Dr. Niehaus' Blog

  • GPPSS On Pointe March 11

    Posted by Rebecca Fannon on 3/11/2020

    Pointes of Promise

    • The Scholar Athlete All-America Team represents the top 25 Scholar Athlete Award winners from over 500 games featured in the 2019 Great American Rivalry Series season. Last fall, nearly 200 nominations were received for this Award which recognizes the hard work of senior student-athletes and their commitment to both academics and athletics. The 25 members of the 2019 All-America Team have been selected as they exemplify the very best within their respective communities. Among that select group was Aidan Walsh, OL – Grosse Pointe South High School (MI), Coach – Tim Brandon.
    • North’s George Graham was honored to represent GPPSS among the MHSAA 2019-20 Scholar Athlete Finalists.
    • Grosse Pointe South Choir had a sweep of the entire competition at the 46th Annual Bishop Luers Show Choir Invitational held in Fort Wayne, Indiana on March 7th. For the 4th consecutive year, the Pointe Singers were named the Grand Champion Show Choir, earning the caption award for Best Vocal Sound. They were also awarded class A champion. Grace Ryan won Best Female Soloist and Bobby Conlan was named Pointe Singers Outstanding Performer. For the 5th consecutive year, the Tower Belles were named Women’s Grand Champion. Lily Geer was named outstanding performer for the Tower Belles. The South Singers were named Class C Champions and for the first time in the groups history, they qualified for the finals competition along side of Pointe Singers. In the finals, as the only junior varsity show choir in the competition, the South Singers edged out other schools varsity groups to capture the sixth place trophy. Henry Fish was awarded South Singers Outstanding Performer. Alice Walsh was first runner-up in the solo competition, placing ahead of 30 other soloists!
    • Congratulations to Brian Levinson and Richard Cooper and all 21 of North’s DECA students who competed against 4000 students last weekend at the state competition.  Andrew Sheffield and John Latiff each earned state runners up medals.  William Eckerman earned a first place overall for his exam score.  Grace Haynes and Annabel Schlachter earned a gold medal for The North Store.  Ronnie Latiff earned back to back state championships in his category--this is the first time this has happened in North's history!  Grace, Annabel and Ronnie all qualified for the international competition next month.
    • Jason Wolfsen and our unified Robotics team have been busy as well.  At the competition in Milford the robot went through a lot of trials and tribulations and ended up 34th out of 39 teams. However we were selected for the 1st Alliance (1st seed) for the tournament and our alliance ended up winning the tournament! What an awesome lesson in determination and resilience! The Gearheads had two students: Steven Spangler (South) and Alexa Rigotti (South) who were nominated for the Dean's List for this event and Alexa Rigotti won for this event! She will move onto the State Championship in April.


    GPPSS plan for COVID-19 – update from this afternoon’s Wayne County Meeting

    Earlier today you should have received another email regarding the GPPSS plan to address Coronavirus COVID-19. GPPSS continues to follow CDC and Health Department guidance and updates will be posted on the district website under Headlines. As stated in our earlier email, this afternoon central office administration in GPPSS attended a meeting held at WRESA that included central office administrators from other districts in Wayne County.  The meeting included a representative from the Wayne County Health Department.  At this meeting the following information was shared:

    • The Wayne County Health Department is advising that at this time it is not necessary to curtail student/staff/community events or activities.
    • In general, the superintendents in Wayne County are planning to continue school as usual.
    • The Wayne County Health Department is closely monitoring this situation.
    • Wayne County Health Department has a daily status call with the CDC to receive updates.
    • Both Wayne Regional Educational Service Agency (WRESA) and the Wayne County Health Department will keep all schools in Wayne County updated.



    • Middle School Conferences are Thursday, March 12 in the afternoon and evening. Please note 3/12 is a half day of school for middle school students.
    • Elementary School Conferences are Wednesday, March 18 in the afternoon and evening, and Thursday, March 19 in the afternoon and evening. Please note 3/19 is a half day of school for elementary school students.


    Poupard Celebration

    Poupard is throwing a party to commemorate the 68 years our school served the Grosse Pointe and Harper Woods community. The celebration will take place on June 5th from 4-7 p.m. We plan on sharing a slideshow of pictures and videos, having food vendors, live music and guest speakers. Additionally, there will be activities for students and families to leave their mark on this wonderful school. We hope to see you there!  


    Youth Football Fundamentals Clinic

    Try football for free in a non-contact fundamental skill clinic. The Grosse Pointe North Football Staff is offering a free skill clinic on March 28 from 9-11:30 am. Weather pending we will either be on North’s Football Field or in North’s Gym. Led by the Norsemen football coaches, current high school football players will instruct the basic skills needed to be successful and make football fun. The camp is open to all skill level 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th graders. In order to keep a proper coach/participant ratio spots are available to the first 50 athletes to sign up. Please contact Coach Joe Drouin drouinj@gpschools.org no later than Monday March 23 to sign your child up for the camp. Please include child’s name, grade, and current school attending when signing up.


    Bond and Sinking Fund Projects Update

    Approved unanimously at the board meeting Monday, March 9 meeting were the abatement contractors, Defer Elementary, Ferry Elementary, Wireless Bids, and Cabling/AV Equipment. Previewed for approval at the March 23 meeting were Monteith Elementary, Parcells Middle School, South High School (year 1 of 2), and Monteith first floor lockers. All projects go through the Bond Oversight Committee for budget review and to ensure they fit within the scope of the projects proposed to our community. Then they go to the board for discussion and approval.


    Middle School Camp Info

    There will be a 5th Grade Camp Parent Info Night on Thursday, April 23 at 6:30 p.m., in the Brownell MPR. Parking is behind the building, 260 Chalfonte, Grosse Pointe Farms.


