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"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world."

~ Nelson Mandela

 

 

 

 



The Farm in Eatonville: G.R.I.T.S & STEM


                                         

   March 12, 2017 : Last year the Nisqually Land Trust granted the Burwash-Kjelstad Farm in Ohop Valley. In years gone by there were 16 working farms in the Valley and today there are none. This video explains what the farm will mean to the school district. Kjelstad Burwash Farm and Eatonville School District - YouTube

        Eatonville School District 404
         May 31, 2017

      As a part of the Ohop Valley Restoration Project, the roughly 3.5 acres, around the barn and farmhouse, were gifted to the Eatonville School District by the Nisqually Land Trust. The Land Trust and Nisqually Tribe led the project to restore the valley and Ohop Creek to its natural state and improve salmon habitat in the valley. On this farm, that was founded in the late 1880s, we will begin growing crops this spring.
      Beginning in the fall of 2017, the farm will house the G.R.I.T.S program to teach students about agriculture and farming, the science of farming and restoration, and also about STEM, sustainability, and other subjects that connect to the farm and surrounding land. Below is an interview with Tod Morrish about the farm, the G.R.I.T.S. program, and Eatonville schools’ vision for connecting students to the land and healthy eating.

     1. What is your position next year?

 
    Morrish: I will be the G.R.I.T.S. program director and farm manager out at the Kjelstad/Burwash
farmstead.

     2. What is the G.R.I.T.S. program?

    
Morrish: G.R.I.T.S. stands for: Growing Relationships In The Soil. The program is inspired by the
GruB program out of Olympia. Students from the high school will apply for the opportunity to spend their afternoons out at the farmstead. While there, they will learn about farming and natural resources through physical labor and team work. It is an employability program that reinforces good work habits and positive interactions with coworkers and supervisors. Participants should come away from the yearlong program with the skills required to finish school, an appreciation of hard work, and a plan for the future.

    3. Who will be in the G.R.I.T.S. program?

    Morrish: While anyone who applies will be considered, the target students are those who just need to try something different. There are many challenges that face high school students and sometimes a change of scenery and methodology are needed to boost self-esteem, improve social interactions, or simply to work out a myriad of frustrations. Students will be chosen from their applications to interview for a position at the farmstead. In their interview, they will be expected to identify their strengths and challenges and demonstrate a desire to grow in both areas.

    4. Will students earn credits while out at the farmstead?

    Morrish: Students will earn a science credit in Natural Resources, a CTE credit  in Farm Management, and a P.E. credit based on the hours of physical labor and other activities students will engage in at the farmstead.

    5. What is happening now to get ready for next year?

    Morrish: The district applied for and received a grant from the USDA that is allowing us to get started this year. The grant focuses on specialty crops. We chose to plant pumpkins so that the local preschoolers and kindergartners can come out to the farmstead to pick out pumpkins for their October field trip. Some elementary students planted the seeds at their schools last month and will bring them out to the farm to put them in the soil with the help of some middle and high school volunteers. They will learn a little about specialty crops like pumpkins and will be able to show pride in serving others.

   6. What is the expected crop production and how will the crops be used?

   Morrish: The purpose of the G.R.I.T.S. program is focused primarily on student learning and growth. Crop production is the vehicle for the learning and growth. Crop choice and farming methods will be led by the G.R.I.T.S. students. The goal is for a successful harvest that can be used in the school kitchens and local food banks, but this is not purpose of the program. We expect that the variety and volume of crops will increase over the years and become a reliable resource.

    7. Who will care for the crops over the summer?

    Morrish: This summer we will organize some volunteers to keep an eye on the pumpkin patch. We are expecting to incorporate a summer program the following year. There are several possibilities for a summer program, but we are hoping that the students who enroll in the school year program will play a major role either through stipends or credits offered.

    8. What are the facilities like out at the farmstead?

    Morrish: Right now, the facilities are a little rough. This is just fine with me, however. I was inspired by a clip I watched about a preschool, where the kids are outside rain or shine. That is the philosophy we will have out at the farmstead. We will teach the kids how to dress appropriately for the weather. We are hoping to even be able to provide wet and cold weather gear to the students while they are out there. One of the outbuildings is being shored up this summer. That will suffice for our indoor space. We are looking at low cost options for restoring the barn and some of the other outbuildings over time.

    9. What attracted you to this opportunity?

    Morrish: Over the last several years, I have noticed that students (people in general really) have been losing their connection to what I think of as "real life." We are becoming so reliant on our virtual world that we are losing touch with the real one. This has resulted in a decrease in physical and interpersonal skills. It has become sort of a passion of mine to connect science with survival and farmsteading techniques. To me, this is the ultimate application science. I can't think of a better confidence booster than to know what a human being needs to survive and how to use available natural resources to provide for yourself, the community, and those in need. These ideas coupled with the physical and psychological rewards of hard work can be the cure for kids who are struggling to find their place in this world.

    10. How else will the farm be used?

    Morrish: We hope to host a multitude of field trip opportunities. These could be for all ages and subject matters. The G.R.I.T.S. farmers would act as hosts and teachers during most of these field trips to practice communications skills and demonstrate what they have learned. The possibilities are endless. There are many people with many ideas about what the farm can become. I hope, over time, that we will be able to make these ideas a reality. It is vital that we partner with school district employees, community members, and local experts in order to make this endeavor a success.

 



       

Students Disconnect from Cell Phones See Grades Improve
 ~An Essay by Brianna Trout

                   

E.H.S. - Fourth Quarter Newsletter Article

     Eatonville School District Eatonville, Washington
      Wednesday, May 17, 2017

     The world is aware that cell phones are becoming a larger and larger distraction to today’s youth. They use them to cure boredom, escape awkward situations, and create an image for themselves using social media. On the surface, it may sound harmless; nothing is really at jeopardy here, right?
     However, as the apps are updated and the entertainment on phones is endless, they have started to interfere with human interaction, engaging in class time, and social skills as a whole. Two weeks ago, in Mr. Erickson’s English class, he introduced the idea of transcendentalism (a belief/lifestyle of prioritizing non-materialistic things and knowing what’s important in life) as a transition into starting the book “Into the Wild.” While informing us about this topic, he brought up the idea of becoming unconnected from our cell phones. We were asked to think about how often we turn to them, and how they are potentially interfering with life’s greatest things.
    With that being said, he then encouraged us to attempt to be without them for a day; he proposed the
idea of dropping it off before advisory and retrieving it after 6th period. Personally, this sounded like an awesome idea to me, especially after realizing just how many things I miss from looking down at a screen.
    The first time I left my phone in his room for the day, I was alarmed at how many times I reached for my pocket trying to pass time with social media. Coming to the realization of how much time I actually spend on my phone was startling, so startling in fact that it motivated me to drop my phone off in there every day. About a week into my phone-free school days, I was already noticing changes not only in my mood, but also in my friendships and academics.
    Not having a screen to bury myself in caused me to engage in more conversations and hear every piece of information each of my teachers was relaying to us. My grades are currently the highest they have been in my entire high school career, and my friends have never been closer to me. Who knew living “unconnected” could make you so much more connected?
    I'm not the only student who has participated in this, my fellow peer Tanner Haugen has also been consistently leaving his phone in the safety of Erickson's room for his school days. After speaking with him about how this has affected him personally, he confided that even though he's always been a 4.0 student, he feels his understanding of the material in his classes is stronger now than it has been in years.
    Like me, he's seen growth in the relationships not only between him and his classmates, but between him and teachers also. The result of looking up from our screens has been so enlightening and has made multiple students appreciate the non-materialistic aspects of life.



