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.
Monday, July 31, 2006
The parent with physical custody (or the student, if the student is 18 years of age or older) can elect for the student to have legal settlement in the school corporation where the mother lives or the school corporation where the father lives—but the election must be made not later than fourteen (14) days before the first student day of the school year.
All that is required is for the parents to complete a special form at school registration.
Friday, July 28, 2006
Here is a great article by Dorothy Rich. (Requires registration) :-( Dorothy is the author of MegaSkills which are the list of life skills you see posted inside the Wawasee elementary schools. Here is an excerpt:
May we not forget it.
When I am asked about the key factor that makes students like school, study hard and stay in school, the answer is "caring." Students have to feel needed. Parents have to feel needed, teachers, too. This is the human element in education. Connectedness is a protective factor in children's lives. Schools and homes have to find ways of helping everyone feel important, essential and connected.
It's all very well to talk about test scores. But we have to remember that we build test scores by building people, children and adults included. Education is a very human, "messy" enterprise. Even in the age of computers, education is still a person-person connection.
The nun made a note, and posted it on the apple tray: "Take only ONE. God is watching."
Moving further along the lunch line, at the other end of the table was a large pile of chocolate chip cookies.
A child had written a note, "Take all you want. God is watching the apples."
Thursday, July 27, 2006
So how bad is it? The high school dropout rate. If you haven't researched it then your answer is probably predicated on how you already feel about public schools in general.
Is the glass half empty or half full? Here are some excerpts from, "Rethinking High School Graduation Rates and Trends," by Lawrence Mishel and Joydeep Roy.
The overall high school graduation rate with a regular diploma is between 80% and 83%, with the best data (NELS) showing an 82% rate. All of the household and longitudinal data sources show a higher graduation rate than the two-thirds rate computed using the school-based enrollment/diploma data.
Estimates of the black rate of graduation from high school with a regular diploma range between 69% and 75%, with the NELS showing a 74% graduation rate. This is substantially higher than the frequently alleged 50% rate for blacks, reported from the school-based enrollment/diploma data. Moreover, the NELS data suggest that the alleged 50% dropout rate is double the actual dropout rate for blacks. In fact, the dropout rate for blacks is closer to 25% and roughly half of those obtain a GED, which allows entry into post-secondary education, the military, and other second-chance systems. Estimates of Hispanic high school graduation rates with a regular diploma range between 61% and 74%, with the NELS showing a 74% rate. This is substantially higher than the frequently alleged 50% rate for Hispanics reported from the school-based enrollment/ diploma data. Further, these data do not account for the additional 9% to 12% of Hispanics who receive a GED, which allows entry into post-secondary education, the military, and other second-chance systems.
There remain substantial race/ethnic gaps in graduation rates with regular diplomas. Analysis of census data shows that in 2000, for those ages 25-29, there was a black-white gap of about 15 percentage points and a Hispanic-white gap of 23 percentage points.
High school completion (either by diploma or GED) grew substantially from 1960 to the early to mid-1990s. This study looked at those aged 25-29 and found that in 1962 only 41.6% of blacks and 69.2% of whites completed high school, a 27.6 percentage point racial gap. By 1980 the racial gap had been cut by 63% to 10.3 percentage points, with both blacks and whites improving their graduation rates (to 86.9% for whites and to 76.6% for blacks). The racial gap was closed further to 6.0 percentage points by 1994 and to 5.0 percentage points by 2004.
Trends in Hispanic graduation rates are difficult to track since it is important to be able to identify recent immigrants who were not enrolled in U.S. schools. This can be done with the data from 1994 and more recent years and the data reveal that the Hispanic completion rate (either by diploma or GED) has grown from 76% to 81.3% from 1994 to 2004.
The overall conclusion of this study shows that American high school graduation rates are at the highest levels in history. The "Chicken Little - The Sky is Falling" rhetoric regarding dropout rates is not standing up to researcher's peer reviews.
While it is true that the rate of increase in graduation rates has slowed in recent years, that too must be viewed in light of the increased academic rigor that most states have added to the high school program.
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Registration for Wawasee 9-12 students will be on August 8 and 9 from 12:00 - 7:00 PM.
Additional information was mailed to your home in the Wawasee Reporter. If you didn't receive one you may stop by the administration office in front of the high school and pick up a new one.
How's the shopping for new school clothes going? :-)
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
Whenever this happens there is a new round of handwringing and another new phase of school reform efforts.
Well what type of education are the Chinese aspiring to?
