Friday, January 30, 2015

Being Present

Hi folks, Jon Wennstrom here! This week, Livonia Public Schools and many other districts are in the process of changing our attendance procedures to match the new requirements. We are returning to the practice of having parents call or email the school when a child is out to excuse the absence. Because of this, I thought I would take a moment to discuss how important being present is.  For me, being present has two meanings.  First, one has to be physically present, both in the school and in the classroom to be successful.  In addition, a person has to be engaged, involved, and interested to be fully present.  We all have been in situations where we are physically present, but our mind is elsewhere.  It's so important to be "in the moment" and really connecting with one another while at school.  So, as we launch into the new attendance procedures, please talk with your child about the importance of "being present" at school, both in body and in mind.
photo credit:


Thursday, February 5: PTA Meeting 6:30 pm in the Library (food and childcare provided)
Friday, February 6: 3rd Annual Daddy Daughter Dance 6:00-8:00 pm (RSVP by Monday February 2)

Monday, February 9: Pizza Kit Orders go out
Wednesday, February 11: Founder's Day Celebration at Schoolcraft College

Monday, February 16: No School
Tuesday, February 17: No School for students / Teacher Professional Development Day

WIDA Assessment (World- Class Instructional Design and Assessment)

Under federal and state law, students who are English Language Learners (ELL) are required to participate in an English language proficiency assessment annually until they are proficient on this assessment, including any ELL-eligible student not enrolled in the district’s ELL program due to parent refusal of services.  Our state’s test for the purpose of English language proficiency is called Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State-to-State (ACCESS).  This assessment will be administered to all ELL students, kindergarten through 12th grade, between February 9, 2015 and March 27, 2015.  It assesses social and instructional English used within the school context as well as listening, speaking, reading and writing in language arts, mathematics, science and social studies.

Mrs. Benson - 2nd Grade Teacher

One interesting fact about me is that I have been a Livonia resident my entire life. I attended Tyler Elementary, Riley Jr. High School, Bentley High School for one year, and then I finished at Stevenson High School. Afterwards, I completed both my undergraduate and graduate degrees at Madonna University.  In addition, I have spent my entire teaching career with the Livonia Public Schools. All 19 of those years were within the Rosedale (formerly Johnson) community.  I spent 15 of those years as a first grade teacher. My husband Dino and I live in Livonia with our three daughters ~ Christianna, Kailyn, and Katarina. Outside of school, we are a very active family. Two of our daughters are on a competition dance team and our other daughter is involved with cross country, track, and choir. 

Rosedale isn't just a place where I work. My favorite thing about being here is that I am part of the community. Having those connections with the children and their families is very important to me. In addition, I consider the Rosedale staff as part of my extended family. I am invested in the community in many different ways. We have a wonderful, creative, supportive, and caring community all of which I am grateful to be part of. 

As a family, we love to go camping and enjoy traveling around the state of Michigan whenever we have a chance.  In addition, I really enjoy technology, reading on my Kindle, and taking photographs.  As a matter of fact, I have carried a camera around capturing those fun moments since I was about 12 years old! As often as possible, I try to incorporate technology and photographs with my students as a learning tool. It keeps learning fun for the students and for me! :-)   

Mrs. Collins-Robison - Elementary Support Teacher (EST)

Mrs. Robison is our Elementary Support Teacher. She has her Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Social Work from Michigan State (go Green!), and worked in Clinical Social Work for 25 years, specializing in children, teens and families, both in Mental Health and Substance Abuse settings. Working also as an Addictions Counselor and SA Prevention Consultant lead her into doing student and parent education groups in many Livonia and Wayne/Westland schools, then to teach courses at Schoolcraft College and Wayne State University. She enjoyed the educational settings so much, she decided to renew her School Social Worker certification, and was fortunate to join LPS at Rosedale, first as an ESAP, and now EST, where she offers varied academic, behavioral, social and emotional support to students, staff and families, along with leading our PBS 3 to BE! program. 

Her favorite thing about Rosedale is the positive energy and teamwork of our staff, students and families that makes Rosedale such a "gem" of a school. 

Mrs. Robison lives with her husband and their 2 young adult sons (Churchill graduates), who are attending Eastern Michigan University and Schoolcraft College. For health and relaxation, her hobbies include walking and doing various crafts. 

That Rosedale Elementary was a Phase One school that received the very first round of building renovations? As a Phase One school we received a completely new interior as well as a new arched entryway.  If you haven't done so, please come and check out our beautiful new building.  Great things are happening at Rosedale!

Friday, January 23, 2015


This month, we remembered Dr. Martin Luther King Jr and many of our students had the chance to see his famous "I have a dream" speech.  Many teachers tied that in with this month's habit of Beginning With the End in Mind.  Dr. King had a dream, a vision of equality for all people and that dream helped bring many people together from across the country and through several generations. I often think of our job as educators as helping our students develop their own dreams and then giving them the support and instruction they need to reach those dreams.  You have dreams for your children, we have dreams for them for them as well, and of course the students have dreams of their own.  Together, we can help make all their dreams come true with a true home-school partnership!

photo credit: Marquette University


Tuesday, January 27: Science of Music Assembly
Friday, January 30: Student of the Month Assembly - Begin with the End in Mind
                                        Report Cards Go Home
                                        Skate Night at Riverside Arena 6:00-8:00 pm

Thursday, February 5: PTA Meeting 6:30 pm
Friday, February 6: Daddy Daughter Dance 6:00-8:00 pm

Monday, February 16: No School for President's Day
Tuesday, February 17: No School for Students (Teacher Professional Development Day)


Rosedale rocked the PTA Reflections (Arts) contest!  

