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, March 31, 2006

Live Fort Myers Beach Cam

Here is your Fort Myers Live Beach Cam just to make all the non-southern travelers (like me!)jealous.

Click Here

Have a safe holiday.

PS: Blogging will still occur but it will be light since traffic always lowers during breaks. Be careful!

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Friday's Funny

A middle school recently was faced with a unique problem.

A number of 12-year-old girls were beginning to use lipstick and would put it on in the bathroom. That was fine, but after they put on their lipstick they would press their lips to the mirror leaving dozens of little lip prints. Every night, the maintenance man would remove them and the next day, the girls would put them back.

Finally the principal decided that something had to be done. She called all the girls to the bathroom and met them there with the maintenance man. She explained that all these lip prints were causing a major problem for the custodian who had to clean the mirrors every night. To demonstrate how difficult it had been to clean the mirrors, she asked him to show the girls how much effort was required.

He took out a long-handled squeegee, dipped it in the toilet, and cleaned the mirror with it. Since then, there have been no lip prints on the mirror.

Have a great spring break!!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Wawasee property tax rate is the lowest in the state

Since property taxes are currently a hot topic in the Indiana legislature and will continue to be for some time, I thought I would share some information about the WCSC tax rates.

Because the Wawasee area has so many lakes and lake property, Wawasee School Corporation is ranked second in the state in property wealth per pupil. This property wealth, called assessed valuation (AV) impacts property tax rates by driving them down.

Wawasee Community School's property tax rate is now the lowest of any public school corporation in the state. This ranking data is available on the internet by clicking here and then clicking on "Top 10 corporations" under the title "Delve Deeper into Data." Then click on 2004 tax rate (before CAGIT).

These rankings are based on the latest state figures using 2004 (before CAGIT) tax rates. CAGIT stands for County Adjusted Gross Income Tax which some counties have used to lower dependence on property taxes. Using before CAGIT taxes is a better picture of the true tax impact.

You will see two school districts ranked lower than Wawasee on the chart. However, Brown County's tax rate says 0.000 because apparently they don't have their assessments done. The other one, Prairie Township in Laporte, is evidently not a public school system like ours because it has no students. I assume they are taxing the whole county for some administrative school services under the Prairie Township title.

The highest rate in the state is Medora Community School Corporation at 2.4755. The state average was 1.4457 and Wawasee had the state's lowest public school tax rate of 0.8605. So what does that actually mean for a tax payer? Let's say that your property tax bill shows about $1,000 going to schools. (Remember, not all property taxes are school taxes although in most counties it makes up a pretty good chunk of it.) If you lived in the higher tax rate areas your bill could be around $2,877 for schools. If you were just taxed at the state average you have approximately $1,680 going to schools.

Another way to look at it is to add $292.60 for every $50,000 of assessed valuation in your home over and above your current WCSC property taxes. This is what you would pay if your home was taxed at the state average. If your home was located in the highest school tax area of the state you would have to add $807.50 for every $50,000 of assessed valuation in your home.

Some people have said the only reason the rates are so low is because the home values around the lakes are so high. That is true. However, if you owned a home of similar value in another school district you would pay THEIR tax rate not ours. Having said all that, while we would like to take credit for such low tax rates we should remind everyone that we (meaning administrators and school board members) have minimal control over tax rates and no control over the funding formulas the state uses. When your property VALUES go up, it lowers the taxing RATE to fund the formula. The school system does NOT get more revenue just because the property values increased. In fact, the state essentially withholds state revenue and sends it to other schools. While towns and municipalities can often capture some increased revenue when AV’s go up, schools cannot. In fact, this year and next year mark the first time in my administrative career that our school system received no new money through the state funding formula.

When the debt payments for Wawasee Middle School come off the tax rolls in 2007 I am sure it will help maintain our "lowest" tax rate status in the state of Indiana by driving them even lower.

However, there is good news and bad news for local taxpayers in this situation. When our AV is high and tax rates are low, the state funding formula will kick in and try to drive those rates up closer to our state designated “target tax rate.” The state’s purpose in this is to try to create a little more tax rate equity across the state.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

New Laws Affecting Education

In the 2006 Indiana General Assembly there were 155 education related bills introduced. Thirty-five bills affecting education were passed. Here are the items that passed in various bills that may be of local interest.

