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From The Superintendent


With all of the recent school closures that were weather-related, I thought I would share our "snow day" protocol.

At Royal Oak Schools, the decision to close school is not made lightly. We recognize the impact of canceling school on our students, families, and staff. Their safety and well-being come first when deciding to close the schools. When a “snow day” or “inclement weather day” is called, it is done as early as possible and, in some cases, the night before when warranted. Every day, the goal is to have students in school and learning.

How is the decision made? As superintendent, I immediately monitor local conditions and forecasts when adverse weather conditions are anticipated. My staff and I deliberate with other city, county, and district officials who monitor road and building conditions throughout the day/night of the storm. Our consultation extends to area school superintendents with advice from meteorologists and weather experts.

The conditions and issues taken into consideration due to weather-related closings may include:

  • The amount and timing of snowfall, rain, and/or ice and its impact on roads, including side streets.
  • The availability to adequately prepare parking lot and sidewalk conditions across the district in time for classes and events.
  • The timing of a storm and the ability of local road crews to clear roads and prepare them for the safe transport of students to school.
  • The overall temperatures and winds are evaluated, especially when wind chills carry a high risk for frostbite in a short period. To close school based on cold alone, the actual temperature combined with wind chill is generally considered when it is -15 to -22 degrees for a sustained period or at the crucial arrival and dismissal times.
  • Other closings may include building problems such as heat loss, power outages, or other interruptions to vital services such as water.

How can I learn about school closings?

  • The quickest and easiest way to learn about school closings is via the district’s parent notification system, which uses the primary contact information within Mi-STAR to call, text, and email parents and guardians with school closing notifications, student attendance issues, building updates, and other important information. Please be sure we have your most current contact information by updating your preferences in the Mi-STAR Parent Portal.
  • School closing announcements are sent to local radio and TV stations that participate in the Detroit Media School Closings Alliance: WJBK-TV (FOX 2), WDIV-TV (Local 4), WXYZ-TV (Channel 7), WWJ-TV (CBS Detroit), WKBD-TV (CW 50), WWJ Newsradio 950 and News/Talk WJR-AM 760.
  • School closing announcements will also be posted on the district website and social media pages.
  • All of the above are official ways to learn about the closing of Royal Oak Schools.
  • In some cases, you may also receive additional calls or notices from school-level personnel, club sponsors, coaches, or the athletic director with specific details impacting those groups.

State of Michigan “Snow Day” Provision

The State of Michigan allows local districts to obtain a waiver for required instructional time, up to six school days when schools are closed due to inclement weather or other unscheduled emergencies. If closures exceed the six forgiven days in a single school year, the district must reschedule the missed instructional time in the same school year. Individual school closings and full-district closures impact those required hours. In specific cases, appeals can be made to the State Superintendent of Schools if additional time is needed.

Please know that we want all our programs and school days to proceed as scheduled.

- Mary Beth Fitzpatrick, Superintendent Royal Oak Schools

Kindergarten Enrollment


Kindergarten and Developmental Kindergarten (DK) enrollment for the 2024-2025 school year kicks off Thursday, February 1, 2024. All enrollments are virtual, including uploading the required documentation for pre-enrollment.

  • A resident child must be five years of age on or before September 1st in order to be eligible to attend kindergarten.
  • If a child is not five by the September 1st enrollment eligibility date but will be five no later than December 1st, the parent/guardian may still enroll the child in kindergarten.
  • Notification, by way of a completed Kindergarten Age Waiver, must be received in order for a child born between September 1 and December 1 to be enrolled in kindergarten.

Please see the "How to Enroll" portion of the Enrollment website for more information.

Developmental Kindergarten is designated for children who are of kindergarten enrollment age (5 years old on or before September 1 of the school year or for children who will be five years old on or before December 1 with a Kindergarten Age Waiver completed by the parent). The program allows students additional time to physically and emotionally develop in a safe and secure environment before attending kindergarten. Students in Developmental Kindergarten experience similar opportunities as other kindergarten students but are taught at a pace and intensity dependent on individual readiness.

Use this link for frequently asked questions about Developmental Kindergarten.

Watch the video below for information on this year's enrollment process and more.


