SEPTEMBER 2013

CAMPUS NEWSNo Water Bottles

No (disposable) Water Bottles Allowed

To further promote our environmental brand, West Michigan Academy of Environmental Science (WMAES) is enforcing their “no water bottle” policy.

“This policy has always been in place,” says Secondary Principal Scott Morgan, “but it hasn’t always been enforced. This year, we are changing that. We are an environmental school, and that needs to be showcased both inside and out.”

What does this mean for the students and staff at WMAES? Students are no longer allowed to have disposable water bottles in the school or classroom, period. Students must be using plastic (preferably BPA free), metal, or boxed water bottles.

Students who make the choice to bring disposable water bottles to the school will be asked to give the water bottle to their teacher. Proper recycling of the bottle will occur.

WMAES Recognized as a Michigan Rewards School

The Michigan Department of Education released their 2012-2013 Rewards School listings last month. Ranked as a “Beating the Odds” school, our very own West Michigan Academy of Environmental Science (WMAES) made the list.

A Beating the Odds school has overcome traditional barriers to student achievement, and has been outperforming other schools with similar demographics and risk factors.

WMAES was also ranked in the eighty-first percentile as a Top-to-Bottom (TTB) school. Essentially, a TTB school has shown improvement/growth between the top 30 percent and the bottom 30 percent of students’ scores. Therefore, WMAES is closing the
gap in student achievement throughout our classrooms.

With this recognition, the Administration at WMAES and Dr. Sid Faucette, President of Choice Schools Associates, would like to thank both the staff and students for working so diligently last year. This is an excellent achievement.

New Snack Policy

Parents, as we begin this new school year, we would like to remind you that our classrooms follow a snack policy.

We ask that students remember to bring healthy snack choices to class, if they wish to eat during their class time. Teachers will be asking for unhealthy snack choices to be put away, and returned home. Below are some examples of healthy and unhealthy snack options. Feel free to be creative!

Healthy

Unhealthy

ELEMENTARY NEWS

Welcome Back

I would like to communicate my personal excitement about the upcoming school year. The WMAES team is excited to start another successful year.

Visitor Badge
During the school day, if you need to go into the elementary buildings for any reason, you must have a visitor badge. This can be picked up in the main office. We keep the doors locked during the school day and you will not be allowed into the buildings without one. We appreciate your commitment in keeping our students safe.

Drop-Off & Pick-Up
If you plan to walk your child into school, please park your car in a space and not in the driving lane. At the end of the day, feel free to park your car and meet your child’s teacher outside. Please do not go into the hallways at the end of the day, your child’s teacher will walk outside to allow you to pick up your child.

Kindergarten Parents: There will be a sign with your child’s teacher’s name on the deck of the 100 building. Please make a line near that sign. Your child’s teacher will bring the class outside to this line and you can pick your child up there.

Child Care
If your child needs to go to child care, please communicate this with your child and his or her teacher. You can pick your child up from after school care in the 100 building. Please have an ID ready to ensure safety rules are followed. If you have not filled out paperwork, you can do so on Tuesday when you pick your child up from child care. All questions regarding child care can be directed to aprilnelson@choiceschools.com.

I am looking forward to a great school year full of high academic rigor. If you have a question about pick-up or drop-off, do not hesitate to contact your child’s teacher.

Kerri Barrett, Elementary Principal

Summer Reading Award Winners

We are very proud of our Summer Reading Award Winners, and you should be too. These student winners completed eight or more quizzes, and won a free lunch!

Congratulations: Jaiden Powers, Hailey Smith, Mike Banhagel

Field Trip Time!

Our fourth grade class headed to P.J. Hoffmaster State Park in Muskegon, Wednesday, September 18. We hope your students shared some exciting stories about their experiences.

Second Graders Explore the Campus

Mrs. Heintskill’s second graders are learning about the ecosystem, right here on campus!

