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News Releases
All-day kindergarten teacher Clare Person reviews the report cards that will go home with her Daybreak Primary School kindergartners.
All-day kindergarten teacher Clare Person reviews the report cards that will go home with her Daybreak Primary School kindergartners.
New K-4 Report Card Comes Home Next Week (Photo) - 01/29/15
When report cards come home next week in the backpacks of Battle Ground Public School's K-4 students, parents will notice not only a new look, but also a new scoring system. The district has created one report card for all K-4 students that shows how students are doing in the classroom on state learning standards and that is simple for parents to read.

This type of report card uses a method called standards based grading. Standards based grading means that grades mean the same thing from class to class and school to school, and that they measure a student's progress on known and established milestones--in this case, specific learning standards for each grade and successful learning habits--and not on a bell curve that compares students to how well their classmates are doing.

"Because it is aligned with the state's new learning standards, our report card is on the cutting edge of what is important for our students to learn to be successful in high school and beyond," said David Cresap, Battle Ground Public Schools' director of assessment.

Academic subjects
Academic subjects are graded on a 4-point scale. A grade of 3, or proficient, indicates that a student understands the content presented to this point in the year and is on track to move to the next level of learning. A grade of 4 reflects exemplary work that shows a considerable depth of knowledge for the grade level. A grade of 1 or 2 means that your student is not at grade level, and might need additional support to become proficient in the classroom material.

Our goal for students is to achieve a 3 in all subject areas. "A student who gets all 3s and no 4s is definitely on track to be career and college ready by high school graduation," Cresap said.

Simply put, the report card uses a scoring system that allows teachers to provide a more accurate report of what each student has learned. For example, a math learning standard for first grade is that the student can count to 120, starting at any number less than 120. A score of 3 or proficient on this learning standard would indicate the student can do this.

Habits for Successful Learners
In addition to grades on academic subjects, students will receive grades based on their demonstration of successful learning habits. Habits for Successful Learners are behaviors that impact a student's ability to learn. They are graded on a scale that includes "T" for typically demonstrated, "S" for sometimes demonstrated and "R" for rarely demonstrated.

Two-Semester Reporting
Parents will also notice that the new K-4 report card is split into two semesters. Grades for each semester provide a measure of how well your child understands the standards for that subject area at that point in the year. It is possible that a student's first-semester grade could go down at the end of the year. Comparing it to a 1-mile fitness run with an expectation of completing the run in 10 minutes, for example; a student could run the first half in under five minutes, but then slow down in the second half of the run and not meet the 10-minute expectation at the end of the run.

"We developed the report card to bring consistency across the district in how teachers report students' progress on learning standards," said Allison Tuchardt, Battle Ground Public Schools' assistant director of assessment. "We created a report card that would accurately report how well students are doing on learning new standards so that teachers and parents can make informed decisions about where efforts are needed to improve education."

More information, including a Parent Guide in an e-book format and videos that introduce the new report card and explain standards based grading, are on the BGPS website at

Parent Guide: Introducing the New K-4 Report Card

Introduction to the BGPS K-4 Report Card

What is Standards Based Grading?
Nicole Howell
Nicole Howell
PHS Student Advances to DECA State Championship (Photo) - 01/29/15
Nicole Howell, a senior on Prairie High School's DECA team, won first place for Entrepreneurial Project Individual at the DECA district championships. She will advance to the state championship in March.

Howell wrote a very detailed business plan, including financials and projections, and created and presented a SWOT analysis of the business's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. This was her first attempt at participating in this kind of competition and constructing this kind of paper.

DECA has helped high school and college students around the globe to become leaders, preparing them for careers in hospitality, management, and marketing.
Attached Media Files: Nicole Howell
BGPS Announces Facilities Improvement Team Members - 01/27/15
Battle Ground Public Schools announced the members of its Facilities Improvement Team (FIT) Monday night at its Board of Directors meeting.

FIT members will create a long-term facilities management plan with recommendations for current and new facilities that meet the academic and learning needs of students and keep pace with community growth. This community-driven team will work in collaboration with the Board of Directors, district administration and staff, and third-party data collection consultants.

