National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)

Approximately 50 eighth grade students from Stout Middle School will participate in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) on Wednesday, February 15th. NAEP is the largest nationally representative and continuing assessment of what students know and can do in various subjects. It is administered by the National Center for Education Statistics, within the U.S. Department of Education. NAEP is different from our state assessment because it provides a common measure of student achievement across the country. The results are released as The Nation’s Report Card, which provides information about student achievement to educators, parents, policymakers, and the public. Students were randomly selected to participate in the assessment and were notified of their participation in a letter that was mailed home.

Students can still apply to the AVID program.

Avid

There are still a few spots available in the AVID program at Stout Middle School for both 7th and 8th grade students for the upcoming school year. The AVID program is a college readiness program that provides students with the skills to be successful in middle school, high school, and college. Students are enrolled in the AVID elective course where they will learn the academic and social skills that successful college students demonstrate. In the elective class, AVID students regularly engage in problem-solving with actual college students. AVID students will also take field trips to colleges during the school year. For their core academic classes, students will be placed with teachers who have been trained in AVID instructional strategies. The availability at 8th grade is very limited. Applications for both 7th and 8th grade with be considered in the order they are received. Interested students should email Mr. Oke at okeg@dearbornschools.org. The email should include the student’s full name, grade, and which elective (or two half-year electives) they would like to take in addition to the AVID course.

AVID Informational Meeting: June 9, 2016

AvidStout Middle School will be hosting an informational meeting for the AVID program on Thursday, June 9th. The meeting will take place in the auditorium at 6:00 p.m. Following a short overview of the program, AVID Elective Teacher, Mr. William Lambdin, and Stout Principal, Mr. Gregory Oke, will be available to answer questions about the program. Applications for the 2016-2017 school year are being accepted through Monday, June 13th.

AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) is an elective class that combines rigor with support. The program targets students in the academic middle who have the desire to go to college and the willingness to work hard. AVID places students in advanced classes and provides them with an elective class that prepares them to succeed in rigorous curricula, enter mainstream activities in school, and increase their opportunities to enroll in four-year colleges after high school.

Strategic Plan Task Force

TaskForceDuring the next few weeks, the Dearborn Public Schools will embark on a journey to create a new strategic plan..  To successfully complete this task, the school district will need community members, parents, students, and staff to take part in the process of creating the mission, vision, goals, and actions steps in our new plan.

Creating a document of this importance will require the input from a wide variety of stakeholders. The Core Planning Committee feels it is vitally important for teachers and parents to be part of this team and is looking for parents and staff members from our school who may be interested in being a part of the Strategic Plan Task Force.

The Committee is currently in the process of gathering names from a variety of groups and organizations.  They will then narrow down all the suggested names to create a Strategic Plan Task Force consisting of about 40 to 50 members. The goal is to assemble the most diverse group representing all stakeholders in our community. Therefore, it’s possible not everyone who is being asked to consider this opportunity will end up being a part of the final group.  However, everyone’s contributions to this plan are valuable and opportunities to offer suggestions, feedback, and comments will be provided to all.

Serving on the Task Force will not require a long term commitment but it does involve several evenings in the month of April and a date in May.  The schedule is as follows:

  • April 5, 2016      6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.           Board Room, Administrative Service Center
  • April 7, 2016      6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.           Board Room, Administrative Service Center
  • April 12, 2016     6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.           Board Room, Administrative Service Center
  • April 14, 2016     6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.           Board Room, Administrative Service Center
  • May 10, 2016     6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.           Board Room, Administrative Service Center

If you are interested in participating on the Task Force, please contact Mr. Gregory Oke, Stout Principal, at okeg@dearbornschools.org.

The Dearborn Public Schools has a long tradition of engaging community members in order to bring the best possible learning opportunities to our students.  We hope you will consider being a part of the Strategic Plan Task Force and help us create a learning environment where all students can and will be successful.

DCMST Program – Applications are due February 29th.

