The Wawascene was created by Dr. Mark Stock, former Superintendent of the Wawasee Community School Corporation. Due to its local popularity, Dr. Stock has left the blog site to future Wawasee administrators.

Blog Rules

Comments should be respectful and pertain to the topic posted. Comments about personnel matters should be made directly to the administrators responsible. Blog moderators reserve the right to remove any comment determined not in keeping with these guidelines.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Participating in our democracy: Do you ever feel out of the loop?

There is a new link added to the side bar on this page today.

It says "The Education Wonks." Please click on this link. It will take you to one of the national blog sites that links to many educational bloggers in America. Every Wednesday they run "The Carnival of Education" which summarizes all the major educational bloggers, most of which are teachers by the way. This "one-stop-shopping" will help you keep up with various topics going on nationally in the trenches.

I would suggest that a typical way of staying informed about issues is to do the following every day:

1. Fire up the computer and click on The Wawascene. In 30 seconds you can tell if there is something locally being communicated.
2. Click on The Super's Blog in order to link to Indiana newspapers. A quick click on one or more papers will tell you what is being reported in Indiana. This is especially important now that the legislative session is starting up.
3. Click on The Education Wonks. A quick scan on Wednesday morning or any morning, will tell you what national bloggers in education are talking about that week. You can then follow those links if you desire.

I have just followed the routine described and it took 8 minutes, including skim reading the headlines and clicking on at least one site at every stop.

Done on a daily and weekly basis, you will be informed on a local, state and national level of the things that impact our lives. Now granted, there are many days where finding 8 minutes is tough to do. But...if it becomes a morning routine or an evening "last task" you will find yourself in touch with issues that affect our lives.

By bookmarking one site, The Wawascene, at school and at home, you can follow these links and keep informed. Please try this now, or at least this week sometime. How long does it take you? It probably depends on how many links you follow or read.

Make it a daily or at least weekly, habit.

This will help us to connect to our political leaders that make decisions that affect our daily lives.

Our legislative session is about to start here in Indiana and there will be many bills that will affect public education. Just learning to use the web logs and their links like I have described is one of the most time efficient ways to stay in the loop that I know of.

Here is the big reason... :-)

This is a little "experiment" I am conducting to determine if teachers and community members will respond through technology. I believe we are on the cusp of a major technological movement in America that may provide an opportunity for community people to participate in their democracy at much higher levels than ever before. All through the technology provided by these linkages.

Please try the routine above and see how efficient you can get at moving through the sites. There are stat counters on these sites and the site operators will be able to tell if the number of clicks has gone up.

Please try it.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

New information on the 4-day week

The following link has been provided to me by a representative of the British Columbia teacher's organization.

He e-mailed me after noticing I had put the information out in front of our community for discussion on The Wawascene blog site.

The power and connectivity of the still amazes me at times.

This website is a compilation of various sources of information on the 4-day school week. It represents a variety of views, not necessarily mine or the BC teachers.

I have not personally read all of them yet, but I thought I would pass it along.

2 Hour Fog Delay

There is a 2 hour fog delay for Wawasee on Thursday, October 27.

Conditions as of 5:40 AM are - Light to medium fog covering most of the district. Some clear spots with fog hovering at tree lines and heavy fog west of 300 East towards Milford.

Have an extra cup of java.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

From the mouths of babes....

This was passed along by Kindergarten teacher Cherie Sweatland from Milford School.

This morning she gave directions for the first activity and when they were set she said, "Let's get to work!"

One of the boys said, "I'm on grandpa says if you don't work, you don't eat!"

Alphabet Soup

I received a 5 page letter today from the state department explaining new monitoring procedures for No Child Left Behind.

This is what it said in abbreviated form.

The NCLB legislation requires the IDOE to monitor each LEA in reviewing the SWP and SIP's as soon as EIS has it up and running.

There don't you feel enlightened!

It's a good thing I was mostly paying attention in kindergarten and learned my letters!

Have a good day. EIEIO

Friday, October 21, 2005

Another Big Fat Mandate

Are the public schools the best solution to EVERY social problem?

Read this Preliminary Draft (PD) of a bill that has passed through the Health Commission and will be presented in this year's legislative session here in Indiana.

PD 3156/DI 104 2006
No. 3156
Citations Affected: IC 20-34-3-21.