Two team members from each director district were selected from applications by a selection committee. Other members of the committee have been selected by constituency groups. The team will meet regularly beginning in February.

Members of the BGPS Facilities Improvement Team:
Director District 1--Sue Cranke and Karl Johansson
Director District 2--Dr. Roger O. Jarvis and Dr. Bruce Kelley
Director District 3--Curtis Miller and Joy Russell
Director District 4--Jamie Blick and Cathy Golik
Director District 5--Steve Pagel and Roger Shirley

Battle Ground Public Schools' constituency groups selected a representative to serve on the team:
Battle Ground Education Association--Beth Goble
Principals' Association--Travis Drake
Administrative Support--David Klemetsrud
Public School Employees--Alan Green

A District Resource Team will provide information and support during the process. The resource team includes Superintendent Mark Hottowe, Asst. Superintendent MaryBeth Lynn, Facilities Director Kevin Jolma, Board President Monty Anderson, and Communications Manager Sean Chavez.

More information and updates will be available on the district's FIT web page at and in the district email newsletter, the BGPS Bulletin:
Southwest Washington Math Challenge Coming Up in Battle Ground - 01/27/15
The third annual Southwest Washington Math Challenge will take place on Saturday, Feb. 7 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Chief Umtuch Middle School in Battle Ground. This is an opportunity to watch students in fifth through eighth grades demonstrate their math skills in a math competition. The schedule includes several events that are open to the public, including a Welcome and a Mental Math event from 9 to 9:20 a.m., a College Bowl event from 11:05 a.m. to noon, lunch from noon to 12:30 p.m., and the presentation of awards from 12:30 to 1 p.m. For more information, please contact Kiersten Pirkl at
Attached Media Files: SWwashMathChallengeFlyer
BGHS Production Poster
BGHS Production Poster
BGHS Drama Club Presents 'Crimes of the Heart' (Photo) - 01/23/15
Battle Ground High School Drama Club's winter production of the play "Crimes of the Heart" opens Feb. 5. Written by Beth Henley and directed by Stephen "Cash" Henry, performances will take place in The Lair.

"Crimes of the Heart" is a dark comedy that follows the lives of three sisters in Hazelhurst, Miss. during the mid-1970s. Featuring a cast of six characters, the play's themes include appreciation for one's family and the intricate relationships of everyday life.

The play runs Feb. 5-7 and 12-13. Performances begin at 7 p.m., and doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are available at the door, in the office, or online at and are $5 for students with ASB and senior citizens, $10 for the general public.
Attached Media Files: BGHS Production Poster
PHS Drama Production Poster
PHS Drama Production Poster
Prairie Set to Perform Comedic Masterpiece (Photo) - 01/23/15
Prairie High School drama is presenting the play "The Playboy of the Western World" by J.M. Synge beginning Feb. 5. A short, one-act play called "Riders to the Sea," by the same writer, is also on the bill.

"The Playboy of the Western World" is a comedic masterpiece about a man who boasts of his dark deeds in rural Ireland, earning praise and affection from townsfolk. His real story is a mystery.

The plays run Feb. 5-7 and 12-14. Performances begin at 7 p.m. Tickets are available online at
Attached Media Files: PHS Drama Production Poster
Parents and staff serve a four course lunch to Daybreak Middle School fifth graders who practiced what they learned about table etiquette during a classroom lesson.
Parents and staff serve a four course lunch to Daybreak Middle School fifth graders who practiced what they learned about table etiquette during a classroom lesson.
Daybreak Fifth Grade Class Gets Lesson in Fine Dining Skills (Photo) - 01/22/15
A class of fifth graders at Daybreak Middle School got an interactive lesson last week on etiquette and manners, and then put what they learned into practice during a four course luncheon. The meal was served by Nutrition Services staff and parents who donned black aprons for the event and transformed a classroom into a dining room--complete with linen-covered tables, cloth napkins, water goblets, fresh flower centerpieces and China with multiple forks and other flatware.

