Friday, January 24, 2020

Candid Photos

Hi folks, Jon Wennstrom here! Last week, the Lifetouch photographers came into the building and took some candid photos of the students in class and around the building. These photos will help "fill out" our Buchanan yearbook pages. One of the things that I like about the candid photos is that it really captures the spirit of the building. The formal pictures are nice and I love seeing the kids dressed up and looking their best, but the candid photos capture the joy of students with their friends and having fun throughout the school. It's that spirit of joy in coming to school everyday that I try to foster and not just the staged "formal pictures" that show off a certain program or success. I hope your child finds joy in coming to school each day and I hope the adults in the school feel the same way!!


UPCOMING EVENTS AT BUCHANAN

Monday, January 27: Students of the Month Assembly
Thursday, January 30: PTA Skate Night at Riverside Arena 6:00-8:00 PM
Friday, February 7: VIP Dance in the gym (80's Theme) 6:00-8:00 PM

PTA POINTS
  • The Annual Buchanan VIP Dance will be held on Friday, February 7 from 6:00-8:00pm. The theme this year is the '80s! Tickets are $3 per person, and the event is PRE-SALE ONLY. A digital copy of the flyer and order form is attached to Mr. Wennstrom's email.
  • Our next Riverside Skating Night is this Thursday, January 30 from 6:00 to 8:00pm. Admission is $6.50 and includes a regular skate rental (premium rental or inline skate rental is an additional $3.00). We hope to see you there!
  • Buchanan is in need of outdoor recess equipment! We could use balls of all sorts (soccer balls, footballs, basketballs, playground balls, etc.), jump ropes, hula hoops, etc. If you have extras of any of these items at home, Buchanan students would be happy to have them for use during outdoor recess. There is a collection box set up in the lobby for donations. 
  • Still in need of Buchanan spirit wear? Our spirit wear company now offers FREE SHIPPING on all orders over $50. Click this link to view Buchanan's spirit wear store: https://www.buchananspiritwear.com/
  • Where does your money go? As we reach the mid-point of the school year, the PTA would like to share with our Buchanan families how we have used some of the funds raised from our Fun Run (and other fundraising efforts). With your generous donations, here are some of the things we have been able to do this year:
- Purchase 525 pairs of headphones (enough for every student, plus extras for the resource room and educational support)
- Reimburse staff members up to $100 each for classroom supplies
- Purchase Raz-Kids subscriptions for the majority of students
- Fund up to $1600 per grade for Field Trips
- Purchase over $900 worth of books for the Library
- Provide funding for 1st grade to purchase new foam dice, number lines, and wooden erasers
- Provide funding for 4th grade to purchase stools for use at guided reading tables
- Provide funding for Kindergarten to purchase a subscription to Scholastic Let's Find Out non-fiction magazines
- Purchase National Geographic magazine subscriptions for classroom use
- Purchase Mileage Club supplies
- Throw a luncheon for our amazing staff the week before report cards were due in December
- Provide a holiday gift for each staff member
- Fund the PTA Surprise Elf Week, during which each student received crayons, a coloring sheet, a pencil, and a bookmark, and each classroom received a book, a game, and a bag of school supplies.



#BuchananBears
Monday is turkey, gravy and mashed potatoes instead of quesadillas

Did you know that we have a fish tank in our lobby at Buchanan. Every day, our students get to walk by and see our beautiful fish and the famous goldfish named Goldie! Our students love to see Goldie swim around the tank with her little friends and also see her play hide and seek with the decorations in her tank. Great things are happening at Buchanan! 



Friday, January 17, 2020

Dreams

Hi folks, Jon Wennstrom here! On Monday, students will not have school as we observe Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Many students will be hearing his "I have a dream" speech and will learn about his life. Although his dream was an important starting point, it wasn't the end. He worked hard, he marched, and he sacrificed to make that dream a reality. One of the things that we try to teach our Buchanan students is that a vision or a dream is the beginning, but making things a reality takes hard work and dedication. Failure and set backs are a part of life, but they are just lessons as we continue our journey. When your child tells you about Martin Luther King Jr's dream, ask them about the steps he took to make it a reality!


