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.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Criteria for Accepting Cash Transfer Students

At the November school board meeting, a policy for accepting cash transfer students was adopted that goes into effect on January 1, 2009. This policy describes the process a student and parents must go through in order for the student to be considered for being an out-of-district transfer student to Wawasee Community School Corporation.

The first criteria listed in the policy reads, "A student requesting transfer shall complete the Application for Transfer of Non-Resident Student and submit it to the Wawasee Community School Corporation Superintendent's Office prior to July 1. Transfers will be considered on a yearly basis. Transfer students will be responsible for any applicable tuition payments including full tuition if the student enrolls after state enrollment count day."

Friday, December 26, 2008

T’is the Season to Earn Credits

With a new director and a new staff member, Wawasee Academy has a new flavor. The classroom has a fish theme. In the Academy, FISH stands for “Fresh Ideas Start Here.” Students are motivated with fish-themed quotes and fish-shaped chips they collect and redeem for treats when they are “caught” being good. First trimester at the Academy was an enormous success. Students earned 62 credits, and we celebrated our first graduate! This trimester, students have already earned twelve more credits with several awaiting approval.

In October, the Academy sent out numerous emails and letters to members of the Wawasee corporation, business owners, and non-profit organizations asking for a “hand up.” We have been scouring the community for donations of equipment, educational materials, and monetary gifts to sponsor GED candidates.

We have been overwhelmed by support! Cindy Pierce of North Webster Elementary donated a full truck load of equipment for our gym. We have new machines and a “ton” of new weights. Now everyone can get “buff”!

We are thrilled by the generosity of our area service clubs. The Sons of the American Legion donated $100 for our GED candidates. The Lakeland Eagles donated $120. Most recently, the Milford Kiwanis Club offered to sponsor our Milford-native GED candidates. The North Webster Women’s Auxiliary donated $500. The GED test costs between $50 and $60 depending on the testing site. We have all of our current GED candidates covered!

During this seasonal time of generosity, the staff and students at the Academy cannot thank our community enough. It really does take a village to raise a child, and we feel like a great big happy family here! All in all, the “new” Academy has had a tremendous start with very driven, serious students who are getting caught up to grade level and many at the brink of graduation.

-Anne Rackely, Director of Wawasee Academy

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

December 23, 2008 Boys Basketball Game Postponed

The Wawasee Warriors boys basketball game scheduled for Tuesday evening, December 23, at Columbia City has been postponed to a future date due to poor weather conditions.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Felicidades – Happy Holidays from the ESL Department!

The school year started off with our English as a Second Language (ESL) staff attending the Fall 2008 Title III Administrative Workshop where they learned about administering the LAS Links Placement test (a test used with new ESL students to our corporation and ESL kindergarten students to find out what their level of English proficiency is). In October, ESL staff and a number of teachers attended a training session staged by the Indiana Department of Education on Indiana's English Language Proficiency Standards. The meetings were very informative and helpful.

Syracuse Elementary School's ESL students invited the third grade students to attend and enjoy an educational program on “Bats.” The presentation was very interesting, and the children were able to observe several taxidermied bats. In addition, the students even had the opportunity to hear a recording of a bat using echolocation to find its food!

This fall we held our first Reading is Fun (RIF) book distribution meeting at Milford Elementary School. Our theme this year was “Family Science Night.” There were over 100 parents and students in attendance. Students and parents were able to observe and/or participate in various science demonstrations. The students' involvement with the experiments and distribution of books helped encourage the families to attend. Great job everyone!

At the North Webster Elementary School, we are working on reading, math and a “Word Tower.” Any new vocabulary words acquired by the student are pasted onto a paper and placed on the wall. We hope to fill all the walls with new words by the end of the school year!!!

Middle school students have engaged in reading poetry and writing in language arts. Students have also rehearsed speeches on various topics. The students researched the topics, created a list of questions and facts, then put together their speech. We worked on intonation, facial expressions, and delivering the speech with credibility. Other subjects we work on include science and social Studies, as time allows.

The high school students have been working hard on English, math, history and Chem/Phys, making new friends, and participating in researching topics in the classroom, when their school work is complete. In particular, they have researched successful and prominent multicultural individuals who have contributed in one way or another to the arts, music, science, politics, etc. The goal is to help students envision their own dreams and to pursue them.

