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Welcome Back!

Greetings William Ford Families!

I hope you and your family are doing well and you are safe!  Although the beginning of this school year will be different than any in the past, all of us at William Ford are anxious to welcome you back to school!  As you know, William Ford and Dearborn students will return to school online on Monday, August 31st.  I understand you may have many questions.  If after reading this  you still have questions, feel free to contact the office at 313-827-6400.

Classroom Rosters and Assignments:

In the past William Ford has hosted an Ice Cream Social to welcome everyone back and post class lists.  After the event class lists were then posted on the office windows.  Due to our “online” start to the school year, this will not take place this year.  Instead, classroom teachers will be contacting each family by phone or email to inform them of their child’s placement as well as provide some important information for the first week.  Expect this contact by Friday, August 28th.  

Classroom Orientation will look different than in previous years.  Rather than having a parent meeting at school for the whole class, teachers will be scheduling individual or small group orientations within the first week of school.  These orientations will be very important!  Classroom materials will be distributed, daily schedules, log-ins for technology, introductions, and much more will be shared during the orientation.  

Chromebooks:

Last spring William Ford delivered nearly 300 Chromebooks to be used by our students!  The need for reliable technology at home is critical for students to complete work and interact with the classroom teacher.

For the 2020-2021 School Year, we are recommending that every enrolled student in the house have a Chromebook, laptop or an electronic device to use.  We will have TWO days where we will be distributing Chromebooks.  Those dates are Friday, August 28th from 1:30-3:30, and Monday, August 31st from September 9:30-11:30.  If your child already has a Chromebook then there is no need to do anything.  If you need one for your child, please let your child’s teacher know when they make contact with you this week.

Are you new to William Ford?

If you are new to William Ford and have not registered your child, please do so as soon as possible.  Registrations are accepted at the Dearborn Schools Administrative Center at 18700 Audette, Dearborn 48124.  You may phone student services at 313-827-3005 or you may visit the district website at:  https://dearbornschools.org/services/enroll/

Additional updates for the beginning of the 2020-2021 School Year:

At this time, the office is not open for “in-office” appointments.  However, we can meet parents outside at a table by the front door or by phone from 9:00-3:00 at 313-827-6400.

Please check the new school calendar as there are some changes, specifically for the first week.  https://dearbornschools.org/services/district-calendars/  Monday, August 31st through Thursday, Sept. 3rd will be ½ days.

School start and end times have been changed a little to accommodate for the remote learning.  New elementary school time will be from 8:55am-3:50pm.  Half days will end at 12pm.  Attendance will be taken, as well as tardies for not being available to the teacher by 8:55. 

All Dearborn public schools will be using Schoology and Zoom for our online learning.  We will be planning to hold training and informational sessions for parents in the coming weeks.

This year will look much different than the Spring.  Students will be expected to be available and ready to learn from the start of the day at 8:55 until the end of the day at 3:50.  Please continue working with your child(ren) to set up routines and areas for them at home.  We will continue to work together and do our best to provide the best educational opportunity and experience for your children.

There will be live lessons every day and set schedules to help with consistency.  There will also be small group opportunities online and “face to face” at school.  See below.

Learning Labs:  Learning Labs will be an opportunity for staff to offer additional support (academically, socially and emotionally) to a small group of students face-to-face.  Decisions regarding who, when and how often will be made as a team to ensure we are meeting the needs of our students.  Learning labs will not begin until mid-September.  Your child’s teacher will share more information on the labs soon.

If you have further questions, please feel free to contact the school office.  Although the beginning of the year will bring questions and uncertainties, we WILL get through the opening of the year.  Your patience and support is always appreciated.

Five House, One School!                                                                                      

David Higgins                                                                                                         Principal, William Ford Elementary

Nicole Rabac                                                                                                            Asst. Principal, William Ford Elementary

Dearborn Schools’ Back to School Website

Dearborn Public Schools’ Back to School website can be viewed at the link below. This site includes information for parents, staff and students. All documents are linked on the page including protocols on hygiene, safety, cleanliness, athletics, etc.  Other helpful documents such as student, staff, and parent expectations are also available.  Arabic translation is in the same documents. More specific information concerning “Back to School” at William Ford will be coming soon!

View the website at www.dearbornschools.org/backtoschool

Return to School Plans Announced!

Greetings Parents,  

On Monday, August 10 the Board of Education approved a plan for all Dearborn Public School students to return to school on-line. Students from kindergarten through high school will take classes online at least until sometime around the beginning of October.  Some teachers and staff will be in the buildings on a rotating basis. Parents and students will be able to make appointments with teachers if there are academic concerns, technology issues, or other concerns. The board will reevaluate conditions later in September to see if it is possible for some or all students to begin returning to their classrooms perhaps in a blended model of in-class and on-line learning.

The District understands there are parents who want their children in a 100% virtual learning program no matter what phase the State is in or how other students in the District are attending school.  For the parents who want a 100% on-line option for the entire school year, the school district has created the Dearborn Virtual Learning Program for students K-12.  Parents selecting this option are opting their children into the program for a one-year commitment. 

Staff at William Ford will be on hand (social distancing, limited numbers, and masks will be enforced) on Wednesday, August 12th from 9:00-3:00 to meet with parents. If you have children at different grade levels and buildings, you do not need to attend meetings at multiple schools.  Opt-in forms will be available and parents can opt-in all their children at one location.

In order to meet staffing, transportation, and several other components of our new school environment, it is vitally important to know how many students will join the Virtual Program. Parents seeking more information and/or are interested in opting their child(ren) into this program are highly encouraged to visit our school on date and time. Here is a link to the complete schedule of schools and meetings.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1SdFISdKk-c1Lbkz7Vj5irylxEkqJOKZy2J3HJGvJ_tI/edit#heading=h.e1437s49s5yw.

