Dear Acorn Families,
It feels like spring; March is already a month of drought (by meteorologist standards); the ski slopes seem to be taking a break this year. Here at school we are following existing and new trends. March and April are typical months for state testing, and this year is no exception - with the exception of the tests themselves. WA State is part of the Smarter Balanced Consortium, which has developed tests that replace the state testing in grades 3-8 and high school. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn supports the new testing, which is more representative of the skills students need to be successful in out-of-school situations and environments, and which is more consistent with identical and similar assessments across the nation, so that state-mandated assessments are no longer state-dependent.
SMARTER BALANCED INFORMATION
Below are a few links to online Smarter Balanced information posted by OSPI. I hope you will find the information useful. Feel free to call the school with any questions you may have. Ms. Willa Corbus is our assessment coordinator; she will be more than happy to answer those questions. The school may also hold information meetings; we will keep you posted of the dates.
(Student-led) conferences take place in the week of March 23. Elementary appointments go through the classroom teacher; secondary appointments are scheduled by the students themselves., which is part of the ownership we want students to take of their own learning and pathway to graduation.
On March 27 our staff will be in a professional development workshop from noon - 6 PM. The main topic of the workshop is Grading Smarter; Not Harder. We will discuss research-based best grading practices and align our practices with what we collectively believe to be in the best interest for our students and their readiness for (college) careers, apprenticeships, etc.
NEW K-6 STAFF MEMBER
At the elementary level we welcome a new staff member: Ms. Judith Mosby. Ms. Mosby comes to our district with an emphasis in K-12 Education and Early Learning. Her endorsements include Early Learning Birth Pre-K, Special Education K-12, Elementary Education K-8, and Principal. Judith has recently worked for the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction as Washington State’s English and Language Arts Program Manager. The hiring of Ms. Mosby evidences the district's concerted efforts to meet the needs as laid out in our School Improvement Plan.
Spring sports practice
is well under way and is enjoying the mostly favorable weather conditions. Our game schedules are accessible through Schedule Star; click here
for high school and here
for middle school.
Good attendance contributes in a big way to a student's success in school; it is not just important for our student athletes' eligibility. I would say that good attendance makes students academically eligible. Please help your student be in school every day and arrive on time. Our instructional time is driven by our bell schedule; our teachers utilize that time with their students from bell to bell. Missing instructional time; time to do cooperative learning, critical thinking, learning by doing; all these opportunities are important in the scheme of how we teach accountability and responsibility.
This past week was Classified Staff Week; all of our Educational Aides and other support staff (kitchen; transportation; custodial) received much deserved accolades for the essential work they do to make our school district a safe and welcoming place to commune.
As always, please feel free to visit our schools when you can; we want you to feel part of our educational community. Volunteering is always an option! You can see either Ms. Anna Hoxie or Ms. Lesley Gillie, our respective secondary and elementary secretaries for the required volunteer paperwork.
In educational partnership,
Caspar van Haalen