Friday, February 16, 2018

In House Experts

Hi folks, Jon Wennstrom here! For the past two months, we have been trying something new at Buchanan. Rather than me speaking at each staff meeting or having others come in, we are tapping into the expertise of the our teaching staff. Each week, teachers have been sharing out resources they use or presenting on an area they are knowledgeable in. The result is transforming staff meetings into short professional development sessions led by the experts in our own building. I've been so impressed with the Buchanan staff and their willingness to share with and help one another. Its a true TEAM! We all have something to share and teach one another. Make sure you are sharing your knowledge and your areas of interest and expertise with others. Together we are better!

The Amazing Buchanan Staff! 

UPCOMING EVENTS AT BUCHANAN

Monday, February 19: No School for President's Day
Wednesday, February 21: PTSA Founder's Day Banquet at Schoolcraft College
Thursday, February 22: PTA Meeting at 7:00 PM

Wednesday, February 28: Students Dismissed at 12:10 PM / Teacher Training in the afternoon

Thursday, March 1: Mileage Club Begins! 

Friday, March 9: Students Dismissed at 12:10 PM / Records Day for Teachers
Saturday, March 10: PTA Pancake Breakfast and Book Fair Kick Off

Week of March 12: Scholastic Book Fair and Jump Rope for Heart in PE Classes
Friday, March 16: Report Cards go home

MEET THE BUCHANAN STAFF
Ms. Ford - Library Media Specialist

Hello, Buchanan families!  My name is Heather Ford, and I have been the library media specialist here at Buchanan Elementary for 16 years.  Prior to that, I was a classroom teacher for 4 years (3 years at Coolidge, and 1 year at Buchanan).  I love getting to know all of the students here at Buchanan, along with teaching them library and research skills!

In my spare time, I enjoy reading (naturally), music, cross-stitching, doing Sudoku puzzles, traveling, and spending time with my family.  On occasion, I can be found at a classic car show with my dad (he's the car expert, not me!).

A goal I have for this school year is to weed half of the library's nonfiction section (removing books that are outdated or in need of replacement).

Five words I would use to describe Buchanan are welcoming, caring, collaborative, engaging, and fun!

PTA POINTS
  • Please keep sending Box Tops in! Our final submission for the year is March 1. The class that brings in the most tops will win a pizza party from the PTA!
  • We have a general membership meeting on Thursday February 22, 7:00pm. Nomination forms for next year's executive board are being accepted, all positions are open. Please fill out the form and return to school if you are interested. Any questions, please contact Nikki Watson at nalquiza@twmi.rr.com
  • Moms Night Out/ Make and Take party will be Wednesday March 21, 6:00-8:00pm. Light snacks and refreshments will be served. RSVP with selections and money are due March 6. A separate email was sent with the sign up form and choice of sayings, if you have any questions, please contact Nikki Watson at nalquiza@twmi.rr.com

Did you know that Buchanan is starting up the Mileage Club? It's an opportunity for students to be physically active and earn achievement tokens for the laps they complete. A big thank you to Mrs. Trantham, Mrs. Edwards, and all the Buchanan staff who help make this program possible for our students. The Mileage Club will be held during lunch recess daily and will begin March 1. Great things are happening at Buchanan! 


Thursday, February 8, 2018

Service Above Self

Hi folks, Jon Wennstrom here! This week, I had some reminders of how important service projects are for our students. Early in the week, I was invited to the Cub Scout banquet and got to hear about the wonderful things our scouts are doing in the community. As a former scout, it brought back many great memories. Later in the week, I helped my daughter fill out her log for her school service club. It made me proud to see that she is working at making a difference in our community. As a Rotarian, I also have the privilege to join with other community members in service projects throughout the year. In fact, our motto in Rotary is "Service Above Self". I have always found that I get far more in return when I participate in service projects than I give. My hope is that ALL of our Buchanan students have the opportunity to give back to our community through service and know the feeling that comes from helping others!

