Lisa Formosa-Little, School Psychologist

Dearborn Public Schools

Color’in Colorado: You Are Welcome Here: Support for Immigrant Students in Dearborn, Mi

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Autism Friendly Summer Camp

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Kindergarten Round Up

Dearborn Public Schools is inviting parents of next year’s kindergarten students to attend Kindergarten Roundup meetings at their local elementary school to learn more about starting school and how to enroll their child in the district.

Kindergarten Roundups will be held at all 21 of the District’s elementary schools this spring.  A full meeting schedule is listed below.

Roundups provide important information to parents with details about the special kindergarten schedule, needed student assessments, classroom structure and instruction, preparing your child for school, and more.  Enrolling students this spring, if possible, is also important so the district has accurate information to make staffing decisions for the fall.

To enroll in kindergarten, students must be five years old by September 1 and live within the Dearborn Public School District.  Waivers are available for students who will turn five after September 1 but before December 1.  For parents already living in the district, the waivers need to be submitted by June 1.  See the district website at the waiver and more information.

Dearborn Public Schools also offers a free Young Fives program for students who will turn five between June 15 and December 1 this year.  That all-day program is offered at select schools and follows the kindergarten curriculum.  The extra year allows those children to better develop the academic and emotional skills they need to succeed in school.  The following year they would enroll in kindergarten at their neighborhood school.

Space is limited for Young Fives, so interested parents should check for availability at the school they are interested in attending.  Young Fives is held at Geer Park, Haigh, Henry Ford, Lindbergh, Lowrey, Maples, McCollough, McDonald, Oakman, River Oaks, Salina, Whitmore-Bolles and William Ford elementary schools.  For more information, contact Student Services at 313-827-3005.  Busing is available only if the student will attend their home elementary and lives in an area where busing is provided.  In most cases, parents will need to provide transportation for their child.

Kindergarten parents should also be aware Dearborn Schools this year will again use a special schedule for those students.  Kindergarteners will have a soft start, meaning half days of school for the first week of class from Aug. 26 to 29.  There will also be two additional kindergarten-only days off school on Sept. 27, 2019 and Feb. 7, 2020 to allow for additional professional development for those teachers.

New this year for parents will be the option of starting student enrollment online.  Parents can save much of the paperwork by entering information online such as student name, birthday, address, and emergency contact information and completing some required forms electronically.  Parents or guardians will still need to visit the elementary school to provide documents and complete the enrollment, but starting enrollment online should make that process simpler and quicker.  Online pre-enrollment can also be found at

2019 Kindergarten Roundup Schedule

School  Date Time Phone Principal
Becker Monday, March 18 9 – 10 a.m. 313-827-6950 Zahra Zreik
DuVall Thursday, March 14 6 p.m. registration 313-827-2750 Robert Attee
6:30-7:30 p.m. program
Geer Park Wednesday, April 17 1 – 3 p.m. 313-827-2300 Lamis Srour
Haigh Wednesday, March 27 5 – 6 p.m. 313-827-6200 Zachary Short
Henry Ford Wednesday, March 20 9 – 10 a.m. 313-827-4700 Adnan Moughni
Howard Thursday, April 11 5:30-6:30 p.m. 313-827-6350 Linda Lazar
Howe Monday, April 22 5 – 6 p.m. 313-827-7000 Tammy Fournier
Lindbergh Wednesday, March 20 6 – 7 p.m. 313-827-6300 Zainah Tiba
Long Thursday, March 21 6 – 7 p.m. 313-827-6100 Veronica Jakubus
Lowrey Wednesday, April 17 8:30-9:30 a.m 313-827-1800 Rima Younes
Maples Wednesday, April 24 8:30-9:30 a.m. 313-827-6450 Donna Jakubik
McCollough Tuesday, April 16 8:30-9:30 a.m. 313-827-1700 Chadi Farhat
McDonald Wednesday, April 17 8:45-9:45 a.m. 313-827-6700 Amy Biolette-Modica
Miller Tuesday, April 23 Noon – 1 p.m. 313-827-6850 Radewin Awada
Nowlin Tuesday, March 12 6 – 7 p.m. 313-827-6900 Joshua Tynan
 Oakman  Thursday, March 28  9 – 10:30 a.m.  313-827-6500  Mahmoud Abu-Rus
 River Oaks  Tuesday, March 26  1:30-3 p.m.  313-827-6750 Joseph Martin
 Salina Elem.  Friday, March 22  8:10-9:10 a.m.  313-827-6550 Susan Stanley
 Snow  Wednesday, April 10  5:30-6:30 p.m.  313-827-6250 Amal Alcodray
 Whitmore-Bolles  Monday, April 22  9:30 – 10:30 a.m.  313-827-6800 Kristin Waddell
 William Ford  Tuesday, March 26  9 – 10 a.m.  313-827-6400 David Higgins
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The Power of Mindfulness by: Jessica Schrader

