To: Michael Z. Green, Superintendent
From: Cari Thomson, PhD
RE: October Summary of Teaching and Learning
During the month of October WMS staff spent time on Monday mornings on department collaboration, school improvement planning, student-led conferences, and Collaborative Academic Support Team (CAST).
Conference week occurred October 15-26. All students participated in student-led conferences. Talking points included their initial academic goals and plans for attainment, work samples, and the transition into middle school. Staff has done a great job of facilitating these and we will be repeating these conferences in the spring. The conferences in the spring will revisit the student's goal progress as well as address the planning for the 2013-2014 school year.
Colleen Scott's seventh grade English participated in the small-scale assessment, which is the pre-cursor to the Smarter Balanced Assessment pilot. These assessments will replace the Measures of Student Progress (MSP) in 2016. Student and teacher feedback was that the test, which was given on-line, was easy to maneuver around and self-explanatory.
Ms. Podelnyk's and Mr. Shoddy's science classes completed the Healthy Youth Survey in October. This helps us to identify areas for improvement around drugs and alcohol as well as bullying. This data is used in our school improvement planning process.
Woodland Middle School staff combined forces with Woodland High School staff for their first learning walk opportunity this month. Staff visited colleagues classrooms and debriefed observations around the topics of engagement, environment, and exchange.
The WMS Lego Robotics Team is gearing up for another great year of competition. This year's research topic is seniors and mobility. The team is looking at ways to help senior citizens with mobility issues stay mobile with current technology. The team has already visited the Woodland Convalescent Center to interview and seek feedback from seniors.
Students at WMS participated in Red Ribbon Week in October. This is a nation-wide designated prevention week. Khristina Williams had several lunchtime activities and contests and all were promoted by the WMS Prevention Club.
Mix it Up Day was a success in October. ASB leadership students put together a day when students all sat at different tables then they are used to at lunch and meet new people. There are conversation starters on the tables and students win prizes for finding out information about their peers. This fits nicely into our anti-bullying curriculum and our school improvement goal of a safe and caring community. Way to go to Robin Uhlenkott and her students for organizing this.
On the CTE front, students are doing great things. Mary Ellen Vetter's floral won 8th at Nationals. Luke Snyder's middle school wood working class designed mouse trap cars and demonstrated at had a homeroom competition in front of all students. Woodland received $19,000 in a high need competitive grant for biomedical and robotics. We were awarded the highest amount in the state. Woodland STEM teachers will also have the opportunity to do a three-week, summer externship in a STEM career field. They will be given a $3,000 stipend and be able to bring real life experiences into the classroom. This is a project being sponsored by the Southwest Washington Workforce Development Council.