Friday, September 15, 2017

Celebrate Monday!

Hi folks, Jon Wennstrom here! If you haven't heard from your child yet, we start each week at Buchanan with an all-school assembly called "Celebrate Monday". Each Monday after the students come into their classrooms, we enter into the gym for a special meeting. At the meeting, the student announcers lead us in our Pledge of Allegiance and our "3 To Be" Pledge. We talk about ways we can be safe, be kind, and be responsible. Then we talk about our theme for the month. This month we are focusing on respect and how we can be respectful to one another. Finally, we watch a short video about our theme or other fun activity. The entire assembly lasts about 20 minutes, but it kicks our week off on a positive note and sets the stage for positive behavior all week long. So if your child comes home and says TGIM, you'll know it's because we Celebrate Mondays at Buchanan!

Our very first Celebrate Monday assembly at Buchanan! 

UPCOMING EVENTS AT BUCHANAN

Thursday, September 21: PTA Meeting in the Library 7:00 PM (childcare is provided)

Wednesday, September 27: Lifetouch Picture Day
Friday, September 29: PTA Fun Run 6:30-8:00 PM

Wednesday, October 18: Parent Teacher Conferences (Students dismissed at 12:10 PM)
Thursday, October 19: Parent Teacher Conferences (Students dismissed at 12:10 PM)

Meet the Buchanan Staff
Mrs. Stromberg - Kindergarten Teacher

I am one of Buchanan's kindergarten teachers.  I've been working with young kids for as long as I remember.  I can't imagine a doing anything else as a career.   I am a wife, my husband is the principal of Holmes Middle School, we've been married for 30 years.  I am a mom of four, I have 2 daughters and two sons.  My daughter, Annie is an event planner,  she plans parties for a living!  (How great is that.)  My eldest son, Eric is in medical school, he is recently married so our family now has two Anna Strombergs. Benjamin my third, is a scientist at OSU.  My youngest daughter Kate, goes to school with her dad at Holmes she is an eighth grader.    

My personal goal this is year is to drink more water and in my classroom goal is to utilize flexible seating!  

5 words to describe Buchanan: Fun, Friends, Forest, Fantastic, and Family

PTA Points

  • Our first General Membership PTA meeting will be Thursday, September 21 at 7:00 PM in the Library. Everyone is welcome and childcare will be provided!
  • The first session of Nuts about Science is full. We are pleasantly surprised with the amount of interest due to the company's new format of 7 week sessions. We are looking into the possibility of adding another session in the future
  • Clipping Box Tops is an easy way to help earn cash for our school. Each one is worth 10¢ for our school! Just look for the pink Box Tops on hundreds of products. All you have to do is clip them and send them to school.
 For more information on Box Tops, including a list of participating products, go to BTFE.com
Class that collects the most Box Tops by October 20th will earn a PIZZA PARTY! Thanks for your help!
  • The Fun Run is the PTA’s biggest fundraiser of the year.  This year we are inviting the whole family to join in the fun for our first ever family fun GLOW run. The run will take place on the back playground on Friday, September 29th from 6:30-8:00 p.m.
The Fun Run promotes health and fitness to our students while helping us reach our budget goals. Please help us reach our fundraising goal by supporting our Fun Run!
Please help your child reach the individual student goal of $50. That’s just five $10 pledges!
Our total school goal is $15,000.
Register your child for our Fun Run by visiting http://www.thegetmovincrew.com/


Did you know that Buchanan Elementary has a "Buddy Bench"? The bench was purchased by our PTA and intended to help students make friends and learn to be a buddy. If a child is lonely or wants someone to play with, they can simply sit on the bench. This signals to other children that someone is in search of a playmate or a friend during recess time. It's something that really promotes kindness and helps us meet our "3 to Be" of being Safe, Kind, and Responsible. Great things are happening at Buchanan! 


Friday, September 8, 2017

The Wild West

Hi folks, Jon Wennstrom here! The first week of school sure went by quickly. I really enjoyed meeting all the Buchanan students and families and I know our teachers did as well. As much as we prepare and organize the school, the real magic doesn't happen until the students walk in the door. Seeing the excitement on their faces and hearing their positive voices all week long was an amazing experience! This week we learned routines for arrival, dismissal, lunch room and recess. Each day was better than the last. I know next week will be even smoother!

Next week we have two special events going on at Buchanan. We have our Scholastic Book Fair going on all week and we have our annual Curriculum Night and Open House. Our Book Fair theme this year is "The Wild West" and students will have an opportunity to browse the selections and an opportunity to purchase. It will also be accessible during our Curriculum Night and Open House event.  Make sure to check it out when you come!