Congratulations to 6th Grader Meredith Gottlieb!


    
Recognition at the 60th Washington State Science and Engineering Fair

     Meredith was among more than 700 presenters at the 60th Washington State Science and Engineering
Fair (www.wssef.org) in Bremerton on March 31 and April 1, 2017. Students from first through twelfth grades converged on Bremerton High School with their project boards and demonstration materials.
    Meredith Gottlieb presented the project: “Arduino Water Sensor" to judges who volunteer their time to listen, critique, and praise students. WSSEF awards more than $1.8 million in scholarships as well as special awards meeting specific criteria set by a sponsor.

    At the 2017 WSSEF, Meredith Gottlieb earned the following Specialty Awards:

·  Broadcom MASTERS Award Grade 6-8

·  Central Valley Garden Club: Outstanding Project from Kitsap County

·  Mildred A Misic Memorial Award

·  Diamond Jubilee Research Project of Distinction Award

   This is Meredith’s first year of participation.

   WSSEF is an all-volunteer non-profit organization dedicated to promoting science, technology,
engineering and math across the state year-round.
    For more information about the Washington State Science and Engineering Fair, please see their website (http://wssef.org/).

   Janna Rush
   Principal
   Eatonville Middle School



Lisa Wolfe New Athletic Director

     April 21, 2017

     Lisa Wolfe has accepted the Athletic Director position at Eatonville High School. Lisa was an internal candidate and current staff member at Eatonville High School. Lisa has long ties with Eatonville. She lived, taught, and coached in Eatonville for many years prior to moving to Fife. Lisa returned to Eatonville High School two years ago to teach physical education and history...and now she will serve in a larger role as Athletic Director.
    “I love this community and the opportunity this job provides. I am excited to support Eatonville High School in this new position. I look forward to engaging with the staff, community, and students next year and beyond,” said Wolfe.
     Lisa will replace Athletic Director George Fairhart, who has moved to the Peninsula School District. According to Principal, John Paul Colgan, Lisa will be a great resource at Eatonville High School. “We all know Lisa is a natural leader. She cares deeply for students and her actions on campus, within the sports programs, and in classrooms speak volumes.”



Gavin Kralik New Football Coach

      April 21, 2017

     Gavin Kralik has accepted the Head Football coaching position at Eatonville High School.  Kralik’s role will be official next Wednesday, upon Eatonville School District Board approval. Kralik, former head coach at South Kitsap High School in Bremerton, replaces former coach George Fairhart. Fairhart spent over 25 years with the Cruisers before moving on to coach at Gig Harbor High School.
    “I am very honored to be selected as the next Eatonville High School Football Coach. It is a special privilege to coach at the same place that Coach Gervais, Coach Fairhart, and many others have made so special. I will draw on my experience as a Head Coach the past twelve years to work towards building on the rich and proud tradition of Eatonville football.” - Gavin Kralik
    Eatonville’s long history of successful sports programs is unique for a community of its size.  Often times Eatonville would be either one of the smallest schools in a 2A league or one of the largest schools in a 1A league.
    Principal of Eatonville High School, John Paul Colgan, stated that by the end of the interviewing process, it was clear Gavin Kralik was the best fit for EHS. “Our candidates were impressive, but with Gavin we got the impression Eatonville will benefit from his high energy and proven ability to foster relationships with students, feeder programs, and colleagues. He has a strong mind for the game and in a smaller community it is a chance of a lifetime to have such a prolific leader as Gavin.” - Colgan
    Kralik will teach physical education at Eatonville High School with a strong emphasis on weight training and conditioning that will take place for students within the school day. Kralik is a 2001 graduate of Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia.
   The goal in Eatonville is not to change for the sake of changing. Many people in the town cherish how the football programs have conducted business on and off the field for years. A certain hometown pride exists with the success of the past. Colgan stated, “We know there are high expectations to win every game, but coupled with that are the same expectations to develop great men and women of character. Coach Kralik appreciates this tradition. “
   “We will continue to use football as the great teaching tool it is to develop kids to be successful in life,” said Kralik.
    The 2017-2018 Cruiser football season begins September 1, with a home opener against Elma High School.



Leprechaun Traps, Rainbows, and Spring

       by Superintend Krestin Bahr
      April 5, 2017

     Rain, rain go away, the Eatonville kids, staff, and community want to come out to play! Welcome to Spring, the time for students and staff to shake off the winter blues, and look at the school year coming to a close in the next few months. I went to the experts to find out how to account for and address the fact that this spring we have had excessive rain. I ventured to Weyerhaeuser Elementary to discuss the practice of trapping leprechauns and the link to our rainy weather pattern.
    As a STEM school, the task of the day for Ms. Zurfluh's kindergarten class was engineering the perfect trap in which to capture a leprechaun. This had been a focus for a couple of days. I had no knowledge of this invention and little understanding of leprechauns, in fact I knew nothing.
    Did we have an infestation? How do they know? How were these things connected? I entered the class
with much anticipation. I asked many questions and was impressed with the level of sophistication of the leprechaun traps, knowledge of rainbows and spring: fascinating work for these inventors.

● “How do you know there are leprechauns in your classroom?”
○ There are small accidents like green trails of glitter, tipped over books and pencils, and footprints on the window. There was even green in the bathroom!
● “What do they look like? And how do you know?”
○ They are really tiny men with funny coats and pants. They always wear hats. They are about this high (showing me a 2 inch space) and can become invisible.I know they are there because they leave kisses (chocolate I infer).
● “How do the traps catch them?”
○ They can not really swim, and they will like their traps so much, they will forget about leaving.
● “What is inside them?”
○ The traps will be made of all kinds of materials like cargo nets, hidden pools and gold...lots and
lots of gold.
● “What will you do when you catch them?”
○ We will catch them and make them give us 3 wishes. We could also chase a rainbow, but the
trap is easier.

    After we discussed this, I asked if they had caught any. They all agreed it was more difficultthan it looked, they had no leprechauns. However, they were not deterred or sad about this fact. They just turned back to their designs with earnest anticipation. The process of discovery and engineering seemed to be the highlight of the designing process.

   The students continued amending and finessing their traps. Later that week I visited Mrs. Painter's class at EES and viewed their wonderful traps as well (see below). I left both buildings thinking deeply about what lessons these children taught me.

   Children take time to dream and learn. They dream about how the world works, learn about physics,
and cause and effect. Children seem to take for granted that the world works for them alone.

   As scientists know, a rainbow is a meteorological phenomenon that is caused by reflection , refraction , and dispersion of light in water droplets resulting in a spectrum of light appearing in the sky. It takes the form of a multicoloured arc . Rainbows caused by sunlight always appearin the section of sky directly opposite the sun. It ranges from red to violet and can be seen in spring.

