Friday, January 12, 2018

One Word

Hi folks, Jon Wennstrom here! Like many of you, I often make resolutions for the new year for self-improvement. Taking the lead of many educators from across the country, I have given up resolutions and instead chosen one word that will be my focus for 2018. My word for this year is "Patience". I struggle with being patient (especially with myself) and often want to get things done in a hurry and fix problems efficiently. This year, I want to focus on giving the time to be present with myself and others and to empower those around me to resolve issues rather than handing out quick fixes. I know that this will be a challenge for me as I'm used to going a mile a minute, but by focusing on my one word, I will strive to show more patience with myself and others. What resolutions or One Word do YOU have for this year?
UPCOMING EVENTS AT BUCHANAN

Monday, January 15: No School for MLK Jr. Day!
Tuesday, January 16: Battle of the Books Permission Slips due for participating 3rd & 4th grade students. 
Thursday, January 18: Reflections Ceremony at Stevenson High School for those students that participated 6:30 PM

Monday, January 22: PTA Skate Night at Riverside Arena 6:00-8:00 PM
Thursday, January 25: PTA General Meeting 7:00 PM

Friday, February 2: VIP Dance held at Riley Upper Elementary 6:30-8:30 PM

MEET THE BUCHANAN STAFF
Mrs. Mcguigan - Kindergarten Teacher

Hello Buchanan Families! My name is Mrs. McGuigan and I am a Kindergarten teacher here at Buchanan. This is my 3rd year teaching Kindergarten at Buchanan, and Kindergarten is definitely where my heart is! I absolutely love having the ability to experience new things with my Kinder friends every day. It is a year of tremendous growth, both socially and academically, and I feel extremely lucky to be part of it. When I am not at school, I enjoy spending time with my husband and our adorable daughter, Stella. Stella will be one in March, and each day is an amazing adventure watching her learn and develop her sweet little personality. 

My goal for this year is to create an environment that my students feel safe and comfortable in. I want my students to look forward to coming to a positive classroom every day.

The 5 words I would use to describe Buchanan are: Welcoming, Fun, Dedicated, Supportive, and Positive!

PTA POINTS
We hope you enjoyed your holidays and winter break!! Thank you to those who shopped at our 5 Below fundraiser.
  • Planning a trip to Disney? One of our Buchanan parents can help! Please see attached flyer or click on Facebook link for more information. Buchanan PTA will receive a portion of the profit for trips booked.
  • Looking for something to do? Monday January 22 we have a Riverside skate night from 6:00-8:00pm or join us at Dave & Busters from 5:00-8:00pm for an evening of fun and games. Attached is the flyer for Dave & Busters- you will need the flyer for us to receive any profits. You can present it to your server if you are eating or to the front desk member if you are just playing games.
  • Our VIP dance will be Friday February 2 at Riley Upper Elementary, 6:30-8:30pm. Riley has more space and we can accommodate our families better by hosting the event there. Please look for a flyer coming home next week with more information. Pre-sale tickets only, tickets will not be sold at the door. 
  • A flyer will be going home soon about Youth Making a Difference, a great PTA sponsored program promoting volunteerism and helping within your community for our students. Detailed information will be in the flyer if your child is interested in participating. 
  • PTA Executive board nominations for the 2018-19 school year will be coming out in early February- all positions are open. We are in need of a treasurer, if anyone is interested, please contact Nikki Watson at nalquiza@twmi.rr.com for more information. We would like someone to start "shadowing" our current treasurer as soon as possible. 

Did you know that we have a list of guidelines for when students should stay home from school due to illness? I have attached the guideline list to this e-blast to assist families when deciding whether or not to send a child. It's important for students to be at school as often as possible for high achievement, but we also want students to be healthy and happy while here. Thank you for your continued support. Great things are happening at Buchanan! 

Friday, December 22, 2017

Shine On!

Hi folks, Jon Wennstrom here! As we finished up the last week of school for 2017, our 3rd and 4th grade students had a chance to shine as they demonstrated their talents in singing and with recorders. We also celebrated our latest Students of the Month for the theme of Empathy. I'm a firm believer in giving students the chance to demonstrate excellence in school, whether it's for academics, the arts, or character education. Students need a well rounded experience at school, but most importantly, they need opportunities to be recognized for hard work and a chance to demonstrate when they have mastered a skill. I'm proud of our Buchanan students and staff and the effort they give each and every day. Congratulations to our music teacher, Mrs. Sydnie Canterberry, who just got married last week, and this week gave our students the opportunity to shine!