 Thank you to our fantastic Book Fair volunteers!!

UPCOMING EVENTS AT BUCHANAN

Monday, September 11 - Friday, September 15: Scholastic Book Fair
Thursday, September 14: Curriculum Night & Open House 6:00-7:30 PM
  • 6:00-6:30 PM Curriculum Night for Grades K-2 in the classrooms (older students will be supervised on the playground)
  • 6:30-7:00 PM Open House for ALL grades (parents & students invited into classrooms)
  • 7:00-7:30 PM Curriculum Night for Grades 3&4 in the classrooms (younger students will be supervised on the playground)
  • We ask that only school-aged students attend the event. Thank You!
Thursday, September 21: PTA General Membership Meeting 7:00 PM

Wednesday, September 27: Lifetouch Picture Day
Friday, September 29: PTA FUN RUN 6:30-8:00 PM


Click on the link below to see the Buchanan feature in the Livonia Observer!

MEET THE BUCHANAN STAFF
Kristen Blazek - Elementary Support Teacher (EST)

Hello Buchanan families!  I am the Elementary Support Teacher.  At Buchanan, I wear many different hats.  I help children with health issues, academic, social emotional and behavioral challenges.  I have been at Buchanan for 22 years.  I started off as a teacher and have taught grades K, 1, 2,4 and 6.  I am married to Jeff and I have 2 children, Ashley and Dalton.  I also have a very energetic dog named Diezel.  I am a huge Michigan State fan.  Go Green!

My goal for this year is to make everyone feel safe and welcome!  I love getting to know and working with the children individually or in a small group setting. 

5 words to describe Buchanan: Caring, dedicated, safe, kind and nurturing.

ONLINE PAYMENT PROCESS AND LUNCH ACCOUNT ACCESS HAS CHANGED 

**PARENT CONNECT CAN NO LONGER BE UTILIZED TO VIEW OR ADD MONEY TO YOUR STUDENT’S ACCOUNT
To do so, please go to: www.mypaymentsplus.com  Use this service to: • Check account balances online • Make payments using a credit card, debit card, or e-check • Auto-pay your student’s account when it reaches a low balance threshold • Monitor cafeteria purchase history and receive low balance alerts


PTA POINTS

Parents- we have many free money programs that will help raise money for our school!

• Kroger- please link your Kroger Plus card to Buchanan. Your community rewards program expires every June, so please renew or sign up for the first time
• Busch's- please link your card to Buchanan
• Amazon Smile- please use this link when shopping with Amazon, http://smile.amazon.com/ch/38-2618912. We will earn money for our school.
• Box Tops- will be collected throughout the year. Please send in Box Tops in a sealed baggie or envelope with student name, teacher name and grade. We will have two contests, the class with the highest amount of Box Tops turned in will win a pizza party from the PTA!
• Looking for help planning your next Disney vacation? One of our parents, Kelly Petit can help! She has kindly offered to give a portion of her commission back to the PTA! Please check out the site and see how we involve the kids in the planning process.
 or contact us directly

Interested in ordering Buchanan spirit wear? Please click on this link, www.buchananspiritwear.com to order. All orders will be sent directly to your house! There will be free shipping weeks available throughout the year. 

We have many volunteer opportunities still available, please click on the sign up genius link, http://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0e44a4ae2ca1f94-volunteer, if you are interested. 

We are looking for volunteers for our Fall Book Fair, September 11-15. We will be open for shopping on September 14 for curriculum night. If you would like to help, please click here http://tinyurl.com/BuchananWildWest


The Fun Run is the PTA’s biggest fundraiser of the year.  This year we are inviting the whole family to join in the fun for our first ever family fun GLOW run. The run will take place on the back playground on Friday, September 29th from 6:30-8:00 p.m.


The Fun Run promotes health and fitness to our students while helping us reach our budget goals. Please help us reach our fundraising goal by supporting our Fun Run!


Please help your child reach the individual student goal of $50. That’s just five $10 pledges!


Our total school goal is $15,000.

Register your child for our Fun Run by visiting http://www.thegetmovincrew.com/


Did you know that Buchanan teachers donate money each Friday when they wear jeans? Teachers pay $1 each week for the opportunity to wear jeans and that money is then collected for a student assistance fund for Buchanan families in times of need or for other service projects. We are currently looking at using our funds for hurricane relief efforts. Friday Jean Day is a way for our staff to have fun while still serving a good cause. Great things are happening at Buchanan! 


