District News

Subscribe to RSS Feed View Archives
December 6, 2021
Dear Wayne-Westland Families

In light of the recent tragedy in Oxford and the ever-growing copy-cat threats, our District is here to support you. That includes standing together against these threats and working with law enforcement to ensure that our students and staff are safe in our schools. We must take threats to safety seriously and work to return our children to classrooms with security as our top priority.

Students and educators across the state continue to be subjected to stress and ongoing trauma. Our education community must continue to work together to address these issues, including the mental health and well-being of students and staff so they can return to the classroom with a focus on teaching and learning, not fear.

I want to share an update regarding our District’s continued response to the senseless tragedy at Oxford High School. Specifically, I would like to address the need to maintain our school routines across the District.

Addressing Threats

There have been a series of threats against school security throughout our region and in our community. I want to be clear that all threats to school security are taken seriously. Law enforcement and the District thoroughly investigate every reported threat – whether that threat occurred in our community or our region. We share all information with our local police departments and work in partnership to immediately address the issues.

During their investigations, law enforcement provides information on whether the issues represent a credible threat to school security. This information is critical in determining whether to adjust the school schedule. In all cases, the school sends their school community a message once we have accurate information on the incident.

Prosecution for False Threats

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym L. Worthy noted in a letter sent out in September 2021, “Michigan law, however, makes it a crime to make a threat, even if the person making the threat did not have the intent or the capability of actually carrying it out.

When a threat is made we cannot immediately know whether the threat is a serious threat, or whether the threat is meant to be a so-called prank. Therefore, we in the law enforcement community must take every threat seriously, because to not do so would be to put your child at risk and the community at risk, and we simply cannot take that chance.

My office takes these cases extremely seriously, not only because of the need to keep your child and the community safe but also because of the disruption of the school environment and the significant expenditure of resources by the school and by law enforcement that even a "prank" threat causes.”

Students who make false threats can be charged with False Threat of Terrorism or Threat of Terrorism. It is also a crime to threaten to commit violence against students or employees on school property. Punishment can result in sentences from 10 to 20 years in prison for an adult.

Police Presence

Regardless of the nature of a threat, the standard procedure in our communities is to have an increased police presence during and immediately following investigations. Our local police departments and the Wayne County Sheriff's Department already have a regular presence near our schools.

Thursday night, we received reports of a potential threat involving a Stevenson Middle School student. We alerted the Westland Police Department that evening and they have found no credible threat to Stevenson Middle School. They brought charges against the student who made the threat and there will be a prosecution.

The Westland and Wayne Police Departments have been incredible partners during this time. We will continue to work in partnership with law enforcement and will take appropriate action to protect our community, including and up to prosecution. We ask all families to speak with their students about the seriousness of making or sharing threats and report any threats seen on social media, through text messages, or other platforms to authorities through the statewide confidential reporting tool OK2SAY (8-555-OK2SAY).

Social Media

Social media has created connections that didn’t otherwise exist but has also posed problems in creating a safe environment free from constant reminders of school violence. We understand there is increased sensitivity to school threats right now; however, there is also an opportunity for people to post threats that are not credible to create chaos in hopes of shutting schools.

We are asking for your partnership with all adults who play a role in the lives of our students. Please take the time to speak to your children about reporting strange or threatening behavior, no matter where they find it. It is crucial to stress sharing this information with a trusted adult, school employee, or the police rather than circulating it among other students. As the leader of this District, I would rather err on the side of caution than find out too late that someone knew something and didn’t share.

Decision to Cancel School

This decision to cancel school on Friday was to give everyone pause. I recognize that any decision to cancel school will remove a critical support structure for our students. The partnerships between staff and students - and between school and our families - are key to supporting students experiencing stress. Research is clear that this loss of relationships will remove students’ support when they experience isolation or feel disconnected.

WWCS staff members are skilled in providing students with the tools and skills they need during this critical time. Our staff members have been encouraged to talk with our students, calm their fears and continue to build relationships at school.

As we navigate these tragic events together, don’t lose sight of your well-being. Please don’t hesitate to reach out for support, guidance, and a safe place to share. We are here for you and appreciate the resiliency you continue to show during these challenging times. I want to express my appreciation to our District staff for their continued dedication and commitment to our students.

In closing, I want to share with you some information on talking with your children about violence. Please contact your building administrators should you need additional support.

We look forward to seeing all of our students and staff back in our schools, tomorrow, Monday, December 6, 2021.

Sincerely,

John Dignan, Ed.D.
Superintendent

 

November 30, 2021
Letter to WWCS Staff and Families

Dear Wayne-Westland Staff and Families,

We are deeply saddened by the tragic news today from Oxford High School. As educators and as parents, it is difficult to comprehend such catastrophic events. We feel closely connected to the students, staff, families, and community devastated by this loss of innocent lives.

We know this may affect our students. Because it is difficult to predict how anyone will react to a traumatic event, the best we can do is be supportive and responsive to our students and their varied responses. Some students will have no reaction; some will be upset or anxious to some degree. Some may not have heard of the event, and others will have been immersed in the coverage on TV.

For those students who are having significant reactions to this event, we have mental health community partners available to provide support. Please contact one of the following:


I want to reassure you that the safety and security of our students and staff are our top priority. We have clear plans and procedures to deal with emergencies that may arise in our schools. Parents, please encourage your child to tell a trusted adult or use OK2SAY (8-555-OK2SAY) if they see or hear something happening in their school.

Please continue to keep the community of Oxford in your thoughts and prayers. Thank you.

