Derby Middle School

Inspiring all learners to positively impact their world.

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  • 3/3/21

    Dear Derby Families,

    As you know, our Birmingham Public Schools Board of Education voted for a full face-to-face return (with a virtual option) to begin transitioning on March 15th. Please read the following information carefully:

    * Please examine the comparison document. This can help guide your decision on what is best for your family.

    * The selection survey needs to please be completed by Friday, March 5th. This will help guide our preparations in setting up classrooms and getting ready for lunch service.

    * The choice you make on the selection survey represents a commitment through the end of the school year. Should you need to change your learning option, please contact an administrator and we will work with your family.

    If you have any questions regarding our learning platforms, please let us know. We thank you for your continued patience and look forward to having a successful remainder of the school year.

    Go Dragons!

    Marla Otterbacher



    Parent/Teacher Conferences Information

    When:  Wednesday, March 17 from 4:00-7:00 pm and Thursday, March 18 from 4:00-7:00 pm

    Where:  VIRTUAL (zoom links to come)

    What to expect this spring at Derby: 

    Individual conference times will be scheduled. Each parent is allotted 5 minutes per teacher. Please enter the following web address into your browser window to schedule your conferences: 

    Link to Conferences

    If you do not have internet access, please contact Heather Guise via phone at 248-203-5003.

    Planning for conferences with your child’s teachers 

    Let’s keep a growth mindset at the forefront of our partnership in supporting students’ learning. Individual conference time is limited, so consider asking questions that are focused on the learning process and effort in learning, not only on results or “the grade.” Here are a few questions that keep our focus on a growth mindset vs. a fixed mindset:

    • Is my child an active participant in class?
    • What are the areas of growth for my child?
    • How does my child react to the mistakes he/she makes academically, socially or behaviorally?
    • How does my child show risk-taking in class?

    Several of our staff members will have altered hours due to part-time status or prior obligations. They will be happy to return calls or emails regarding your child’s progress.

    Staff Member

    Wednesday, March 17

    Thursday, March 18

    Mr. Chappell

    4:00 - 5:45 pm

    4:00 - 5:45 pm

    Mr. Karpinsky

    4:00 – 7:00 pm

    Not Available

    Mr. Alexander

    Not Available

    4:00 – 6:00 pm

    Mr. Hummel

    6:00 - 7:00 pm

    6:00 - 7:00 pm

    Mrs. Zang

    Not Available

    5:00 – 7:00 pm

    Middle School report cards are only printed and sent home at the end of the year. With access to Power School, we do NOT send home quarterly report cards. We look forward to seeing you at conferences! 


    Dear Derby Families,

    As we welcomed back our students from midwinter break, Derby was busy with learning opportunities! I ended my Friday observing our 8th grade WEB leaders hide LEGO mini-figurines for 6th graders to find in an activity. The best part of Derby is watching the kids be here for one another.

    District planning is underway for our return to full in-person learning (with a virtual option) that is set to begin on Monday, March 15th. Derby and BPS are still finalizing many of the details for our next phase of learning. We will send out an email with daily schedule information, protocols, and a selection option as soon as the information is available. We appreciate your patience and will update you as soon as we can.

    Derby will be assigning lockers to any student who would like one for the March 15th full return. If your student would still like to carry his or her belongings to class, that option is still available. Locks will be sold for students who need them for $6 in the cafeteria during all lunches on Thursday and Friday of this week. If your student has a lock from previous years, please feel free to use it. Questions regarding lockers can be directed to Mr. Costello at

    We hope everyone has a great week!

    Go Dragons!
    Marla Otterbacher

    Derby Middle School Week at a Glance 2020-2021

    To submit an item for next week’s Derby E-News, email

    This Week’s Events:

    Monday (3-1)
    Derby Drama Club 3:45-5:15 P.M.

    Tuesday (3-2)
    Cardio and Cocoa 4:00-5:00 P.M.
    Derby Jazz Band 3:20-4:20 P.M.
    S.H.E. 3:45-4:45 P.M.
    Girls Who Code 3:45-4:45 P.M.

    Wednesday (3-3)
    Boys Swim vs. BCS HOME 3:45PM
    Girls Volleyball WHITE vs. BCS HOME 4:00PM
    Girls Volleyball RED vs. Berkshire AWAY 4:00PM
    Roblox eSports Coding Club 3:20-4:20 P.M.
    Fantasy Gaming Online 3:20-5:20 P.M.
    Yoga Club 3:20-4:20 P.M.

    Thursday (3-4)

    Friday (3-5)
    Javascript Coding Club 3:45-4:45 P.M.

