Dr. Niehaus' Blog

  • GPPSS Weekly Update - Middle School info, Open House, Millage survey, Concerts

    Posted by Rebecca Fannon on 10/16/2019

    Pointes of Promise

    • Over 300 parents attended the screening of Angst last week! Contact your school administrator or The Family Center if you would like a list of local mental health resources.
    • District-wide, 92% of parents attend parent-teacher conferences. High school conferences are tonight and tomorrow (October 16-17) from 5-8 p.m. – let’s keep that involvement at impressive levels!
    • Have a student, staff member or alumni you would like to celebrate? You can always email Pointes of Promise to fannonr@gpschools.org and please put Pointes of Promise in the subject line!

     

    GPPSS survey closes Friday 10/18 at 4 p.m.

    The Grosse Pointe Public School System will have two proposals on the November 5th ballot.  The first proposal requests a renewal and extension of a homestead millage to be levied on primary residences and a non-homestead millage to be levied on rental properties and businesses.  Both millages in this proposal were originally approved by voters in 1995. 

    The second proposal seeks to restore and extend a one mill sinking fund for five years.  The sinking fund expired with the 2019 levy.  It was originally approved by voters in 2004.

    There have been several community presentations, mailings to residents about the millage proposals, and detailed ballot proposal information posted on the school district website.  There has also been significant news media coverage. Key points:

    • These are not new taxes – they are reauthorizations.
    • They represent approximately 25% of the district budget.
    • The ballot language says increase because when the millages expire, the rates re-set to zero, and then if passed would “increase” to the rate homeowners were paying.

    Please tell us how you feel about the ballot proposals by completing a brief, one-minute survey.  If you have a Facebook account, you may receive an ad directing you to the survey.  Or, you can go to www.gpschools.org, click on Ballot Proposals 2019, and then click on the survey link.  OR, you can go to  https://www.research.net/r/GrossePointePSS which  will take you directly to the survey.

    Remember, the polls will be open on November 5th from 7 a.m.-8 p.m.   All Michigan voters are now eligible to vote by absentee ballot.  Any registered voter can request an absentee ballot application from their local Clerk’s Office or by going online to www.michigan.gov/vote and clicking on Absentee Voting in the left column. Thank you for your feedback.

     

    Update on Middle School Reconfiguration

    As we continue to work through the Reconfiguration Process we want to make sure that everyone has accurate information regarding reconfiguration decisions that are being made.  In advance of the District Open House this weekend administration has reviewed each of our middle schools and discussed the placement of certain grade levels and logistics related to 5th - 8th graders being in each of our middle schools next year.  We've identified the following as being decided for next year:

    For the 2020-21 school year at each middle school in GPPSS:

    • 5th and 6th graders will have their own wing/area of the building where they will attend their core classes.
    • 5th and 6th graders will have their core classes on the 2nd floor of the building.
    • 5th and 6th graders will have restroom facilities that are designated for 5th and 6th grade use.
    • 5th and 6th graders will have lunch and recess at a separate time from 7th and 8th graders.
    • 5th graders will have science instruction in their 'homeroom' classroom (identical to how current 5th grade science instruction occurs) using the newly adopted Amplify science kits.
    • 7th and 8th graders will have a designated location for most core classes in each building.
    • All students will have access as needed to specific spaces such as gyms, art rooms, etc.
    • Lockers will be assigned by grade level.  
    • Lockers for all students will be in close proximity to their core classes.

    Middle school administrators will be available to answer questions at the www.Explore-GP.com Open House this Sunday, October 20 from 1-3 p.m. We encourage all families with current fourth and fifth grade students to attend the open house at their middle school, just as we encourage all families with 8th graders to attend at their high school. Please come and invite your friends and neighbors.

     

    Partners In Learning district newsletter in this week’s GP News

    To minimize delivery costs, the district now includes its district newsletter in two of the full-run issues of the Grosse Pointe News which are delivered to every home within the GPPSS boundaries. The newsletter is also posted on our district website under Headlines. Topics of interest include:

    • Facts about the millage reauthorizations
    • Gold Card calendar of fine and performing arts events
    • Our middle school off and out of sight policy
    • Third grade reading legislation update
    • Grosse Pointe Foundation for Public Education gifts and grants
    • Safe Routes to School grant initiative
    • Bond update
    • Partnerships with The Family Center and Healthy Grosse Pointe and Harper Woods

    Upcoming South Players performance

    November 7-9, at 7:30 p.m., the Pointe Players will present “The Game’s Afoot” by Ken Ludwig in the South Auditorium. Tickets are available after October 28 at Duffy and Co. in the Park and at the door ($12 adults/ $8 Students/Seniors).

     