UPCOMING EVENTS AT BUCHANAN

Monday, February 19: No School for President's Day
Wednesday, February 21: PTSA Founder's Day Banquet at Schoolcraft College
Thursday, February 22: PTA Meeting 7:00 PM

Wednesday, February 28: Students Dismissed at 12:10 PM / Teacher Training in the afternoon

Wednesday, March 7: New Kindergarten Families Information Night 6:00 PM
Friday, March 9: Students Dismissed at 12:10 PM / Teacher Records Day, PTA Skate Night at Riverside Arena 6:00-8:00 PM

MEET THE BUCHANAN STAFF
Mrs. Kamin - Resource Room Teacher 


Hi Buchanan Families!  My name is Carrie Kamin and I am the resource room teacher here at Buchanan.  This is my tenth year in the resource room and before this, I taught first grade for 2 years, one year at Buchanan and one year at Cass.  I have loved seeing both the Buchanan and Cass communities merge and become one!

I live in Livonia with my husband and our three daughters.  Kailyn is 9 and is in fourth grade, Kylie is 6 and in first grade, and Kinsley will be one at the end of March.  My older two both attend Buchanan and Kinsley is a future Buchanan Bear!  When I am not at school, I enjoy spending time with my family and traveling.  We love traveling to Disney and camping around Michigan in the summers.

A goal I have for myself this school year is to help my students feel comfortable taking risks in my classroom. 

Five words to describe Buchanan are fun, energizing, welcoming, inspiring, and nurturing.  

PTA POINTS
  • We are happy to announce that we were able to buy headphones for all our Buchanan Bears for use in the computer lab and in classrooms! These are to be used during school only and remain in classrooms. Our teachers and students were all very excited when we delivered them to classrooms this week! 
  • We are looking for our 2018-19 PTA Executive Board! All positions are open, if you or someone you know is interested, please fill out the nomination form and return to school. Any questions on positions or duties, please email Nikki Watson at nalquiza@twmi.rr.com. We will present our nomination slate at our March general membership meeting. We will also be looking for Chairs/Co-chairs for next year's events. 
  • Please join us for our first ever Buchanan Breakfast & Books on Saturday March 10, 9:00am-12:00pm! We will have a pancake breakfast and shopping at our book fair.  More details will be coming home soon. 
  • We have another new event, Moms Night Out/ Make and Take Sign party on March 21, 6:00-8:00pm. Moms will be painting & adhering vinyl sayings to wood boards. We will serve light snacks and refreshments. Please see attached flyer for more information and to sign up. RSVP with selections and money are due by March 6.
  • We are planning a Garden Beautification project starting this April to freshen up our outdoor area and have the area available for classes to use. We have a Chairperson but this is going to be a large project and we will need a committee of people to help with planning along with many volunteers doing the work. We are looking into having a dedication ceremony in May along with burying a time capsule to commemorate our new school. More details to come but if you are interested in helping, please contact Nikki Watson at nalquiza@twmi.rr.com.  ​​

Did you know that Livonia Public Schools promotes "Youth Making a Difference" projects? Students can do service work as an individual or class/group. The activities can happen later in the year, but the forms for projects need to be submitted by February 16. In April, there will be a district wide ceremony to honor all the students who did service projects. Great things are happening at Buchanan! 

Friday, February 2, 2018

VIP

Hi folks, Jon Wennstrom here! Things have been busy at Buchanan! We recently had Miss Williams recognized at the WNIC "Teacher of the Week", we had first grade student, Emily, serve as the Student Principal, our new episode of the Buchanan Podcast was released, and we held our VIP dance at Riley Upper Elementary School. One of the students asked me what VIP stood for and when I told him, "Very Important Person", he responded that those people must feel like somebody special. My goal is that every staff member and every student at Buchanan feels like a VIP, because they all are somebody special. We may not give out awards to every person, but we can make all people feel valued, respected, and special when they walk in the door. Together, we can make Buchanan a school full of VIPs!!

