MAY 2014

Theme of the Month

Theme of the month: Water



Family Night is May 13. Parent volunteers are still needed – please see your child’s teacher if interested in volunteering.

See the calendar for more
important dates.



Later this month, a special building communication update will be released. Be sure to check your email.


Congratulations to the Barrett Family

As many of you may know, Elementary Principal, Mrs. Barrett, is expecting!

She, as well as her husband Colin and two-year old son Lucas, are extremely excited to meet their newest family member later this month. Mrs. Barrett and family can’t wait to bring home their baby girl. Maternity leave for Mrs. Barrett will begin May 23. She will be returning August 11. In her absence, a staff member who is currently familiar with the WMAES elementary students will temporarily resume her position. Mrs. Barrett will be sending home a letter with further details and the announcement of Interim Principal early this month.


On April 29, the Governor John Engler Center for Charter Schools visited the WMAES campus.

Twice per year, the Center takes time out to engage in team building and professional development activities to ensure they are remaining focused on their mission and vision.The Center seeks out innovative schools to visit to learn what makes those schools special. Principal Morgan and Principal Barrett gave tours to the Center members, as well as shared with them the many accomplishments of the WMAES students and staff.

#3 Charter School in Michigan

The US News & World Report has released their Best High School listing for the 2013-14 school year.

This year, WMAES has received four separate rankings:

Congratulations to the WMAES students, staff and parents who make these incredible rankings possible.


PreK & Young 5's

Old McDonald Had a Farm…

May is an exciting month for our little learners. Students will be visiting the Critter Barn and Marne Trail later this month with their fellow Young 5’s and Kindergarten buddies. To prepare them for their trip, preschoolers will be learning all about farm life this month!

Counting the Days!

This past month, students worked as a class to complete their Science Fair project, asking “What Keeps You Warm?” The little ones learned about the scientific method, helped collect data and learned first hand what types of materials hold in the most heat – both inside and outside. Young 5’s Friends have also been learning about graphs in math and learning new sight words to get ready for Kindergarten! They have also been taking nature walks to identify signs of Spring… finally!

Perseverance Award Winner: Cayden Kruer

Author of the Month: Cooper Wielhouwer


Elementary News

Kindergarten Goes Roller Skating

The upcoming month seems to be filled with fun adventures for kindergarteners at WMAES. On May 2nd, kindergarteners went roller-skating for the first time to honor positive student behavior! Other upcoming spring field trips for the little ones include observing nature on the Musketawa Trail in Marne, exploring farm life at Critter Barn and kicking off summer at Tunnel Park Beach!

Fourth Grade Update

Students have moved on from fractions and are starting starting lessons on long division, graphing and statistics. In science class, fourth graders will be looking into the wonderful world of light and sound!

You Are My Sunshine!

The WMAES Earth Day Concert was held Thursday, April 24. Students from grades preschool to fifth grade participated in the various Earth Day presentations. Fifth grade students performed The Lorax as the Earth Day play.



What are we Learning in Spanish?


Farms and animals


Pets and animals around our school

First Grade

Finishing a unit on foods and beginning a unit on animals

Second Grade

Finishing our unit on clothing and beginning a unit on ecosystems. More information to come regarding an upcoming field trip

Third Grade

Finishing a unit on the body and starting a unit on numbers

Fourth Grade

Compass directions and numbers up to 200

Fifth Grade

River ecosystems and learning the names of many organisms within. Students will also be participating in the salmon release on May 15.


Middle School News

Students Find Amelia Earhart

Sixth graders at WMAES participated in Geographic Information Systems Day at Grand Valley State University (GVSU) on March 28.

The geography department and geography club on the GVSU campus hosted GIS Day. Throughout the day, students engaged in a variety of activities relating to Geographic Information Systems, including an interactive demonstrations using Geographic ArcGIS software to find a lost explorer, Amelia Earhart, and a geocaching activity.

Grand Valley students gained experience leading and teaching groups of middle school students as they shared their enthusiasm with WMAES students. GVSU students also provided lessons on GIS and GPS, skills being used at an increasing rate in everyday businesses across the nation.


High School News

A Night In Paris

Upperclassman at WMAES enjoyed a night in Paris on Saturday, April 26.

Many students spent the day getting their hair styled, nails painted and shoes shined as they prepared for Prom 2014. The night was as enchanting as Paris itself. Prom was held at the Kent ISD and was decorated in Parisian style. The 2014 Prom Queen and King, as well as the Princess and Prince were announced.