UPCOMING EVENTS AT BUCHANAN

Monday, January 20: No School for Students in observance of MLK Day
Monday, January 27: Students of the Month Assembly for Confidence
Thursday, January 30: PTA Skate Night at Riverside Arena 6:00-8:00 PM
Friday, February 7: VIP Dance 6:00-8:00 PM

PTA POINTS
  • The Annual Buchanan VIP Dance will be held on Friday, February 7 from 6:00-8:00pm. The theme this year is the '80s! Tickets are $3 per person, and the event is PRE-SALE ONLY. Flyers with order forms were sent home last week. A digital copy of the flyer and order form is also attached to Mr. Wennstrom's email.
  • Still in need of Buchanan spirit wear? Our spirit wear company just announced that it now offers FREE SHIPPING on all orders over $50. Click this link to view Buchanan's spirit wear store: https://www.buchananspiritwear.com/
  • Our next Riverside Skating Night is Thursday, January 30 from 6:00 to 8:00pm. Admission is $6.50 and includes a regular skate rental (premium rental or inline skate rental is an additional $3.00). We hope to see you there!
  • Reflections news: Congratulations to Ashlyn Johnson for winning an Award of Excellence for her photography entry and to Juliet Rodriguez for winning an Award of Merit for her visual arts entry. Both pieces of art will be recognized at the Annual Livonia PTSA Reflections Ceremony on January 30 at Stevenson High School and will move on to compete at the state-level. Way to represent Buchanan!
  • Buchanan is in need of outdoor recess equipment! We could use balls of all sorts (soccer balls, footballs, playground balls, etc.), jump ropes, hula hoops, etc. If you have extras of any of these items at home, Buchanan students would be happy to have them for use during outdoor recess. There will be a collection box set up in the lobby for donations. 
Needed: One or two parents that can come in during the course of about a 3 week period - 2 times in a week, whatever days you can do to help me with the Jump Rope for Heart prize distribution.  The lady from American Heart will show you how to log in, check who has donated online and how much, and also check donations given to teachers that I will have sent down on the days you are here. You would have to just take the small prizes: key chains and put them in zip lock bags with the kids names on them and deliver to the teacher mailboxes. After the event, I would need you to come in one last time when the bigger prizes arrive by mail, to be sure that all of them get out to the kids.  This would be about a month or two after the event.
If this sounds like something that you could help me with, please contact me as soon as possible as we were going to try and run this event during PE classes the week of Feb 10-14 2020.  I may find I need to move this back but for now would like to try!Thank you so much in advance for the help!



#BuchananBears

Parents, we need your help! Please make sure students are not bringing smart watches or Pokemon cards into school. Both items have caused distractions during the school hours and we appreciate your support in keeping them at home. Thank you! 


Did you know that Lifetime Photography will be at the school on Friday, January 24? They will be going around the building to take candid photos throughout the building for our annual yearbook. These fun photos fill our yearbook with so many fun memories. Great things are happening at Buchanan! 

Friday, January 10, 2020

Harvest Time!

Hi folks, Jon Wennstrom here! Recently, I was talking with a parent who shared that he had "stolen" some good ideas that he had seen. I told him that many of my best ideas, weren't my ideas and that a mentor had once told me some wise words. She said that when we see an idea that we want to implement, it's not stealing, it's "harvesting good ideas". Now, of course we want to give credit for those who we harvest from, but often when I have, I learn that they harvested from someone else.  Education is a great profession for "harvesting" good ideas from one another. At Buchanan, we are a team that helps lift ALL of our members up. We are better together!



Some ideas I have "harvested"










UPCOMING EVENTS AT BUCHANAN

Thursday, January 16: PTA Meeting 7:00 PM in the Library (all families welcome)
Monday, January 20: No School in observance of MLK Day
Monday, January 27: Students of the Month Assembly (Confidence)
Thursday, January 30: Skate Night at Riverside Arena 6:00-8:00 PM

PTA POINTS
  • Join us for our first PTA meeting of 2020 this Thursday, January 16 at 7:00pm in the LMC. Childcare will be provided. 
  • Our next Riverside Skating Night is Thursday, January 30 from 6:00 to 8:00pm. Admission is $6.50 and includes a regular skate rental (premium rental or inline skate rental is an additional $3.00). We hope to see you there!
  • Calling all Chili Cooks! There is still time to sign up for the annual Livonia PTSA Council Chili Cook-Off (Please see the entry form attached to Mr. Wennstrom's email.). The event will take place next Saturday, January 18 from 11:00am to 2:00pm at Franklin High School. The winning chili-maker will win a prize package plus a $500 grant for the school they are representing. If you are more of a chili taster than a chili maker, consider attending the event - the cost is $5 for unlimited samples until the chili runs out. 
  • The Annual Buchanan VIP Dance will be held on Friday, February 7 from 6:00-8:00pm. The theme this year is the '80s! More information will be coming soon. 