UPCOMING EVENTS AT BUCHANAN

Wednesday, February 14: Happy Valentine's Day!!
Friday, February 16: 100th Day of School Celebrations

Monday, February 19: No School for President's Day
Wednesday, February 21: PTSA Founder's Day Celebration at Schoolcraft College
Thursday, February 22: PTA Meeting at 7:00 PM

Wednesday, February 28: Students Dismissed at 12:10 PM (Teacher Training in the PM)

MEET THE BUCHANAN STAFF
Mrs. Edwards - Third Grade Teacher 

Hi Buchanan families! My name is Melissa Edwards and I am a 3rd grade teacher here at Buchanan Elementary.  This is my 12th year teaching here, time goes by fast when you are having fun! I have also taught at Roosevelt and Taylor elementary here in Livonia. This is my 19th year teaching overall and I have taught 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade. I love being a part of this school and community and look forward to coming to school everyday to teach and learn with my students!

I live in Canton with my husband and two daughters. Kendall is 7 and is a first grader here at Buchanan and my 4 year old Ivy will be coming here for Kindergarten next year! We are also excited to add another addition to our family soon. We have another little girl due in early April. We love to travel around Michigan and go camping in the summer, we  have found some great spots on our little adventures!

Some goals I have for this school year are that all students love coming to school and feel like they are in a safe environment. 

The 5 words I would use to describe Buchanan Elementary are: fun, welcoming, positive, encouraging and safe
In addition to smart phones, we are asking parents to keep other connected devices (like apple watches) at home and not on students unless the teacher has designated an "electronics day" celebration. Thank you! 


PTA POINTS


Did you know that we are implementing some new protocols for dismissal? In an effort to improve the monitoring of our students and increase the safety of our dismissal routines, we are asking that all parents clear the gym after picking up their children. We will be doing a sweep of the gym after the final bus departs (4:10 PM) for any remaining students that have not been picked up. Thank you for your cooperation and support. Great things are happening at Buchanan! 

Friday, January 26, 2018

PTA

Hi folks, Jon Wennstrom here! This week, I want to give a shout out to some very special people. Everyone knows that the PTA does a lot for the school as far as organizing spectacular events and fundraising for the school. But they also do a lot of behind the scenes work that nobody sees. Before the big events, they plan, they round up volunteers, and they set up. After fundraising events, they actually communicate with our staff to see what our needs are and then purchase supplemental items for each classroom and for the entire building. I think of our PTA as an iceberg...everyone sees the top part during the schoolwide events, but they may not see the much larger portion under the water which includes the planning, organizing, budgeting, and all the hours they spend volunteering for our school. This week alone, the PTA held two events on Monday evening (Roller Skating and Dave & Buster's), planned for next week's VIP Dance, held a meeting Thursday night, AND gave a updates to the teacher's lounge after the evening meeting! All schools have volunteers, but Buchanan has a very special group with our PTA and our amazing volunteers. Great things are happening at Buchanan, BECAUSE of our PTA!!

UPCOMING EVENTS AT BUCHANAN

Thursday, February 1: Kindergarten Registration Begins!! 
Friday, February 2: VIP Dance at Riley Upper Elementary 6:30-8:30 PM

Monday, February 19: No School for President's Day!
Wednesday, February 21: PTSA Founder's Day Celebration at Schoolcraft College
Thursday, February 22: PTA Meeting in Buchanan Library 7:00 PM

Wednesday, February 28: Students dismissed at 12:10 PM / Teacher training in the afternoon

MEET THE BUCHANAN STAFF
Mrs. Benson - 2nd Grade Teacher

Hello Buchanan Families! My name is Sandi Benson and I feel so incredibly fortunate to have been a LPS teacher for the last 23 years. Prior to my adventure request to move to Buchanan this year, I spent the entire time teaching at what was originally Johnson Elementary School but was later renamed Rosedale Elementary School.  Out of those 23 years, I spent 15 years teaching 1st grade and the remainder of the time I have taught 2nd grade. I was a super excited, but a little nervous, to start a new adventure at a new school with new colleagues and leave all my friends behind. However, I now realize I had nothing at all to worry about. This is such a warm and friendly staff! I am so excited to be working with such an amazing group of educators and the families have been so incredible! Thanks for welcoming me into this fabulous community. 

