Fordson High School and Birmingham Seaholm High School Collaboration

Written by Zeinab Chami, Fordson Teacher

Several weeks ago, Birmingham Seaholm High School reached out to us to inquire about visiting Fordson to learn more about our culture, and our Diversity Committee students were eager to partake. Immediately, the Diversity Committee advisors, led by Norma Harb, were cognizant of the many directions this visit could take. That is why we developed a plan to ensure that this dialogue had authentic meaning and impact. Although this was a cultural exchange on the surface, the entire purpose was actually for all the students (Tractors included) to see that, as American teenagers, they are more alike than they are different. So while Seaholm students watched the documentary Fordson: Faith, Fasting, and Football in their Flex classes before coming here, we wanted to clearly communicate to them that Fordson is a mosaic of stories, and that every individual–no matter their heritage or beliefs–writes her own narrative.

On Wednesday, January 9th, everything culminated as Fordson Diversity Committee students led a dialogue with their peers from Seaholm. We decided to start our conversation with watching a TED Talk by Nigerian author Chimamanda Adichie on the deep implications of stereotypes. Then, 2-3 Fordson students led discussion circles with 10-12 Seaholm students. These conversations began discussing big ideas, and they ended talking about the everyday minutiae of teen life. Our Tractor student leaders were nothing short of phenomenal! And, of course, Seaholm students were sufficiently impressed by the majesty of Fordson’s architecture. Mission: accomplished!

Group of students from Fordson and Seaholm taking a selfie.Student leading a discussion with students seated in the Fordson auditorium.  Students sitting in a circle sharing experiences.A large group of students from Fordson and Seaholm high schools holding the Dearborn vision sign.

SEDSAC

The Superintendent and Executive Director Student Advisory Councils focus on middle school student leadership.  This is the second year that teams of students from every middle school participated in monthly meetings designed to strengthen student voice and leadership in their school.  Another goal is to encourage relationships and connections across middle schools and students in the district regarding empathy.  The theme of “Empathy Matters” is the focus and students are supported as they take action on their school campuses.  Executive Directors meet with their individual feeder middle schools once a month.

Read By Third Grade Task Force

Based on Public Law 306 (October 2016), third grade students who are more than a year below grade level on the state ELA assessment are under consideration for retention in third grade. Dearborn Public Schools staff in elementary schools have been systematically planning to ensure that teachers have the training to teach reading effectively and that students receive small group instruction based on their needs. The current year second graders are the first group to potentially be impacted by the legislation.

You are invited to join the district task force to strengthen the planning process and to ensure that the community is informed and engaged in the success of every student.  The first meeting will be January 10, 2019 from 4-5:30pm at the ASC building (Administrative Service Center, 18700 Audette, Dearborn, 48124).

To participate, please complete the survey from the link below.  If you cannot open the link, please copy and paste it to your browser.  Thank you!

https://docs.google.com/forms

Fordson Choir Collaborates with Chelsea High School – submitted by Matt Laura

This past week, Fordson’s Chamber Choir visited Chelsea, Michigan three times to complete the first part of our year long cultural exchange. The week culminated in two performances yesterday, Sunday, December 2nd to packed houses at First United Methodist Church. Between the performances, students ate, socialized, and toured downtown Chelsea with family groups from Chelsea’s choir. These relationships have been cultivated for three months and will last a lifetime.

Our next combined performance will be March 2nd, 2019, at Detroit Music Hall.

Students on stage singing

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