#BuchananBears


Did you know that many of our students worked on their "One Word" for the new year? Students had fun selecting on a word that they would focus on for 2020 and many were displayed in classroom and around the school. Great things are happening at Buchanan!



Saturday, January 4, 2020

One Word - 2020

Hi folks, Jon Wennstrom here! Once again, I am using "One Word" as my focus for the year to help guide my decisions and keep me on a positive track. My word this year is YES and below is the story behind the word that I shared with the Buchanan Staff. I hope you enjoy it and we look forward to seeing the students when they return on Monday!



In 1966, John Lennon was visiting a modern art exhibit. While making his way through the museum, he came to a piece that consisted of a ladder that led to a magnifying glass hanging from the ceiling. John made his way up the ladder and grabbed the glass to see the message that was written on the ceiling. There was one word – YES. In many later interviews, he credited that positive message to a turning point that led him to meet the artist, Yoko Ono, who would become his partner and true love. He had been expecting a joke, or something negative, but that simple affirmation inspired him.
TED Talks and podcasts are filled with examples of successful people who talk about the power of YES. One of my favorites is “My year of saying yes to everything” by Shonda Rhimes. She describes the transformative power of saying yes and how it helped her overcome fears, open new possibilities, make her a better parent, and a “titan” in television writing. She shares how saying yes brought color back into her life and contrary to logic, saying yes to everything didn’t overload her, it helped bring back balance and joy through focusing on the things she said yes to, starting with playing with her daughter.
For the past five years, I have selected One Word to be my focus for the year. They have been a trait that I want to develop or an act I want to perform. They have included “Inspire, Gratitude, Kindness, Patience, and Light“. This year, I have selected the word YES! My goal is not to make everyone happy, but to explore new possibilities. Saying yes can open doors, create new opportunities, and make our world bigger. I plan to record my journey of saying yes and documenting along the way the new experiences it leads to. Will you join me in being open to new ideas and new adventures? I hope you said, YES! 
UPCOMING EVENTS AT BUCHANAN

Thursday, January 16: PTA Meeting (all families welcome!) 7:00 PM in the Library
Monday, January 20: No School for Students in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Monday, January 27: Students of the Month Assembly (Confidence) 
Thursday, January 30: PTA Skate Night at Riverside Arena 6:00-8:00 PM

PTA POINTS
  • Mark your calendars for our first PTA meeting of 2020: Thursday, January 16 at 7:00pm in the LMC. Childcare will be provided. 
  • Our next Riverside Skating Night is Thursday, January 30 from 6:00 to 8:00pm. Admission is $6.50 and includes a regular skate rental (premium rental or inline skate rental is an additional $3.00). We hope to see you there!
  • Calling all Chili Cooks! There is still time to sign up for the annual Livonia PTSA Council Chili Cook-Off. The event will take place on Saturday, January 18 at Franklin High School. The winning chili-maker will win a prize package plus a $500 grant for the school they are representing. 
  • The Annual Buchanan VIP Dance will be held on Friday, February 7 from 6:00-8:00pm. The theme this year is the '80s! More information will be coming soon.

Did you know that our theme for the month is Confidence?  We will be focusing on having faith in ourselves AND also remembering that confident people help lift others as well. This is a fun theme and may even see the return of our "Positive Post It" activity!  Great things are happening at Buchanan! 

Friday, December 13, 2019

Music of the Season

Hi folks, Jon Wennstrom here! Last week, we had an amazing Winter Concert with our 3rd and 4th grade students. If you attended, you know what an incredible job our students did! I would like to thank all our staff that helped, our custodial crew for setting up, and most of all Mr. Turner and Mr. Stromberg who made it such a special event. I'm excited to see what our kindergarten, first, and second grade students do for our spring concert! Our Buchanan students sure have a lot of talent!


