Learning Supports and Alternatives

To: Michael Green

From: Jake Hall

Date: 11.20.19

Re: November 2019 Board Report

Family and Community Resource Center

This month is characterized as a time of community generosity and gearing up for the holidays!  Here are some of our documentation and accounting of resources so far:

  • Clark County Fire & Rescue’s Coat Drive November 16, 2019 brought in 67 new winter coats for our students.
  • Assistance League of Southwest Washington purchased and donated 36+ pairs of new shoes and 13 bags of coats, sweatshirts, and hygiene kits for our elementary schools to distribute to students in need.
  • We provided bags of school clothes for 12 students and food bags/cases of water for 4 families.
  • Rotary and “Shop with a Cop” lists for Christmas Giving have been meticulously completed by Jody Brentin, and our wonderful staff are now working with these families on their Wish Lists.
  • Our training tool regarding identifying and supporting students experiencing homelessness (McKinney-Vento) is ready and will be implemented district-wide for all staff.

Highly Capable Program

The Highly Capable program at Woodland Middle School just finished up their search for the “Tardigrade”, one of the toughest creatures on the planet.  This microscopic creature can survive the extremes of space! The Tardigrade unit had students learning to use microscopes, collect samples and make wet slides.  Ultimately, the class was excited to find at least three of these creatures! 

Next, the WMS Hi-C class is going to be researching and designing cars that will be powered solely by a... mousetrap.  This hands-on partnership will incorporate engineering and design, helping to develop problem-solving and higher level thinking skills. The engineering design model they use emphasizes that all ideas can be improved.  Mr. Jud is looking forward to seeing what unique designs the students create.

K-12 Attendance

In addition to her work managing truancy and attendance efforts in Woodland School District, Stacy Mouat has successfully organized and facilitated CHOICES, a dropout prevention workshop.  The CHOICES workshop is for all 8th graders and is the result of a partnership encouraged by Stacy Mouat between Fibre Federal Credit Union and Woodland Middle School.

Stacy attended the statewide Attendance (BECCA) conference in Ellensburg this past month. The main topic of discussion at the conference was that the court system is phasing out “detention” as a punishment of truant students by 2023.  Focus groups are working on alternatives, including providing more funds for mental health, school communities helping with the growing number of mental health issues that students are facing, and problem solving alternative measures to help support the challenges schools face with getting students to school, as OSPI and lawmakers realize truancy is a systematic problem with underlying complexities from family issues.  There were no surprises at the BECCA conference for Stacy, and it was encouraging to know that Woodland is moving in the right direction of addressing issues underlying truancy, not merely focusing on the symptom of non-attendance.  

Stacy continues to hold truancy conferences with families and notify them of school district policy.  As we are now in year three of major changes in our procedures, accounting, and messaging regarding truancy, the vast majority of families are demonstrating they understand and are receptive to the changes.  Automated, individualized bi-monthly attendance emails continue to go home for all students, notifying families of their child’s attendance record. 

Finally, it is worth noting that we have a new Truancy Project case manager through the ESD 112, Nathan Abbott.  Stacy is working closely with Nathan to help ensure our most at-risk students have resources and strategies to attend school in hopes of keeping them out of the truancy court system. 

K-12 Health Services

Health staff are very busy caring for students daily for minor and major injuries/illnesses and implementing health plans for students who are being diagnosed with various health conditions.

The mandatory districtwide immunization report has been completed and reported to the Department of Health on November 8, 2019, a full month before the due date!  I am pleased to report that we have a very small number of students who are “conditional status” for immunization. The Nursing staff know who those students are and have been working with the families to keep them moving through the lengthy (up to two years) immunization process. 

State mandated hearing and vision screening (to include re-screening) is now complete districtwide. Channtel will continue to complete initial screening for new students, or students referred by staff, but not in the state mandated screening grades. The Nursing staff has been working with families of students who failed the vision screening to ensure children are being seen by an optometrist/ophthalmologist.  Also, our district SLPs are working with the families of students who failed the hearing screening to obtain consent for those students to be seen by an audiologist through our audiology support and partnership with ESD 112.