   Yet every time I see one, it stills seems like magic. How is it that the colors are always the same ROYGBIV? I still feel like I could drive to find the end of the rainbow and find the “pot of gold.” No wonder children believe in the leprechaun and the power of wishes.

   As we go into spring break, look into the sky and look for the silver lining or rainbow  during  our terribly rainy spring. Like the kindergarteners, think about how to "trap" your positive dreams and make plans of action for the remainder of the school year.

   May you take the time to celebrate your family, and explore nature - even when the  weather is dreary. Go even if the sun hides behind the clouds because kids don't seem to mind the rain. They only know that there are dreams to be made, gold to be gathered, and the perfect leprechaun trap is out there -

“Somewhere over the Rainbow”

Somewhere over the rainbow, way up high
There's a land that I've heard of once in a lullaby.
Somewhere over the rainbow, skies are blue
And the dreams that you dare to dream,
Really do come true.

Someday I'll wish upon a star
And wake up where the clouds are far behind me.
Where troubles melt like lemon drops,
Way above the chimney tops,
That's where you'll find me.

Somewhere over the rainbow, blue birds fly
Birds fly over the rainbow
Why then, oh why can't I?
Somewhere over the rainbow, blue birds fly
Birds fly over the rainbow
Why then, oh why can't I?
If happy little bluebirds fly beyond the rainbow
Why, oh why can't I? - Judy Garland

     Have a wonderful break!!
     Sincerely,
     Krestin Bahr

 



       

Recruiting the Eatonville Way Eatonville a Great Place to Work and Play
March Educator Career Fair...

     There is something about March Madness that makes you want to root for the underdog. On a cool, windy day, we took on our larger neighboring school districts at the WSPA Educator Career Fair in an effort to recruit teachers for the 2017 – 2018 school year.

     In the Tacoma Dome, it can be overwhelming with over 100 districts participating as  they start setting up booths with teams of 20 – 40 folks. How do you draw candidates in to talk and learn about the opportunities at Eatonville? We started with a very simple concept, teachers go into teaching because they love working with kids. Let’s take students to the fair.

     Yesterday, with the support  Ronda Litzenberger, Board  of Director  Chairperson, and Superintendent
Bahr, Eatonville School District became the “trend setter”. Thank you Ronda for transporting the students to and from the fair as well as supporting them throughout the day. A special thanks to our high school students Gavin Cole, Briana Foxworth, Destiny Martinez, Janice Tuskey, Trent Wohlgemuth, and Lukas Wolfe. Each of you contributed to the success of the day, thank you.

    Another avenue we choose to highlight with the candidates is the wonderful STEM  work throughout the district. Travis Rush joined the team with a full range of technology demonstrations as well as having the students write personal thank you cards for each candidate that stopped by our booth. Travis we appreciate all your work yesterday as well as the work done in the days leading up to the fair. The “Thank You” cards were a hit with the candidates.

    Mrs. Litzenberger and the students hit the floor from the start and worked the crowd handing out flyers with job openings, candy and our give away bag. Other districts asked how we got a Board Member to participate. Thank you Ronda for supporting our efforts yesterday. Have you noticed the theme? Eatonville is a great place to work and play.

    Over the course of fair, the Eatonville team was on fire. It was great to see so many candidates stop by our booth, learn about Eatonville and consider working with us.

    The students conducted “Rocket Races” to demonstrate how simple STEM can be integrated into the classroom. During these races, Trent & Lukas encouraged those who watched to come stop by our booth. We heard from a University of WA program advisor how impressive the students were and what a great concept to include them in the fair.

    Over the course of the day, we collected 75 resumes and conducted four interviews. Without a doubt, this was the most successful recruiting event in the last six years. The day could not have been more pleasant to participate & watch the interactions of our students, administrators and candidates.

    I want to send out a shout out of thanks to the following administrators who attended - Cristin Blaskowitz, John Paul Colgan, Angie Ellenbacker, and Jann Rush.

   Yesterday flew by so fast; interactions & conversations were engaging. Candidates stood in line as they waited to talk with administrators; it was an enjoyable recruiting day for Eatonville School District. Our students, parents, staff, board of directors & superintendent all play an important part in our day-to-day activities and successes. So from the bottom of my heart, thank you team for wonderful day. Denise D. Walters, Human Resources.
 



       

After 28 Years EHS Football Coach Fairhart Leaves for Gig Harbor as Head Coach

by John Paul Colgan
EHS Principal
March 27, 2017

Longtime Eatonville High School (EHS) football coach, George Fairhart is the new head football coach at
Gig Harbor High School, located in the Peninsula School District.

Over the span of 28 years, Coach Fairhart has led many EHS football players to success, on and off the
football field. During this time, he has also taught a number of classes, such as P.E. and Conditioning, and has served as EHS Athletic Director for the last five years where he will finish out the school year before moving on to his new role.

For decades, Coach Fairhart instilled in Cruisers of all ages the attributes of mental toughness, sound
character, a passion for excellence and discipline. "I really admire George because he is a wise and humble man, who always puts the kids first. Now he is going to continue to coach in a football-loving community," said John Paul Colgan, Principal of Eatonville High School.

Many people have already contacted George to wish him well. A few of the callers were interested in how
to apply as his replacement. According to Colgan, the coaching job will be posted across the state and beyond, to ensure the school is able to assemble a candidate pool that has depth and experience. "The coaching position will be opened soon. A screening panel will be formed to evaluate applications and make recommendations on candidates to be interviewed. EHS will follow district procedures for hiring," said Colgan.

Many people cherish their days of playing football as an Eatonville Cruiser. They always have...and always
will. Coach Fairhart has led the most visible sports program at EHS for a long time. His program has set the tone for the culture in the building each Fall. Coach Fairhart has confidently shared his strong background in football, leadership and vision for all Cruisers.

Colgan explained, "People like George Fairhart do not come by very often. Perhaps he has impacted your child for a reason, a season or a lifetime. I ask students (and alumni) about Mr. Fairhart, and before they say anything, their faces light up. George will be missed in the Eatonville community.”

All of Eatonville thanks you, Coach, for your years of dedication and all the positive memories. Your
legacy will live on forever. Best of luck in Gig Harbor!



Nisqually Land Trust Honors Eatonville School District with President’s Award as 2016 "Partner of the Year"


                                         

   March 12, 2017 : Last year the Nisqually Land Trust granted the Burwash-Kjelstad Farm in Ohop Valley. In years gone by there were 16 working farms in the Valley and today there are none. This video explains what the farm will mean to the school district. Kjelstad Burwash Farm and Eatonville School District - YouTube
  
 Below is the recent letter informing Superintendent Krestin Bahr of the award. She will  attend to accept the honor.

Award to be Presented April 1, 2017

    Our Development Committee met this week, and the vote was unanimous: In recognition of the tremendous vision and hard work behind creating the District’s Ohop Valley project — which just continues to amaze us and a whole lot of other people — we would like to present you and the Eatonville School District with our President’s Award as our Partner of the Year for 2016.
   Would you be willing to accept it? We’d present the award as part of our annual Conservation Dinner and Auction on April 1. We’d give you two tickets to the event, and you’d have a few minutes onstage to accept the award and make any comments you’d like. Basically, the event is a great party, and we usually have a good contingent from the Eatonville/Ashford area.
    The dinner will be held April 1, at the new Lacey campus of South Puget Sound Community College.

