Pontiac, Oxford, Ferndale and Farmington Schools Honored…

waterworkTOP_whitePontiac, Oxford, Ferndale and HowesLocationFarmington Schools Honored by MASB and SET SEG

(C. Proxmire, May 15, 2015)

The Michigan Association of School Boards and the SET SEG Foundation Honored 21 Educational Programs from around the state this week, with four districts in Oakland County taking home awards. Pontiac, Oxford, Ferndale and Farmington Schools were all recognized for their efforts in improving educational opportunities for Michigan’s youth.

dickeys_graduation_ad_ferndaleProject-Based Learning, International Technology Academy

Pontiac School District

The International Technology Academy is a unique, innovative program that provides a quality, project-based learning experience to a diverse population in the Pontiac area. ITA strives to help all students achieve their full academic potential, prepare them for success in college, and equip them with the ability and the desire for life-long learning. ITA teaches its students to perform to the best of their ability and achieve academic excellence in a global context using 21st century skills (communication, collaboration, creativity and critical thinking), while preparing graduates to attend colleges and universities. This program develops and strengthens students’ values transforming young men and women into productive, contributing members of society. The ITA’s goals include: to provide a well-rounded, project-based learning experience, train students in critical thinkingronwarrenphotoad and logical reasoning, prepare students to utilize 21st century skills and generate a passion for life-long learning.

Oxford Academy of Engineering & Technology, Oxford High

Oxford Community Schools

The U.S. Department of Commerce states that jobs in science, technology, engineering and math fields will grow 17 percent by 2018. Oxford Community Schools chose to challenge this demand in 2008 by establishing a strategic goal to implement research-based curriculum and instructional practices that provide authentic, real-world skills applicable to a global marketplace. One of the ways the district looked to accomplish this goal was by establishing the Oxford High Academy of Engineering & Technology, a four-year, nationally certified ferndale_pride_2015_02engineering program that offers nine different engineering courses in 2009. What makes the program even more unique is partnerships with major area universities (Eastern Michigan University, Oakland University, Kettering University and Lawrence Technological University) that provide dual-enrollment engineering courses, sponsorships and mentoring.

College Immersion for Urban Students, University High

Ferndale Public Schools

The University High School and Wayne State University partnership is a unique program focused on providing urban students with a college immersion experience in their senior year of high school. This is the 10th year partnering with a university, but only the second with WSU. sideADpinkThe partnership between a high school and a university represents a shift in the traditional structure of secondary education. In this unique “school without walls,” the students have the opportunity to experience college life while still attending high school. For many students, often the first college-going members of their families, the college experience is their very first exposure to the rigors and expectations of university life. The success of UHS graduates is directly attributable to the College Immersion Partnership and the innovative, nontraditional approach to urban education that UHS and its partners have undertaken. Ultimately, the goals of the program are to provide urban students with immersion experiences on a university campus in order to better prepare them for the challenges and expectations of university life, as well as to help them learn vital skills for college Judy_Palmer30yearssuccess BEFORE they leave for college.

Rise and Shine, Longacre Elementary

Farmington Public Schools

Rise and Shine is offered four days each week for 30 minutes before school at Longacre Elementary. Based upon the work of Harvard Medical School professor John Ratey with high school students in Naperville, Ill., and outlined in his book “Spark,” the program gives students in first through fourth grades an opportunity to experience vigorous exercise with their physical education teacher immediately before beginning the academic day. Ratey’s research suggests exercise stimulates brain cell growth (neurogenesis). In his study, students who did before school exercise showed significant academic performance differences over control groups. With vigorous exercise as the goal, the sessions begin with simple tag games followed by a circuit that royal_servicesincludes instruction in multidirectional speed and agility, and multiple stations encouraging functional strength, balance and coordination designed to be fun and compelling. A cornerstone of Rise and Shine is the stewardship that the older students demonstrate in mentoring younger ones. Students frequently explain the rules for games and work with each other to teach new movements. Each session ends in a large group game designed to energize students before they head off to morning homeroom instruction. Now in its fifth year, the program averages 30 students participating every day.

You can read descriptions of each winning program at www.masb.org/2015-edex-award-winners.aspx.

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