    Everyone counts: Census 2020

    Here is a 2-minute video about why it is critically important everyone counts on the 2020 Census: What is the Census? https://youtu.be/Eq-FMB4epyw. For more information, visit www.becountedmi2020.com



    • March 12 – Middle school half day for students, and afternoon and evening conferences
    • March 18 – Elementary evening conferences
    • March 19 – Elementary school half day for students, and afternoon and evening conferences
    • March 20 – Half day for Elementary and Middle school students
    • March 23 – Regular Board Meeting, 7 p.m., Brownell MPR
    • March 25-28 – South Art Fest
    • March 29 – South Spring Benefit Crazy for Fashion, 12-3 p.m.
    • April 6-10 – Spring Break
    • April 23 – 5th Grade Camp Parent Meeting @ 6:30 at Brownell MPR
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  • GPPSS On Pointe February 6

    Posted by Rebecca Fannon on 2/6/2020

    Pointes of Pride

    • Dominic Dulac (Senior at South) received the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Good Citizen Award at a brunch that the Louisa St. Clair Chapter of the DAR held at Country Club of Detroit, and his essay was selected to move to the State competition. The award goes to a high school senior that demonstrates the qualities of dependability, service, leadership and patriotism.
    • These students participated in National Signing Day 2/5, committing to play at the college level: Rachel Kostrzewa - Alma cheer; lacrosse players Connor Obermok - University of Michigan Dearborn, Ethan Flannery - Lawrence Tech University; and football players Grant Hart - Grand Valley, Nick Fannon - Butler, and James Doerer - Valparaiso.
    • Charles Paul (South Class of 2014) just won an audition as string bassist in the Baltimore Symphony.


    FAFSA Challenge to the Class of 2020

    During her State of the State address, Gretchen Whitmer said that the high school class of 2020, with the most FAFSA forms filled out would be rewarded with $10,000! Have you filled out your FAFSA? Click here to read more:https://www.michigan.gov/whitmer/0,9309,7-387-90499_90640-513546--,00.html


    GPPSS prepared for Coronavirus response

    GPPSS attended The Wayne County Public Health Emergency Preparedness informational workshop for schools that have been selected as Wayne County's point of dispensing (POD) sites in the event of a public health crisis. North High School is our POD. During this workshop, we received an overview of the Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak in China and how Wayne County is preparing should this virus come to our region. Additionally, we reviewed the Memorandum of Understanding the County has with our district and discussed what an activation at our facility would entail in the unlikely event it becomes necessary. 


    Brownell presents Tarzan

    The TARZAN Yodel resonates in the hallways of Brownell and can be heard by the general public on February 6th and 7th at 7 p.m. You are invited to view Brownell Middle School’s production of Disney's TARZAN. Admission is $10. Tickets are available on-line by visiting the Brownell main page and clicking on TARZAN TICKETS or at the door.


    Volunteer Opportunity for Kids Coalition Against Hunger March 7th

    Once again, Kids Coalition Against Hunger will be packaging meals for hungry children around the world and in our own metro Detroit area.  The meals are made up of dry food: soy, protein, dried vegetables, powdered vitamins, and rice, all of which are put together and carefully weighed to make a packet that can be mixed with water to make multiple meals at one serving.  The bags are filled by both youth and adults working together at tables as a team.  It’s a wonderful concept that many have enjoyed for the seven years that Grosse Pointe Memorial Church has sponsored this ecumenical and non-denominational Outreach project.  Volunteers from all over our area participate each year. The day will be Saturday, March 7. Our goal: 75,000 meals! We’ll need 450 volunteers to help! The day will be divided into shifts:

    • 10:00am - noon
    • 12:00pm - 2:00pm and
    • 2:00pm -4:00pm.

    Youth, parents, individuals or families can sign up for any shift by going on the web to: http://bit.ly/KCAHatGPMC-2020

    Any student looking for volunteer hours would find this a unique and fun opportunity.  There will be a signed receipt of hours worked for students to bring to their school if desired.


    Incoming 5th and 6th Grade Info Night

    All three middle schools are hosting incoming 5th and 6th grade parents at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, February 12th. Please come, ask questions, and invite your friends and neighbors with current 4th and 5th graders to join us.


    Vaping Town Hall – 57 Deaths, 2602 Injuries and counting

    Parents and students were invited to a Vaping Town Hall last Thursday, January 30th in the North Performing Arts Center. Local students, school staff, health professionals and more answered questions and told the story of how vaping has impacted their lives – personally and professionally. The evening was presented by Care of Southeastern Michigan, The Family Center, Healthy Grosse Pointe Harper Woods and GPPSS and covered by Click on Detroit and Good Morning America. A video is being edited by GPPSS students and will be shared. Over 150 people attended. Many asked for resources to quit:


    Skilled Trades Night - Grosse Pointe Public Schools will be hosting our annual Skilled Trades Career Night Monday, February 10 from 6:30-8:30 pm in the South Gym. A variety of trades will have tables set up to tell you what specific training is required and how to get started. Careers in the trades can have starting salaries that range from $40,000-80,000 per year. Don't miss out on this opportunity to learn more!   



    • February 6&7 – Brownell presents TARZAN, 7 p.m., Brownell MPR
    • February 7 - Date with the Devil Battle of the Bands
    • February 10 – Regular Board Meeting, 7 p.m., Brownell MPR
    • February 10 – Skilled Trades Night, 7 p.m., South Main Gym
    • February 12 – Incoming 5th and 6th Grade Info Night, all three middle schools, 6:30 p.m.
    • February 17-21 – Midwinter Break
    • February 24 – Regular Board Meeting, 7 p.m., Brownell MPR
    • February 29 – #OneGP Parent Camp at Parcells Middle School. Registerhttp://bit.ly/ParentCamp2020
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