    Joe Kane
    Executive Director

 



Unbridled Support for All EHS Students
Graduation Rates Rise Dramatically in Three Years

      Press release
      March 2, 2017


    Over the past three years, Eatonville High School raised the graduation rate  from 87% to 95.2%. The vision is to graduate 100% of each senior class. Reaching this goal is becoming more of a reality for our 620 students.The culminating factors include a laser-like focus on each student, caring support from a team of teachers and counselors, and one unbridled graduation specialist.
    According to EHS Graduation specialist, Cathy Kerr, attaining academic success for all students in 9th through 12th grade initially involves implementing a six-step process. Mrs. Kerr will be the first to explain that the needs of each student are different, so the six- step process evolves into a continuous cycle of refinement. Here is that cycle:

   
Foremost, in Eatonville, we know our students! A separate file is kept for each student, which includes their transcript, schedule, and credit evaluation.

   
Each student is assessed and a plan is developed for them. Plans are continually updated to meet each individual’s circumstances.

   
Students are informed of the multiple pathways they have to earn a high school diploma.

   
EHS offers a “credit-recovery class” within the school day and during spring break; in addition to a
summer school offering credit retrieval classes. Students also have the option of attending the Cruiser Success Center - Alternative Learning Program if they need alternative placement.

   
Eatonville has a positive working relationship with outside programs that lead to industry certifications and college credit. Students may attend programs which include: Bates Technical College, Tacoma Community College, Clover Park Technical College, and Pierce County Skills Center.

   
Students each receive a weekly grade check in their advisory class.

    Recent data shows this process is helping seniors perform better during the first semester of the
school year. For example, the end of the first semester of 2014-15 school year, 50 seniors failed at least one class. In 2015-16, that number dropped to 30 seniors. During the first semester of this school year (2016-17), that number was reduced to 11 seniors.
   John Paul Colgan, Principal of Eatonville High School, credits the improvement to the students’ response to teachers and the calculated efforts which took place at all grade levels from September through January. “The kids know we care. Students are now motivated for different reasons and have grown to expect to be ‘hassled’ if they are not passing their classes or are not coming to school on a regular basis. Eatonville High School is a tight-knit community...and there is only so far a student can travel before staff members take notice. And notice, we do!”
   November is a key month for following through on student academic performance. Counselors present graduation requirements and credits to the 9th grade class. This year all 57 students in the 9th grade, who were failing one(or more) class(es), received a note to meet with counselors, Mrs. Kerr, and Principal Colgan. At each student’s meeting, they were given further information about credits, transcripts, and new strategies to improve their grades. “We are teaching kids to own their credits,” Mrs. Kerr explains.
    Two weeks later, a “D & F Report” was compiled, and eighteen 9th graders improved their grades to passing and were removed from the list. Parents of these 9th grade students also received follow-up emails. The email outlined expectations for their student’s attendance during Fall Conferences in order to develop a plan to improve grades.
    At the school-wide parent-teacher conferences in November, Mrs. Kerr and the Eatonville High School counselors identified and met with any student in 9th through 12th grade who were credit deficient. The conferences allowed the opportunity for the parents and their student to formulate a plan with staff to bring up their grades. Students who were unable to attend conferences received a progress report in their advisory class and an opportunity to register for the spring credit retrieval class.

"At EHS, the Focus is on Students Trusting Themselves to Become Better Learners"

   Many people are aware of the stigma that exists with credit retrieval. Some would say a few students dismiss their classes only to take credit retrieval because they feel it is a quicker solution to credits. At EHS, the focus is on students trusting themselves to become better learners. “Not all comprehensive high schools fit the needs of all students,”
    Colgan says. “The most meaningful thing is to see graduates come back and visit. These students - fully alive, speak of their successes, whether it be technical school, military, Job Corps, community college or university. Our job as leaders is to encourage students throughout their lives, not just to graduation day.”
    Cathy Kerr also makes a lasting impact on students who graduate by maintaining solid relationships with all of the contacts outside of Eatonville. Many local educational programs and community colleges know Cathy well, and trust that she sees a career in the students attending from Eatonville.
    Furthermore, when Cathy follows-up on how our students are performing away from EHS, she finds the majority of our students are still enrolled, making progress, and doing well. As a result, this tells the story that Eatonville Cruisers are good candidates for success in technical high school programs, other college opportunities, and beyond.
    Kerr sums up the process well, “At EHS, we have a great team working to find the best plan for each student. It does take more time and energy, but the result is meeting individual student needs for success.”

Tally Hull Adds Praise...

     This is a well deserved and aptly stated description of the  comprehensive approach to getting all EHS students to succeed, and the key role Cathy Kerr plays. Her dedication to, and knowledge of, the at risk students has, quite literally, changed student's lives from a negative direction to a path of hope and success. The ripples go out, in their families, our community and on and on. Kudos to all staff involved, administrators who are supportive, and most of all to Mrs. Kerr.
    
    Thalia Hull, Secretary
    Guidance Office
    Eatonville High School

 



EES Awarded STEM Lighthouse Grant
STEM = Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

       Press Release
       February 25, 2017

     OSPI has recommended Eatonville Elementary as the 2017 STEM Lighthouse grant awardee. This makes all three (3) of Eatonville School District elementary schools recipients of this grant and designation. Known as Lighthouse schools, the school will be awarded $20,000 grants that will be used to promote and develop STEM education, including technical assistance and advice for other schools in the state that are creating their own STEM environments.
     “It’s a great honor to be chosen as a STEM Lighthouse school for the state of Washington as it reflects the hard work and organization that has centered around quality STEM education at EES. The specific integration of the ARTS into STEM, such as EES's A-STEM school focus is particularly interesting as research is clear that creativity and imagination are necessary for optimal student achievement and success.
     Both the arts and the sciences teach creativity, collaboration, and problem-solving skills. Students learn common skills that may be applied between all STEM and arts content areas. The critical-thinking skills of analyzing, assessing, categorizing, classifying, predicting, justifying, interpreting, and more are reinforced by both the STEM disciplines and the arts.
     We are so fortunate to have EES as a lighthouse school in this area," said Krestin Bahr, Eatonville Superintendent. “It makes this school a leader in STEM education. Other schools will look to all of our elementary schools (EES, WES, CCASTEM) in the district for guidance on how to successfully teach STEM in the elementary.”
     STEM Lighthouse schools originated in 2010 with the Legislature’s passage of House Bill 2621.The bill directs the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction to designate lighthouse schools. The schools “serve as resources and examples of how to combine the following best practices:

     Small, highly personalized learning communities;
     An interdisciplinary curriculum with a strong focus on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics     (STEM), delivered through a project-based instructional approach; and Active partnerships with businesses and the local community to connect learning beyond the classroom.”

     Help me congratulate the staff and students at EES.
Go EAGLES!



Education in Washington Faces a Manufactured Funding Crisis

Press Release
February 5, 2017

In Eatonville, we are having conversations with our families and stakeholders about the potentially large budget deficit and the resulting impending cuts to the Eatonville School District next year. I felt it is important to let our legislators know the difficult choices the district will be facing if the State does not fulfill its Constitutional duty to fund education. I welcome that conversation.

