Woodland Sch. Dist.
Emergency Messages as of 6:18 pm, Sun. Mar. 18
No information currently posted. Operating as usual.
Subscribe to receive FlashAlert messages from Woodland Sch. Dist. Please use any browser other than Internet Explorer.
Primary email address for a new account:

Emergency Alerts News Releases  
And/or follow our FlashAlerts via Twitter

About FlashAlert on Twitter:

FlashAlert utilizes the free service Twitter to distribute emergency text messages. While you are welcome to register your cell phone text message address directly into the FlashAlert system, we recommend that you simply "follow" the FlashAlert account for Woodland Sch. Dist. by clicking on the link below and logging in to (or creating) your free Twitter account. Twitter sends messages out exceptionally fast thanks to arrangements they have made with the cell phone companies.

Click here to add Woodland Sch. Dist. to your Twitter account or create one.

Hide this Message

Manage my existing Subscription

News Releases
Digital Citzenship focuses on the proper use of technology, not getting rid of technology altogether. (Sean Bailey, 11th grade)
Digital Citzenship focuses on the proper use of technology, not getting rid of technology altogether. (Sean Bailey, 11th grade)
Woodland Public Schools introduces Digital Citizenship Week (Mar 26-30) to teach kids how to use the Internet safely (Photo) - 03/12/18

Monday, March 12, 2018-Woodland, WA-Woodland's students will learn how to use the Internet safely and responsibly in order to prepare for a lifetime of living and working online during Digital Citizenship Week from March 26-30. Each school will teach age-appropriate curriculum specially designed to help students learn how to use the Internet and maintain their digital identity.

Schools throughout the United States started introducing Digital Citizenship Week recently to bring the concept of Digital Citizenship to the forefront of students' minds. "Digital Citizenship is the ability to think critically, behave safely, and participate responsibly in the digital world," explained Candice Shepherd, Teacher Librarian at Woodland Middle School coordinating the district's curriculum for the week. "Just as we strive to teach students to be safe, respectful, and responsible in the physical world, we need to teach them what it means to be safe, respectful, and responsible in the digital world."

Topics taught throughout Woodland's schools during the week include:

* What is Digital Citizenship?
* What is a "digital footprint" and how can students practice safe digital use?
* Cyberbullying and Digital Drama
* Fake News, Evaluating Sources, and Giving Credit

With younger children spending more and more time in front of screens including phones, tablets, computers, and television, scientific studies investigate the effects this amount of screen time has on the developing human brain. "Children and adults alike often don't think about the impact increased screen usage has on themselves and others," said Shepherd. "People often think about the physical effects due to the lack of physical activity inherent with sitting in front of a screen for hours, but research shows the negative effects go far beyond that including social and mental health issues as well as physical symptoms ranging from neck and thumb pain to vision problems, sleep deprivation, depression, increased aggression, and even addiction."

Beyond the physical and mental effects, real threats occupy the digital world just as they occupy the physical world. Parents should consider what children are doing in the digital world: What sites are they visiting and what are they posting? Who are they interacting with? "Parents need to talk openly and honestly with their children about the effects of too much screen time as well as the other risks posed by building an online identity, and then work together to develop guidelines for appropriate technology use," said Shepherd. "However, simply establishing ground rules without explaining the reasoning behind those rules or denying kids to have a voice in the process can backfire -- kids need to be educated to why online rules are so important."

The key to practicing digital citizenship focuses on the proper use of technology, not getting rid of technology. "Technology and social media are tools that will simply be a part of our children's everyday lives -- they are not the enemy or the problem," explained Leslie Mohlman, Community, Family, Student Resource Coordinator for Woodland Public Schools. "Whether parents have a no-tech, low-tech, or high-tech home, both children and parents need to be aware of the topics that surround digital citizenship."

Digital citizenship starts with parents having open conversations with their kids. "Parents need their children to come tell them if the child sees or does something inappropriate online, but only 1 out of 10 children talk to their parents when incidents occur," said Mohlman. "We can change this statistic in Woodland by having 'tech talk' in our everyday conversations with our children."

