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, December 21, 2007

Season's Greetings

As we approach a break in regular school activities we would like to take this opportunity to wish each of our students, staff and their families a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year. As you gather with loved ones during this season may the Love of Christmas surround each of you.

There may not be much blog activity over the next couple of weeks. Dr. Edington will be serving as interim superintendent during January and officially begin his duties February 1, 2008. At that time blog activities should return to normal.

School resumes January 7, 2008. Happy Holidays everyone!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Tuesday Evening Activities Update

Tonight's boys' junior varsity and varsity basketball games here at Wawasee High School against Columbia City will be held with the junior varsity game beginning at 6:15 p.m.

The high school boys' and girls' swimming and diving meets against Northridge will take place today at the Wawasee Middle School pool with diving beginning at 4:45 p.m. followed by swimming at 6:30 p.m.

Milford Middle School's Winter Concert has been cancelled.

SCHOOL CLOSED

Due to drifting on many county roads, Wawasee Community Schools will be closed today, Tuesday, December 18, 2007.

SCHOOL DELAY

Due to drifting snow, Wawasee Community Schools will have a two hour delay today Tuesday, December 18, 2007. Please observe the alternate kindergarten schedule.

Monday, December 17, 2007

MILFORD CONCERT RESCHEDULED

Milford Middle School's Winter Concert that was scheduled for Monday, December 17, at 7:00 p.m. has been postponed to Tuesday, December 18th, at 7:00 p.m.

SCHOOL CLOSED

Wawasee Community Schools will be closed today, Monday, December 17, 2007. Many roads are impassable and many are ice covered.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

BOARD NOTES


Board Notes

Wawasee Community School Corporation
December 13, 2007
During its regular meeting on December 11, the Wawasee Community Board of School Trustees:


Commended Randy Warren for being named the Indiana Small and Rural Schools educator of the year.

Received the following support personnel resignations:

1. Miss. Tyson Niles as Title I Parent Involvement Paraprofessional at Syracuse School.

Approved the following support personnel for employment:

1. Ms. Jamie Meek as Computer Technician Paraprofessional at Syracuse School.
2. Transfer of Beth Polsean from Wawasee Middle School to Wawasee High School as Resource Paraprofessional

Accepted the following certified personnel items:

1. Mrs. Mickey Speicher, Fifth grade teacher at Milford School—maternity leave February 28 through May, 2008

Agreed to the following certified personnel for employment:

1. Mr. Brian Bowser—temporary teacher at Syracuse to replace Jeanette Wood
2. Ms. Catherine Bowen—temporary science teacher at Wawasee High School beginning 1/24/08 through 5/30/08

Authorized payment, claims for the period 11/1407 through 12/14/07

Accepted the financial report as presented by Mr. Evans

Approved advertising for Tax Anticipation Warrants for 2008

Adopted a Frame Work for Literacy as presented by Mrs. Goshert

Changed the date of the January board meeting to January 15, 2008

Adopted a goal for Expenditure Categories as required by Indiana Statute

Received an overview of Wawasee Community School’s ISTEP scores as presented by Mrs. Goshert and Mr. Cockburn

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Warren Receives Top Teacher Award

Wawasee Community Schools is excited to announce that the Indiana Small and Rural Schools Association has named Mr. Randy Warren as its Indiana Teacher of the Year. In addition, Randy is also among the five (5) finalists who will be considered for the National Rural Teacher of the Year.

We are extremely excited that Indiana Small and Rural Schools Association has selected Randy as its recipient for Teacher of the Year. This is a great honor for Randy personally and we are pleased for the recognition his award brings to Wawasee Community Schools. We congratulate Randy along with members of the entire Wawasee Community.


Wawasee Community Schools extends its best wishes to Randy as he is considered for the National Teacher of the Year award.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Board Hires Superintendent


During a special meeting on December 4, 2007, the Wawasee Community Schools Board of Trustees unanimously approved Dr. Thomas Edington as the new Superintendent of Schools.



Dr. and Mrs. Edington

VITA

Dr. Thomas R. Edington


EDUCATION

Ph.D. Educational Administration 1996 Indiana State University
Terre Haute, Indiana

Educational Specialist in Administration 1992 University of S. Mississippi
Hattiesburg, Mississippi

Principal Certification 1985 Ball State University
Muncie, Indiana

M.A. in Elementary Education 1978 Ball State University
Muncie, Indiana

B.E. in Elementary Education 1975 Ball State University
Muncie, Indiana

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

Superintendent 2005-Present Richland Bean Blossom
Community Schools
Ellettsville, IN

Superintendent 1996-2005 North Miami Community
Schools, Denver, IN

Principal 1986-1996 Huntington County
Community Schools
Huntington, IN

Teacher 1979-1986 Northern Wells Community
Schools, Ossian, IN

Teacher 1975-1979 Mt. Pleasant Township
Community Schools
Yorktown, IN

COMMUNITY ASSOCIATIONS

United Way of Monroe County—board President
Monroe County Rural Advisory Board—member
Bloomington Rotary Club—member
Bloomington Teacher’s Warehouse—board member
Monroe County Community Corrections—board member
St. John the Apostle Catholic Church—member
Edgewood Dollars for Scholars—board member


PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS

Phi Delta Kappa—educational honorary—member
West Central Indiana Education Service Center—board president
Hoosier Hills Special Services Cooperative—board member
South Central Indiana School Study Council—member
Indiana Association of Public School Superintendents—audit chair
Indiana School Executive Leadership Academy—graduate
Ivy Tech Community College Board—Bloomington board member


Monday, December 03, 2007

SOMETHING NEW

While I have found the comments regarding the school delay intriguing and interesting, perhaps it is time to move on to something new that you might find enjoyable.

If you would like to receive an e-newsletter "Education Matters" published by the Indiana Department of Education, featuring the latest K-12 educational news, you may sign up at www.doe.state.in.us/ematters.

Give it a try!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

BOARD NOTES

During its regular meeting on Tuesday, November 13, 2007 the Board of School Trustees:

Commended Wawasee High School student Leah Bateman for being selected to the 2008 Indiana All-State Orchestra, where she will play cello

Accepted a $2800 donation from the Milford PTO to do some landscaping at the various entrances to the school

Received the following support personnel resignations:

Mrs. Deb Sweazy as Special Ed Paraprofessional at WHS

Mrs. Alana Adamaitis as Special Ed Paraprofessional at Milford School

Approved the following support personnel for employment:

James Yeager--Special Ed paraprofessional at Milford

Suzanne Sullivan--Special Ed paraprofessional at Milford

Andrew Vester--3rd shift custodian at WHS

Don Bice--Bus Driver for route # 36

Sally McKee--Bus Driver for route # 20

Accepted the following certified personnel items:

Jeanette Wood--3rd grade teacher at Syracuse--retirement 1/1/08

Jeff Reed--5th grade teacher at North Webster--resignation effective 10/31/07

Agreed to the following certified personnel for employment:

Ryan Engelberth--temporary 5th grade teacher at North Webster

Heather Clevenger--temporary 1/2 time social studies teacher at WMS

Authorized for payment, claims for the period 10/3/07 through 11/3/07

Heard a report on Reading and Writing Workshops as presented by Mrs. Deb Gaby and Mrs. Ruth Ayres

Accepted the financial report as presented by Mr. Evans

Authorized Superintendent Kline to obtain bid specifications for the new bus garage

Received the Curriculum and Instruction Report as presented by Mrs. Goshert

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Superintendent Search Underway

The search for a new superintendent for Wawasee Community Schools officially began earlier this month. A brochure announcing the vacancy and an application form were mailed to every school corporation in the state of Indiana via the Indiana School Board's Association monthly mailing. Also the position has been posted with the placement offices of Ball State, Indiana State, Indiana, and Purdue Universities, as well as posted on the State Department of Education, Indiana School Board's Association and the Indiana School Superintendent's web sites.

The WCS School Board has chosen to use the University Consulting Team to assist them in the search process. This team consists of a member from each of the four major state universities, and will be chaired by the representative from Ball State University. Applications will be collected by the consulting team and screening will begin in early November.