3rd Grade Students!!




4th Grade Students!






UPCOMING EVENTS AT BUCHANAN

December 23 - January 7: Winter Break!

Monday, January 8: School Resumes

MEET THE BUCHANAN STAFF
Ms. Medellin - Fourth Grade Teacher

Greeting Buchanan families! My name is Jennifer Medellin and I am a fourth grade teacher here at Buchanan. I have been at Buchanan my entire 17 years of teaching and I feel very fortunate to be able to say that. I have taught everything from first grade to fifth but I have to say that fourth grade is my absolute favorite. I have witnessed many changes over my years here at Buchanan and I have to say that the blending of Cass and Buchanan communities has been one of the best. I have seen great effort by the two communities to come together and it is wonderful to experience the positive changes and supportive energy that is felt here every day.

In my personal life, I have a son in high school now and a daughter that attends Riley Elementary. We have a lot of fun together and I feel lucky that we live in this community. When not teaching, I enjoy spending time with my kids, traveling and working out.

 A goal I have for this year is to make sure that each student is reached and challenged and that a positive energy is felt in my room. 

Five words I would use to describe Buchanan are, positive, inviting, warm, safe and supportive


PTA POINTS
  • We are still in search of a secretary for next year's board. If you are interested, please let one of our officers know and we will provide job shadowing opportunities this spring!
  • We would like to wish all our Buchanan families a very happy holiday season!

Did you know that the entire Buchanan Staff would like to wish all of you a happy holiday season? However you celebrate the season, we wish you a safe and relaxing time with family and loved ones. Best wishes from our staff to your family and we look forward to seeing the students when they return in 2018!

Friday, December 15, 2017

Flexibility

Hi folks, Jon Wennstrom here! This week we had a snow day and while it was a fun surprise for the students (and some adults:) it certainly caused some disruptions in the schedule. From principal meetings, to staff gatherings, to Santa Shop, to the Winter Concert, many planned events were cancelled or rescheduled. From talking with staff members to PTA members in an effort to provide the students the opportunities to have as many fun events as possible, I was struck by how flexible the Buchanan staff and volunteers are. We were able to bring in volunteers on a new day to run the shop, we were able to hold the Winter Concert on another evening, and we were even able to reschedule Santa for classroom visits on Friday! Life is unpredictable, but if we can keep an open mind and "go with the flow" we can accomplish anything. Thanks to the Buchanan Community for all your support and flexibility as we continue to proved a fun school experience for our students!


UPCOMING EVENTS AT BUCHANAN

Wednesday, December 20: PTA Ham Pick Up 4:00-6:00 PM
Thursday, December 21: 3rd/4th Grade Winter Concert in the Gym 6:00-8:00 PM
Friday, December 22: Student Sing-along in the gym 3:15 PM, Winter Break begins after school

WINTER BREAK!

Monday, January 8: School Resumes

LOST & FOUND: Please note that we have a large amount of clothing articles in our lost & found. We have placed items on tables in our school lobby. Please check the tables for missing items or ask you child to look. Items still remaining after the winter break will be donated to those in need. 

MEET THE BUCHANAN STAFF
Ms. Kaufman - Third Grade Teacher

Hello Buchanan Families. My name is Nan Kaufman. This is my 23rd year of teaching and my 16th year working for Livonia Public Schools. I taught Kindergarten through second grade in the UP for seven years before coming to Livonia. Here in Livonia I taught 3rd and 4th at Webster for 8 years, worked as the K-6 Math and Science Facilitator for the district for five years,  taught 4th grade at Cass for two years, and am now I am teaching 3rd grade here at Buchanan.  I absolutely love how our Cass and Buchanan staff and families have come together to create a wonderful place for your children to come to everyday to learn something new. I live in Saint Clair Shores with my 13 year old daughter Cierra and our mini zoo which consists of 14 different animals. When I am not at school, I enjoy spending time with my daughter, our pets, gardening, going for bike rides, canoeing, and kayaking! 