Under Royal Oak Schools Board Policy, parents may request to transfer their elementary-age child to a District elementary school other than their attendance area school. The Elementary Transfer Request form is available beginning February 1. For priority consideration, this form needs to be submitted by 4:00 PM on February 29, 2024. Siblings of currently enrolled students in a non-attendance area building will be given placement consideration.

Assistant Principal Receives Fellowship


Royal Oak Schools is happy to announce that Royal Oak Middle School Assistant Principal Jason Henshaw has been selected as a distinguished member of the inaugural cohort of the Michigan Leadership for Equity and Transformation Fellows. This appointment aims to empower upcoming secondary school leaders throughout an 18-month project-based fellowship focusing on educational access and success for all students across Michigan, with a strong emphasis on equity and transformative leadership.

Principal Kristin Meldrum expressed excitement, noting Jason Henshaw's valuable contributions to the school community, including initiatives like outdoor recess and the implementation of the Social Emotional Learning (SEL) curriculum, CharacterStrong. "He has been such an incredible attribute to ROMS with his energy and new ideas," Meldrum said. "I can't wait to see what the future holds for him."

Principal Meldrum and students during outdoor recess.

Mr. Henshaw said, "I am so excited to be part of the inaugural Michigan Leadership for Equity and Transformation Fellows cohort. My goal is to use my cohort's knowledge and experiences to make myself a more effective school leader and bring ideas and practices from my peers back to my building, district, and community." He added that he is thankful for the support he has received from Principal Meldrum and Superintendent Mary Beth Fitzpatrick through the beginning stages of this process and looks forward to getting started on this important work.

Use this link for more information about the Michigan Leadership for Equity and Transformation Fellows.



The city and school districts of Berkley, Clawson, and Royal Oak braved negative temps to unite and honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on MLK Day. The joint event, titled "A Day On, Not a Day Off," was a meaningful celebration of unity, learning, and community service that took place on Monday, January 15.

Donation gathering and sorting in the gym.

The day kicked off at 8:30 AM with a donation drive at Royal Oak Middle School. Attendees were invited to contribute to the community's well-being by participating in a range of activities. Guests had the opportunity to enjoy breakfast, create signs to honor Dr. King, and engage in volunteer services and hands-on activities. These projects set the tone for a day dedicated to fostering a sense of togetherness and shared purpose. Activities included donation sorting, blanket making, crafting hygiene kits for those in need, and creating cards for educators.

A short video produced by students featuring students from all three participating schools answering what service means to them was shown as a kick-off to the event. Due to the cold temps, the Freedom Walk was canceled, but all volunteers were invited to stay inside and work on service projects instead.

The generosity of the community was directed towards supporting groups such as Cass Community Social Services, Judson Center, Redford Brightmoor Initiative, Royal Oak First United Methodist Church, Royal Oak Welcome Inn, and Teen Clean Closet. As we reflect on this memorable occasion, let us carry forward the spirit of MLK Day in our daily lives, embodying the principles of unity, service, and community that define the vision and mission of Royal Oak Schools.

You can watch the program along with highlights of the day with this link.



We are thrilled to announce that we have been awarded a prestigious certificate from the Alliance of Coalitions for Healthy Communities, recognizing our district's outstanding commitment to a tobacco-free environment.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) recently released its comprehensive Tobacco-Free Report Card, evaluating K-12 public school districts across the state. The report categorized districts from Category 1 (lowest) to Category 4 (highest), and we are proud to share that Royal Oak Schools stands tall with the highest rating.

This accomplishment is a testament to the meticulous efforts our district has invested in crafting and implementing robust tobacco policies. In the face of the growing popularity of e-cigarettes (vapes) and other next-generation tobacco products, it is crucial that we remain dedicated to preventing youth tobacco use. Our achievement in earning the highest MDHHS rating showcases Royal Oak Schools as a leader in fostering a healthy and tobacco-free environment for our students.

For those interested in additional resources on tobacco prevention, we encourage you to connect with our local community coalition, the Royal Oak Community Coalition, led by Executive Director Melissa Morris. You can reach out via email at or by phone at (248) 435-8440.

Chilling Out


Addams Elementary has created a Chill Zone for students. In its first year of implementation, the Chill Zone has emerged as a crucial resource for students to re-regulate their bodies and emotions in a safe and calm environment. Unlike a play space or a crowded area, the Chill Zone offers a serene retreat where students can find solace and regain composure.

