PTSA High School Newsletter - click here to email newletter submissions

Monday, October 7, 2013

Academic Booster Board 2013-2014

Elizabeth Hanning • • 558-6375

Vice President:

Mary Ann Donnelly  • • 452-5454

Stacey Levitt • • 247-9142
Doug Congdon • •  970-2756

Jay Forstner • • 248-4013 

Corresponding Secretary:

Susan Rea • •  

Past President:

Lynn Barger Elliott • • 881-3330


Thursday, March 7, 2013

East Grand Rapids High School Academic Boosters Membership Meeting Conducted - March 7, 2013

Time: 9:00 am
Place: East Grand Rapids High School Little Auditorium

Business for the Meeting: Welcome & Introductions, Committee Reports, Principal’s
Report, Speaker, Sean Corcorran/Steelcase
Present: Lynn Barger Elliot-President, Elizabeth Hanning-Vice President, Amy KeanePast President, Jenny Khorey-Treasurer, Laura Fabrizio-Secretary, Tinker JudsonCorresponding Secretary, Membership-Stacey Levitt

Committee Updates
Academic Awards Ceremony
Monday, March 25, 2013
Jodi McClean
3.25 or higher are invited to this

Jennifer Wenger - Student Representative for Design Club
*Design club at EGRHS, explore professions related to engineering, design, & architecture
*DDT Program, a 4 year program

Tina Marrou
Legislative Committee update

Jenny Fee, Principal’s Report
*Standardized testing ends today March 7, 2013
*Scheduling process begins
*8th Grade visits and scheduling begins in March

Guest Speaker - Sean Corcorran
Creating active learning spaces
*Innovation in furniture, tools and technologies for learning spaces
*Education is under intense pressure to change
*Adoption of new methods of teaching (“pedagogies”)
*How do we keep students engaged, engagement=learning
EGRHS prototyping a chair, supports active learning, even in a densely packed classroom

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Academic Booster Meeting Minutes - February 7, 2013

East Grand Rapids High School Academic Boosters
Membership Meeting Conducted on - February 7, 2013
Time: 9:00 am
Place: East Grand Rapids High School Conference Room

Business for the Meeting: Welcome & Introductions, Budget Report, Guidance Report,
Committee Reports, 1:1 Integration Update

Present & Voted: Elizabeth Hanning-Vice Pres., Amy Keane-Past President, Jenny
Khorey-Treasurer, Laura Fabrizio-Secretary, Tinker Judson-Corresponding Secretary,
Membership-Stacey Levitt
Not Present: Lynn Barger-Elliot

Progressive Dinner Update: 106 attendees, successful event, thanks to all those
involved. Income approx. $4500.00.

Academic Boosters Board Nominations: - 2 year commitment, positions available,
Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, Corresponding Secretary, & Membership

Winter Whirl: Saturday, February 16th, 2013
Kimberly Lloyd and Erica Steers
*Decorations are up and going
*Looking for assistance with selling tickets - lunchtime
*Looking for chaperones - sign up

Awards Ceremony:
Monday, March 26, 2013
*Speaker- The Honorable Jane M. Beckering, State Court of Appeals
*All students with an unweighted GPA of 3.25 or above are invited
*Please encourage your student to attend

Lori Johnston
Guidance Office Report
*Working with 9th, & 10th graders on their ADP process., through the family connection
software on EGR website. All students will have been trained and have access to it.
*Academic Planning for the class of 2017 - March 11, 13, 18th, 2013

Committee Reports

*Transition Day, March 11, 2013
*Scheduling begins the week of March 12; & Junior Conferences will wrap up the end of

Jenny Fee
Principal’s Report
* Kabookie week celebrating kindness, respect, and openness with students. Sharing
Jimmy Gerken’s message.
* Blood Drive February 7, 2013
* Standardized Testing begins, February 12th, NAPE test
* March 5, 6, 7 - MME testing
* All 9th graders will be taking the EXPLORE test on March 5, 2013
* All 10th graders will be taking the PLAN test