My goal this year is to instill a growth mindset in my students so they become the best person and learner that they can be! 

Five words I would use to describe Buchanan are collaborative, fun, caring, energetic, and inviting.


SAFETY FIRST! Now that the snow and ice are here, we ask that our families and guests take extra care while driving in our parking lot. Please take the extra time to follow all traffic flow protocols and be sure to go slow and look twice.  Thank you!!

PTA POINTS
  • A huge THANK YOU to all our volunteers that helped with Santa Shop!! We couldn't have done it without all your help, especially with the snow day. We appreciate your support and willingness to give of your time! 

  • Dearborn Ham pickup 
  • is this Wednesday December 20, 4:00-6:00pm.
  • We wish you all a safe and wonderful holiday season! 

    Enjoy your winter break!

Did you know that our 3rd & 4th Grade Winter Concert has been moved to Thursday, December 21? Our students have worked so hard learning their music and preparing that we have moved the event to allow for them to showcase their talent! We look forward to hosting the event in the Buchanan gym and are looking forward to seeing our students shine. Great things are happening at Buchanan! 







Saturday, December 9, 2017

Continuous Learning

Hi folks, Jon Wennstrom here! I am often talking with staff and students about the importance of being a continuous learner. This week, I tried to lead by example by attending the annual conference for the Michigan Elementary & Middle School Principals Association (MEMSPA). I spent three days attending session and meeting with principals from across the state to learn new ways to support teachers and students. I even got a chance to present a session myself. Three days is a long time to be away from the building, but I feel the skills and ideas I gained to help make me a better principal is worth the time. I very much appreciate the leadership of our staff for stepping up while I was out of the building. My goal at Buchanan is not create followers, but to create leaders with both staff and students! Whether you are reading a book, attending a training, or just learning something new, be sure to tell your child about the importance of continuous learning and how you continue to learn as an adult!

Getting ready to present on Relationship Building!

UPCOMING EVENTS AT BUCHANAN

Week of December 11: Santa Shop!
Thursday, December 14: 3rd&4th Grade Music Concert 6:00-8:00 PM

Wednesday, December 20: PTA Ham Pick Up 4:00-6:00 PM
Friday, December 22: All School Sing-along 3:15 PM / Winter Break begins after school!

MEET THE BUCHANAN STAFF
Ms. Adams - Second Grade Teacher

Hello Buchanan Families! My name is Michelle Adams and I am a second grade teacher.  This is my seventeenth year at Buchanan and my twentieth year as an educator.  I have mostly taught second grade and Kindergarten, but have also taught fourth and sixth grades.  I love this school and it has been a second home to me for a very long time.  I am always impressed with how much our families contribute to our community and integrate themselves into their children's learning.

When I'm not at school, some of my favorite things to do are reading, traveling, spending time with my family, swimming, and attending Broadway musicals.  I am lucky to have two nephews (Jonathan and Christian), two nieces (Julie and Alexi), and a cute cockatiel named Logan.  

This school year, I hope to encourage students to set goals for themselves and invest in their own learning by working towards those goals.  

5 words to describe Buchanan:  Caring, Energetic, Collaborative, Engaging, Dedicated.


PTA POINTS
  • Santa Shop is quickly approaching and we are still in need of many volunteers! Please click on the sign up genius  http://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0e44a4ae2ca1f94-santa if you are able to help. If you are volunteering during your child's class, please let any of the PTA board members at the event know and we can make arrangements to help your child shop.
  • When doing your Amazon holiday shopping, don't forget to shop Buchanan's smile page. Amazon donates 0.5% of the purchase price to James Buchanan Elementary PTA. Bookmark the link http://smile.amazon.com/ch/38-2618912 and support us every time you shop.
  • Holiday Giving Tree! In order to make it easy and accessible for families to give, we have gone to a Sign Up Genius format. Please click on the link to help a family: Holiday Giving Tree Link  

Congratulations to Peyton Y. for winning the limo ride from the PTA for being a top fundraiser at our Glow Run! He and his friends were picked up at the school on Thursday and spent an evening in downtown Detroit! 