The students, who are in Teresa Edmiston's class, were treated to the unique Fine Dining Event courtesy of Sodexo, Battle Ground Public Schools' Nutrition Services vendor. Each of the four courses were made from scratch by Sodexo's Catering Manager, Robin Boespflug. Many students dressed up for the occasion.

The menu featured Italian dishes:

Italian Wedding Soup and Fresh Baked Bread Sticks
Fruit Salad with Honey Vanilla Mascarpone
Meat Lasagna with Sauteed Vegetables
Dessert was a deconstructed cannoli

Each table had a table host that included Edmiston, BGPS Assistant Superintendents MaryBeth Lynn and Mark Ross, BGPS Board Members Mavis Nickels and Ken Root, and Daybreak Middle School Principal Kevin Palena. Sodexo manages the Battle Ground School District meal program and provided the meal at no charge to the students as an educational event. Thank you, Sodexo, for joining us in our mission of education.
Sarah Lashua, left, and her daughter, Emily Lashua, are both eighth grade teachers at Laurin Middle School.
Sarah Lashua, left, and her daughter, Emily Lashua, are both eighth grade teachers at Laurin Middle School.
Mother-Daughter Duo Makes for Lashua Quandary (Photo) - 01/22/15
A common quandary facing many students is whether to call their female teachers Ms. or Mrs. But a pair of teachers at Laurin Middle School puts a new spin on the dilemma. Mother-daughter duo Sarah and Emily Lashua has forced many an eighth grader at the Battle Ground Public Schools middle school to take a second look at their class schedule.

Sarah Lashua, an eighth grade algebra and science teacher at Laurin, has taught in Battle Ground Public Schools since 1983. The last 15 years she has been at Laurin, but prior to that she taught at Pleasant Valley Middle, Maple Grove, and Captain Strong.

Sarah's daughter, Emily Lashua, started teaching English and history to eighth graders full time at Laurin this year after working as a substitute teacher in the district for one year. Emily is one of the Associated Student Body (ASB) advisors at Laurin.

They also arrived at their teaching careers in a similar manner.

Sarah chose teaching as a major while a student at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma. She wanted to try her hand at physical therapy and attend a college close to home, but Pacific Lutheran didn't offer it as a major. After investigating her options and observing other teachers, Sarah decided her junior year to major in education. "I was drawn to the independence of older kids and their sense of humor," she said.

After graduating in 2008 from Prairie High School, Emily took different classes in various majors and played basketball at Saint Martin's University in Lacey, where many of her teammates were majoring in education. It didn't take her long to realize, though, that she was also interested in education as a major. Emily tried an education class in which she created a third-grade lesson plan, and soon after changed her major. "That class was one of my favorites," she said.

The uncommon bond between the pair of teachers has also meant that Emily Lashua doesn't have to go far to get advice on classroom management and teaching strategies. When Emily has a question, she can go to the adjacent classroom where her mother teaches. "If I have questions, she's a great resource," Emily said. "I don't have to call anyone. I don't have to worry about whether I've asked an odd question."

"She's been very helpful whenever I've asked her about a potential idea or strategy to implement in the classroom," Emily said. "With each group of students you have different kids, and you have to figure out what works for them."

The admiration that Emily has for her mother is obvious in that Emily replicates some of her mother's teaching practices in her own classroom. For example, Emily teaches her students a similar note-taking style that her mother taught her when Emily was a Laurin Middle School student herself in her mother's eighth-grade science class.

And the pride that Sarah feels for her daughter's accomplishments is readily noted in how Sarah enthusiastically shares that Emily was a good student as an eighth grader in her science class, and even now is "finding her own way."

But perhaps most noticeable is the enjoyment that this mother-daughter duo is getting from teaching in the classroom right next door to the other. "I was excited," Sarah said about Emily landing a full-time teaching position. "But to end up in the same place, I couldn't have planned it that way. It's just joyful to have her here all day."
PHS Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Set for Jan. 29 - 01/22/15
Prairie High School will be inducting three new members into the PHS Hall of Fame on Thursday, Jan. 29 during halftime of the boys' varsity basketball game vs. Columbia River.