LAP Program

LAP services are continuing to move forward, and we are seeing success with our students improving in their reading skill/fluency acquisition. We are continually monitoring students progress, informing families and regrouping students when the data suggests a change needs to be made. We are open with our communication with families and have found that families appreciate our clarity about the level/s their child/ren is/are currently performing in terms of reading. We want our families to know how we are helping at school and what they can do to help at home.

Lewis River Academy

At LRA, our teachers are focused on helping our students meet their progress goals each month utilizing individually scheduled tutoring time as well as Wednesday group workshops.  This model for instruction is proving to be successful, and we are seeing the fruits of their efforts, amongst the students who are coming in regularly to participate.   

We recently began a new leadership program that is incorporating all our students, emphasizing positive character traits.  This should be a great way to integrate strong life skills for our student body while also creating cohesiveness and unity among our students and families. 

TEAM High School

On Friday, November 15, 2019, members of our TEAM and LRA staff attended our Fall 2019 Regional Alternative Learning Experiences workshop.  We are encouraged to report that we are keeping the guidelines from OSPI, both current and proposed new rules regarding attendance. I was proud of our TEAM and LRA staff being shown as examples for our intake process, Written Student Learning Plan (WSLP) practices/documentation, and truancy work with students.  

In January 2020, we are planning to submit the application for TEAM to be considered a “Multidistrict” Alternative Learning Experience school so that we can have more than 10% of our students as Choice Transfers.  Also, I am a member of the Alternative Learning Experience Advisory committee, representing administrators with OSPI in proposed rule-making work; our next meeting is today, November 20, 2019. I am impressed with OSPI’s willingness to listen and partner with districts, and I’m grateful to be a part of it!

Title Programs

Woodland Middle School, our school with Title funding, just held their annual Title Parent Meeting:  Donuts & Discussion. In this meeting Tara Eilts shared information about Woodland Middle School’s Title Reading Intervention Program.  Many parents stayed after the meeting to discuss their individual questions, comments, or just to connect with WMS Staff. Several parents gave written feedback on the Parent Involvement Plan as well.  Overall, it was a successful opportunity to connect with parents. For more detailed information and links about the event, see the Donuts & Discussion Agenda linked here.

Transitional Bilingual Intervention Program

Our Fall 2019 Parent-Teacher conferences were a success. Having a district translator this year, Esmeralda, along with our bilingual staff translating for our families, proved to be very helpful!  Scheduling conferences is a large task but the collaboration with our secretaries, teachers, ELL teachers, and principals works well; Fall 2019 was the most efficient yet. Thank you to all of our schools for their support in making sure our students and families with English as a Second Language were able to have translators for their conferences!   

Our ELL teachers continue focusing on the students' learning and communicating with their colleagues about strategies in how to support our ELL students. Teachers have also implemented ELPA21 (state assessment) reviews into their lessons to make sure our students succeed taking the test in the Spring of 2020. We have an amazing team of caring and passionate ELL staff!

Maribel Ramirez and Jody Brentin continue to work on the ELL monthly reports and the cleaning of the ELL files to be in compliance. Jody has taken this challenge graciously and is supporting Maribel so she can learn how to do the reports correctly.    

Esmeralda Franco and Maribel Ramirez continue assisting our ELL families.  At the moment, they are working on making phone calls to our families for the Rotary Giving Christmas Tree as well as Shop With a Cop.. 

Our ELL students continue participating in sports and other activities. We are so proud of these students for using their bilingual skills to support their peers and community.  About six students will participate in Shop With a Cop. At the high school, our students support our newcomers by giving them a tour of the school and sitting with them during breakfast and lunch. What we see happening is our students sharing their experience with the new students and inviting them to reach out to others in case they need help. WE ARE SO PROUD! 

Having Carlotta at the high school has worked well. She has great ideas on how to improve our ELL program. Collaborating with the counselors and teachers will help to accomplish our goal of our ELL students graduating ready for Career, Life and College.   

Special Services

November is the Special Education Federal count month.  Our Special Education Federal count for this month is 353 students.  Woodland School District has been experiencing record numbers of students with disabilities across the system.  In particular, we are up to 15 students in our 0-3 age group attending at Progress Center in Longview and Clark County ESD 112.  We are grateful for the hardworking, talented, caring staff supporting our students with disabilities and their families in Woodland School District!