From the Principal's Desk

From the Principal's Desk

May 5, 2019

As the weather gets warmer, we want to remind you of the dress code as stated in the district Elementary Code of Misconduct:

Generally, students are prohibited from dressing, grooming, or decorating themselves in a manner that distracts others (including administrators, teachers, parents, and other
students) from meeting or surpassing the academic and achievement goals established by the District and the State of Michigan.

Consistent with this policy, the following is a non-exclusive, illustrative list of examples of prohibited items:

· Head coverings (for example, hats, visors, hoods, bandanas, etc.). Exceptions for religious head coverings.

· Shirts or tops tied off above the waist, tank tops, halters, spaghetti straps, bare mid-riffs, etc.

· Shorts, skirts, or dresses that do not reach to at least the top of the student’s fingertips when arms are extended.

· Although sandals and flip-flops are allowed, children should not wear them if they are participating in PE or plan on playing soccer during recess.

Also, please plan to join us on Tuesday, May 28 from 6:00—8:00 for a Family Title Night at John Ball Park Zoo. Parents/guardians and their children will have the opportunity to enjoy  a night at the zoo. This is a free event for Townline students/parents/siblings.



Michelle Downs



March 20, 2019

Dear Parents,

Can you believe that it’s the end of the third marking period already? This means that it’s time for Spring Parent/Teacher conferences. This is an important time to speak with your child’s teacher about how he/she is doing in school. Teachers will share with you information regarding academic and behavioral progress. Some of the assessments that may be shared with you are, Running Records, RI and i-Ready assessments in reading and math.

As you review this information it’s important for you to remember the work Carol Dweck has done with growth mindset. A person with a growth mindset believes we can grow our brain’s capacity to learn and to solve problems. I recently watched a video clip where Dweck describes two ways to think about a problem that is slightly too hard to solve. Are you smart enough to solve it or have you just not solved it yet? In this talk she discusses the power of “not yet”. Dweck states using the phrase “not yet”, “helps you understand you’re on a learning curve. It gives you a path to the future.”

The staff and I encourage you to speak with your child about their progress by helping them make the connection between where they’re at right now to where they’re expected to be. This can be done by praising wisely. Praise your child’s effort and the process they’ve engaged in to learn content specific information. Talk about perseverance and learning from your mistakes. You can also reward your child’s effort, strategy and progress. In doing so we can work together to help students develop the power of believing that they can improve.


Michelle Downs


December 18, 2018

Dear Parents,

In keeping with Townline’s goal this year of serving and supporting others in our community, the staff and I have decided to celebrate the holidays by donating to a worthy cause. All next week, you will notice the staff wearing jeans. They have made a donation to the Santa Claus Girls for this privilege.

If you are looking for ways to model the spirit of giving at home please look at some of the suggestions below:

Helping Others: Children can learn responsibility, build character, citizenship, and discover the special joys of doing or giving something special. Some ideas you might like to try with your family are:

Show You Care: Whether you can give an hour a day or an hour a month, let your children see you volunteer your time to help those in need.

Tap into their Talents: Is your little one a budding chef? Encourage him/her to bake a cake to take to the Senior Citizen’s Center. Take your animal lover to the shelter with some holiday treats.

Make it a Family Affair: Everyone wins when the whole household gets involved in an effort to help others.

Cast-offs can be a First Step: As your children outgrow toys, games and clothes, make a big deal of how you are going to pass them on to others who need them.

Trade Off: Invite your friends, relatives’ and neighbors’ children to join you when you are working on a community service project for others.

Finding ways for your children to focus on the needs of others is a way to help them learn how to make the world a better place.

Parties will be held on Friday, December 21, 2018 from 11:15-11:45 in your students classrooms, if anything is needed teachers will communicate those needs to you.

Happy Holidays,




November 20, 2018

Dear Parents,

For this Townline TIGER Tracks edition, I would like to focus on growth mindset. A growth mindset is a belief system that suggests that one’s intelligence can be grown or developed with persistence,  effort, and a focus on learning.

One important factor in changing students’ thinking is how we praise them.

