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.

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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.

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


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.


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.