Technology Integration 1:1 Update: Video
*Alisya Murphy - Teacher
*Discussion of classroom integration, value, access to classroom notes while learning.
*Explore concepts during class, enhance lessons, provides authentic learning with
both hands-on and technology based activities.
*Submit work paperless, immediate access to software.
*Heather McKinney - Teacher
*Students listen to her notes on their own time
*Value - students were able to “go back” and review recorded notes online
*Students are able to integrate a self-selection thematically driven book
*Allows teachers to personalize learning, meet individual needs
*Seneca Powers - Student, freshman
*Sample of how students can organize homework, through Google Docs

Dr. Julia DeJonge-clinical psychologist
Parental Coaching: Potentials for Postive Impact of Tech. in the Classroom
*Partial attention is not healthy for the brain
Parent Questions:
Interested in how teachers are sharing “best practices” and how are they monitered

Jenny Khorey:
Treasurer- Budget Report

Academic Boosters Secretary - Laura Fabrizio
Date: 2-7-13

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Academic Boosters Meeting Minutes - January 10, 2013

Welcome & Introductions
Lynn Barger-Elliot, President

Budget Report
Jenny Khorey, Treasurer
*Presented copy of the current 2013 budget

Guidance Report
Lori Johnston, Director of Guidance
*Martin Luther King Day initiatives beginning “district-wide”
*Safety - EGRPS has tightened up access to doors, checking current security cameras, evaluating
the need to install more; several discussions to “initiate” new safety procedures.
*College Application Update - Approx. 1000 applications, to 232 colleges
*Juniors - ACT workshop Jan. 12, 2013, & May 2013
*Seniors - Class meeting to discuss caps, gowns, & graduation material.
*2012 Annual Reports online
*Increase number of out of state schools, and private schools seniors are considering
*Myth-busters during the college application process
*Today Show clip re: college admissions process,

Committee Reports
*Progressive Dinner - Melissa Marsh
*Winter Whirl - 100 students volunteered to help
*Academic Awards - 2013 Speaker, The Honorable Jane M. Beckering, State Court of Appeals,
*Committee is looking for volunteers to assist, March 25, 2013
*Membership - Stacey Levitt, 142 families

Julia DeJonge, Ph.D.
*Discussion on adolescents, maturity level, their developing brains

*Adolescent brain does not mature until they’ve reached their 20’s
*Skills, freedom and independence need to be given over a longer period of time
with practice
*Onset of puberty is much earlier; but adult expectations have come much later
*There are more skills the “young brain” need to be practicing, developing real time,
real life situations
*Don’t underestimate what responsibilities your child is capable of; rehearsal of social
situations is helpful.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Academic Boosters Meeting minutes November 1, 2012

The meeting was called to order by Lynn Barger-Elliot at 9:00 in the
Learning Center Conference Room at EGR High School.

The Board members each introduced themselves and then the attending members
introduced themselves as well.

Jenny Khorey, Treasurer, asked if there were any questions on the proposed
budget for 2012-2013.  There were none.  A motion was made and seconded to
approve the budget, a vote was taken, and the budget was unanimously

Dani Bailey spoke about the Teacher Appreciation Lunch to be held Thursday
Nov. 8.  It will be catered by Ramona's Table, but there is still a need for
donations of fruit plates and desserts.  If you will be out of town, you can
drop your donations off early to Dani's house (915 San Jose).  Sign-up sheet
at the back of the room.

Melissa Marsh spoke about the Progressive Dinner, which she is co-chairing
with Shannon Hunt.  The dinner is Jan. 19, 2013.  Sign-up sheets in the back
of the room to help cook the day before or to be a host home that night.
The Fotieos are hosting as the reception home.

Lynn mentioned that there are AB cookbooks on sale for $5 (used to be $20).
They do not include the items from last year's menu, but let her know if you
want those recipes too.