If you are not comfortable meeting in a safe environment at the school or are unable to attend on one of the scheduled days, please call or email the school 313-827-6400 or higgind@dearbornschools.org so we may discuss this option and begin the opt-in process for your children.

We understand there are many questions, concerns, and uncertainties as we approach the start of the school year.  Our Back to School Reopen Committee has spent many hours considering all of the health, safety, logistical, and educational concerns before making their recommendations. Our Board spent many hours reviewing those recommendations including a six hour Study Session to hear from the various sub-committees and stakeholders.  We are now ready to move forward, together, to ensure what will be an interesting, but great, start to the 2020-21 school year. 

Mr. Higgins and Mrs. Rabac

Thank You William Ford

Dear Parents of William Ford Students,

Summer greetings to you all!  I wanted to reach out to you and thank you all for your support and partnership this school year.  Our world as we knew it changed on March 12th.  Our daily existence, our priorities, our economy, and essentially how we live has been greatly influenced by this silent and invisible virus.   Everyone scrambled to do their best to meet the needs of our children and families while adapting to this new existence. Many of you worked from home, while ensuring your children continued the learning remotely with their classroom teacher. I thank you. 

As we look towards the next school year there are still so many uncertainties.  We do not know what school will look like, and likely will not know until mid to late July. School will likely be different in August, but I promise you we will work diligently and tirelessly to meet the needs of your children, our students.

The aforementioned weighs heavily on all of us here at William Ford. So where do we start the school year in 2020-21, how do we attempt to meet the needs of our students, your children…what is our priority?  The answer to all of us is clear….relationships. We value the relationships our teachers already have with our students and families. Because of that, as of June 23rd it is our intention to loop nearly all students with their current class, and nearly half of the classrooms with their current teacher.  In other words, most students will remain with their current classmates and nearly ½ of our teachers will move up one grade level and keep their current class.  There will be exceptions.  New kindergarteners and our promoted fifth graders are two examples. 

Classroom rosters with your child’s teacher for 2020-2021 will be confirmed and made official in August.  Until then, feel free to reach out to your child’s teacher from this past year with any questions or concerns, or suggestions for academic growth over the summer.  Of course, you can always reach out to me or Mrs. Rabac as well. 

Enjoy the summer with your family and friends.  Read and write together.  Treasure those conversations while enjoying a meal.  I look forward to seeing you all soon!

Much love to all of our William Ford families,

David Higgins

Principal, William Ford Elementary

Report Cards Available on Wednesday!

Report Cards will be available to be picked up from school on Wednesday! Office staff will be available on Wednesday outside the front doors with student Report Cards from 10:00AM -12:00. Please know your child’s grade and teacher. A table will be set up by the front doors. Tape will be on the pavement to allow for social distancing. Please wear a mask. See you on Wednesday morning!

Parent School Re-opening Survey

The State of Michigan, and our District, have begun the complicated and detailed discussion on the possible reopening of schools for the 2020-21 school year. These discussions will involve experts in instruction, operations, sanitation, transportation, food service, athletics, and many other areas that are part of operating a school district. Please know that any plans developed by the Dearborn Public Schools will need to adhere to directives and Executive Orders issued by the Governor.

Your feedback is required and valued in leading these plans at the district level. Please respond to the survey below by June 12, 2020. Please keep an eye out for additional parent surveys in the near future.

Click here for the survey! https://forms.gle/DNx3eN8hcRpXsfSs5

Student Personal Items from the Classroom will be Available on Tuesday!

On Tuesday, June 2nd from 12:00-3:00 many teachers will be at William Ford to deliver any personal items students have in the classroom. Items have been placed in bags and will be available for pick-up. The schedule is below;

  • Last Name beginning with A:  12:00-1:00
  • Last Name beginning with B-M:  1:00-2:00
  • Last Name beginning with N-Z:  2:00-3:00

Parents and Students are asked to stay in their vehicles, park next to a cone on Ternes or Alber, and a staff member will come to you with the bagged personal items. If you walk, please wait near the flag pole gathering area and a staff member will help you.

Parents, please make a simple paper sign for your car window with the name, grade and teacher of all your children.  Make sure the name is visible from the outside of the car by placing the sign on the passenger window. This will help staff quickly get your items.

If students have a library book, textbook, musical instrument, etc.  they can bring it on Tuesday.  No return of Chromebooks at this time.

Items not picked up on Tuesday will be kept until June 12th and then discarded, recycled or sent to a charitable organization.

To our students and families…We Thank You!

William Ford Students and Families…we THANK YOU for all of your hard work, patience, resilience and your partnership with all of us at William Ford! We salute you! We will be back soon…stronger and kinder!

After every storm comes a rainbow!

Sincere thanks to Zaina Fardous and Prosigns for donating and installing this sign for William Ford!

Time to Register Your Kindergarten Student for Next Year!

Do you have a child who will turn five before December 1st? If so, they are eligible for Young 5s or Kindergarten at William Ford Elementary. See below the steps to register your child for Young 5s or Kindergarten at William Ford for the 2020-2021 school year.

  1. Watch this presentation for all the information you need: Click HERE!
  2. Come to William Ford on Tuesday, May 12th between 12:00-2:00 to pick up a special packet with registration papers and a few summer supplies for your child! 
  3. Enroll online, OR return registration paperwork to William Ford on one of the dates below;
    1. Wednesday, May 13th between 9:00-10:30
    2. Thursday, May 14th between 12:00-2:00
    3. Friday, May 15th 9:00-10:30

     If you have any questions, feel free to email me (higgind@dearbornschools.org) or call William Ford’s Google Number at 313-451-3077.