School of the Week: Bow Elementary-Middle School

Dedicated staff, endless parent involvement and a multitude of unique programs

It’s not often that students receive their first science lesson immediately when arriving to school, but at Warren E. Bow Elementary-Middle School, the young learners are greeted daily by their indoor Koi Pond. Filled with eye catching orange and white fish, attractive plant life and assorted rocks, the pond can often become a quick mini-science lesson any day of the week!

The Koi Pond is just one of the various learning methods teachers utilize on a day-to-day basis at Bow.

Teacher Laura Franklin is known for keeping students on their toes when it comes to subjects such as science. Eighth-grader Delvin Braizer says Franklin creates “science raps” to fun music to make the units more entertaining and memorable.

“The teachers at Bow are very helpful, they are always trying new ways to engage with students by incorporating cool activities that help us with learning about new material,” Braizer says.

Principal Ernestine Woodward, who has led Bow for 12 years, proudly describes her teachers as being high-willed and creative with a strong desire to turn each student into a successful young adult.

Bow, a neighborhood school educating students in grades Pre-K to eight, accommodates its community by maintaining an accessible staff that is available until 6 p.m. regularly. Bow offers single-gendered classes for middle school students, a flood of parent volunteers who are constantly offering their time throughout the school, and a multitude of unique programs through the 21st Century Afterschool Extended Day Program.

The soaring Eagles, which is the school’s mascot, have the opportunity to participate in Science Club, Technology/Media Clubs, Robotics, Academic Games, Book Club, Instrumental Music, Dance, Drama, Sports, Cooking and a student favorite Accelerated Math.

Enthusiastic fifth-grader Da’Naiyah Woolfolk confidently explains that she has reached her 4.0 grade point average by studying and staying on top of her course work all day, every day! Woolfolk, who not only ranked fourth at the recent Detroit Public Schools district-wide Math Bee – and was the only remaining female contender – is just one of many Bow students who are genuinely passionate about Mathematics.

These talented students have Math Teacher Rachel Stafford-Jones to thank for their positive attitude and eagerness toward the subject.

“I really think that students love math because I love math so much,” says Stafford-Jones. “I like to take real-life examples and incorporate them into my teaching to fully engage the students.”

More than academics

Lina Cammon, a retired DPS educator for over 20 years, says it is a privilege to work at Bow with the students. Cammon works with students during pull-out sessions to assure each individual is receiving and processing their classroom materials effectively.

“My initial plan was to work at Bow for a year or so to help wherever I can, but here I am three years later happier than ever,” says Cammon.

Aside from aiding in the academic success of the students, Cammon has also started dance and drama clubs.

“Early on, I noticed students were at times soft spoken and really needed an outlet to practice self-expression,” Cammon says. “Since starting the dance and drama clubs, many students have joined and have really opened up and found their voices. I love watching the students express themselves artistically as well as academically.”

Alexander Sims, an eighth-grader, drummer and keyboard player, says he has played the drums since the tender age of 2 and has his eyes set on attending Detroit School of Arts next year to continue his music education.

“I love playing the drums and being involved in music, but Bow has so many opportunities to keep you busy. Aside from keeping my grades up and playing the drums, I am also on the flag football and track teams, drama club and involved in the 21st Century Program,” says Sims.

Students are informed early on that if you want to play, you have to make the grades! The Bow community sets high expectations for its young scholars academically and socially.

To help the elementary students reach the next level of academia, Principal Woodward encourages middle school students to lead the way for the younger Eagles.

Clara Reeves, a confident eighth-grader at Bow, explains the importance of the middle school students and the example that they set for younger learners.

“Bow teachers work with the older students on a different level,” says Reeves. “They don’t just hold your hand, they really explain the importance we have in our community, the active role we need to play within our school and that our education comes first.”

Principal Woodward instills leadership and responsibility into her middle school students by hosting “Fun Fridays” and having student-led assemblies planned and executed by the middle school students.

“I really enjoy taking time to communicate and understand my students,” Woodward says. “I see this time as an opportunity for the students. We as educators are able to shape life-long learners starting right now at Bow.”

Something you didn’t know…

Principal Woodward has initiated a program at Bow that really has students excited about keeping their attendance high and academic scores even higher!

Students are awarded “Bow Bucks” when maintaining perfect attendance, superb test scores and exemplary behavior.

The “Bow Stand” is located in the main hallway where students can redeem their Bow Bucks to purchase school supplies, snacks and games that are readily available during school hours.

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