    Mark Your Calendars:
    * Parent/ Teacher Conferences-March 17th & March 18th 4:00PM-7:00PM (Links to come!)
    * Spring Recess- No School March 29th- April 2nd
    * Classes Resume- April 5th

    To Report an Absence:

    Parents/Guardians must email the attendance at to provide detailed information regarding your students’ absence or tardiness by 8:00AM each day. Absence or tardiness may also be reported to the Derby Attendance 24-hour Derby attendance line at 248-203-5000, option 2 (email preferred).

    Absences or tardies not reported to the Derby attendance office will be recorded as unexcused (please note that sending a note to your child’s teacher does not excuse your child. Always contact the attendance office in the event of a student absence). Please send an accompanying doctor’s note as well (PDF format) if appropriate.

    Hybrid Families - Clear to Go MUST be submitted for your student BEFORE they enter the building for their cohort day.

    As our students are transitioning to a hybrid/virtual learning program, we would like to remind families of some procedures and information on our new learning platforms:

    Dropping off/Picking Up materials at Derby:
    If your student forgets something, we will help him or her get through the day. Class time is at a premium this year and we would like to have minimum disruptions. If a lunch is forgotten, our cafeteria is serving free lunches for everyone! If something is left at home that is imperative (a student needs for his/ her health & safety), there will be a shelf in the inner vestibule (the area right outside of the Main Office) with sticky notes. Clearly label the item with your student’s name and grade and we will get the item to your student. Please refrain from coming to the building to drop off forgotten homework assignments, instruments, laptops, lunches, etc.

    Our shelves will still be available in the vestibule for virtual students to drop off and pick-up materials. Doors to vestibule are open 7:30AM -6:00PM

    Due to COVID Protocols, parents/guardians may not enter the building. This is different than in years past.

    Derby School Schedule

    * Please see this Derby School Schedule link for class times and bell schedule.

    Career Exploration Opportunities

    The following Oakland Schools Career Readiness one hour virtual events will focus on learning more about the CONSTRUCTION industry. They are available for students and parents grades 6-12. Registration link for construction career readiness event

    March 3 at 4:00 P.M. Exploring Construction: It’s Not Just Slinging Tools
    March 10 at 3:00 P.M. Exploing Construction: How Technology is Reshaping the Industry
    April 14th at 3:00 P.M. Exploring Construction: A Career for Females, Too!

    Career Readiness Family Expo

    March 23, 5:30 - 8:30 pm

    Help your child become career ready!
    This year’s “Virtual” Career Readiness Family Expo is an evening event connecting families with industry experts. Participants can engage in career awareness, exploration and preparation with industry and education professionals through various breakout sessions. Topics will include in demand careers, post-secondary options, soft skills and various career readiness strategies, tips and tools.

    Who should attend the Family Expo?
    All parents/guardians with their students looking for information and guidance on finding a career pathway.
    Registration for the Career Readiness Family Expo Link

    Library Books – Please Return or Renew

    The Derby library currently has 126 overdue books that need to be returned or renewed. Please sign into ClassLink (teal icon located in the Derby homepage Quick Links) with your regular computer username and password. Click on the orange Destiny app. Once the account loads, click the Checkouts link located on the left. Please renew your library materials, or return them to the main office vestibule shelves. Face-to-face students can return materials to the shelves outside the Derby library doors.

    Tips & Strategies to Keep Your Student Focused & Motivated

    Student Tips for Staying Focused
    Tips for Staying Motivated


    Order a Derby Yearbook link
    Questions or Concerns? Please email Caela McGrath at:
    Thank you for your order!
    The Derby Yearbook Crew


    DID YOU KNOW THAT BPS KIDS EAT FREE? Please see this Meals for Hybrid Learning 2021 link for more information. Questions or concerns, call Pattie Guck at (248) 228-7172

    OCHD School Nurse Newsletter

    OCHD Newsletter February 22nd link
    We urge you to convey to your families the importance of keeping students home if:
    * The student is pending a COVID test
    * A household member is pending a COVID test
    * A household member is positive with COVID
    * If the student is symptomatic

    We are seeing many classmate quarantines occur because of a student attending in person even though they should be staying home (as reasoning mentioned above). Typically, there is a reason that is the driving force in seeking testing. If they are getting tested, all should stay home while results are pending. We encourage a PCR test for accuracy.

    We are seeing many classmate quarantines occur because of a student attending in person even though they should be staying home (as reasoning mentioned above). Typically, there is a reason that is the driving force in seeking testing. If they are getting tested, all should stay home while results are pending. We encourage a PCR test for accuracy.

