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Oxford Schools Supplement Sherman Publications Week of May 12, 2010 1

Oxford Schools: Growing, global, green


2 Week of May 12, 2010 Oxford Schools Supplement Sherman Publications

By Andrew Moser gun offering a pre-engineering course beginning at the have undergone a great deal of professional development and
Oxford Community Schools (OCS) received some high middle school level. “We have what we believe is the only training, which has led to Oxford having some of the highest
praise from Michigan State Superintendent Mike Flanagan. pre-engineering program that is required of all sixth, sev- MEAP scores in the county.
After spending a day touring the district last October, enth, and eighth-graders,” Skilling said. Skilling boasted that “Oxford Schools spends more time in
Flanagan said that OCS was a model school district for pre- His goal for the program is not to have everyone go professional development than any other district.”
paring students to compete successfully in a global world into engineering, but to make sure “students have the The state average is five days a year whereas Oxford has 12
and that he wants other school districts pattern themselves awareness how to do problem-solving, work as members days for all staff, 18 for teacher leaders, plus others.
after Oxford. of teams (and) develop technical skills.” “I don’t think you’ll find any district anywhere with that
That kind of acclamation reinforces the ideas and goals Oxford Community Schools prides itself on being a level of commitment,” he said.
that Oxford Superintendent Dr. William Skilling has for the family-friendly district. Three of Oxford’s seven schools have been recognized as
district. Students, often when accompanied by adults, do not Michigan Blue Ribbon Exemplary Schools. They are Leonard,
One reason for the praise is the new language arts pro- have to pay admission fees to attend sporting events, Lakeville and Clear Lake elementaries.
gram, where beginning in kindergarten, every student in the musicals or plays, nor are they charged to participate in “We exist to provide the very best education possible for our
district’s five elementary schools and middle school will learn the schools numerous athletic programs. students and opportunities (that allow them to) compete suc-
either Mandarin Chinese or Spanish. “In our district, we value the arts, academics and ath- cessfully in a global world that is changing 24/7,” Skilling noted.
“We created a language proficiency program . . . that by letics equally,” Skilling said. “We don’t charge you to take To learn more visit www.oxfordschools.org.
the end of eighth grade, our students will already be highly an English class, so therefore, why would we charge you
proficient at a world language and have a level of compe- to play athletics?”

Oxford
tency that could not be achieved in a traditional four-year The school district saw a net increase of 257 students
high school program,” Skilling explained. last year between the two count days on Sept. 30, 2009
Another area that is attracting parents is a strong empha- and Feb. 11, 2010 due in part to the fact that Oxford has
sis on the arts. been increasing the number of student programs as op-
Starting in kindergarten, students are taking lessons in
guitar and classical violin. According to Skilling, Oxford is
the only district in the area to offer this type of instrumental
program.
He added that, “from an academic standpoint, kids that
posed to cutting them like so many other districts.
Skilling added that the biggest advantage that the
school district has is the focus on preparing their stu-
dents to compete beyond the borders of the United States.
“One thing that we understand really well at Oxford
Schools –
are involved in a music program from a young age perform Community Schools is that the competition we have to Thank you for your
much higher than students that are not involved in a music face is not going to be local, state and nationwide as much
program or a program that is not as extensive as ours.”
The reasoning for starting instructing kindergartners in
as it is going to be global,” he said.
Being global means caring about the environment, tak-
commitment to educating
foreign languages and musical instruments is because chil-
dren at a young age are able to learn up to three languages
ing an active role in its preservation and teaching kids to
be good stewards of Mother Nature. the youth of Oxford. We, at
just as easily as they can learn one. Recently, four schools – Oxford High School and
“Music is a language, and like any language, the linguis- Lakeville, Clear Lake and Daniel Axford Elementaries – Oxford Bank, are proud of the
tic part of the brain is being developed when you learn mu- earned Evergreen status (the highest level possible) in
sic, just like the linguistic part of the brain is being devel-
oped when you learn English, Spanish or Chinese,” Skilling
the Michigan Green Schools Program.
From recycling and adopting endangered animals to
work you do. Congratulations
said. solar cooking and establishing native plant gardens, all
After instituting the programs last year, Skilling saw the four schools have demonstrated superior ecological re- on another outstanding
kindergarten class swell by 107 students in one year. sponsibility.
In addition to language and arts, Oxford Schools has be- Over the last three years, teachers within the district school year!