Educational experts emphasize the importance of parental involvement. "We can't run an effective campaign on Digital Citizenship only during the school day; parents and the community must be involved," said Mohlman. "Woodland Public Schools offers video screenings, workshops and other opportunities to help parents stay informed about their roles in shaping the positive digital reputation of their children and to give parents the tools they need so they can keep up with the rapid changes in today's technological world."

Woodland Public Schools offers Screens and Teens Workshops, free one-hour classes designed to help parents navigate digital issues such as how the Internet can create a false sense of popularity in children and the risks facing privacy, cyberbullying, legal actions, and possible impacts on children's future. Parents can register for upcoming workshops and learn more by visiting the Parent Education section on Woodland Public Schools' website: www.woodlandschools.org.

To help families who cannot afford their own computers for their middle or high school student, Woodland Public Schools received a grant to create Technology for Home, a program which loans laptops to families in need. "Families will have the opportunity to borrow a laptop computer for the entire school year," said Mohlman. "We will start the program with the new school year beginning Fall 2018." Families interested in applying for Technology for Home can contact Leslie Mohlman by phone at (360) 841-2718 or by email at mohlmanl@woodlandschools.org.

For more resources to help parents talk with their children about digital technology and new media, parents can visit www.commonsensemedia.org a free website featuring resources to help parents talk with their children about a variety of topics including new television shows and movies with controversial subjects as well as guidelines for Internet and other digital technology.

For questions or comments about Digital Citizenship Week, contact Candice Shepherd via email at shepherc@woodlandschools.org or by telephone at (360) 841-2987.


Nicole Caulfield, Woodland Middle School's Art Teacher, helps a student pick the right glaze for her artwork during the after-school Pottery Club.
Nicole Caulfield, Woodland Middle School's Art Teacher, helps a student pick the right glaze for her artwork during the after-school Pottery Club.
Woodland Middle School students create art by getting their hands dirty with ceramics (Photo) - 03/05/18

Monday, March 5, 2018-Woodland, WA-Woodland's middle school students get the opportunity to get their hands dirty while making beautiful artwork by participating in an after-school Pottery Club.

Nicole Caulfield, the Woodland Middle School's art teacher, started offering pottery club in February so students could get more hands-on time with ceramics outside of class. Her inspiration for the club came after she found an old throwing wheel in storage. "I found the old wheel in the kiln room, and, thanks to the maintenance team, we were able to get it working," she said. "The students took to the wheel right away, but, unfortunately, with only the one wheel, it's very difficult for the kids to get a chance to throw their own pots so I decided to offer an after-school club for students who wanted more time with the wheel."

The Pottery Club drew a large amount of interest from its very first day with 15-20 students attending every meeting to throw pots, make artwork from ceramic slabs, and get their hands into clay. Any student can attend the after-school club free-of-charge as all supplies and materials are provided at no cost to enable students from any background to learn how to create their own ceramic art.

Kanden Hendrickson, an eighth grader, started attending pottery club so he could experience working with clay. "I really like being able to make what I want, and I wanted to see what working with ceramics was like," he explained. "I enjoy being able to build something in three-dimensions -- getting it off-the-ground and into reality unlike drawing or painting."

Maddison Wale, an eighth grader, became interested in ceramic art after seeing the pieces her older sister created on a throwing wheel and brought home. "I never worked with clay in art class here, I just decided to come to the club," she said. "After-school clubs can be a huge relief -- you get to learn more about the specific topics that interest you in a less time-restricted environment."

Carson Kaml, an eighth grader, enjoyed taking art classes from Ms. Caulfield so coming to pottery club was a natural next step. "Ms. Caulfield is a great teacher -- she guides the class and keeps us on-task but still makes everything exciting," he said. "For me, I really enjoy the detail work in ceramics -- I like adding fine details with the special tools we get to work with."

Caulfield discovered her love for teaching by starting with adult workshops. For the past nine years, she's served as Woodland Middle School's art teacher. Caulfield enjoys teaching students to experience the creation of art first-hand. "I love teaching middle school because the students are so talented," she said. "Making art encourages creativity and can often inspire students in ways they don't expect!"