Thursday, August 31, 2017

All Hands on Deck

Hi folks, Jon Wennstrom here! The first day of school will be here before we know it. In preparation for day one, I wanted to review some of the procedures to assure the smoothest start as possible for our students. On Tuesday, Buchanan will have "all hands on deck" to assure that all students get to their appropriate spot. Just as last year, grades 3&4 will be located on the west side of the front of building, Kindergarten in front of the main doors, first grade just east of the front doors and second grade further down on the east side of the front of building. All teachers will be outside with signs displaying teacher name and grade. As students get off the bus, they will be greeted and assisted to their grade level area for line up. We will have class lists ready if they do not know their teacher. For those being dropped off, we ask that parents pull up to the drop off area and we will greet students as they exit the car (on the school side). Parents dropping off will then use the "little loop" to exit the parking lot. We will have cones and staff members present to direct the traffic flow.

At dismissal time, each bus rider will be led out to the appropriate bus, with kindergarten students sitting in the front seats and wearing a bus designation tag. Kindergarten students being picked up will be dismissed to parents at the classroom exterior door. Parents need to walk around the building to the appropriate spot. All students in grades 1-4 that are being picked up will be dismissed from the gym. The gym will be divided into four sections with one corner being designated for each grade. Signs will be posted to help students and parents know which area to go to. We are hoping this will eliminate some of the congestion in the gym at dismissal time. Parents picking up students from multiple grade levels should always pick up the youngest child first.

I know with everyone's help, everyone's patience, and everyone's support, we will make our first day and every day a successful one for our students! Please remember that our first day is a half-day and that students will be dismissed at 12:10 PM. Welcome to the new school year at Buchanan!


This shows the areas where students will line up in the morning

UPCOMING EVENTS AT BUCHANAN

Tuesday, September 5: First day for students Entry bell rings at 8:50 AM / Students dismissed at 12:10 PM (half day) 
Wednesday, September 6: Full day of school Entry bell rings at 8:50 AM / Students dismissed at 3:59 PM (Breakfast and Lunch will be served)

Monday, September 11 - Friday, September 15: Scholastic Book Fair! 
Thursday, September 14: Open House / Curriculum Night 6:00-7:30 PM

Thursday, September 21: PTA General Membership Meeting 7:00 PM

Wednesday, September 27: Lifetouch Picture Day!


Open House / Curriculum Night Schedule
  • 6:00-6:30 PM Curriculum Night for Grades K-2 in the classrooms (older students will be supervised on the playground)
  • 6:30-7:00 PM Open House for ALL grades (parents & students invited into classrooms)
  • 7:00-7:30 PM Curriculum Night for Grades 3&4 in the classrooms (younger students will be supervised on the playground)
  • We ask that only school-aged students attend the event. Thank You!
Lunch Application Process

Children need healthy meals to learn and grow! Each day our children at Buchanan have access to breakfast before school and lunch during the student lunch hour. Breakfast cost $1.75 and lunch costs between $3.25 - $3.75. Your child may qualify for free or reduced breakfast (30 cents) and lunch (40 cents). Please know that the district is moving to an electronic application process. The following link should be used by parents to apply for Free or Reduced breakfast/lunch. 

New for 2017-2018

ICHAT forms are now completed online. Please use the link below if you are planning on volunteering at the school this year or plan to attend any field trips. Thank you. 

MEET THE BUCHANAN STAFF
Pat Pepple - School Secretary
Hi Buchanan Families!  I am very excited to be a part of the Buchanan family and you can find me in the school office. I grew up in Livonia and have been with Livonia Public Schools for 31 years. I started out in the Community Education Department and was the Cass secretary for the past seven years.  My husband, John, and I still live in the area and we have a cat named Buddy (who thinks he rules the house). 

My family is very important me and that is what I hope to extend to Buchanan.  For students to feel safe, comfortable and happy. 

The five words I would use to describe Buchanan: Caring, friendly, helpful, enthusiastic and fun.

PTA POINTS
  • Our first General Membership Meeting will be held Thursday, September 21 at 7:00 PM
  • The Buchanan PTA is excited to introduce Member Hub - a schoolwide communication tool, brought to us by Michigan PTA! Our site is buchanan.memberhub.com and will be a "one stop site" for all things school and PTA related. We encourage you to join Member Hub and Buchanan PTA!
  • Be looking for our Welcome Back letter from the PTA after school begins!

Did you know the Livonia Observer will be running a "Back to School" article featuring our school? The Observer will be at our school on Tuesday and Wednesday to take some pictures and conduct a short interview in the office. It will be exciting to have our school featured as we talk about the successful blending of two school communities and how we are all working together to make sure each child is successful. The article will run on September 10, so be sure to grab a copy. Great things are happening at Buchanan! 


A pep talk from Kid President!