On behalf of the ESL Department, have a safe holiday, and may the true beauty of the season fill your hearts with peace, joy and laughter.

- Maria Waltz, Director of ESL Programs

Make-Up Day - January 19, 2008

The day of school at Wawasee missed due to inclement weather on December 19, 2008 will be made up on Monday, January 19, 2008.

School Closing - December 19, 2008

Wawasee Community School Corporation will be closed due to weather on Friday, December 19, 2008.
Have a great Christmas break!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Congratulations to Marion Acton

At the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame's Annual Men's Banquet on Wednesday, March 25, 2009, Marion Acton will be receiving the Center Circle Officials Recognition Award.

According to a press release from the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame, each year they recognize up to three outstanding basketball officials for their outstanding officiating ability and for their contributions and promotion of the game. Marion Acton worked as an official at 20 sectionals, 15 regionals, 9 semi-states and called four state finals. He served numerous years, 15-20, as an observer in both boys and girls basketball. He also helped organize and begin the Mississinewa and Northern Indiana Officials Associations.

Mr. Action is a former physical education teacher, assistant principal, principal and school board member for Wawasee Community Schools. He served as an educator/administrator for us from 1971-1994 at three buildings: Milford Junior High School, Syracuse Junior High School, and North Webster School. He served as a school board member from 1995-2006.

The Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame's Annual Men's Banquet will be held at the Primo Banquet Hall located on the south side of Indianapolis. Tickets will be made available in early 2009. You can call 765-529-1891 for more information.

Girls Basketball Hall of Fame Classic

Wawasee High School is pleased to announce the Lady Warriors will participate in the 2008 City Securities Hall of Fame Basketball Classic on December 29th. This prestigious basketball event is held at New Castle High School – the largest high school basketball arena in the nation. The Warriors will play in the second morning game –vs- Oak Hill (12 noon) and again that evening against Ben Davis or Connersville.

Tickets are now available – great for you or perhaps for you to purchase as a Christmas Holiday gift. Fans will see some of Indiana’s best basketball and have an opportunity to visit the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame located across the street from New Castle High School.

Presale tickets are a great deal! Ticket prices that day at the door will be $10.00 for each session, morning and evening. Presale tickets at Wawasee are $10.00 for the entire day. Tickets will be available at all home girls’ basketball games and school hours in the athletic office through Friday, December 19, 2008.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Fundraiser for Van Laeken Family

On Saturday, December 20th from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. in the Lowe's parking lot next to Walmart in Warsaw, there will be a Port-A-Pit chicken sale and bake sale in order to help with expenses the Van Laeken family has incurred over the past weeks.

Wawasee graduate Cheryl (Grady) Van Laeken is a fifth grade teacher at Milford School. She and her husband Mike had baby girl Makenna on October 22, 2008. Sadly, after weeks in hospitals, Makenna died on December 3, 2008. Our hearts go out to the Van Laekens.

It is not necessary to order tickets for the Nelson Port-A-Pit chicken; however, if you want to order tickets, you can email Christie Holst at

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Invitation for WHS Class of 2008

On Wednesday, November 26, 2008, Wawasee High School will host members from the graduating class of 2008. They are invited to a continental breakfast beginning at 8 a.m. Those attending will be asked to complete a post-graduate survey and will have opportunities to visit some classes. Teachers will post on their doors if they are testing and do not want to be disturbed. The morning will conclude at 10:30 a.m.

RSVP's are expected. Please email if you plan to attend.

Wawasee High School's administration, teachers, and staff are looking forward to seeing graduates of the class of 2008 on the 26th!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

WCSC School Board Meeting - October 14, 2008

The Wawasee Community School Corporation Board of Education met on Tuesday, October 14, 2008, in the Wawasee Middle School lecture room.

President George Gilbert called the meeting to order, WMS students Chad Eppley and Jacob Schwartz led the pledge, and principal Tony Cassel offered the invocation.

Donations were received from Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Schrock ($1000) and the Knights of Columbus ($500) for the WHS athletic department and an anonymous donor ($710) for the WMS Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

Minutes, support personnel recommendations, certified personnel recommendations, and claims were approved.

