• Derby Middle School: April 13th

    Posted by Marla Otterbacher on 4/13/2020 10:45:00 AM

    Dear Derby Families,

    Although this was not the Spring Break we were expecting, I hope you all found time to enjoy some sunshine and time with loved ones. For my family, it meant time playing backyard baseball and taking some long bike rides. 

    As we come back from break you will notice that the district Grade Level Google Classrooms do not have new assignments being posted to them. Our teachers are currently working on our new online learning platform in which they will have their own individual Google Classroom. Teachers will also be hosting their own “office hours” to meet students virtually, answer any questions and check in on our learners. Specific details about our program will be coming from BPS, Derby and teachers later on this week-stay tuned!

    Our Technology Services Department is working to address the needs of families who truly need technology during this time. If your family is in need of a laptop, please email Mrs. Otterbacher at MOtterbacher@birmingham.k12.mi.us

    We look forward to continue learning with the Dragons this week. You will be updated as soon as we have the specific timeframe!

    Go Dragons,
    Marla Otterbacher

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  • Derby Middle School Week at a Glance: March 30th - April 3rd

    Posted by Marla Otterbacher on 3/29/2020 8:00:00 PM

    Dear Dragon Families,

    Bravo to our students who continue to do a great job working on the BPS Google Classrooms. Our teachers will continue to upload assignments/enrichment activities this week. (Look for a special message from us at the end of the week!)  
    This week is "Virtual Spirit Week!". See below for all of the details (and attached) and join in the fun from home! We may not be able to see each other every day, but we can still show our Derby pride and share a smile. We hope you all are doing well and staying healthy!
    Go Dragons!
    Marla Otterbacher

    o    Derby will be hosting Spirit Week next week Monday, March 30th through Friday, April 2nd. We want YOU to participate!
    o    It is simple…follow the Spirit Day plan as stated in the attached flyer and have someone take a photograph of you each day you participate.
    o    Email your photographs to mmcgrath@birmingham.k12.mi.us for a chance to see YOUR picture appear in the Derby Yearbook AND for your photograph to appear in an upcoming video that Mr. Hickmott is putting together.
    Who will display the most spirit…the choice is yours…we cannot wait to see your pictures!!!


    DC Trip Update:

    You should have recently received an email from our principal stating that all trips scheduled this year have been canceled.

    I have been working feverishly to avoid the inevitable, but it doesn’t make sense to prolong it anymore.  I’m so very disappointed about this.  My only solace is that closure, even if it’s not the closure we wanted, will relieve at least a little of the uncertainty that we are all experiencing during these unprecedented times.

    If you purchased the insurance you will get 100% back minus the cost of the insurance.

    If you did not purchase the insurance you will get 75% back minus the deposit – Worldstrides has worked with me on this.  Their traditional policy, as stated in the travel contract, is that any money paid is nonrefundable if insurance has not been purchased.


    You can choose to leave a 100% credit on your account and transfer that money to a future WorldStrides trip.  Credits are transferable to any family member of the registrant, or to a  student/parent in the same school as the registrant.  Credits must be applied no later than 12/31/22 and have no cash value.

    You must call WorldStrides Customer Service at 800-468-5899  Give them trip id 173358.  They will answer any questions you have and help you update your account.

    This is one of the most difficult emails I have had to write as a teacher. I would much prefer being overwhelmed with 8th-grade roommate drama, wading through DC bureaucracy and chasing you all down with dozens of emails to get information to get background checks that are necessary for Whitehouse and FBI tours.  