Wednesday, August 23, 2017

New Adventures

Hi folks, Jon Wennstrom here! This is the first edition of the Wennstrom Weekly for the Buchanan Community. Each week, I will send out a link to this blog to keep our families informed of the great things happening at Buchanan. Every post will include a brief overview of the week's activities, a calendar of events, a staff spotlight, and a PTA section. My goal is to provide all the week's information in one spot in a concise and consistent manner for our community. You should receive each post on Sunday afternoon. You can also get updates more frequently by following our Buchanan Facebook page. Give us a like and enjoy seeing the fun activities and smiling faces of our Buchanan staff and students all week long! Someone once said, "If we don't tell our story, others will tell it for us." I believe in sharing the wonderful things happening in our schools and telling the stories that inspire and challenge us to be our best. Thanks for being a part of our story at Buchanan!



UPCOMING EVENTS AT BUCHANAN

Tuesday, September 5: First day for students Entry bell rings at 8:50 AM / Students Dismissed at 12:10 PM (half day)
Wednesday, September 6: Full day of school Entry bell rings at 8:50 AM / Students Dismissed at 3:59 PM (full day with breakfast and lunch being served)

September 11 - 15 Scholastic Book Fair!
Thursday, September 14: Open House & Curriculum Night 6:00-7:30 pm (more information to come)

Thursday, September 21: PTA General Membership Meeting 7:00 pm

Wednesday, September 27: Lifetouch Picture Day 

Transportation and Teacher Assignments
Livonia families will not be getting a mailing about transportation this year.  You will need to access Parent Connect to find out the Bus Assignment and times.  If your child is in 1st-4th grade, you will also need to access Parent Connect to find out your child's teacher assignment.  This will be available on Wednesday, August 30th via Parent Connect.  Students in kindergarten will find out their teacher assignment through a mailing that should arrive to your homes around Friday, September 1. If you need assistance with accessing Parent Connect, please see the detailed directions attached to this email.


Lunch Application Process

Children need healthy meals to learn and grow! Each day our children at Buchanan have access to breakfast before school and lunch during the student lunch hour. Breakfast cost $1.75 and lunch costs between $3.25 - $3.75. Your child may qualify for free or reduced breakfast (30 cents) and lunch (40 cents). Please know that the district is moving to an electronic application process. The following link should be used by parents to apply for Free or Reduced breakfast/lunch. 

New for 2017-2018

ICHAT forms are now completed online. Please use the link below if you are planning on volunteering at the school this year or plan to attend any field trips. Thank you. 

MEET THE BUCHANAN STAFF
Jon Wennstrom - Principal

Hello Buchanan Community! I'm so excited to be here and for the opportunity to work with each of you. I grew up in Ludington, Michigan and started my career as a teacher and then principal in Cadillac. This is my 23rd year in education and my 6th year as a principal in Livonia. My wife, Stacy, works for the American Journal of Preventive Medicine at the University of Michigan and my daughters are in 10th grade and 8th grade. We have a St. Bernard named Columbo and a cat named Tim Gunn. 

My goal for this year is to build relationships with the community, create a team of happy educators, and encourage the love of learning for all our students. I believe learning should be FUN and that students learn best when parents and teachers work together. This will be a year of blending traditions, forging new traditions, and moving forward as a unified group of educators, students, and parents. 

The five words I would use to describe Buchanan are Exciting, Professional, Caring, Welcoming, and Unlimited. 


PTA POINTS
  • Our first General Membership meeting will be Thursday, September 21 at 7:00 pm
  • The Buchanan PTA is excited to introduce Member Hub - a school wide communication tool, brought to us by Michigan PTA! Our site is buchanan.memberhub.com and will be a “one stop site” for all things school & PTA related. We encourage you to join Member Hub and Buchanan PTA!
  • Be looking for our Welcome Back letter from the PTA after school begins! 

Did you know that some play structure equipment was removed last spring and into the summer from many of our school playgrounds after completing an assessment of all playgrounds in the district? Our school lost more structures than others. Therefore, new equipment will be installed at Buchanan this fall to ensure that all students have ample equipment to use. We are also looking at relocating the structures across the drive to the back of the school to keep all students in closer proximity to the school. Unfortunately, these structures will not be installed/moved in time for the start of the school year due to purchasing, shipping, and installation timelines. We are estimating early October for their installation. We are also looking into painting four-square, hopscotch, and large tic-tac-toe games on our playground pavement areas. The Playground Committee continues to meet and is excited to bring additional playground structures to the schools as the 2017-2018 school year unfolds. Great things are happening at Buchanan! 

INSPIRATIONAL BACK TO SCHOOL VIDEO FOR STUDENTS