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News Releases
Regular attendance is vital to the performance of students in all grades
Regular attendance is vital to the performance of students in all grades
Woodland Public Schools helps parents and students prepare for the start of the new school year on Tuesday, August 28 (Photo) - 08/13/18

Monday, August 13, 2018-Woodland, WA-

With the first day of school rapidly approaching on Tuesday, August 28, Woodland Public Schools offers the following resources and tips for parents and students to get a jump start on preparing for the new school year.


Stay up-to-date with Woodland Public Schools’ new smartphone app and website

Over the summer, Woodland Public Schools launched a new website and accompanying smartphone app to help parents, students and community members stay up-to-date with information delivered directly to their smartphones from a single app.

The app provides dining menus, event calendars, real-time updates on sports scores, school documents and a live feed similar to social networks populated entirely by information from school staff, teachers and even students. Teachers are working on projects involving the app such as student newspapers posted directly to the feed along with student work posted in galleries.

The free app, which is available for both Google Android and Apple iOS smartphones, also sends emergency notifications directly to app users.

The Google Android version can be downloaded for free from the Google Play store here: https://goo.gl/eAfB3o. The Apple iOS version can be downloaded for free from the Apple iTunes store here: https://goo.gl/3w7sQX. Links are also available on each school’s website homepage.


The Importance of Good Attendance

Parents and guardians should remember that good attendance leads to good student performance. Poor attendance affects students at every age, from kindergarten through high school, potentially causing them to remain behind academically for their entire school career.

Chronic absenteeism is defined as a student who misses 18 days of school in a single school year, including both excused and unexcused absences. "Missing only 10% of school days, just two days every couple of weeks for a total of 18 throughout the year, makes it harder for younger students, in particular, to learn basic skills like mathematics and reading," said Stacy Mouat, Truancy Specialist for Woodland Public Schools. "By sixth grade, absenteeism is a leading sign that a student may drop out of high school."

Below is a list of tips on creating a consistent schedule for your student and other helpful advice for keeping kids interested in school:

  • Talk about school in a positive way. Share fun stories about your own past experiences with school, teachers, and staff with your kids.
     
  • Start early. Begin a more routine and structured schedule the week before the first school day. Children thrive when they know what to expect with fewer adjustments at one time.
     
  • Visit the school during Drop In/Open House. Open Houses really ease anxiety for both children and adults by making the school environment familiar and introducing students to their teachers.
     
  • Demonstrate your confidence in your student. Assure your child that you are confident they will become an amazing student, and that they are ready to handle the independence that comes with attending school. If you believe in them and they know it, they will be confident and secure in no time!
     
  • Make sure your students get plenty of sleep. Sleepy kids have much less ability to handle new or stressful situations. The importance of getting enough sleep cannot be overstated.
     
  • Eat breakfast and lunch. Balanced nutrition really sets children up with the stamina needed for a full school day. A healthy breakfast and a nutritious lunch make a significant difference for young learners.
     
  • Remember to relax. Make the first morning of school low-key and positive. Setting the tone right from the morning will help students remain calm and collected for the entire day.
     
  • Model confident and positive behaviors. As the adult, you can model confidence and a positive attitude about the first school day. Although, it may be difficult and emotional for parents to separate from their child, children need to know you will be okay. Try not to cry in front of your child as they board the bus or when you drop them at school. Most tears from children on the first day of school are a result of the parents showing strong emotion. This is completely understandable, but do the best acting job you can! Separating quickly helps both parents and students stay calm and positive.
     
  • School staff are looking out for you and your students. The school will call you if there are any issues or if your child is really struggling. Woodland Public Schools have a fantastic team of teachers and staff who are ready and skilled at assisting children with their transition to school. Your young learner is truly loved and will be cared for during their time at school!

School Supply Lists

School supply lists for primary, intermediate and middle school students can be located in the Documents section of each school’s respective website accessible from the Menu dropdown. These supply lists are also available in the Documents section of the smartphone app.