Olivia Alexander, Rajvi Mandaliya, Erica Maladecki,  Aniya Robinson , Ava Posh, Brianna Blackwood, Alivia Lavigne, Grace Robertson, Ryan Rainey, Tara Ngnyen and Purva Mhatre all entered artwork based on the theme, “The World Would Be A Better Place If…”. 

The original pieces were on display and the students received a certificate of merit during a ceremony at Stevenson High School on Thursday, January 13th.  An extra special note of congratulations goes to Grace, Ava, Olivia, Ryan and Rajiv who received either an additional Award of Excellence or Merit.  Their artwork is currently traveling to compete at the state level.   Good luck girls!  And a very special thank you to Mrs. Posh, our art teacher, for all her work with this program and all our students!


Mrs. Bartnick - 3rd Grade Teacher

Mrs. Bartnick is a third grade teacher at Rosedale.  She has been teaching at Rosedale/Johnson Elementary for 17 years.  All but one of those years she has been a third grade teacher.
She is married to her husband, Dave, and they have two grown children, Matt and Missy.

The Rosedale community is like a second family to me.  Staff and families genuinely care about each other.  In good times and in bad, the Rosedale community is always there to support each other.
I love teaching third grade because the students are developing independence and are eager to learn.  Their personalities shine through, and the mix of those personalities in a classroom, makes it a wonderful learning environment.

Away from school I enjoy spending time with my family.  We love to travel.   Since Missy lives in Washington DC, we travel to visit her as often as we can.  Matt has a puppy Chocolate Lab that is a fun addition to our family.   As a family we also enjoy golfing and watching sporting events both in person and on TV.

Miss Zabawski - Title 1 Paraprofessional

Miss Zabawski is very excited to start her first year of her career at Livonia Public Schools!  She graduated from the University of Michigan-Dearborn, where she met her boyfriend, who is also a certified teacher and is known throughout Livonia Public Schools. She completed her student teaching at Cleveland Elementary in the winter of 2014.

My favorite thing about Rosedale is how everyone treats each other like family. The staff is so friendly and helpful that it didn’t take long for me to feel at home and that I belong.  I also love working with the students. They are always eager to learn!

Other than being at school, I enjoy being involved with my Polish heritage. I spend time creating Polish crafts, like a szopka, and being a Polish folk dancer. I also love spending my time walking around with my boyfriend and friends. 

That Rosedale Elementary participates in the Positive Behavioral Intervention and Support or PBS program?  Each year, we receive grant money to implement researched based best-practices to support our students in making positive choices.  As part of that program, every students recites the "Three to Be" pledge each morning where we promise to be Respectful, Responsible, and Safe.  Great things are happening at Rosedale!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

7 Habits

Hi folks, Jon Wennstrom here!  Years ago, I read the book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. It was a good book and I tried to put the habits into practice in my professional and personal life. Last year, we purchased the 7 Habits of Happy Kids for every classroom and started teaching those 7 Habits to our students.  We even incorporate those habits as our themes for our Student of the Month Assemblies. Recently, I began a five day training on the 7 Habits as part of the administrative team at LPS.  This training has really left a positive impact on me and helped me to work even harder at making those habits a part of my daily life.  If you get the chance, please take some time to check out the book for yourself...It could be a life changer!

Habit 1: Be Proactive     Habit 2: Begin with the end in Mind     Habit 3: Put First things First Habit 4: Think Win-Win     Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood
Habit 6: Synergize     Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw


Monday, January 19: No School for MLK Day
Tuesday, January 20: Community Forum on LPS budget 6:30 pm at Board Office
Wednesday, January 21: PTA Game Night 6:00-8:00 pm
Friday, January 23: No School for Students (Teacher Work Day)

Monday, January 26: Start of the 2nd Semester
Tuesday, January 27: Science of Music Assembly
Friday, January 30: Report Cards go home
                                Student of the Month Assembly - Begin with the End in Mind
                                Rosedale Skate Night at Riverside Arena 6:00-8:00 pm

Thursday, February 5: PTA Meeting 6:30 pm
Friday, February 6: Daddy Daughter Dance 6:00-8:00 pm

Congratulations to our December students of the month! 


Mrs. Merchant - First Grade Teacher

Mrs. Merchant is the daughter of a retired Livonia teacher. She grew up always wanting to be a teacher like her dad. She has been a teacher in Livonia for 17 years and the last 15 have been here at Rosedale/Johnson. She taught grades K-2, with the majority of the time spent in first grade. Mrs. Merchant is happily married to her wonderful husband, Dan, and they have four grown children; 2 boys (Walt and David) and 2 girls (Sarah and Laura). Our daughter Sarah is married and made us grandparents last year! Our granddaughter, Olivia, is the light of our lives.