Play-Based Learning allows students to internalize the lessons they learn in class while having fun at the same time.
Play-Based Learning allows students to internalize the lessons they learn in class while having fun at the same time.
Play-Based Learning lets Woodland's Kindergartners learn skills while having fun (Photo) - 02/26/18

Monday, February 26, 2018-Woodland, WA-Woodland Primary School uses Play-Based Learning, curriculum that motivates students to learn while playing at different teacher-designed stations, to internalize their lessons on a deeper level.

Studies show that five-year-old children can benefit from experiencing the world around them in additional to traditional classroom lessons. "Kids, especially young students, make sense of their world through play -- they need to 'do'," explained Ingrid Colvard, Woodland Primary School's Principal. "Instead of exclusively using traditional lessons to teach our students the skills they need to know, our teachers develop specific play-based curriculum to teach the skills students need to know in a way kids can better comprehend."

For 45 minutes at the end of each school day, students take part in Play-Based Learning where they choose from a variety of different stations featuring different activities related to the lessons they learn in class. "It takes very intentional planning for a teacher to have the materials, room arrangement, and structures in place to promote and support play-based learning," explained Pat Jones, Woodland Primary's Instructional Coach. "We seek a balance of child-initiated play, teacher-led activities, and experiential learning."

Before beginning a new Play-Based Learning lesson, students are taught how each section works including what all the included items are as well as ground rules for behavior at each station. "You can't make assumptions that all the kids will know about all the items at a section," said Colvard. "We've had students take a computer mouse and try to run it directly on the monitor itself -- you have to ensure every tool or toy you put in front of a student has been pre-taught."

For example, Play-Based Learning Stations for reading and writing include:

* Working on reading using an overhead projector so students can write the words they see projected on a whiteboard to identify words by sight.

* A poetry station where students can read poetry about different topics ranging from Groundhog's Day and losing a baby tooth to understanding rain clouds and why people like to read.

* Sight Word Booklets where students create a book of words covering a topic they choose.

* Word Toss where students play toss dice with words on them and have to select a word that rhymes with the word they read.

* Light Table where students create words using color-coded translucent magnetic letters on a table projecting a soft light.

Research studies support the effectiveness of Play-Based Learning. "A Columbia University study found that play is vital for cognitive, social-emotional and physical growth in children," said Jones. "When children play, they explore, problem-solve, take risks, make sense of their world, develop language, and engage in social negotiation."

In addition to helping students internalize their lessons, Play-Based Learning promotes skills necessary to succeed in today's job environment. "Play-Based Learning promotes creativity and collaboration with your classmates," explained Jones. "These attributes are highly-value in the 21st century workplace where colleagues are expected to work together as teams to achieve their goals."

Woodland Primary fully implemented Play-Based Learning in the 2016-2017 school year when a shift in teacher placement offered a unique opportunity. "We had four teachers new to Woodland Primary with three of them being brand-new to teaching any grade level," said Colvard. "All four were incredibly supportive and felt Play-Based Learning resonated with them and their students so they took the state curriculum, adapted it to their classrooms, and we're seeing huge progress in student learning and development."

During one classroom visit, Principal Colvard noticed Kindergarten students sitting in a small group "playing school" with one student acting like the school principal. When the teacher asked the group, "You're mathematicians, what made you into that?," the students answered by explaining their lessons and what they learned. "The kids were just playing school, but by talking about mathematics and how they learned their lessons, they're internalizing their learning," explained Colvard. "The more learning becomes natural, the more powerful it becomes throughout a student's entire academic career."

In another classroom, students were sorting plastic horses. "When they explained they were 'sorting,' we asked them to define the term and explain how sorting works," said Jones. "The conversation progressed to talking about how scientists use sorting in experiments and how experiments actually work -- concepts far beyond the lessons traditionally taught to Kindergarten students."

While students engage in Play-Based Learning, teachers have the opportunity to provide additional instruction for students who may be struggling with specific lessons. "By giving the students independence to learn on their own, I have the time to work one-on-one or with groups of students who may need help," said Heather Cacak, a Kindergarten Teacher at Woodland Primary. "Play-Based Learning just excellent because students develop so many skills at the same time which can also include socializing -- an important skill for children to develop at a young age."