According to Claudia M. Mueller and Carol S. Dweck,  praise for ability is commonly considered to have beneficial effects on motivation. Contrary to this popular belief, six studies demonstrated that praise for intelligence had more negative consequences for student’s achievement and motivation than praise for effort. Fifth graders praised for intelligence were found to care more about   performance goals relative to learning goals than children praised for effort. After failure, they also displayed less task persistence, less task enjoyment, more low ability attributions, and worse task performance than children praised for effort. Finally, children praised for intelligence described it as a fixed trait more than children praised for hard work, who believed it to be subject to improvement. These findings have important implications for how achievement is best encouraged, as well as for more theoretical issues, such as potential cost of performance goals and    socialization of  contingent self-worth.

The words and actions we use tell children how to think about themselves. The kind of praise we use is important. Families should always praise their child’s effort instead of praising their accomplishments. This tables shows some examples of how this can be done.

So the next time you’re ready to praise your child, stop and think about how to use that opportunity to praise his or her effort instead of accomplishments.

Michelle Downs


October 7, 2018

Dear Parents,

Did you know sleep is essential to good health? The National Sleep Foundation reports that poor or inadequate sleep can lead to mood swings, behavioral and cognitive problems that impact a child’s ability to learn.

Thursday, all students had an opportunity to learn about how important sleep is! Sweet Dreamzz, Inc visited Townline to present the R.E.M. (Rest, Educate, Motivate) Sleep  Program.

The program taught students how sleep affects them physically, socially, psychologically and academically. They learned a bedtime routine READY.

R    Relax before bedtime
E    Eat a healthy snack
A    Always go to bed by 8:00
D    Did I wash and brush?
Y    Yes, it’s bedtime!

Before returning to their classrooms, students were given a sleep kit containing a blanket, toothbrush and tooth paste. The blankets were made and donated to Townline by a high school on the east side of the state.

We want to thank all of the sleep educators and donors who helped make this a special day for our students.

I also want to take this opportunity to thank all the moms for joining us for breakfast on Friday. Our guest speaker was Chanel Woods. He had a message that many of us could relate to. Many of you asked for her contact information. She can be contacted at

Michelle Downs, Principal


September 28, 2018

Dear Parents,

I wanted to take this opportunity to update you on this year’s goals for Townline. Each year the staff and I analyze data to  determine the strategies needed to improve academic and  behavioral achievement. Our goal is to have all students  proficient in math, English Language Arts, Science, Social Studies and Positive Behavior.

For the 2018- 2019 school year the staff and I will focus on the strategies of flexible grouping, academic vocabulary and Depth of Knowledge to achieve these goals. Student’s skill deficits will be addressed through effective core instruction and small group intervention. Progress will be monitored throughout the year by iReady diagnostics, Reading Inventories, Running Records and DIBELS.

One of the Title I Federal Guidelines for public education is that all parents have the right to request information regarding the professional qualifications of their child’s teacher and/or paraprofessional.  All of our teachers are highly qualified and meet all requirements of the guidelines. If you would like to     discuss this further, please contact me.

The staff and I look forward to a successful year of learning!

Michelle Downs, Principal




September 17, 2018

Dear Parents,

I can’t believe we’re already finishing up our third week of school and we’re off to a great start! All staff members have been teaching and reinforcing our school wide expectations of PRIDE. Townline PRIDE is a set of expectations that are implemented and reinforced in all areas of the building. Pride stands for:

P   roblem Solve
R   espect
I    ndependence
D  emonstrate Responsibility
E   xcellence.


Each student is expected to follow these rules throughout the day.  Students have an opportunity to earn a Pride slip from any staff member as positive reinforcement. These slips are collected in bundles of ten as an incentive for following the expectations. Students turn ten tickets in at a time and earn a prize.

There will also be several group incentives throughout the year for those students who have not received an office referral. In order to qualify for these celebrations students must have one office referral or less. After each event the students start back at zero office referrals. The dates for the first three celebrations  will be shared in an upcoming Tiger Tracks.

The end of the year celebration is the biggest celebration of the year and is only for those students who have zero office referrals for the whole year. These students will celebrate with a special event during the day.

The staff and I are looking forward to working with your child to create a safe, positive learning environment. If you have any questions please feel free to call the office and set up a time for us to meet!


Michelle Downs