    Calendar

    • October 16-17 – High School Conferences, 5-8 p.m.
    • October 17 – Millage Q&A, 5:30-6:30 p.m., Kerby Elementary, 285 Kerby Road, Grosse Pointe Farms
    • October 18 – Chamber of Commerce Tailgate 5 p.m., South High School before the North-South football game at 7 p.m.
    • October 20 – At the annual Explore GP Mega Open House, schools will be open 1-3 p.m., homes will be open 12-4 p.m. with passes to the parks for those that attend an open home. Multiple offers throughout the community are being shared by businesses and restaurants. Please invite friends! Include neighbors who haven’t been inside our schools in a while. Visit the next school on your student’s educational path. The Poupard and Trombly school communities have chosen to not be open that day, and are encouraging their families to attend at Defer, Monteith, Mason, Pierce or Parcells. www.Explore-GP.com 
    • October 23 – The Family Center presents The Developing Brain and Adolescence, 7 p.m., free, register online, Grosse Pointe Library Woods Branch, 20680 Mack
    • October 28 – Regular Board Meetings, 7 p.m., Brownell MPR
    • October 29 – GPPSS staff with The Family Center present The College Preparation Process for Parents and Students, 6:30 p.m., Brownell Middle School, 260 Chalfonte, free, register online
    • November 5 – Election Day, no school for students, staff professional development
    • November 21 & 26 – Middle School Conferences (truly)
    • November 26 – North Instrumental Pops and Pastries Concert, 7 p.m., North Gym
    • November 27-29 – Thanksgiving Break (return to school Late Start Monday 12/2)
    • November 30 –  Pierce Vocal Fall Concert, 7 p.m., Pierce Auditorium
    • December 7 – Parcells Middle School Holiday Bazaar from 9 a.m.-4 p.m., get info on booth rental at parcells.bazaar@gmail.com
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  • GPPSS On Pointe - October 10

    Posted by Rebecca Fannon on 10/10/2019

    Pointes of Promise

    • The Monteith Elementary School Pollinator Garden has been designated a Monarch Waystation and is now listed on an online world wide registry! Way to go, Monteith Green Team!
    • Paul Lyke 7th grade Brownell student was just accepted into the GM Automotive Design Program for youth. He is mentored by Jane Plieth, GPPSS art teacher.

    Alumni update:

    • South alumni Nina White (’16) and Luke Bove (’17) have lead roles in fall musicals at the University of Michigan. Nina performs in “The Pirates of Penzance,” Oct. 10-13 and Oct. 17-20. Luke performs in “A New Brain,” Dec. 5-8.

    Have a student, staff member or alumni you would like to celebrate? You can always email Pointes of Promise to fannonr@gpschools.org and please put Pointes of Promise in the subject line!

     

    GPPSS is seeking your feedback

    The Grosse Pointe Public School System will have two proposals on the November 5th ballot.  The first proposal requests a renewal and extension of a homestead millage to be levied on primary residences and a non-homestead millage to be levied on rental properties and businesses.  Both millages in this proposal were originally approved by voters in 1995. 

     

    The second proposal seeks to restore and extend a one mill sinking fund for five years.  The sinking fund expired with the 2019 levy.  It was originally approved by voters in 2004.

     

    There have been several community presentations, mailings to residents about the millage proposals, and detailed ballot proposal information posted on the school district website.  There has also been significant news media coverage.

     

    Please tell us how you feel about the ballot proposals by completing a brief, one-minute survey.  If you have a Facebook account, you may receive an ad directing you to the survey.  Or, you can go to www.gpschools.org, click on Ballot Proposals 2019, and then click on the survey link.  OR, you can go to  https://www.research.net/r/GrossePointePSS which  will take you directly to the survey.

     

    Remember, the polls will be open on November 5th from 7 a.m.-8 p.m.   All Michigan voters are now eligible to vote by absentee ballot.  Any registered voter can request an absentee ballot application from their local Clerk’s Office or by going online to www.michigan.gov/vote and clicking on Absentee Voting in the left column. Thank you for your feedback.

     

    Want a lesson in Schoology?

    If you missed the informational meeting for parents about accessing Schoology, the materials are posted online under the District Schoology Page.

     

    Last call for this round of reconfiguration volunteers

    If you are interested in serving on the curriculum or social/emotional committees (or any subcomittee) please email fannonr@gpschools.org and put COMMITTEE in the subject line. Provide your preferred contact info and your area(s) of interest. Work groups are forming now and will be meeting soon.

     

    No more video streaming

    As of last Monday, October 7, the GPPSS guest network no longer allows for video streaming (except YouTube). Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Video will still be available on our internal network and internal wifi which is what most District owned devices are on. This is another effort to keep limited bandwidth focused on educational resources.

     

    Upcoming South Players performance

    November 7-9, at 7:30 p.m., the Pointe Players will present “The Game’s Afoot” by Ken Ludwig in the South Auditorium. Tickets are available after October 28 at Duffy and Co. in the Park and at the door ($12 adults/ $8 Students/Seniors).

     

    Lead and copper testing – we passed

    Results from the re-tests for lead and copper testing are back and are good news. The old drinking fountains were replaced with new bottle filling drinking fountains that contain copper filters. Everything passed. The full report is posted on the district website.

     

    Calendar

    • October 10 – Half day for elementary (11:36 a.m.) - Elementary Conferences
    • October 14 – Safe Routes to School walking audit for Parcells, Poupard and Mason team
    • October 15 – Safe Routes to School meeting for Pierce, Trombly and Defer team
    • October 14 & 28 – Regular Board Meetings, 7 p.m., Brownell MPR
    • October 16-17 – High School Conferences, 5-8 p.m.
    • October 17 – Millage Q&A, 5:30-6:30 p.m., Kerby Elementary, 285 Kerby Road, Grosse Pointe Farms
    • October 18 – Chamber of Commerce Tailgate 5 p.m., South High School before the North-South football game at 7 p.m.
    • October 20 – At the annual Explore GP Mega Open House, schools will be open 1-3 p.m., homes will be open 12-4 p.m. with passes to the parks for those that attend an open home. Multiple offers throughout the community are being shared by businesses and restaurants. Please invite friends! Include neighbors who haven’t been inside our schools in a while. Visit the next school on your student’s educational path. The Poupard and Trombly school communities have chosen to not be open that day, and are encouraging their families to attend at Defer, Monteith, Mason, Pierce or Parcells. www.Explore-GP.com 
    • November 5 – Election Day, no school for students, staff professional development
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