Learning Supports and Alternatives
To: Michael Green
From: Jake Hall
Re: September 2017 Board Report
This has been an exciting summer for me as I get to know more about each of the district programs I am overseeing. I am grateful for the WSD administrators who have preceded me in each of these programs; they're great, effective, sustainable work is clear to me. Each program is well-designed and implemented with a great culture of “can do” and shared leadership!
To do these board reports I have asked a point person from each program to provide me with a brief narrative of their recent and/or upcoming work each month for the board report. While I put the final board report together and make sure it is endorsed by me, it could not have been created -- or as contextual/useful -- without their help! I’d like to recognize these point people and the WSD program they liaison with me:
- Special Services -- Michelle McLoughlin
- LAP Program -- Malinda Huddleston
- Title Program -- Tara Eilts
- English Language Learners, Bilingual Program -- Carlotta Propersi
- Family and Community Resource Center -- Leslie Mohlman
- K-12 Attendance -- Stacy Mouat
- Transitional Bilingual Intervention Program -- Milagros Wells
- Lewis River Academy -- Sherri Franke
- TEAM High School -- Mary Burnett
- Highly Capable Program -- Britt Jud
- K-12 Nurse Services -- Chantell Miller
The Special Services Department is starting off the year with 8 new specialists, all of which are highly qualified and ready to make a difference in Woodland School District. From this time last year, we are up by 39 students receiving Special Education services. We have an outstanding and diverse team of people striving to provide the best possible education to Woodland School District's growing student body. Together, we are working to make this an exciting new year of learning for all of us. I am so impressed with the amazing professionals Deb Kernen has brought to Woodland and helped give the space to grow. This department is TOP NOTCH!! I’ve enjoyed learning from the case managers, school psychologists, and specialists in each building during routine meetings.
LAP funds our K-4 Literacy, Math and Behavior Interventions. We are aiming our focus on literacy based on our 2017 Spring and Fall data. Students have completed a literacy and math screener (iReady and DIBELS) to indicate the need for interventions where we focus on foundational skills. The interventions are set to begin this week and progress will be monitored, evaluated and discussed every two weeks to ensure the student's positive Response To Intervention. I have been so impressed with the teamwork and professionalism from Malinda and the LAP team. Deb Kernen has cultivated the strengths of people and empowered them to do great things in this area.
The WMS Title Department is busy during August and Early Sept. Tara Eilts, Title Coordinator, teamed with staff to develop an extensive data sheet which includes all WMS students and their most recent assessment data (SBA, iReady, teacher feedback, behavior, DIBELS). Counselors use this data to help place students in appropriate classes during the CORE/Elective blocks while the Data Team (consists of Tara and 5 certified teacher representatives) uses this data to place students appropriately for the extension block. The data team met for 4 days in August for an intense process of looking at student data in order to meet student needs. Another important component of Title support is paraprofessionals. They work closely with certified staff to work with students during CORE and extension classes. We have done professional development and a lot of collaboration to make the most of the para-teacher partnership. The third component of Title Support is the curriculum. Teachers have collaborated around their student data and standards to identify and purchase intervention curriculum for below level Math and ELA classes. The Title department is supporting student learning through assessment data, collaboration, para support and curriculum resources. I have been fortunate to work with this team these previous two years and I have confidence in Tara’s leadership and the team at WMS.
English Language Learners/Bilingual Program
This month the ELL/Bilingual Program rolled out for the first time the “ELPA21 screener”, a new test to see if students qualify for the program. The ELPA21 screener is very exciting because it is all done online, which means that 30 bilingual kindergartners took a speaking, reading, listening and writing test on the computer. This year our numbers are growing. We have been fortunate to have hired some new, exceptional staff into this program: Pam Dietrich at the Middle School, Maribel Ramirez and Kelly Maxine at the High School.
Family and Community Resource Center
Leslie Mohlman meets with me weekly. Please see the board report she has prepared.