Lynn spoke about Winter Whirl.  They had a great meeting last week.  The
theme is currently being decided upon.  Please sign up if you want to help.
Cynthia VanRenterghem spoke about the new Science Olympiad team that she is
exploring getting started at the High School level with co-chair Betsy
Nuebig.  They have met with Mr. Vance and Mr. Burke at the Middle School,
who are open to expanding the current Middle School program into the High
School as well.  If you are interested in helping or if you are a student
who is interested in joining, please contact Cynthia or Betsy.

Tinker Judson spoke about the fact that Kathy Szivan could use some
volunteer help in the Media Center.  Please contact Kathy if you are

Jenny Fee gave her Principal's Report.  The first marking period ended last
week and grades will be up on Skyward on Friday (tomorrow).  Next week are
Parent Teacher Conferences:  Mon. 6-8:30, Wed. 4-6:30, Thurs. all day.  The
teachers and staff really appreciate the Appreciation Lunch provided by the
Academic Boosters.  Jenny spoke about the fact that this fall the 9th
graders are taking the Social Studies MEAP, and they are piloting an on-line
MEAP assessment.  The school brought in the Macbook carts so that the
students all took the test on the same device.  Each student had a unique
user name and password.  Jenny showed us an example of the on-line
assessment.  Jenny said that in 2015 our students will no longer take the
MEAPs but will take different assessments being developed by the "Smarter
Balance Consortium" that the state of Michigan is a part of.  All the states
in this consortium will have the same assessments.

Lori Johnson reviewed the Family Connections tool used by our guidance
office over the last two years.  As of this meeting there have been 754
college applications processed this year.  Last year there were 1042
applications processed and nothing was lost.  Family Connections is a
multi-use tool that is used across all four grades.  Lori handed out a
pamphlet that goes to the students that explains all the pieces of Family
Connections available. Lori gave a demonstration of some of the Family
Connections uses, including college match, college compare and college
search features, college visit and scholarship information for junior and
seniors.  The younger students focus more on the career section.  The junior
conference questionnaire is also on Family Connections - both the student
and parent piece.

Tim Farmer spoke about the National Honor Society.  Juniors and Seniors are
invited to apply in October if they have a weighted GPA equal or greater to
3.75 at the end of the prior year.  The applications are due at the end of
the first semester, and the students must describe 10 service/leadership
activities that they have done, as well as provide 5 teachers to give a
character reference.  The extended application period gives them some time
to get these activities in process if they need to.  One evening in February
current members bring invitations to the houses of those students that are
invited to join, and there is an induction ceremony on the first Wed. in
March.  More than 100 juniors were qualified to be invited this year, and 25
additional seniors were invited to apply.  If a student gets a disciplinary
action on their record, they are not invited to apply, their application is
rescinded, or they can be removed from the National Honor Society.  The NHS
members do fundraising activities - their primary service organization is
the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, but in past years they have done tutoring
and other activities based on what the students are interested in.
Lori Johnson spoke about ACT on-line prep available through the state of
Michigan which in the past could be purchased but will now be available to
all students for free.  It doesn't have the structure of a class and an
instructor, but it's a good tool to help a student study for the ACT.  It is
available to every junior right now and the sophomores will get access this
spring.  There will also be ACT workshops offered to juniors in Dec., Jan.,
and March.  There are also more expensive classes offered through other
sources.  Lori mentioned that students now register for the ACT and SAT
on-line and have to upload a picture of themselves.  Lori also mentioned
that the PLAN and EXPLORE tests will take place in March this year during
the MME testing period.

Dr. Julia DeJonge spoke to us about academic expectations and setting goals
for our high school students.  Studies show high parental expectations lead
to student success in going to college, setting goals etc.  The problem is
expectations not being geared toward who the student is, and also how you
communicate the expectations to your student. Parents should try to be
coaches versus judges, and the message should be about being hardworking and
smart versus being the best/first.  Also children are different in the way
they process expectations.  Parents need to think about what their student
is motivated by and how they experience you as you communicate your
expectations. There is an optimal level of anxiety for a student - when they
are "in the zone."  Also when goals aren't met parents need to regroup with
their student, rather than letting the student feel the parent's
disappointment and making it about the parent instead of the student.

The meeting was adjourned by Lynn Barger Elliot at 10:15.