1028 Hearings on proposed facility projects were held. Architect Kari Vilamaa and financial consultant Phil Gutman discussed the scope and financing of the various projects. One patron spoke in opposition to the projects, due to the poor economic conditions at present. At the conclusions of the hearings, the Board voted to proceed with the projects as described. Resolutions to move forward with bonding, an additional spending appropriation for 2009 to begin the projects, and advertising for an energy savings company were also adopted.

The financial report through September was received, along with a 2nd reading for a policy to set criteria for accepting transfer students.

Dr. Bob Cockburn discussed results from the beginning of the school year NWEA assessments.

Director of Curriculum and Instruction Joy Goshert brought the Board up to date on workshops and curriculum work.

The Board will send several representatives to the October 21 Indiana School Board Association workshop in Plymouth.

The next regular meeting of the board will take place at 5:30pm on Tuesday, November 11, at Syracuse Elementary School.

Monday, October 06, 2008

What is Happening at the Top?

The largest school districts in the country have traveled different directions, enrollment -wise, over the past 20 years. New York City, with just over 1 million students, has grown by 6% since 1987. (Wawasee, with 3200 students, is about 300 times smaller than the New York City system.) Los Angeles has grown by 17% to over 700,000 students. Chicago, third largest, has dropped over 7% to 400,000 children. Miami, Clark County(Las Vegas), and Broward County (FL) have jumped by 31%, 69%, and 50%, respectively. Houston with a 4% increase, Hillsborough County (FL) up 40%, Hawaii (all one school system) up 10%, and Philadelphia down 11%, round out the top ten school districts in the country. Philadelphia's enrollment of 185,000 is over 57 times the size of Wawasee. Wawasee Community Schools have an enrollment now about equal to that of 20 years ago.
Nationally, big city school districts have remained stable in population, while rural districts have lost enrollment. Suburban districts have experienced a steady growth during the past 20 years.

Teen Parents Succeeding Grant

The Teen Parents Succeeding program serving Wawasee High School student/parents is receiving a grant award from the Indiana Youth Institute on Thursday, October 9, at 3:30pm at the TPS facility on 604 S. Poplar Dr. in Syracuse. Please feel free to join the celebration! Thanks to a hard-working board for supporting our young people when they need help the most.

What a Difference a Year Makes?

As a school system, we report to various governmental units the number of students who qualify for free and reduced price lunches. One of the Wawasee Community School Corporation elementary schools increased the percentage of free/reduced lunch students from 2007-08 school year to the present year by almost 8 %. That is a statement about our present economic conditions in general and the effect on our students in particular.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Corporation Wellness Committee

The Wawasee Community School Corporation Wellness Committee met on Thursday, September 25, 2008. Our present wellness policy was reviewed. Discussion centered on the school lunch program, vending machine choices, student party treats, staff and student fitness, employee assistance program, and health insurance. Becoming a smoke-free school corporation was also discussed.

A WHS student and a PE teacher will be added to the committee. Present committee members were George Gilbert, school board president; Tom Edington, superintendent; Ellen Stevens, WHS principal; Alan Frank, WHS assistant principal; Myra Alexander, corporation nurse; Tony Cassel, WMS principal; Cindy Kaiser, Milford School principal; Kris Woodard, North Webster School principal; Jim Garner, Syracuse School principal; Jane Holloway, North Webster cafeteria manager; Kristen Steffen, community member; and Patsy Doty, parent member.

The committee will meet again during the fall to consider any changes to the present policy. A list of possible additions to our policy from the NEOLA Company was distributed as “homework” for the next meeting.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Wawasee Facility Improvements