Prior to the actual screening, the consulting team will meet with the Board to ascertain the needs of the school district and the Board. Once the team has screened the applicant pool to a workable number for the Board to interview, the consultants will review the interview process and protocol with the Board. At this point, the consulting team exits and the Board will interview those candidates best matching the needs of the district and the characteristics set by the Board.

The Board should conclude its interviews and background study and be prepared to announce the selected candidate at the December school board meeting. The new superintendent of WCS should begin his or her duties early in January.

If you would care to share characteristics you believe the new superintendent should possess, please feel free to contact a school board member.

Monday, September 10, 2007

ISTEP season is here!

On Tuesday, September 18th, all students in grades 3 through 10 in the state of Indiana will take the Indiana Statewide Testing for Educational Progress-Plus (ISTEP+). Based on Indiana's Academic Standards, the test includes English/language arts at each grade, as well as science at grades 5 and 7.

To be sure you're ready to do your best on ISTEP+, read these tips and practice some sample questions.

Be prepared. Cramming for any test is never the best way to prepare. Keep up with your homework and ask your teachers for help when you need it.

Get plenty of sleep. Go to bed a little earlier so you get a good night's sleep. Being well rested will give your an extra boost of energy for test day.

Have a good breakfast. Eat protein (eggs, meat, cheese, etc.), which will help you perform better than a sugary donut. Too much food can make you feel sleepy, so don't over do it.

Take a break. Get som exercise during your breaks or after school to keep your energy up.

Ask for help. If you've had trouble with ISTEP+ in the past, ask a teacher, counselor or parent about extra help now.

Double check your work on the test. You'll catch mistakes if you take time to proofread your answers carefully.

the following are some examples of sample test questions that the Indiana Department of Educationm has posted on their website. Give these a try and see how you do.

3rd grade: Read this sentence: Dr. Smith waved to us today.

What does "Dr." mean?

a). Dear

b). Doctor

c). Drive

d). Dollar



6th grade:

Choose the phrase that BEST completes the sentence below:

The sleepy cat was lying in the sun that came in __________________.

a). before the window

b). near the window

c). through the window

d). beside the window



8th grade:

The Caspian Sea is the largest lake in the world, with an area of 1.46 x 105 square miles. Lake Superior has an area of 3.17 x104 square miles. What is the difference, in square miles of the two lakes? Write your answer in the scientific notation. Show all work.



10th grade:

Choose the sentence that is correct and MOST clearly expressed.

a). The banjo can be more difficult to play than the guitar.

b). More difficult than to play the guitar can be playing the banjo.

c). To play the banjo can be more difficult than playing the guitar.

d). Playing the banjo can be more difficult than playing the guitar.


So, how did you do??


Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Schedule Change Slated for Milford

Wawasee Community Schools has been notified by the Indiana Department of Education that Milford Middle School currently does not have enough instructional time in the day to support releasing those students early for staff development purposes. While the elementary has enough time in the day to provide the released time, the middle school does not.

Wawasee Community Schools desires to keep Milford Middle School's programming consistent with the other schools in the corporation. To do so, necessitates that we add 15 minutes of instructional time daily, for the Milford Middle School students.

This is where we need your help. In order to accomplish more instructional time for the middle school students at Milford, it will be necessary for K-8 students to arrive at Milford, 5-10 minutes earlier than they do currently. Therefore, beginning Tuesday, September 4, 2007 we will be asking bus drivers to begin their routes approximately 10 earlier. the student day will begin at 8:10 a.m., and the dismissal time will remain the same at 3:05 p.m. for those students who ride the bus.

We recognize this is a change and we wish we could have had this information from the Department of Education prior to the start of school. We did not, and now we are faced with making this change with the least amount of disruption. We certainly appreciate your understanding and cooperation and sincerely regret any inconvenience this may cause.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact Milford School at 658-9444

Thank you.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

OFF AND RUNNING

The 2007-08 School year is underway and I want to express my thanks to all of you who drive for keeping a sharp eye out for our kids who are walking, driving or who ride the bus. While we have had some minor "glitches" with the new lunchroom software, overall things seem to be going well. It is my observation the students in all of our schools are adjusting and seem excited to be back in school. Our new teachers also appear eager to get underway and are discovering how much work is involved in preparing for the school year. At this point our enrollment remains rather stable with approximately 3300 students.
The Wawasee Warrior season is also well underway for the year. The lady Warrior soccer team has jumped out to a 2-0 start with high goals to repeat the semi-state level effort of 2006. Men's and women's cross country teams get serious with their dual meets starting September 4.

Women's volleyball is off to a strong start with 2 wins against only one loss so far and the golf team is already entering the second half of their season and are pointing toward the Sectional on September 15.

Men's soccer is struggling a bit with a tough 0-2 over perennial powers Westview and Bethany Christian. In the battle of the W's, the varsity football team and cheerleaders opened with a "W" over Whitko last Friday. Our men's tennis team will face a challenging year with underclassmen leading the way for new head coach Roger Brady.

As you can see, exciting things are happening at school and on the athletic field. Get out support your favorite team. Go Warriors!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Welcome to the 2007-8 School Year

I am excited to welcome you to the 2007-08 School Year. It has been several years since I have been involved in the opening of school and I am excited to be a part of Wawasee Community Schools for the next few months. I especially welcome our students and sincerely hope they will have a year filled with learning, friendships, and memories that will last a lifetime.

We are pleased also, to welcome our new staff members. Approximately 30 new teachers throughout the corporation will be joining us this year. As you can see, our principals have been busy recruiting and interviewing so that we might obtain the best teachers in order to provide quality instruction for our students.

I would like to remind all those who drive to please slow down a bit and be mindful that our students are now back in school, and to also be on the alert for the big yellow buses that will out on the roads early in the morning and afternoon. Our kids are the community's most valuable resource. Let's all do our part to see that they have a safe and successful school year.

Go Warriors!!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

CORRECTION OF REGISTRATION DATES

In and earlier post regarding Freshman Orientation, we inadvertently announced the wrong dates for registration:

Registration is set for 12:00-7:00 p.m. Tuesday, August 7 and Wednesday, August 8. We regret this error and apologize for any inconvenience.

Frosh Orientation Set

WHS Freshman Counselor, Mr. Kevin Taylor has announced that Freshman Orientation will be held Thursday, August, 9 from 7-8:30 p.m.. Students will need to have a parent accompany them to the Orientation program which will be held in the high school auditorium. After a brief meeting, students will receive their schedule, locker assignment, and a tour of the high school.

As a reminder, in order to receive a schedule and locker assignment at the Orientation program, it will be necessary for students, along with a parent, to attend Registration on Tuesday,
August 1 or Wednesday, August 2 between 12:00 and 7:00 p.m.


Mr. Taylor looks forward to meeting the the Class of 2011!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Board Hones Skills at ISBA Academy

Members of the Wawasee School Board, George Gilbert, Becky Linnemeier, Dallas Winchester and Mike Wilson, along with Interim Superintendent Kline attended the Summer Board Member Academy at the French Lick Springs Resort in French Lick, Indiana on July 12-13. This seminar sponsored by the Indiana School Boards, introduced new school board members to the many facets of boardmanship along with reinforcing these principals to numerous veteran board members and administrators.

A full schedule was featured during this two-day seminar covering such topics as consequences of bad board member behavior, school board's role and responsibility, productive board meetings, general assembly and public education and a host of others. Guest presenter, Pat Shoulders, Indiana University Board of Trustees Member and Evansville-Vanderburgh County school attorney shared his experiences relating to being an educational leader in today's educational environment.

"The session for new board members was most helpful," said Mrs. Linnemeier. Wilson agreed, saying "we gained a lot from these sessions, and I could have listened to Pat Shoulders for a couple of hours." "There is much we can learn from interacting with other board members from around the state, and it was great we were able to have a majority of our board present" said Board president Dallas Winchester. Those attending all agreed the meetings were timely, interesting and most valuable.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Greetings and Welcome!

Greetings and welcome to the 2007-08 school year! I am pleased and excited to serve as the Interim Superintendent of Wawasee Community Schools during this transition period. I began my duties here July 6, 2007 and will continue through December as the Board conducts its search for a superintendent.