Tips for Woodland High School Students

  • School Supplies. Supply lists are specific for each class. Students simply need a notebook and pencils on the first day of school. They will learn what other supplies they will need for their classes at that time.
     
  • Visit the Woodland High School website. The answers to many questions along with additional information including bell schedules are available from the high school’s website: https://www.woodlandschools.org/whs

Back-to-School Event Calendar

Saturday, August 18, 2018

The Back to School Bash is this Saturday, August 18 from 3-6 p.m. at Woodland High School located at 1500 Dike Access Road with free backpacks and school supplies for all students as well as games, bounce houses, prizes and food. This event is possible thanks to the generous donations made by Woodland Public Schools with sponsorship from local churches and communities.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

The Woodland Intermediate School’s Lunch Buddy program holds two sessions of new mentor training on Tuesday, August 21 from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in portable #7 at Woodland Primary School. Volunteers can register by contacting John Christopherson, the volunteer Lunch Buddy coordinator at (360) 431-6455 or via email at istopherson52@gmail.com">johnchristopherson52@gmail.com

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Woodland Primary School’s Open House will be held on Wednesday, August 22 from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Woodland High School’s Freshman and New Student Orientation is Thursday, August 23 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Woodland Middle School’s Lunch and Lockers event is Friday, August 24 from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. The annual event invites students and their families to enjoy a free lunch, tour the school, meet homeroom teachers and practice locker combinations as well as decorate their lockers any time during this two-hour event.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Woodland Intermediate School’s Open House / Drop-In Drop-Off will be held on Monday, August 27 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

August 28 is the first day of school for all students grades 1-12. Kindergarten students do not start school until Tuesday, September 4, however parents will bring their students to meet with teachers at scheduled appointments during the week of August 27-31.


Community Resources for Families and Students

  • School supply assistance. With the cost of school supplies increasing, Woodland Public Schools’ Family Community Resource Center (FCRC) wants to ensure every incoming student has a backpack and school supplies. “Having the correct school supplies has a profound impact on our students’ and their learning experience,” said Leslie Mohlman, Community, Family, Student Resource Coordinator. “We encourage parents to contact us with any needs they may have for their students.” Families who need assistance providing school supplies for their students can contact the FCRC at (360) 841-2718.
     
  • Low-cost Internet service. Local Internet Service Providers provide low-cost packages for families who qualify for the free or reduced-cost meal program:
    • Comcast offers Internet Essentials for families at $9.95 per month plus tax along with laptop or desktop computers available for $149.99. More information is available by calling (855) 832-9548 or from www.internetessentials.com.
    • CenturyLink offers Internet Basics for households who qualify beginning at $9.95 a month plus taxes and fees with iPad Mini 2s available for $150. More information is available by calling (866) 541-3330 or from www.centurylink.com/home/internetbasics
       
  • Use the Parent Toolkit. The Parent Tookit is a one-stop website and mobile app providing tips and advice on how to support a child’s development through every stage of life, both in and out of the classroom. Offered in both English and Spanish, parents can get more information and support specifically for Back to School by visiting https://goo.gl/kaGNoN
     
  • Where to find more information and assistance. Lists of providers and information of how to obtain free and low-cost resources of all kinds can also be found from the Community Resources webpage on the Woodland Public Schools website: https://www.woodlandschools.org/fcrc  

Stay up-to-date with your Woodland schools!

Parents and students needing additional information can visit the district’s website at www.woodlandschools.org or download the Woodland Public Schools’ smartphone app using the links listed earlier in the article or by searching for Woodland Public Schools on the Google Play and Apple iTunes app stores.

In order to stay up-to-date on the latest news events at Woodland Public Schools, follow the district’s Facebook page at www.fb.com/WoodlandPS, follow the district’s Twitter account at www.twitter.com/WoodlandPS, sign up for weekly feature stories from Woodland Schools Weekly at https://goo.gl/4pVZ91, and receive district news alerts from Flash Alert at https://goo.gl/GAUtDx.