Stacy Mouat, WSD Truancy Specialist, has started conducting “2 unexcused absence” meetings at each school and putting students on absence agreements, per the BECCA law. She has been keeping me up to date on all the current guidelines around attendance, including updates to guidelines, and I am grateful that she will be attending the statewide BECCA conference October 5th and 6th in Olympia to learn more. The beginning of the year has been off to a good start, especially with September being Attendance Awareness month. Stacy’s main efforts have been threefold: 1. Learn about positive ways to increase attendance, 2. Help design a system to provide more accountability with attendance and 3. Make sure Woodland students and staff are following attendance guidelines.
Transitional Bilingual Intervention Program
The TBIP staff has been working very hard to translate any documents going out from WPS, WIS, WMS and WHS as well as assist with back to school events (Drop in Drop off / Open House, Lunch and Lockers, Back To School Bash, etc. They have worked with KWRL on registering over 100 families using the new system and they have done a fantastic job helping families with all the registration paperwork. In early September Milagros continued the English classes for our parents with an attendance of over 40 parents in our first class. As a partner with our preschools (Head Start and ESD), Milagros is planning a new parenting class which will begin next month.
Lewis River Academy
I am excited to announce that enrollment is up at LRA! Even with the departure of quite a few students at the end of last year (several graduated back to the traditional classroom or moved away from the area), we currently have 56 students. Nearly half of LRA is new this school year: 16 brand new students in the K-5 program, 5 in middle school and 3 newly enrolled in our high school. LRA kicked off the year with an ice cream social in August where families mingled, shared homeschooling experiences and picked up instructional materials. I enjoyed meeting with the families and having some ice cream! Students are now settling into the new routine and responsibility of online learning with onsite learning labs and tutoring Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday each week. I also want to mention that the LRA team puts together a weekly newsletter that is absolutely over the top awesome!
TEAM High School
After graduating 25 students last year (which was about double from the year prior), TEAM High started the year with 79 students. Within two weeks, that number approached 90 students, 30 of whom are brand new to TEAM this year. The TEAM staff has been busy making sure that every senior this year has a graduation plan. They have been contacting senior parents to make sure the families are involved with decisions regarding graduation and classes for each senior. We have a goal of continually increasing the number of graduates each year. I have enjoyed learning from Dan as he meets with incoming TEAM High School students; he has built a sustainable, highly functional program!
Highly Capable Program
The Highly Capable Program is off to a great start. I continue to be impressed with the great opportunities students are having in Britt Jud’s class in Woodland Middle School. I met with Britt earlier this week to find ways to support more opportunities for his students. In the coming months, I will be working with our teachers and administrators to put a plan in place for identifying and serving more students in Woodland’s Highly Capable Program.
K-12 Nurse Services
Starting in the middle of August Channtell Milled, WSD School Nurse, has called all the families of students who require medication at school (EpiPens, inhalers, etc.). Channtell does this to ensure we start school with the proper medications/physician orders in the buildings. She has been working on health care plans, updating them as needed and adding new plans as we learn of new health issues.
She and her team also completed all hearing/vision screens the second week of school. The beginning of school is the perfect time to complete screenings for several reasons. First, there are fewer absent students. Second, there are less illnesses which can give a false fail on hearing screens. Third and most important we have immediately identified students that can't hear/see which we all know can affect classroom performance and grades. Channtell and her team are now working on making sure all student immunizations are up to date and will be sending out letters to families alerting them to provide this health documentation if needed. Channtell and her team do a marvelous job keeping WSD students up to date with healthcare at school.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve Woodland School District in each of these programs. I am learning a lot each day and finding more and more awesome things about what Woodland School District provides for students. Most of all, I’m amazed by the talented, caring and hardworking staff in each of these programs. Working with this staff and learning from them is a daily blessing for me. Woodland kids are fortunate to have them in their lives!!