Did you know that the report cards look different this year? Livonia Public Schools has moved to a Standards Based Report Card in an effort to more accurately reflect a child's progress and learning. Attached to this email is a link to a letter telling more about the report card and how to utilize the information it gives. I appreciate all the work our teachers have been doing as they transition to this new format in the hopes that it provides a more effective means of recording the growth and development of our students. Great things are happening at Buchanan! 

Friday, December 1, 2017

Empathy

Hi folks, Jon Wennstrom here! This month at Buchanan, we are focusing on Empathy. Being able to put ourselves in someone else's shoes is such an important trait, especially during a time of the year when many students and families may be facing hardships. We talked about moving beyond feeling sympathy for someone and taking action, like our canned food drive or the Toys for Tots basket in our lobby. We also share some videos to help explain empathy to children. I've included the video I will be sharing at our next Celebrate Monday assembly. I often joke that I empathize with students during report card time, because I was the student who got comments like "Jon is a good student, but is a little too social in class. Needs to focus more." I hope your child is having a positive experience this year and be looking for those report cards on Friday, December 8!

Empathy Video

UPCOMING EVENTS AT BUCHANAN

Tuesday, December 5: PTA Skate Night at Riverside Arena 6:00-8:00 PM
Friday, December 8: Report Cards go home

Monday, December 11: Santa Shop Opens at Buchanan!
Thursday, December 14: Santa Shop, Santa Claus, and 3rd/4th Grade Music Concert 6:00-8:00 PM

Friday, December 22: Winter Break begins after school! 

MEET THE BUCHANAN STAFF
Mrs. Taylor - First Grade Teacher

Hello Buchanan Families! My name is Mrs. Taylor and I am a first grade teacher here at Buchanan. This will be my eighth year at Buchanan and my seventh year in first grade. I have also taught grades three and four. Buchanan is like a second home to me. I absolutely love my co-workers and I have been blessed every year with great students and families! When I am not teaching my amazing first graders, I am at home with my husband Mike and our adorable son, Jake. Jake will be two years old in January. Every day Jake is doing something new, which is amazing to witness and be a part of! 

A goal I have for this year is to do my best to implement our Community With Character Traits (grit, responsibility, respect...) into my lessons. It's great to see students using and taking on these traits and becoming so mature, caring, and self-aware. 

The 5 words I would use to describe Buchanan are: Welcoming, Motivated, Nurturing, Fun, and Compassionate. 

Congratulations to our Students of the Month for GRIT!!

PTA POINTS
  • Riverside Skate Night- Tuesday December 5, 6:00-8:00pm
  • Dearborn Ham- we are resending flyers home if you would like to order. Order forms are due December 8 and pick up will be December 20. Please make check payable to Buchanan PTA. We are offering-
    • 8lbs Half Spiral Ham-$35.00
    • 14lbs Whole Spiral Ham-$57.00
    • 4.5lbs Spiral Sliced Turkey Breast-$35.00
  • Santa Shop is quickly approaching and we are still in need of many volunteers!! Please click on the sign up genius  http://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0e44a4ae2ca1f94-santa if you are able to help. Without enough volunteers- we are at risk of not being able to offer gift wrapping and class shopping times may have to be cancelled. If you are volunteering during your child's class, please let any of the PTA board members at the event know and we can make arrangements to help your child shop. 
  • Holiday Assistance: It is hard to believe, but the holidays are just around the corner and many families are still facing financial stress at home.  For some, it is minor—others a more pressing burden.  The holidays are an especially difficult time during financial stress—please know I am more than happy to try to help.  If you need any assistance with resources please contact me.  I do not share with staff or anyone in our community information regarding the recipients of such assistance.  Please let me know if we can help you and your family in any way.  My e-mail is kblazek@livoniapublicschools.org or you can reach me at 734-744-2690 ext. 12120. **Please note that if you need assistance with Christmas, I will need to know, no later than Friday, December 8th.
  • When doing your Amazon holiday shopping, don't forget to shop Buchanan's smile page. Amazon donates 0.5% of the purchase price to James Buchanan Elementary PTA. Bookmark the link http://smile.amazon.com/ch/38-2618912 and support us every time you shop.
  • Holiday Giving Tree! In order to make it easy and accessible for families to give, we have gone to a Sign Up Genius format. Please click on the link to help a family: Holiday Giving Tree Link  

