Woodland Sch. Dist.
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News Releases
English Language Learners (ELL) like Veronica Machic-Cacatzum (9th grade) use school-provided Chromebooks to perform written and oral assignments and keep learning English even during the statewide school closure
English Language Learners (ELL) like Veronica Machic-Cacatzum (9th grade) use school-provided Chromebooks to perform written and oral assignments and keep learning English even during the statewide school closure
Woodland English Language Learner (ELL) teachers use innovative assignments to help students keep learning during the statewide closure (Photo) - 05/21/20

Thursday, May 21, 2020-Woodland, WA-Students in Woodland English Language Learners (ELL) program enter public school with little to no knowledge of how to read, write, or speak English and must learn to become completely fluent while also taking the required academic classes a native speaker would take.

The statewide school closure meant Carlotta Propersi, an ELL teacher at Woodland High School, had to innovate like many of her colleagues in order to ensure her students would be able to continue learning the language while not physically at school. “Since our students have Chromebooks with webcams, I assigned the students video assignments where they must answer a series of question prompts with a written script and then recite the script on video,” she said. The assignment gives students more confidence in speaking and writing – two key components of the English Language Proficiency Assessment for the 21st century (ELPA21) that each of them must pass in order to graduate.”

In addition to the assignment requirements of answering the questions, Carlotta grades the students on a variety of presentation skills to enhance their fluency including proper pacing and volume; and professional appearance and speaking style.

Carlotta assigns prompts such as having students reflect on their experiences during from Friday, March 13, the last day before the statewide school closure; what has changed in their learning and daily lives since the statewide closure and has more in store for future assignments. “I’m trying to keep the projects fun and lighthearted in order to make the best of the situation we’re all in with the Stay-at-Home orders,” she said. “For their next project, students will have to describe the physical characteristics and personalities of their family members, record the video, and, then, show it to their family – it’s a great way for students to listen to themselves speak.”

If it weren’t for Carlotta’s quick thinking, the timing of the statewide school closure could have presented a significant challenge for ELL students, in particular, as the window for students to take the required ELPA21 test closes for the school year on the last school day in March. With schools closing statewide on March 13, many of Carlotta’s students would have been unable to take the ELPA21 this year, which is required for her seniors to graduate.

However, much of Carlotta’s extended family lives in Italy where coronavirus prevention required the country to shut down much sooner than the United States. Hearing what her family members were experiencing before Washington’s statewide shutdown led Carlotta to have a hunch that a similar closure might happen in the United States. “I reached out to Principal John Shoup and the high school staff to ask if ELL students could come to my room to complete their testing over one lengthened class rather than our normal approach of spreading the test over multiple class periods,” said Carlotta. “With the support of the high school staff, all but one of my students (who was absent) were able to finish their ELPA21 tests before the statewide closure on March 13.”

For Carlotta, the school closure has made a dramatic impact on her teaching. “Having access to an actual classroom experience provides me with the opportunity to spend an hour every class to help my students practice speaking, writing, and reading in English,” she said. “With remote learning, everyone’s schedule is different with each student having other responsibilities out of school like some of my newcomers who are working full-time to help their families.”

In order to accommodate all of her students, Carlotta produces hard copies of assignments for students who don’t have access to the Internet which are delivered via the high school’s organized printed materials delivery program. “The high school staff is doing a fantastic job reaching out to students to ensure they can complete their work with teachers coming up with individual plans for students so they can continue learning and pass their classes during this difficult time,” said Carlotta. “For me, the most challenging part of the closure is how much I miss seeing my students each day.”

To learn more about how Woodland Public Schools continues educating our students and serving the community during the statewide closure, visit our dedicated news webpage at https://www.woodlandschools.org/home-learning-stories

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Sarah Taylor takes students on virtual field trips and offers them time to share to maintain the social aspects of school
Sarah Taylor takes students on virtual field trips and offers them time to share to maintain the social aspects of school
Yale Elementary students took a field trip to the Woodland Police Department... virtually (Photo) - 05/18/20

Monday, May 18, 2020-Woodland, WA-Yale Elementary School students in Teacher Sarah Taylor’s second grade class went on a field trip to the Woodland Police Department virtually using Google Classroom and webcams. 

In coming up with innovative ways to keep her students engaged, Sarah came up with the idea of a virtual field trip and reached out to the Woodland Police Department to see if they’d be interested, “I’m really thankful to our police department for taking the time to do this for our students,” she said. “The class loved it and will be mailing thank-you notes and pictures to our wonderful officers.”