Prior to this assignment, I served as Superintendent for Bremen Public Schools from 1991-2001. Prior to that, I was privileged to serve as Principal of Warsaw Community High School. My experience also includes Principal of Churbusco Jr. Sr. High School, Assistant Principal at Grissom Middle School (PHM), Social Studies teacher at Schmucker Middle School (PHM) and Language Arts teacher at Belvidere (IL) Junior High School. I hold Ed.S and M.S. Degrees from Indiana University and a B.S Degree from Ball State University.

I look forward to joining the students, staff, and the patrons of Wawasee Community Schools as we begin another school year. It is my hope that I will get to know many of you over the next few months.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Commencement Addresses

For all those who were unable to attend the Wawasee High School 2007 Commencement, we feature the audioblog replay of our Valedictorian and Salutatorian Addresses.

Just click on Play in the top left corner and you should hear the actual voices of our very own Wawasee students.

Thank you Lindsey and Elizabeth for making a special visit to my office today to make the recordings for the benefit of our community.

NOTE: I will take a break from blogging for a few weeks.

Enjoy your summer!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, June 01, 2007

The Class of 2007

Here is a "by the numbers" look at the Class of 2007. But...they AREN'T numbers. These are our students!

280 students as incoming freshman
201 students in the commencement class
45 students transferred to other schools
10 transferred to home school
1 student has passed away
1 was expelled and never returned
11 are working on their GED right now ... somewhere else
20 students are still in the Wawasee Academy and could graduate next year
5 have already earned a GED and moved on
3 dropped out with an official exit interview
9 students received a certificate of completion or attendance
16 students had special learning needs – 11 of them earning a diploma
9 foreign exchange students
6 students transferred here from other schools and are graduating
29 students received their diploma by working through the Wawasee Academy
50 students are in the Academic Hall of Fame
6 are graduating with Distinction with a GPA 10.7-10.9
13 are graduating with Highest Distinction with at GPA of 11.0+
65 are graduating with an Academic Honors Diploma with Core 40
80 are graduating with Core 40
33 are graduating with the regular diploma
122 of our current seniors plan on attending a 4-year college this fall
21 plan on attending a 2 year college
15 plan on attending a vocational or technical school or apprenticeship
35 plan on joining the workforce

I point these statistics out because the constant, simplistic, negative, drum beat against public education does not do much to describe the complexities and diversities of life today.

Congratulations students!

We wish you the very best!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Building Trades Open House


Please mark your calendar for May 31, 2007 from 3-6 PM to visit the Wawasee Building Trades Open House. This year's house was built for Ed and Linda Phillipp at 1123 E. Northshore Drive, Syracuse.
The students and instructor have worked long and hard on this 3-story lake front home. Please attend our open house and see what our students have accomplished in less than a year. Attached is a picture from the lake front.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Quotes for Graduating Seniors

If you could leave our graduating seniors a memorable quote to guide them in their future lives what would it be?

Teachers will always be needed...but schools? maybe not!

I recently shared some unusual developments with the entire faculty that down the road could impact education in unusual ways.

My premise was that "teachers will always be needed, but a place called 'school' may not be."

I showed the staff this 5 minute video describing the NMC College Campus in the software platform known as "Second Life." It is surreal enough to leave you wondering what it's all about.

Will Richardson said recently that our current educational system was built on the notion that learning content was scarce. Learning content is now abundant and every day it grows more accessible to the public. Motivated students will no longer need traditional schools because teachers will be everywhere and the best ones will be available without being "present."

Shortly after that, I was introduced to MIT's free course ware. Many of MIT's classes are being offered free to the public. That includes lectures, notes, videos, assignments, and virtually everything except a grade and a credit.

Motivated students will have access to absolutely world class educational materials and teachers. Most will still need the personal touch, but in the text message world they live in, who's to say the personal touch isn't digital instead of analog!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Seniors are almost ready for take off!




Friday, May 25, 2007

World's Greatest Wakeboard Board For Sale :-(((

It's hard to wakeboard on the high plains! I may have to switch to the snowboard!

2001 Supra Launch for sale. Sleek yellow and white - very cool. I bought it new and I have been the sole owner.

It is an absolute monster of a wakeboard boat. It has Wakeboard Pro (cruise control for your board) which is absolutely essential for quality wakeboarding especially with a loaded boat throwing a thigh-high wake. It has a tower, speakers and radio, built-in ballast system and a custom ballast system for additional fat sacks. This is one of the deepest wakeboard boats made so it is also ideal for your family and kids. Rated for 13 people. It will NEVER take water over the nose like many ski/wakeboard boats.

Yellow and white. Have you priced a new wakeboard boat lately?

Price: $27,000.

Call me at 574-594-5956 in the evenings.

Also for sale? are wakeboards, skis, wakesurf board, life jackets and several assorted tubes and double tubes for you tube fanatics.

Get ready - Memorial Day weekend!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Why the Wiki is down

A recent commenter asked why I took the Wawasee Wiki down that contained the information regarding changes in summer registration process. I took it down because I copied all the comments and suggestions in hard copy form and will take them to the principals for consideration after school is out. I took it down because I didn't have the time to monitor it daily.

Because this technology is new, people (including me) are still not sure how to best use it.

For example, people would replace the main information on the page explaining the purpose and leave a statement that says "This isn't a good idea, people can change the page and say bad things." Of course this is true, but the solution is for the community to police the pages themselves. In time the goal is for the community to monitor a Wiki themselves.

In other words it takes a whole community to monitor a wiki. In the blog format I have been using here, I moderate or monitor and the public input is just commentary.

People have gotten used to the limited forum this provides. A wiki is a wide open (Web 2.0) environment that requires broad community policing.

As far as the main task of improving registration, I have copied all the ideas and will take them to the administrators for discussion.

Bittersweet

Last night at the public board meeting at 5:00 PM I announced my resignation as Superintendent of Schools. I have posted the statement I read to the board.


I have enjoyed serving the Wawasee Community School Corporation as Superintendent of Schools for the past 11 years.

I am announcing my resignation as Superintendent of Schools effective August 14, 2007. I have been offered a position at the University of Wyoming as a professor in the Educational Leadership Department. My primary responsibility will be working with potential superintendents and principals teaching courses that prepare them for public school administration. It is something I have always wanted to do. This will allow me time to pursue writing, publishing and research which is always something I have wanted to try.

I will leave Wawasee with nothing but fond memories. This has been a great place to live and raise our families and the community has much to be proud of.

I wish to formally thank the Board of School Trustees for their support over the years. They took a chance on a 38 year old with no previous superintendent experience and allowed me the chance to grow as a person and as a professional for which I will always be grateful.

And last of all I wish to thank the professionalism of so many administrators, staff members and support staff who toil away in our classrooms, schools and buses to make our corporation what it is.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Technology is the devil...and other thoughts from Will R. and friends

Here is an interesting blog post from Will Richardson who has left the classroom to speak to educators and share the content from his new book. Will was a pioneer in the use of technology and web tools in the classroom. The blog comments are also very thoughtful.

Will Richardson was in Fort Wayne last week and I got a chance to sit and visit with him some. He is finishing a 3 week tour of the U.S. and he seems genuinely discouraged at the response he is getting across the nation.

Why? He is frustrated at the pace of change and how educators seem reluctant to embrace technological innovations, especially the use of internet and web 2.0 applications in the classroom.

Surveys and teacher feedback repeatedly reveal that students are not engaging or investing in their school "work." Yet the multimedia, hyper speed world of our young people continually leaps ahead of us adults in the implementation of technology in the classroom.

Will's post and additional comments are found here.

Friday, May 11, 2007

A Tribute to Mothers

I post this each year in honor of upcoming Mother's Day.

My mother passed away several years ago, leaving behind a wonderful tribute and family legacy. On Mothers' Day it seems appropriate to remember her.

When I was 8 years old, my father passed away after losing a battle with a brain tumor, leaving my mother a widow at age 32 with three children under the age of 8. Mother had been a stay-at-home mom and dad was an airline mechanic for Delta Airlines. Mom did not have marketable job training that would provide a living wage.Unsure of what to do, she moved our family from Michigan to Ohio to be closer to her parents. She bought a small home and enrolled in college at Wright State University in Fairborn, Ohio. Her goal was to become a classroom teacher.My brother, sister and I can still hear her late into the night, studying by reading outloud to herself. I can hardly imagine the stress and workload of a single, widowed mother of three young children taking a full load of classes at the university.Mother graduated with academic honors in four years and got her first full-time employment as a third grade teacher at the age of 38. I can still remember how excited us children were that mom could finally afford to buy soda-pop for a family treat.