The entire staff of Woodland Public Schools looks forward to an exciting year and can’t wait to welcome the return of our students for the 2018-19 school year on Tuesday, August 28!

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WHS-Summer-School-2018-2.jpg
WHS-Summer-School-2018-2.jpg
Woodland Public Schools' staff attend institutes, professional development opportunities, volunteer and prepare for new school year (Photo) - 08/06/18

Monday, August 6, 2018-Woodland, WA-While students enjoy their summer vacations, many school teachers and staff spend their summers developing their teaching skills through professional development opportunities, helping out in their communities, offering students opportunities to make up class credits and preparing for an upcoming exciting school year.

  • Team members from Woodland Primary School attended a special biliteracy institute to prepare for the launch of the school’s Dual Language program this fall.
  • Shari Conditt, a teacher at Woodland High School, worked with the Supreme Court in Washington D.C. after being accepted to a special institute for high school civics teachers.
  • Josh Furlong, a paraeducator at Woodland Intermediate School, volunteered as an intern to offer mental health services to people in need in Longview.
  • Keith Clevenger, a math and science teacher at Woodland High School, spent his fourth consecutive summer teaching summer school in order to give students the opportunity to make up failing grades from the past year.

Woodland Primary School’s Building Dual Language team attended an institute to help prepare for the dual language program’s introduction

Ingrid Colvard, Woodland Primary School’s principal; Pat Jones, the school’s instructional coach; kindergarten teachers Jill Thoeny and Anahisse Hodge; and first grade teachers Maria Rodriguez and Lyndal Mezes attended the Teaching for Biliteracy Institute for three days to prepare for the school’s dual language program introduction this fall.

The entire team greatly enjoyed the program and learned a lot to get ready for the new school year. “While the kindergarten teachers will be the only dual language teachers for the 2018-19 school year, the entire team is engaged in planning the instruction,” explained Ingrid. “The training program was incredibly comprehensive, offering specific strategies for developing bilingualism and bilteracy in students.”

The program included lessons on how to plan instruction as well as how to design a general classroom setting for the most effective student learning. “We all agreed this experience was absolutely invaluable,” said Ingrid. “It was truly one of the best professional development opportunities we have ever engaged in.”

Shari Conditt (WHS) worked with Supreme Court Justices during the Supreme Court Institute in Washington D.C.

Shari Conditt, a Social Studies and Government teacher for Woodland High School, worked with the United States Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. after being accepted into the Supreme Court Institute, an organization that seeks to enrich civics teachers’ knowledge of government operations with intensive first-hand experience at the Supreme Court over a six-day seminar. The incredibly competitive program only accepts 60 teachers each year.

In order to be accepted, Shari submitted a detailed application to the program and still doesn’t quite know what made her stand out. “I think I’m just lucky,” she explained. “I do believe that my passion for teaching civics and civic engagement came through in my application – I love my work and feel a large sense of responsibility to my students, their families and our community to ensure our youth are ready and prepared to engage fully as citizens in our democratic society.”

The Institute offered opportunities for Shari and her colleagues to develop deeper knowledge of the court’s operation, how cases are processed and the role of major players including meeting justices, advocates (court attorneys) from both sides of different past cases as well as Nina Totenberg, for Political Correspondent for National Public Radio (NPR). “Meeting Ms. Totenberg was the highlight of the trip; it as if George Clooney had just walked into the room” said Shari. “As the correspondent covering the Supreme Court for NPR since the 1970s, she has to select her language carefully when she reports to eliminate legal terms and avoid the implication of any bias.”