(photo below, left) King and Queen: Keith Hartman and Nicole Smith
(right) Prince and Princess: Jordan Leach and Abby Taylor

Down River

Every year, AP Biology students at WMAES work with the DNR to raise salmon. Due to the lowered salmon population in the Great Lakes, the WMAES students help with monitoring and caring for over 300 salmon. On May 15, students will release their raised salmon into the Rogue River. Mr. Barrett, Mrs. Sherman and Mrs. DeYoung’s AP Environmental Science classes, as well as Mr. Lynch’s 5th grade class will be witnessing the release.

Student Receives Great Apprenticeship

WMAES high school junior, Sofia Cervantes, was recently accepted as a part of the Youth Watershed Exhibit Design Team at the Grand Rapids Museum. Sofia will be working with twenty other students from the Grand Rapids area to design an experimental watershed exhibit for the Museum. The Great Lakes Fishery Trust is funding the project.

The exhibit will positively impact the community by educating citizens about the importance of protecting the Great Lakes Watersheds. In the design process, Sofia will be learning about the Grand River and the Great Lakes Watershed, civic engagement and environmental education. She has already participated in a Grand River clean up in Grand Haven with the team; an unforgettable experience coordinated by the West Michigan Environmental Action Council (WMEAC).

The team meets at the Grand Rapids Public Museum on Thursdays and Saturdays for fieldwork and research sessions throughout the spring and summer. “I’m excited about being able to use my creativity and passion to make a difference in the world,” says Sofia. “I’m thrilled to be working with so many other young people that are just as passionate about making the world a better place.”


The GREEN Scene

WMAES participated in a citywide Earth Day Recycling challenge, collecting plastic grocery bags.

We are happy to announce that we won 3rd place out of over 30 schools! As a total, we recycled 26,578 plastic bags with the help of our WMAES families. Mrs. Dembinski’s kindergarten class recycled the most bags with a total of 6,781! We have won a garden bench made from recycled plastic materials that will be engraved with our school name and the total number of bags we recycled. This bench will be added to our 6 other benches won in the past.

The Science Fair is over for the year and there were some awesome competitors! Prek-2nd grade completed class projects, while grades 3-8 submitted group and individual projects. Students in grades 3-8 received medals, trophies and plaques. The first place winners from each group received a Meijer gift card. Congrats to everyone for a great Science Fair!


Entrepreneurial News!

Five Students Win Scholarship

Entrepreneurial students, Asia Nguyen, Hunter Redmond, Jordan Leach, Cristian Perez and Austin Baker won a $2,500 grand prize scholarship from Prima Civitas. The WMAES students participated in the 5th Annual Young Innovators Competition. In the fifth and final year of the competition, the WMAES team submitted a product idea that they created. TempFlo, a cost-effective product that launches a personal flotation device, helps keep people afloat long enough for rescuers to react. The team found that the TempFlo would help to prevent the 83 drowning deaths that occur yearly in the Great Lakes.

Hunter Redmond created TempFlo and worked with his fellow students to put their submission into the competition. The group brainstormed product ideas that would solve a problem in the marketplace and they identified a need in the Great Lakes region. It was found that boating enthusiasts needed a more effective way to save people who had fallen overboard. The team is working to see if there are any pending or issued patents that could restrict them from moving forward. Further product development will also depend on financial support.


Alumni Corner

WMAES now has an Alumni Organization! If you were a WMAES student, visit the WMAES Alumni Organization on Facebook and invite others from your graduating class to join.

A special registration card will be sent to past graduates inviting them to join the Alumni Organization. Keep in touch with your fellow graduates and share your accomplishments with current WMAES students. The first alumni reunion is being planned and scheduled for August. More information will be included in the June newsletter.























Mother's Day

Field Trip:
Critter Barn (Kindergarten)

Family Night

Field Trip:
Musketawa Trail (Young 5 & PreK)

Field Trip:
Musketawa Trail (Kindergarten)

Field Trip:
Salmon Release

Field Trip:
Outdoor Discovery Center (11th grade)


Field Trip:
Midway Airport Chicago (Entrepreneurial Class)


Senior Project Presentations

Field Trip:
Palmer Park (Student Council)

Senior Project Presentations

Field Trip:
5/3 Ballpark (Novak)

Senior Project Presentations

Field Trip:
5/3 Ballpark (Girls on the Run)

Field Trip:
Library (Willinger)



Memorial Day

Field Trip:
PJ Hoffmaster (2nd grade)

Field Trip:
Grand Haven (HS Environ. Sci.)

Field Trip:
JB Zoo (PreK, Young 5, Kindergarten)

Field Trip:
Michigan's Adventure (7th grade)