Here is an interesting take on the subject. Blog post here. You may have to scroll down a few posts.
Click on the chart showing one Chinese curriculum expert's opinion of where Chinese instructional strategies have been and where they need to go.
Now, think hard. Does that end vision look like American drill and kill standardized test mania that has predominated American education reform? Probably not.
Arnav Tripathy (16) is Orissa’s “beautiful mind”. The teenager, who lives with his parents in the US, took home the gold in the 47th Math Olympiad held recently in Slovenia, beating off competition from 90 countries.
Monday, July 24, 2006
Wawasee High School ISTEP Remediation Paraprofessional needed. Must possess computer skills, language arts skills and math skills at the Algebra 1 level. Must have organizational skills and be able to work with students in grades 9-12.
This is a part-time postion at $8.87 per hour. The hours are 10:45 a.m. until 3:00 p.m with a lunch break.
Contact Principal Ellen Stevens at 457-3147 for more information.
Newer classes like Project Lead the Way try to attract college-bound engineering students into classes with some "hands-on" experiences. Wawasee faculty members, Mr. McAdams and Mr. Coblentz have been attending extensive training classes this summer in order to implement these classes that try to attract more college-bound students to vocational classes.
In fact, there will be a new diploma offered in the future called a "Core 40 with Technical Honors" which will be an honors diploma for students completing the Core 4o college prep courses with a focus on the vocational classes in their electives.
Our Vocational Director, Mr. Metcalf, was worried about this legislation, but it looks like our programs may not be affected negatively.
Sunday, July 23, 2006
Here is a satirical grade change form for a college or high school student. I won't embarrass you by asking you if you actually thought about using any of these in your college days.
Universal Grade Change FormTo: (professor/teacher/instructor)________________________
I think my grade in your course,_________________, should be changed from___to___for the following reasons:
____The persons who copied my paper made a higher grade than I did.
____The person whose paper I copied made a higher grade than I did.
____This course will lower my GPA and I won't get into:
__Med School __Dental School __Chiropractic School__Acupuncture school __Grad School __Mickey Mouse Club
____I have to get an A in this course to balance the F in ___________.
____I'll lose my scholarship.
____I didn't come to class and the person whose notes I used did not cover the material asked for on the exam.
____I studied the basic principles but the exam wanted every little fact.
____I studied the facts and definitions but the exam asked about general principles.
____I understood the material; I just couldn't do the problems.
____I can work the problems, but your exam expected understanding.
____You are prejudiced against:
__Males __Females __Protestants __Chicanos __Jews __Catholics __Muslims __People __Blacks __Whites __Minorities __Jocks __Students __Young people __Old people
____If I flunk out of school my father will disinherit me or at least cut my allowance.
____I was unable to do well in this course because of the following:
__mono __acute alcoholism __drug addiction __VD __broken finger __pregnancy __fatherhood __I have allergic reaction to brain work __I am intellectually challenged.
____You told us to be creative but you didn't tell us exactly how you wanted that done.
____I was creative and you said I was just shooting the bull.
____The lectures were:
__too detailed to pick out important points
__not explained in sufficient detail
__all jokes and no material
__too serious--not enough entertainment to keep me awake.
____All my other profs have agreed to raise my grades.
____I don't have a reason; I just want a higher grade.
____This course was:
__too early, I was not awake.
__too late, I was tired.
__at lunchtime, I was hungry.
____My (dog, cat, gerbil) (ate, wet on, threw up on) my (book, notes, term paper) for this
Thursday, July 20, 2006
Between June 1 and today at 1:00 PM The Wawascene has had...
1. 6,887 First Time Visitors
2. 17,247 Returning Visitors
3. 24,134 Unique Visitors (all visitors)
The Statcounter program defines the terms as:
Returning Visitors - Based purely on a cookie, if this person is returning to your website for another visit an hour or more later.
First Time Visitors - Based purely on a cookie, if this person has no cookie then this is considered their first time at your website.
Unique Visitor - Based purely on a cookie, this is the total of the returning visitors and first time visitors - all your visitors.
Page Load - The number of times your page has been visited.
The busiest summer day so far was this Monday with 2,113 page loads. The highest we have so far was over 7,000 in one day.
Summer site traffic is way up this year and based on current trends it looks like The Wawascene will clear 1 million hits by February.
Thank you for embracing the technology. It has provided me as superintendent a unique and interesting way of communicating and interacting with staff and public.
If you have ideas for postings, articles you think would be interesting for me to link too or frequently asked questions you hear in the public that you would like answered, remember to e-mail them to me. There is an e-mail link on the side bar. I can't promise to use every link or idea submitted but I will use the ones that I deem best and most appropriate.