1. When moms and dads live in different school districts, the parent with physical custody may now elect either school district tuition free if they do so within 14 days before the first student day

2. Requires a principal to notify a parent if a student who is at least 18 years old is interrogated by a police officer at school in a situation where the student is a suspect

3. Special purpose buses (the small white school buses you see in WCSC are special purpose buses) cannot obstruct exits or emergency exits in the bus (It means the golf team has to careful where they pile their golf bags ;-)

4. Authorizes the state board to oversee consideration of statewide cooperative purchasing of school supplies and materials, encourages pooling of liability and property and casualty insurance, permits sharing services with other school districts, plans to upgrade financial reporting systems for school corporations

5. Principal must report to law enforcement if a school employee is harassed or battered by another person

6. If a person knowingly possesses a knife on school property or buses and intended it to be used as a weapon it is now a Class B misdemeanor

7. ISTEP - Before Oct. 1, 2006 the department of education shall review ISTEP and make recommendations reflecting: a long term plan that is simple, less time consuming, less expensive, prompt results, fall AND spring testing, measures individual growth each year, moves to on-line testing, makes grade 10 test into a college prep test. The new program will be called REACH

8. Raises the drop out age to 18 unless the student proves financial hardship, illness or court order

9. Permits a student who is at least 19 and not enrolled in school, or 17 with school permission, to enroll in a "fast track" college program at Ivy Tech that will permit a high school diploma to be earned while enrolled at the college

Some bills that failed to pass:

1. Kindergarten tax credits (vouchers)

2. Open Door Law changes (this would have required a 48 hour public notice every time a board member called other board members to discuss board issues)

3. Referendums on school construction projects

Friday, March 24, 2006

Friday's Funnies

Actual misphrased excerpts from student science exam papers

Charles Darwin was a naturalist who wrote the organ of the species.

Benjamin Franklin produced electricity by rubbing cats backwards.

The theory of evolution was greatly objected to because it made man think.

Three kinds of blood vessels are arteries, vanes and caterpillars.

The dodo is a bird that is almost decent by now.

To remove air from a flask, fill it with water, tip the water out, and put the cork in quick before the air can get back in.

The process of turning steam back into water again is called conversation.

A magnet is something you find crawling all over a dead cat.

The Earth makes one resolution every 24 hours.

The cuckoo bird does not lay his own eggs.

To collect fumes of sulfur, hold a deacon over a flame in a test tube.

Parallel lines never meet, unless you bend one or both of them.

Algebraical symbols are used when you do not know what you are talking about.

A circle is a line which meets its other end without ending.

The pistol of a flower is its only protection against insects.

The moon is a planet just like the Earth, only it is even deader.

We believe that the reptiles came from the amphibians by spontaneous generation and study of rocks.

English sparrows and starlings eat the farmers grain and soil his corpse.

By self-pollination, the farmer may get a flock of long-haired sheep.

If conditions are not favorable, bacteria go into a period of adolescence.

Vegetative propagation is the process by which one individual manufactures another individual by accident.

A super-saturated solution is one that holds more than it can hold.

A triangle which has an angle of 135 degrees is called an obscene triangle.

Blood flows down one leg and up the other.

When you haven't got enough iodine in your blood you get a glacier.

It is a well-known fact that a deceased body harms the mind.

Humans are more intelligent than beasts because the human branes have more convulsions.

For fainting: rub the person's chest, or if a lady, rub her arm above the hand instead.

For fractures: to see if the limb is broken, wiggle it gently back and forth.

For dog bite: put the dog away for several days. If he has not recovered, then kill it.

For nosebleed: put the nose much lower than the body.

For drowning: climb on top of the person and move up and down to make artificial perspiration.

To remove dust from the eye, pull the eye down over the nose.

For head colds: use an agonizer to spray the nose until it drops in your throat.

For asphyxiation: apply artificial respiration until the patient is dead.

Before giving a blood transfusion, find out if the blood is affirmative or negative.

Bar magnets have north and south poles, horseshoe magnets have east and west poles.

When water freezes you can walk on it. That is what Christ did long ago in wintertime.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Educator's Affirmation

I have taken a few excerpts from an article making the rounds on the internet. This was forwarded on by Mrs. Thornburg and Mrs. Brady. It comes from a posting titled, An Educator's Affirmation. I edited it for length.