From my earliest memory, I knew that I was going to go to college because mom did, yet the greatest gift my mother left us was her spiritual example. She overcame all obstacles placed before her, and although her life could never have been described as easy, she was satisfied in what life had brought. She never complained, but set a solid example of honesty, integrity and work ethic that has remained a legacy, not only to her children but all who knew her. She never remarried, but chose to dedicate her life to God, her family and her elementary school students.

From her example of going to college and working hard, her three children continued their education as well. In her last few years while fighting cancer, she helped me finish my doctoral dissertation by entering all my data into spreadsheets. My sister completed her college degree and passed her CPA exams and my brother went back to school to finish an MBA.

The research says that one of the highest correlations for educational achievement for any individual is found by tracking the educational degree of the mother. It certainly seems true for our family.Here in America, the greatest land of opportunity the world has ever known, let us be thankful for caring and dedicated mothers who model the values and work ethic that made America great. Especially those single mothers who must play many roles for their children.Mothers, take courage, your children will not forget the legacy you leave them. May it be a positive one.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

New Feature

The Wawascene's new feature is an digital sound clip that is featured in the top left corner of the blog site's main page. By clicking on the "play" button you can hear a short audio clip.

The featured clip today is a short heartwarming story of how giving someone a chance can make a difference, not only in their life, but your own.

Two-hour delay on Thursday

Two-hour fog delay for Thursday. Dense fog, especially towards Milford and south of Dewart Lake. There is medium density fog and patchy fog that floats around the rest of the Wawasee attendance area.

Drive careful.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Scary!

Here is a scary one.

Some research out of UW reports that 40% of babies watch TV!

It's just a vast wasteland. Read your baby a book!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Up next - Mind controlled video games

It looks like the next breakthrough in video game technology will involve controlling the game characters with the brain as opposed to hand controls.

I suppose it makes no difference whether you tell the computer to do something or whether you tell your hands to make the computer do something.

At least humans are still telling the computer to do something instead of the other way around!

Article here.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

2007 Super Mileage Challenge!


On Monday, April 30th Wawasee High School competed in the 11th annual Indiana Math Science and Technology Education Association Super Mileage Challenge. The objective of the event is to challenge students to apply (STEM) science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in a cooperative effort to construct a student engineered vehicle to obtain the highest calculated miles per gallon. This year's Wawasee team shattered the old school record of 711 miles per gallon by obtaining an amazing 1,195 miles per gallon. The method used to determine the miles per gallon is based on the weight used to travel a certain distance. The vehicle travels ten laps around the track at Indianapolis Raceway Park, a total of 6.25 miles. The fuel tank is weighed before and after the race, and then the difference is inserted into a formula to calculate the miles per gallon. Wawasee’s vehicle used a mere 14.3 grams to travel the distance of 6.25 miles. Wawasee placed 4th of 22 teams in the unlimited class with the winning vehicle averaging 1,350 miles per gallon.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

WMS - State Academic Super Bowl Champions!

Congratulations to Wawasee Middle School Academic Super Bowl students and their academic coaches for their fine showing in the Indiana State Academic Super Bowl competitions.

Out of approximately 80 teams, our WMS English team was 1st in the state!

The Social Studies and Interdisciplinary teams finished 4th!

Thank you for all the hard work!

Monday, April 30, 2007

Indiana Assembly passes budget bill

Over the weekend the Indiana General Assembly finished its annual Chinese Fire Drill called passing the budget bill.

Know one really knows who is sitting where or what actually got passed, but something did.

According to a report I received this weekend, here are the budget highlights affecting education.

§ The tax credit provision is not a part of the budget.
§ There will be no state funding of virtual charter schools in the next two years. Other types of charter schools can be approved; however, the funding available is specified.
§ Funding for the principals’ leadership academy goes forward at $462,832 annually.
§ Education service centers are to be funded at $2,321,287 annually.
§ The House indicates that tuition support has been increased at 3.7% in 2008 and 3.6% in 2009. I believe the Senate states that the increase is 3.8% and 3.8%.
§ Summer school distribution remains at $18,360,000 annually.
§ The early intervention program including reading recovery and the Waterford method and a voluntary reading assessment program in grades one and two is funded at $4,720,000 annually.
§ Free textbook funding has been increased to $39,000,000 annually with the intent being full funding.
§ Full-day kindergarten is funded by expanding the current grant program to $33,500,000 in 2008 and $58,500,000 in 2009. Participation is voluntary with the dollar amount per pupil dependent on the number of corporations and students participating.
§ The funding for testing and remediation is increased to $41,000,000 annually. The Democrats believe they have increased remediation funding by $19,000,000 annually.
§ Non-English speaking funding is increased to $6,929,246 annually with the intent of increasing the per pupil grant from $20 per student to $200 per student.
§ The educational technology program is funded at $5,000,000 for the biennium with the intent of continuing the buddy system and K-12 programs carried out by the department while supporting the office of special assistant to the superintendent of public instruction.
§ Funding for a school business officials academy of $150,000 annually is provided.
§ The proposal to have the state assume that part of the general fund expenditures paid from the property tax is not part of the budget.

More later as the smoke settles.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Milford Music Program is cancelled

The Milford Music Program for Thursday evening has been cancelled.

Engaging students with technology

One possible reason kids are so disconnected from school is that their world is changing far faster than our world... at least as far as "school" is concerned.

Here is a thoughtful blog post about how the technological world of the teenager is far more diverse and integrated than the type of assignments we give in schools.

Blog post here.

It's not on the test...

I have appreciated the comments on the previous blog post regarding how to motivate and engage students. With that in mind, I thought you might enjoy this tongue-in-cheek song.

Here is a link to a song and lyrics titled, "It's not on the test!"

Link courtesy of Principal Jeff Neumann

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

So...what should we do?

A commenter on the last post regarding the Indy Star series on truancy, made the comment that schools should do more to motivate students.

What should we do? I am asking sincerely with no pretenses here. Describe for us a compelling vision of inspiring and motivating teaching within the context of the curricular restraints that teachers currently face.

Describe for us a system of schooling that will motivate most all students to perform well and stay in school till graduation.

Please be professional and tactful.

I believe that if most instructors knew what they could do tomorrow to motivate all their students to care deeply and perform their best, they would do it immediately.

Society has changed a lot in just a few decades, yet schools look pretty much they way they always have. We all have this intuitive feel that societal changes are causing students to feel less and less connected to school. We struggle to know how to respond.

So...what's your vision of a compelling and inspiring education that would motivate almost all of today's students?

Chronic truants become dropouts

It might seem like restating the obvious, but the Star reports today in their ongoing report on truancy, that students who miss a lot of school for unexcused reasons often become dropouts.

Story here.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Truancy

The Indianapolis Star began an 4-part series today on truancy in schools.

Editorial here.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Technology revolution continues

No more keyboards
Voice recognition software is common place
Everything is wireless
Students finally give up books for wireless Internet connected tablets
and more....

Bill gates says here that the tech revolution will not plateau.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Freedom's costs are rising

So... we fly our flags again at half-staff in honor of another senseless mass murder. This time touching our raw nerves because it took away our young people on a college campus, a place that perhaps represents a place of natural idealism and youthful hope.

The costs of freedom and liberty are not always paid by soldiers fighting for our country.

The costs of liberty are often paid by the innocent bystanders and students caught in the deadly crossfire of another free person gone haywire.

Gun control won't fix it.
More campus police won't fix it.
A locked down, prison style security system won't fix it.

Watch everyone scream out now for their favorite solution.

The only real solutions lie within each individual and their personal responsibility and their responsibility to birth and to properly raise other healthy individuals. And there are still no guarantees in a land of liberty.

Sigh....

Monday, April 16, 2007

General Assembly

The Indiana General Assembly closes in on the legislative session deadline.

Indy Star discusses three bills here.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Friday's Funnies

Wawasee teacher, Christi Overman has her own delightful blog called "Chocolate for Teachers: Sweet stuff from funny kids!"