The Board of School Trustees is considering small facility projects at each of the corporation school locations. The projects will address energy savings, infrastructure, several roofs, renovation of the vocational building, and addition of a couple of kindergarten rooms at Milford School (if full-day kindergarten becomes a reality).
About $1.7 million would be spend at WHS for new boilers and heating /air units and new lighting for the "B" classrooms. These improvements will positively impact our utility bills, plus improve the quality of the learning environment for students.
The same amount would be spent to renovate the vocational building, which has been shared with the corporation transportation and maintenance departments. Part of that money will go toward upgrading the electrical service to the high school campus. We are out of electrical capacity and, with more computers and electrical components coming down the road, we need to increase that capacity.
About the same amount, also, would go to WMS for reroofing the building, replacing the pool air unit, and upgrading lighting for energy savings and a better learning environment.
Approximately $1 million apiece is set for Syracuse Elementary and Milford School. Those figures include roof work at each location and a small and efficient boiler for each school. Some heating / air units will be replaced at Syracuse, while kindergarten rooms are planned for Milford.
Two hundred thousand dollars at North Webster School will install a small, efficient boiler, and complete some other energy upgrades.
Safety upgrades will also take place at each building by improving the safety at entrances of each school with access control and cameras.
Work is planned in two phases over the next two summers.
The total project construction cost is set at $7.5 million for all locations.
What will this project do to your taxes? Your property taxes will be lower in 2009 with the addition of these projects! The Indiana Legislature passed laws lowering property taxes next year. With these projects, your school property taxes should be about 1/2 of what your last tax bill showed. In addition, we'll be reaping energy savings for years to come with completion of these projects.
The Board will act upon the recommended projects on October 14.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions!

Friday, September 19, 2008

New Learner's Permits and Driver's Licenses Being Considered

Indiana is considering raising standards dealing with new drivers. A study committee recently received testimony to reduce teen traffic accidents, where inexperience is the predominant factor. Recommendations included: moving the age for obtaining a driver's license to 16.6, holding a learner's permit for six months rather than the current two months, practicing at least 50 hours with a parent rather than no specific time at present, restricting passengers for 180 rather than 90 days, and restricting night driving from 10:00pm until 5:00am rather than the current 1:00am to 5:00am on weekends (except with work permit).
Indiana is one of only three states without a graduated driver license program.
The study committee will meet again in October to consider suggestions for future legislation.

Glamour Gals Chapter at WHS

Wawasee High School has a new club this year that meets on club days during home room. The club is Glamor Gals, a national non-profit organization whose goal is “fostering intergenerational relationships that create compassionate teen leaders.”

Wawasee High School's members go to Miller's Merry Manor in Syracuse on Thursday evenings. The club is lead by Julia Porter and is mentioned in an article "Grad Introducing Service to Young Students, Glamour to Seniors" in Indiana University Bloomington's School of Education's Alumni E-Newsletter.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Wawasee High School Hosting College Recruiting 101

If you are a student looking to compete in athletics at the college level, Wawasee High School invites you and your family to attend College Recruiting 101 presented by the National Collegiate Scouting Association on October 15th at 7:00 p.m. in the Wawasee High School gymnasium. You will learn the myths and facts on recruiting, tips on how to get started, and the importance of NCAA rules.

Charlie Adams, an NCSA Educational Speaker, will be the presenter for the evening. He brings over 23 years of experience covering high school athletes who reached their dream of playing college sports. Adams is an award winning sportscaster at television stations in South Bend, IN; New Orleans, LA; Bakersfield, CA; and Meridian, MS. In addition to reporting high school athletics, Adams covered Notre Dame, Big Ten, and small college sports for 16 years. He has personally interviewed high achievers such as Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, Coach Pat Summit, Olympic gold medal swimmer Lindsay Benko, Jim Tressel, Karch Kiraly, and Larry Bird.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Indiana Youth Advisory Council Member WHS student Cassady Palmer

WHS student leader Cassady Palmer is one of eighteen Hoosier youth tackling major issues facing state and local governments as part of the first Indiana Youth Legislative Advisory Council. The council was created by the Indiana Legislature through Act 1162. Education, employment, poverty, homelessness, substance abuse, foster care, emotional and physical health, safe environments for youth, increasing youth involvement in government, and improving youth access to state and local service are charges of the council. Council members will serve two-year terms. The next council meeting takes place on September 22 in Indianapolis.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

ISTEP Testing

State ISTEP testing occurs at Wawasee beginning next week. Grade 10 students and those 11th and 12th graders taking GQE (graduation qualifying exam) retests will test the mornings of September 16-18. Grade 3-8 children will test the mornings of the 16th-18th, along with September 24. Grade 5 also tests the morning of the 25th.

Grade 9 students will take NWEA tests on the mornings of September 16-18.

What can you do to prepare for the testing?
Take the review sessions seriously prior to testing day.
Get a good night's sleep.
Have a good breakfast.
Do your best.
Double-check your work on the test.
Ask for help if you need it.