Schools don't teach values? The critics are dead wrong. Public education provides more Sunday School teachers than any other profession.

You want heroes?

For millions of kids, the hug they get from a teacher is the only hug they will get that day. An Argyle, Texas kindergarten teacher hugs her little 5 and 6 year-olds so much that both the boys and the girls run up and hug her when they see her in the hall, at the football games, or in the malls years later.

A Michigan principal moved me to tears with the story of her attempt to rescue a badly abused little boy who doted on a stuffed animal on her desk .. one that said "I love you!" He said he'd never been told that at home. This is a constant in today's society .. two million unwanted, unloved, abused children in the public schools, the only institution that takes them all in.

You want heroes?

Visit any special education class and watch the miracle of personal interaction, a job so difficult that fellow teachers are awed by the dedication they witness.

There is a sentence from an unnamed source which says: "We have been so eager to give our children what we didn't have that we have neglected to give them what we did have." What is it that our kids really need? What do they really want? Math, science, history and social studies are important, but children need love, confidence, encouragement, someone to talk to, someone to listen, standards to live by. Teachers provide upright examples, the faith and assurance of responsible people.

You want heroes?

Then go down to your local school and see our real live heroes. The ones changing lives for the better each and every day! None of us are perfect, but I would put our profession up against any when in comes to being heroes!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Full day K in 07/08?

Governor Mitch Daniels is promoting full day kindergarten programs in 07-08.

I would support this if all schools receive full funding to implement it. As so often happens it comes as an unfunded mandate or it comes at the expense of current programs.

Ms. Swartzentruber, our Curriculum Director, held a Reading meeting with Kindergarten and first grade teachers yesterday and this was a popular topic. The curriculum requirements have gotten so much higher that there is little doubt that most educators would support this move if it is funded appropriately.

Let's hope Republicans and Democrats can lay aside partisanship games and work together for public education next session.

Bird Flu Planning ?

Have you seen the Chick-fil-A ads with the cow saying, "Eat more chicken?" Hmmm. We might want to rethink that one!

This was just posted 35 minutes ago and was forwarded to me courtesy of Bill Dixon at 103.5 FM. Just thought you might like to read it first here.

This is NOT an emergency announcement in anyway, it is just an announcement regarding a federal planning initiative.

The federal government has begin discussing long range plans for how the nation's schools would handle continuing education in the event of a pandemic flu outbreak. If this type of outbreak were to happen schools would be affected for weeks not mere days. This means that education would have to continue in a coordinated fashion without physically being in school.

While this is still a pretty remote possibility - the feds nevertheless feel planning should start just in case. I am sure the state department of education will pass along more information in the next few months.

More on college

"Fresh Thoughts" is the name of the Indy Star newspaper's online editorial page for college students. This provides college students a forum for editorial opinions.

Here is one college student expressing how important it was that his parents exposed him to the idea of going to college while he was still in middle school.

Monday, March 20, 2006

For you parents looking at college tuition.....

Friday, March 17, 2006

New Indiana Reading Initiative

Rumor has it...Indiana has announced a new Reading initiative called, "Getting ahead with books."

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Friday's Funnies

I teach preschool, 2 year olds. When I was Pregnant with my 3rd child, I saw no reason to tell my class because they were so young. As the year was coming to an end, I grew quite large. One of my little darlings came up to me and said," Miss Ilene, your belly is getting very fat!" I asked this little boy if he'd like to know why, and he said yes. I told him I had a baby in my tummy. He walked away, saying nothing. The next day, this happy, never cry child pitched a fit when his mother tried to leave. She pulled him aside and they talked for a few minutes, and the little boy calmed down, and the mom was grinning from ear to ear. I asked what happened and she said, "Adam thought you might eat him, you've already eaten a baby."

At Math time, I told the kids that we were going to talk about Even and Odd. One boy yelled out- "I know that story. It's in the Bible! " After I quit laughing, I said- "I think you mean Adam and Eve. "

Every school year with first, second, and third graders I do an activity I call "The United Shades of America." We match our skin color to "people color" paints and paint portraits and walls, make hand-print murals, and celebrate who we are and how we look. The colors are called everything from cinnamon, peach, and mahogany, to toast. When one third-grader's skin color matched the "wheat" color, he became so excited, he hollered, "I'm finally Student of the Wheat."