Ms. Deena Alam-Parks, Lead Teacher from the DCMST (Dearborn Center for Math, Science, & Technology) Program met with 8th grade algebra students this morning. Ms. Parks gave an overview of the program, current DCMST students shared their experiences in the program, and 8th grade algebra students had an opportunity to ask questions about the program. Each student was also given an informational pamphlet about the program. The deadline to apply to the DCMST program for 9th grade for the 2016-2017 school year is Monday, February 29th. Students can apply by going to the DCMST page on the Dearborn Schools’ website.

Report Cards & M-STEP Parent Reports

Report_CardsReport cards were distributed to students at the end of the school day today. 7th & 8th grade students who attended Stout last school year also received Parent Reports for the M-STEP tests that were administered last Spring. 6th graders who attended Maples, Snow, Miller, Duvall, or Lowrey last school year also received Parent Reports for the M-STEP tests. The M-STEP tests replaced the MEAP tests that were previously administered to students in Michigan.

Mr. Oke

Information on Class Changes

Message 3With the start of the second semester comes a deluge of requests for class changes from students. In most cases, it is not possible to grant these requests.

Our master schedule of classes gets created over the summer based on requests that students submit in the Spring. The number of sections offered and our staffing is determined based on these student requests. When students “change their mind” half-way through the school year, it is very difficult to accommodate any class change requests.

Core academic classes are full-year classes and are scheduled as such. This makes it very difficult to switch periods or teachers at the mid-year point. The only time changes can be accommodated is when a student wishes to switch from a larger section to a smaller section. Many elective classes are half-year classes, so depending upon class sizes sometimes half-year elective classes can be changed. Elective classes that meet for a full-year, such as 8th grade foreign language, music classes, and AVID elective classes are very difficult to change, because staffing was based on students taking the elective for a full year and extra elective sections simply do not exist.

Mr. Oke

A Message from the Principal

Message 1Grade-Level Meetings

Yesterday, Mrs. Cizek and I held separate grade-level meetings with students from 6th, 7th, and 8th grade to review behavior expectations for the remainder of the school year. Here are a few of the topics we covered:

  • Lunch Room – We reminded students to clean up after themselves. We have four lunch periods with only about 5 minutes between each, so it’s important to keep the cafeteria as clean as possible for the next lunch. We also reminded students not to play around in the restroom during lunch.
  • Bathrooms – We reminded students to keep the restrooms clean for their classmates. We have had a few altercations between students in restrooms this year, so we also warned students about fighting.
  • Physical Altercations – We informed students that if they planned to fight with another student and carried through with it, the consequence would start with a 5 day suspension. This consequence could be greater depending upon the specifics of the altercation. We also warned students about gathering to watch and instigate an altercation. We let students know that if they are encouraging other students to fight they will also receive a consequence of a suspension. Stout Middle School has been implementing Restorative Practices over the past year and a half and we expect students to solve conflicts in a productive non-physical manner. Attempting to solve a problem through physical force does not solve anything and typically makes things significantly worse.
  • Bus Conduct – We reminded students to listen to their bus driver and to sit down while the bus is in motion. We asked students to board and exit the bus in a more orderly manner. We also asked students to respect their neighbors who live near the bus stop, by keeping noise to a minimum in the morning and by staying off of lawns.
  • Attendance – We reminded students that they need to be to class on time and also warned them that there would be “tardy sweeps” throughout the semester. When students reach their fifth tardy in a marking period, they will receive a detention.
  • General Expectations – We gave reminders about running in the hall/cafeteria, keeping noise in the hallways during passing time to a minimum, following directions the first time they are given, keeping hands to oneself/no horseplay, and being nice to one another. We asked students to support one another and avoid negative comments at school or negative postings on social media.

The students did a nice job listening throughout our presentations and I made sure to note that we have many students who do meet our expectations regularly. We are looking forward to a great second semester.

Mr. Oke

Oke