This spring the Indiana General Assembly passed a law requiring each school to have a student wellness policy. This policy was reviewed by a group of people including representatives from administrators, parents, cooks, and nurses. The policy started with a sample taken from the Indiana School Boards' Association and was modified by a committee of Wawasee people. Then it was reviewed and modified again before going to the school board for review. It has been reviewed twice by the school board. It will be up for adoption at the August school board meeting. This current revision is essentially a restatement of what the school law and federal lunch rules require.
STUDENT WELLNESS POLICY
The Board of School Trustees of the Wawasee Community School Corporation supports increased emphasis on nutrition as well as physical activity at all grade levels to enhance the well-being of the school corporation’s students. Therefore, it is the policy of the Board to:
· Provide students access to nutritious food and beverages;
· Provide opportunities for physical activity and developmentally appropriate exercise; and
· Require that all meals served by the school corporation meet the federal nutritional guidelines issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
In grades 9-12 vending machines dispensing healthy snacks and drinks such as bottled water, fruit juice, milk, dried fruit, and nuts, may be made available throughout the school day, after school, and at all extra-curricular activities.
Vending machines will provide the appropriate percentages of healthy foods as per current law.
This is mostly a high school issue because there will be virtually no vending machine usage by students during the school day K-8. In the high school they will be phasing out the carbonated beverages altogether over time. Currently half the machines already have healthy choices in them.
Minimally nutritious snacks and drinks may not be sold on lunch lines as a la carte items.
While ALL a la carte items currently meet these guidelines - the cooks have agreed to take a more restrictive view for next year than what is required by federal nutrition guidelines.
All school-sponsored events and celebrations of special occasions during the school day shall include healthy beverages and/or food among the choices available to participants.
Principals will work to create a more reasonable policy next year on things like "reward parties and birthday parties" etc. They will not be eliminating such things - just trying to avoid the situation where three parents bring cupcakes to the same room on the same day.
Each elementary school day shall incorporate several minutes of physical activity or exercise as determined at each building level in addition to the physical education curriculum.
Nutrition, health, and fitness topics shall be integrated within the health education curriculum taught at every grade level, K-12, and coordinated with the school corporation’s food service program. These topics may be integrated with other curriculum areas as deemed appropriate.
The superintendent and each building principal or designee shall jointly share the operational responsibility for ensuring that the provisions of this policy and its regulations are met.
LEGAL REFERENCE: 42 U.S.C. 1751
Monday, July 17, 2006
Somehow we've entered a world in which we obsess over structural reforms andThis quote comes from an online news article that is worth a read.
standardized tests, but skirt around the moral and psychological traits that are
at the heart of actual success.
The premise being that the ability to exercise self-control and delay of gratification might be the secret to success.
However, doesn't it still come down to where you stand on the "nurture or nature" debate? Are children born with these tendencies or do they acquire them through their environment?
Friday, July 14, 2006
My dentist is great! He sends me reminders so I don't forget checkups. He uses the latest techniques based on research. He never hurts me, and I've got all my teeth. When I ran into him the other day, I was eager to see if he'd heard about the new state program. I knew he'd think it was great.
"Did you hear about the new state program to measure effectiveness of dentists with their young patients?" I said."No," he said. He didn't seem too thrilled. "How will they do that?"
"It's quite simple," I said. "They will just count the number of cavities each patient has at age 10, 14, and 18 and average that to determine a dentist's rating. Dentists will be rated as excellent, good, average, below average, and unsatisfactory. That way parents will know which are the best dentists. The plan will also encourage the less effective dentists to get better," I said.
"Poor dentists who don't improve could lose their licenses to practice.""That's terrible," he said."What? That's not a good attitude," I said. "Don't you think we should try to improve children's dental health in this state?"
"Sure I do," he said, "but that's not a fair way to determine who is practicing good dentistry.""Why not?" I said. "It makes perfect sense to me."
"Well, it's so obvious," he said. "Don't you see that dentists don't all work with the same clientele, and that much depends on things we can't control? For example, I work in a rural area with a high percentage of patients from deprived homes, while some of my colleagues work in upper middle-class neighborhoods. Many of the parents I work with don't bring their children to see me until there is some kind of problem, and I don't get to do much preventive work. Also many of the parents I serve let their kids eat way too much candy from an early age, unlike more educated parents who understand the relationship between sugar and decay.To top it all off, so many of my clients have well water, which is untreated and has no fluoride in it. Do you have any idea how much difference early use of fluoride can make?"