Chief Jim Kelly and Officer Eric Swenningson, “Officer Eric” to the students, used a webcam to welcome the students to the department and showed them around the entire facility. With Chief Kelly working as the cameraman, Officer Eric served as the tour guide and showed the kids the department’s holding cells, evidence lockers, armory, fingerprint station, and detective’s office. Chief Kelly also walked students through the equipment Officer Eric takes with him on every call including his vest, handcuffs, baton, and sidearm.

Students were surprised at one point during the tour when Officer Eric opened a closet door to find a lifelike practice dummy standing menacingly in the closet. “This is ‘Bob,’ the department's practice dummy,” explained Officer Eric. “We use Bob to practice different techniques, however, it's also become a bit of a tradition to move Bob around the department to surprise other officers.”

Chief Kelly and Officer Eric even pulled a police cruiser right outside the office close to the wireless network so students could receive a tour of the police car. “This is my real ‘office’ and where I spend most of my day,” explained Officer Eric. He showed students the laptop he uses to run identification and process tickets; the two radar detectors (one for when the car is in motion and the other a handheld device); the two radio systems in the cruiser (one for local law enforcement and the other for state troopers who use a different frequency); as well as the cruiser’s lights, horn, and siren.

At the end of the tour, students had a question-and-answer session with Chief Kelly after Officer Eric went with other on-duty officers to an emergency call. Students asked Chief Kelly about how to become a police officer, whether the department has any K-9 officers, and a wide range of other questions before thanking the Chief. After saying goodbye, the students shared what they learned with the class and had a brief show-and-tell.

Sarah has already started planning the next virtual field trip for her students. “I’m going to reach out to the fire department,” she said. “A parent of one of my students is a firefighter for a different city so he’s thinking about giving us a tour, too.”

Organizing virtual field trips and other ways of connecting social has been a focus for Woodland teachers. “We meet as a class at least once a week which begins and ends with chaos as all the students say ‘hello’ to one another,” said Sarah. “We make sure to take time so students can do show-and-tell, read aloud, and do other social connections because relationships are important at every age; I miss my friends so I know my students must miss their friends, too.”

Sarah recommends parents consider arranging for virtual homework sessions using the same technology they use to connect with schools. “Classmates can work together on projects and assignments over Google Hangouts, ask their peers questions, or just chat for a bit,” she said. “We just need to keep being creative with how we use technology and other methods to make sure kids receive the social connection of school, too.”

To learn more about how Woodland Public Schools continues educating our students and serving the community during the statewide closure, visit our dedicated news webpage at https://www.woodlandschools.org/home-learning-stories

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Woodland Public Schools welcomes David Starkey as its new Principal of Columbia Elementary
Woodland Public Schools welcomes David Starkey as its new Principal of Columbia Elementary
Woodland Public Schools selects David Starkey as new Principal of Columbia Elementary School (Photo) - 05/14/20

Wednesday, May 13, 2020-Woodland, WA-Woodland Public Schools proudly announces their selection of David Starkey as Principal of Columbia Elementary School beginning in the upcoming 2020-21 school year. 

Starkey accepted the position on Thursday, May 7 when Superintendent Michael Green notified him of his selection. “David’s exceptionally strong educational background made him stand out as the best selection from a very strong pool of candidates,” said Green. “I am incredibly confident and excited to have David as our principal at Columbia Elementary.” 

Starkey currently serves as the Principal of Castle Rock Intermediate School. Prior to his time in Castle Rock, he taught fifth grade and eventually served as an assistant principal in Fruitland, Idaho. He holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in educational leadership, both from Northwest Nazarene University located in Nampa, Idaho. “What I enjoy most about working in education is seeing the difference a positive educator can make in the life of a child,” he said. “Seeing the excitement students show, the confidence they gain, and the eagerness they have in wanting to share their newfound knowledge is priceless.”

Applying for Woodland’s principal position came easy for Starkey as his family has resided in Woodland for the past five years where his three children attend Woodland schools and his wife works for the school district. “Woodland is a great community and has a wonderful school district,” he said. “It’s an honor to be able to serve as Principal of Columbia Elementary School.”

Starkey’s favorite hobbies revolve around spending time with his family. An avid outdoorsman, Starkey enjoys hiking, camping, fishing, and archery hunting, “I love spending time with my wife and children and making memories with them.”

Starkey will replace Columbia Elementary School’s current principal, Ingrid Colvard, who recently accepted the superintendent position at Stevenson-Carson School District. “I am thrilled to be part of Woodland Public Schools and the team at Columbia Elementary,” said Starkey. “I want nothing more than to build a lasting partnership with our community; together we can create the best learning opportunity for our students and our students deserve nothing but the best.”

