Dear SCSD Residents,
Community support is the key to quality schools. In turn, quality schools are essential in building a strong community. Your support provides our students with the educational opportunities and learning environments that are safe, secure and successful.
Our children deserve no less than our best efforts to equip them with the skills and abilities, tools and facilities to compete and collaborate in a continually changing global economy. In April, you will have the opportunity to vote on an important M & O replacement levy measure that will have an impact on the future of our students, schools and our community. This funding is critical, because as you know, our district no longer receives federal forest funds that were designed to supplant local funding. This puts the district at a significant disadvantage. Your investment truly matters to the future of our children.
Stevenson-Carson School District
Highly Capable Program
Notice to parents and community members regarding students within the Stevenson-Carson School District: The district’s Highly Capable referral procedures are currently underway for students who are now in grades K-11. The Highly Capable program serves students in grades K-12. Referrals may be made by teachers, parents, students, or any other interested party. Referral packets are available at the district office and all schools beginning on Monday, March 13, 2017 and are due by Friday, March 31,2017 at 4:00 p.m.. This notice is in accordance with WAC 392-170-042 and Chapter 28A.185.
Publish weeks of March 13, 20, and 27, 2017
Aviso a los padres y miembros de la comunidad con respecto a los estudiantes que están dentro del Distrito Escolar de Stevenson-Carson. Los procedimientos de recomendación están en curso para los estudiantes que actualmente están en los grados K-11. El programa Highly Capable (altamente capacitados) sirve a todos los grados desde K hasta 12. Los estudiantes pueden ser seleccionados a través de los maestros, padres de familia, estudiantes o cualquier otra parte interesada. Los paquetes de recomendación están disponibles en la oficina del distrito y en todas las escuelas a partir del 13 de marzo de 2017 y se vence el 31 de marzo a las 4:00 de la tarde. El presente aviso está en conformidad con WAC 392-170-042 y el Capítulo 28A.185
The Stevenson-Carson School District, along with a handful of passionate volunteers, has continued to explore the opportunities around reopening the swimming pool. The City of Stevenson and Skamania County** have partnered with the school district by making financial contributions. These two generous donations provided the additional funding needed for some of our “one time” reopening expenses. The district is grateful for these partnerships and their understanding of the importance of a COMMUNITY POOL!
The school district is working with an aquatic specialist/consultant on this project to create a “new” business plan. This plan will intentionally focus on increasing revenues by providing the type of programs desired by our community, while reducing expenses by purposefully monitoring every aspect.
The pool was closed in November of 2011. It was “mothballed” in a way that would allow the district to reopen it in the future. This “mothball” closing means the pool has been full of water for the last 5 years, the water has been circulating, heated enough to prevent freezing and damages, chlorine has been added weekly, and critical equipment has been maintained. The closed cost provides our community NO BENEFITS, yet annually costs the school district $25,000+ each year. The school district is attempting to reopen the pool, with an improved operating plan, that will cost the district not much more than the cost paid for the last five years while it was closed. It is believed that with the expertise our pool consultant brings to the table, and with creating some unique and special partnerships, this can be done!
The target for opening the pool is sometime in late spring. During the next several weeks the aquatic specialist, Mr. JP Moss, will be organizing and overseeing several work projects around the reopening the pool. He will also be gathering additional input from our community about the types of programs the community would like to see offered when the pool reopens. JP will also train our pool manager and lifeguards to ensure that we have the staff necessary to operate a fun and safe swimming pool.
Please do three things to assist us in these reopening efforts:
(1) Complete the survey. This survey will assist our consultant in planning a schedule and programs designed to specifically match our community’s desires. Survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/QM6MCQJ
(2) Email Karen Douglass at email@example.com if you would like to volunteer with upcoming projects: cleaning, painting, promoting, repairs, etc. If you e-mail please put REOPEN POOL in the subject line. If you have other expertise that you think would be helpful in this project, please include that in your e-mail.
(3) If you, or someone you know, would be interested in a part time job as a lifeguard or a full time job as a pool manager, keep an eye of our district website. These positions will be posted sometime before March 4th.
Thank you very much for your input and support!
**The Skamania County’s donation was funded by .09 Skamania County Project Development fund. These funds are generated by Sales and Use Tax and are specifically set aside for projects that will provide economic development and provide future jobs. The swimming pool, when opened, will employ one full time manager and many lifeguards.
Growing up in the Columbia Gorge, I am accustomed to inclement weather, especially during the winter. I’ve seen the Stevenson area receive 6’ of snow in early 1980 and have seen years when we just hoped for snow. Winter five years ago gave us a good reminder of how ice can impact our ability to conduct school (and other activities) as planned.
Before deciding to close schools, we consult with our staff members and Skamania County road crews who are out driving the streets of our communities beginning in the early hours of the morning. As needed, we would contact other agencies for additional information such as the PUD supervisor and the Sheriff’s office. Our school district covers a large region with remote areas and steep terrain in places. While roads may be passable in town, conditions may be very different just a few miles away. Before we close schools, we want answers to the questions below:
* Can we ensure that buses will navigate streets safely?
