School districts in Wayne County have placed a proposal on the November 8th ballot to provide added funding for our schools. It is the “Regional Enhancement Millage Proposal.”
If approved by the entire county, the 2 mil proposal will generate approximately $6.2 million from Dearborn but the District will receive $7.8 million in additional funding for our schools. Money would go to local schools starting this year and the millage expires after six years.
On November 2nd, the EL and Compensatory Education department hosted a district-level parent meeting for new families. Transportation was provided from neighborhood schools to assist parents in attending the informational meeting.
Committee members in attendance included Youssef Mosallam, Rose Aldubaily, Maylee Mosallam, Ameena Elder, Lila Amen, Margaret King-Ahmed, Rola Bazzi-Gates, Amged Monyiddin, Manar Kodamah, Wedad Maatouk and Nadra Shami.
Youssef Mosallam and Glenn Maleyko welcomed parents to the district, shared our district mission in meeting students’ needs and our goal of partnering with parents to help all their children be successful.
Wedad Maatouk represented the Adult Education and shared information about how Dearborn Public Schools is committed to meeting the educational needs of all residents through classes and programs that are offered by the Adult Education program.
Margaret-King Ahmed, district parent involvement educator, shared a snippet about Parent Talk opportunities offered at various DPS schools which focus on talking to children using language that builds self-esteem and encourages responsibility.
A parent survey was administered and completed by parents with native language support and translation provided by Manar Kodamah, DPS district liaison. The survey results will assist in planning future meetings and making ‘next step’ decisions.
Representatives from ACCESS and HYPE were also in attendance and shared the resources and supports they are able to provide to parents and their families. Contact information and brochures were shared to give parents access to the services available to them. Parents were pleased and satisfied with the community and school outreach.
Two team members of the EL and Compensatory Education Department, Maura Sedgeman and Kellie Bugajski, attended the WIDA 2016 National Conference which provided opportunities for professional learning, idea sharing, relationship building, and strategic collaboration. The theme, “Drawing on Life’s Experiences: Designing Bright Futures,” expresses that English Language Learners bring an amazing array of knowledge and experience that must be valued in development of language ability and to be successful upon graduation from high school. They specifically attended the Migrant/Refugee/Newcomer sessions with a focus on best practices that support students academically, socially, and emotionally and allowed us to reflect on improving the educational outcomes of ELs. The new learning will be incorporated to upcoming district professional development opportunities.
Many of the refugees that register for school in the US have often lived in a country with an unstable infrastructure for years due to extreme conditions like poverty, war and disasters. To date, we have about 349 refugee students enrolled in Dearborn Public Schools. They enter our school system with many basic needs. Part of educating the whole child is ensuring that both their affective and academic needs are met. Helping children and adolescents cope with trauma will strengthen their social and emotional skills. Feeling safe at school translates into higher academic achievement, increased student well-being, and greater engagement
What is trauma?
“Trauma” is often thought of as physical injuries. Psychological trauma is an emotionally painful, shocking, stressful, and sometimes life-threatening experience. It may or may not involve physical injuries, and can result from witnessing distressing events. Traumatic events threaten our sense of safety.
Reactions (responses) to trauma can be immediate or delayed. Reactions to trauma differ in severity and cover a wide range of behaviors and responses. Frequently experienced responses among children after trauma are loss of trust and a fear of the event happening again.
What can school personnel do to help?
There are steps that adults can take that can help them cope. These include creating safe conditions, remaining calm and friendly, and connecting with others. Being sensitive to people under stress and respecting their decisions is important.
If a child brings up an act of violence that he/she experienced or their feelings about it, let them know:
You care about them.
The event was not their fault.
You will do your best to take care of them in school.
It’s okay for them to feel upset.
· Allow children to cry
· Allow sadness
· Listen to children
· Let children talk about feelings
· Let them write/draw about feelings
· Accept their feelings
· Try to keep regular routines.
· Expect children to be brave or tough
· Force children to tell their stories
· Probe for personal details
· Make promises you cannot keep
· Say what you think people should feel
· Say how people should have acted
· Argue about their feelings
· Get upset if they begin acting out
· Get angry if children show strong emotions
· Ignore severe reactions
Source: National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
The 3D Community was established five years ago when three departments (EL & Comp Ed., Special Education and General Ed) came together with the purpose of serving the needs of all students in our district. Each of the three departments brought a different dimension to the table, hence the name.
The first 3D community meeting of 2016-17 was launched today with our first collaborative learning opportunity which focused on co-teaching. Special Education team members facilitated the morning session where school teams discussed the benefits and approaches to a successful co-teaching model.
Dr. Glenn Maleyko was even able to capture a selfie at the meeting.
The learning continued through the afternoon where departments met separately. The EL Department team members focused the discussion on the role of the bilingual resource teacher working collaboratively with classroom teachers to meet the needs of the growing population of English Learners. The learning continued by examining what specially designed instruction looks like for newcomers (newly arrived immigrants with limited English proficiency) and ended with a sharing of resources.
The Michigan Department of Education hosted a SIOP Trainers’ reunion in Lansing on Friday, May 6. Several Dearborn teachers who are state-certified SIOP trainers attended the continuous learning opportunity. In addition, Maura Sedgeman and Kellie Bugajski presented on Academic Language and Literacy. Trainers also had the opportunity to collaborate with English Learners in mind using a variety of strategies and reflective questioning.
Last Saturday was the culminating session for the 30 new Dearborn teachers who participated in the Title II Teacher Quality Grant with the University of Michigan-Dearborn. And what a day! Three words sum it up—Creativity, Collegiality, and Competence! Teachers worked on their “Synergy Reports”—individual posters displaying their learning from the two ESL Endorsement classes—EDD 547/447 “Teaching English as a Second Language”, and PDED 418CC/518AT “Aligning Reading Theory and Best Practice to Curriculum and Instruction.” Then teachers did a “Gallery Walk” to see and hear from their peers.
Following an “Expert Panel” question and answer session with Dr. Martha Adler and Dr. Jamie Lee from UM-D, Dr. Ross Groover and Maura Sedgeman from Dearborn Public Schools, teachers then gathered in grade level teams to “List, Rank, Compare, and Illustrate” their expert knowledge of “Exemplar SIOP Lessons”:
“A SIOP exemplar lesson is like…
…a box of legos, because you can build academic language and literacy.
…a road map because both provide a guide to a final destination, with a variety of options along the way.
…a “butterfly life cycle.” Students start as caterpillars, wrapped in the SIOP chrysalis, and emerge literate butterflies.
To end the day with a Bravo, teachers created a visual representation of their learning from the two classes using “stuff”—playdough, sticks, pipecleaners, and recycled fillers from computer boxes. Take a look here and outside room 18 at ASC to experience their “creation-synthesis”! Bravo Dearborn teachers!
The EL Department team had the opportunity to attend the 13th Annual “Images and Perceptions” Diversity conference. It was a day committed to creating unity within the community and promoting cultural awareness across all boundaries.
The diversity of speakers and topics were interwoven to deliver a powerful message. Diversity is appreciating that every individual is unique and by embracing diversity, we ultimately empower our community. Two reoccurring take-away messages worth mentioning were (1) the importance of educating oneself by distinguishing between the media’s intentional distortion and truth itself and (2) the importance of building and sustaining relationships to attain the epitome of an empowered community.
Overall, the conference inspired others to be an advocate for diversity and inclusion in any and every capacity.