To learn more about how Woodland Public Schools continues educating our students and serving the community during the statewide closure, visit our dedicated news webpage at https://www.woodlandschools.org/home-learning-stories

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The PASS team is excited to see their students during deliveries... if only at an appropriate distance due to social distancing guidelines.
The PASS team is excited to see their students during deliveries... if only at an appropriate distance due to social distancing guidelines.
Woodland High School's PASS support team continues to help struggling students even during the statewide school closure (Photo) - 05/11/20

Monday, May 11, 2020-Woodland, WA-Woodland High School’s Positive Academic Support System (PASS) continues to support struggling students with remote learning during the statewide school closure. Woodland High School introduced PASS in 2017 to help ninth graders who were at risk of failing one or more of their classes. The members of the PASS team work one-on-one with the students, acting as their “school parents” to make sure they get the support they need to engage with their learning.

Providing students with the support they need as early as possible may be key to their overall academic success. “Studies show that students who end their ninth year on-track by passing all of their courses are about 3.5 times more likely to graduate from high school than peers who fail one or more classes,” said Assistant Principal Dan Uhlenkott. “With the Core 24 requirements, students do not have much wiggle room to fail even a single class and still graduate, much less fail a core class.”

Students in PASS may need additional support for a variety of reasons. “Often, poor performance in school is a symptom of other issues occurring in a student’s life,” said Dan. “Our PASS staff members act as ‘school parents’ to help freshmen navigate academics, attendance, discipline, class changes, independent course curriculum; pretty much any aspect of high school.”

The PASS Team includes Stacy Gould, the program’s coordinator, along with Keitra Curnutt, Cyndy Grayson, Dana Preston, Catherine Pulliam, and Mary Ann Sturdivan. In order to support the program financially, WHS Principal John Shoup and Stacy applied for and received a grant from InvestEd which provided $5,000 for PASS each year for the past two years. 

During the statewide school closure, the PASS team delivers school supplies as well as a variety of other needs including Chromebook chargers, musical instruments, and quarantine essentials, too. “We miss engaging with our students, so seeing them from a socially-distant appropriate distance has been wonderful,” said Stacy Gould, PASS coordinator. “We’re also able to help them by answering questions about online learning, connecting with their teachers, lining up the right materials for home learning, and providing them with any other assistance they need.”

Nearing the end of the school year has been particularly challenging for the PASS team. “This is the time of the year when we would get to see how much our students have grown throughout their first year in high school and have become members of our community,” said Stacy. “It is tough not being able to see their progress in-person.”

To learn more about how Woodland Public Schools continues educating our students and serving the community during the statewide closure, visit our dedicated news webpage at https://www.woodlandschools.org/home-learning-stories

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Shawn Fenmore, a driver with Landstar Ranger Trucking, drove 25 cases of unwanted cookies and crackers up to Woodland after his last stop in Vancouver to say thanks for Woodland Public Schools opening the high school as a temporary rest area for drivers d
Shawn Fenmore, a driver with Landstar Ranger Trucking, drove 25 cases of unwanted cookies and crackers up to Woodland after his last stop in Vancouver to say thanks for Woodland Public Schools opening the high school as a temporary rest area for drivers d
Woodland community members and organizations donate funds and food to help educate and feed children during fight against COVID-19 (Photo) - 05/08/20

Friday, May 8, 2020-Woodland, WA-Woodland Public Schools thanks the many community organizations and individuals helping to provide the area’s children with education and needed services during the ongoing fight against the COVID-19 novel coronavirus.

Fibre Federal, a community credit union, donated $3,500 to help the district purchase food to feed families in need during the weekend. Beginning in April, the Woodland Public Schools’ Family Community Resource Center (FCRC) distributes nearly 40 bags of food for families each week. “Thanks to Fibre Federal’s generous donation, we should be able to continue providing families with food for the remainder of the school year,” said Gabrielle “Gabby” Meador, Program Specialist who manages the district’s FCRC.

To help ensure all of the district’s students have the school supplies needed for remote learning, Woodland’s Dollar Tree and the SchoolHouse Connection donations helped the district assemble and distribute 60 bags of school supplies for families, too. “The amazing support we’ve received helps to bridge some of the gaps caused by this pandemic,” said Gabby. “In a time filled with closures and cancellations, it’s wonderful to see the community’s compassion has not been canceled.”

Truck drivers continued to donate snacks and meals that clients refused as a way of thanking Woodland Public Schools for opening the high school as a temporary truck stop and rest facility for long-haul drivers during March and April.

Shawn Fenmore, a driver for Landstar Ranger Trucking, delivered 25 cases of cookies and crackers including Oreo, Chips Ahoy, Ritz crackers, and Wheat Thins. “The cases were considered surplus because their shipping boxes were damaged in transit, however the product was perfectly intact inside,” said Scott Landrigan, Woodland Public Schools’ Director of Facilities and Safety. “When Russell heard about our truck stop, he drove up from his last delivery in Vancouver to drop off the food which will help supplement the meals the district provides in its daily food services.”

