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

Blog Rules

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

Friday, March 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.


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 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 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