ISTEP testing shows what students know and are able to do at each grade level in core academic subjects. Parents will receive a student report in terms of Pass+, Pass, or Did Not Pass for each subject area. Students not passing ISTEP are entitled to extra help and instructional time to address any areas of need.

For the 2008-09 school year, only, students will take the ISTEP in both the fall and spring.

Best wishes to each Wawasee student as they demonstrate knowledge learned at home and school.

September 9, 2008 School Board Meeting

The Wawasee Community School Corporation Board of Trustees met in Regular Session at 7:00 pm on Tuesday, September 9, 2008 at the Central Office Board Room. Recognition was given to the individuals and companies who contributed to the construction of team shelters at the soccer field, to school neighbor Bill Charlton and others who cleaned up the cross country trails, and to the North Webster parents, teachers, and friends who organized construction of a pick up shelter at the school. Without giving supporters, we wouldn't be the kind of school district we are!

The corporation received a grant to train technology personnel in the use of the Linux operating system. That system doesn't require us to spend funds for Windows operating systems on some district computers.

The 2009 Wawasee budget was approved by the board. Finance Director let the Board know that budget numbers are high now and will come down when the budget hearing is held with the state at a later date. We did ask for more funding in transportation, due to the increased cost of fuel for the buses.

First reading was held on a policy which would set criteria for students transferring into the Wawasee Community School district. Those students who reside outside the district would need to follow certain criteria to be considered for admittance to Wawasee. In addition, transportation would be provided by the parents and no transfer would be approved for athletic reasons. Second reading of the proposed policy will take place in October.

Different types of high school diplomas were discussed under our Stat of the Month segment. Dr. Bob Cockburn explained that most of our students are graduating with academic honors diplomas (47 credits) and Indiana Core 40 (42 credits at Wawasee). Those graduating with a general diploma will not have that option after the year 2010. The state will be replacing the general diploma with the technical honors diploma (47 credits) at that time. Over 2/3's of WHS graduates currently gain an academic honors or Core 40 diploma. We will work to be ready for the new, upgraded standards for graduation.

Director of curriculum and Instruction Joy Goshert informed the Board about NWEA assessment taken at the beginning of the school year. Since the testing is done by computer, results are available to teachers within 24 hours of testing. Teachers can use the fall results to meet the immediate needs of their students. End-of-year results can be compared to beginning-of-year results to improve overall instruction. State ISTEP testing will be occurring soon and last through the end of the month.

The Board will conduct a work session on Tuesday, September 16 at 4:00pm in the Board Room to discuss a possible facilities project involving safety measures, energy savings, infrastructure upgrades, renovation of the vocational building, and addition to Milford School to allow for future full day kindergarten classes.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

School Board Meeting - September 2, 2008

The School Board met in a work session last Tuesday. Along with Board attorney David Cates, Director of Finance Jim Evans, Director of Curriculum and Instruction Joy Goshert, and Superintendent Tom Edington, they refined policies dealing with school operations. Criminal background checks for employees and volunteers, school safety measures, food service, wellness, transportation by private vehicle, and insurance were among the topics covered.

The Board will continue policy work sessions through the end of 2008 to update policies. The new policies will be available online by late spring of 2009. The next work policy work session on certified and classified employee policies is set for 4:00 pm on October 7.

Friday, August 15, 2008

ACT Results

Some students take the SAT test for college readiness, while others take the ACT test. Results from Wawasee for the ACT were recently released. English scores for WHS were 20.9, compared to 21.4 for the state. Math score locally were 22.5, with the Indiana average at 22.2. Reading for WHS was 22.4, with 22.5 being the state average. Science for us was 21.9, with the state trailing at 21.5. Overall, WHS students averaged 21.9 for the entire test, while the state average was 22.0.
A greater percentage of WHS students was judged ready for college on all scores than the state average. English and social science were higher subject areas for WHS students.
It's probably no surprise that the more math or science courses taken by a WHS student increases the probability that the student will score at a high level on the ACT math or science test, respectively
Thanks to our Wawasee teachers and parents for preparing our students so well!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

School Board Meeting

The Wawasee School Board met in the board room at the Central Office on Tuesday, August 12. North Webster Elementary School principal Kris Woodard led the Pledge of Allegiance, and Curriculum and Instruction Director Joy Goshert provided the invocation.

