Posts Tagged With: APS

Dress for Success Brings “Class” to Class

Dress for Success, APS, Allendale High SchoolRenowned motivational speaker and urban educator Baruti Kafele first sparked the idea within Principal Dan Remenap at a Lansing School Improvement meeting. Now, his suggestion to “Dress like education did something for you,” has swept through Allendale High school with the induction of Dress for Success days.

On December 3, the first day of the new trimester, Mr. Remenap encouraged kids to dress more business-like. Doing so, he said, would set the tone that when students are at school, they’re here to work. Dressing up has other benefits as well: looking nice on a scheduled day raises morale, instills a sense of unity, and ignites school spirit in kids while making it easier to avoid cliques centered around clothing.

“We want our appearance to reflect confidence and capability. Dressing up has a way of changing your mindset so that you want to perform up to your appearance. It really makes a difference,” said Mr. Remenap.

APS, Dress for Success, Allendale High School

One student, senior Aaron Koetje (pictured above, far left) would love to have Dress for Success days every week!

“Dressing up today gives me a good feeling about myself and about Monday. It makes me think that this will make the week nicer. I’m even thinking about doing this every week! Even if others aren’t going to do it, I’m going to be dressing up!”

APS, Dress for Success, Allendale High SchoolThese young women felt the same way, even noting that many students were kinder to each other! They shared that:

“Getting dressed up helped wake me up in the morning and made me more presentable. If you look better, you feel better,” remarked Meghan Lauritzen

“I’m finding that it’s easier to focus and that it’s actually cool to see people out of their flannel pants and yoga gear,” said Tiffani Eisen and Michelle Austin.

“Dressing up shows that we students have self-respect and that we care,” agreed Macie Visser.

Allendale High School’s first Dress for Success experience garnered a 65-70% participation rate. Mr. Remenap plans to offer more days like this throughout the year with the hopes that numbers will grow steadily and positive feedback will continue.

He also wishes to remind students that his number one goal is to be inclusive in this venture; if you do not have a dressy wardrobe at home, help is available in the office and will be kept confidential.

If you’re an AHS student who participated in Dress for Success day, what were your thoughts on the experience?

Categories: Allendale High School, Students in the Spotlight! | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Oakwood Students present at MACUL

For those of you new to the acronym, MACUL is more than simply five letters: it represents a group dedicated to supporting educators seeking to better use technology in the classroom. Michigan Association for Computer Users in Learning held their 2012 conference right here in Grand Rapids, and among its presenters this year were some of Oakwood’s fifth-grade students!

Sarah Lema in her Oakwood classroom

Oakwood’s Sarah Lema took advantage of a grant opportunity which allowed her to take six students to this year’s conference. Students were selected in January and worked throughout February to prepare their presentations for the March conference. Their focus? How Lema’s class and others at Oakwood use the 1:1 laptop program in class. Working together, students created a tri-fold board with curricular websites they use in their studies, described how they use online tools such as Moodle, Weebly, and Prezi, and brought their laptops along to demonstrate.

All conference photos courtesy of Sarah Lema

Additionally, students had worked together on a bullying movie using Windows “Movie Maker” and flip cams. They performed skits that were recorded and shown to teachers who were attending the conference.

With their station situated in the entryway of DeVos hall, Oakwood students had multiple opportunities to interact with guests and present the many ways that 1:1 laptops have transformed the way they learn and use technology. “I was so impressed with my students and the way they interacted with others and handled the questions,” Mrs. Lema beamed.

Mrs. Lema went on to share that in the three years that APS has had 1:1, she’s seen huge improvements both with the level of student skill and the seamless functioning of their programs.

“With the technology that we have available at Allendale, we’re really able to engage learners and differentiate learning by tapping into various learning styles.  …  Just to see their creativity is awesome!”

Categories: Student Presentations, Students in the Spotlight! | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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