"This idea originally came to me in Fall 2022 as we were setting up for the Fun Run," said Jamie Schwartz, Addams Elementary parent and volunteer. "Knowing how overwhelming events like that can be for kids of neurodiversity, and the fact we didn’t have support previously in place, my goal was to give a safe space to re-regulate without pressure or judgment. I'm glad it’s been a success at our school, for ALL the students, neurodiversity or not."

The setup for the Chill Zone includes fidgets, headphones, and a table and chairs, creating a space for the students to converge. On the right - PTA Member Liz Bayer with Principal Boyer.

The success of the Chill Zone relies on its strategic placement, striking a balance between accessibility for students and distance from the main event, ensuring it remains a serene retreat rather than succumbing to surrounding chaos. The calm and composed adults who manage the space are crucial to the Chill Zone's effectiveness. From setting clear expectations to employing a soothing tone of voice, they create an environment where students are encouraged to use available tools at their own pace while considering others sharing the space. Trained paraprofessionals or parents accompany students until they are ready to rejoin the event, making the Chill Zone a valuable resource at any school gathering where children may feel overwhelmed.

Equipped with sensory tools, sanitizer wipes, and comfortable seating, the Chill Zone offers a thoughtful and inclusive solution for self-regulation. Its success relies on the dedication of trained volunteers, emphasizing the commitment to creating supportive and inclusive environments for all students. The Chill Zone stands as a testament to the importance of prioritizing the well-being of students in various school event settings.

Full Baskets, Full Bellies


In a heartwarming display of generosity, the Oakland Elementary School community came together over the holidays to create incredible holiday baskets for deserving families within the school.

These thoughtfully put-together baskets contained ingredients for a full holiday meal and additional food for families over the entire break. Warm hats and mittens added a touch of warmth to the season, and toys completed the baskets for the children. There were even donations of toiletries and clothes. Oakland Principal Jason Taylor said there were 16 days of meals for 15 families.

Items collected for the holiday baskets.

We extend our sincere thanks to the families and staff who generously donated food and funds, as well as the Oakland PTA and individuals like Kristin Brennan, Patty Fitzpatrick, Stephanie McDowell, Angie Hall, and Sean Meisel for their dedicated organization of this initiative. Special recognition is also given to Brandon Kolo, Jon Witz, Arts Beats and Eats, Sarah Isaksen, and East Eleven Yoga for their generous monetary contributions, which significantly contributed to the success of this heartwarming initiative.

Our community and its partners' collaborative effort embodies the spirit of the season, reflecting the warmth and compassion that define our district. It's heartening to witness such acts of kindness, and we look forward to continuing to foster a supportive community for our families in the coming year.

Ice Skating


We have one more day of free skating at The Rink!

Students can enjoy ice skating for free on February 7. Students must show their school ID, and elementary students need to be with a parent or guardian who can state the school the child attends. Skate rentals are $5.

Safer Internet Day


February is here, and we're gearing up to celebrate Safer Internet Day on February 6. This global initiative focuses on creating a safer and better online experience, particularly for our students and young people. Safer Internet Day has become a cornerstone, addressing emerging issues like cyberbullying, social networking, and digital identity.

Available here is a list of resources for parents to check out on topics such as Generative AI, Immersive VR, Twitch, Snapchat, Instagram, and more.

Let's utilize the resources offered in regard to Safer Internet Day to reinforce our values and contribute to a digital space that reflects the excellence we aspire to. By staying informed and engaged, we are not only enhancing our own online experiences but also actively participating in the creation of a safer and better internet for all.

Around The District


Keller Elementary students work together to share the message of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The photo on the right shows students observing two eggs with different shells, 1 brown and 1 white; when you crack them, they are the same inside.
Northwood students in Ms. Villarreal's 2nd grade worked on measuring feet with giant feet!
Oakland Elementary students and staff enjoyed the music of Joe Reilly during their Be Inclusive assembly. They sang and danced to songs that revolved around inclusivity, empathy, and being our best selves. Check it out below.
Oak Ridge students made signs to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and participated in the annual March On Oak Ridge.
Mrs. Weir's 6th-grade science class at ROMS designed solutions to problems using "Pasta Towers." 
Scenes from the high school: Students and staff survived low temps and ice to make it to the first day of 2nd semester!
TRAILS students enjoyed a trip to The Henry Ford.
Churchill Community High School held an attendance challenge, and there were six students who achieved perfect attendance! They will be receiving lunch on Churchill! Great job!