UPCOMING EVENTS AT BUCHANAN

Monday, December 16: Students of the Month Assembly (Empathy)
Friday, December 20: Winter Break begins after school

Monday, January 6: School Resumes!

PTA POINTS
  • Thank you to everyone who volunteered at our Holiday Shop! We love being able to provide this opportunity to Buchanan students, and we wouldn't be able to do it without your help.
  • We surveyed our amazing staff about some of their favorite things in an effort to make your lives a little easier this holiday season. Please see the Staff Favorites document attached to Mr. Wennstrom's email for their responses. Our staff work hard to enrich our children's lives and deserve to be treated to some of their favorite things!
  • Did you know you can support the Buchanan PTA when you shop on Amazon? Amazon donates 0.5% of the price of your eligible purchases to the charitable organization of your choice through the AmazonSmile program. To make sure we get credit for your Amazon purchases, follow these steps:
1. Visit smile.amazon.com
2. Search for James Buchanan Elementary PTA.
3. Select James Buchanan Elementary PTA as your charitable organization.
4. Start shopping!
5. For your future Amazon shopping trips, start at smile.amazon.com (it is the SAME as shopping on amazon.com, aside from the charitable contribution!)
  • The Livonia PTSA Council is holding its 6th Annual PTA Dads Chili Cook-Off on Saturday, January 18, 2020 at Franklin High School. This cook-off is open to dads, grandpas, uncles, etc. who are PTA members. The winning chili-maker will take home a "dad-centric" prize package as well as a $500 grant for the school they are representing. We would love to have some dads (or grandpas, uncles, older brothers, etc.) representing Buchanan this year! Please see the flyer attached to Mr. Wennstrom's email for more information and an entry form.
PARKING PROCEDURES
For the safety of all, please make sure when you pick up your child at the end of the day that you park in a designated parking spot.  Parking along the side of the drive or in non-designated spots can cause a traffic backup and pose a danger to pedestrians.  Thank you for your cooperation and help in keeping our Buchanan students safe!



#BuchananBears
We will be serving Cheese-stuffed Breadsticks instead of Popcorn Chicken on Friday, Dec. 20


Did you know that we have a VERY special performance from the Stevenson High School Choir? On Friday, they came to Buchanan and performed a concert for our students. It was such a delight and many of our students said they hoped to sing in the choir when they were older. Ask your child about the event! Great things are happening at Buchanan! 

Saturday, December 7, 2019

All Hands on Deck

Hi folks, Jon Wennstrom here! For the past several years, I have been very active in the Michigan Elementary & Middle School Principals Association (MEMSPA). After serving four years on the board of directors, I decided to run for the president of the organization. This year, I am serving as the president-elect and will begin my term as president on July 1. It's an honor to serve at the state level and connect with administrators from across Michigan. However, I could not serve in this role without the support of the district and our amazing Buchanan team. Each year, when I attend the annual conference, the staff pulls together and keeps things running smoothly while I am gone. It's such a blessing to have a team that demonstrates such leadership and initiative. Thank you to the Buchanan team and thank you to the Buchanan community for all your support!


UPCOMING EVENTS AT BUCHANAN

Monday, December 9: Santa Shop Opens
                                     iReady Reading & Math Testing begins
Thursday, December 12: 3rd/4th Grade Winter Concert 6:00-8:00 (Santa Shop Open)
Friday, December 13: Santa Shop Closes
                                    Report Cards go home
Friday, December 20: iReady Reading & Math Testing ends
                                    Winter Break starts after school!

The 3rd/4th Grade Winter Concert will be this Thursday, December 12. The 3rd grade concert will be at 6:00 PM and the 4th grade concert will be at 7:00 PM. Each concert will last about 40 minutes and students should be in their classrooms 15 minutes prior to the performance.  After the first performance, the gym will be cleared and families can pick up their child at the classroom and then the 4th grade families will enter the gym for the second performance. The Santa Shop will be open from 6:00-8:00 PM, so families can shop while their child is not performing. 

