementary level. Thank you Nick Smith’s mom for collecting recyclable material from your place of work and bringing in over 400 lbs of glass bottles!

Mrs. Fitzgerald’s class worked extremely hard to bring recyclables in from home. However, at the end of the day, Mrs. Novak’s class won at the high school level – thanks to their creativity and dumpster diving skills!

The winning classes were rewarded a zero-waste cookout in the WMAES forest.

Thank you to everyone who helped us during the Recycle Bowl this year. And as always, remember: REDUCE, REUSE, and RECYCLE!

Entrepreneurial News!

The Entrepreneurial Class is once again hosting The Eagle Shack Holiday Gift Workshop during the week of December 18. Elementary and middle school students will have the opportunity to purchase affordable gifts for their families and friends. The Entrepreneurial Program students also produce many of the products being featured this year.

Any students interested in joining the Entrepreneurial Program can apply during the second trimester. Please contact Mr. Johnson if interested.

 

Winter Adventures Family Fun Events

Ready for some Winter Adventures?

WMAES offers 4 family fun camps during the winter season - and all are free to WMAES families! For non-WMAES families, it's only $3 for children and $5 for adults. We encourage everyone to invite their friends and family to attend!

Space is limited to 30 people/session. Register online today to reserve your spot - CLICK HERE!

Howl at the Moon Hike
Thursday, December 19 | 5:30–7pm

Explore the ecosystems while learning the different phases of the moon by the light of the moon. Play some moonlight tag along the way! We’ll have a roaring campfire in the woods to warm up by and have some hot cocoa.
Pre-registration required by December 5, 2013.

Animal Adaptations in the Winter
Thursday, January 16 | 5:30–7pm

Learn how animals adapt to the “harsh” Michigan winters. Check out some animal skins, furs, and skulls and warm up beside a roaring fire in the forest. We will mimic the Snoeshoe Hare and snowshoe out to the forest if the weather permits.
Pre-registration required by January 10, 2014.

Wooooooo is your Valentine
Thursday, February 13 | 5:30–7pm

Learn about the Snowy and Barred owl and some of their awesome adaptations. We will start off by taking a closer look at what makes them such successful hunters and end up in the woods using smartphone technology to call in some flying visitors (don’t forget your phones!). We will end the evening in the woods with a roaring fire complete with hot cocoa and marshmallows.
Pre-registration required by February 6, 2014.

Makin’ Maple Syrup
Thursday, March 13 | 5:30–7pm

Come on out to WMAES and help us with our syrup collecting and learn how syrup has been made throughout history…watch the boiling process, tap some trees and taste some different grades of syrup. If weather permits we will snowshoe out to the maple forest.
Pre-registration required by March 6, 2014.

School Calendar