"It sounds like you're making excuses," I said. "I can't believe that you, my dentist, would be so defensive. After all, you do a great job, and you needn't fear a little accountability."
"I am not being defensive!" he said. "My best patients are as good as anyone's, my work is as good as anyone's, but my average cavity count is going to be higher than a lot of other dentists because I chose to work where I am needed most.""Don't' get touchy," I said."Touchy?" he said. His face had turned red, and from the way he was clenching and unclenching his jaws, I was afraid he was going to damage his teeth. "Try furious! In a system like this, I will end up being rated average, below average, or worse. The few educated patients I have who see these ratings may believe this so-called rating is an actual measure of my ability and proficiency as a dentist. They may leave me, and I'll be left with only the neediest patients. And my cavity average score will get even worse. On top of that, how will I attract good dental hygienists and other excellent dentists to my practice if it is labeled below average?"
"I think you are over reacting," I said. "'Complaining, excuse-making and stonewalling won't improve dental health'...I am quoting from a leading member of the DOC," I noted."What's the DOC?" he asked."It's the Dental Oversight Committee," I said, "a group made up of mostly lay persons to make sure dentistry in this state gets improved."
"Spare me," he said, "I can't believe this. Reasonable people won't buy it," he said hopefully.The program sounded reasonable to me, so I asked, "How else would you measure good dentistry?""Come watch me work," he said. "Observe my processes.""That's too complicated, expensive and time-consuming," I said."Cavities are the bottom line, and you can't argue with the bottomline. It's an absolute measure."
"That's what I'm afraid my parents and prospective patients will think. This can't be happening," he said despairingly."Now, now," I said, "don't despair. The state will help you some.""How?" he asked."If you receive a poor rating, they'll send a dentist who is rated excellent to help straighten you out," I said brightly.
"You mean," he said, "they'll send a dentist with a wealthy clientele to show me how to work on severe juvenile dental problems with which I have probably had much more experience? BIG HELP!""There you go again," I said. "You aren't acting professionally at all."
"You don't get it," he said. "Doing this would be like grading schools and teachers on an average score made on a test of children's progress with no regard to influences outside the school, the home, the community served and stuff like that. Why would they do something so unfair to dentists? No one would ever think of doing that to schools.
"I just shook my head sadly, but he had brightened. "I'm going to write my representatives and senators," he said. "I'll use the school analogy. Surely they will see the point."
He walked off with that look of hope mixed with fear and suppressed anger that I, a teacher, see in the mirror so often lately.
forwarded by others from somewhere out in cyberspace
Thursday, July 13, 2006
What does it really mean?
It just means they sent the money to us in July instead of September. Better late than never, and better on time than late.
That's all it does. Nothing more...nothing less...spin doctoring and press releases notwithstanding.
Evidently Indiana leads the nation with over 8,000 sites listed as potential terrorist targets in a national data base kept by the Department for Homeland Insecurity.
Our favorite target listed is Amish Country Popcorn. Total employees - five.
I know what really happened. The feds called Mitch up and asked him to make a list of Targets. Mitch said, "We don't have that many Target stores in Indiana but I can make a list of smaller outlets that will go out of business after Wally Mart is done taking over the world. "
To which the secretary to the undersecretary who was filling in for the Gal Friday (who was out ill) replied to Mitch, "Sure, like whatever, just have your list here by Friday."
Presto, Indiana now leads the nation in terrorists targets in the top secret world of The Department of Homeland Insecurity.
Everyone feel safer now? :-)
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
At last night's board meeting, the board:
*Accepted a $500 donation to Syracuse Elementary from the Syracuse-Wawasee Chamber of Commerce for the Taste of Home Cooking show
*Accepted a donation of 2 new computers and software to the Wawasee Auto Program from Alan Teehan
*Honored 2006 retiring teachers
*Approved claims, minutes of previous meetings, personnel items, single purchase extra-curricular items over $500 as per law, and renewal of the North Webster Head Start Lease
*Heard a report on the year-end athletic financial report
*Approved financial report
*Heard second reading on Student Wellness Policy
*Approved Joy Swartzentruber as 401(a) trustee
*Heard a report from the Superintendent on the Warrior Open Golf Outing
*Heard a report from the Director of Curriculum on the summer writing workshops
*Reviewed the upcoming budget meeting schedules
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
Wawasee Athletic Department held the 12th Annual Warrior Open at Maxwelton Golf Course on July 10th. Fifty-nine teams and two hundred thirty-six golfers participated in this fundraising event. Community members, local businesses and friends of the Athletic Department also participated by sponsoring Tee and Green signs, sponsoring the luncheon or donating gifts for the raffle. Wawasee Athletic Director Mary Hurley stated, “We enjoyed a wonderful day at Maxwelton Golf Course. Obviously, the real winners in the event were the athletes that wear the green and gold of Wawasee. Wawasee schools enjoy tremendous community support and an event like the Warrior Open is certainly a great community activity with all the support. On behalf of the coaches, the student athletes and the administration of Wawasee High School we extend a big thank-you to all our participants.”
