Thu Oct 27 2022, 6:15pm
WHS Room 1204
Regular Meeting


Woodland Middle School Report

To: Michael Green

From: Russell Evans

Date: October 25, 2022

Re: WMS Board Report

At Woodland Middle School, we have been so excited to welcome back our Trojans to the 2022-23 school year. Our staff has been focused on building relationships with our students to work to support every aspect of their success at WMS. Coming out of the years of COVID, we are explicitly focused on raising the bar of our instruction while simultaneously working to ensure all of our students have the basic skills connected to be able to access grade-level and higher-level instruction. Across our campus, we also work to support our students on a social-emotional level through positive behavior supports, clubs, activities, athletics, and periodic check-ins (both in the classroom and by our counseling team). Our goal is for students to be "WINNING in the WOODS" by focusing on the domains of Academics, Athletics, and Attitude. 
We started the work towards these goals this past summer in advance of the school year, investing in our teachers. We sent 3 of our teachers to a 4-day workshop with Anita Archer on Explicit Instruction: Melyssa Johnson, Danielle Pzredwojewski, and Bhriana Torres. Bhriana Torres attended an additional two half-day training sessions on the reading curricula she is using, REWARDS Intermediate & REWARDS Secondary. We strive to support teachers in their professional growth journeys to implement best practices in every discipline.  
This year WMS hired 11 new certificated staff. Through the Beginning Educator Support Team (BEST) program, all have been working with a peer-to-peer mentor to help acclimate them to the hallmarks of WMS and be a support in their content areas.  Six of these new teachers are first-year teachers who work weekly with our Instructional Coach, Tara Eilts on instructional practices and other challenges or questions they may have. Tara also continues to work with our second-year teachers. Last week, Tara facilitated learning walks where all first through third-year teachers observed in 4-5 master teacher’s classrooms, reflecting on strategies, techniques, and systems that positively impact learning, establish strong classroom management and build relationships with students.
Tara has gone beyond working with our new teaching staff to also working with our special education and reading intervention teachers to assess and develop a cohesive instructional plan for our most struggling readers, many of whom are reading at or near a first-grade level. This entailed working with Malinda Huddleston to train teachers to do phoneme segmentation, nonsense word, and fluency reading assessments in order to identify needs and to be able to progress monitor students throughout the year to ensure growth. The next steps are to identify instructional groups, purchase appropriate curriculum and identify teacher/para resources to teach these groups. This scheduling challenge is significant at the middle school level, so we are putting our heads together to find a way!
As we are heading into conference week to update our families on the progress of their student(s), we are excited to connect and meet with our families to continue to partner for student success! We are also designing new avenues of engaging our families and community this school year to support our student's academic growth and social-emotional well-being. We are confident that all of our systems at WMS are focused on student success. Our Trojan staff works tirelessly for each individual student's personal level of success, while also ensuring that they have the best possible student experience during their middle school years. Thank you for your continued support of our Trojans, staff, and programs at WMS!