Woodland Sch. Dist.
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News Releases
Superintendent Michael Green reviewed past goals, the significant progress made in the prior school year, and shared words of inspiration and encouragement to help guide the district toward continuous improvement in 2018-19
Superintendent Michael Green reviewed past goals, the significant progress made in the prior school year, and shared words of inspiration and encouragement to help guide the district toward continuous improvement in 2018-19
Woodland Public Schools staff kicks off new school year by reflecting on current progress and setting future goals (Photo) - 09/17/18

Monday, September 17, 2018-Woodland, WA-In preparation for the new school year, Woodland Public Schools faculty and staff gathered for an annual all-staff breakfast and collaborative meeting on Monday, September 10, where they reviewed their progress during the prior school year and reinvigorated their focus for continuous improvement in student learning across the entire district in the future.

The administrative team greeted new and returning staff members as they entered the Woodland High School gym for the annual breakfast meeting. The breakfast was sponsored by Aflac, the supplemental insurance company. Superintendent Michael Green opened the event by having each of the school administrators introduce their new faculty and staff members:

  • Woodland High School Principal John Shoup introduced three new teachers and a new counselor.
  • Woodland Middle School Principal James Johnston introduced four new teachers.
  • Woodland Intermediate School added a new principal, Denise Principal, as well as nine new teachers.
  • Woodland Primary School Principal Ingrid Colvard introduced six new staff members.
  • Superintendent Green introduced Malinda Huddleston, current instructional coach, who will also be taking on duties as Yale Elementary’s principal this year.
  • Jake Hall, Executive Director of Learning Supports and Alternatives, introduced four new staff members who will be working for the district in his department.

Superintendent Green discussed the goals adopted by the school board for student learning in Woodland at the start of the 2017-18 school year and the progress made by the entire staff. “My purpose here is to celebrate the incredible road we’ve traveled over the past year,” he said. “By 2021, we want 85% of our students graduating on-time from both Woodland High School and TEAM, along with a 90%+ graduation rate for our 5-year cohorts.”

Green spotlighted the substantial improvements made to student attendance thanks to the efforts of Stacy Mouat, the district’s truancy specialist. “Our goal is to have all students attending class at least 90% of the time,” he said. “In 2017-18, we almost achieved that goal with an attendance rate of nearly 89%.”

In addition to graduation rate and attendance, Green reviewed the district’s efforts for improvement in students successfully passing state assessments. “By 2022, we want 80% of our students meeting the requirements for English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics,” he said. “Last year, every single grade level saw improvement over the prior year in ELA and only one didn’t see a year-over-year improvement in math.”

Studies show that students who fail a course during their freshman year have a higher likelihood of dropping out before graduation. Starting with the last school year, the teachers and staff at Woodland High School made interventions at the freshman level a high priority. “During the 2017-18 school year, overall course failure has been reduced by nearly 10% when compared to prior years,” said Green.

The leadership team plans to continue focusing on both past and present goals to continue the district’s progress. “Each and every child should have access to an excellent education regardless of which grade or school they attend and regardless of which teacher they learn from,” said Green. “By maintaining our dedication and perseverance, all of our students will receive equal preparation during their academic career so they can explore all their interests by the time they enter high school and plan for their futures.”

Superintendent Green closed the presentation by sharing inspirational insights about the power of persistence as well as the importance of how dedication to goals results in continuous improvement to achieving those goals, “The skill and dedication each of you brings to the classroom brings me great pride - I wish each and every one of you a truly successful school year.”

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Reconfiguring Woodland Primary School and Woodland Intermediate School (pictured here) to both serve grades K-4 brings many benefits
Reconfiguring Woodland Primary School and Woodland Intermediate School (pictured here) to both serve grades K-4 brings many benefits
Woodland Public Schools announces reconfiguring of existing schools to Neighborhood Schools to accommodate substantial growth in enrollment (Photo) - 09/10/18

Monday, September 10, 2018-Woodland, WA-Beginning with the 2019-20 school year, Woodland Primary School and Woodland Intermediate School will join Yale School to serve students in grades K-4 as neighborhood schools, reconfiguring from their existing grade structure of grades K-1 at Woodland Primary and grades 2-4 at Woodland Intermediate.

The current enrollment of Woodland Public Schools already exceeds the capacity of existing school facilities. All schools except for the new high school, opened in 2015, have student enrollments exceeding the initial capacity designed for the respective buildings. In addition, the City of Woodland is considering amendments to its Comprehensive Plan potentially adding as many as 1,200 new homes to the Woodland community, ballooning school enrollment.

Over the past year, the Woodland Public Schools Board of Directors reviewed grade configuration options in consideration of overcrowding; the academic success of students; and effective, efficient student transportation. Following this comprehensive review, the board recognized that reconfiguration of Woodland’s elementary schools to K-4 neighborhood schools was the best choice for the children and families served by the district.

The new reconfiguration of elementary schools offers greater educational continuity for students with fewer transitions. Research studies demonstrate that increased school continuity correlates with improved academic and behavioral outcomes for students both in the short-term and long-term of their academic careers.

