Principal Welcome Letter

Welcome to the Wixom Elementary School Family.

Welcome to Wixom Elementary—and welcome to our School Family!  We are proud of the excellent achievement of our students, our talented and caring staff, and the outstanding support that our school receives from our PTA and active parents and families.

Wixom Elementary is a nationally accredited school through AdvancED.  Along with the other schools in the Walled Lake Consolidated Schools, we participate in a continuous school improvement cycle that is monitored by AdvancED.  Our School Culture Team serves as the steering committee for our school improvement process.  The School Culture Team works with the leaders of our school improvement committees to plan our school improvement initiatives and to monitor the achievement data for our students.

We are proud of the performance of our students on the Michigan Education Assessment Program (MEAP) tests that were taken every fall by our third, fourth, and fifth grade students until October, 2013.  Last spring, our upper elementary students took the new Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress (M-STEP) for the first time, and we expect to get our results back from the State of Michigan soon.  We also assess our boys and girls through the Walled Lake schools quarterly Benchmark Assessment system, quizzes, tests, portfolios of student work, and classroom demonstrations and projects.

Our students use computers beginning in kindergarten in our well-equipped computer lab.  In grades 2-5, the students also use wireless laptops in their classrooms for word processing, math activities, Internet research, Powerpoint presentations, and other technology applications.  In addition to the core academic subjects in the classroom, all of our students also attend “specials classes” in art, music, physical education, and library/technology.

One of our most important school improvement goals is to teach our students to take ownership and accountability for their own learning and behavior.  One of the ways that we are working to accomplish this goal is through the implementation of the Conscious Discipline program which was designed by Dr. Becky Bailey.  This character development program teaches the students that they play an important role in creating and maintaining a safe and caring school environment along with their teachers.  Through demonstrating respect for others and taking responsibility for the choices that they make for academics and behavior, the students build important life skills for success.

Another one of our key school improvement goals is to develop the higher order thinking skills of all of our students.  We are currently in the process of becoming a Cultures of Thinking school which is based on the work of Dr. Ron Ritchhart from Harvard University.  Our teachers are integrating “thinking routines” across the curriculum with the goal of developing sophisticated discussion skills and writing skills—we want the boys and girls to be able to articulate “the why” behind their answers in both discussions and writing.  When you visit our school, be sure to take a look at some of the displays of the “thinking routines” that the students have created that are posted around the building.

Additional sources of pride at Wixom Elementary include our outstanding PTA, wonderful parent, grandparent, and community volunteers, and our involved families.  Our PTA works with the staff to host a wide variety of events including our Meet the Teacher Day/Ice Cream Social, Parents As Partners workshops about Conscious Discipline and Cultures of Thinking, Trunk or Treat, Family Bingo Night, the Spring Fair, and the Variety Show just to name a few.  We welcome all of our families to become actively involved members of the Wixom Elementary School Family—our staff takes pride in creating our school environment that is based on caring relationships with the children and our families—and we are glad that you and your children are members of our School Family!

If you would like to learn more about Wixom Elementary, please feel free to call me to arrange a personal tour.  You will have an opportunity to visit our classrooms, meet our teachers, and learn about our curriculum and school improvement initiatives.  I look forward to meeting you!

Wishing you well,

Alec R. Bender, Principal