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Enumclaw High sophomores work to start Link Crew

Alicia Cassell and Courtney Bone are taking on an ambitious DECA project with links to the Enumclaw School District’s Rachel’s Challenge.

The Enumclaw High School sophomores shared their plans to create a campus Link Crew organization with the Enumclaw School Board at its study session Jan. 3 in the EHS library.

Link Crew is a transition program for incoming freshmen that pairs them with upperclassmen. The program is designed to help freshmen feel welcome at the high school. Based on the belief students can help students succeed, it trains juniors and seniors to mentor and guide freshmen and provide positive role models. It is not associated with Rachel’s Challenge.

Their presentation included success stories from high schools in Green Bay, Wisc., and Portland, Ore., with similar programs, as well as a trip to Bonney Lake High School, which also has a similar program.

Burnes said to implement the program and keep it running at EHS it will need two strong advisers. Cassell and Bone plan to pitch their proposal to the staff in the spring. They are hoping to implement the program in the next couple years.

The first half of the meeting was devoted to EHS. Burnes offered a tour of EHS’s latest additions – a lobby exhibit showcasing award-winning student art and a gallery of student work in a separate building wing.

The board also heard from freshmen students Austin Schuver, Mackenzie Bull, Meagan Johnson, Courtney Kinninburg and Katja Barnhart about their time spent in EHS’s pilot AP Human Geography course taught by Steve Murphy. There are 89 freshmen enrolled in the three courses. Each course, offered only to ninth-grade students, provides them with the opportunity to earn college credit.

Each student spoke briefly about how they found the coursework interesting and challenging. They said not only was the class preparing them for future classes of rigor at EHS and at college, but also how it has opened their eyes to the world and its massive cultures, languages, traditions and lifestyles.

The board was also updated on the district’s teacher evaluation process and how it will dovetail into the statewide implementation currently planned for 2013-14.

Superintendent Mike Nelson and Human Resources Director Kathy Lockyer said the process for Enumclaw began in 2007 when administration and the Enumclaw Education Association saw a need for a different review system.

The district moved away from the checklist and observation system and ventured toward a goal-oriented process outlining educational targets for students based on standards and professional growth for teachers.

The system is referred to as an assessment for learning, concentrating on student and teacher learning and classroom performance. It is tied to Professional Learning Communities and the district’s work with the University of Washington’s 5 Dimension of Teaching and Learning program.

Nelson and Lockyer said since the state has not finalized its program, evaluations are still a work in progress. But with implementation bearing down, the district is ahead of most and moving forward.

 

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