White River anticipating great test results

During the White River School Board’s June 8 meeting, Superintendent Tom Lockyer took a moment to crow about White River High School’s state reading and writing test scores.

Scores were expected to be released soon and Lockyer said the board should be pleased with the results. White River High School’s reading and writing scores for the first-year High School Proficiency Exam were 91 percent; including the White River Alternative Program, the number was 87 percent.

Lockyer noted there were increases in science as well.

“Anytime you’re in the 90 percentile, it doesn’t matter what test you’re taking, to only have 9 percent not meeting standard is pretty cool,” Lockyer said.

In other business, the board:

• set 6 p.m. June 22 for its next special meeting and July 13 for its next regular meeting.

• announced the last day of school will be Monday.

• set Aug. 10 at 6 p.m. for the budget hearing.

• listened to a presentation from WRHS Assistant Principal Greg Borgerding and teacher Amy Miller on the review process for the career and technical education program. Miller, who will assume the reins of the program from Borgerding, said a team of community members, school board members and staff have been examining the programs since the fall to see if they are meeting the needs of students and the business community.

The group also is preparing to update the program, adding more certification and dual-credit options with colleges and technical schools, as well as pushing to create more options for the future’s high-demand careers like nursing and the healthcare field.

Creating practical high school-to-workforce experience was also proposed. Miller explained the culinary arts program is looking at the ProStart program as well as making sure the equipment used in class is the same students would find in the work place. Borgerding said WRHS would also be working on its auto shop certification to smooth the transition into the professional field and teaming for computer certification in areas like Microsoft Excel, Word and PowerPoint.

WRHS will also be rebranding the program as White River CTE, college and career readiness and blurring the lines between the academic core classes and CTE classes, as well as following the state’s STEM – science, technology, engineering and math – movement.

WRHS will also create more practical experiences for students, for example, this fall the school will open a sign shop to serve the district’s needs and give students hands-on job-related skills.

The committee also recommended, and the district plans to follow through, with the addition of technology and robotics classes at the middle school.

• approved out-of-state travel for the girls basketball team to compete in the San Diego Classic Tournament during July; Borgerding and the AVID teams at the middle and high schools to attend the summer institute in San Diego; and Pam Jeter to attend Brain Function and Educational Practices in Vancouver, British Columbia.

• received information on Advanced Placement language text books and the Imagine It reading curriculum for kindergarten through second-grade students. Foothills Elementary School piloted the program and teachers Dave Chapman, Nancy Epperson, Kristen Montieth and Laura Gelinas presented their results to the board.

• approved surplus buses, textbooks and White River Middle School football jerseys for its upcoming sale.

• approved the WRHS student handbook.

• approved an $11,000 donation from Mountain Meadow PTA to Mountain Meadow for Computers on Wheels, COW, program.

• agreed to support the Network for Excellence in Washington Schools. The Washington Superior Court, in McCleary vs. State, found in favor with two public school families who sued the state for violating its paramount duty to fund education. The state is appealing the decision. At its meeting, the White River School Board agreed to join the growing number of districts who are showing support for NEWS coalition as it moves forward to defend the Superior Court’s judgement. Enumclaw recently passed a similar resolution.

• discuss briefly the recent resignations of Glacier Middle School Principal Andy McGrath, who has accepted a position with the Tahoma School District, and Wilkeson Elementary School Principal John Hellwich, who is headed to the Sumner School District. Borgerding will leave his position as WRHS assistant principal to move into the principal’s position at Glacier. Scott Harrison from Rogers High in Puyallup will fill Borgerding’s vacant WRHS position. Teresa Sinay, who was co-principal at GMS, is moving to the WRHS counseling center where she will be in charge of reorganizing it to meet current student needs. The district has posted the opening for an assistant principal at GMS and the principal position at Wilkeson.

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