When a public organization announces that without relief, cuts must be made to programs, schools, staff, and services, a standard community response is denial. This will not happen to us. How did this happen?

The answer: For decades, our state support of public education has depended more and more on the use of local levy resources to backfill against underfunded state responsibilities. And when the State does provide funding, in nearly all cases, it underfunds the true cost of the item or work and local levy revenues must make up the difference.

The Eatonville School District project a $1,227,097 shortfall between revenues and  expenditures for next year and a decrease in 2019 of $1,050,945. These reductions result from our local levy authority percentage dropping from 28.97% to 24.97%, levy equalization percentage dropping from 14% to 12%, and losing the ghost revenues from I-728 and I-732 that have been included in our total levy base.

This loss is the equivalence of losing 22 teachers, and programs that will ultimately restrict our ability to educate and support our students.

Central to our budget problem is the question of whether educators should be paid like other professionals and fully compensated for the important service they provide for our students. Compensation of teachers and staff makes up 85% percent of our budget.

Given that, the Washington State Supreme Court has ordered the legislature to address compensation, given that we have a teacher shortage, given that other districts pay more than Eatonville, it is difficult to believe that this is a wise decision.

The idea that some districts should be able to have programs that are enriching and equal to a 21st century education and others located in more rural, small districts such as Eatonville can not provide such programs due to a lack of funding is an equity issue. Especially given that there was a legislative commitment to fix the problem by 2018.

Our students’ success comes from having highly skilled, highly motivated, creative professionals working together. Yet now, because the STATE has not yet met their constitutional duty, a manufactured funding crisis will damage the future of our students and state.

Our public education-funding model does not work. We do not have a business solution of raising revenue. In our case, that is the legislature’s and the Governor’s job. We are pleased that the Governor’s proposed budget which takes a strong first step to address the overall need. The Seattle Times and numerous papers clearly point to the need to fully fund compensation for educators.

We do not want to be forced to make difficult cuts that hurt our students. In Eatonville our proximity to larger urban districts makes this issue even more pressing as we compete for candidates with the largest districts in the state within our area. Quality Education matters.

Education provides opportunity and is the backbone of a strong and economically stable community. In our state, a free, ample, and equitable education is a birthright, a civil right, and our State’s paramount duty. Now is the time to fulfill that promise to students across Washington State.

Superintendent Krestin Bahr

 



Elf on the Shelf...

from Superintendent Krestin Bahr
December 2016


This season of holidays – Christmas, Kwanza, Hanukkah, New Years, Saint Lucia, etc…have one thing in common I have found. Children have very clear opinions about what should happen during this time of year. I wondered about what the experts (meaning children), would have to say about this time of winter solstice, dark/long nights, snow/ice/rain, and impending vacations. As I mustered up the courage to read aloud to six kindergarten classes (115 children), I decided to ask them about some things. I asked several questions, things I was curious about.

1. How do you make egg nog? Help me with the recipe.

· It’s a drink, looks like milk

· Put a lot of eggs in it

· It’s bubbly

· Sugar, of course – a lot, maybe a bag

· No – juice – put apple or cranberry juice in it

· Cook it on the stove and drink it

· My dad buys it and puts it in his coffee

So, if any of you choose to follow this recipe, please let me know how this tastes! (And good luck!)

2. What is mistletoe?

· It’s a leaf with cherries on it, they hang it on a door

· It’s medicine

· It’s a toy I have, with missiles on it - like a Transformer

· Grass with a bow and berries

· No, they are fake leaves and berries

Interesting – no mention of anything else! J –

3. How do reindeer fly?

· They run so fast they just take off!

· No, there’s magic (Now this was the hotly debated section, where the magic is – who brings it, how it
works. There was no consensus here and depending on the class, there was heated lobbying, caucusing, and discussion – whew!) The rules of magic!

· There’s a collar that you put on them that has magic

· Rudolph’s nose has magic in it

· Magic comes from the hooves

· Santa has all the power – he has dust

· The star on the sled has magic

· Someone (maybe Santa) says magic words

· They fly by having dust inside like glitter

After this question, I became a bit concerned, yet also excited about my next question. Now as my
husband and I are to become new grandparents this spring, I had heard about elves and Christmas, but having no context for this tradition – I eagerly asked the next question.

I’ve heard about “Elf on the Shelf” …

4. Can you explain the rules?

· Santa has one

· He kinda’ creeps me out, I don’t talk to him

· The elf looks for a family; he flies into the house at night

· He has a name (Trixie, Seymour, Sophia, Frog, Anna, Linus, Alexa, Elsa…you get the point….)

· He reports to Santa

· If you touch him, the magic wears off. Only grown-ups can touch him. Don’t ever touch him!! It’s trouble.

· He leaves notes, cookies, candy, books, notes written on the mirror with toothpaste

· He does funny things – leaves footprints, moves things

· He reports back to Santa

· He is mischievous – he gets into trouble

All of the students talked about the joy and excitement this elf brings every day in December until
Christmas – amazing! I certainly hope my new grandson will be lucky enough to have an elf visit next year. Brilliant!

Last, but not least, my last question really centered on what was the most important thing to these 5-year-old social scientists.

5. What is your favorite thing about this time of year?

Now, we know that we are all inundated daily with ads for every product imaginable at this time of year. Sheer capitalism at its finest. So, how did our experts respond?

I love to:

· Decorate tree

· Ornaments on the tree

· Being with my Grandpa

· Opening gifts in the morning

· Making cookies

· Family come over for dinner

· When the elf comes

· Spend time with family

· Wrapping gifts with mom – I got gumballs last year!

· You have to go to sleep so Santa can visit

· If we touch the elf, we will get coal

Hmm? This conversation was going a different direction than I had  anticipated. I wasn’t  hearing
anything about the “what”- presents and stuff, uncontrolled greed and commercialism.

Was it true – that childhood wonder, innocence and belief in magic and “sugarplum fairies” really still exist? Excitedly, I hastily threw out a question as I packed my bags (really just to look like I had a “closing question,” not really expecting any answers.)

So, what would you want your family to know – if you could tell them anything?

· I love my mommy, daddy... (family members named here)

· I try my best, I really try to be good.

· I love them so much.

· I love our projects when we paint Santa ornaments and use glitter as snow.

· I just love having my family together at this time of year – oh yeah, and cocoa with marshmallows.

· I love when we play board games with candy canes.

· I love my grandma and grandpa, they come over and are so nice.

· Family, family, family….

No responses including lists of what they wanted, lists of “whosits” and “whatsits” …nothing. There was only gratitude and excitement for their families, their traditions, the love they felt for all the adults in their lives.

So as we near the holidays, please remember that you, just you, only you, are enough at this time of year, and the greatest gifts you can give don’t cost a dime –

The gift of TIME for:

· Being present

· Laughter and storytelling

· Walks in the woods

· Frosting cookies

· Family traditions

· Singing – even terribly off pitch Jingle Bells, etc.

· Attending events together – sledding, church, sing-a-longs, dinners, tree lighting, and on and on…

May you spend this season turning off the ever present devices and enjoy each other - as TIME is our most
precious gift to others. Listen to the experts and follow their rules of engagement!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!