My first grade class and I were on a field trip. We were walking along a board walk that stretched over a wetlands area. Along the board walk were little plaques with donors names engraved on them. I heard one boy ask another, "What do you think all these names mean?". The other boy responded, "They must be the names of people who fell off and died!".

Have a great weekend!!

1st Annual Mentor-Mentee Banquet

Approximately 120 people attended the first annual mentor/mentee banquet for Wawasee Middle School recently. The North Webster Community Center donated the room and kitchen for the event.

The WMS Mentor Program pairs adult volunteers with middle school students who meet together once a week for 30 minutes or so. The program seeks to provide additional adult role models and positive relationships with adolescents.

Congratulations to all mentors and to Dr. Jon Mark who was chosen as Mentor of the Year based on length of service and volunteer hours contributed. There were many other worthy mentors who contributed to the program and they were all recognized that evening.

If you are interested in joining the volunteer effort contact Katie Jones at WMS at 457-8839. Please consider joining the volunteers. It takes 30 minutes a week and there is a waiting list of students to be matched up.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

School Board Meeting Highlights

At the WCSC Board Meeting last night the board:

  • Heard a parent concern regarding a student conflict. Dr. Stock explained the school district's policy and practice regarding discipline of students for incidents that occur outside of school
  • Accepted a donation for NW Elementary from the Indiana Swap Shop to be used for needy children
  • Recognized Mr. Phil Metcalf for receiving a state award on behalf of the Career and Technical Center for the Nontraditional Employment for Women (NEW) Workshop held annually in conjunction with the Warsaw Career Center
  • Recognized Mr. Randy Warren and students Becky Clayton and Sarah Banghart for their work on the FFA District Leadership Contest
  • Approved claims, personnel actions, Milford 6th grade trip to the Ford Museum and the FFA National Contest overnight trip
  • Approved the purchase of a new student management system and internet based grade portal
  • Approved Rex Miller as the Milford Library board replacement
  • Approved advertising for bids on the replacement of the deteriorating WHS press box
  • Dr. Stock reported on the gathering of information regarding a future recommendation on reopening the pool and current planning underway for possible summer school programming
  • Ms. Swartzentruber reported on the Alternative School noting that the academy has increased 131 credits earned in one month and reviewed the student testing schedules for the remainder of the school year

    The next meeting will be held on April 18th at 7:00 PM

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Academic Super Bowl Results

Congratulations to all those involved with Academic Super Bowl. At the NLC competition in Goshen, Wawasee received 3rd place overall. In individual competitions, the math and science teams received 2nd place. Finishing with 3rd place were the social studies and interdisciplinary teams.

Way to go, Wawasee!

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Good job Warriors!

Sectional Basketball Champs. Regional finals at Blackford County.

Another great job from the student athletes and the coaching staff of Wawasee High School.

I appreciate so much the sportsmanship of our athletes and our coaches and adminstrators who seek to uphold high standards in an age where we often feel like we are swimming against the tide of culture.

Great season guys. Hold your heads high.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Friday's Funnies

Responses from students to various quiz questions.

Q: What happens to your body as you age?
A: When you get old, so do your bowels and you get intercontinental.
Q: What happens to a boy when he reaches puberty?
A: He says good-bye to his boyhood and looks forward to his adultery.
Q: Name a major disease associated with cigarettes.
A: Premature death.
Q: How are the main parts of the body categorized? (e.g., abdomen.)
A: The body is consisted into three parts - the brainium, the borax, and the abdominal cavity The brainium contains the brain; the borax contains the heart and lungs, and the abdominal cavity contains the five bowels, A, E, I, O, and U.
Q: What is the fibula?
A: A small lie.
Q: What does "varicose" mean?
A: Nearby.
Q: Give the meaning of the term "Caesarean Section"
A: The Caesarean Section is a district in Rome.
Q: What does the word "benign" mean?'
A: Benign is what you will be after you be eight.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

WCSC Board seeks candidates for Milford Library Board

By state law, the local school board is required to appoint at least one position to each community library board. Due to Pat Hurd's resignation on the Milford Library Board, it is my understanding that there is an opening for an east Jefferson township or Van Buren township resident.