    I want to thank all of you- parents, students and Derby staff- for the enthusiasm, cooperation and understanding you have shown as we experienced the ebbs and flows of this trip’s evolution together.  Please take care of yourselves and your families

    Kindest regards



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  • Derby Middle School Week at a Glance: March 16th - March 20th

    Posted by Marla Otterbacher on 3/15/2020 12:00:00 PM

    Dear Derby Families,
    It is time for our weekly Enews, even it if looks a bit different this week. I can’t thank you enough for your patience and flexibility as we continue to work through this together. I am once again humbled by the kindness shown by our Derby community and our willingness to come together in the best interest of our children. After a few questions I received yesterday, I would like to share with our DMS community what I know as of this moment:
    •    Please see the attachment regarding free breakfast and lunch for ALL children while school is not in session.  (Big thank you to BPS and Chartwell’s for this!)
    •    Please be sure to read the full update from the Superintendent.  
    •    If you need to pick-up your student's medication or belongings, Derby will be open from 12-3 on Monday, March 16th.  It will not be open Tuesday.
    •    Online enrichment opportunities will open on Thursday, March 19th.  Please see the email from Mr. Dziatczak for more details.

    I know we all have strong emotions about what is going on in the world right now and our learners are really feeling this as well. We have just thrown our kids a curveball during this already tumultuous time of adolescence. Please know that you can reach out via email to any staff member during this time, including our counseling staff. I would like to pass along a resource that a parent shared with me regarding online learning with recommendations I found to be helpful when thinking about my own son at home in the upcoming weeks:
    *Adapted from: https://shanghai-pudong.dulwich.org/news-and-events/tips-for-successful-e-learning-home-environment
    E-Learning – Tips for successful (and healthy) e-learning home environment
    1. Develop a routine: Your children will be craving routine. Melbourne Child Psychology state that a consistent routine in the home enables your children to relax as they know what to expect. Maintaining a regular schedule for children reduces anxiety because they know what activity is next and have certainty in their day. That is why it is so important to develop and stick to a routine in challenging times, such as these. Each day, try to have set times when your children do their e-learning, set times for meals and bedtimes, set times for play and exercise. For older children, let them have an input into their daily schedule; they are more likely to stick to it.

    2. Daily exercise: For those of us quarantined in our homes or away from our own home, keeping up with daily exercise and reducing screen time for our children can be another challenge. We know that exercising helps to improve our mood, as when we exercise our brain releases chemicals to increase blood flow, make us feel happier and more relaxed. Kidshealth.org (2019) recommends that Junior School-aged children do approximately one-hour of moderate activity each day. Derby PE teachers will be making suggestions that you can do at home through their online platforms. Below are some suggestions of indoor exercise that teachers use during rainy or polluted days that you might want to try:
    a. Just Dance Children can follow the dance moves to their favorite artists using YouTube clips. Click here to find my personal favorite.
    b. Click here to find a free resource for families and educators which has a range of dances and songs (even Zumba routines) and mindfulness sections.
    c. Housework: Getting your children to vacuum or clean kitchens and bathrooms is also a possible suggestion for getting children active.
    3. Brain breaks and relaxation during the day: Short brain breaks during homework time have been shown to have real benefits. They reduce stress and frustration and increase attention and productivity. The key is to take them before fatigue, distraction or lack of focus set in. For Junior School children, that’s typically after 15 – 20 minutes of work (understood.org). At that point, they may need a three- to five-minute break. The goal of brain breaks for children is to help their brains shift focus. Sometimes that means getting up and moving, especially if your child has been sitting for a while. For relaxation, I recommend the smilingmind.com.au and smiling mind app for your family. They have free, short guided meditations which help to calm your child’s mind before sleep and during brain breaks.
    4. Spread the work across the week: Help your child to plan for the week. The e-learning can seem overwhelming at the start of the week, as a long list of tasks to complete. Help to model good organizational skills, by planning certain subjects on mornings and others after lunch, for example. Perhaps agree to complete the tasks that are of less interest to your child first, then complete the tasks for their favorite subjects. The following week, your child may be ready to draft their weekly e-learning schedule more independently.
    5. Communicate with your teachers: Keep your teachers up to date with your child’s progress with e-learning. There will some days when your child is very resistant to e-learning. Or perhaps your child doesn’t understand what they are being asked to do. This is the time to reach out to your class teacher and ask for some guidance on which tasks are essential for your child to complete and/or get clarification on the task.