A Wawasee parent and patron, Mr. Mary DeGood, addressed the Board with concerns about the volleyball program in particular and athletic program in general. A letter was distributed to the Board by Mrs. DeGood.

Bob Lahrman, support services director, shared good news about progress of the transportation/maintenance building going up on Kern Road behind the school campus.

Hired for the coming school year were Jeff Spicher, ISTEP remediation at WHS, and Sara Harrison, part-time One on One coach at WHS. Jared Kingrey will teach social studies at WHS, Scott Schermerhorn will be in PE/health at Milford School, and Valerie Leininger will fill in at 3rd grade at Syracuse Elementary during a month's leave.

Leaving us (kind of) are Jaimi Andrew, 1/2 day Reading Recovery at Milford (She'll remain as 1/2 day Kindergarten.) and Janie Leach in Family and Consumer Science at WHS for a trimester leave.

Director of Curriculum and Instruction Joy Goshert updated the Board on full-day kindergarten, NWEA testing, new teacher orientation, summer teacher training, and next week's beginning of the school year.

A donation to the Teen Parents Succeeding program was made by the Board.

The meeting lasted an hour.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Countdown to August 19

Thanks to each of you as parents for registering your children this week for the coming school year. We use the information to evaluate our class sizes, make decisions on transfer students requesting to attend Wawasee, and plan any schedule or bus route changes.

We are excited that several former students are returning to Wawasee High School and the Academy after time out of school. Those students have determined that finishing high school will get them where they need to go in life.

The Teen Parents Succeeding program completed a successful year in 2007-08, with 5 students graduating. Best wishes to each of them as they head off to further schooling.

Thanks to each of our dedicated coaches, directors, and sponsors who are already getting teams, the band, and clubs ready for their first games and matches. It's an exciting time for all.

We looking forward to the morning of the 19th. I'm sure that you are, too!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Wawasee Health Services

Nurses in the five schools which make up the Wawasee Community School Corporation report that 22,148 students were seen for health services and 6003 were seen for medication administration last year. In addition, 1227 vision screenings with 196 referrels were completed.

Among the items done by our nurses are diabetes management, inhalation treatments, gastric tube feedings, management of medically handicapped students, seizure management, asthma management, weights and heights for K-5 students, assistance with hearing screening, and - you were waiting for this one - head lice. The nurses conduct conferences, work with teachers and counselors, contact parents and community organizations, and help with tough situations.

Some of the student classes taught during the year are human growth and development - or the growing up talk - in grade 4, state mandated self breast exam and self testicular exam in grade 10, and dental hygiene in grade 1. Staff classes include diabetes management, bodily fluid precaution training, MRSA, 5th disease, and g-tube feeding.

The Wawasee Community Schools sure have busy and productive nurses for our children!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

A New Indiana Law

Wawasee Community Schools and other Indiana corporations are preparing for the new school year. Among the changes is a new state law, SEA 219, which requires school corporations to provide paid break time each day to an employee who needs to express breast milk for the employee's infant child. The break occurs at the same time as any break time that is already provided to the employee. Efforts on the part of the school corporation to provide a private room or other location close to the employee's work area must be made. The statute prohibits a toilet stall from being provided for this break. In addition, reasonable efforts must be made to provide cold storage for the keeping of the expressed milk. We will be reviewing our employee policies and facility options to comply with the new legislation.

Monday, August 04, 2008

The School Road

The roadway in front of Wawasee High School is undergoing improvements this summer. The Town of Syracuse is placing larger drains at the side of the road, installing curbs, reworking the intersections, and milling and repaving the Syracuse -Webster Road. While work is expected to continue through August, we'll work with the Town to coordinate traffic in and out of the high school campus. The walking trail used by many citizens will be replaced as the project is completed. We are happy for this upgrade to aid the safety and convenience of drivers, bicyclists, and walkers in the school area.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