She blogs about the funny and delightful stories her students provide.

Click here for Christi's blog.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Indiana Senate OK's shift away from property tax

The Indiana Senate has approved a bill that would shift taxes away from property and over to income.

There are positives and negatives to such a switch - but in recent years the state legislature has pushed more and more funding responsibilities to local governments making the property tax increasingly unpopular.

Fort Wayne Journal Gazette article here.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

No Delay Today

Wawasee Community Schools are beginning on time today. Two radio stations have mistakenly broadcast a delay. There is no delay today.

Monday, April 09, 2007

The only world they've known...

Just to give their faculty some concept of the world their college students have always known, Beloit College has for many years provided a list of facts about their students.

Here is the only world the College Class of 2010 has known.

Beloit College's Mindset List for the Class of 2010

The Soviet Union has never existed and therefore is about as scary as the student union.
They have known only two presidents.
They have grown up getting lost in "big boxes." (Walmart)
There has always been only one Germany.
They have never heard anyone actually "ring it up" on a cash register.
They are wireless, yet always connected.
Thanks to pervasive headphones in the back seat, parents have always been able to speak freely in the front.
A coffee has always taken longer to make than a milkshake.
DNA fingerprinting has always been admissible evidence in court.
They grew up pushing their own miniature shopping carts in the supermarket.
They grew up with and have outgrown faxing as a means of communication.
"Google" has always been a verb.
Text messaging is their email.
Mr. Rogers, not Walter Cronkite, has always been the most trusted man in America.
Bar codes have always been on everything, from library cards and snail mail to retail items.
Madden has always been a game, not a Superbowl-winning coach.
There has never been a "skyhook" in the NBA.
Carbon copies are oddities found in their grandparents' attics.
Computerized player pianos have always been tinkling in the lobby.
Non-denominational mega-churches have always been the fastest growing religious organizations in the U.S.
They grew up in mini-vans.
Reality shows have always been on television.
Young women's fashions have never been concerned with where the waist is.
They have rarely mailed anything using a stamp.
Brides have always worn white for a first, second, or third wedding.
Being techno-savvy has always been inversely proportional to age.
"So" as in "Sooooo New York," has always been a drawn-out adjective modifying a proper noun, which in turn modifies something else
Affluent troubled teens in Southern California have always been the subjects of television series.
They have always been able to watch wars and revolutions live on television.
Green tea has always been marketed for health purposes.
Small white holiday lights have always been in style.
Most of them never had the chance to eat bad airline food.
They have always been searching for "Waldo."
The really rich have regularly expressed exuberance with outlandish birthday parties.
Michael Moore has always been showing up uninvited.
They never played the game of state license plates in the car.
They have always preferred going out in groups as opposed to dating.
There have always been live organ donors.
They have always had access to their own credit cards.
They have never put their money in a "Savings & Loan."
Bad behavior has always been getting captured on amateur videos.
Beach volleyball has always been a recognized sport.
Acura, Lexus, and Infiniti have always been luxury cars of choice.
Television stations have never concluded the broadcast day with the national anthem.
LoJack transmitters have always been finding lost cars.
Diane Sawyer has always been live in Prime Time.
Dolphin-free canned tuna has always been on sale.
Disposable contact lenses have always been available.
They have always "dissed" what they don't like.
The U.S. has always been studying global warming to confirm its existence.
They grew up with virtual pets to feed, water, and play games with, lest they die.
Professional athletes have always competed in the Olympics.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Friday's Funny

A little girl was eating lunch in the crowded lunchroom at Syracuse Elementary School. French Fries were on the menu for the day. The fries were shaped like little smiley faces. Very cute. Everyone was munching away except for one little girl. The principal sat down next to her and asked, "What's the matter honey, don't you like french fries?" The little girl looked up and said, "Yes, I like french fries, I just don't like smiley faces!"

I will take a blogging break and start back up in a week or so!

Have a safe and happy spring break.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Ethanol Plant backs out of Milford

The Times Union yesterday reported that the VeraSun Ethanol plant has backed out of Milford.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Is anyone surprised by this?

Here's an online article saying that good quality daycare results in higher vocabulary skills for students than lower quality daycare.

It also goes on to say that students who were in daycare were reported to have a higher percentage of reported behavior problems than those who were not in daycare.

I guess its good to know that parents are not obsolete!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Kill Bills, Shill for Bills, or maybe you've had your Fill of Bills

Some people hate legislative gridlock when political parties are split in the state and federal legislatures. Their complaint is that nothing gets done. Others breathe a huge sigh of relief and say, "Whew - at least if there is gridlock they will kill each other's bills. At least then they can't screw it up any worse than it is!"

No matter what your position is on political gridlock, this is your monthly reminder to keep track of what your Indiana General Assembly is up to. Here is the complete list of bills still alive in the Indiana General Assembly. The bills listed in gray have already been dropped. (Gridlock at its finest.)

The bolder type lists bills that are still alive.

Remember to put your zip code in the little red, white and blue box on the Wawascene sidebar and click "GO." You will be prompted for your address and then your personal legislator's email address will pop up. You will be able to give your representative your personal opinion on one of those bills. (Tip #1: Once you fill out the address form, you shouldn't have to fill it out again the next time you want to send them an email. Tip #2: After you send them a message, you will be given an option of providing 6 friend's email addresses so you can let them know what you sent to your legislator.)

Doc Stock's rule for the day is, "If you haven't sent your legislator an email about something this session, then you are hereby forbidden to complain about a political issue until you do!" So there! :-)

I have made it as easy as click click click.

Doc Stock's short list of education related bills of interest:

SB 0567: Full Day Kindergarten
HB 1304: Requires state to tell teachers what standards are to be tested (imagine that!)
SB 0262: Public School Choice
HB 1581: Allows schools to use 3 full days for professional training instead of only 6 half days

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

NCLB losing steam?

Are conservative Republicans starting to abandon the president in his support for NCLB? Some seem to think so.

Remember when conservatives used to be the party advocating for a limited federal government? I know - it's been awhile - but in the not so distant past - that is what conservatives supposedly stood for. But when Teddy Kennedy and George Bush found themselves mysteriously aligned behind NCLB, you knew we were about to see the biggest federal intrusion into education seen to date.

Are conservatives heading back to their roots - at least on educational issues?

Article here.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Congratulations to the Wawasee HS Drumline.


The Drumline competed in the Indiana Percussion Association State Prelims at Avon HS this past Saturday. The group performed their best show of the season and qualified for State Competition this coming weekend at Ben Davis H.S. In Indianapolis. Great Job Drumline!

And yes...their hair is supposed to be standing up! The show was called "Static Electricity."

Friday, March 16, 2007

Wawasee Winter Sports Major Award Winners from March 15, 2007




Front Row L to R
Danyl Wallace - Blanket Award
Taylor Goshert - GBB Performance Player of the Year
Jenna Haab - MVP Cheerleading
Laura Capps - MVP Gymnastics
Back Row L to R
Cory Smith - MVP Swimming & Diving
Haven Hoffman - Blanket Award
Krista Spearman - MVP Swimming and Diving
Justin Wegener - Wrestling Mental Attitude Award Winner, Blanket Award
Andrew Mock - MVP Basketball
Joe Leach - MVP Basketball

Thursday, March 15, 2007

NCLB target out of reach?

The Washington Post discusses the federal debates over NCLB targets.
"There is a zero percent chance that we will ever reach a 100 percent target," said Robert L. Linn, co-director of the National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards and Student Testing at UCLA. "But because the title of the law is so rhetorically brilliant, politicians are afraid to change this completely unrealistic standard. They don't want to be accused of leaving some children behind."

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Wawascene makes eSchool News

The Wawascene was part of a featured story in eSchool News.

We were tipped off by N.W. teacher Cheryl Miller who is a subscriber.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Editorials for Today

Here is the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette's editorial on charter schools and charter school funding.

Meanwhile the Star's voice on public education, RiShawn Biddle, teed off on ISTA and all the other educational lobbying groups again. (Note: this is a re post from 2006)

More interesting than RiShawn's daily rant are a few of the comments that explain the figures tossed around in his blog.

Monday, March 12, 2007

School Funding Dilemma

The Indy Star yesterday posted this editorial regarding the Democrats' plan for education funding.