* Will students be safe waiting for buses, driving or walking to school?
* What are the predicted weather conditions later in the school day so we can also ensure students a safe return home?
* If we start school late (two-hour late start), will conditions be substantially improved?
* Will we have heat and lights in our schools?
* Will opening the schools impact or hamper other agencies needing to provide essential services?
Once we do make the decision to close schools, we try a number of ways to ensure the word reaches parents, students and staff. Our first step will be to send out an automated phone message through our School Messenger system. We use electronic means to notify media outlets, which also immediately posts the information to our web site: www.scsd.k12.wa.us. These are the fastest and most accurate way to track school closure information. Most of the Portland television and radio stations also provide school closure lists in their reports and on their web sites as well. Reports over the TV and radio will identify our school district as Stevenson-Carson School District NOT Skamania (a separate school district). For those of you without Internet access, you may call the district information line at 427-5676 after 6:00 a.m. each morning.
If it is necessary to open schools late, breakfast will not be served and morning pre-school classes will be canceled, and any scheduled early release will be canceled providing students as much instructional time as possible that day.
One of the reasons we live and raise our children in the Columbia Gorge is its ever-changing climate. If we prepare and consider all the possibilities, we can ensure the safety and well-being of our students and staff during extreme weather conditions. Having made my career in this school district for 28 years – I have experienced some school closures that were “spot on” and I’ve experienced some that “missed the mark.” Trust me, I’ll likely do both as superintendent of our school district. Please know I will do my best and provide me a little understanding if I miss the mark! Thank you for your partnership in this matter.
Dear SCSD Community,
There are two questions that I continue to be asked, over and over again. The most common question: Do you like your job? And a close second: Why did you apply to be the superintendent? YES -- I "like" my job. Most of the time, I actually love my job. I applied to be the superintendent because the people who make up this community are generous, supportive, caring and kind. More importantly, the students here are incredible and I believe they deserve the very best our school system can give them. I am here because I care about our students and our community and hope to positively impact our school district.
Since the presidential election, and the subsequent negative and hurtful things that have followed even in areas close to us, my love for this school district has been reaffirmed. Just like every other community, school or otherwise, some are celebrating the outcome and others are on a continuum from disappointed to downright outraged. But I'm so proud of our school district! Staff come each day, from all walks of life, and are respectful and kind to one another and students. Staff act professionally and deliver amazing lessons, regardless of their personal feelings. Our students are coming to school, learning to have disagreements and debates in appropriate and respectful ways, and continue to be kind and respectful to one another. I am so proud of our district.
Our school district has a culture that is in continual improvement. All things are not perfect -- but we are making great strides. We cannot control what is going on in the world beyond us, but we can define our own school and our own community. We will continue to provide a safe, nurturing and respectful learning environment for all students. For ALL students. We will intercede on behalf of any student who does not feel safe, respected or welcomed in our schools. Regardless of the ebbs and flows in our national climate, be assured that we will continue to focus on the academic growth and social growth of our students. Our direction, our priorities and our vision hasn't changed. These students are THE FUTURE and we will do our very best in helping them achieve even more than their wildest dreams. Who knows, maybe a future president will be a Stevenson High School graduate!
This year, our schools are making a special effort to ensure that all students fully benefit from their education by attending school regularly. Attending school regularly helps children feel better about school—and themselves. Your student can start building this habit in preschool so they learn right away that going to school on time, every day is important. Consistent attendance will help children do well in high school, college, and at work.
DID YOU KNOW?
- Starting in kindergarten, too many absences (excused and unexcused) can cause children to fall behind in school.
- Missing 10 percent (or about 18 days) increases the chance that your student will not read or master math at the same level as their peers.
- Students can still fall behind if they miss just a day or two days every few weeks.
- Being late to school may lead to poor attendance.
- Absences can affect the whole classroom if the teacher has to slow down learning to help children catch up.
- By 6th grade, absenteeism is one of three signs that a student may drop out of high school.
- By being present at school, your child learns valuable social skills and has the opportunity to develop meaningful relationships with other students and school staff.
- Absences can be a sign that a student is losing interest in school, struggling with school work, dealing with a bully or facing some other potentially serious difficulty.
- By 9th grade, regular and high attendance is a better predictor of graduation rates than 8th grade test scores.
WHAT WE NEED FROM YOU
We miss your student when they are gone and we value their contributions to our school. We would like you to help ensure that your student attends regularly and is successful in school. If your student is going to be absent, please contact your student’s school.
OUR PROMISE TO YOU
We know that there are a wide variety of reasons that students are absent from school, from health concerns to transportation challenges. There are many people in our building prepared to help you if you or your student face challenges in getting to school regularly or on time. Although not an exhaustive list our resources include your classroom teacher, school principal, office staff, school nurse, etc. We promise to track attendance daily, to notice when your student is missing from class, communicate with you to understand why they were absent, and to identify barriers and supports available to overcome challenges you may face in helping your student attend school.