Photo by Scott Huller


Photography.

Addison-Oaks Dryden Ortonville


586-752-4555 810-796-2651 248-627-2813
Clarkston Goodrich Oxford
248-625-0011 810-636-6900 248-628-2533
Davison Lake Orion
810-658-1500 248-693-6261
Join the adventure, learn everyone’s value
Oxford Schools Supplement Sherman Publications Week of May 12, 2010 3

By C.J. Carnacchio
Leader Editor as rafting, canoeing, kayaking, camping, hik- trips include students from all backgrounds hours for the kids to meld.”
When Oxford High School’s Adventure ing, rock-climbing, snow-shoeing, skiing and and social groups. One would think taking large groups of
Club takes its whitewater rafting trip on taking on man-made challenges such as “What’s unique about us is we take from diverse students on overnight trips would
Pennsylvania’s Youghiogheny River May ropes courses and zip lines. the honor roll to the at-risk, from the hacky- result in a lot of problems. But Sutherland
14-16, the students, staff and volunteers will “It’s amazing to have this much fun with- sacker to the football player,” Sutherland ex- insisted that’s not the case.
probably take some time to celebrate the out being high, without being drunk, with- plained. “Everybody comes together with no- “We have over 200 kids participate in a
state award they just won. out using cigarettes,” Sutherland said. “Our body having a large group that could domi- year and I don’t think we’ve had an argu-
The after-school club was one of 27 hon- trips show you do not have to be high to be nate or intimidate another group. Everybody ment in three years,” he said, noting there
orees statewide who won an Educational have only been two instances in the club’s
Excellence award from the Michigan Asso- 12-year history in which the OHS office had
ciation of School Boards and SET SEG to be informed of problems.
School Insurance Specialists. Sutherland recalled the club once took 102
“We’re very, very proud of it,” said OHS people on a trip to the Pine River.
teacher Ray Sutherland, who founded the “We sent 42 canoes down the river and
Adventure Club in 1998. “Yes, it does take a had a great time – no problems,” he said.
lot of work, but it is so worth it.” Sutherland freely admits he couldn’t do this
The Education Excellence awards honor without the support of his fellow teachers like
the top three local school district programs Joe Swoyer, Dan Sargent, Molly Darnell, Scott
in each of eight categories and the top three Couch and Kelly Bowman along with parents.
intermediate school district programs. OHS “It wouldn’t work if we didn’t have all the
will receive a trophy and a metal sheet sign teachers and parents who volunteer their time,”
proclaiming it an “Education Excellence Win- he said. “Everybody has their own little niche
ner” in the “Before and After School Pro- and everybody takes ownership of it.”
grams” category. “They donate the equivalent of six 40-
Winners will move on to the second round hour weeks free, no payment, because they
of judging to determine “Michigan’s Best” want to work with the kids,” Sutherland
and the recipients of a cash prize to help fur- noted. “Can you imagine someone working
ther the goals of each program. six weeks for nothing?”
To develop and teach life skills, including The individual cost to participate in Ad-
cooperative learning, is the Adventure Club’s Join Oxford’s Adventure venture Club varies from trip to trip, but
goal. By participating in a number of non- Club and you could find Sutherland noted the most expensive trip is
yourself rafting down a the river rafting trip to Pennsylvania, which
competitive activities, students learn to de-
raging river. costs $185. For those students who can’t af-
vise plans and solutions to problems that
exist outside of their everyday world. ford to pay the entire cost, scholarships are
The kids are also given the opportunity high on living – to really appreciate life.” must blend in.” offered and families pay what they can af-
to build friendships, resolve disagreements The idea for the club was spawned by “When they find out they don’t have this ford. This school year alone more than $5,000
and work closely with others of diverse back- Sutherland in Mexico while he was teaching network that they’re used to, this clique, what in scholarships have been awarded.
grounds. “Relationship isn’t just a word we there from 1994-97. When he returned to Ox- happens is they blend and they find out that “We have no rules on it. It’s a total honor
throw up on a sign at Oxford,” Sutherland ford, he decided to start a similar club here at all people have value,” he noted. “Everybody system,” Sutherland said. “I can honestly say
said. “We want the relationships between the the high school. is generally nice, if you give them a chance if we’ve been taken advantage of one or two
kids and the teachers, and the kids and the “We’re really the only true Adventure and if you’re nice to them.” times, that might be the limit. People have
kids. Without that, you cannot teach at the Club in the United States,” Sutherland said. Sutherland recalled how a relationship been so honest and so fair.”
level we want to teach. They have to respect “We are doing something that nobody else developed between an at-risk kid and an Nobody in the club’s history has ever
us. They need to realize that we are human is doing.” Honor Society student during one trip. been denied the opportunity to go on a trip
beings and we want what’s best for them.” Unlike the trips other school districts “They didn’t get along at all (prior to the due to financial reasons. “We have a firm
Every year, the Adventure Club takes four, take, which usually involve only one group trip). By the second day, they were playing belief – the day we have to tell somebody
three-day trips, both in and out of state, that of kids such as honor students, award win- spoons (a card game) together and having they cannot do it because of money is the
involve challenging outdoor activities such ners or at-risk students, Adventure Club the greatest time,” he said. “It takes 30 to 36 day I am done,” Sutherland said.