The solutions are not simple. Even with increases in the last few years, growing suburban schools are hurting because their student populations are growing faster than their revenue is growing. On the other hand, declining enrollment schools struggle with declining revenue under the school funding plan the Republicans put through in recent years.

Hence, you see in the Star article that rural districts could receive $500 extra per student in the proposed plan. This is because economies of scale work against small districts.

Here are the comments from readers at the Star.

As you can see, there are also a variety of opinions on charter schools.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Friday's Funny

The new elementary school student came sprinting around the hallway corner making loud noises and ran straight into the principal. The principal scolded him and made him walk the rest of the way down the hall. A few minutes later the boy was running again. The principal scolded him again. He made a loud noise and sprinted off.

This time the principal cornered the boy and says sternly, "Young man, do you know who I am?"

The young boy says sympathetically, "No, but I am sure if you ask the secretary she can tell you."

True story provided by Syracuse Principal Jim Garner. I am unclear as to whether Jim was the student or the principal in the story!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Friday's Funnies on Thursday

Here are the funniest stories from last week's conference presenters.

The speaker starts out by remarking how uncertain the current educational climate is in our country. Then he says, "There is a lot of uncertainty right now in our nation about a number of things. But...there is one thing of which I am absolutely 100% certain. I am 100% certain that I am NOT the father of Anna Nicole's baby."

Best student story:

One principal had a teacher march two little first grade boys down to the office. She was not happy. She marches them into the office and says, "I caught these two little boys making a mess in the restroom. They were having a contest to see who could urinate the highest on the wall!"

The principal squints his eyes and rubs his chin. "What did you do about it?" he asks the teacher.

She exclaims, "I hit the ceiling!"

He says, "You win!"

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

The President's Speech

Here is the press release of President Bush's speech on NCLB at an elementary school in Indiana.

Comments?

Monday, March 05, 2007

Why right-brainers will rule the future!


There are right-brainers, left-brainers and even no-brainers. Depending on the issue I suppose I get accused of being all three!

At this week's AASA conference, the most compelling argument I have heard yet for why NCLB is either wrong or insufficient (take your pick) was delivered this weekend by Daniel H. Pink.

I blogged about it here.

Pink explains why the overemphasis on testing, standards and bubble mania may be our undoing. He explains in his book "A Whole New Mind" why reading, writing and math are not sufficient. He explains that the industrial revolution was spawned by the logical and analytical mind (the left hemisphere) but the modern era will belong to the empathetic, creative synthesizer. This person will not only be able to read, write and do math well but will be comfortable operating in the right hemisphere of the brain as well.

He explains how three things have caused this:

1. Abundance: We have most of what we need (created by the left-brain), and we are now in search of beauty and meaning (sought by the right-brain). Note: Have you noticed how the car commercials are not selling function any more? Now they are moving works of art! Have you noticed that many commercials do not even mention the product? They aren't appealing to your left-brain, they are now appealing to your right hemisphere. Why? Many homes in our country are no longer just trying to survive (that's left brain). Now, they are in search of meaning (that's right-brain).

2. Asia: As Thomas Friedman and others point out, even white collar functions like accounting, computer programming and engineering (left-brain skills) are now being out sourced to China and India. America must have creative designers and developers who can take existing products and develop new uses, new styles, new designs and new applications.

3. Automation: In the industrial age we automated the work place to save our backs. Now we automate our work place to free our minds. Now we are interested in meaning, design, integration, empathy, sympathy and beauty.

I'll close with this example. See the picture above? Pink says that your grandparents would have thought you to be insane if you had spent $168.00 on a designer toilet brush. Today, many simple products have reached their engineering limits. Now the questions are different. Can we use them in a new way? Can we make them more aesthetic? Can we integrate them with a new product? Can we differentiate them from a million other toilet brushes?
Let's assume for a moment that Pink is correct.
What do you think this means for schools?

Academic Super Bowl

On Thursday evening Wawasee Academic Super Bowl team members won 3rd place out of 16 teams at the Warsaw Invitational.

The science team placed first in their competition. Members of the science team are: Kristen Bardsley, Luke Blakeslee, Jeff DeLeon, Tyler Guyas, Elizabeth Olson, James, Rigby, and Jessica Ruiz. Congratulations to the team members and coaches!

Our next competition will be the NLC meet hosted by Wawasee on March 12. Come out and support our teams!

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Amazing Technology

The score is 38 to 38 at the end of the third quarter. I am listening to the girls' state championship game being streamed live by wawaseetv.com while I blog this from a New Orleans hotel room. Bill and Caz are about to have a heart attack!!!!

One funny thing about technology is that Clayton Wilcox the superintendent of Pinella County Schools in Florida has become a Wawasee girls basketball fan. How?

Clayton is the superintendent that teamed up with me for our AASA presentation on blogging. After reading The Wawascene from Florida he started following our girl's basketball team through the tournament.

In fact, he intends to download the file from wawaseetv.com and listen to the game on his iPod on the plane trip home! He has dinner plans right now so he probably isn't listening yet. He is a former basketball coach so it's in his blood.

Score is 43-40 right now. Go Warriors!

Now it's 45-40. Lantz nails a three and we are back within two.

Bill goes beserk!

One minute left and it's 49-43.

Ouch. They are pulling away from us.

Game over - but what a season!!!

Thank you Warriors!

Friday, March 02, 2007

Tired of the Snow?


If the snow is getting to you and you wonder what your superintendent is up to since he wasn't there to make the call today, you can go to "Taking Stock of the AASA Conference" and see what is happening.

You can also follow all the events at "The Conference Daily" where professional journalists and photographers report on the events.

I wish I could tell you I missed the snow today - but that wouldn't be telling the truth!!
:-)
In the picture above, you will see Dr. Eugene White (IPS Superintendent and national president of AASA) standing to the far right with a group handing an award to the Superintendent of the Year, Krista Parent. This award is a $10,000 scholarship that goes to a high school student in the high school she graduated from.

Plans for Monday, March 5th at WHS and Milford Middle School

Monday, March 5th at Wawasee High School and Milford Middle School will be the last day of the 2nd trimester with a regular full day schedule so teachers can administer any exams that were planned for today. Milford Middle School will be a "B" day.

Tuesday at WHS and Milford Middle School will be the first day of the 3rd trimester. If you have questions, please call WHS or MMS.

Posted by Wendy Hite, Director of Special Services

Boy's Basketball Sectional Game

The Boy's Basketball Sectional Game vs. Angola will be played tonight at Northwood High School at approximately 7:30pm.

Posted by Wendy Hite, Director of Special Services

Wawasee Schools are closed today, Friday, March 2, 2007

Due to the late occurring storm, we delayed school. At this point, conditions have not improved, roads are slick, high winds are causing poor visibility due to the blowing snow, and we are expected to get 2-4 more inches.

Posted by Wendy Hite, Director of Special Services at 7:58am

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The Dangerously Irrelevant blog links to the following article from the Wichita Eagle. The article is entitled "Are We Losing Our Boys?" and raises lots of issues about a lack of involvement and engagement in school by teen aged boys. There are thoughts about what is happening and theories about why it is happening. The authors deal with issues ranging from pop culture to video games to a lack of "Velcro classes" in high schools. What's a "Velcro class"? Check out the article.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

AASA's annual conference

The American Association of School Administrators hosts their National Conference on Education this year in the city of New Orleans!

This year Clayton Wilcox and I were asked to address the nation's school administrators and school board members about the topic of "blogging." (List of Distinguished Lecturers is here.)

Then AASA called and asked if I would be willing to "blog" the conference each day so that people around the nation who were unable to attend would get some idea of the topics being covered and what is happening down here.

Hence, a new blog is born, "Taking Stock of the AASA Conference."

I will not be posting as often on The Wawascene this week, but you may be interested in following along by checking in over on the other site!

P.S. It's not snowing here!

Early Release Days and Weather

Friday, March 2 and Tuesday, March 6 are scheduled as early release days for students. If we were to experience any weather issues on either of those days which would cause us to call a 2 Hour Delay, we will cancel the early release, go to school all day (after the delay, of course) and dismiss at the regular time.

At this point, we do not anticipate any problems with weather, and hopefully we will have none.

