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February 16, 2004

Woodside site plan approved

Woodside Elementary School’s site plan was accepted. Principal Linda Jorgensen reported on the progress of three new tactics that were developed last year. The tactics identify that

Woodside will:

  • emphasize ownership and shared responsibility among students and staff to enhance respect within the school community;
  • increase problem-solving abilities of students to strengthen critical thinking skills beginning in the area of mathematics; and
  • help students communicate effectively with an emphasis on writing skills and strategies applied to a variety of situations

To accomplish the first tactic, Woodside students and staff were surveyed to get their perspectives of respect and responsibility within the school community. Results were used to identify strengths and weaknesses. The school’s vocabulary program, WOW Words, builds on the concept of respect and responsibility.

The second tactic was reworded to specify that development of critical thinking skills would start with mathematics as opposed to all areas of the curriculum, as the original tactic stated. A committee is creating mathematics vocabulary charts for each classroom. It also is using information from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics to find ways to strengthen students’ ability to process challenging mathematics problems. Woodside teachers have volunteered to serve on the district’s mathematics curriculum committee.

Woodside teachers learned about and adopted the Six Traits Writing Program that had been used with success in other district elementary schools to achieve its third tactic. In addition, committee members from Tactics 1 and 3 collaborated in selecting WOW Words.

Students approved for early graduation

Ten juniors will be able to graduate after the first semester of their senior year in accordance with district policy. The students who were approved for early graduation are Bonnie Anderson, Elaine Carsky, Clark Herbst, Jaqualynne Herrmann, Katie Kijowski, Jamie Kornel, Katie Koshick, Jacob Umhoefer, Michelle Whipple and Michelle Zeirke. Students who wish to graduate early must meet credit requirements and apply by January of their junior year. Hamilton Principal David Furrer noted that most of the students were planning to go directly to postsecondary education.

Geography Bee winners honors

Templeton Middle School’s 2004 Geography Bee winners were honored. Templeton Principal Patricia Polczynski and teachers Alan Schneider and Rhonda Watton described the schoolwide participation in the contest sponsored by the National Geographic Society. School winners were Zachary Kozlowski, Alyssa Olson and Michael Bernarde. Kozlowski was unable to attend the presentation because of illness, but Olson and Bernarde were presented with framed certificates. As the school champion, Kozlowski will take a written test to determine the top 100 students who will advance April 2 to the State Geography Bee.

Personnel matters approved

In personnel matters, the School Board:

  • approved the retirement request of district assessment and technology executive assistant Midge Anton, effective June 30;
  • appointed 1993 Hamilton graduate John Damato as a physical education teacher beginning next school year;
  • accepted the resignations of Hamilton communication arts teacher Lisa Plichta and Woodside first grade teacher Shareen Cartwright, both effective at the end of the school year;
  • appointed Hope Gaestel-Piper as a Marcy cognitive disabilities replacement teacher until the end of the school year and Tanya Selestow as a Marcy Special Services teacher aide for two hours each day beginning Feb. 16; and
  • granted a leave of absence to Hamilton physical education teacher Kathryn Felker for the 2004-05 school year.