Since 2011, the PHS Athletic Department has been recognizing outstanding Falcon players, coaches and teams with Hall of Fame induction. Each inductee is nominated and reviewed by a committee before induction. This year's inductees are:

Beth Hamrick Graves - Basketball - Class of 1994
1992-1994 Columbian Top 5 Player
1993-1994 State Champion
Currently a collegiate basketball official

Shannon Wyckoff Hunt - Volleyball - Class of 1993
First four-time all-league selection in GSHL history
Participated in NCAA Volleyball Championship Tournaments all 4 years for Washington State University
Currently assistant volleyball coach at Washington State University

Chuck Scheiwiller - Wrestling - Class of 1985
First wrestling state champion at Prairie
31-0 record as a senior
Currently teaching math at On-Track Academy in the Spokane School District and coaching softball at Lewis & Clark High School and for 18U Travel Softball team the Spokane Crash

All community members, alumni, parents, students and staff are invited to watch the game at 7:00 PM and recognize these Falcons during the halftime induction ceremony.

For more information on the PHS Hall of Fame and game information, please contact PHS Athletic Director, Andrew Schoonover, at or by calling 360-885-5013.
Prairie High School AFJROTC
Prairie High School AFJROTC
PHS, BGHS AFJROTC Teams Win at Drill Team Competition (Photo) - 01/16/15
Prairie and Battle Ground high schools' AFJROTC won numerous team and individual medals in a variety of events on Jan. 10 at Bethel High School in the Columbia River Division Competition.

The Prairie High School Color Guard placed first and third in the rankings.

The Physical Fitness team took fourth. Also in physical fitness, Nikki Willson won the "Iron Woman" title with second place and Josh Hauxhurst won the title of "Iron Man" with his sixth place success.

The Armed Team won second place overall. The PHS Armed Team's Commander, Taylor Harper, took first place, as did the Armed Single, Andrew Friason. Armed Duals Kenny Wilson and JM Smithline also earned first place rankings, and Kenny Wilson of the Individual Armed Regulation Drill won second place.

PHS' Unarmed Team Commander, Adriana Roncarati, won fourth place. In the Unarmed Duals category, Adriana Roncarati and Tara Guinn both ranked in first place while Kymberlee and Logan Gibert achieved third place. The team had an overall third place achievement.

The PHS Marksmanship Team's top individual sporter was Chloe Nielson, who came in first, and the top Individual Precision member, Connor Moore, won a second place ranking. The Marksmanship Team Sporter category won an overall third place and the Precision category came in with an overall second.

The Battle Ground High School Armed Drill Team won third place. Armed Drill Team Commander, Ryan Williamson, won second place.

The Unarmed Drill Team won first place overall, and Unarmed Commander Sidney Bodin took first place.

The BGHS Unarmed Individual Tap Out medal for third place went to Luke Terry.

The BGHS first and second Color Guards both earned fourth place rankings.

The BGHS Precision Air Rifle Team won first place overall. Individual Precision Air Rifle member Caspar Schadler won first place. Team members Nolan Alvarino and Lindsay Owens won third and fourth place respectively. Battle Ground High School's Air Rifle Team is undefeated and will be going to the Air Rifle National Championships in Phoenix, Ariz. Feb. 18-22.
Laurin Middle School parents learn about new state assessments during a parent information night held at the school.
Laurin Middle School parents learn about new state assessments during a parent information night held at the school.
BGPS Prepares Students for Online Assessments (Photo) - 01/16/15
When students in Battle Ground Public Schools sit down to take state assessments this spring, some of the tests will be different. The paper booklets and their multiple-choice circles that students fill in with a No. 2 pencil are being replaced by digital buttons that students click with a mouse or touch pad.

This year, with the introduction of tests that are aligned with new Washington State Learning Standards, students will sit and use keyboards and touch pads to enter their answers into computers. The state tests, called Smarter Balanced Assessments, are based on Washington State Learning Standards and measure student progress in third through eighth and eleventh grades in the subjects of English language arts and math. Tenth graders also take the English language arts test.