For the first week of classes, students visited the garden, prairie, pond, woods, and the meadow. Students have also been practicing their Daily 5 activities, reading to themselves for eight minutes a day, and building their stamina. Feel free to check out the second grade class blog: mrsheintskill.blogspot.com

Middle School News

Upcoming MEAP Testing – October 8

As the busyness of back-to-school quiets down, Middle School students will be gearing up for their MEAP testing. To help combat such a stressful time in your teen’s schooling, we are including FIVE ways to prepare for a big test.

1. Practice test-taking at home: Set up practice exams for your child at home, and time them. This will help ease the fear of being timed during the actual test.
2. Encourage your child to ‘do your best’: Sometimes the pressure of performance on a standardized test gets in the way of a child’s actual abilities.
3. Get a good night’s rest: Encourage your child to get a good night’s rest. Middle School aged children need approximately 9 hours of rest each night.
4. Breakfast, breakfast, breakfast: Prepare your child a healthy breakfast before their test. Sugary cereals and breakfast foods tend to increase adrenaline levels, leading to children who are hyper and later suffer from a “crash”. Try serving oatmeal with honey, toast and fruit, or a green garden smoothie.
5. WATER: Be sure to pack your child’s water bottle for test day! Drinking water keeps our brains alert, focused, and increases our ability for mental arithmetic. – So drink up.

What Are We Reading…

Seventh grade students are reading the novel, “Al Capone Does My Shirts” by Gennifer Choldenko. Students will be learning about historical fiction, including the 1930’s era, and Alcatraz.

High School News

Senior Research

The senior class is busy brainstorming and preparing work for their year long research project.

Every spring, seniors present research to school board members, teachers, families, and classmates. This year, students will be investigating a particular scientific problem or issue, and developing their own original solution backed by existing research.

Athletics

WMAES Fall Sports are in full swing. You can view and print schedules online. Also, visit our website for all athletic information and forms. Sports Club will be starting on September 17. Students must have a concussion form and physical on file in order to participate. The first sport offered will be soccer. Sports Club will run from 2:45-3:30pm, meeting in the gym. This is available Tuesdays and Thursdays for all students in grades 6-12.

Spanish

Be sure to check out Mrs. Hosmer’s Spanish Class website! https://sites.google.com/a/choiceschools.com/espanol-con-sra-hosmer/

The GREEN Scene

It’s Ecosystem and Living Things month at WMAES!

Miss Holly and Mr. Shawn are spending the first few weeks meeting all the students, and introducing them to the ecosystems on our 62-acre campus. First up, the GARDENS! Students are picking and eating apples from our orchard, collecting vegetables to prepare and eat salsa, learning about food chains, reviewing plant parts and life cycles, and discovering who lives in our garden habitat.

Middle school students are reviewing the levels of food webs, and even acting them out in the woods with Mr. Shawn.

Our prairie, forests, and meadow ecosystems give students an opportunity to apply their classroom knowledge in a handson manner. Confucius said, “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.” That’s what we are striving to accomplish with our Environmental Science program! Feel free to take a walk with your students around campus after school, and have them show you around – Just make sure you check in with the office and pick up your visitors badge.

Entrepreneurial News!Photo of A+ Salsa created by Miss Holly

Entrepreneurial students are producing fresh garden salsa with the help of Miss Holly. A+ Salsa comes in two varieties; Prairie Burn and Mellow Meadow.

The fresh salsa can be purchased for $3 at the Eagle Shack before school, and at the concessions during volleyball games. If purchasers bring their empty jar back, they will receive a .75 credit toward their purchase of another jar. Jars of salsa can also be ordered online by emailing Eric Johnson at ericjohnson@choiceschools.com.

Senior Entrepreneur, Sarah Deacon, has finished designing her Eco-Packs.

These drawstring backpacks are made from old sweaters. She is selling her Eco-Packs at the Eagle Shack for $10. Stop in before you miss out on this great buy!

Sarah Deacon and holding up her bag design, Eco-Packs

School Calendar