Earlier in April, Russell Thomas, a long-haul driver with John Christner Trucking, donated more than a thousand of breakfast sandwiches when a client refused the order (read his story on the school’s website for more details: https://www.woodlandschools.org/article/229796).

Families in need of weekend food or school supplies should contact the FCRC:
Students, children, and families in need of food and/or school supplies can reach out to their child’s teacher or contact the FCRC directly by emailing Gabby Meador at g@woodlandschools.org">meadorg@woodlandschools.org, calling (360) 841-2718 or visiting the Woodland Public School’s Closure HQ website: https://www.woodlandschools.org/o/district/page/covid-19-updates

To learn more about how Woodland Public Schools continues educating our students and serving the community during the statewide closure, visit our dedicated news webpage at https://www.woodlandschools.org/home-learning-stories

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The food service program is largely funded by the USDA's National School Lunch and Breakfast Program
The food service program is largely funded by the USDA's National School Lunch and Breakfast Program
Students thank Woodland Public Schools staff for preparing and delivering 2,000 meals a day (Photo) - 05/04/20

Monday, May 4, 2020-Woodland, WA-Students and families made signs and cheered Woodland Public Schools’ staff as buses made their daily delivery of more than 2,000 meals throughout the school district’s service area on Friday, May 1.

The staff were touched by the demonstrations of gratitude. “It’s great being on the bus and seeing how happy families are to see us,” said Tiffany Wear, Behavior Support Specialist for the KWRL Transportation Cooperative. “We are getting to know all of the families in the community and the food delivery has been a great experience for everyone.”

Woodland Public Schools staff provide free meals each weekday for children 18 years of age and younger throughout the district’s service area. Families can choose to pick up “grab-and-go” meals from Woodland Middle School from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. each weekday or take delivery of both breakfast and lunch once each day at their nearest bus stop. By offering meal delivery, community members are encouraged to follow the Stay-at-Home order currently in effect through May 31.

There is no enrollment required for meal delivery. Families must simply be present at their nearest bus stop at the scheduled delivery time. Families may find their estimated delivery time, by visiting www.kwrl.org. Due to OSPI and USDA requirements, all children who need meals must either be present at the time of meal pickup/delivery or a parent/guardian may provide their name and phone number so school staff can verify the number of children living at the home using Skyward Family Access data.

The district’s food services program is largely funded by the federal government through the National School Lunch and Breakfast Program’s Summer Food Service Program administered by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). 

For additional questions on Food Service or to learn more about how Woodland Public Schools continues educating our students during the statewide closure, visit the district’s School Closure HQ website at: https://www.woodlandschools.org/o/district/page/covid-19-updates  

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Woodland Public Schools passes replacement Educational Programs & Operations (EP&O) levy
Woodland Public Schools passes replacement Educational Programs & Operations (EP&O) levy
Woodland Public Schools Superintendent Michael Green thanks community for passing levy during pandemic (Photo) - 04/28/20

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, April 28, 2020 - Woodland, Wash.

Dear Woodland Community,

I am incredibly humbled by and feel immense pride for the ongoing support and dedication the Woodland community continues to show for its neighborhood schools.

Despite a time of global crises resulting from the COVID-19 novel coronavirus – both health and economic – Woodland has once again demonstrated that ensuring our children receive the best possible preparation for life after high school remains one of our community’s top priorities by voting to pass the school replacement levy.

While the funds provided by this levy remain instrumental in providing our community’s children with access to the high-quality education they need to achieve their dreams, let me assure you that your school board of directors and entire district staff are well aware of the sacrifices our community’s taxpayers continue to make in order to provide this opportunity.

Your sacrifice is not one we take lightly.

Your school district’s board of directors has promised that no matter what happens to the economy in the following three years, the actual levy rate for the replacement levy will not exceed the estimated rates. In fact, the board of directors officially passed resolution 20-03 on Monday, March 10 to officially guarantee the actual rate will not exceed the following estimates:

  • TY2021: $2.37 per $1,000 of assessed property value
  • TY2022: $2.36 per $1,000 of assessed property value
  • TY2023: $2.36 per $1,000 of assessed property value

As we all venture forward in the ongoing war against COVID-19, I want to assure you that your neighborhood schools and staff will continue to provide the services our community needs while innovating to ensure our children receive the education they deserve, whether that be in-person or via remote learning.

Once again, I thank you all for your support of your neighborhood schools. Woodland’s ongoing tradition of supporting strong schools remains strong in the face of the most historic and challenging of obstacles.

Sincerely,

Michael Z. Green
Superintendent – Woodland Public Schools

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