PTA POINTS
  • The Buchanan Holiday Shop will be open this week (from December 9th through 13th). Packets including classroom shopping dates and times, as well as envelopes for sending in money, were sent home last week. VOLUNTEERS ARE NEEDED to run the Holiday Shop!!! Please visit the following link to sign up for a time slot: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/20f054aa8af23a7f94-holiday1
  • The Holiday Shop will also be open on Thursday, December 12 from 6:00 to 8:00pm during and in between the 3rd and 4th grade concerts. All are welcome to attend this opportunity to visit our Holiday Shop after school hours! 
  • Our next Riverside Skating Night is Friday, December 13 from 6:00 to 8:00pm. Admission is $6.50 and includes a regular skate rental (premium rental or inline skate rental is an additional $3.00). We hope to see you there!
  • We surveyed our amazing staff about some of their favorite things in an effort to make your lives a little easier this holiday season. Please see the Staff Favorites document attached to Mr. Wennstrom's email for their responses. Our staff work hard to enrich our children's lives and deserve to be treated to some of their favorite things!
  • Did you know you can support the Buchanan PTA when you shop on Amazon? Amazon donates 0.5% of the price of your eligible purchases to the charitable organization of your choice through the AmazonSmile program. To make sure we get credit for your Amazon purchases, follow these steps:
1. Visit smile.amazon.com
2. Search for James Buchanan Elementary PTA.
3. Select James Buchanan Elementary PTA as your charitable organization.
4. Start shopping!
5. For your future Amazon shopping trips, start at smile.amazon.com (it is the SAME as shopping on amazon.com, aside from the charitable contribution!)
  • The Livonia PTSA Council is holding its 6th Annual PTA Dads Chili Cook-Off on Saturday, January 18, 2020 at Franklin High School. This cook-off is open to dads, grandpas, uncles, etc. who are PTA members. The winning chili-maker will take home a "dad-centric" prize package as well as a $500 grant for the school they are representing. We would love to have some dads (or grandpas, uncles, older brothers, etc.) representing Buchanan this year! Please see the flyer attached to Mr. Wennstrom's email for more information and an entry form.


#BuchananBears #MEMSPA19


Did you know that MEMSPA has over 1200 members across the state and nearly half of them attend the annual conference each December? It's an opportunity for educational leaders to share ideas, solve problems, and help one another grow to help schools and students throughout Michigan. Many of us attend a summer learning institute as well. Great things are happening at Buchanan and across Michigan! 





Sunday, December 1, 2019

Empathy

Hi folks, Jon Wennstrom here! It's hard to believe that December is already here. With a new month, we have a new character trait focus. This month, we will be focusing on the theme of Empathy. Our goal is to help students learn how to see things from the perspective of others and "put themselves in someone else's shoes". This is an important skill and we thought that the holiday seaso: n was a good time to practice it. We hope you and your family enjoy this short week as students have the day off on Friday, due to records day!


UPCOMING EVENTS AT BUCHANAN

Friday, December 6: No School for Elementary Students (Records day for teachers)

Thursday, December 12: Winter Concert for Grade 3 at 6:00 PM & Grade 4 at 7:00 PM
Friday, December 13: Report Cards go Home with Students, Skate Night at Riverside 6:00-8:00

PTA POINTS
  • The Buchanan Holiday Shop will be open from December 9th through 13th, with evening shopping available on Thursday, December 12 from 6:00 to 8:00pm
  • Did you know you can support the Buchanan PTA when you shop on Amazon? Amazon donates 0.5% of the price of your eligible purchases to the charitable organization of your choice through the AmazonSmile program. To make sure we get credit for your Amazon purchases, follow these steps:
1. Visit smile.amazon.com
2. Search for James Buchanan Elementary PTA.
3. Select James Buchanan Elementary PTA as your charitable organization.
4. Start shopping!
5. For your future Amazon shopping trips, start at smile.amazon.com (it is the SAME as shopping on amazon.com, aside from the charitable contribution!)
  • The Livonia PTSA Council is holding its 6th Annual PTA Dads Chili Cook-Off on Saturday, January 18, 2020 at Franklin High School. This cook-off is open to dads, grandpas, uncles, etc. who are PTA members. The winning chili-maker will take home a "dad-centric" prize package as well as a $500 grant for the school they are representing. We would love to have some dads representing Buchanan this year! Please see the flyer attached to Mr. Wennstrom's email for more information and an entry form.

Did you know that our Santa Shop will be running all week from Monday, December 9 through Friday, December 13? We will have evening hours during the 3/4 Winter Concert as well on Thursday, December 12 from 6:00-8:00 PM. If you can help out, we would really appreciate your time as a volunteer! Great things are happening at Buchanan!