Learning Supports and Alternatives Report

To: Michael Green

From: Jake Hall

Date: 10.22.20

Re: October 2020 Board Report

ELL/State Transitional Bilingual Intervention Program and Translation Services

Here is a link to the request for board approval and our annual report for our ELL and STBIP program in Woodland School District

I would like to welcome Darcy Soto, Columbia and North Fork Assistant Principal, to oversee the Title III/TBIP and Translation Services! Darcy has a background as a Language teacher and will be able to work closely with the elementary schools with ELL. We have been busy in ELL in Woodland School District this August, September and October, as outlined here:

  • Kindergarten registrations:  We have welcomed about 25 new students/families to our newcomer program.
  • Translations: Esmeralda and Maribel have been teaming up with Eric to make sure robocalls go out to our ELL families. These robocalls include updated information about our new school year and meals. Moving forward, we are in the process of building a “Standard Operating Procedure” for all staff to be able to use to receive translation services.
  • Parent-teacher conferences: We made it! This is a collaborative effort with all staff from each building (more than 100 families). Kim Gustainis contacted the interpreters needed to assist our ELL families. 
  • ELPA 21: First of all, I'm so proud of your teachers for making sure ALL our ELs took the ELPA 21 before the school closure. Not everyone finished their test but OSPI reassured us there are no penalties for that. 12 students successfully passed the ELPA21! (2019-2020). The past three years our high school had zero students passing the ELPA21...this year we had 5.    
  • ELL team: We are sad to see Kim Bearden leave CE but happy for her new adventure. Kim you will be missed!!!! 

Family and Community Resource Center

Our socially-distanced Back to School Bash on August 22nd was a success! We distributed over 460 backpacks full of school supplies to students of all ages in a contactless, curbside pick-up. IQ Credit Union, Fibre Federal, & Red Canoe partnered with us for grants and donations totalling $6058, with another $1000 donation from local churches, which fully funded the “Back to School (Drive Thru) Bash” this year. 

We are in our 2nd year of our 3-year Federal McKinney-Vento grant, and we were awarded two new grants this last Spring. One is a 1-year grant from the Community Foundation for increased Mental Health services at school (as well as FCRC staff hours) for $25,000. The other is a 2-year grant from Washington State Homeless Student Stability Education Program for $30,000, for staffing translation hours at the FCRC. 

Currently, we are focusing our work on the following:

  • Reporting, updating, and renewing our ongoing grants for this year
  • Verifying 2019-20 school year’s McKinney-Vento families for updates and requalification
  • Helping families navigate the eviction moratorium (lasts until December 31st), and access ever-changing community resources for rent, utility, internet, childcare, medical insurance, and clothing assistance
  • Waiting on Chromebooks and hotspots for our homeless families in need of these
  • Giving out vouchers for school clothes at the Woodland Action Thrift Store

Highly Capable Program

Thank you for approving our annual Hi-C program plan at the Board Meeting 9.23.20. Our Hi-C teachers, Denise Pearl, and I attended the Washington Association Education of Talented and Gifted (WAETAG) “virtual” conference October 15-17, 2020. We are continuing to implement Hi-C education during Remote Learning. 

Truancy / Attendance

Currently, the Woodland School District still has 30 students on truancy petition "watch" status, 20 students in the Truancy Project under case management, and 2 in the court stage. However, our emphasis regarding attendance and truancy is to take a positive approach this year, to help remove barriers to student engagement rather than take punitive measures for non-attendance during this time of distance learning due to the pandemic. 

Through 10.4.20 all absences were marked as "non-truancy" absences per guidance from OSPI.  The shift of the truancy program during this Covid distance learning time is one of intervention and barrier removing rather than punitive. Since this has always been the focus of the Woodland School District truancy program, I have been working with all the schools to reach out to families to help identify barriers to attendance and participation remotely and helping in removing those barriers, especially identifying those students who we have not heard from.  

For the 2020/2021 school year, particularly during this distance learning transition, truancy petitions will only be filed on those students who absolutely refuse to engage in their education, with every possible resource offered before that route is taken. As always, our goal in truancy is engagement and relationship building! 

Since the start of the new school year, Stacy Mouat has updated all her files and dismissed a number of petitions, at least 10 of the petitions she was able to dismiss were of students who graduated from either WHS or TEAM HS.  It is always a joy to be able to dismiss truancy petitions because students have graduated! As an example, one of the students who was on a truancy petition previously, moved over to TEAM with no credits midway through freshman year and ended up graduating a year early!  