In addition to improved continuity, reconfiguration increases the efficiency of transportation routing resulting in students spending less time on school buses as well as a reduction in operating costs. The reconfigured schools will also provide more effective academic and behavioral supports for students.

Reconfiguration benefits also include:

  • Balanced distribution of enrollment between schools reduces the need to add additional modular classrooms at Woodland Intermediate School.
  • Districts with multiple elementary schools see increased parent participation in school activities.
  • Families will have a single elementary school for their school-aged children increasing opportunity for family engagement and participation.
  • Reconfiguration provides opportunities for more effective professional collaboration between teachers and schools.
  • Neighborhood schools increase positive interaction within a wider range of students including older students serving as role models and buddies for students in younger grades.
  • Reconfiguring Woodland’s schools will result in less-crowded schools which will offer safer learning environments.

In the coming months a team will develop transition plans to ensure a smooth and positive transition to the new grade configuration next fall. “The transition to neighborhood schools offers a much more effective learning structure for Woodland’s students and families,” said Superintendent Michael Green. “Neighborhood schools will enhance the quality of education Woodland’s students receive.”

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Nearly 800 backpacks were distributed to students from area districts
Nearly 800 backpacks were distributed to students from area districts
Woodland Public Schools' Back to School Bash 2018 gave away nearly 800 free backpacks to students in need attending Woodland, Kalama, and La Center school districts (Photo) - 08/27/18

Monday, August 27, 2018-Woodland, WA-Woodland Public Schools employees and community member volunteers handed out free backpacks filled with school supplies to students from Woodland, Kalama, and La Center School Districts at Woodland Public Schools’ second annual Back to School Bash on Saturday, August 18, 2018.

Leslie Mohlman, Coordinator for Woodland Public Schools' Family Community Resource Center (FCRC), organized the entire event including lining up donors and volunteers among the myriad of other details required for its ongoing success. “The event was fantastic – a complete success,” she said. “I think we were a little more organized this year, and we received so much support from our communities including all of our wonderful volunteers.”

Around 2,000 students, parents, guardians and community members attended this year’s Back to School Bash with 701 backpacks handed out at the event and another 66 given out the week following the bash from the FCRC located at Woodland Public Schools.

In addition to free backpacks filled with school supplies for all students, every attendee received a free dinner, could get a free haircut on-site, and were able to participate in a variety of board games and other activities including several bounce houses and raffles. Nearly 175 community members volunteered to help manage the wide variety of activities and events.

Local area organizations and businesses who donated funds and supplies for the event included:

  • Assembly of God Church
  • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
  • Clover Valley Community Church
  • Grace Community Church
  • iQ Credit Union
  • Molina Health Care
  • Portco
  • Promise Church
  • USNR
  • Wal-Mart
  • Woodland Presbyterian Church

The key to the event’s success lies in teamwork and collaboration. “Every church involved worked as a team to ensure students were ready for the new school year,” Leslie explained. “These partnerships help chip away at the nonacademic barriers to learning, and also support the healthy development of students and their families.”

Representatives from 24 nonprofit organizations and educational institutions helped attendees find assistance locating housing, finding employment, securing medical services, and even distribute free bike helmets to ensure student safety while riding bicycles.

Organizations attending this year’s Back to School Bash included:

  • Clark College
  • Columbia Wellness
  • Community Health Plan of Washington
  • Core Health
  • EOCF Preschool
  • ESD 112 Preschool Program
  • Express Employment
  • Family Health Clinic
  • Kinship Navigator Program
  • KWRL School Bus Cooperative
  • Love Overwhelming
  • Lower Columbia College
  • Molina Healthcare
  • Peacehealth’s Bike Helmet Program
  • Woodland Co-Op Preschool
  • Worksource
  • Youth and Family Link

Leslie encourages any community member interested in giving back to volunteer to help out. “The Back to School Bash is an opportunity to have a powerful impact by investing your time to ensure students have the tools they need to succeed,” she said. “It’s a fun three-hour event, but it takes all of our communities’ support to make events like them a true success like this one; I am so grateful for the support we receive from Woodland, La Center, and Kalama’s many generous organizations and community members.”

The Miss Teen La Center Court volunteered to do their part at the bash, too. Sara Baldwin, a sophomore at La Center High School and this year’s queen, volunteered at the first Back to School Bash in 2017, too. “I’m always looking for ways to help out in the community by volunteering for my church, and I love the Back to School Bash,” she said. “It’s so much fun seeing all the kids play and enjoy themselves.”

About Woodland Public Schools’ FCRC:

The Woodland Public Schools Family Community Resource Center (FCRC) provides resources and services to students and their families in need who live in either Cowlitz or Clark counties. To find more information about services offered by the FCRC or to find ways you can support the FCRC, you can visit the Woodland Public Schools website at www.woodlandschools.org or use the short-link https://goo.gl/medfxJ, email Leslie Mohlman at mohlmanl@woodlandschools.org, or call the FCRC at (360) 841-2718.

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