Monday, February 26, 2007

So what would you tell the Congressman?

Congressman Mark Souder's staffers called yesterday seeking three school district representatives to attend a meeting discussing the No Child Left Behind re authorization.

Here are a few talking points that we intend to share:

1. NCLB was a noble idea. (But...do all noble ideas make good laws?)

2. Schools should be accountable for the growth of their students but that accountability should take into consideration where the students are performing before the teachers receive them. In others words, move the accountability system to a growth model but still report the percentages of students meeting overall proficiency.

3. Someone at the federal decision-making level needs to spend some time IN the classrooms of today and see if this level of "accountability" is worth it. This is a hugely important national discussion. It is easy to chart changes in the test scores and call it "improvement." It's not so easy to chart what is NOT being taught now. A recent commenter mentioned the difference between teaching rote history dates versus teaching/discussing/debating sociological changes.) Well, guess which one will be taught if it's "on the test?"

4. How fair is it to hold an entire school's reputation (under current NCLB rules) based on the performance of a sub population of 12 students? This is what is happening now.

5. Special Education students have been doing well considering the circumstances. But some changes in the testing expectations for some types of students in this population HAVE to be considered.

So....what would YOU respectfully tell the Congressman if you had the chance?

State BB Ticket Info

The Wawasee Girls’ Basketball team will play for the IHSAA Class 3A State Championship. The Warriors are matched with Indianapolis Brebeuf Jesuit High School and are scheduled for a 6:00 pm tip-off. Reserved seating tickets will be available for $10 each. The ticket is good for the Class 3A and Class 4A State Championship which will be played immediately following the Wawasee-Brebeuf game.

Saturday, March 3
Wawasee -vs- Brebeuf Game time 6:00 PM Conseco Fieldhouse
Tickets will be $10.00. No ticket will be required if a child is 24 months of age or less. Presale tickets will be made available in the Wawasee Athletic Office in the following order: (All seats are reserved)
Monday, February 26
7:00 p.m – 8:00 p.m.: Parents of Players and Cheerleaders
Tuesday, February 27
7:00 a.m.: Corporation Faculty and Students
9:00 a.m.: Green and Gold Ticket Holders and Season Ticket Holders, until 4:00 p.m.
Wednesday, February 28
Open sales Begin at 7:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.
Media announcement:
Wawasee Basketball coaches and players will be available for a media night Tuesday, February 27th at 5:00 p.m. Please announce – Community pep rally Thursday, 7:00 PM.

Swim Results at State!

At the IHSAA State Swim Meet, Wawasee placed:
16th in the 200 medley relay. Swimmers were Tyler Wear—backstroke, Cory Smith—breaststroke, Jake Garner—fly,
Chris Szynal —free.
18th in the 400 free relay. Swimmers were Haven Hoffman, Szynal, Smith, and Garner
20th in the Fly—Szynal
32nd in the 200 Free—Smith
26th in the 100 Free—Smith

Special thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Alan Frank, and Mr. and Mrs. Dave Stookey for making the trip to support the Warrriors.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Girl's BB are going to state!

The Wawasee girls basketball team is heading to the state finals after knocking off the number one ranked team in 3A - the St. Joe Indians.

The video will be available on wawaseetv.com by 4:00 PM on Sunday. Thanks Bill!

Link here.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Sleepless in high school

Wait... wasn't that a movie or somethin'?

Here is an article about adolescent sleep patterns...or lack thereof.

No solutions proposed.

I guess you could push the high school student day to 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM but then there are all those extra-curriculars etc. If you went later in the day the students would be awake but then the adults would be nodding off! :-)

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Did you know...?

Does it feel to you like life itself is speeding up?

This slide show, entitled "Gone Fischin" is a slide show set to music that simply lays out changes happening in the world today.

This comes from a blog site by Dr. Scott McLeod who teaches at the University of Minnesota. Dr. McLeod teaches in the educational leadership program, preparing future educational leaders to be users of technology. His site is called "Dangerously Irrelevant."

The "Gone Fischin" slide show takes 6 minutes to view and he gives you a variety of download options.

Are your children ready for this world?

Happy Birthday!


Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Public Education in a Flat World

Here is an interesting post from a fellow superintendent blogger entitled, "Public Education in a Flat World."

I have not personally read Thomas Friedman's book referred to in the posting.

Closed

Wawasee has closed for Wednesday.

Fog lifted - roads are worse.

Unfortunately it will be beautiful by noon!

2 Hour Delay Wednesday

Wawasee Schools will be on a two hour delay on Wednesday with alternate kindergarten schedule.

Dense fog with very poor visibility.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

What do you think of this proposed law?

Here is a bill that would take take away the Indiana driver's license of any minor that was caught smoking.

DIGEST OF INTRODUCED BILL
Driver's license suspension for minors who smoke. Permits a court to order a: (1) one year suspension of a driver's license of; or (2) a six month delay in the issuance of a driver's license to; a minor who violates tobacco laws.


Authored by Senator(s) Boots

Hmmm. Is this a good idea or not?

If you have an opinion - just put your zip code in the blue box labeled "Write your legislators." Enter your address and your legislator's email address will come up. You can let your representatives know what you think.

Here is a list of all proposed legislation. Scroll through them and see what your legislators are up to!

Monday, February 19, 2007

Autism breakthrough?

Most schools have seen an increase in students with autism over the last several years, prompting a surge in research.

Here is an article discussing some potentially revealing genetic research.

If that one was a little boring because it had words like "genome" in it, then try this one.

Here is a heartwarming story about a little boy with autism who is making great gains.

Wawasee has 25 students with autism.

GBB Ticket Info

The Wawasee Basketball team will play in the IHSAA North Semi-State against SB St. Joseph’s at North Side Gym in Elkhart in the second afternoon game.

Saturday, February 24 Two Semi-State Championship Games:
Game 1 Class 2A Jimtown -vs- Oak Hill Game time 1:00 PM
Game 2 Class 3A SB St. Joseph’s -vs- Wawasee Approx 3:00 PM

The winner of each Semi-State game advances to the IHSAA State Championship game at Conseco Fieldhouse the following Saturday.

Tickets will be $7.00. There is no charge for a pre-school child who is with their parent/s and will not occupy a reserved seat. Presale tickets will be made available in the Wawasee Athletic Office in the following order: (All seats are reserved)

Tuesday, February 20
7:00 a.m.: Students at Wawasee High School, Parents of Players and Cheerleaders, and Corporation Faculty
12:00 Noon: Green and Gold Ticket Holders and Season Ticket Holders, until 4:00 PM.

Wednesday, February 21 and Thursday, February 22

7:30 a.m.: Open sales until 4:00 PM. All unsold tickets returned Friday.

Updated Swimming Report from Sectionals

Congratulations to the boy's swim team and coaches on a sectional win. This is coach Karn's 9th boy’s sectional win. Team scores:
Wawasee 324.5
Culver 293
Warsaw 253.5
Plymouth 107
Columbia Cty 79
Manchester 73
Rochester 61
Knox 61
Tippy Vly 43
Northfield 26
Fairfield 20

Individual Results:

The following swimmers will be going to the state meet at the Natatorium in Indy this Fri. and Sat. (2/23,24/07)
220 Free Relay—Tyler Wear, Cory Smith, Jake Garner, Chris Szynal
200 Free—Cory Smith
100 Fly—Chris Szynal
100 Free—Cory Smith
400 Free Relay—Chris Szynal, Haven Hoffman, Jake Garner, Cory Smith

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Warrior Swimmers win sectional!

Two relays and two individuals also moved on.

Cory Smith won the 100 and 200 free and Chris Szynal won the 100 fly. They were also on the winning relay teams.

Warrior Girls BB Win Big

Wawasee Girls are BB Regional Champs!

After posting a 47-26 win over Concordia, Wawasee will move to semi state action next week!

Don't forget to go to http://www.wawaseetv.com/ to watch the games. Bill will appreciate the traffic!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Warriors Win

The boys BB team beat Westview last night.

The girls BB team won in the regionals this morning in Peru against Elwood and will play Concordia this evening at 8:00 PM at Peru.

The boys BB team will play this afternoon at home.

Go Warriors!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Making up missed days

Most of you know that the state law requires making up all days missed due to inclement weather. Here is the plan for making up days and adjusting for lopsided trimester schedules.