Chinese or Spanish? Oxford offers both K-8


By Andrew Moser creates a draw for families,” Schwarz said. darin Chinese or Spanish, they will also de- everyday. We are also making it manda-
Oxford Community Schools’ require- “Right now, the way the economy is, par- velop a greater understanding of the Chinese tory for all six and seventh graders to have
ment that K-8 students learn either Man- ents are looking for ways to give their chil- and Spanish cultures in order to better work either Spanish or Chinese.”
darin Chinese or Spanish is turning heads dren an edge to compete in jobs they feel are and socialize in other countries. Grades four and five will also have lan-
both inside and outside the district. going to be scarce in the future,” he added. Beginning with the 2009-10 school year, guage everyday.
“You look around our local districts, and “So when you have economic times like this, students in kindergarten had everyday ex- He added that at the elementary level,
no one is offering what we are offering,” it creates more parents who are shopping for posure to either Spanish or Chinese, while the ratio of students taking Chinese to
said Dr. Jim Schwarz, assistant superinten- schools that have opportunities that they feel students in fourth and fifth-grades took two Spanish is 60/40 because three
dent of curriculum. are going to give their children the edge.” 30-minute sessions of foreign language a elementaries, Oxford, Daniel Axford and
Schwarz indicated he gets calls daily According to the district’s website week. Clear Lake are teaching Mandarin, while
from parents of children outside of the dis- www.oxfordschools.org, the goal is to place stu- Schwarz said there is a plan in place to Lakeville and Leonard elementaries are
trict expressing interest in enrolling their dents in the best possible position to compete begin to phase in foreign language instruc- teaching Spanish.
children in Oxford Schools because of the for jobs both nationally and internationally. tion five days a week. In middle school, students will continue
Fifth Core world language program. Within the Fifth Core program, students “Next year, the kindergarten, first and third to study the language they had during their
“I think our foreign language program will not only learn how to speak either Man- grade classes (will) have foreign language Please See LANGUAGE on Page 4
Oxford is alive with the sound of music
4 Week of May 12, 2010 Oxford Schools Supplement Sherman Publications

