Derby Middle School Week at a Glance: Week of April 11th

Posted by Sarah Sindelar on 4/19/2021


Dear Derby Families,

I would like to send my sincere gratitude to Mr. Costello, Mr. Smith, and our entire team of paraprofessionals as we celebrated National Assistant Principals Appreciation Day and National Paraprofessionals Appreciation Day this Tuesday and Wednesday. Our paras are often the “unsung heroes” of our school, going above and beyond each day to help our learners. We greatly appreciate them!
Please make sure you are up to date on the schedule change this week due to PSAT testing (further details are below). 6th and 7th-grade students will be virtual for a full day of learning on Tuesday while the 8th graders are in person to test. Wednesday will be an in-person day. We appreciate the support and patience as we navigate in-person testing during a complex school year.
I hope you are having a great weekend and thank you for reading our eNews!

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 (4-12)

Tuesday (4-13)
8th graders in-person for PSAT, 12:00 dismissal
6-7th graders virtual, full day
Birbery Book Club, 11:05 AM (Mrs. Sindelar’s Zoom)
Boys Tennis vs. Berkley

Wednesday (4-14)
In-person day for everyone!
Girls Soccer @ West Hills MS
Fantasy Gaming Online 3:30-5:30 P.M.

Thursday (4-15)
Cabaret Auditions (Information below!)
Derby Drama Club 3:45-5:15 P.M.

Friday (4-16)
Javascript Coding Club 3:45-4:45 P.M.

Mark Your Calendars:

* ½ Day for Middle School and BCS Students- April 23rd, records day

To Report an Absence:

Parents/Guardians must email the attendance at to provide detailed information regarding your students’ absence or tardiness by 8:00 AM 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.

Face-to-face Families - Clear to Go MUST be submitted for your student BEFORE they enter the building for the day.

*** Please Read- Note Schedule Changes on April 13th & April 14th ***
On Tuesday, April 13th, our 8th-grade students will be participating in PSAT 8 testing. This date is mandated by the state and not chosen by Birmingham Public Schools. In order to ensure an optimal testing environment for our 8th-grade students, our 6th and 7th-grade students will not attend school in person on April 13th. Instead, all of our 6th and 7th-grade students will learn virtually on this date.

On April 13th, our 8th-grade students will report to Derby for PSAT 8 testing. Testing will begin at 8:35am and end at 11:45am. 8th-grade students will be dismissed from school at 12:00pm. A grab-and-go lunch will be available for those that would like it. Our 8th-grade students will not attend school in the afternoon on April 13th. Buses will pick students up in the morning at their regular times and take them home at noon.

Wednesday, April 14th, will be an in-person school day for all Derby students and not a virtual learning day. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact a Derby administrator.

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

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

Seaholm Parent Night

Parents of incoming 9th-grade students: Do you still have questions about the transition to high school? The Seaholm PTA is here to help!

Please join us for a special PTA Zoom meeting on April 21 from 7-8 PM where Seaholm parents will talk and answer questions about the transition to high school. Our goal is to add a parent’s perspective to the information you’ve already been provided.

We encourage everyone to submit questions ahead of time to You will also be able to submit questions via the chat function during the meeting. The Zoom link was sent in eNews on 4/11. We look forward to seeing you on April 21st!

Your Seaholm PTA

Join Birbery Book Club!

As we approach the end of the Birbery reading challenge on May 6th, Mrs. Sindelar would like to invite all students who’ve read any of the 24 Birbery books to join us for Birbery book club. What’s your favorite book so far? What characters did you love? Were there any books that surprised you? Join this Tuesday during small group time (at 11:05 am) to discuss anything and everything related to Birbery! This book club will be held in Mrs. Sindelar’s Zoom room. Please send her a Schoology message or email if you’re unsure how to attend. For more information about the reading challenge visit the Derby library Birbery 2021 webpage.

Cash and Coins for Jeff Gordon

The Derby Student Government Leadership Team is sponsoring a ‘Cash and Coins for Gordon’ fundraiser. Jeff Gordon is a Birmingham Public Schools graduate and the best friend of one of our own, Mr. Halverson. Jeff was diagnosed with ALS in November. This fundraiser will take place in our Derby Math classes Monday, April 12th through Friday, April 23rd. We encourage students who are able to make a donation into the donation box in their Math classroom during this fundraiser. The Math teacher who raises the most money will earn a prize for their class. Students who are virtual CAN participate in this fundraiser by putting a donation into an envelope and writing the name of their Math teacher on the envelope. The envelope can be placed in the ‘Cash and Coins for Gordon’ donation box in the Derby foyer. Donations can be cash, or a check written out to Derby Middle School. His Fight is now Our Fight…thank you in advance for supporting this cause!


In lieu of a musical at Derby this year, we will be having an outdoor spring cabaret performance. We are looking for musical theater solos, duets, and small ensembles. This event is open to all students to audition, but is limited to songs from MUSICAL THEATER performances only. If you are selected to participate, over the next few weeks you will work with coaches on your music selection for the performance. The show will take place at Seaholm High School, where we will perform using an outdoor stage. Auditions will take place VIRTUALLY on Thursday, April 15 for the middle school. You must be able to sing at least 1 minute of the song with track accompaniment that day.