    The last point the article makes is to be kind to yourself and your family. These are extraordinary times and we are not sure what the next step will be. However, we will all continue to be here for each other. (Even if it’s virtually.) We will continue to be in contact as soon as more information becomes available. I hope you all are having a great weekend and planning out your family time.
    Go Dragons,
    Marla Otterbacher

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  • Derby Middle School Week at a Glance: March 9th - March 13th

    Posted by Marla Otterbacher on 3/8/2020 9:00:00 PM

    Dear Derby Families,

    From 6th graders building robot cars in math classes to our 7th and 8th grade band students heading to festival today, it was another busy week at Derby! If you have an 8th grade student, be sure to discuss the vaping presentation the BBCC presented to Mrs. Hicks’s class last Monday (3/3) and will be presenting to Mrs. Pavlock’s class this Monday (3/9). 

    We look forward to seeing all of our families at spring conferences this week. Conferences are Wednesday and Thursday from 4-7 each night. Please be sure to read two messages below regarding voting on Tuesday, March 10th! Thank you for reading our eNews, there is a lot going on at Derby this week!

    Enjoy the sunshine!

    Go Dragons,

    Marla Otterbacher

    Derby Middle School Week at a Glance 2019-2020
    To submit an item for next week’s Derby E-News, email mpapp@birmingham.k12.mi.us

    Monday (3-9)
    Girls Volleyball Red Home against Bloomfield Hills MS 4:00 PM 
    Girls Volleyball White Away against Berkshire 4:00 PM 
    Roblox eSport Game Design 3:20-4:20 P.M.

    Tuesday (3-10)
    Wrestling Coed Away against West Hills Middle School 4:00 PM 
    Girls Volleyball Red Away against Country Day 4:00 PM 
    Rubik’s Cube 101 3:20-4:20 P.M.
    Girls Who Code 3:20-4:20 P.M.

    Wednesday (3-11)
    Parent/ Teacher Conferences 4:00 PM-7:00PM
    Boys Swimming Away OPEN DATE (Boys League Meet) Bloomfield Hills MS 3:00 PM 

    Thursday (3-12)
    Parent/ Teacher Conferences 4:00 PM-7:00PM
    Wrestling Coed OPEN DATE Away (against Abbott/ OLMS Combined Team) 4:15 PM 

    Friday (3-13)
    March 13th- Band Lock-In 7:00pm-10:00pm

    Mark Your Calendar-
    March 18th- Birmingham Bloomfield Community Coalition 7:00 PM in the Media Center.
    April 4th-April 12th Spring Recess- No School 
    April 13th- Classes Resume 
    April 17th- End of 3rd Quarter

    Vote March 10!
    Don’t forget to vote on Tuesday, March 10! Voters will be asked to consider a bond proposal for Birmingham Public Schools. The bond proposal up for consideration would provide funding for brick-and-mortar improvements and enhancements and cannot be used for salaries and benefits. The bond proposal seeks to keep general fund dollars focused on the classrooms, while dedicating bond funds to vital capital needs throughout the District. If approved, the annual debt millage is expected to remain at or below the annual debt millage of 3.80 mills levied in 2019. The bond proposal authorizes the issuance of $195 million of bonds over 3 series through 2026. We hope that you’ll head to the polls on March 10, bring a friend or neighbor, or bring a new voter with you! If you have a new voter in your household, or if you haven’t registered to vote yet, learn how to register www.Michigan.gov/vote. Learn more about the bond proposal at https://www.birmingham.k12.mi.us/bond2020.

    ELECTION DAY – Tuesday, March 10 
    Attention Precinct 2 & 3 registered voters assigned to voting location Derby Middle School:
    For this election, voting will NOT BE IN THE GYM. The voting will take place in Rooms 100 and 101. We are asking community members to park in the lot at the corner of Adams Road and Derby Road and follow the signs leading to the west side of the building. 
    Thank you for your cooperation. 