Did you know that Webster Elementary houses the Alternative Classrooms for the Academically Talented (ACAT) program? There will be a Parent Information Meeting on Wednesday, December 6, from 6-7 pm at Webster Elementary 32401 Pembroke Livonia 48153. Webster Elementary ACAT program serves the academic needs of gifted and talented students in our community. Join us to learn if this program might meet the needs of your youngster. We accept applications to consider students in kindergarten through 4th grade. You will learn about our application and selection process, our philosophy and our curriculum. On hand will be the school principal, Mrs. Lora Boka and the ACAT teacher facilitator, Mr. David Zyczynski to lead a discussion and answer your questions. Great things are happening in Livonia Public Schools!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Thankful

Hi folks, Jon Wennstrom here! This week, I wanted to express my gratitude to the wonderful Buchanan Staff and the amazing Parent Community. Through all the transitions this year has brought, the level of support and involvement from everyone has been incredible. I also wanted to share how much I appreciate each and every one of you and how fortunate I feel to be a part of the Buchanan Community. I wish all of you a wonderful Thanksgiving Break and hope you enjoy time with loved ones and family.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING! 

UPCOMING EVENTS AT BUCHANAN

Monday, November 27: Student of the Month Assembly for GRIT
                                       PTA General Membership Meeting 7:00 PM in the library
Friday, December 1: No School for Students (Records Day for Teachers)

Friday, December 8: Report Cards go home

Monday, December 11-Friday, December 15: Santa Shop during school
Thursday, December 14: Santa Shop & Santa Claus and 3rd/4th Grade Music Concert 6:00-8:00 PM

Friday, December 22: Winter Break begins after school!

MEET THE BUCHANAN STAFF
Ms. Haapala - Kindergarten Teacher 

Hello! My name is Melissa Haapala and this is my first year at Buchanan. I’m thrilled to be here! I previously have taught preschool, first grade and kindergarten at Perrinville and Cass. I have an adorable golden retriever named Milo. I’m actually in the process of moving which has definitely been an adventure.

A goal I have this year is to take more pictures. I get so caught up in all the fun moments of kindergarten I forget to stop and document them. I'm so happy to be apart of the Buchanan Bears community and look forward to many more years here!

I would describe Buchanan as inviting, collaborative, innovative, fun, and lively!


PTA POINTS 
  • Next PTA Meeting will be Monday, November 27 at 7:00 PM (Childcare provided)
  • Don't forget to purchase Buchanan spirit wear! Go to buchananspiritwear.com to place your order. You can order throughout the year, but we are offering free shipping until November 20. All items are shipped directly to your home. Spirit wear is a great Christmas gift!
  • Santa Shop is coming! We will need many volunteers to bring classes to the shop, assist in shopping and gift wrapping. Please go to http://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0e44a4ae2ca1f94-santa  if you are able to help. This is a big event and the kids love shopping for their loved ones! We will have a preview on Monday, December 11 for all classes. Set up is tentatively on Friday, December 8, but we do not have a definite delivery date from the company yet.  If the date has to be changed, we will update the sign up genius. There will also be an evening shopping event on Thursday, December 14 from 6:00-7:45 PM. Enjoy shopping, a concert performance by our 3rd and 4th graders and a visit from Santa & Mrs. Claus. Please bring your own camera for a great photo opportunity!
  • Holiday Assistance: It is hard to believe, but the holidays are just around the corner and many families are still facing financial stress at home.  For some, it is minor—others a more pressing burden.  The holidays are an especially difficult time during financial stress—please know I am more than happy to try to help.  If you need any assistance with resources please contact me.  I do not share with staff or anyone in our community information regarding the recipients of such assistance.  Please let me know if we can help you and your family in any way.  My e-mail is kblazek@livoniapublicschools.org or you can reach me at 734-744-2690 ext. 12120. 
    **Please note that if you need assistance with Christmas, I will need to know, no later than Friday, December 8th.
  • When doing your Amazon holiday shopping, don't forget to shop Buchanan's smile page. Amazon donates 0.5% of the purchase price to James Buchanan Elementary PTA. Bookmark the link http://smile.amazon.com/ch/38-2618912 and support us every time you shop.