SCHOOL POLICIES AND STATE LAWS
It is important that you understand our school policies and procedures, as well as Washington State Law, to ensure your child is successful in school. State law for mandatory attendance, called the Becca Bill, requires children from age 8 to 17 to attend a public school, private school, or a district-approved home school program. Children that are 6- or 7-years-old are not required to be enrolled in school. However, if parents enroll their 6- or 7-year-old, the student must attend full-time. http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=28A.225
We are required to take daily attendance and notify you when your student has an unexcused absence. This is typically done through the School Messenger System or a call from an attendance secretary.
If your student has two unexcused absences in one month, state law (RCW 28A.225.020) requires we schedule a conference with you and your student to identify the barriers and supports available to ensure regular attendance. The district is obligated to develop a plan that may require an assessment to determine how to best meet the needs of your student and reduce absenteeism.
In elementary school after five excused absences in any month, or ten or more excused absences in the school year, the school district is required to contact you to schedule a conference at a mutually agreeable, reasonable time with at least one district employee, to identify the barriers and supports available to you and your student. A conference is not required if your student has provided a doctor’s note, or pre-arranged the absence in writing, and the parent, student and school have made a plan so your student does not fall behind academically. If your student has an Individualized Education Plan or a 504 Plan the team that created the plan needs to reconvene.
If your student has seven unexcused absences in any month or ten unexcused absences within the school year, we are required to file a petition with the Juvenile court, alleging a violation of RCW 28A.225.010, the mandatory attendance laws. The petition may be automatically stayed and your student and family may be referred to a Community Truancy Board, or you and your student may need to appear in Juvenile Court. If your student continues to be truant, you may need to go to court.
Each school has established rules on attendance that will help you ensure your student is attending regularly. If you have a question or concern about the specific rules at your student’s school, you may contact the attendance secretary.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
- Set a regular bed time and morning routine.
- Prepare for school the night before, finishing homework and getting a good night’s sleep.
- Find out what day school starts and make sure your child has the required immunizations.
- Don’t let your student stay home unless they are truly sick. Keep in mind complaints of a stomach ache or headache can be a sign of anxiety and not a reason to stay home.
- Avoid appointments and extended trips when school is in session.
- Develop back-up plans for getting to school if something comes up. Call on a family member, a neighbor, or another parent.
- Keep track of your student’s attendance. Missing more than 9 days could put your student at risk of falling behind.
- Talk to your student about the importance of attendance.
- Talk to your students’ teachers if you notice sudden changes in behavior. These could be tied to something going on at school.
- Encourage meaningful afterschool activities, including sports and clubs.
Portions of this letter are attributable to Attendance Works http://www.attendanceworks.org/
Studies have shown that children whose parents are involved in their education do better in school. Parent-teacher conferences are one way to get involved. Every time you attend a parent-teacher conference, you learn more about your child and strengthen the bond with your child’s school. Getting to know the teacher and hearing his/her views of your child’s progress actually helps your child succeed. So, make parent-teacher conferences a priority and take the following steps to ensure you and your child get the most out of them.
Before the conference:
* Talk with your child: Find out his or her favorite subjects and activities, and ask if there are any concerns he/she would like you to discuss with the teacher.
* Review assignments: Are there some areas where your child really shines and others that might need a little extra work? Discuss both strengths and weaknesses with the teacher.
* Check whether your child should attend: In most cases, the conferences are strictly between the parents and the teachers, so you’ll probably need to make child-care arrangements.
The day of the conferences:
• Be on time: The conference schedule is tight and teachers need all parents to be on time. If something comes up, notify the teacher as soon as possible. Try to reschedule, even if it has to be a telephone conferences.
• Remember that conferences are brief: A typical parent-teacher conference lasts 10-15 minutes. If you need additional time, ask for a follow up session.
• Keep an open mind: Some parents get angry when teachers discuss trouble spots. Remember that these conferences are meant to help you understand your child’s school performance. Working together with the teacher will help your child succeed.
• Make plans: Find out what you can do to follow through at home. Decide together what you, your child, and the teacher need to help your child succeed.
• Tell your child: After the conference, meet with your child and discuss the teacher’s comments. Remember to praise all the things your child is doing well and pass along the teacher’s compliments. If you need to, talk about the areas that you and the teacher will be working on to help your child improve.
• Follow up: In the days and weeks that follow, let your child’s teacher know that you are following through on what was discussed, and that you’d like to hear how things are progressing in the classroom. Remember that schools and teachers welcome parent involvement year-round.
Feel free to call and schedule a phone or in-person conference any time you think there’s a need.
(Report to Parents, NAESP, RP26:1)
Please look for communication from your child's school about scheduling these important conferences.