Sincerely,

John Dignan, Ed.D.
Superintendent

 

November 22, 2021
Letter to WWCS Students, Families and Staff

Good Evening Wayne-Westland Community School Students, Staff, and Families,

As a reminder: On Wednesday, November 24, 2021, all students in Wayne-Westland Community Schools have a half-day of instruction in the morning. Students will attend school virtually on this day (a.m. only). Students will NOT report to their school building. Students will attend class remotely and work on assignments provided by their teachers.

We need to keep the option to use virtual learning in the event of an outbreak or other health emergency. We will "go virtual" on Wednesday morning to see how well all students and staff can shift to online learning and teaching right after being face to face. We can then look and see how we can further support how we pivot to online learning in case of a public health event or other emergency.

School will resume in-person instruction on Monday, November 29, 2021.

The Champions program will run as scheduled at all school locations on Wednesday, November 24. Champions will be closed November 25-26, and will reopen on Monday, November 29, 2021.

COVID-19 Vaccine Available

The Beaumont Adams Child & Adolescent Health Center located inside Adams Middle School offers the vaccine for students over five years of age. Please call (734) 728-2423 to make an appointment. The vaccine is free.

Now Hiring

Wayne-Westland Community Schools is hiring for several positions, including paraprofessionals, food service, custodians, bus drivers, and teachers. We are hosting Virtual Job Forums from 1-2 pm on Tuesday through November 23. If you or someone you know is interested in a job, please join one of the forums for more information. This week, we are highlighting our open secondary math and science teaching positions. For these positions we offer:

  • Experience honored
  • Full benefits
  • Attendance bonus
  • Additional compensation opportunities
  • Mentoring program

 

Weekly Flyers

Here is the link to the weekly flyers from our community partners. Have a wonderful week.

Annual School Grades Report

The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) released its annual School Grades Report. In 2018, Public Act 601 was passed, requiring the MDE to create a school grading system that annually assigns each public school in Michigan individual letter grades for five areas: student proficiency, student growth, graduation rate, performance among peers, and English learner progress. Schools will also receive a ranking in the following three categories: attendance, assessment participation, and student subgroup comparison to the state.

School Grades Reports are based partly on results from the spring 2021 state assessments. Statewide participation in assessments was lower than usual, with only ~72% of Michigan students and ~50% of Wayne County students participating; therefore, these grades, in most cases, do not provide an accurate reflection of performance. Overall, student participation in our statewide assessment participation rate for Wayne-Westland was just over 59%.

Families and community members can find information on each school’s grades and rankings by visiting: https://www.mischooldata.org/. Once at the website, select the tab “K-12 Grade” > “Accountability” > “School Grades.” From there, you can choose a school from the dropdown menus. If you have any questions about the School Grades Report, please do not hesitate to contact my office at 734-419-2010.

With the holiday season upon us and as Michigan is experiencing a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases, I wanted to share a reminder about the importance of practicing safe habits while celebrating with your family and friends. This includes social distancing, wearing masks in group settings and frequently washing your hands. As you might already be aware, COVID-19 cases are on the rise again in Wayne County, with a reported uptick in hospitalizations and quarantines. We know that children learn best in the classroom, so it’s important we work together to keep students and staff safe and limit the disruption to in-person learning. To that end, we have COVID-19 safety measures in place, including:

  • Required masks for all students, staff and visitors in a District building
  • Social distancing measures where possible
  • Sanitizing measures include daily cleaning and disinfection of all high-touch surfaces.

 

When we do have a positive COVID-19 case in your child’s classroom, you will receive a communication. If your child is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, I encourage you to report the incident to your school principal. Thank you for your continued trust and support when it comes to the health and wellness of our Wayne-Westland School Community. If you have any questions, please contact your school’s administrative office.

On behalf of the Wayne-Westland Community Schools, I’d like to wish you and your family a safe and happy Thanksgiving. As always, we are dedicated to ensuring our students have the resources they need to thrive. Thank you for your commitment to our schools and serving as a partner in your child’s education.

Sincerely,

John Dignan, Ed.D.
Superintendent

 

November 11, 2021
School Spirit Night with the Detroit Red Wings

School Spirit Night

Wayne-Westland Community Schools has partnered with the Detroit Red Wings to bring a great opportunity to our students.

January 13, 2022, will be Wayne-Westland Community Schools Night at Little Caesars Arena. Families, staff and community members can purchase tickets to this game and $5 of the proceeds will go to the Wayne-Westland school of your choosing. If a school sells more than 100 tickets, they will get to have a post-game photo on the ice.

Order your tickets today!

 

 

November 10, 2021
Be a Buddy Week

 

Dear Wayne-Westland Families,

November 13, 2021, is World Kindness Day. Wayne-Westland Community Schools has designated November 15-19 as Be a Buddy Week. All elementary schools will participate in various activities in recognition of Bully Prevention and encourage students to show kindness and compassion to each other.

The schools are planning a week-long spirit week with the following themes

  • Monday : Put bullying to bed- pajama day
  • Tuesday : Keep the Peace Day- Wear Tie Dye
  • Wednesday : Team Up to Be a Buddy- wear sports gear
  • Thursday : It’s Ok to Be Different- bright colors and fun socks
  • Friday : Blue to Be a Buddy- wear blue

 

Other activities students will participate in this week include

  • Learning the difference between being a bully and being a buddy
  • Showing compassion
  • Problem-solving when others are being unkind
  • Celebrating differences

 

Creating a supportive school environment is critical to enhancing student learning and relationships. If you have any questions, please reach out to your student’s principal or the school social worker.