    Band Lock-In
    Please join us for the annual Derby Band School Lock-In! Friday, March 13, 2020 from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Admission is $10.00 at the door. DJ, Photo Booth, Pizza & Ice Cream, Bounce Houses and much, much more!

    Career Exploration
    Parents of 7th and 8th Graders
    Happy March. There were a few glitches with Xello, our Career Exploration Platform, and we just recently received confirmation that the glitches have been repaired.

    To that end, it is time for all of your students to log in to Xello, via PowerSchool, and check their progress. Earlier today, I sent an email to all of your students’ BPS email accounts with this information.

    Here are the items that all Derby 7th graders need to complete by May 1st:
    *Create or Update Profile
    *Personality Style
    *Mission Complete
    *Learning Style
    *Lessons to Complete (found on your Xello Dashboard)
    *Learning Styles
    *Discovering Learning Pathways
    *Biases and Career Choices

    Here are the items that all Derby 8th graders need to complete by May 1st:
    *Create or Update Profile
    *Personality Style 
    *Mission Complete
    *Learning Style
    *Lessons to Complete (found on each student’s Xello Dashboard)
    *Explore Career Matches
    *Transition to High School

    The week that we return from Spring Break, I will check in to see if everyone is on the right track. If students are falling behind in completing these activities, I will have lunch/recreation opportunities available to work on the Xello activities.

    Please feel free to have your child (or you) reach out to me via email kwesterlund@birmingham.k12.mi.us or stop by my classroom (203) with any questions.

    The Birmingham Seaholm High School Bands is hosting its 21st annual dinner, dance and silent auction fundraiser on Friday, March 20th at the Reserve, 6:00 – 10:00 p.m. The event raises money to benefit the band programs at Seaholm High School. In addition, it helps us to fund travel that the band does like the trip that is planned for 2020-2021 to Spain to march in the three king parade (https://theculturetrip.com/europe/spain/articles/everything-you-need-to-know-about-spains-fiesta-de-los-reyes/).

    There are three ways to be involved:
    *Donate auction items to the event for either the program/travel funds
    *Bid often on wonderful items
    *Attend the dance and be entertained by three of our many wonderful bands

    More information will be posted on our website https://www.seaholmbands.com/fundraising/
    or contact Tammy Packard Phone: 248-259-4423, Email: dinnerdance@seaholmbands.com
    Seaholm Band Boosters
    twitter: twitter.com/@seaholmbands

    Your student will be receiving information and a permission form in Science class on Mon. 2/24 explaining an upcoming eighth grade field trip to the DIA on March 10th. Please review the letter and have your student return the completed permission form to their Science teacher no later than March 4th.

    Your student will be receiving information and a permission form in Science class on Mon., 2/24
    explaining an upcoming sixth grade field trip to the Michigan Science Center on Fri., 3/20. Please review the letter and have your student return the completed permission form and payment to their Science teacher by Fri. 3/10. If you are interested in chaperoning please click the following link Chaperone Sign-up

    Jazz Band Rehearsal Dates-
    March 10th
    March 24th

    The results are in! The National Geographic Society named Dylan Shoresh, Derby 8th Grader, as one of the semifinalists eligible to compete in the 2020 National Geographic GeoBee State Competition. The contest will be held at Western Michigan University on Friday, March 27, 2020.

    This is the second level of the National Geographic GeoBee competition, which is now in its 32nd year. To determine each school champion, GeoBee competitions were held in schools throughout the state with students in the fourth through eighth grades. This year, an estimated 2.4 million students competed in the GeoBee, with 8,661 students becoming school champions. School champions also took an online qualifying test, which they submitted to the National Geographic Society. Up to 100 of the top-scoring students in each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Department of Defense Dependents Schools and U.S. territories were invited to compete in the State GeoBees.