Mindfulness is more than a buzzword. It’s a powerful mental health tool that experts say can help people of all ages with anxiety, depression and other disorders. But what is it, exactly, and how can you use it?

Although there’s growing interest in the concept, mindfulness has been around for ages, says Dr. Krystal Waldo, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist at Thriving Minds behavioral health clinics in Brighton and Chelsea.

“Mindfulness has been around for a really, really, really long time. It has roots in Buddhism,” she says. “But mindfulness as a therapeutic intervention is relatively new to a lot of people.”

The most common and well-researched intervention that uses mindfulness is mindfulness-based stress reduction, which has been used to treat pain, anxiety and depression. Mindfulness is also used as a component in other therapies, Waldo says.

Mindfulness can be explained in various ways, but its “guru,” Jon Kabat-Zinn, the founder of mindfulness-based stress reduction, defines it as “paying attention in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally,” Waldo explains.

“But for a lot of people that’s like, ‘What? What does that mean?'” she says – and that’s especially the case when introducing the concept to kids. “I think the biggest part of that is paying attention in the present moment.”

People with anxiety, for example, are often overwhelmed with thoughts about things that have happened in the past and things that could happen in the future.

“That leads us to experience a lot of usually negative emotions,” Waldo says. “Mindfulness says, ‘let’s bring it back to the present moment, let’s focus on the present.’ What’s going on now? What are the thoughts that you’re having? Rein it in and then, while you’re doing that, you’re doing some kind of meditation, deep breathing or body scan that helps you to be in the present moment.”

Once you’re focused on the present, you may be able to move on from the negative thoughts or you’ll be better equipped to address them. Mindfulness can be used to help a child through a meltdown over something insignificant, for example – essentially using it as a tool to help with emotional regulation. Or it could be used to help a child get in the right mindset to tackle bigger concern – “to get in a good place, where emotions aren’t as heightened, so they’re able to talk about it.”

“It sets them up to be in a good place to problem-solve,” Waldo adds.

When emotions are high, the prefrontal cortex of the brain “kind of shuts down,” she says.

“That’s the thinking part of our brain,” she says. “Mindfulness really helps calm us down.”

In addition to use by mental health care providers such as child psychologists, mindfulness-based interventions can easily be used at home and in school settings. Some teachers have even incorporated five-minute breathing exercises into their morning routines.

It’s always best to “practice” the strategies when kids are feeling good, so they’ll feel confident doing it when they’re having more intense emotions, Waldo notes. If you try it at home, be sure to get involved in the exercise with your child.

“If you’re feeling frustrated, show them that you’re being mindful. Take five minutes to take deep breaths or do a body scan. Let them see that you also have these emotions and thoughts, and you also have to be mindful and bring yourself to the present moment,” she says. “It’s OK to have emotions. It’s OK to have these thoughts. This is one way to become more aware of how we’re feeling.”

Several mobile and tablet apps can help you practice mindfulness at home, including Breathing Bubbles, Headspace, Calm and Stop, Breathe & Think Kids.

“A lot of the parents like those, so they can do it with the kids,” she adds.