By Andrew Moser
The music programs offered at Oxford
High School and Middle School strive to give
students the best possible experience in all
areas of instrumental and vocal endeavors.
Each of the three main components of the
music department – band, choir and orchestra
– is experiencing a growth in both numbers
and varying degrees of success.
“I try and give these kids the opportunity
in all aspects of instrumental music. They can
play in concert band, jazz band, marching band,
pit band for musicals and attend solo and en-
semble festivals,” said Jim Gibbons, who is
the director of the band program at Oxford
High School.
“I’m really about making sure that the kids
learn music and (develop) an appreciation and Oxford High School’s
understanding of music that will benefit them Symphonic Band is the
for the rest of their lives. gem of the district’s
The band program gives students at Ox- music program.
ford High School three different opportuni-
ties for musical success, each with their own
unique opportunities.
According to Gibbons, the concert band
plays four concerts a year in addition to at-
tending a band festival. same time we work hard to try and make it fun to do that,” Card said. Currently, teaching orchestra at OHS is Jui-
Gibbons stated that while they play tradi- and rewarding for them,” he said. Card added that having success at the dis- Chao Wang.
tional band music, he also likes to expose his One of the rewards is going on a year-end trict level was great, but he wants the program Three different orchestra classes are of-
band members to a wide variety of genres. trip to either New York City or Disney World. to continue and have success at the state and fered at OMS – a concert orchestra, varsity
“We will play orchestral transcriptions, Currently the band is preparing for its national levels on a consistent basis. orchestra and a symphony orchestra.
music that is specifically written for bands and Spring Concert May 17. “At the state level, we’re building that tra- While in the classroom, Benyamine is
we’ll do music that is written for movies and Another area that has seen success this dition in order to build a framework for a na- teaching the students not only classical mu-
other pop type music,” he added. past school year has been the choir program, tional standard (that allows us to) sing with sic, but also “rock, jazz, fiddling or world mu-
Students in the jazz band will learn tradi- which is under the direction of Chris Card. any other choir program around the country sic.” He wants to “get the students exposed
tional jazz, but also study improvisation tech- As reported in earlier issues of the Oxford and relate to them,” he explained. to all sorts of multi-cultural, multi-stylistic
niques and the overall jazz style. Leader, the choir program sent all six of their Card noted that one of the things that makes sounds from all over the world.”
Students will go to Jazz festival and do sev- choirs to the state festival after each received the OHS choir program special is that every- OMS students recently participated in the
eral concerts and performances throughout superior ratings at the district festival in March. thing they put on is for the community. Michigan Band and Orchestra Association
the school year. “The road we are on is just exciting as far “When parents put students in our choir, District Festival, where they received excep-
Members of the marching band will not only as how we are doing and what we are doing. they are representing the school and the com- tional ratings and comments from the judges.
wow the crowds at halftime during football Just about every day you see kids working so munity, and they get this exposure and par- According to Benyamine, the current num-
games, but they will also participate in the hard without excuse,” said Card. ents love that,” said Card. bers at the elementary and middle school level
Michigan Competing Band Association, Within the choir program at OHS are sev- “The parents are proud of their kids to be- suggest that the future is bright for the or-
which OHS began participating in this past eral vocal ensembles, which is the most the gin with, but to see them in a professional chestra program at the high school.
year. choir program has had since Card took over setting, they are really fulfilled by that and it There are 130-140 students participating in
“We learned a great deal (this year) and three years ago. makes them want to see their kid stay with it,” either the first or second-year groups at the
when we go forward into next year, we’re con- “The program has grown by 30-50 percent he added. fourth and fifth-grade levels.
tinuing to make improvements in the structure in the last three years. We are at the point Not only are there opportunities for suc- Benyamine said that one of the great fac-
of how we deliver our instruction to give the where we have a large concert choir with 65 cess in music at the high school, but the or- tors about the orchestra program is the flex-
kids a better opportunity to improve,” said girls and a women’s choir made up of 40 up- chestra program at the middle school is taking ibility where you can take band, choir and or-
Gibbons. perclassmen girls. We have a men’s choir with off just as well. chestra at the same time, any time you want.
Gibbons thinks that the variety of the pro- 30 men in the choir and an advanced women’s “It’s a brand new program that started last “Oxford is definitely a great place to have
gram is the driving force behind it’s attractive- ensemble, Caritas, that got superior ratings at year and it has done very well as far as the an orchestra program, especially since pro-
ness. both festivals they went to,” said Card. recruitment of students,” said Nady grams are getting cut everywhere in Michi-
“It’s a very diverse program. We work to He noted that there are two choirs that meet Benyamine, who teaches orchestra at Oxford gan. To have a new orchestra program in a
give kids lots of experiences and lots of expo- outside of school hours: men’s ensemble and Middle School along with Lakeville and district is something very rare to find and I am
sure to different types of music, and at the a mixed chorale. “Kids come in before school Leonard elementaries. lucky to be part of it,” he noted.

