Learning Supports and Alternatives

To: Michael Green

From: Jake Hall

Date: 10.18.17

Re: October 2017 Board Report

Overall, we are moving forward in each of the district-level programs.  I am impressed by many staff members going above and beyond to serve our students, families and staff!

Special Services

The Special Services Department had our first of four (quarterly) meetings October 4, 2017, in Woodland High School Library after school.  For this first meeting, each of the departments I oversee were invited to meet together with Special Services.  We learned about our strengths, collaborated together about maximizing our potential through rest and recovery and went over our Operating Principles.  I continue to be amazed by Deb Kernen’s great leadership; she has built a sustainable, strong special services department in Woodland School District.

LAP Program

Students qualifying for LAP services began interventions on September 19, 2017. The team of teachers, intervention specialist, ELL teacher and instructional coach began by looking at iReady data. This informed us of the need for interventions. To dig deeper, we looked at DIBELS data to indicate the student’s specific need (phonemic awareness, sound symbol correspondence, blending, accuracy and fluency).  Students were placed into a small group for 40 minutes, 4 days per week to address their area of need. Our intervention teacher, Jennifer Crosby, is coordinating groups and setting structures for each group to be successful. We have students most in need receiving direct instruction services in the Boost room with 1 teacher and 3 instructional assistants. The next level of need is with a grade level teacher receiving I ready instruction on a chromebook, monitored and adjusted by the teacher when a need arises. One step above that is a group of students needing to work on accuracy and rate. They are served by a classroom teacher and using a program called Read Naturally. Every one of our 157 student’s progress is monitored every two weeks and adjustments will be made to their program when we see students not progressing or growth being made. LAP letters with specific information about the programs were sent home to families in September. We are monitoring these programs regularly and look forward to seeing our students become strong readers.

Title Program

At WMS, the Title Program has been working on systemic and individualized services to meet the needs of students.  We are currently preparing for CAST meetings, where intervention specialists meet with each teacher cohort team to share information and brainstorm ideas around students who are struggling.  We are also reanalyzing current data and making recommendations for placement for 2nd quarter extension classes.  

English Language Learners/Bilingual Program

The ELL team is getting its staff up to speed with compliance. Two new teachers to the ELL program have received training in I-Lit, an interactive Language Arts curriculum, to support with ELL's language acquisition and literacy. The team has been discussing what signage needs to be translated and are looking into how teachers can communicate better with their students’ families. Programs are in full gear and the children are excited to learn in the ELL classrooms!

Family and Community Resource Center

Leslie Mohlman will submit this board report.  

K-12 Attendance

Stacy attended the BECCA conference in Olympia earlier this month.  The thrust of the conference was that schools do more interventions to prevent petitions from proceeding to court cases as they recognize that truancy students usually have other factors that should be addressed before escalating to court. They emphasized that they do not want to put truancy students in Juvenile Detention because of truancy, so other options are being explored and utilized as much as possible.

In an attempt to curb chronic absenteeism, the school principals have sent home letters to families with 9+ absences (excused/unexcused) requiring documentation for all absences to ensure they are in line with our school district policy.  Also, Stacy meets weekly with students/families who have 3 unexcused absences to identify barriers to attendance and enter attendance agreements.  Out of those meetings, we are often able to identify needs that are currently not being met, and the family is referred to agencies, such as Community, Family, Student Outreach Coordinator (Leslie Mohlman) or the school counselor for additional support. Most students and their families are not aware of the BECCA law so the conferences have been a welcome addition to our outreach in making families aware of how they can best support their student's success when it comes to attendance.

Transitional Bilingual Intervention Program

Milagros and Maribel have been working hard to translate documents that go out from each of the schools.  They have been translating in meetings and are gearing up for translating services during conference week.  Milagros has helped 65 parents with different needs coming to her office in the last 3 weeks, and she has finalized the results of our ELL Counts from the state mandated “ELPA 21” assessment.  Milagros has been busy as both a student and a teacher: she participated in a training on Children’s Immigrant Rights, and she has set up classes for any school staff to learn Spanish.  I went to the first class; it was well-attended by other WSD staff and really a lot of fun!   Among many other things, Milagros is also leading a new Parenting Training to start October 18, 2017, in partnership with Head Start ESD and the Evergreen School District.

Lewis River Academy

The LRA teachers have been working diligently on ideas for upcoming Wednesday Workshops.  This week will be a "Pumpkin Exploration", which includes some fun pumpkin art along with math problems relating to pumpkins.  Next week will be our Fall Festival, where we will have some fun games and crafts, as well as festive costumes and food!  

LRA has added a couple more students since the last Board Report.  We are currently at capacity in our K - 5th grade.  Therefore, we are now only accepting students in those grades on a need-be basis (with a waiting list for families of students who would like to join). In grades 6 - 8, we still have room for a few more students.  

Tuesday and Thursday learning labs have been fairly full this month, with students coming in to get tutoring and work one-on-one with our teachers.  It's been fun to see all the young, friendly faces back at our school!

TEAM High School

We are near capacity at TEAM.  Right now, we have a little more than 90 students.  TEAM students and staff are very busy with school and extracurricular activities. We have students involved in volleyball, cross country, and football. Many of our seniors are working on their volunteer hours and Senior Projects.  We are also informing parents and preparing students to take standardized state testing to meet graduation requirements.  Several of these students also have part time jobs and/or family obligations.  

Many of our students this year are voracious readers, so one of our teachers, Elizabeth Vallaire, has spearheaded a campaign to collect book donations and start our very own library. The Woodland Public Library gave us a huge jumpstart when they donated a box of books. Thanks to the other school administrators for approving the collection boxes in their staff rooms to help with this process. Our hope is that this will promote a lifetime love of learning for our students.  

Highly Capable Program

Hi-C is currently working on using the Engineering Design Model to design a mousetrap powered car that can go 10 meters, turn around a bucket and stop close to the target set out.  It is a difficult task, and I am impressed with the enthusiasm and hard work from the entire group. These design challenges help develop problem solving and teamwork skills.

K-12 Nurse Services

Woodland School District’s Nurse and Health Room Assistants are working diligently to make sure all immunizations and medications are up to date with each school per board policy.  I am impressed by their constant, ongoing communication with families and their helpful approach.  This dedicated team also manages all of the medications accurately and keeps up with all of the students who need help during the school day.

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Thank you for the opportunity to serve Woodland School District in each of these programs.  Each day I learn a little more about each of them.  Thank you for your ongoing support of all WSD students, families and staff!!

~Jake