Sincerely,
Krestin
 



School District Weather Closures Information from Superintendent

Dear Eatonville Parents and Guardians,

Welcome to the winter season. Our district staff understands that our decision to open or close schools
in bad weather has a big effect on families. We also understand that our students are better served - both academically and socially - by being in school. But as always, our top priority is the safety of our students and our staff.

HOW DO WE MAKE OUR DECISION?

Please understand that we make the decision to open or close the schools in bad weather based on a careful analysis of all relevant factors, such as:

Information on road conditions from transportation staff and from the police. We must give careful consideration to the most dangerous roads in the district. Even if your street looks clear, travel elsewhere in the district may be dangerous. Also, we must consider that some high school students drive to school. Our district’s boundaries are extremely spread out from Mount Rainier to Bethel SD, so this complicates the decision process.

Amount of snow and ice accumulated.
Whether precipitation is continuing.
Building conditions (such as whether we have electricity and heat).
Parking lot conditions. Administrators talk to maintenance and custodial staff members who are responsible for clearing and treating school parking lots and sidewalks.
Temperature and wind chill. Please remember that some of our students walk to school and some must wait outside for the bus.
Weather predictions. We prefer not make our decision based on weather predictions, which are not always accurate. But sometimes this is unavoidable.
What other school districts are doing. We also share information with other local districts and check whether they are opening or closing.

WHO MAKES THE DECISION?

As superintendent of schools, I am responsible for the final decision, based on the above factors and recommendations from the Managers of Transportation and Facilities.

HOW IS THE PUBLIC NOTIFIED?

A robo call through Flash Alert will be made to all current households. Eatonville School District has a 24-hour hotline (360) 879-1100 that will have updated information and will publicize school information by local area radio and television stations that cover school closures and delays. Please see the district website for Flash Alert app installation for the most updated notifications

WHEN IS THE DECISION MADE?

I must make the decision by 5:00 am or earlier so we can notify radio and TV stations and post the decision on our website. If I wait longer to announce a closing, some parents will have already left for work, leaving their children unsupervised. The process for this often starts at 3am with the Manager of Transportation driving the roads of the district.

TRANSPORTATION

When there are icy or snowy conditions busses will run on designated snow routes. Check out the transportation web site for school closures and snow route information.

If you or your teenager normally drive to school your student is welcome to take the bus on snowy or icy days. You may access bus routes, snow routes, delays and closures on the transportation web page.

h
ttp://www.eatonville.wednet.edu/Page/729
 

WILL WE CLOSE SCHOOL IF CONDITIONS WORSEN?

Keep in mind that, even if weather conditions worsen, we cannot reverse our decision in the morning without endangering students. Once we make the decision to open the schools, many parents rely on it and leave for work. If we then send students right back home, many will return to unsupervised bus stops and empty houses. If conditions get worse during the school day, we may need to have any early dismissal, but we will give adequate notice to all parents first.

Although my staff and I do our absolute best in this process, we know that often no perfect decision exists. If, based on current weather conditions, you do not feel as though it is safe for your child to attend school, use your best judgment on whether he or she should attend. Also, discourage teenagers from driving in bad conditions and offer them alternatives if weather conditions worsen.

We hope that this explanation helps everyone understand the process that our district  staff uses to make the best possible decision for all in our district. We value the safety and security for all of our students. Be safe this season!

Sincerely,
Krestin Bahr,
Superintendent
 



Thanksgiving Message from Superintendent Bahr...



       

Graduation Rate Rises at Eatonville High School

Press release
November 2016

The on-time graduation rate for Eatonville High School is now an impressive 95.2%, an 8.2% increase over the 2013–2014 school year and 5.1% over 2014–2015.

Principal John Paul Colgan credits the improvement to a variety of targeted efforts, first of which is a first-rate faculty. “To say
that our teachers get to know their students and their needs is an understatement,” says Colgan. “The EHS faculty instructs, guides and inspires Cruisers at every grade level. By the time they are Seniors, students have been well-served by competent, caring teachers, who have empowered them to take meaningful next steps after graduation.”

Another factor impacting on-time graduation has been the addition of a Graduation Specialist, Cathy Kerr, who works to find
learning options for students to help them succeed. “Cathy monitors credit evaluations and meets with students and families,” Colgan explains. “She also excels at making positive connections with staff at other Pierce County schools that provide educational options for Eatonville students looking for additional choices.”

Colgan also has high praise for the EHS Counseling Department. “MaryAnn Baker and Corinna Schoonover make sure all of
the necessary credits, state assessments and graduation requirements are met. As as result, students don’t fall through the cracks along the way.”

Also driving the improved graduation rate, says Colgan, is a strong sense of teamwork. “Everyone comes together to assist
students who need academic support. Counselors, teachers and advisers come together all year long and continuously evaluate students who need academic assistance.” Mike Moeller, Senior class adviser, underscores the process well. “We have a great relationship among the teachers, counseling staff and the career center. We care deeply for our kids…and the relationships we have with our students matter most.”

Going forward, another outstanding effort has been added this year. The addition of a new program called Ignite, was recently
implemented to help 8th graders transition to the high school. “Entering high school can be complex.” Colgan states, explaining that Ignite incorporates techniques to make Eatonville High as warm and welcoming as possible for incoming freshmen. Highlights include EHS upperclassmen “mentors” leading orientation, visiting the middle school campus, cementing relationships with 8th graders that will continue when they enter EHS in the fall. At the same time, mentors discuss incoming students’ strengths, and work to design strategies to improve GPA, that propel a sense of peer support as well as a planned-for sequence of positive progress that over the years will help students to improve school climate and stay on-track.

“Our improved graduation rate is great news,” the Principal avows, noting that it is important to remember that the primary
goal of the entire school district is to inspire life-long learners who will create a bright tomorrow. “Graduating from high school is a milestone,” Colgan declares, “but life-long learners celebrate a multitude of milestones beyond the classroom.

That's what counts most...and that's what educators throughout the district work to instill in their students.
 



School Board Honored

 



Enjoying Autumn Days in Eatonville School District

"I cannot endure to waste anything as precious as autumn sunshine by staying in the house. So I spend almost all the daylight hours in the open air." ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne

from Krestin Bahr
October 27, 2016

Daylight hours shrink and temperatures drop, but before winter freezes the mountains of the Cascades: Mount Rainier comes to life for a few weeks of painted glory, the beloved fall. The deep reds, bright yellows, and burnt oranges that give our town a festive flair have been dazzling local residents since long before the first European settlers developed our town.

Though we have a modern scientific explanation for why leaves change color, some of us prefer to dive into the legends of Washington state's first inhabitants. Unfortunately, written accounts of the legends are hard to come by — I would like to share one of my favorite Native American stories about autumn.

Chasing the Great Bear...

In ancient times, three young men, the bravest hunters in the world, set out with their dog to track a bear at the first snowfall. The bear had made crisp paw prints in the cold, fresh crystals, leaving a trail that the hunters could track with ease. Each print pushed deep into the snow and covered a wide area: this bear would be huge, a worthwhile catch.