Shari also highlighted meeting with Justice Samuel Alito who met with the attendees for more than an hour to discuss cases. “He explained how he’s frustrated with people making assertions – the assumption that their view is correct – without having debate with their fellow citizens,” said Shari. “I teach my government students all the time the importance of arguing and debating our opinions, not simply providing assertions something is right or wrong.”

Over the course of the institute, attendees regularly worked directly in the Supreme Court building, performing moot court cases and speaking with lawyers who argued the actual cases. “When presenting your argument to the justices, you only receive a courtesy 30-second time period before judges can, and do, regularly interrupt you,” Shari learned. “Your hope is to make two strong points and that’s it before you need to be prepared to answer questions.”

Shari greatly enjoyed her entire experience. “The program was started by Chief Justice John Roberts when he was still an attorney as he thought a program like this would be incredibly valuable,” she said. “Being able to have this sort of experience makes me more confident when I guide my students through these activities – seeing the process first-hand makes me a more authentic teacher.”

Shari seeks out professional development opportunities to take part in each year. “Learning experiences like these directly impact my students in the form of professional learning on my part,” explained Shari. “I’m already looking for what I’m going to do next summer.”

Josh Furlong (WIS) provided mental health counseling to people in need during an internship at Core Health

Josh Furlong, a paraeducator at Woodland Intermediate School, spent his working with Core Health providing mental health services in Longview. His internship is part of the requirements to earn a master’s degree in social work from Arizona State University. “This summer has been the most exciting time for my program so far as I’ve been performing mental health counseling as an intern at Core Health by providing services to children, families and homeless individuals,” he said. “My internship has provided me with great field experience as I continue to further my social work skills.”

Josh connected with Core Health after contacting the Community House in Longview. “My mission is to apply evidence-based therapy to help clients reach their greatest outcome in the short amount of time I get to work with them,” he explained. “Since I knew the Community House of Longview has a significant need for professionals, I reached out to them and they informed me of Core Health where I’ve been performing my internship.”

Working with homeless children and their families provided valuable insights for Josh. “Understanding the various traumatic circumstances some children in our communities have to endure on a daily basis has enhanced my compassion for children,” he said. “The experience has given me a greater ability to empathize with students when they show symptoms of shutting down, maladaptive behaviors needing changing or transitions in their schedules.”

Josh decided to work with special needs children due to his love for kids. “I was a teacher aide for my school’s special education teacher when I attended high school,” he explained. “I felt my personality mixes well with the students and we have a lot of fun together – I don’t feel I chose my profession as much as my vocation chose me.”

Keith Clevenger (WHS) teaches summer school every year

Students who need to replace failing grades can perform credit recovery during the summer where attending class for three weeks from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day is equivalent to an entire credit. Keith Clevenger, a math and science teacher at Woodland High School, spends his summers helping students recover credits and learn skills and has taught each summer for the last four years as well as seven or eight summers of the past ten years.

Keith sees students’ dedication to their coursework increase during summer school. “Students are actually more attentive during the summer because their success lies entirely on their work and dedication,” he explained. “We find many students perform better when we make them entirely accountable for finishing their work in the focused approach summer school offers.”

The summer school program uses the APEX teaching curriculum, the same software used by students attending TEAM High School. “I modify the math curriculum to align with the high school’s own curriculum, selecting the specific sections we need to focus on and ensuring students work on the correct material in the correct order.” In just one of the two sessions offered this summer, 62 students recovered class credits. Out of the two three-week sessions, students recovered more than 100 credits.

In addition to paying more attention, Keith finds summer school to be more relaxed than the sometimes hectic grind of the regular school year. “I’m definitely more laid back during the summer because the students take summer school very seriously – they want to make sure they get the material done,” he explained. “After the first few days, the students typically feel more laidback than they do during the regular school year.”

Summer school offer Keith the opportunity to work more closely with his students. “I enjoy helping out the kids during the summer school sessions,” he said. “I really enjoy working with students and I love teaching – the only trick is my ‘honey-do’ list seems to get longer in the summer.” 

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