Using these strategies at home, and talking about things like mindfulness, can have an impact beyond the intervention itself by helping to reduce the stigma of mental illness.

“It shows that everybody needs to work on this – everybody has emotions. Everybody feels this way sometimes,” Waldo emphasizes. “I think there is progress being made, but I think there’s still a lot we need to do.”

Brought to you by the Ethel & James Flinn Foundation. For more information, visit


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Free Admission to the Henry Ford Museum on MLK

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

January 21, 2019

Celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the many ordinary people who had the extraordinary courage and commitment to ask for more from their nation on civil rights.

Enjoy Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation for FREE, including admission and parking, plus activities and dramatic presentations.

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10 Strategies to Limit your Teen’s Screen Time

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Holiday Tips with Someone on the Autism Spectrum

With the holidays quickly approaching, here is an article with some tips for recognizing stressors and supporting individuals on the Autism Spectrum during this time of year. Happy Holidays to you and your families!

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55 Positive Things to Say to Your Child

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High Schools Battling Against Hunger

Dearborn’s three traditional high schools are again collecting food for a local charity.  For the first time, this year’s drive will kick off with a family friendly one- or two-mile run at Ford Field Park.

This year’s fourth annual Battling Against Hunger drive is a cooperative effort between Dearborn, Edsel Ford and Fordson high schools, with help from the elementary and middle schools that feed into those buildings.  The drive runs from Nov. 12 to 16.  The goal is to collect 30,000 canned goods for Zaman International and $7,600 for the Amity Foundation.

New this year will be a Turkey Trot on Nov. 10 at Ford Field Park.  The family event includes a one-mile fun run or walk starting at 9:30 a.m. and a two-mile run at 10 a.m.  Entrance fee for either event is $15 or 15 cans of food.  Turkey Trot registration forms are available here.

Battling Against Hunger began three years ago as an off-field competition between crosstown rivals Fordson and Dearborn High to help families in need. Last year, more than 74,300 food items were donated – enough to fill a semi trailer.

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Empty Bowls-November 19th 2018

The Dearborn Public Schools Art department is hosting the 27th annual Empty Bowls meal on Monday, Nov. 19, from 4-6:30 p.m. at Park Place Banquet Hall, 23400 Park St., Dearborn.

For a suggested $5 donation to fight hunger in our community, guests who attend this family-friendly dinner will receive a one-of-a-kind handmade bowl. This simple meal consists of soup, including vegan and gluten free options, made by Park Place Caterers, along with bread made by Star Bakery and coffee donated by Starbucks.PR 9D Bowls

The bowls are made by Dearborn Public School students in kindergarten through high school.  A tin can raffle also will be held.

Donations will support Gleaners Food Bank and Blessings in a Backpack, local charities that help feed the hungry. Guests can take a handmade bowl home as a reminder of all those who go hungry each day.  No reservations are required, but those who arrive early will get first choice from all of the unique bowls made and donated by students and teachers in the Dearborn Public Schools.

“With the 27th anniversary of Empty Bowls, we celebrate the fact that our annual event has generated thousands and thousands of dollars to help our community,” noted Dearborn Public Schools Art Resource Teacher Susan Briggs. “This amazingly successful and fun event is possible because of hard work by many Dearborn art teachers and Dearborn students.”

Empty Bowls is hosted by the Dearborn Public Schools Art Department and Park Place Banquets & Catering, with support from Starbucks of west Dearborn and Star Bakery of Oak Park. Dick Blick Art Supplies, Rovin Ceramics, Motawi Tileworks, Saatva Yoga Center, and the Detroit Institute of Arts all donate items for this event.

“The Dearborn Art Department appreciates our sponsors and everyone who attends Empty Bowls for their generous support to the Dearborn Art Department. Special thanks to Wendy Sample, retired art teacher, for her continued help with this amazing community service project,” Briggs added.

For more information about this Empty Bowls event, contact Dearborn Public Schools Art Resource Teacher Susan Briggs at 313-580-0960 or

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