Nurse Services

Both of the nurse positions, one at Columbia Elementary and one at North Fork Elementary, are currently on Leave of Absence. However, because of the efficient and effective work of our district nurse, Kerri Six, and our WMS nurse, Sherri Music, we have been able to keep up so far with all of the paperwork regarding immunizations, care plans, staff training, and setting up health rooms.

LAP Program

September has gotten off to a busy start for the Columbia and North Fork LAP teams. The schools spent two days prepping and planning for the administration of the Acadience, the reading assessment and progress monitoring assessment we use in Woodland.  The assessment was given to our kindergarten through 2nd grade students during our fall conferences, which occurred during the first three days of school. Although not all students made it in, we were able to assess most of our K-2 students. We had a successful three days of assessing and have entered and finalized the data. After careful review of our data, we have created a plan for meeting with students virtually and are beginning to solidify plans for when we are able to meet with students in person. While we are meeting virtually, we have scheduled daily support sessions for our students most in need, and will add more as we are able.  When we move to in-person school, we will finish assessing the rest of our students and begin LAP interventions with identified students.

Student progress is monitored every two weeks using Acadience.  Adjustments will be made to their program when we see students not progressing or lack of growth.  LAP letters with specific information about the programs were sent home to families in September.  Staff are monitoring these programs regularly and look forward to seeing our students become strong readers.

Alternative Learning Program -- Lewis River Academy and TEAM High School

In August 2020, LRA more than tripled and TEAM more than doubled in enrollment. We are grateful that both schools have earned “multi-district” status from OSPI so we are not limited in enrollment of students from outside of our district. We are also thankful for the support of our Superintendent, our Business Office and our “Brick and Mortar” building Principals for working together to shift teachers and staff to LRA and TEAM.

We are so pleased to be able to support more than 300 students and their families, and we look forward to getting to know them and helping them along this new educational path. The staff looks forward to the day we are able to see all these new faces in person, but until then we are making this all work with new technology and collaboration.

A Superintendent of another school district wrote to us recently as they are looking to improve their Alternative Learning Experience (ALE) program. Here is part of what they wrote: “I contacted Nicole Gonzalez at the State ALE office and started the process. She gave me your email and shared that I should ask for any support you could give. Nicole explained that your application set the standard.” I am so proud to get to be associated with Lewis River Academy and TEAM High School! 

Title Programs

Our Title 1 program at Woodland Middle School is doing the following things to support students during Remote Learning:

  • T3 Reading intervention classes for grades 5-8
  • T2 Reading intervention classes for grades 7/8 (grades 5/6 have 2 periods of CORE ELA to support T2 students)
  • Para support for reading intervention classes (some run breakout rooms, some observe targeted students for follow up with teacher and student in their afternoon meets)
  • Weekly Para afternoon meets for reading practice, 1-1 assessments, and assignment help with all T3 students and T2 students in grades 7/8.
  • Teacher open office hours bi-weekly to give additional support to targeted students
  • Assessment:  Acadience testing done this fall for all T3 and new students in grades 5/6 
  • Targeted attendance support from Angela/Jamie/Gena/Amanda 
  • Personal parent email/phone calls to partner around attendance, technology, classwork, etc.
  • Coffee & Conversation:  Invite all reading intervention students to "Coffee & Conversation"  
    • Still working on the agenda for this, but here is the invite link 

Special Services

Our Special Services Secretary, Michelle McLaughlin, spent the first few weeks of being back to work in August updating all of the caseloads and Skyward, as well as creating individual school reports, which show where the students are attending and what services are being provided.  New case manager assignments were made for both students and staff.  The majority of these changes from one school to another alternative program is due to Covid-19 and families utilizing alternative options for safety and health reasons.  

Currently, our projected count for Special Education is 334.  We anticipate this number to rise as specialists complete initial evaluations that were postponed due to the pandemic. Our Special Education team is learning new ways to be more efficient and successful in the distant learning environment, and we have been able to continue with assessment and evaluations, goal tracking, IEP meetings, and school team meetings even though we are working remotely. We are finding new ways to serve students more effectively and efficiently. Also, some of our students are actually thriving in the remote learning setting, begging us to let them continue in it as they are progressing in their IEP academic and behavioral goals.