The tests are administered online, following the trend of changes in education that are focusing curricula on preparing students for tech-laden careers and education beyond high school.

In Battle Ground Public Schools, teachers across the district want to give students every opportunity to do their best, and that means helping students become oriented to the computers they'll be using to take the tests and familiarizing them with the tests' new online format. BGPS teachers are working to increase students' comfort level with the technology by increasing the time they integrate Chromebooks into classroom learning activities. BGPS purchased 2,400 Chromebooks at the beginning of the year for collaborative learning projects in schools across the district, and as the platform on which students will take these state tests.

"We live in a world that's changing, and what we teach kids needs to reflect these changes. We need to allow this to help improve our instruction," said David Cresap, BGPS director of assessment.

Earlier this week at Laurin Middle School, Principal Nick Krause collaborated with teachers to invite parents to an informational night on the new tests. Parents learned about the new tests' format and what they could do at home to help their children prepare.

"We want to get students used to being on a computer," Krause said. He recommends that parents help their children learn basic computer skills such as keyboarding, using a mouse, and navigating a web page. Students don't have to take the state tests until third grade, but computer skills are increasingly becoming important in classrooms. Libraries and the Parent Educational Resource Center at Yacolt Primary School have computers available with educational games on which students can build their experience.

Some parents believe that having students take the tests online is a good way to expose students to what is happening in the real world. "With everything going to computers, the computerized tests are going to advance children beyond where their parents are,"
said Dave Newhouse, the parent of a Laurin Middle School fifth grader who attended the school's parent night.

Teachers at the parent night shared some of the things they do to help prepare students for the tests. Ginger Martin, a sixth grade language arts teacher at Laurin, said she familiarizes students with the online format and the way questions are presented. "We are exposing students to the types of questions that are on the test so the format doesn't become an obstacle," Martin said.

The online testing format also offers benefits to educators in that test results will be available much sooner than in the past, and teachers will find out which topics students excel at and which ones students might benefit from additional practice on.

The Smarter Balanced Assessments also adapt to how a student answers questions on the test. Students might get easier or more difficult questions about a particular topic as they progress through the test, depending on whether they are choosing the correct answers for that topic.

"That is an advantage of this online world over paper and pencil," Cresap said. "The computer adaptive nature can measure not only progress, but students' depth of knowledge on a topic."
CAM's state math team L-R: Everett Buck, Rahul Chandra, Lauren Choquer, Evan Hefflin
CAM's state math team L-R: Everett Buck, Rahul Chandra, Lauren Choquer, Evan Hefflin
CAM Academy Freshmen Win at State Math Competition (Photo) - 01/14/15
Battle Ground Public Schools is pleased to announce that the CAM Academy freshman math team won multiple awards at both regional and state-level Math Is Cool competitions. Freshmen Everett Buck, Rahul Chandra, Lauren Choquer and Evan Hefflin took 10th place among Division I teams last month at the state Math Is Cool competition in Moses Lake. Buck also captured 7th place among all state competitors at the Algebra II level.

At the regional level competition, Keegan Sanchez placed second in geometry, while Buck took first place in Algebra II, and Chandra took second in Algebra II.

CAM Academy is an alternative school for grades 3-12 in the Battle Ground Public Schools district. CAM's mission is to support and promote the academic success, positive character development, and acquisition of marketplace skills for all students enrolled by building strong partnerships with families.

Photo: CAM's state math team
L-R: Everett Buck, Rahul Chandra, Lauren Choquer, Evan Hefflin
The Homola family of Yacolt read leveled books in Yacolt Primary School's Parent Educational Resource Center
The Homola family of Yacolt read leveled books in Yacolt Primary School's Parent Educational Resource Center
Yacolt Primary School Offers After-School PERC (Photo) - 01/08/15
After classrooms have emptied and the last bus has exited the parking lot at Yacolt Primary School, two instructional assistants set up signs outside the school's entrance and go back inside to power up a bank of computers. Inside the large common room at Yacolt, the duo check the shelves filled with books for anything that might be in disarray and open cabinet doors to reveal games and activities that focus on numbers, letters, and word practice.