Did you know that Buchanan does a Holiday Giving Tree each year to help families that need assistance? In order to make it easy and accessible for families to give, we have gone to a Sign Up Genius format. Please click on the link to help a family: Holiday Giving Tree Link  Special thanks to our EST, Kristen Blazek for putting this together. Great things are happening at Buchanan! 


Friday, November 17, 2017

Goodfellows

Hi folks, Jon Wennstrom here! One of my favorite things about school is the concept of service learning. Projects that students take ownership of and learn by service projects. It's a way teach our students that each one of us can make a difference in our school, community, and world no matter how young or old we are. It simply takes a willing heart and the courage to take action. Here at Buchanan, our first grade students came up with the ideas of Spirit Days like "Fancy Dress" and "Pajama Day" to remind students to bring in canned food items for Goodfellows. It's a fun way to do some good in our community and the students can see the boxes filling up with food all month long. Thank you to all the families that contributed and I look forward to many more service learning projects for our Buchanan students!


UPCOMING EVENTS AT BUCHANAN

Wednesday, November 22 - Friday, November 24: No School for Thanksgiving Break!

Friday, December 1: No School for Students / Records Day for Teachers

Friday, December 8: Report Cards go home

Week of December 11: Santa Shop

Thursday, December 14: Santa Shop with Santa Claus & 3rd/4th grade music concert 6:00-8:00 PM

MEET THE BUCHANAN STAFF
Mrs. Banter - 4th Grade Teacher


My name is Kristin Banter, I teach fourth grade here at Buchanan.  This is my second year teaching fourth grade, I am very happy to be back as a Buchanan Bear!  I live in Northville with my husband, Kyle and our miniature schnauzer, Loki.  In my free time I enjoy spending time with family, spending time at Elk Lake and watching the Red Wings.  

My goal for this year is to push myself, and my students, to try new things.  This year I tried flexible seating, I am so glad I did, we are absolutely loving it!  

5 words to describe Buchanan: welcoming, enthusiastic, innovative, flexible, and inclusive.  

 PTA POINTS
  • Don't forget to purchase Buchanan spirit wear! Go to buchananspiritwear.com to place your order. You can order throughout the year, but we are offering free shipping until November 20. All items are shipped directly to your home. Spirit wear is a great Christmas gift!

  • Santa Shop is coming! We will need many volunteers to bring classes to the shop, assist in shopping and gift wrapping. Please go to http://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0e44a4ae2ca1f94-santa  if you are able to help. This is a big event and the kids love shopping for their loved ones! We will have a preview on Monday, December 11 for all classes. Set up is tentatively on Friday, December 8, but we do not have a definite delivery date from the company yet.  If the date has to be changed, we will update the sign up genius. There will also be an evening shopping event on Thursday, December 14 from 6:00-7:45 PM. Enjoy shopping, a concert performance by our 3rd and 4th graders and a visit from Santa & Mrs. Claus. Please bring your own camera for a great photo opportunity!
  • Holiday Assistance: It is hard to believe, but the holidays are just around the corner and many families are still facing financial stress at home.  For some, it is minor—others a more pressing burden.  The holidays are an especially difficult time during financial stress—please know I am more than happy to try to help.  If you need any assistance with resources please contact me.  I do not share with staff or anyone in our community information regarding the recipients of such assistance.  Please let me know if we can help you and your family in any way.  My e-mail is kblazek@livoniapublicschools.org or you can reach me at 734-744-2690 ext. 12120. 
    **Please note that if you need assistance with Christmas, I will need to know, no later than Friday, December 8th.
  • When doing your Amazon holiday shopping, don't forget to shop Buchanan's smile page. Amazon donates 0.5% of the purchase price to James Buchanan Elementary PTA. Bookmark the link http://smile.amazon.com/ch/38-2618912 and support us every time you shop.

Did you know that we start every week at Buchanan with a Celebrate Monday Assembly? For 20 minutes, we talk about our character trait for the month, watch a short video, and share out ways that we can make it a great day and a great week! The last Monday of the month is dedicated to recognizing our Students of the Month and celebrating the good behaviors of our students. It can be hard to get back into the routine of school (for both students and adults)! With our assemblies, we try to add a little excitement to the week and start off on a positive note. Great things are happening at Buchanan!