A few things for auditions:

1. All songs need to have an instrumental or karaoke track that you will play during your audition. This track SHOULD NOT have any singing on it. (You can find many karaoke tracks on YouTube to sing with!).

2. All Songs must be school-appropriate. Since this will be an All-Ages Show, we need to make sure that this concert is appropriate for all.

3. Once you audition with a song, you cannot change songs.

How to sign up to audition:

1. You must fill out this Audition Google Form (Sign in to your @bps-schools email) which will lead you to the Sign-Up Genius for a time to audition.

2. Use the link sent in eNews on 4/7 to attend your audition.

3. If those times do not work for auditions, please email Mr. Hummel right away and we will try to find a time to accommodate!

4. After you audition you will receive confirmation and sign a contract for official participation.

Derby Cabaret Dates:

Saturday, May 22
* 10:00 A.M. Sound Check (You must be at the soundcheck to be able to perform)
* 2:00 P.M. Concert

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to Mr. Hummel at

Derby Virtual Staff Appreciation 2020/202

The PTA is in need of approximately 15 more volunteers to be able to have given ALL Derby staff some appreciation this school year. Please take a look at the Virtual Staff Appreciation sign-up below and commit to April or May donations. Thank you for your support!

Football at Seaholm

Seaholm Football: Calling all 8th graders interested in playing football at Seaholm. Please join us for an informational ZOOM meeting, April 24th @ 9 am with Coach DeWald. Zoom link sent in eNews on 4/11.

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 in grades 6-12. Register at http://

Wednesday, April 14th at 3:00 P.M.
Exploring Construction: A Career for Females, Too!

EDPS: Career Exploration

This week, all Derby 7th and 8th graders received an email from Mrs. Westerlund reminding them of what they should be working on in order to complete their EDPs (Educational Development Plans) on Xello by May 1st. Students should check their email accounts for this update.

Completing these activities in Xello assure that you are completing your EDP as required by Michigan state law. “State law requires local schools to provide an opportunity for students to begin developing an EDP in Grade 7 and requires that every student has an EDP before entering high school. By preparing the initial EDP in middle school, students can better plan their high school curriculum to meet their postschool goals. The EDP is a secondary/postsecondary planning tool to direct the student’s educational plan and career planning activities.” (

If you have any questions, please contact Mrs. Westerlund, Derby EDP coordinator at


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


Please see the link sent in eNews for information on the upcoming meeting on April 8th and more!

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 in 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:

April: 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. Zoom link 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!

Baldwin Public Library now offers all area students Library Cards

Baldwin Public Library has announced that any student in the Birmingham Public School community will have the same opportunity to access Library resources to assist with classroom learning inside and outside of school.

Previously, students who attend Birmingham Public Schools, but who do not live in the Baldwin Public Library service area needed a card from their home community library, which meant varied access to an assortment of electronic resources. By offering all students a Baldwin Public Library card, the question of whether a student can access a specific resource is eliminated.

To acquire a BPL card, students and their parent or guardian will need to apply for a card at and collect their card from BPL, which is located at 300 W. Merrill St. in downtown Birmingham. Link to the full press release here.

BPS Parent Pride

Support Group for Parents of LBGTQ+ Kids
Please see the Parent Pride link in eNews 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. Lacrosse registration link
Email questions to

Registration for Birmingham Youth Lacrosse Spring Season is Now Open!

Come play the fastest growing sport in America! Please visit 2021 Spring — Birmingham Bulldogs link for more information.

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

Birmingham Community Education just added virtual and in-person Spring programs for all ages! For more information visit the Birmingham Community Education Spring 2021 link.

2021 Birmingham Summer Camp

Summer camps are online now at the Birmingham Community Education link.

Oakland Youth Innovation Lab Opportunity

Oakland Youth Innovation Lab will ignite a joy of learning for students in grades 6-11! This unique learning experience will be grounded in a strong sense of community and will engage students in deep learning that is meaningful and authentic.

In the spring, students will meet with teachers for community-building activities and to co-create the Design Lab planned for July.

In July, the Oakland Youth Innovation Lab community will come together for a two-week intensive learning experience that is relationship-rich and infused with choice, self-direction, relevance, and joy.
•Students will meet daily in advisory groups where they create a network of support, discuss ways to actualize their passions, and engage in service learning.
•Students will participate in master classes in a variety of subjects, such as graphic design, robotics, poetry, portrait photography, and journalism which will be co-taught by teachers and experts from the community. Over the course of two weeks, each student will develop and launch a passion project.
•The two-week Design Lab will culminate in a community exhibition where students share their passion projects with the school and local community.

In the fall, ongoing mentoring will take place and lead to a community celebration in January 2022.

This program allows students from Birmingham, Berkley, Bloomfield Hills, Clarenceville, Oak Park, Southfield, and Troy to attend. All classes will take place at the host site in Oak Park.

For more information, please go to the informational flyer. To register, please complete the following application: Birmingham - Oakland Youth Innovation Lab - Student Application - Google Forms