    Science Olympiad: 
    Congratulations to our small, but mighty Derby Science Olympiad on its results from last Saturday’s Regional Tournament. Congratulations to our medal winners:
    7th place (medal): Boomilever (Lucas Maier and Miles Coe)
    7th place (medal): Fossils (Sam Lee and Hudson Kosiba)
    7th place (medal): Reach for the Stars (Sam Lee and Lucas Maier)
    8th place (medal): Mousetrap Vehicle (Noah Bacheller and Miles Coe)
    8th place (medal): Road Scholar (Will Duzan and Cam Rocchini)
    Other top performers include……
    9th place: Density Lab (Will Duzan and Cam Rocchini )
    9th place: Meteorology (Sam Lee and Lucas Maier)
    Way to go TEAM Derby! Who’s in for next year????

    Congratulations to our Derby students! 
    State Winner:
    Music Composition:
    Award of Excellence: Owen Dobrowitsky for “Beans”

    District Winners:
    Visual Arts:
    Ally Schaufler, “Warm Heart”
    Margot Nardone, “Daily Choices. Big Impact”
    Music Composition:
    Owen Dobrowitsky, “Beans”
    Gavin Bush, “Why Me?

    Complimentary General Admission This Sunday!
    Thanks to Ford Motor Company Fund, the Michigan Science Center (MiSci) is providing complimentary general admission on Sunday, March 8, from noon to 5 p.m. to celebrate women in science and their groundbreaking work in STEM over the years.

    Visitors will learn about women scientists and the contributions they made to society. Some activities include:
    *DNA extraction to highlight the contributions of Barbara McClintock
    *A cloud chamber to feature the work of Marie Curie
    *Creating binary bracelets in honor of Joan Clark
    *Amazing Astronomy and Fantastic Physics, two different live stage shows that spotlight the incredible career of Mae Jemison

    Pre-registration is required to receive your complimentary general admission tickets! Please visit mi-sci.org or follow the link below to register.

    We look forward to seeing you! 
    Lisa Hart
    Mathematics Teacher
    Derby Middle School

    Attention All NEW and RETURNING Seaholm Boys Soccer Players:
    Please register ASAP for the upcoming 2020 season through the seaholmboyssoccer.com website under 2020 Player Registration. Once registered, you will receive email information and updates on the upcoming 2020 season.
    Mark your calendar for the Parent Meeting, March 18 @ 6 pm in the Little Theater.

    Go Maples!!! 
    Suzanne Jacoby
    Para Seaholm / Soccer Mom

    Registration is now open for the 2020 Girls Lacrosse Season! All 1st-8th grade girls of any skill level welcome. Please use the following link to register: https://go.teamsnap.com/forms/221572. All practice and game schedules are posted on FB www.facebook.com/birminghamgirlslacrosse/. Email questions to birminghamgirlslacrosse@gmail.com

    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 
    www. Birminghamsoftball.com. For questions, please email Jeff Weber at jweb666@me.com.

    The Birmingham Plan
    Birmingham’s Planning Board is holding five meetings on the comprehensive master plan on Wednesday, February 12, Wednesday, March 11, Tuesday, April 7, Wednesday, May 13 and Wednesday, June 10. All meetings are at 7:30PM in the Municipal Building. The City’s Planning Department will present the vision for Birmingham over the next 20 years, focusing on our neighborhoods, mixed-use areas and the central business district. Please plan to attend one or more meetings. Your input is essential to Birmingham’s success. Full details including how to comment on-line are available at www.thebirminghamplan.com

    “Conquering Anxiety”
    The Parents and Teachers of the International Academy (PTIA) would like to invite you all to a “Conquering Anxiety” presentation on Tuesday, 3/31 at 7:00pm. Many may know an adolescent in your life that is struggling with anxiety. Anxiety can be very misunderstood, scary, and very difficult for students and families to manage. This is our small attempt to try to help as many students and families in our community as possible.

    Dr. Marsh is a complete Anxiety nerd! She is very knowledgeable and extremely passionate. When you speak to her, you can really see how authentic she is and how much she wants to help others.


