Aug 29, 2008

Olympia School District tidbits

1. The Olympia School District kicked off another year with its annual Learning Improvement Days, this Monday and Tuesday. Andrea Peterson, 2007 Teacher of the Year, gave an inspirational and humor-filled speech about the necessity of relationships to teaching, and how in the new "Three R's," Rigor, Relevance, and Relationships, the latter gets short shrift despite its foundational importance.

I'd have more detailed comments, but my hard drive was destroyed in a series of frightful noises.

2. We have two new School Board members, if you hadn't already heard: Eileen Thomson and Mark Campeau. They were appointed by the remaining three, in order of seniority: Carolyn Barclift, Frank Wilson, and Allen Miller. Now that "crisis mode" is over, it's time for the District to have a thoroughgoing discussion of our values, goals, and weaknesses.

3. No Child Left Behind has caught up to two district schools, The Olympian reports:
Fifty-seven districts and 628 schools statewide are listed as needing improvement under No Child Left Behind in a preliminary report released Thursday by state Superintendent Terry Bergeson.

North Thurston was the only Thurston County district listed as needing improvement overall, but nearly all of the county's eight districts failed to meet federal benchmarks in at least one area, according to the report....

•Avanti High School: Did not meet target graduation rate.

•Jefferson Middle School: Math for the special-education and low-income groups; reading for the special-education group.
Since our results are tied to the WASL, and since WASL scores dipped in many categories statewide, which Bergeson blamed on "something... happening with the kids," one has to wonder if WASL angst is going to be enough to propel her competition, Randy Dorn, this November.

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