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June 11, 2014

Mott, Fitzgerald high schools receive silver awards

By Maria Allard
C & G Staff Writer

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Mott, Fitzgerald high schools receive silver awards
Warren Mott High Sschool recently received a silver medal ranking by “U.S. News and World Report” as one of the “Best High Schools” in the nation. Pictured are students working on the school’s yearbook.

WARREN — Fitzgerald and Warren Mott high schools each recently received silver awards for different accomplishments.

Warren Mott, in the Warren Consolidated Schools district, received a silver medal ranking by “U.S. News and World Report” as one of the “Best High Schools” in the nation.

In addition, Fitzgerald High School received a Silver Michigan School Wellness award as a result of implementing several wellness programs for staff and students with the help of the Safe and Supportive Schools think.respect. grant.

According to the 2014 “U.S. News” Best High Schools rankings, Warren Mott was the only school in Macomb County to receive a silver status and rank in the top 60 in Michigan. The school was one of 1,519 high schools nationally to receive a silver status.

“This is an outstanding achievement for Warren Mott and the entire district,” Superintendent Robert Livernois said. “Warren Mott Principal John Dignan and his staff should be commended for their continued focus on student achievement, high expectations and strong relationships with the community.”

U.S. News analyzed data in more than 31,200 public high schools in all 50 states, including student demographics and results on state exams, Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate tests.

FHS was recognized May 6 at the Safe and Supportive Schools spring think.respect. conference at the Kensington Court Hotel in Ann Arbor. The award is sponsored by the Michigan Department of Community Health in collaboration with the Michigan Department of Education, the United Dairy Industry of Michigan, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, and the Michigan Health and Wellness Education Workgroup.

“With the help of the think.respect. grant, Fitzgerald is making positive changes among its staff and students through various health initiatives to encourage getting fit,” Sara Sonnenfeld,  Fitzgerald Safe and Supportive Schools liaison, said in a prepared statement. “We are so excited that our wellness efforts have been recognized, earning us a Silver Michigan School Wellness award.”

Since the incorporation of physical education and various wellness activities at Fitzgerald, the number of discipline referrals has decreased by 38 percent, and suspension rates and detentions have gone down 47 and 28 percent, respectively, according to a news release.

Throughout March, think.respect. and Fitzgerald celebrated the theme “Activate Altruism.”  Students and staff were encouraged to download the Charity Miles app, which allowed users to earn money for charity with each mile walked, run or biked. Every mile logged through the app equated to 25 cents in donations from a corporate partner to the user’s charity of choice.

Through think.respect., Fitzgerald also created the Fitzgerald In Training (FIT) Club, a student workout club which encourages students to become physically fit. The FIT Club, also open to staff, meets three times a week, providing students with options to get in shape and maintain a healthy weight between sport seasons. FIT Club classes include swim, yoga, Zumba, weight training and endurance training.

Staff members also participated in the “Staff Wellness FIT Challenge,” a six-week program that encouraged staff members, administration and board members to walk more. The Michigan Education Special Services Association  donated pedometers to the 96 staff and board members that participated. More than 37 million steps and 15,000 miles were logged among the employees. 

The Safe and Supportive Schools think.respect. grant, funded by the U.S. Department of Education, is designed to bring awareness and education to students, parents, school staff and local community members about the influence a child’s physical, mental and social development has on one’s overall academic success.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Maria Allard at allard@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1045.