Milford Library Director Julia Frew would be able to answer any particular questions about the duties. If anyone is interested, please mail or e-mail a letter of interest complete with biographical information to Dr. Mark J. Stock here in the corporation office, and your materials will be submitted the school board for consideration.

Regional Weekend!

Wawasee Gymnasts, coached by Nika Prather, will be in the IHSAA Valparaiso Regional Friday evening. Led by Laura Capps 5th place in the Floor Exercise and 3rd place in the Unevens (5th in the All-Around), Wawasee advanced as a team, finishing 3rd in the Wawasee Sectional.

Way to go gymnasts!

Monday, March 06, 2006

Dropouts leave because school is "boring?"

Why do almost 30 percent of our students drop out of school? According to the Christian Science Monitor...
Now, a new survey, released Thursday, suggests that the problem, while deep, can be fixed. Most students don't drop out because they can't do the work. Nearly 90 percent had passing grades when they left school, according to the survey of dropouts by Civic Enterprises. Their major reason for opting out? The classes were too boring.
I suppose in our MTV, iPod, DVD, Hi-definition, instant gratification world called middle-class life in 2006, listening to a lecture could be considered less than dramatic entertainment.

But that doesn't mean it is not important.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Warriors win back-to-back sectionals!

Wawasee beats Northwood in the championship game Saturday night.

Wawasee has replaced 4 starters this year and yet worked their way back to sectional champs again!

Good job Warriors! It was nice to see the gym packed with Wawasee green.

The regionals will be held in Blackford which is northwest of Muncie.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Warriors beat Raiders!

Warriors beat Northridge and will go to the sectional finals Saturday evening at 7:30 PM.

Goshen news article here.

Go Warriors!

Friday, March 03, 2006

Sectionals Tonight

Like this photo? Want to see a Warrior basketball player thinking dunk? Don't get excited - I said "thinking" about dunking.

Click on the side bar link titled "Warrior Photoblog" to see more Warrior photos. This photoblog comes courtesy of journalist and photographer Ora Freeman who has started his photoblog to show some of the excellent photos that don't always make it to the newspapers.

Catch the Warriors in action tonight against Northridge at 6:30 PM in the Northwood Panther Pit.

Friday's Funnies

While doing some assessments with my Kinders for the first 9 weeks, I had Joel sitting at my table working with colors and numbers and shapes. Pushing some plastic circles, triangles, squares and rectangles across the table to Joel, I asked him to name them and then slide them back to me. He looked at me for a moment as if to say 'Are you for real?' then shrugged his shoulders and began: 'Janet', he said, pushing a circle towards me. 'George' (a rectangle), 'John' (triangle) ....It was all I could do to NOT fall in the floor exploding with laughter as he continued to name all the shapes I had given him!!

Tim wanted to show little Karl something funny but Karl ended up with the punchline:
Tim: "What's a doggie say?"
Karl: "Woof!"
Tim: "What's a kitty say?"
Karl: "Woof!"
Tim: "What's a cow say?"
Karl: "Woof!"We were already chuckling, but this was the topper:
Tim: "What's Daddy say?"
Karl: "No."

We were riding home from school in our minivan. Donovan was sitting directly behind me. She said (with a bit of a whine), "Mommy, I got an owie at school today." I said, "I'm so sorry, Honey. Where is it?" She said, "It's on my hand. If my hand was this country, then my owie is right below Utah."

At our house with 2 very strong-willed boys living here, we have had many discussions about forgiveness. Our children have been taught that Jesus said to forgive others, "seventy times seven." The other day when Ben did something to upset Ryan, I reminded Ryan that he needed to forgive his brother. Ryan quickly announced, "I think I have forgiven him the maximum number of times."
Ryan, Age 10

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

WCSC teachers work IHSAA state meets

Congratulations to three Wawasee teachers who have been chosen to represent IHSAA state championships this winter season. Wawasee teachers involved in the IHSAA State Championships for winter sports 2005-06 are:

Roger Karns, Social Studies Teacher at WHS, served as a diving judge for the Boys' Swimming Championships,
Pam Schumm, ScienceTeacher at WHS, served as an announcer for the Girls' and Boys' Swimming Championships
Jay Smith, WMS Science Teacher, has an evening Girls' Basketball Championship game this Saturday.

Way to go Warriors!