2009 Budget Workshop

On Tuesday at 5:00 pm, the Wawasee Community School Corporation Board of Trustees met to discuss the 2009 budget. That budget must be advertised twice during the coming weeks in area newspapers. Then, on August 19 at 5:00 pm, the Board will hold a hearing on the budget. Adoption of the budget for next year is set for September 9.
The 2009 budget is a little different in that funding for the General Fund will come 100% from the state (from the extra 1% in sales tax). Property tax statements for 2009 should reflect that significant decrease for Wawasee Community School Corporation taxpayers.
Like you, we are increasing our fuel cost estimates. Our 2009 bus and vehicle fuel bill is expected to approach $500,000!
We'll continue working to be as efficient as possible in today's tough economic times.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Parades and Bands

The following is a letter that Wawasee Community School Corporation's director of bands Fred Elliott wrote as an explanation as to why the high school band did not march in the Memorial Day parade at Syracuse. As a district, we are working to have a band in a parade in every Wawasee community during this next year.

Mr. Elliott's letter:

I am writing this letter in response to the article in the May 21, 08 Viewpoint section of the Mail Journal entitled “High School Band Noticeably Absent.”

The Wawasee High School Band Program recognizes how important it is to support the community and honor our veterans on Memorial Day. All members of the band and music staff appreciate our community and their continued support of our program.

Just to shed some light on our absence from the Memorial Day parade, our past practice regarding the Memorial Day parade was for the two middle schools bands to march in their respective towns’ parade. Milford Middle School Band marched in the Milford parade and the Wawasee Middle School Band performed in the North Webster and Syracuse Parades. This was a tradition that was started by former Wawasee Middle School Band Director, David Blackwell.

It takes many hours of concentrated practice and rehearsal to prepare for any marching performance and the WHS Band had only a week and a half, or six classes, following their spring concert to prepare for the parade. This is not adequate time to prepare for a quality performance to represent our veterans and community on Memorial Day.

The Wawasee High School Band performs at least two concerts each trimester, along with many public performances at the home football and basketball games. Our last performance for this school year was scheduled on May 15 and featured a combined performance of the WHS Band along with the Lake Area Community Band. The purpose of this concert featured community players and demonstrated their love of music. Admission is free to any of the high school
[band] concerts and the community is encouraged to attend. These dates are promoted in the local papers and posted on the sign outside of Wawasee High School.

The members of the Wawasee HS Band use their summer hours to work hard to prepare for the upcoming performance in the Mermaid Festival Parade. The Marching Band
will be present in the Mermaid Festival to thank the community for their support.

I again would like to thank our community for their continued support for the Wawasee Band Program. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to contact me.


Mr. Fred Elliott
Director of Bands, Wawasee Community Schools
Phone: 574-457-3147 x 213

Friday, May 30, 2008

Graduation Clarification

As some of you are aware, there is an e-mail circulating and a "Letter to the Editor" in the newspaper regarding a student not being allowed to wear his military uniform for graduation. There are inaccuracies in the letter.

It is the policy of Wawasee High School to allow graduating students who are members of the military to wear their uniform along with their cap and gown to commencement exercises.

Clarifications in response to the email and letter to the editor:
1. The student was at Wawasee High School visiting with former teachers this week.
2. The student was in uniform and did have lunch and visit with his friends at the school.
3. The student would have been allowed to wear his uniform to graduation along with his cap and gown.
4. The allegations in the e-mail were made by a parent who lives in Michigan without the student's knowledge or consent.
5. In March the student had committed to attend his brother's graduation to be held the same night.

No matter what you have heard, these are the facts. We appreciate the concern of those who have contacted us.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Third Place Finish at State Competition

Congratulations to the Wawasee High School Academic Super Bowl team who placed third in the state competition over the weekend! That is quite an accomplishment since they compete in the top class based on size of schools in the state.

Penn High School won the social studies competition, and Columbus East High School placed second.