In order to refine their techniques, teachers visit their colleagues' classrooms in Learning Walks to find ideas about how other teachers approach the lessons. "Having teachers watch one another really offers opportunities for them to evaluate and improve their own techniques," explained Colvard. "Our teachers incredibly brave and transparent -- they're used to having people observe so it's just become a normal part of daily teaching life."


Maintaining good school attendance helps to ensure all children have the opportunity to learn, flourish, and realize their dreams.
Maintaining good school attendance helps to ensure all children have the opportunity to learn, flourish, and realize their dreams.
Woodland Public Schools introduces new attendance policy to address chronic absenteeism (Photo) - 02/19/18

Monday, February 19, 2018-Woodland, WA-In order to address chronic absenteeism, a serious issue affecting millions of students in the United States, Woodland Public Schools has introduced a new three-level attendance policy to ensure students regularly come to school and learn what they need to know in order to achieve their dreams.

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."

According to Attendance Works, a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing student success and reduce equity gaps caused by chronic absenteeism, more than seven million students through the United States are missing so many days of school that they become academically at-risk.

Poor attendance can cause emotional and health issues for students, too. "Students who are chronically absent tend to struggle with self-esteem issues as well as depression," said Mouat. "Delinquent students tend to engage in unlawful activities that lead to very negative long-term life consequences." Conversely, Mouat explains that students with good attendance learn valuable life skills helping them succeed in life, "By starting young, students learn how to establish routines, set goals, and develop a strong work ethic by attending school regularly."

The significant impacts of chronic absenteeism led the Federal Government to require school districts and states to collect chronic absence data and report it publicly as part of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). In addition, the Washington State Legislature uses chronic absenteeism as a measure for school accountability.

To help reduce chronic absenteeism and increase student learning throughout Woodland Public Schools, the district introduced a new three-level policy:

* Level 1: Between 1-9 missed school days throughout a school year.
o Any absences of nine (9) days or less will be excused as long as a parent or guardian contacts their student's school within three (3) days of the student returning to school and the absence follows the district's policy for what is considered an excused absence.
o The following are valid excuses for absences:
?,? Participation in a district- or school-approved activity or instructional program
?,? Illness, health condition or medical appointment
?,? Family emergency
?,? Religious or cultural purpose including observance of a religious or cultural holiday
?,? Court, judicial proceeding or serving on a jury
?,? Post-secondary, technical school or apprenticeship program visitation, or scholarship interview
?,? State-recognized search-and-rescue activities
?,? Absence directly related to the student's homeless status
?,? Absence resulting from a disciplinary/corrective action (suspension, expulsion)
?,? Principal (or designee) and parent/guardian mutually agreed-upon approved activity

* Level 2: Between 10-17 missed school days throughout a school year.
o Once a student has missed nine (9) days of school, parents and guardians are notified in writing that they are required to provide written documentation within three (3) days of the student returning to school for all future absences.
o If the parent or guardian contacts their student's school regarding an absence within three (3) days, a notation will be entered into the Skyward system, however the absence will remain unexcused until written documentation is received by the school from the parent or guardian.
o Examples of written documentation include:
?,? A written note detailing the reason the student missed school, dated and signed by the parent or guardian.
?,? A prearranged absence form submitted to the school before the absence takes place.
?,? A dated note from the student's medical professional (doctor, dentist, optometrist, etc.) or other professional service organization explaining the reason for the absence.
o The validity of all written documentation will be determined by the school's Principal or designee. Level 2 absences are not guaranteed to be excused.

* Level 3: More than 18 missed school days throughout a school year.
o All absences more than 18 school days will be considered unexcused unless specific documentation demonstrates the student has a serious, ongoing medical condition preventing the student from attending school and that they are under direct supervision of a health care professional. In these extreme cases, school personnel will work with the family to ensure appropriate educational accommodations are made for the student.

"Establishing good attendance habits leads to a student's success not only in school but in future job opportunities, and families play a key role in making sure their students get to school safely every day," said Mouat. "By working together, we hope to ensure all children have the opportunity to learn, flourish, and realize their dreams!"

More information about excused and unexcused absences can be found in Woodland Public Schools' Policy No. 3122 online here: https://goo.gl/74DKVG. You can also learn more about Attendance Works and the importance good attendance plays in student learning and development from their website: www.attendanceworks.org.