Language “The teachers are doing activities with food, art projects
and things like that, so children are learning the language
through those types of projects,” said Schwarz.
are learning,” he explained.
Schwarz said the main reason for choosing the Chinese
and Spanish languages was that economists are predict-
Continued from Page 3 In the Chinese classrooms, students are able to gain ac- ing that China, Brazil, Panama and many other Spanish-
elementary years. cess to Zon (created by the Confucius Institute), a virtual speaking countries are on the rise on the world stage as
Upon entering high school, it will be up to the students role-playing game that supplements the instruction in the economic powers. These are the countries the kids of to-
to choose if they want to continue studying the language. classroom. Students get to create a character and have to day will be doing business with as the adults of tomorrow.
Schwarz indicated that the student instruction in the navigate theat character around different settings and places “Whether right or wrong, those are major economies
program is not just a lecture format, it’s activity-based in- like an everyday tourist would do. that are going to exist in this generation of children’s fu-
struction as well. “It helps to learn or reinforce the language or culture you ture,” Schwarz said.
Oxford Schools Supplement Sherman Publications Week of May 12, 2010 5

Adding Chocolate to Milk


Doesn’t Take Away Its
Nine Essential Nutrients
All milk contains a unique combination of nutrients important for growth and
development - including three of the five “nutrients of concern” for which children
have inadequate intakes. And, flavored milk accounts for less than 3.5% of added
sugar intake in children ages 6-12 and less than 2% in teens.

Reasons Why
Flavored Milk Matters
KIDS LOVE THE TASTE!
Milk provides nutrients essential for good health and kids will
drink more when it’s flavored.

NINE ESSENTIAL NUTRIENTS!


Flavored milk contains the same nine essential nutrients as
white milk - calcium, potassium, phosphorous, protein,
vitamins A, D and B12, riboflavin and niacin (niacin equivalents) -
and is a healthful alternative to soft drinks.

HELPS KIDS ACHIEVE 3 SERVINGS!


Drinking low-fat or fat-free white or flavored milk helps
kids get the 3 daily servings* of milk recommended by the
Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

BETTER DIET QUALITY!


Children who drink flavored milk meet more of their nutrient
needs; do not consume more added sugar, fat or calories; and are
not heavier than non-milk drinkers.

TOP CHOICE IN SCHOOLS!


Low-fat chocolate milk is the most popular milk choice in schools
and kids drink less milk (and get fewer nutrients) if it’s taken away.

These health and nutrition organizations support 3-A-Day of Dairy, a science-based nutrition education program encouraging Americans to
consume the recommended three daily servings of nutrient-rich low-fat or fat-free milk and milk products to improve overall health.