After months of following, the men began to lose confidence. The bear had led them across the globe, from the east where the sun rises to the west where it sets. All of the best hunting techniques had failed them, and eventually, they realized the bear was leading them away from their homeland, up into the sky.

The hunters called out to each other and tried to turn back, but it was too late to return to the ground. All they had left then was the hunt, so they vowed to speed up and catch the bear. After days of straining and fatigue, never stopping to eat or sleep, the hunters were on the brink of collapse when they finally caught up and killed the bear. It had been almost a year; autumn was upon them again.

They slew and cleaned the bear, laying it on a bed of oak and sumac branches. Its blood stained the leaves red, and this is why leaves of these trees turn red in the fall. The hunters scattered parts of the bear they couldn’t use toward different ends of the earth. The bear’s backbone formed a constellation to the north, its head to the east, both of which can be seen on the midnight horizon in the middle of winter.

I love this Native American story because it brings humans a little closer to the wonders of the natural world. Another version also explains the Little Dipper from a Native American perspective: three of the stars in the cup represent the bear, while the four that form the handle are the hunters with their dog in tow.

The constellation is visible year-round because the hunters are eternally chasing the bear. The next time you’re atop a mountain in Washington or gazing at the stars, you can think back to this Native American story about autumn and remember that the bear and the hunters are keeping you company in the sky.

Stories are made up to explain how we interpret the world. Stories that are  told over time makes memories that become a legend. Eatonville schools has spent the last two months getting to know your child and spending time understanding strengths and areas to focus on for academic standards and social emotional supports.

Our schools have been explicit about our mission " and vision". Over the last three years, we have added after school clubs and sports such as yoga, art and middle school and adopted and implemented new math and literacy curriculum. We have established new music curriculum and materials.

As an Innovative District as identified by OSPI for 2016, our schools have had permission to add a variety of new classes such as coding, Computer Science at the middle and high school. We have added many new programs this year and many new faces in the classroom which has been exciting.

To add to this excitement, the Eatonville School Board of Directors have been named as a Small School WSSDA Board of Distinction. The Boards of Distinction recognition program provides a multi-year approach to demonstrate alignment with the Washington School Board Standards, focusing on three benchmarks per year. For 2016, they reference:

·
A board that’s open, accountable, and seeking diverse perspectives

· A district plan focused on the needs of all students

· Employing and providing professional development for quality personnel

A fourth area of focus, which remains constant year to year and shows up across the standards, is the opportunity gap.

Congratulations to the Eatonville School Board for keeping students at the center of all of their policies and decisions.

Superintendent Krestin Bahr
Eatonville Schools
 



Visit Our Innovative Schools

     Press release
     October 9, 2016


    In the spring of 2016 three Eatonville Schools were designated Innovation Schools by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. Eatonville Elementary School, Eatonville Middle School, and Columbia Crest A-STEM Academy were all recognized for their innovative programs and approach to educating the children of Eatonville.
   This year, you are invited to tour our three innovative schools and hear first hand from administrators, teachers, and students how we are approaching teaching and learning from a different perspective as we prepare students for College and Careers, and the 21st Century.
 
    Meet at the District Office
    Breakfast and Lunch Are Provided
    Transportation Is Provided
    Meet the Superintendent and Connect with Other Community Members

   When: October 17, 2016
   Where: 200 Lynch Street W
   Time: 7:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
   More: Contact Amy Snyder at the ESD District Office
for more information, to get a detailed schedule,
and to RSVP call 360.879.1000

 



Meet Aria EHS Student Semi-Finalist for Merit Program...


                                                                                                                         (courtesy photo)

       Press release
       September 16, 2016

Burwash-Kjelstad Farm
 Eatonville School District
Community Input and Visioning Event Friday, September 29 or Saturday, October 1


                                         

     Congratulations to Eatonville High School's own Aria Beaupre. Aria, a Senior, was named as a National Merit Scholarship program semi finalist. She is one of 400 seniors across the state and one of eight in Pierce County. Aria will compete for about 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth $33 million. About 90% of the semi finalists are named finalists, and half in the finalist group wins a National Merit Scholarship.
    Awesome Job Aria! Thank You for representing us!

    Learn more about the National Merit Scholarship program - National Merit Scholarship Corporation - About Us

 



    September 25, 2016: The Burwash-Kjelstad Farm - at one time there were 16 working farms in the Ohop Valley and today there are none. This video explains what the farm will mean to the school district. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=10xBrB7mKeY  

    Where: Eatonville High School (EHS) Commons and Burwash-Kjelstad Farm

    When: Thursday, September 29 from 4-6:30 p.m. or Saturday, October 1 from 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

    What: Join us September 29 or October 1 to learn about the Burwash-Kjelstad Farm and give input and ideas for incorporating the farm into Eatonville’s future. Travel from EHS to the farm for a student led tour and return to EHS for a visioning exercise to capture and discuss ideas. Transportation to and from the farm is provided. Space is limited so please RSVP

    Call: 360.879.1000 to confirm your place.
 



Superintendent Bahr's Welcome Letter...

September 2016

We are so excited to welcome you to the 2016-17 school year.

Last year our schools were designated OSPI Innovative Schools for 2016 in the state of Washington. As an innovative district, we are committed to providing an excellent learning opportunity for each child. As schools demand more of their graduates, more than any time in our history, we are reminded that it is the journey of learning and becoming that sets children up for success in this world. To look outside of themselves, to give back to community, and care about others are things that are not tested on any standardized test.

Our vision in the Eatonville School District is for all students to graduate with the  knowledge and skills to succeed in our community and the global society. Our schools must inspire, allow innovation, create safe and strong academic opportunities to allow all students to realize success and thrive in the 21st Century workplace.

For our district, this continues to be a time of creativity and sustainability. Eatonville schools are dedicated to remain a place where all children are known, engaged, and well taken care of. This is evident in the hallways, fields and classrooms. This ability for us to know our students must not be underestimated. This is our strength and our opportunity.

In addition, our schools are very interested in doing things differently for the benefit of children. We know that excellent schools are where kids and staff are engaged, having fun, failing and learning, as well as succeeding together. This sounds odd for educators to address failure.

Studies on innovative learning are clear: Innovators must be allowed to learn and fail.

Studies also show that what you do as parents of future innovators matters enormously. Harvard studies include interviews with parents of today's innovators which reveal fascinating patterns. They value having their children pursue a genuine passion above them getting straight A’s, and they talked about the importance of "giving back." As their children matured, they also encouraged them to take risks and learn from mistakes. There is much that all of us stand to learn from this research. This seems aligned to our Growth Mindset approach and attention to Grit and Perseverance that we see in all Eatonville classrooms.

It is stated in these studies that most of our high schools and colleges are not preparing students to become innovators. “Eatonville Schools” tell a very different story. Our focus is on support, care and acceptance, as well as classrooms that are engaging student’s minds, bodies, and hearts. We believe to succeed in the 21st-century economy, students must learn to analyze and solve problems, collaborate, persevere, take calculated risks, and learn from failure. Our district community believes in a strong commitment to education, and that dedication is evident in the programs and opportunities available to our children.

Our focus on the whole child means students are educated to become successful, productive citizens who are critical thinkers, and exhibit strong moral character. Our goal is to help each child reach his or her fullest potential.