Contest / event winners:
Mens’ AM Team Champions: Dennis Hively, Jeremy Malick, Jerry Celvenger, Jim Ziebarth
Mens’ AM Runners-up: Phil Dick, Rich Dick, Matt Dick, Mike Grill
Womens’ AM Team Champions: Joy Swartzentruber, Ann Seward, Janet Lant, Judy Osha
Mixed AM Champions: Steve Coverstone, Elena Duncan, Denny Duncan, Brian Dawes
Mens’ PM Team Champions: Bob Miller, Jason Miller, Rick Morris, Dave Schumakur
Mens’ PM Runners-up: Randy Pearson, Rick McKibbin, Buddy Overholser, Brent Warren
Women’s PM Team Champions: Tammy Melendez, Heather Fianot, Shelly Rogers, Becky Moore
Mixed PM Team Champions: Dave O’Connor, Dave K. O’Connor, Mike O’Connor, Linda O’Connor
Overall Winner for the Day: Bob Miller, Jason Miller, Rick Morris, Dave Schumakur (-16)
Putting Contest: Steve Plummer
50/50 contest closest 2nd shot on #9: Jay Garr
Closest to the Pin # 3: Dennis Hively
Closest to the Pin # 8: Brent Warren
Closest to the Pin # 13: Dennis Hively
Longest Putt # 18: Don Strouse
Longest Drive Mens’ # 16: Jay Garr
Longest Drive Senior Mens’ # 6: Jack Zimmerman
Longest Drive Senior Womens’ #14: Ann Seward
Longest Drive Womens’ #4: Kristi Harkenrider
Friday, July 07, 2006
-- Five months telling students to get to work
-- Fifty--six days telling students to sit down
-- Eleven days waiting for a student to finish sharpening a pencil
-- Five months taking attendance
-- Almost two years sitting in meetings
-- Eleven days waking sleeping students
-- Twenty--two days rearranging the desks
-- Nine days saying "no"
-- A month passing out papers
-- Three weeks collecting papers
-- Four weeks listening to morning announcements
-- Two weeks reminding students that the period is not over yet
-- Two months redirecting inappropriate student behavior
-- Six months reading memos, completing surveys, and doing other paperwork
-- Twenty days writing hall passes
-- Seven months wondering what happened to the students with the hall passes
Whoops -maybe reminding you of that wasn't so funny!
Have a great weekend!
Thursday, July 06, 2006
Florida Scramble Format * Contests, Prizes and Raffles
Register a Foursome or an Individual Golfer
$60 Entry Fee per person / Covers Green Fees, Cart and Meal
Raffle and Contest package - $25 per person
Call the high school at 457-3147 and ask for the athletic department and ask how you can be an athletic supporter. :-)
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
The home formerly used by Lifeline, a local after school program for at-risk youth, has been donated to the Rose Home, modeled after the drug program and women's shelter in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
Monday, July 03, 2006
Graduate students, especially those who work AND go to grad school will readily admit that it is very hard to do without support and understanding from the family, both spouses and children. Even your friends get tired of the excuse, "No, I can't come over and watch the show tonight, I have a paper due in the morning and 3 chapters left to read before morning."
However, sometimes their help and support comes in the form of holding us accountable.
My favorite story comes from my son when he was in the third grade. One Sunday evening he was playing computer games and I started nagging him about homework. "Do you have your homework done?"
He never looked up from the computer. He just replied, "Have you got your dissertation done?" Now, I knew he didn't know exactly what a dissertation was, but he did know that I had a huge homework assignment that I wasn't working on.
Racked with guilt, since I hadn't touched it for weeks, I put the newspaper down, slinked over to the desk, opened up the laptop and three-ring binders and started in. I never said a word to him about his homework.
But, I noticed about 15 minutes later he had all his papers out on the table and was working quietly on his work.
Sometimes accountability is a mutual task.