www.nationaldairycouncil.org/childnutrition ©National Dairy Council 2009®


REFERENCES:
1. NPD Nutrient Intake Database; 2 years ending Feb. 2009.
2. Johnson RK, Frary C, Wang MQ. The nutritional consequences of flavored milk consumption by school-aged children and 8. United States Dept. of Health and Human Services, United States Dept. of Agriculture and United States Dietary Guidelines
adolescents in the United States. J Am Diet Assoc. 2002;102(6):853-856. Advisory Committee, 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. (6th ed. HHS publications, 2005, Washington D.C.)
3. National Dairy Council and School Nutrition Association. The School Milk Pilot Test. Beverage Marketing Corporation for 9. Greer FR, Krebs NF and the Committee on Nutrition. Optimizing bone health and calcium intakes of infants, children and
National Dairy Council and School Nutrition Association. 2002. http://www.nutritionexplorations.org/sfs/schoolmilk_pilottest. adolescents. Pediatrics 2006; 117:578-585.
asp (Accessed January 4, 2009). 10. Murphy MM, Douglas JS, Johnson RK, Spence LA. Drinking flavored or plain milk is positively associated with nutrient intake and
4. NICHD. For Stronger Bones….for Lifelong Health…Milk Matters! Accessed Sept 7, 2009 via http://www.nichd.nih.gov/ is not associated with adverse effects on weight status in U.S. children and adolescents. J Am Diet Assoc 2008; 108:631-639.
publications/pubs/upload/strong_bones_lifelong_health_mm1.pdf 11. Johnson RK, et al. Dietary Sugars Intake and Cardiovascular Health. A Scientific Statement From the American Heart
5. HHS, Best Bones Forever. Accessed Sept 7, 2009 via http://www.bestbonesforever.gov/ Association. Circulation. 2009; 120:1011-1020.
6. Frary CD, Johnson RK, Wang MQ. Children and adolescents’ choices of foods and beverages high in added sugars are associated 12. ENVIRON International Corporation. School Milk: Fat Content Has Declined Dramatically since the Early 1990s. 2008.
with intakes of key nutrients and food groups. J Adolesc Health 2004;34(1):56-63. 13. Patterson J, Saidel M. The Removal of Flavored Milk in Schools Results in a Reduction in Total Milk Purchases in All Grades, K-12.
7. American Academy of Pediatrics, Committee on School Health. Soft drinks in schools. Pediatrics 2005; 113152-154. J Am Diet Assoc. 2009; 109,(9): A97.

* DAILY RECOMMENDATIONS - 3 cups of low-fat or fat-free milk or equivalent milk products for those 9 years of age and older and 2 cups
of low-fat and fat-free milk or equivalent milk products for children 2-8 years old.

1-800-241-MILK (6455)
Visit our website at www.udim.org
6 Week of May 12, 2010 Oxford Schools Supplement Sherman Publications

We are the future!


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OXFORD COMMUNITY SCHOOLS


248-969-5000 ‡ www.oxfordschools.org
Drumming to the global rhythm
Oxford Schools Supplement Sherman Publications Week of May 12, 2010 7

By C.J. Carnacchio ern Africa and Central America – and various


Long before Oxford Schools decided its ethnic bells and rattles, each with its own
mission was to provide a global education, exotic name and unique sound. “When we
teacher Jan Flynn was bringing the world to can, we add a vocal,” Flynn said.
students via the universal language of music. Over the years, the program has been very
Using drums, marimbas, bells and rattles successful in teaching students all the ba-
of Latin and African origin, Flynn has been sics of musicianship. “We talk about blend,
leading the World Music Drumming En- balance, how to incorporate melodies and
sembles at the middle school since she es- harmonies,” Flynn said. “They’re solving
tablished the program in 2002-03 as a way to musical problems as they work with the piece
expand the general music curriculum. and as they learn how to play it.”
“It is accessible (to all students) because By the time students reach the Thunder
it’s percussion,” she explained. “We’re not Drummer level as eighth-graders, they are “a
involving pitch so much, it’s more rhythms.” committed group who is really devoted to
Within the program, there are three groups musicianship.”
of drum/marimba ensembles – Wildcat Drum- “The energy that comes from this is sig-
mers (six-grade beginners), Drumfire Drum- nificant,” Flynn said. “They are able to work
mers (seventh-grade intermediate), and Thun- together as teams, but they are also able to
der Drummers (eight-grade advanced). do solo work. It’s a growing process.”
All three groups perform “authentic mu- The program also teaches students how
sic from African and Caribbean traditions,” to focus whether they’re playing in the en-
according to Flynn. semble or learning in the classroom.
“There are some pieces that I teach that I “They learn how to focus on what they’re
learned from a master drummer from Ghana,” doing at the time; to tune out the extraneous
she noted. “A lot of this music is from Ghana, noise behind them and around them, so they
which is considered West Africa.” can concentrate on their work,” Flynn said.
Most of the students play cylindrical- Whenever they get the opportunity, the
shaped tubano drums ranging in diameter drummers love to “spread some sunshine”
from 10 to 14 inches. Meet the Thunder Drummers – Eric Giese (seated from left), Lewis Marshall, Hannah Ex by playing at various events, like the annual
“They all have a purpose in an ensemble,” and Lily Dickens. Rachel Mantel (standing from left), Elizabeth Schonfeld, Rachel Tiska, Relay for Life, and performing for different
Flynn said. “Each drum has a specific rhythm Zack Woloszyk, Kimi Matsumoto and teacher Jan Flynn. groups such as scouts and the Rotary Club.
and they blend in layers, one on top of the that’s 48 inches high with a 16-inch diameter was donated by the Rotary Club of Oxford. “Over the years we’ve had a lot of sup-
other.” and a Djembe drum, which is goblet-shaped In addition to drums, the students play port from the community,” Flynn said. “People

