Update on K-4 Summer School:
The decision to serve a grade level really stemmed from the effort to get the highest leverage impact with limited resources. While our target group is K going into 1st, we also have a handful of 1st going into 2nd and 2nd going into 3rd (all based on data indicating highest need). In addition, the program we are implementing in summer school is also one we are seriously considering using in every 1st and 2nd-grade classroom during the first weeks of school as it appears to be highly effective. Our intent is to monitor the results of summer school and then make that decision.
We also have an afternoon summer school session we added that will serve roughly 21 students who are identified in special education (K-4).
Lastly, we intend to have an elementary library open once a week throughout the summer for families to access books!
We recently received a bulletin from OSPI regarding state testing next fall and have more information to help us plan for administration.
We now know the test administration window will be September 27 through November 10.
The fall 2021 SBA and WCAS will be shorter than they have been in previous years. All tests have been shortened to be administered in a single online session. For SBA Math and English Language Arts, students will take only a Computer Adaptive Test (CAT) and not have a Performance Task (PT). For the WCAS, students will take a test with fewer questions. The English Language Arts SBA is estimated to take 75 minutes, the Math SBA is estimated to take 60 minutes, and the WCAS is estimated to take 45 minutes. The tests remain untimed, so individual student testing times will vary.
Students who are 11th graders in the 2021–22 school year (who would have tested as 10th graders in the spring of 2021) will be taking the high school ELA and math assessments in fall 2021. The fall 2021 tests in both Math and English Language Arts can be used to meet a graduation pathway requirement if that corresponds to the student’s High School and Beyond Plan. Students in the Class of 2022, who did not have an opportunity to take ELA or math assessments in spring 2020, may choose to test during the 2021–22 school year for purposes of meeting a graduation pathway requirement if it aligns with their High School and Beyond Plan.
Prior to the pandemic, we had been exploring a national program proven to reduce instances of suicide among children. As we’ve seen the toll of the pandemic impact on some of our students is even more critical. We look at ways to address mental health systemically here in Woodland Public Schools. As such our district counseling team has explored the Hope Squad Program and would like to recommend it for adoption. Hope Squad was developed by educators in partnership with mental health experts to deliver evidence-based training on how schools approach mental health and suicide prevention.
This program is a K-12 approach that helps students recognize warning signs and peers in distress and then take action by referring them to trusted adults. The students also develop ways to support peers increasing connectedness in the school community ensuring all students feel they are an important part of the school community. Topics of bullying prevention, self-care, and mental health agencies are also addressed. Hope Squad seeks to reduce the stigma associated with mental health and learn how to encourage peers to make healthy choices.
As you are aware, SB 5395 passed this year requiring that in the 2022-2023 school year we implement social-emotional learning to students in grades K-3. In response, both elementary schools will be offering Leadership as a special. During this special class part of the focus will be on social-emotional learning (SEL) and we’d like to pursue a pilot of the Character Strong ToolKit, PurposeFull People during the 2021-2022 school year. The program is intended to enlist the whole school community of adults, students, and parents in creating a positive culture for learning.
In the CLASSROOM toolkit, resources are sorted into the S.E.R.V.E. model.
START INTENTIONALLY: Thoughtful ways to begin your month, your week, and your day related to the month’s character trait!
ENGAGE RELATIONALLY: Activities that get students connecting, playing, and engaging with a focus on the monthly character trait!
RESPOND WITH EMPATHY: Tools to get students thoughtfully re-focused to best meet their social, emotional, and physical needs throughout the day.
VALUES PRACTICED: Experiential learning designed to put abstract values into practical action so students can better understand each character trait.
EXIT INTENTIONALLY: Effective ways to end your month, week, and day related to each month’s character trait and to create a consistent classroom routine.
The STAFF component involves a weekly character challenge related to that month’s trait so that the adults in the building are role-modeling what character development looks like in action.
The FAMILY component includes a letter home that has conversation starters, simple activities, and family character challenges (“PurposeFull Pursuits”) related to the monthly trait. Speaking a common language between school and home and equipping families with the tools to engage in these meaningful (and sometimes tough) conversations is important.
The PLAYGROUND portion offers some practical games and tools for focused, character-trait based play and/or experiences. Recess offers a lot of opportunities for students to model and demonstrates character and these tools are designed to help students find success with peers when challenges arise.