1. Monday, Feb 19th is now a school day as a snow makeup day

2. Monday, Feb 26th WAS a teacher work day with no students but will now become a regular school day as a snow makeup day

3. Friday, March 2nd will now be the end of the second trimester BUT it will be an early dismissal day (approximately 12:30 PM depending on the school) for students in order to allow at least SOME work time for staff for grading exams and getting ready for the new trimester on the next Monday. This also gives the weekend for teachers to prepare for the new classes on Monday.

4. Friday, March 23rd is now a school day as a snow makeup day

5. Monday, May 14th is now a school day as a snow makeup day

This will still leave Friday, June 1st as a snow makeup day if there are any other cancellations yet to come. Commencement will remain on Friday night even if school gets pushed into the next week. This is because many parents and grandparents already have their travel plans arranged.

This schedule does the following things:

It allows more second trimester teaching days for those teachers whose course content cannot be easily adjusted .

It provides at least a little work time for teachers to grade exams and enter grades into the computers.

It maximizes the use of available days for student instruction.

It decreases the chance we would need to require seniors to return after commencement .

Blog Tips

There have been over 416,731 "page loads" and 181,452 "unique visitors" to The Wawascene in the last 30 days as of 8:23 AM this morning. Over 50,000 of those are listed as "First Time Visitors." There are so many new readers lately that I think a few blog tips might be in order.

1. What are "page loads?" When you click on "The Wawascene" and then click on the "Comments" that would be two page loads. The stat counter program records every page load.

2. What are "unique visitors?" Each computer has a unique numerical address. There is a little piece of software code on your computer called "cookies" that allows web sites and blog sites to recognize that unique numerical address. Whenever you log onto The Wawascene the stat counter program checks to see if you have been on in the last hour or so. If you clicked on the blog site 45 times in that hour the stat counter would only count you as one "unique visitor." However, if you have your "cookies" turned off, the stat counter program will think you are a new visitor each time. How would you know if your "cookies" are on? If you go to a web site you have registered at before and it recognizes who you are, then your "cookies" are turned on. If you register over and over again every time you go, then your "cookies" are turned off. And that my friends, is how the cookie crumbles!

3. How is a blog site different than a web site? A blog is an informal, frequently changing web site that often links to other sites. Web sites are generally more formal sites that contain information and links that are changed less frequently.

4. Did you ever have a question, but then wonder if I have already blogged on the topic before. All you have to do is go to the to the top left corner of The Wawascene's homepage and look for the little white rectangular box. Next to it is a button that says "Search This Blog" if you type a word such as "ISTEP" in the box and then click on the "Search This Blog" button it will list every post I have made that has "ISTEP" in it. There is one caution though. That post was written at a certain point in time. Laws and opinions of those laws may have changed since then. But, you can at least see what was written about that topic at that point in time.

Enough for now. Have a good day.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Thursday - 2 hour delay

Thursday, February 15th will start with at least a two-hour delay. But stay tuned. We have to decide by 8:00 AM tomorrow about closing decisions.

This will give the county plows a little more time.

They will pull the plows at 4:00 PM tonight and return at 4:00 AM to see how much progress they can make.

While most roads are open (at least one lane) there may still be turnarounds and intersections where buses cannot negotiate the turning radius. The problem is that going is slow because the snow is unusually hard packed. That wind just packed it in.

P.S. Due to popular demand we are adding WNDU Channel 16 back to the call list today. We dropped them last year due to their internet system failing to post our information or posting incorrectly on several occasions. We will try it again.

Basketball Game Update

Things are improving but it's slow going because the snow is so packed it doesn't push very well.

The boys BB make up game for the make up game tonight will be played here at home with one major change.

There will be no JV game and the varsity game will be played at 6:30 PM in order to get people home in a timely fashion.

The report from the Kosciusko County highway department is that they should have every country road open by 4:00 PM this afternoon. There will still be some that are one lane.

Shocking!

OK - so maybe it's not shocking, but it's at least surprising to see a bill going through the legislature that repeals a duty that was handed off to public schools. This may be the first time I can recall a law change that didn't add a new requirement for public schools.

Senate Bill 0010 would repeal the public school requirement to test all students in grades 5, 7 and 9 for scoliosis.

Speaking of Bills - here is the entire list of bills introduced into the Indiana General Assembly.

If you have an opinion on one of them, go to the blue sticker on the sidebar where it says "Write Your Legislator." Put in your zip code and then your address, click "GO" and you will be given the email addresses of your representatives. In 60 seconds you can tell them what you think.

One legislator told me privately, that he puts far more weight behind the personal emails and letters from constituents than he does the form letters from professional lobbying organizations.

One of the first reasons I started blogging was to try to make it easier for patrons to not only know how laws affected their local schools but to make it easier for patrons to let their own personal opinions be known to their representatives.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Wednesday - School Cancelled

Wawasee Schools will be closed on Wednesday, February 14, 2007.

Board Meeting Time Change

The Wawasee Community School Board has moved the 7:00 PM meeting tonight to 4:00 PM. in the central administration office. The executive session has been cancelled.

Tonight's Boy's BB Game Rescheduled

The make up game for the make up game against Northridge will be Wednesday, February 14th. JV game starts at 6:15 PM.

Tuesday - Cancelled

School will be closed on Tuesday the 13th. The snow started around 5:00 AM and the wind is causing some drifting.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

"2% circuit breaker" - For some cities, towns and schools it blows a fuse!

Someone emailed me last week and wanted to know how Indiana's new law, coined the "2% circuit breaker" was going to affect the Wawasee school system. Evidently they had seen the TV coverage of the South Bend school system fretting about how this law could hurt them badly.

The "2% circuit breaker," passed by the Indiana General Assembly in 2006 is designed to cap property taxes at 2%. That sounds simple enough, right?

Yet, this law could have a devastating impact on some municipalities, towns, cities and schools but little or no impact on others.

Here is how it works. To make the example simple, let's assume you had a home and property that was valued for property tax purposes at $100,000 and your total property tax exceeded $2,000. In this example the "2% circuit breaker" kicks in and then anything over that $2,000 is noncollectable and the taxing entities would not receive their portion of that money.

What if you live in a town that has a library tax? What if your town provides sewer service? Maybe they collect your garbage or plow your streets and pick up your leaves? These services are provided for those that live in the taxing area. But if your total property taxes including school taxes exceeds 2% (or in the $100,000 example - $2,000) then the taxing entities do not receive their portion over the $2,000 amount.

This seems a little weird to me. Just because you live outside these municipal areas doesn't necessarily mean you don't use such services. Maybe you pay for your own garbage pick up. When the private gravel drive to your subdivision is drifted in you may have to pay separately to have it plowed. You probably pay every year to have it scraped and potholes filled. Maybe you pay for septic tanks to be pumped and when the systems go bad you may pay privately to put in a new system. These items are not covered on the property tax rolls but that doesn't mean you don't have to use those services. I suppose the thinking is that at least you have a choice. I suppose so. You could let the garbage pile up at the roadside I guess! :-)

But, here are the real problems with the "2% circuit breaker:"

1. These towns, municipalities and schools already have their budgets set and services developed long before they are informed about how much revenue is not collected.

2. The Indiana General Assembly passed the law without solid information on how and who it would affect.

3. They did not pass any alternative revenue sources.

As far as Wawasee Schools is concerned, it does not appear to have too much of a direct effect. Wawasee Schools tax rate is low enough that even adding all the other property taxes up inside the towns it should not have a major impact on our schools. But time will tell.

To see Wawasee's property tax rate and current ranking (Click here) then scroll down to "Delve deeper into data" and select "top 10 corporations," then select "tax rate (before CAGIT)" and you will see Wawasee ranked 292 of 293 school districts.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Friday's Funny

Today's Friday Funny comes from Syracuse teacher, Dina Coverstone.

Last year when Dina was teaching Kindergarten she had a little fellow come up to her and exclaim, "Miss Coverstone, my mom is having her throat cut and her thyroid taken out."

Another little girl chimed in and added, "Now your mom can't have babies anymore!"

Have a great weekend. Go Warriors! Beat Northwood in the girl's sectional tonight in Angola. We play the early game.