ICYMI: You can watch the TRAILS basketball game vs. Bloomfield PREP below!

The district's Co-op student, Senior Sam Klonke, produced a video with an inside look at Royal Oak High School's Co-op program. Take a look here.

Insight Into Learning


Did you know February is dedicated to celebrating Career and Technical Education (CTE)?

It's the perfect time to showcase the amazing opportunities our high school program offers!

Check out this student-produced video by Senior Sam Klonke, an insightful video that delves into the heart of the CTE initiatives at Royal Oak Schools.

At Royal Oak Schools, we're committed to providing students with diverse and practical skills for a dynamic world.

DEI Work


Greetings from the Deeper Dive!

I hope that everyone had a joyful January! Last month, I thoroughly enjoyed serving during our community collaboration event, honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., his legacy, and his dedication to service. I was very fortunate to meet so many more of our amazing students, families, and community members. With this collaboration between many communities, I could also participate in service projects with some of my former students.

Coming from a family of educators, healthcare workers, social workers, and military veterans—the importance of service and uplifting the community has always been instilled in me. I was honored to live out a glimpse of Dr. King’s dream during this event! Thank you all!

Senator Mallory McMorrow and Ashley Phillips

Building tours also continued in January, and I was able to meet many more staff and students during club visits, presentations, and classroom visits. I am looking forward to future opportunities to serve in our schools.

Lastly, as we gear up to celebrate Black History Month, Royal Oak Schools will be participating in the Michigan Department of Education’s Black History Unit Collaboration. Educators have been encouraged to submit lessons, resources, and input regarding the amazing ways that they are teaching Black History in their classrooms. We are featuring rigorous lessons that teachers have composed that showcase stories, careers, connections, and contributions in Black History and beyond. The MDE will select some of the submissions to recognize those educators and share their lessons with fellow educators throughout the state of Michigan. Thank you, and good luck to all of our staff members who contributed their lessons!

~Ashley Phillips, DEI Coordinator

Ice In His Blood


Click on this link to hear all about 2014 alum Austin Carter and his journey to Antarctica.

According to WXYZ, he joined researchers from 15 universities and the Center for Oldest Ice Exploration (COLDEX) to find the oldest ice on the planet and study the prehistoric dust particles trapped inside.

From the halls of ROHS to the cold of Antarctica.
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Dates for February


February is Black History Month

February celebrates CTE Month

February 5 - 9 -National School Counseling Week

February 3 - Take Your Child To The Library Day

February 6 - Safer Internet Day

February 7 - World Read Aloud Day

February 8 - Board of Education Regular Meeting 6:30 PM

February 17 - National PTA Founders Day

February 16-20 -No School, Mid-Winter Break

February 27 - No School, Election Day

2024-25 School Calendar

The 2024-25 school year calendar has been approved. Use this link to review the calendar, which is located on our website under District/Calendars.



We would love to invite you to join our team. You can use this link to apply for most jobs with Royal Oak Schools:

Food service workers and cashiers: Chartwells Food Service hires substitute food service workers. The cashier position is from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and pays $14/hr. The cook position is at the elementary schools from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and pays $16.15/hr. After training, you would be "as needed" fill-in for sick calls, working on average 1-2 days per week. It could also become regular part-time when openings exist. Includes free lunch.

Substitute teachers: EDUStaff is our partner for substitute teachers. Please apply through their website at:

Paraprofessionals: A paraprofessional works with a team of teachers to help qualified students be successful at school. These patient and caring individuals may implement academic, physical, behavioral, and self-care supports that empower students to engage with their education as independently as possible. All applicants should apply through the Oakland Schools Human Resources Consortium website at:

Individuals interested in working with and caring for school-age children before and after school for our Young Oaks (Latchkey) Program should contact the Addams Early Childhood Center at (248) 288-3220.

Bus Drivers: Durham School Services is hiring for our transportation department. A minimum of 20 hours is guaranteed, with options for more. Contact James Hollis at Durham to apply:

Instructional and administrative positions: Check the Oakland Schools Consortium portal at Employment opportunities with Royal Oak Schools are on our website under Employment/HR. If you have any more questions, please contact Beth Caverly at the District Offices: or (248) 435-8400 x1210.


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