We strongly believe that children learn best when educators develop meaningful partnerships with parents, encouraging and valuing input and feedback from home. We believe in working together for the benefit of our children and families.

As you peruse our website, we hope you will find a great deal of helpful information about Eatonville School District's programs, activities, and upcoming events. You may also contact us at 360.879.1000.

Absenteeism Information
Eatonville Schools 19-17 SY Focus on Attendance

Eatonville Schools are back in session. The opening days of school conjure up images of backpacks stuffed with notebooks and unsharpened pencils, bulletin boards freshly decorated by teachers, and students showing off new clothes to old friends.

But even in these early days of the new school year, some students already are heading toward academic trouble: They’re missing too many days of school. Across the country, as many as 7.5 million students miss nearly a month of school every year—absences that can correlate with poor performance at every grade level.

This trend starts as early as kindergarten and continues  through  high school, contributing to achievement gaps and ultimately to dropout rates. Last year (2015-16) it is true that our school district was rated the highest from a report from OSPI being ranked 35 highest of 35 districts. It was found that our system had electronic system issues that accounted for a great part of this issue. This was a Skyward issue (primarily at CCASTEM and the high school/middle school) and had to do with how the system was set up. Having said this, we have been looking deeply into our absentee rate and have found that our excused absences (which parents have excused) is exceptionally high.

Many students were found to have over 20 absences for the year and many tardies. We have instituted a new attendance policy which includes face to face meetings with parents to arrange attendance agreements when they have reached 10 absences. The focus of these meetings is to address the fact that being in school is the #1 determinate of being successful in school. We have implemented a committee from each school that is focused on working with parents to support children being in school.

This year, Eatonville School District is recognizing September as Attendance Awareness Month, part of a nationwide movement intended to convey the message that every school day counts.

We can’t afford to think of absenteeism as simply an administrative matter. Good attendance is central to student achievement and our broader efforts to improve schools. All of our investments in curriculum and instruction won’t amount to much if students aren’t showing up to benefit from them.

Problems with absenteeism start surprisingly early: National research shows that one in 10 kindergarten and first-grade students are chronically absent, meaning that they miss 10 percent of the school year, or about 18 days of instruction, because of excused and unexcused absences.

Chronic absence can have consequences throughout a child’s academic career, especially for those students living in poverty, who need school the most and are sometimes getting the least. Children who are chronically absent in kindergarten and first grade are less likely to read proficiently by third grade, and students who don’t read well by that critical juncture are more likely to struggle in school. They are also more likely to be chronically absent in later years, since they never developed good attendance habits.

By middle school, chronic absence becomes one of the leading indicators that a child will drop out of high school. By ninth grade, it’s a better indicator than how well a student did on eighth grade tests.

Chronic absence isn’t just about truancy or willfully skipping school. Instead, children stay home because of chronic illness, unreliable transportation, housing issues, bullying or simply because their parents don’t understand how quickly absences add up—and affect school performance.

After all, 18 days is only two days a month in a typical school year. This is true whether absences are excused or unexcused, whether they come consecutively or sporadically throughout the school year.

A key step will be letting families know about the critical role they play in getting children to school on time every day. It’s up to parents to build a habit of good attendance, enforce bedtimes and other routines and avoid vacations while school is in session. Teachers will reinforce these messages and, when they can, offer fun incentives for those students who show the best attendance or most improvement. Businesses, faith leaders and community volunteers can also convey this message.

We are also going to take a closer look at our attendance numbers to see how many students are missing 10 percent or more of school days and who they are. We’ll set attendance goals for our principals and schools, particularly those schools we’re working to improve. Just as we use test scores to measure the progress that students and schools are making, we will look at chronic absence rates.

But schools can’t do this alone. We are going to call on the whole community to help. We know that asthma and dental problems often contribute to absences, especially among children from low-income neighborhoods. So we will work with health care providers and city agencies to come up with solutions.

If concerns about traffic safety or community violence are keeping children home, we will work with parents, police and traffic officials to develop safe routes to school. Volunteers from businesses, faith-based groups and nonprofits can provide that extra shift of adults we need to mentor chronically absent students and reach out to parents.

Think about what you can do within your own family and your own neighborhood to help get more kids to school. And join us in our effort to make every day count.

Eatonville is a beautiful place to live and raise a family. We care deeply about your child and about your family. We look forward to a great school year.

Sincerely,

Superintendent Krestin Bahr
 



Meet New School District Administrators...

New Assistant Principal at EHS...

Meet Greg Goble, Assistant Principal at Eatonville High School. (courtesy photo)

     I have my Bachelor of Arts in Middle Grades Education with a concentration in Math and Science and Master of School Administration from University of North Carolina at Wilmington.We just moved to Washington State from Southeastern North Carolina and are thrilled to be living in the Pacific Northwest.
    Every experience I have had with Eatonville, thus far, has made a lasting impression. From the warm school welcome to an incredible lunch at Bruno's, the more I discover about Eatonville, the more excited I am to work at Eatonville High School. I look forward to joining Principal Colgan and an incredible staff and student body for the best school year to date. Go Cruisers!
    I have two children attending college in North Carolina.

 



Assistant Principal/Athletic Director at EMS

Meet Eric Vannatter, Assistant Principal/Athletic Director at Eatonville Middle School. (courtesy photo)

     I have my Bachelors in Elementary Education and Social Studies from Eastern Washington University and a Masters in Educational Leadership and Supervision from University of Phoenix. I am excited to work with the wonderful staff, students, and community of Eatonville which reminds me of the community I grew up in.
     I am entering my thirteenth year in education. I am married with three kids. In my spare time I enjoys spending time with my family, traveling, reading, playing and coaching sports, and watching the Seahawks, Mariners, Sounders, and Coyotes play.

 



Eatonville School Board Vacancy
Director District 2


       from Krestin Bahr
      District Superintendent
      Board Secretary
      August 23, 2016

     On July 25, 2016, the *Eatonville School Board of Directors declared the Director position for District 2 open to receive applications from interested residents of Director District 2 to fill the position. The Board will interview and appoint a candidate to fill the unexpired position until the next regularly scheduled school board election, which is November 2017.
    All citizens of Eatonville School District may nominate candidates for the position, provided the nominees are a resident of Director District 2. Director District 2 encompasses the area North West of the District’s boundaries. A legal description and maps are available at the Eatonville School District Office or on the Eatonville School District website
www.eatonville.wednet.edu
   The School Board will consider all letters of application submitted to the School District Office, 200 Lynch St., W., by 4 p.m. Friday September 23, 2016. Mailed letters of application should be postmarked by September 23, 2016 and sent to Eatonville School District, Superintendent’s Office, PO Box 698, Eatonville, WA 98328-0698.
   The School Board will interview candidates at the October 5 special board meeting scheduled at the District Office, 200 Lynch St. W. at 7 p.m.
    For additional information, please contact Debi Hamilton, Executive Assistant to the Superintendent at the School District Office at 360.879.1026.

    TOGETHER, WE COMMIT TO INSPIRING LIFE LONG LEARNERS
CREATING A BETTER FUTURE.

    *John Lambrecht from Director District 2 resigned from his position. Above is the information to replace the Director District 2 opening.
 

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