Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Did you know?

    Lake Orion Community Schools...
    • annually outperform Oakland County and State averages in all tested subject areas
    • graduates are awarded several million dollars in merit scholarships
    • named by the College Board as a 2012-2013 Advance Placement (AP) Achievement District earning placement on the AP Honor Roll
    • neighborhood and intra-district focus elementary schools and middle schools recognized as Michigan Blue Ribbon Exemplary Schools
      • The Michigan Department of Education ranked Carpenter Elementary School among the top 1% of schools in the state for the academic success of students
      • Webber Elementary is a member of the National Math Olympiad Honor Role ranking in the top 10% of all teams internationally
      • Pine Tree and Stadium Drive Elementary awarded the Education Excellence Awards from the Michigan Association of School Boards
    • incoming ninth grade students are part of the District's exclusive Freshman Academy, a county first
    • high school designated a National Blue Ribbon School and New American High School and accredited by the North Central Association
    • recognized by the U.S. Department of Education with the Blue Ribbon Schools special emphasis award in special education
    • award-winning Reader's Workshop has become a model for districts throughout Oakland County
    • English as a Second Language provided to some 500 adults and children from more than 30 countries
    • recognized as the Oakland County Community and Adult Education District of the Year
    • vocal and Instrumental music programs regularly earn top ratings at state-level competitions and festivals
    • Dragon Yearbook is a member of the MPA Hall of Fame and awarded the National Pacemaker Award for excellence in student journalism
    • athletic success includes state playoff runs and state championships in numerous sports programs
    • earned
      • Meridian Award of Excellence from the Michigan School Business Officials
      • Excellence in Transportation Award from Oakland County
      • Children's Choice North American School Bus Driver of the year
      • Middle School Teacher of the Year and Promising Young Educator of the Year from the Michigan Association of Middle School Educators
      • Distinguished Support Service Betty Campion Award from Oakland County
      • Best Newscast Award awarded to LO-AM, the high school's student produced daily live news program by the Michigan Interscholastic Press Association
    • received a AA-bond rating - the highest available to a school district
    • refinanced a portion of the bond debt to save taxpayers $6.1 million over a 15 year period

    Tuesday, November 20, 2012

    Public Schools are at risk!


    Our community schools are at risk and the next three weeks may determine their viability for the future.  

    We see state and federal policies on education eroding the local control of our schools.  We see the privatization and corporatization of public education without any benefit in terms of improved student learning.  

    Michigan is embarking on a very radical experiment with our children - one that is untested and untried.  Please be informed about the issues that are in front of the legislature right now - issues legislators are trying to pass before their “lame duck” session ends in December and contact our legislators to express your views.

    Education Achievement Authority (EAA) Expansion - HB 6004 and SB 1358

    As background, the original intent for the creation of the EAA was to allow the state to take authority over the bottom 5% of all school districts.

    The proposed legislation expands that authority beyond the bottom 5% of school districts and also provides for state control over unused buildings that were paid for with YOUR local tax dollars. This legislation goes beyond codifying the existence of the EAA in statute. It allows the EAA to authorize and operate “new forms” of schools outside of the bottom 5% of failing schools, expand across Michigan and exempt them from testing requirements.
     

    Concerns:

    1.  The focus is NOT on failing schools  and creates different standards for EAA schools by exempting them from testing requirements. 

    2.  This is a political power grab by creating a statewide school district that is operated through a political appointment process. 

    4.  The State will be allowed to takeover local school buildings that were paid for with local tax dollars.

    5.  There is a lack of quality assurances with absolutely no history or ability to improve school performance 

    CONTACT YOUR LEGISLATORS
    Governor Rick Snyder 
    Phone: 517-373-3400
    Email: Rick.Snyder@Michigan.gov

    Senator Jim Marleau 
    P.O. Box 30036
    Lansing, MI 48909-7536
    Phone: 248-724-2442
    Fax: 517-373 - 2694
    Email: jimmarleau@senate.michigan.gov
    (Please include name, address, and phone number)

    Representative Brad Jacobsen (Addison, Oxford, and Orion Township)
    N-895 House Office Building
    P.O. Box 30014
    Lansing, MI 48909
    Phone: 517-373 -1798
    Toll Free: 855-737-2723 [855 REPBRAD]
    Email: BradJacobsen@house.mi.gov

    Representative Tom McMillin (Oakland Township, 48363 zip code)
    N-894 House Office Building
    P.O. Box 30014
    Lansing, MI 48909
    Phone: 517-373-1773
    Toll Free: 866-969-0450
    Email: TomMcMillin@house.mi.gov


    Wednesday, November 14, 2012

    LO earns placement on College Board AP District Honor Roll

    Lake Orion Community Schools is one of 539 schools districts across 44 of the 50 states in the U.S. and Canada being honored by the College Board with placement on the 3rd Annual AP® District Honor Roll for simultaneously increasing access to Advanced Placement® course work while maintaining the percentage of students earning scores of 3 or higher on AP Exams.  

    And, only 39 of the 549 Michigan school districts have achieved this honor.

    Achieving both of these goals is the ideal scenario for a district’s AP program because it indicates that the district is successfully identifying motivated, academically prepared students who are likely to benefit most from rigorous AP course work.  Since 2010, Lake Orion has increased the number of students participating in AP from 320 to 418 while maintaining the percentage of students earning AP Exam scores of 3 or higher. 

    More than 90 percent of colleges and universities across the U.S. offer college credit, advanced placement or both for a score of 3 or above on an AP Exam — which can potentially save students and their families thousands of dollars in college tuition.

     “We applaud the extraordinary efforts of the devoted teachers and administrators in this district, who are fostering rigorous work worth doing. These educators have not only expanded student access to AP course work, but they have enabled more of their students to achieve on a college level—which is helping to create a strong college-going culture,” said College Board President, David Coleman.

     Inclusion on the 3rd Annual AP District Honor Roll is based on the examination of three years of AP data, from 2010 to 2012, for the following criteria:
    •  Increase participation/access to AP by at least 4 percent in large districts, at least 6 percent in medium districts and at least 11 percent in small districts;
    • Ensure that the percentage of African American, Hispanic/Latino and American Indian/Alaska Native students taking AP Exams did not decrease by more than 5 percent for large and medium districts or by more than 10 percent for small districts;
    •  Improve performance levels when comparing the percentage of students in 2012 scoring a 3 or higher to those in 2010, unless the district has already attained a performance level in which more than 70 percent of the AP students are scoring a 3 or higher.