Future web designers at work


The program also has a Ngoma drum and used for solo work. The Ngoma drum marimbas – a type of xylophone from south- really enjoy it.”

By C.J. Carnacchio “I want to help students understand the pursue a career in web design.
While many teens are busy using the benefit of giving back,” said Wolbert, who’s “It sets the stage nicely for them,”
internet to watch videos on YouTube and been with the district since 1997. Wolbert said. “They definitely have a leg up.”
update their Facebook pages, some tech The web design program started Those who successfully complete the
savvy students at Oxford High School are approximately six years ago with a class for Webmasters class receive four credits for it
creating web sites for local businesses and beginners and grew from there based on at Oakland Community College.
non-profit groups. rising student demand. “Even if a student isn’t looking to be a
“People hear that we do design work, so Now, OHS offers Web Design I and II web designer, these classes teach them so
they contact us,” said Maria Wolbert, who along with a Webmasters class for advanced much about the internet and computers and
teaches beginning, intermediate and students. Wolbert wrote the curriculum for copyright laws and basic design principles,”
advanced web design classes at OHS. “We all three courses. Wolbert noted. “It teaches students how to
have more requests than we can actually In Web Design I, students gain an think analytically.”
fulfill. There’s so much need; so many people understanding of web design concepts and These days technical knowledge is
contact us.” techniques that are essential to planning, becoming more and more essential for college
Wolbert’s students have designed web creating, testing, publishing and maintaining students as traditional term papers are
sites for companies like the Lapeer-based web sites. replaced by web-based assignments and
Creative Asphalt (www.creativeasphalt.com) Web Design II teaches students how to cavernous lecture halls give way to on-line
and non-profits such as the Northeast Oakland create professional quality web sites and classrooms. OHS teacher Maria Wolbert shows senior
Historical Museum (www.orion.lib.mi.us/ business documents utilizing effective web Students who learn computer and internet Shelby Stockard a thing or two about
nohm) in downtown Oxford. design principles, planning and practices. skills in high school will “be that much farther designing a web page.
“The students used a number of different Students in the Webmasters course ahead” in college, according to Wolbert. emerging mediums such as voice recognition
skill sets to create the (Creative Asphalt) site. interact with actual clients at all stages of In addition to the web design classes, software, hand-held computers, vector image
It’s very professionally done,” she said. web production in order to develop Wolbert also teaches a course in Animation development and video creation software.
Her students have been working on a site professional, quality sites for them. & Digital imaging, which is dedicated to To learn more about Wolbert’s classes and
for the K-9 Stray Rescue League, an Oxford The knowledge and skills garnered from manipulating images and creating web view examples of student-designed web
group that rescues dogs and finds adoptive taking all three classes are a definite benefit animations, and a class called Digitools, pages, please visit www.ohspress.com/
homes for them. for students who wish to attend college and which exposes students to a variety of wolbert/index.html.
8 Week of May 12, 2010 Oxford Schools Supplement Sherman Publications

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