Thursday, July 12, 2018

Jump Start to Kindergarten and More Going on in WVSD

West Valley School District hosts  Jump Start Summer School for three weeks in July and one week in August prior to the start of the following school year. The purpose? The purpose is to give students who need some extra time or attention the necessary skills to "Jump Start" their success in the next school year. 

We even offer Jump Start to Kindergarten. Our outstanding Pre K Initiative provides us the access to be able to identify students who have not had a preschool experience that could use a Jump Start to Kindergarten. We have two small classes of students - learning how to play school, before school begins!

This picture is a classroom of students who are going to be entering Kindergarten in the fall of the 2018-19 school year. Teacher Elena Sullivan is working with these students in order to assist their school entry skills prior to the start of school. 

This picture is a classroom of students who are going from Kindergarten to 1st Grade in the fall of 2018-19. Teacher Vanessa Perez is working to make sure that these students will have the necessary skills in order to jump start the 2018-19 school year with their peers.

This is the 6th year that West Valley School District has operated the Jump Start Summer School. During the school year students are assessed fall, winter, and spring on Reading and Mathematics. If their scores fall below grade level, we offer this opportunity in the summer to provide the extra time needed to address any learning gaps and get them up to speed before the new school year begins!

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

In WVSD - Summer LEARNING is HOT!!!

WVSD currently has a great deal of summer activity going on!

We have 370 students from entering Kindergarten through entering 7th grade attending Jump Start Summer School at Cottonwood Elementary as well as West Valley Middle School. These students have demonstrated the need for some additional time in order to bring them up to speed in Reading and Mathematics. This is the 6th year we have operated the Jump Start Summer School, basing the invitations on Reading and Mathematics fall, winter, and spring student assessments. We even offer "Jump Start to Kindergarten" for students who have not had a preschool experience in order to assist with them getting a "jump start" on the following school year.

We have over 110 high school students participating in WVHS Summer School at WVHS in order to either work ahead or retake courses to retrieve credits. This is all offered through the West Valley Virtual Academy in an online learning environment.

Elementary Summer Reading is happening again for the 6th year in West Valley, with a new twist. The new twist is providing an opportunity to come to Wide Hollow Elementary and work with STEAM activities in creating Science Technology Engineering Arts or Mathematics projects. On July 11th, there were 36 students participating in this opportunity.

So whether you are working on sharpening your skills in a "Jump Start" before the 2018-19 school year begins, or you are working ahead or retrieving credits at high school, or even just want to work on STEAM activities during Summer Reading - There is a place for you during the summer at West Valley School District! 

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Wonder Media Story Maker at West Valley Middle School

Wonder Media Story Maker was on demonstration today during the WVSD Summer Institute. Teachers were give the opportunity to work with a group of students who used this to create, write, and produce a digital story.  Students will learn new skills through storytelling: Skills like writing, communication, teamwork, problem-solving and technical skills like editing and sound design. Students will gain hands on experience which will benefit them throughout their schooling and careers

Next year we will have a group of these for student use at West Valley Middle School. The power to create and make student concepts and ideas come "to life" is a powerful learning opportunity. 

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Career and College Readiness Program - Regional and National Recognition

Spotlight: Career & College Readiness

We want to share the great recognition our district is getting for the ways we set students up for success:

Education Northwest - this digital magazine highlights educational innovation throughout the Pacific Northwest. 

Education Northwest did a great job profiling our vision for Career and College Readiness in West Valley and how we have pulled that vision together in our CTE options for students. They break down our priorities and the steps we’ve taken as a district to develop and strengthen our CTE program. Read more, here. 

District Administration Magazine - this hard copy magazine is sent to all District level administrators throughout the United States. We have been recognized twice as a DA Magazine District of Distinction. 

District Administration Magazine wrote an article about our use of 3D printers in West Valley and where we feel they fit into the curriculum. While they were emphasizing the use of a very specific instructional tool, we spoke about how that tool fits into the overarching goal of Career and College Readiness.
 Read more, here. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

What School Could Be

Innovation expert Ted Dintersmith took an unprecedented trip across America, visiting all 50 states in a single school year. He wrote a book - What Schools Could Be. He originally set out to raise awareness about the urgent need to reimagine education to prepare students for a world marked by innovation, but America's teachers one-upped him. All across the country, he met teachers in ordinary settings doing extraordinary things, creating innovative classrooms where children learn deeply and joyously as they gain purpose, agency, and real knowledge.

I did not have to travel across the country, but instead down the hill to West Valley Junior High School. Teacher Ms. Bobbi Kipperman's 8th Grade Science Class invited me to a Project Based Learning Exercise titled - No More Styrofoam! The class identified issues that we face as a planet and narrowed down the focus to the issue of styrofoam overcrowding our landfills.

This Project was presented by several students in Ms. Kipperman's Class. This was the opening slide used for the presentation.

One by one, groups came forward to present a very compelling argument for making changes in the food trays used in our Child Nutrition Program. I will be returning to meet with the class on Thursday in order to ask more questions - focused primarily on how they valued the Project Based Learning (PBL) Exercise. 

This is one example of many of the outstanding work our teachers are doing in West Valley School District in order to better prepare our students for the issues that they will face in the future. Thank you very much Ms. Kipperman for providing one of these examples!

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Family Engagement Goal Driving Great Results at Ahtanum and Mountainview Elementary Schools

Ahtanum Elementary School as well as Mountainview Elementary School are having a great deal of success in generating more Family Engagement, which is one of our most important goals as a school district.

Ahtanum Principal Richard Pryor has had a great deal of recent success with the initiation of a coffee, donuts, muffins morning opportunity for parents on Friday mornings when they drop their kids off at school. I had the opportunity to attend the first one, and presented Mr. Pryor with a Community Responsibility Incentive pin that we give out to folks when they demonstrate a commitment to one of our 5 Goal Areas/Superintendent/Board Expectations.

Mountainview  Principal Nick Hartman recently set up Pre K - Kindergarten Prep Night at Mountainview on Tuesday, May 29th. Currently 34 Kindergartners are registered and 30 of the Kindergartners and families showed up for a Fun Night, Food, and Preparation Backpacks for Kindergarten. Letters, numbers, learning games, a timer and Dr. Seuss books were part of the Kindergarten Preparation Backpacks for parents to better prepare entering Kindergartners.

Great Job Ahtanum and Mountainview on ENGAGING our Parents! These are just two examples of the great work going on in our schools. All of our schools have worked very hard to better engage our parents and school community. Research supports parent engagement as the #1 predictor for student success in schools!

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

West Valley Citizens for Better Schools Committee honored at Regional WASA Awards Dinner

The West Valley Citizens for Better Schools Committee were the West Valley School District choice for our annual WASA Regional Award for Community Service! They were honored at a dinner on Thursday, May 10th that honored every school district's Community Service Award winner. Please join me in thanking this group for their work on 4 year levy that we passed in February that will provide critical funding for our schools for the next four years. These folks are going to be rallying our community to support future school levies and bonds in support of our schools and students in the West Valley Community.

From left to right; Jacynithia Mitchell, Michelle Mueller, Mike Brophy, Ryan Mathews, and Michael Moore. 

The West Valley Citizens for Better Schools Committee would like anyone interested in joining the effort to promote our outstanding schools in West Valley School District as well as to support future school district levies and bond issues for our kids. Learn more at