PERC is open. The Parent Educational Resource Center is a library of sorts that offers reading materials, computer and board games, and Internet access to families and provides educational resources that they can use after school and check out to use at home. Many in the rural, forested community of Yacolt do not have Internet access at home, and want to continue learning in the evening hours. They can do that at Yacolt Primary School twice a week, from 4:15-6 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Karen Homola, who has six kids in Battle Ground Public Schools, returned a long list of books during a recent visit to Yacolt's PERC. She said her family has benefited from checking out the materials, especially the leveled books.

Homola needed access to books that would give her first-grade daughter additional reading practice outside the classroom, but had difficulty determining which books the girl should read until she discovered the baskets of books at PERC. The books are leveled to match the reading curriculum taught in Battle Ground Public Schools so that students can check out books to fit their reading abilities.

Having graduated levels of difficulty builds students' confidence while increasing comprehension and fluency. Since she started checking out the leveled books, Homola's daughter has improved her reading ability.

Sandra Clark and Sue Wolden, the two learning support instructional assistants who run Yacolt's PERC and greet and assist families as they arrive, said the leveled books and computers are the most heavily used resources in the center, and the center will be adding four computers this year. Most nights the bank of computers have users on them the entire time that PERC is open. Students and parents alike use them to access the Internet and educational games. Clark and Wolden can help students log in to the same software and educational websites that they use in the classroom.

Yacolt's PERC is funded by federal money from the Title I program, which provides financial assistance to schools with high percentages of children from low-income families to help ensure that all children meet challenging state academic standards. The federal program requires that 1 percent of the funds go to an activity that engages parents in their children's education.

Battle Ground Public Schools opened one of its first PERC rooms at Captain Strong Primary in the mid-1990s. Since then, several schools have offered PERC facilities based on need and space availability.

"It's a way to connect with parents," said Amy Webber, the learning support program secretary. "We support parents by helping them work with their children."

During their recent visit, the Homola kids were mesmerized as they pulled baskets of books from the shelves and sifted through them to determine which ones they wanted to check out. Karen Homola readied a large tote bag for the new batch of books. "More people should know about this," she said. "You can find the books at their level."
Chief Middle School Students' Art on Display at New Seasons Market (Photo) - 01/07/15
Works of art created by Chief Umtuch Middle School students from Battle Ground Public Schools are on display until Feb. 3 at the Vancouver New Seasons Market on Southeast 164th Avenue. The show features 160 pieces of student art, representing every art student at the school. New Seasons Market is hosting an artists' reception with light refreshments on Saturday, Jan. 17, 10-11 a.m. for students, families and community members.
Attached Media Files: IMG_0195.JPG , IMG_0194.JPG , IMG_0191.JPG
Flyer for BGHS FAFSA event
Flyer for BGHS FAFSA event
BGHS Offers College-Bound Students Help Applying for Financial Aid (Photo) - 01/02/15
Battle Ground High School is hosting a College Goal Washington event on Thursday, Jan. 15 to help seniors and college-bound students complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The form is required to apply for federal financial assistance, including state grants, school loans, and scholarships, for higher education.

The free event will be held from 5-7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 15, in the College & Career Center on the Battle Ground High School campus, 300 W. Main St., Battle Ground. It is open to all college-bound students and their families, regardless of where they currently attend school or which institution they plan to attend for higher education. Attendees can get one-on-one assistance completing the FAFSA. No advance registration is required.

Family financial information is key in completing the form, so students and parents are encouraged to attend together, and bring state-issued identification and a social security card and financial documents such as a copy of your 2013 tax return. Students should complete the FAFSA application even if they are unsure about their college plans. The form takes about an hour to complete.

College Goal Washington is a statewide effort to help students and families complete the FAFSA. For details or directions, call BGHS Counselor Kevin Doyle at 360-885-6598. Information also is available on the BGHS College & Career Center website: Students who miss the BGHS event can also attend College Goal Washington at Clark College from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 24.
Attached Media Files: Flyer for BGHS FAFSA event