    Connecting Community with the Power of a Story
    Friday, March 13, 2020
    6:30 PM-9PM
    Groves High School Auditorium
    Join us for a free viewing of the documentary "Baggage, my story". The documentary gives voice to young immigrants aged 12 to 17, newly arrived in Montreal. These young people share their narrative of migration and adaptation through drama workshops and theater. They are young, but talk about their experience with a disconcerting wisdom, an emotion to shake the hardest, and a disarming authenticity. These young people testify to an "elsewhere" and a "before" that will become "here" and "now". Recommended for ages 10 and up.
    Before the movie, share your own story, get to know more about diversity within the district and meet with various organizations and the guest speakers. The viewing will be followed by a Q & A with Mélissa LeFebvre, the Drama teacher from the documentary, Simon Boulerice, a well-known author who oversaw the writing of a poetry book by the students, and Deborah Drennen, the CEO of Freedom House Detroit.

    BPS Family Pride
    BPS Family Pride is made up of LGBTQ+ families and allies who wish to show their families that all you need is love. We have a ton of fun events planned for 2019/2020 and everyone is welcome. Details on these events can be found on our Facebook page @BPSFamilyPride or you can contact Christine Voss at bpsfamilypride@gmail.com

    BPS Family Pride 2019/2020 events
    Apr 27 Sign Making Pizza Potluck Party @ Greenfield Art Room 
    May 29 @ 6:30-8pm end of year social on Greenfield playground

    YMCA Summer Camp Information 
    Please see the attached information about YMCA Summer Camps and scholarships opportunities.



    Adult Community Outreach Opportunity:
    Meals on Wheels is in need of substitute drivers in Birmingham and Beverly Hills Monday through Friday. The meals are picked up from NEXT at 2121 Midvale at 10:30 am and delivery takes between 30 – 60 minutes. Oakland Meals on Wheels requires an application and a background check. Please contact Judy Murrell at 248-203-5281 if interested. 

    Box Tops for LINKS
    Hello Derby Families,
    Box Tops has gone digital! Please consider downloading the Box Top app on your phone and all you have to do is take a picture of your receipt and Box Tops does the rest, no more clipping! Donating your box tops raises money for the Derby LINKS program to provide games, activities, field trips, and parties. We get 10 cents for every box top, so this can really help to fund our peer to peer program that over 100 students participate in.

    You can find more information on this process here:

    If you still have Box tops, they can be turned into the counseling office. Thank you so much for your support of the Derby Links Program!

    Volunteer Opportunity in Derby Main Office
    Your help in our busy front office would be appreciated! A hand managing doors and guests, answering phones, making copies and various other tasks would be a great help. Volunteers will not be working with any student sensitive materials. Time slots are noted in the sign up below. If you are only available for a portion of the time allotted, make a note in the comments detailing the time your are able to volunteer. Thank you! https://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090545adab2ea64-derby2

    Volunteer Opportunity During Recreation Study Hall in the Library
    Please consider volunteering in our library during recreation study hall hours 11:00am-1:00pm. Volunteers can help by accepting passes from students, reshelving books and monitoring students while in the library. https://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090545ADAB2EA64-derby3

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    The Board of Education is committed to maintaining a learning/working environment in which all individuals are treated with dignity and respect, free from discrimination and harassment. There will be no tolerance for discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, genetic information, disability or age. The District prohibits harassment and other forms of discrimination whether occurring at school, on District property, in a District vehicle, or at any District related activity or event. The Superintendent will designate compliance officers and develop and implement regulations for the reporting, investigation and resolution of complaints of discrimination or harassment. The following people have been designated to handle inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policies: Students - Inquiries related to discrimination on the basis of disability should be directed to: Executive Director of Special Education, 31301 Evergreen Road, Beverly Hills, MI 48025, 248.203.3000. Direct all other inquiries related to discrimination to: Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources, 31301 Evergreen Road, Beverly Hills, MI 48025, 248.203.3000.