My favorite thing about Rosedale is the rich and wonderful diversity we have in our community. 

When I am not in school, I love to travel. Two of our children live on opposite coasts, and my husband and I enjoy visiting as much as we can. I am also a huge Disney fan, and Disney World is my favorite vacation place of all! I also love spending time at home with my family, and I LOVE cuddling my new grand baby!

Mrs. Hernandez - Title 1 Paraprofessional 

This is Mrs. Hernadez's first year as an employee of Livonia Public Schools. She graduated in 2013 from Eastern Michigan University with her Bachelors of Science degree in Elementary Education with a major in Reading. She has been married for two years.

My favorite thing about Rosedale is the staff and the students. Beginning a new job can very intimating and overwhelming. However, from the moment I walked through the front doors for my first day of work, I was greeted with smiling faces and open arms by everyone welcoming me to Rosedale. Everyone has went above and beyond to not only help and welcome me but also to really make me feel a part of the Rosedale community. The students are such a joy to work with and they are always eager to learn. I feel so fortunate to work at Rosedale.

When I am not at work I enjoy spending time with my husband and our sweet pup Moslee. Moslee is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Bichon Frise mix. I also love to sew and enjoy gardening.

That Rosedale students come from 16 different countries and that 15 languages are represented in our building? One of the things that makes our school special is our cultural diversity and the way we celebrate that diversity. Great things are happening at Rosedale!

Friday, January 9, 2015


Hi folks, Jon Wennstrom here! I know at this time of the year, many people are busy making resolutions for the new year. This year, I decided to skip the resolutions and instead focus on one word that I will use as my focus for each day of 2015. My word for this year is "inspire". My goal is to inspire students, staff, and parents through modeling, encouragement, and engagement.  I hope your new year is off to a good start and I wish you all the best as you strive to meet your resolutions or perhaps you will pick one word of your own for 2015! Here's what's happening at Rosedale:


Monday, January 12: Vision Testing (K,1, &3)
Tuesday, January 13: Vision Testing (K,1, &3)
                                  3rd&4th Grades to the Detroit Institute of Arts
Thursday, January 15: PTA Meeting 6:30 pm in the Library (Rescheduled from last week)

Monday, January 19: No School for MLK Day
Tuesday, January 20: Community Forum for LPS Budget Talks 6:30 pm at Board Office
Wednesday, January 21: PTA Game Night (more info coming soon)
Friday, January 23: No School for Students (Teacher Work Day)

Monday, January 26: Start of the 2nd Semester
Tuesday, January 27: Science of Music Assembly
Friday, January 30: Report Cards go home
                                Student of the Month Assembly - Begin with the End in Mind
                                Rosedale Skate Night at Riverside Arena 6:00-8:00 pm

I'm late, I'm late, for a very important date!

Please don't forget, the first bell rings at 8:49 am.  If you are driving your child, please be at the school by 8:45 am.  Breakfast ends promptly at 8:55 am. Late arrivals need to be signed in at the main office.  

Mr. Libtow - Building Supervisor

Mr. Libtow (or Mr. Joe as the kids call him) has been with Livonia Public Schools for 29 years. He was a custodian for 23 years and in maintenance for 2 years. He has been the building supervisor at Rosedale for the past 4 years. He and his wife Jennifer have been married for 13 years. They have one daughter named Madeline who is 11 years old. They also have a dog named Garth and a cat named kitty.

My favorite thing about Rosedale is seeing the smiles on the kids' faces when they get dropped off and get off the bus. I enjoy the wonderful staff and the great parent support we have at Rosedale. I'm very proud to be the building supervisor at Rosedale Elementary.

When I'm not at school, I enjoy gardening and I love to cook with all the vegetables and herbs that I grow.

Mrs. Berrelez - 4th Grade Teacher

Mrs. Berrelez has been teaching with Livonia Public schools for 26 years.  She grew up in Westland and went to Livonia Public Schools.  She started her teaching career right here at Rosedale, aka: Johnson Elementary.   She student taught in 3rd grade and was hired the following fall to teach a 2/3 split.  She has been at Rosedale / Johnson her whole teaching career.  Mrs. Berrelez is currently teaching fourth grade and has taught  1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 6th grade. She has been married to her husband for 18 years and they have a daughter named  Sara, in the ninth grade.  

  My favorite thing about Rosedale is that everyone is so helpful and friendly. We might be small but we are there for each other. Our staff is all about helping kids learn and grow up to be caring people.

  My favorite things to do outside of school are reading books, when I have time, and baking especially during the holidays and special occasions.    I love when spring comes around because I enjoy working in the garden, especially adding new flowers into our yard.  My family likes to spend time together and we take our dog Casey with us when we can.  He loves to go for cars rides even if we only go to pick Sara up from school.

That our school participates in an LPS program called "Operation Student Success". As part of our OSS process, each student is evaluated in literacy at least three times a year. Following the assessments, we have a day long "Data Dive" where teachers use the data to determine appropriate interventions for our struggling students and monitor their progress throughout the year. Great things are happening at Rosedale!