Synopsis: Student health measurements. Requires each school
corporation to report certain student health data to the state department
of health. Requires the state department to publish an annual report
summarizing the data.
Effective: July 1, 2006.
PD 3156/DI 104 2006
Second Regular Session 114th General Assembly (2006)
A BILL FOR AN ACT to amend the Indiana Code concerning
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Indiana:
3 1, 2006]: Sec. 21. (a) Each school corporation shall annually report
4 to the state department of health the height, weight, ethnicity, age,
5 and sex of the school corporation's students.
6 (b) A school corporation shall report data required under
7 subsection (a) according to rules adopted under this section. The
8 rules must include the following:
9 (1) Information regarding the importance of accurate
10 measurements and the collection of measurements for
11 improving children's health.
12 (2) Procedures for the measurement of children in a respectful
13 and dignified manner.
14 (c) Data may not be reported under this section in a way that
15 makes students personally identifiable.
16 (d) The state department of health, in consultation with the
17 department, shall publish and make available to the public an
18 annual report summarizing data collected under this section.
19 (e) The state department of health and the state board shall
20 adopt joint rules under IC 4-22-2 to implement this section.

Here we go again...another social need that is now being handed off to the public schools. Meanwhile, keep those national NAEP scores rising everyone (tongue-in-cheek).

This bill will pass because it sounds harmless and helpful. It shouldn't take too long to weigh, measure, record on spreadsheets and upload to the state every student in the school, should it?

No place in this bill does it tell the teachers what previous state-mandated curriculum they are supposed to ignore while they implement the latest big fat mandate. Just squeeze one more thing in. Every single curriculum study done in the last several years validates what every teacher instinctively knows already. There are not enough days in the year and hours in the day, to teach the mandated curriculum we already have. But hey, I guess what's one more thing when your plate already looks like it does at the church potluck!

There, I got that off my chest. To bad it will still end up the plate! :-)

Another good idea that doesn't help anything?

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Congratulations Kelsey

We hear congratulations are in order for Kelsey McAdams, who recently received the Mitch Winger Courage award presented by the Indiana Girls’ Golf Association in Indy. She was nominated by Coach DeHart and received the award in a ceremony in Greenwood. She gave a speech as her part of the ceremony. Way to go Kelsey!!!! Thanks for representing yourself and Wawasee so well!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


Starting this year, students needing copies of transcripts for college will be able to request them by e-mail and the high school transcripts will be sent to the colleges electronically.

This should be a big help to parents and students trying to negotiate their way through the university maze.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

More Information on 4-Day School Week

This link provides a fairly concise and easy to read overview of the benefits and concerns of moving to a 4-day school week.

Some have asked if we are really serious about this. I would characterize our interest as more curious than serious at this point.

However, I personally feel that the benefits may merit some serious discussion.

Moving forward from here would involve more research and study of the costs, benefits and concerns. Then we would have to take the information directly to the parents in the schools and to the greater community to see if there is any interest.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

FFA National Champs!

Congratulations to Mr. Warren and his FFA students who have won the National Horticulture Judging championship this week in Ohio.

The students representing Wawasee High School were Katie Pollock, Scott Gerke, Tim Bowling, and Becky Clayton.

We are proud of you all!

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Research on 4 - Day School Week

Thanks to Mrs. Baird's thoughtful post in the comment section, I have taken the liberty to provide the link to the research she refers to.

This link is from a school district that has posted for the public, a compilation of the history, the research on the pros and cons of 4-day school weeks, and their own district's journey in exploring the concept.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

More info on 4-day school week

The four-day school week was a discussion at the superintendents' meetings today.

Evidently the position of the state office is that it would NOT require a change in state law, it would only require a waiver from the Department of Education, similar to snow day waivers.

In other words, the local school district would have to explain it's rationale in several areas and ask the state for an exemption from the 180 day rule.


1. Curriculum requirements (How do we make sure we get it all in?)
2. Time on task issues (How much additional time do we provide on the other days?)
3. Extra-curricular impact (Does this limit opportunities for students after school?)
4. Community response (How do the parents and community members feel about it?)
5. Financial impact (What is the impact financially?)

A professor attending our meeting indicated that another state had mandated this in the 70's due to financial difficulties and found out that the academic impact was actually positive. The only theory that made sense was that teaching and learning became much more focused and intentional, perhaps due to more time for planning and organization.

I believe this topic will become more of a public issue in time.

I would like to hear from parents to know more about their opinions.

We have not had any formal discussions about this at the administrative level or the school board level at this time. I am just asking to find out more about your opinions.

If you are uncomfortable with the public comments section, feel free to send me an e-mail at