To: Michael Green
From: Jake Hall
CC: Woodland School Board
Re: WMS November 2015 Board Report
Woodland Middle School is now more comprehensive than ever. We have dynamic course offerings that support our work in Transforming Professional Learning (TPL), field trips that build prior knowledge, a newly redefined partnership with our Woodland Parent Teacher Student Association, new student recognition programs, and so much more. Here are a few highlights from October 2015:
WMS offers “Success” as an elective class for all students grades 5-8. Success is offered during the period that core teachers collaborate, allowing opportunity for core teachers to collaborate without elective teachers having significantly large classes. To do this, core teachers host the Success classes on a rotating cycle to allow collaboration time among departments: at least one 2-grade department can collaborate during that period every week. For example, this week during period 5 grades 7-8 Science teachers are collaborating, while during period 6 grades 5-6 Science teachers are collaborating.
Success class provides a structured study environment hosted by a grade-level core teacher (Math, English, Science, or Social Studies). Students work on homework assignments, make-up work for absences, study, read (for Accelerated Reader in English class), or are provided with appropriate additional practice assignments to support core classes. Students record their use of time during this class every day, check their grades on Skyward at least once per week, discuss their academic progress and problem-solve with the hosting teacher as needed. This class is particularly helpful for students who need extra time or help on assignments, students who need time to make up work after absences, student athletes who miss some classes due to extra-curricular activities such as sports games, and students who appreciate a quiet atmosphere to focus on their work.
Recently, WMS students in 5th Grade went on a Field Trip to the Ape Cave/Mt. St. Helens! This is a field trip that many students will remember as one of the best days of the year. More importantly, it provides a point from which to tie many important lessons together as they learn in Science.
The Ape Cave/Mt. Saint Helens field trip puts students in touch and sight of many of the concepts they study about land formation, volcanoes, erosion, land changes over time, the rock cycle, fossils and the preservation of a national monument.
The field trip includes stops at four locations. Students walked through the Ape Cave, a 1,900 year lava tube of an igneous rock called basalt. It has many features worth learning about and much richer if observed in real life. Next students visited the Trail of Two Forests, where students experience seeing the hardened lava in the form of tree molds- one set of which the students craw through. The stop at the stratigraphy is a good place to witness the history of Mt. Saint Helens as revealed during the 1980 eruption, showing many layers of ash, soils, and tephra that had formed many years earlier.
At Woodland Middle School, we work hard to ensure each and every student is learning and growing to their fullest potential! One way we do this is through our extension block.
Extension is one 43 minute period per day where students are challenged at their specific level, whether the area of study is difficult for the student or the student needs to go above and beyond regular grade level standards. Basically, Extension is meant to extend student learning, no matter their level!
We use several different data points to determine the need of each individual student. The types of data we use are:
1. SBA Scores (State Testing)
2. School wide assessments (such as DIBELS, Curriculum Based or Interim Assessments)
5.Student & Parent Input
The best thing about extension is that it is flexible based on student achievement and individual need. This can change as students learn and grow throughout the year. Each quarter, a team of teachers and specialists meet to look at student achievement data and adjust individual placement as needed. Some students may stay in the same class; some may change. It depends on each child’s progress and achievement!
Students of the Month
Every month, WMS recognizes several students as Students of the Month. These students are nominated by staff, and can be nominated for academics, citizenship, improvement, school involvement, etc. After being nominated, all staff votes and the top 2-4 students from each grade level are announced at an assembly. Students also receive a certificate and pin, and their pictures are included in a display case!
Thank you ...and You Are (always) Welcome!
Thank you to our Superintendent Michael Green and the Woodland School Board for your ongoing support of WSD Students and Staff. You are always welcome to come to Woodland Middle School to see the teaching and learning and collaboration we are all growing in every day!