    BPS Saturday School

    We are happy to announce that the BPS Saturday School will once again be operating throughout the school year to offer academic support and tutoring for all BPS students grades K – 12. Although we are currently operating virtually as a district, BPS Saturday School takes place every Saturday (excluding holidays and breaks) throughout the school year. Saturday School is normally hosted in the media center at Berkshire Middle School, but we are now operating virtually through Zoom from 9:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. each Saturday on the following dates:

    March: 6, 13, 20
    April: 10, 17, 24
    May: 1, 8, 15, 22
    The BPS Saturday School Coordinators will be working together with Groves’ NHS students as well as Oakland University student teachers to provide tutoring through Zoom and the use of “breakout rooms.” Our coordinators will be able to maneuver back and forth between breakout rooms to be able to monitor and support the tutorials. ZoomLink sent in eNews. 
    Please visit the BPS Saturday School webpage to learn more and we hope to see you in this year’s virtual setting!

    BPS Has Got Talent!

    Join us for our first-ever district wide virtual talent show! Students and staff of BPS are invited to submit a video showing off their talents! A panel of judges will review the entries, and on Thursday, March 11 at 7:00 PM, the final show will air! Everyone will have the chance to vote for their favorite videos, and the winner will be awarded not only a prize for themselves, but also a grant for their school. There will also be awards for Judges Choice and Most Original. Please see the BPS Has Got Talent! flyer for more information.

    BPS Parent Pride

    Support Group for Parents of LBGTQ+ Kids
    Please see the Parent Pride link for more information and scheduled virtual meetings.

    Registration is now open for the 2021 Girls Lacrosse Season!

    All 1st-8th grade girls of any skill level welcome. Please use the Girls Lacrosse registration link to register.
    Email questions to

    Birmingham Little League

    2021 Registration for Birmingham Little League is OPEN! Please visit the Birmingham Little League registration link for additional details.

    Birmingham Girls Softball - Registration now open!

    Birmingham Girls Softball is southeast Oakland County’s largest girls’ recreational softball league with over 300 players. BGS is a community-based, non-profit organization providing girls ages 6 to 14 the opportunity to play organized recreational softball. We are dedicated to teaching young ladies the fundamentals of softball in a safe and fun environment with teamwork and good sportsmanship being our top priorities. BGS is open to all girls interested in playing softball for the first time and those with prior experience looking to build on and develop the skills needed to play the game for years to come. All that we require is a positive attitude and a willingness to learn. To register or for more information, please visit our website at For questions, please email Jeff Weber at

    Birmingham Community Education

    Please see link for information on Birmingham Community Education Virtual winter classes.


    Please see eNews for monthly FRIENDS flyer
    Please join FRIENDS virtually on Thursday, March 4th at 7PM. Speakers, Minoti Rajput, and Mehul Mistry, will explain the importance of Special Needs planning strategies and will address questions for both planning and key components of the ABLE and Secure Acts. 

    Do the Write Thing Challenge

    Interested in writing? Like to join contests? Then, this might be the “WRITE” thing for you/your child.

    The annual Do the Write Thing Challenge is a national essay program that gives middle school students an opportunity to examine the impact of violence on their lives. Through this program, students are invited to communicate in written form what they think should be done to reduce youth violence. Students are also encouraged to make personal commitments to do something about the problem. Two national ambassadors from Michigan will be invited by the National Campaign to Stop Violence to attend the “Do the Write Thing Challenge” recognition week in Washington, D.C. The deadline for schools to participate is March 26, 2021. For more information, visit the Do the Write Thing Detroit website and access the 2021 Michigan Schools Packet.

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  • Welcome to Derby Middle School

    Red Dragon


    The fundamental goal of Derby middle school is to develop confident, compassionate, intellectually curious young people, who are well prepared to excel throughout their high school years and beyond.  Excitement and enthusiasm are two words that describe our middle school students.  It is a unique time in children's lives when they can fully explore new activities, interests, and ideas. 

    As a principal, I am most proud of our school's commitment to the development of character. Whether it is through classroom activities such as writing letters to wounded soldiers, to students volunteering as Links to our special needs students, to school-wide community service projects, our students demonstrate their good character every day.

    If you are a parent of our community and have any questions or concerns, please contact me.  If you are considering having your child attend Derby Middle School, I welcome you to visit our school for a personal tour.  Please contact my office to set up an appointment.

    Best Regards,

    Marla Otterbacher
    Derby Middle School Principal


    Respect Everyone....Respect Yourself....Respect Everything....Respect Everyday

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