We are continuing to enroll more students who have Individual Education Programs (IEPs) at a high rate. Some of the new students who are coming to us have in their IEP time for services in behavioral programs within their previous school. This creates a unique challenge for our staff as we do not have the same programs as some of the bigger districts. However, I’m really encouraged by the work of our school administrators and staff in finding win-win solutions with students, their teams and families.
At WMS, the Title classes are focused on reading intervention for grades 5-8. All students who scored intensive on the state Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBA) are in reading intervention classes in small groups, working on foundational skills (accurate decoding of multi-syllabic words, fluency), vocabulary and comprehension. We have a unified system where reading intervention teachers work together on a Professional Learning Team (PLT) to develop our skills and strategies as well as program components.
WPS purchased instructional materials and set up professional development for students served through LAP. WIS looked at DIBELS data to indicate students’ specific need(s) (phonemic awareness, sound symbol correspondence, blending, accuracy and fluency); WIS then placed students into a small group for 40 minutes 4 days per week to address their area of need. WIS Intervention teacher Jennifer Crosby coordinates groups and sets structures for each group to be successful. 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 stronger readers.
English Language Learners/Bilingual and Family Community Resource Center
Now that we all settled in this school year, we are officially serving 197 ELL students and their families in our district! Within the last few weeks we welcomed two more newcomers and their families to our district. Maribel Ramirez, our district ELL Coordinator, has been translating temporally and soon there will be a translator for our district.
This year we have three ELL Seniors and are following their progress to a successful graduation. On October 24th there will be a family night/Connect Night at the high school. This is an event for parents to come and meet the teachers, go to different information sessions, and have a delicious dinner. Our ELL department will offer a session in Spanish for our ELL families. This session will cover information about credits and graduation requirements (flyer and other information will be translated). ELL high school students will visit Clark College on October 25th, this is a great opportunity for them to learn more about higher education and their future. We are also focusing on having our ELL students sign up for College Bound during 7th-8th grade and different sports. Together with Leslie Mohlman, we identified ELL students/families and their needs. Students received schools supplies, clothing, shoes, and medical insurance to name a few. She also offers a program that allows students to borrow a computer. Maribel Ramirez helps with the translation of the agreement and communicates with the families. On October 20th there will be a FREE sports physical, Paul Huddleston, Leslie Mohlman and Maribel Ramirez are encouraging our ELL students to participate (flyer was translated).
Parent teacher conferences are fast approaching. Maribel Ramirez is scheduling conferences for our schools with the help of our ELL coordinators and secretaries in each building. This is a team effort.
Stacy Mouat continues her great work educating students and families about the value of regular attendance. So far this year, Stacy has increased her collaborative work with Leslie, Maribel, TEAM and LRA, and the school counselors. Stacy is helping calibrate all schools/programs in the district with the recently updated attendance policy.
Lewis River Academy
The new school year is off to a great start, with our students and teachers getting back into the swing of things. Weekly Learning Labs we call “Wednesday Workshops” are up and running. Wednesday Workshops are a great opportunity for students to socialize with one another in the classroom while being taught various subjects each week. Class content includes Writing, Science and Art, to name a few. For example, this week we will be offering a writing workshop titled "The Mysteries of Harris Burdick", which is designed around a book of story starters written by Chris Van Allsburg. Next week will be a Science day, which will include a STEM project with pumpkins and apples. The workshops often pertain to the month of the year and/or season.
TEAM High School
At TEAM we are up to about 80 students and they are all on their way to finishing, or have already completed, classes this school year! The TEAM staff is preparing for state testing and planning to do practice Smarter Balanced Assessments to help prepare the students to take and pass our state tests. We have also been working with our seniors so that they get and stay on track for graduation in June 2019. Leslie Mohlman has begun an outreach program for our students, this will match them with services and support that they need. It will happen every other Thursday, and our first one (pizza day), was a huge success. Our students were amazing, they made great connections and are excited for the next outreach day.
Highly Capable Program
Recently a team of staff from WPS, WIS, and WMS attended the Washington Association of Educators of the Talented and Gifted (WAETAG). The staff reported learning a lot of ideas about identifying and serving students who are Highly Capable. The team also reported that the information about timelines and guidance from the state presented at the conference was helpful. Denise Pearl represented WSD building administration at the conference and is helping the team develop a goal for the Highly Capable Program in WSD.
K-12 Nurse Services
We continue to serve WPS, WIS, WMS, and WHS with a full time nurse. This amount of health support is proving to be profitable for students and families. We really appreciate the amazing support from WSD administration and the Board of Directors!
It is encouraging to see all of these programs functioning at a high level. There are a lot of things going on all at the same time; the caring, effective staff are finding winning solutions, supporting our students and families!