Alternative Learning Experiences
Our Lewis River Academy students are in the process of setting up their classes with LRA next school year or their return to their regular school. Our teachers have been meeting with each student and their family to create their individualized written student learning plans for the 2021-22 school year.
At TEAM High School, we are planning for our fourth graduation ceremony this school year, the “big” one! We will have nearly 40 graduates, the biggest class yet, with some graduating a year ahead of schedule. Due to the larger class and the guidelines around physical distancing, we will host this year’s graduation ceremony in the WHS gymnasium. The graduation ceremony will be on June 9, 2021, starting at 7 pm.
Family and Community Resource Center
The district’s first Latino & English Language Learners Resource Fair was successful with 21 families attending. We had huge support from staff and received positive feedback as every family that came through filled out a survey. Survey questions included how best to communicate with our Spanish-speaking families, what resources they need more of, and a section for general feedback. We hope to continue this event annually, building upon what we started.
Awards of Community Foundation Grants should be announced within the next 2 weeks. We applied for emergency hotel vouchers and rent assistance for our families experiencing or at risk of homelessness.
We applied for and were awarded a Federal McKinney-Vento grant, one of 38 Washington schools. Because we were awarded this grant, we are also able to receive the first round of American Rescue Act funds awarded specifically to support students experiencing homelessness. The first round for the state was about 3 million dollars and will be distributed amongst us grant recipients soon. The second round of about 9 million dollars will be distributed to all Washington schools in another grant process. There are about 16 allowable uses for the funds, as laid out by the McKinney-Vento Act.
We are hosting an Eviction Moratorium presentation from Legal Aid of Cowlitz-Wahkiakum and Lower Columbia CAP on Wednesday, June 16th, from 1pm-3pm, in the Middle School Auditorium. The purpose of this presentation is to prepare families for the ending of the moratorium on June 30, 2021.
The truancy law has changed to filing truancy petitions at 15 unexcused absences instead of filing at 10 unexcused absences. Also, Community Truancy Boards are now going to be called Community Engagement Boards.
Due to this change and all the changes taking place within the truancy programs statewide, moving from punitive to engagement oriented, as well as the impact of the pandemic on families and schools, we have dismissed truancy petitions this year; all students will get a fresh start with attendance going into the 2021-2022 school year. This will also allow the new Student Engagement Specialist (also known as Truancy Coordinator) to start fresh with their own documentation practices before filing a truancy petition.
Stacy Mouat attended a Cowlitz County court meeting last week, and the consensus across the board was that we need to continue to spend less time in court proceedings and related paperwork; instead, we need to focus on engagement activities with families. Also, the courts are now authorized to use more state truancy funding towards services for families with the goal of removing barriers for students to be engaged in school. Effective June 2021, students will not be delegated to detention for truancy hearings. Work crew, community service, or court ordered services such as counseling or drug treatment still apply.
Stacy Mouat has done an incredible job organizing our truancy documentation and streamlining our processes around attendance. This is her last month with us and we thank her for her great contribution to Woodland School District students, families, and staff. Stacy writes, “I would like to say I have thoroughly enjoyed my time working for the Woodland School District and helping improve the overall attendance and communication within the district ~ as well as improve the perception of truancy. I have loved getting to know the families in our community and will hold fond memories of the impact my position allowed me to make in the lives of our families. I appreciate the opportunity you provided me and leave this position with a full, as well as sad heart, as I look ahead to new adventures in Richland, WA. With deep gratitude ~ thank-you!”
Our Multi-District Selection Team (MDST) has identified students as highly capable for the 2021-22 school year. We are also going through the appeal process for some students who were not identified for the program. The decision for highly capable designation is made using multiple factors including, but not limited to, state and classroom assessments, parent/teacher recommendation(s), and CogAT cognitive screener. The MDST will consider each student’s appeal individually and follow up with families accordingly.
At Woodland Middle School, Mr. Jud says he is so glad to have the students back! WMS Lego Robotics students have just finished their programming projects where they created a LEGO robot that could climb over a mountain of books and deliver a payload via catapult. Now the WMS Robotics class is working on a roller coaster design challenge using the video game “Minecraft” as well as learning about 3-D printing and creating vinyl sticker designs.
K-4 schools have recently completed their end-of-the-year diagnostic testing and have been busy looking at the resulting data to make instructional decisions for the summer school program as well as next year. Students have worked very hard and shown growth despite the extremely challenging situations they have endured during this school year. Programs will be finishing the year with awards celebrating the hard work, tenacity, and growth of students.
This month we will have the results of our request for reimbursement for the costs associated with serving our students with the greatest needs. This is what OSPI calls Safety Net for special education. OSPI will host the Safety Net awards meeting virtually on June 16 and 17, 2021.
We are busy setting up for WMS Trojan Summer Camp. For this time of summer school, we are building academic games and activities to boost conceptual understanding, basic skills, and practice. We are excited to offer the following: