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, April 28, 2006

Friday's Funnies

Did you hear about the teacher who was helping one of her kindergarten students put on his boots?
He asked for help and she could see why. With her pulling and him pushing, the boots still didn't want to go on. When the second boot was on, she had worked up a sweat. She almost whimpered when the little boy said, "Teacher, they're on the wrong feet." She looked and sure enough, they were.
It wasn't any easier pulling the boots off than it was putting them on. She managed to keep her cool as together they worked to get the boots back on, this time on the right feet. He then announced, "These aren't my boots."
She bit her tongue rather than get right in his face and scream,"Why didn't you say so?" like she wanted to.
Once again she struggled to help him pull the ill-fitting boots off. He then said, "They're my brother's boots. My Mom made me wear them."
She didn't know if she should laugh or cry. She mustered up the grace and courage she had left to wrestle the boots on his feet again. She said, "Now, where are your mittens?"
He said, "I stuffed them in the toes of my boots..."

Her trial starts next month.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Thinking Ahead to Friday

Fog doesn't appear to be in the predictions for Friday morning, but this is Indiana and you never know what can happen in a few hours.

So here is the deal for Friday:

Option 1: Cross your fingers there is no fog delay

Option 2: Go with a one hour delay and then dismissal time could be changed to 30 minutes later than our scheduled release time. Remember tomorrow is the early dismissal day. (Yeah - like you forgot!)

Option 3: Cancel school Friday and run the last student day on June 1 as a half day.

Weather reports look fine right now - but just in case.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Optimism or Utopia?

The federal law called No Child Left Behind requires ALL children (technically around 98%) in the school to reach proficiency in Math and Reading by 2013-2014 or the local school and school district is labeled "failing." Is this realistic? Is this fair?

Well, evidently there is a growing "Expectations Gap" between the national public and the educators.

A recent poll seems to indicate that most parents believe the schools where their children attend will be able to meet this goal. However, most teachers surveyed weren't so sure that it was attainable.

Article here.

My take on it? It is possible to approach 100% proficiency on an ISTEP Math and Language test each time it is given. But, what has to be given up to get there? Will society tolerate the sacrifices necessary?

Teachers are already decrying the narrowing of curriculum. It already feels like "Math All Day and Reading All Day" especially to our elementary staff.

We are making progress in Math and Language but how much further will society tolerate the narrowing of curriculum?

Herein lies the gap between what policy makers foist upon schools and what local patrons really seem to want for their children.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Blogger Publishing Problems

As you can tell there have been posting problems at the site. You can tell that I tried repeatedly to post the fog delay. Then sometime in the afternoon they all appeared! I have been blogging for 16 months straight and this has never happened before.

Try here first, but if you don't see anything then tomorrow morning try Hoosier 103.5 FM. Bill Dixon never gets it wrong! :-)

As for Channel 16, better try another channel if you like the TV crawler announcements. They almost never get it right. Somehow their internet posting service never gets the message to the TV screen.

Monday - 2 hr. Fog Delay

There is a 2 hr. fog delay for Monday. South end of the district wasn't too bad between 4:50 am and 5:50 am but west and north ends are very foggy.

Heh - remember its DST (Daylight Savings Time - not FDST (Fog Delay Saving Time)!

Have a safe morning.

Monday - 2 hr delay

There is a 2 hr. fog delay for Monday. South end of the district wasn't too bad between 4:50 am and 5:50 am but west and north ends are very foggy.

Heh - remember its DST (Daylight Savings Time - not FDST (Fog Delay Saving Time)!

Have a safe morning.

Monday - 2 hr. Fog Delay

There is a 2 hr. fog delay for Monday. South end of the district wasn't too bad between 4:50 am and 5:50 am but west and north ends are very foggy.

Heh - remember its DST (Daylight Savings Time - not FDST (Fog Delay Saving Time)!

Have a safe morning.

Monday - 2 hr. Fog Delay

There is a 2 hr. fog delay for Monday. South end of the district wasn't too bad between 4:50 am and 5:50 am but west and north ends are very foggy.

Heh - remember its DST (Daylight Savings Time - not FDST (Fog Delay Saving Time)!

Have a safe morning.

Monday - 2 hr. Fog Delay

There is a 2 hr. fog delay for Monday. South end of the district wasn't too bad between 4:50 am and 5:50 am but west and north ends are very foggy.

Heh - remember its DST (Daylight Savings Time - not FDST (Fog Delay Saving Time)!

Have a safe morning.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Friday's Funnies

School is important - but probably overrated. Look at what we can learn from our mothers!
(Thanks from Jeff N. who must remain anonymous because he comes from another school district that starts with W and they don't claim him!)

1. My mother taught me TO APPRECIATE A JOB WELL DONE.
"If you're going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning."
2. My mother taught me RELIGION.
"You better pray that will come out of the carpet."
3. My mother taught me about TIME TRAVEL.
"If you don't straighten up, I'm going to knock you into the middle of next week!"
4. My mother taught me LOGIC.
"Because I said so, ! that's why."
5. My mother taught me MORE LOGIC.
"If you fall out of that swing and break your neck, you're not going to the store with me."
6. My mother taught me FORESIGHT.
"Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you're in an accident."
7. My mother taught me IRONY
"Keep crying, and I'll give you something to cry about."
8. My mother taught me about the science ofOSMOSIS.
"Shut your mouth and eat your supper."
9. My mother taught me about CONTORTIONISM.
"Will you look at that dirt on the back of your neck!"
10. My mother taught me about STAMINA.
"You'll sit there until all that spinach is gone."
11. My mother taught me about WEATHER.
"This room of yours looks as if a tornado went through it."
12. My mother taught me about HYPOCRISY.
"If I told you once, I've told you a million times. Don't exaggerate!"
13. My mother taught me the CIRCLE OF LIFE.
"I brought you into this world, and I can take you out."
14. My mother taught me about BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION.
"Stop acting like your father!"
15. My mother taught me about ENVY.
"There are millions of less fortunate children in this world who don't have wonderful parents like you do."
16. My mother taught me about ANTICIPATION.
"Just wait until we get home."
17. My mother taught me about RECEIVING.
"You are going to get it when you get home!"
18. My mother taught me MEDICAL SCIENCE.
"If you don't stop crossing your eyes, they are going to freeze that way."
19. My mother taught me ESP.
"Put your sweater on; don't you think I know when you are cold?"
20. My mother taught me HUMOR.
"When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don't come running to me."
21. My mother taught me HOW TO BECOME AN ADULT.
"If you don't eat your vegetables, you'll never grow up."
22. My mother taught me GENETICS.
"You're just like your father."
23. My mother taught me about my ROOTS.
"Shut that door behind you. Do you think you were born in a barn?"
24. My mother taught me WISDOM.
"When you get to be my age, you'll understand."
25. And my favorite: My mother taught me about JUSTICE.
"One day you'll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like you!"

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Wawasee High School Academic Super Bowl

This past Tuesday, Wawasee High School's Academic Super Bowl teams participated in regional competition at Northridge. Wawasee participated in class 2 competition. From our school the science and fine arts teams received first place recognition in our class. The social studies, math, English, and interdisciplinary teams finished third.

On May 10, the Syracuse Lions Club will be hosting a banquet to honor the students' hard work.

Thanks to the faculty sponsors, volunteers and especially the students for representing us so well. Thanks for all you do.

Grab a shovel.....

The Wawasee Middle School Builder's Club and Key Club are joining together to participate in a School Beautification Project at Wawasee Middle School. It will take place on May 5th, beginning after school and ending around 5:30, and on May 6th, from 9:00 AM to 12:00 Noon. Kiwanis club members from North Webster, Syracuse, and Milford will all be present.

We are asking for volunteers to help and to bring along gardening equipment, especially wheelbarrows, rakes, and shovels. We will be planting trees and flowers, placing mulch around the school, and "building" a WMS sign on St. Rd. 13. It will be a great day to get out in the sun and enjoy the beautiful May weather.

Join the students AND your local service club members by stopping by!

For more information call WMS at 457-8839 and ask for Katie Jones.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Dropout Nation?

One of our regular readers, a parent in the community with preschool age children, has asked me to respond to the current dropout controversy.

As many of you know, Oprah ran a series on highlighting the student dropout issue. Time magazine also ran a series and part of the story involved the schools in Shelbyville Indiana.

Here is a link about the stories.

Here is an alternative view of the dropout story claiming that the "dropout crisis" is largely another "manufactured crisis."

My take on it is this:

It is still a crisis for the individual student who does not finish high school, even if there is room to argue about how large the problem really is.

Yet, something troubles me. The same school that produces the MIT graduate, the FFA leader and the local Building Trades carpenter produces dropouts too. Does that make it all the schools fault?

One huge problem I see is the lack of good paying jobs for everyone. What good will it do America's parents with or without a high school diploma if there aren't enough high wage jobs to provide people a chance at the American dream?

It is a great goal to get 100% of America's students to obtain a high school diploma under increasingly higher standards. But let's hope they have a high wage, productive job available in which to use their new skills.

My fear is that the middle class may slowly be disappearing.

Board Meeting Update

At last night's school board meeting, the board:

  • approved the board meeting minutes and claims
  • heard a report from the superintendent on the costs of maintaining two swimming pools and heard a recommendation to leave the WHS pool closed
  • the board voted 3 to 2 to reopen the WHS pool by the start of the next school year
  • approved the bid to replace the deteriorating WHS press box
  • approved the SE roofing bids
  • heard a report from the superintendent on the creation of the Wawasee Educational Foundation
  • received potential student handbook changes from the principals
  • approved possible summer school programs contingent upon state funding levels
  • approved new textbooks in several classes and subjects

The next regular school board meeting is May 9th at 7:00 PM in the administration office.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Immigration Boom Affects NE Indiana

Many northeast Indiana school districts have experienced a large increase in students who speak English as their second language. According to the Indiana Department of Education website, five school districts in this area are listed in the top ten districts in Indiana when comparing the percentage of students who speak English as their second language.

Goshen News article here.

Wawasee has not experienced this phenomenon like others. I believe it is primarily due to the housing differences and the fact that most of the manufacturing companies that have job openings are located close to or in Elkhart county.

Monday, April 17, 2006

The Wawasee Middle School Academic Super Bowl Team Wins Conference Title

The Wawasee Middle School Academic Super Bowl Team won the conference title on Thursday, April 13. Wawasee had 92 points and Edgewood ended up with 91 points. The individual teams that placed first were Social Studies and Interdisciplinary.

The teachers had quite an excitable group to ride home with Thursday evening. They are looking forward to the state competition on April 29.

Congratulations to WMS staff and students!!!!

Single gender schools?

Gary, Indiana is evidently proposing several single gender schools.

As brain research continues to explore the physiological differences between men and women, some proponents are advocating they learn differently and therefore could and a few even say "should" be educated differently.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Friday's Funnies

Open Wide...

On the morning announcements, a first grader announced, "Please get ready for a moment of silence and medication."

You Found it Where?

I teach 8th grade U.S. history. I constantly remind my students that accurate spelling is very important in social studies. Despite this, during our unit on colonization I cannot describe how many settlers were seeking religious freedom in William Penn's colon!!!

Job Opportunity

I was teaching a 2nd grade class in career education and had the students drawing pictures of themselves as adults. I put "When I grow up, I want to be..." on the board and asked the students to come to me for any other spelling they needed as they completed their pictures. Caitlin came up to me and asked how to spell " princess." After a number of other students asked for help, Caitlin was back for "whales." Since I had told the students they could draw any number of future jobs, I suspected nothing. That is, until Caitlin appeared with her elaborate drawing of a young lady in long gown and crown on a bluff by the ocean directing whales to do her bidding. You guessed it--it was labeled--When I grow up, I want to be "The Princess of Whales."

Have a great Easter Weekend!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Oprah and Dropouts

Did any of you see the Oprah show on high school dropouts? I didn't see it but I have seen some individual reactions to it. Here is link that overviews what it was about.

Those of you that saw it, what was your reaction?

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Detroit Dress Code

Detroit Public Schools is considering a strict dress code.

While this dress code appears to be less strict than school uniforms, it isn't far off either.

I get asked privately sometimes how I feel about school uniforms and I admit to being somewhat skeptical. I think it might make some things a little easier in terms of managing our schools but at Wawasee in particular I am not yet convinced that the difference it makes is that great.

In other words it solves some problems and then creates others.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Another Reason to Finish College

Welcome back from Spring Break!

This chart is for all of you who are reviewing your child's college acceptance letters and are starting to wonder if the cost for college is worth it!!

In the long term the short answer is - yes!