My husband and I were both born and raised in Livonia so our roots run deep. We were happy to buy a home and settle in this community. Together, we are raising our three amazing daughters that range in ages from 10-16.  Our girls are very active leaders within their schools and within the community. When I am not working, you will often find me at a cross country meet, track meet, or at the dance studio. As a family, we love to travel and go camping. Taking pictures has always been a hobby of mine and as a result I enjoy making photo projects or creating basic movies when the needs arises. 

One of my goals for this year is to start learning more about digital student portfolios. I love the idea of the concept and I want to take the time to investigate them a little further. 

The five words I would use to describe Buchanan are: inviting, inspiring, exciting, lively, and cheerful.

PTA POINTS
  • 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. 
  • Keep sending in Box Tops labeled with student and teacher name. The class that brings in the most will win a pizza party from the PTA!! Every top is worth $.10 and they add up quickly!      
  • 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 had a "Positive Post It Day" last week? With our theme of "Confidence" we talk a lot about believing in ourselves, but we also talk about how confident people lift up those around them. This was a simple way to do that through positive messages. My hope is that idea of leaving positive notes and motivational messages for one another will be something that will stick with our students throughout their time at Buchanan and far beyond. Great things are happening at Buchanan!

Friday, January 19, 2018

Reflections

Hi folks, Jon Wennstrom here! This week we had several students recognized for their projects that they submitted for the district "Reflections" contest. It's designed to let students submit projects in a variety of art forms from drawing, to story writing and much more. I'm so impressed with the level of talent and hard work displayed by our Buchanan students and I applaud their courage for submitting their work for others to see. I've said before that I'm a firm believer in helping kids shine in any way they can, whether in academics, the arts, athletics, or in just being great kids! Thank you to the Buchanan staff for encouraging our students to be their best and thank you to our Buchanan families for supporting and partnering with the school. Together, we can help each child succeed!

REFLECTIONS WINNERS!

UPCOMING EVENTS AT BUCHANAN

Monday, January 22: Skate Night at Riverside Arena 6:00-8:00 PM & Dine out at Dave & Busters 5:00-8:00 PM

Thursday, January 25: PTA Meeting 7:00 PM

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

MEET THE BUCHANAN STAFF
Mrs. Hurula - First Grade Teacher

Hello Buchanan families! My name is Becky Hurula, and I have the awesome privilege of teaching first grade here at Buchanan. I can hardly believe that this is my 12th year teaching first grade at this wonderful school. Before that I was at Roosevelt for 10 years, where I taught first, fourth and fifth grades. I love being part of this wonderful school community and I look forward to teaching and learning with my students every day.  

I live in Northville with my husband and two beautiful daughters Annika and Katelyn. We love to spend time together, and especially love travelling and taking vacations as a family. In my spare time I enjoy music, reading, cooking, and shopping. I also like to be crafty and do scrapbooking projects when I have the time. 

Some goals l I have for this school year are that all students would enjoy coming to school and that they would be excited about learning new things. I believe every student is capable of learning, improving, and being successful with the right amount of guidance. 

Five words I would use to describe Buchanan are welcoming, caring, fun, helpful and awesome!


PTA POINTS
  • 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. 
  • Keep sending in Box Tops labeled with student and teacher name. The class that brings in the most will win a pizza party from the PTA!! Every top is worth $.10 and they add up quickly!
  • 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 our second grade students celebrated our 80th day of school with an 80's theme? Having gone to high school in the 80's I thought that was pretty RAD!! I'm looking forward to seeing what fun events happen in the school when we celebrate our 100th day of school.  I've even got some fun things planned for the office:)  We are always looking for ways to make learning fun for our students. Great things are happening at Buchanan! 






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!