Wawasee's team members and coach Mary Lou Dixon put in many hours of work preparing for this competition.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Full Day Kindergarten

The Wawasee Community School Corporation administration is working on a plan to implement full day kindergarten for some children during the 2008-09 school year. Two classes are being considered at both Syracuse and North Webster schools, with one class at Milford School.
A total of approximately 100 students would be involved in the full day program. (For anyone wondering, Milford has fewer elementary students, being a K-8 school, and has some space issues, too.)
The children would be selected based upon educational need, with the additional time spent at school getting them ready for first grade. Details about selection of students, curriculum of the full day classes, possible cost to parents, and other issues are still being worked out.
To add a new program means that we will be doing less of something else. Some Reading Recovery time may be reduced to free up professional time for teaching the additional one-half day of kindergarten. Some assistance from state funding is also expected.
We expect to have a recommendation prepared for the May 13 school board meeting.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Regional Competition

Last evening, Wawasee High School Academic Super Bowl teams participated in the regional competition at Northridge High School. The social studies team and the interdisciplinary team had first place finishes! Later today, Wawasee will find out if these two teams qualify for the state competition on May 3.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Waiver Granted by State for Missed Days

The Indiana Department of Education has granted our waiver request of two days for the Wawasee Community School Corporation. Barring unforeseen situations, our student year will conclude on Friday, May 30, with the final teacher day on Monday, June 2.

Friday, March 28, 2008

2-Hour Delay: Friday, March 28

Wawasee Community Schools are on a two-hour delay today with alternate kindergarten schedule.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

WMS Academic Super Bowl

Congratulations to Wawasee Middle School's Academic Super Bowl team! On March 19th, they won the Northeast Lakes Middle School Conference by one point over Warsaw's Edgewood 89-88.

By subject area, the WMS social studies and English teams took first place; the science and interdisciplinary teams tied for first place; and the math team tied for third place.

The following students and coaches represented WMS:
  • Social Studies: Coach Bokhart, Andrew Anker, John Essex, Chris Fox, and Brett Heinisch
  • Math: Coach Edgar, Brayton Bartman, Brittany Eryman, Maddison Hite, Ben Jonson, Lisa Reed, Michaela Waltz, and Brett Ward
  • Science: Coach Neff, Karla Allen, Andrew Anker, Morgan Geer, Savannah Guimond, Jaclyn Parzygnot, Brooke Miller, and Trey Varney
  • English: Coach Neff, Sara Buyer, Katie Griner, and Maggie Kenworthy
  • Interdisciplinary: Chris Fox, Andrew Anker, Maggie Kenworthy, Katie Griner, Brittany Eryman, Brayton Bartman, and Savannah Guimond

On Saturday, April 26th, Wawasee Middle School will host and compete against eighteen other schools in the area competition where the results will be tabulated for state rankings.

Good luck as you compete in the area competition!!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Academic Super Bowl

The Wawasee High School Social Studies team finished 1st in the Northern Lakes Conference meet last night at Goshen High School. The Academic Super Bowl coach for social studies is Mary Lou Dixon. Team members are Krista Burnman, Brandon Cox, Cassady Palmer, and Cody Paul.

Monday, March 17, 2008

WCSC Waiver for MIssed Instructional Days

The Wawasee Community School Corporation will apply to the Indiana Department of Education for a waiver of financial penalty for canceled instructional days missed during the 2007-08 school year. Unusually severe winter weather caused Wawasee to dismiss classes on seven student instructional days. The Department of Education adopted a policy for this year only allowing school districts to request a waiver for two out of every three days missed after four days. Wawasee is requesting a waiver for the two days missed after the initial five days.
If the waiver is approved, the last day for students will be Friday, May 30. Graduation will occur on that evening.
The final teacher work day will be on Monday, June 2.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

2-Hour Delay: Wednesday, March 5

Wawasee Community Schools are on a two-hour delay with alternate kindergarten schedule today, Wednesday, March 5.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

News Update

Congratulations to the girls basketball team for reaching the semi-state level, to the boys swim team for sending four members to the state meet, and to the boys basketball, girls swimming, wrestling. and gymnastic teams for their fine winter seasons. The Wawasee cheerleaders and pep band do a great job, too!

Please remember the calendar changes made due to this winter’s weather.There is a no school/teacher work day on Thursday, February 28. Early release days for staff development will be held on March 10 and 21.

The corporation ACT Committee shared goals with the School Board at its February meeting. Those goals are:
Reading – improve comprehension of and responses to reading across the curriculum
Writing – apply strategies and conventions through the composition of various genres (types of writing)
Math – use mathematical skills to think critically and apply knowledge and reason to solve problems
Thanks to the ACT Committee for their oversight efforts at Wawasee.

The federal government is working to reauthorize No Child Left Behind legislation. They are strongly considering the “growth model”. This model requires schools to measure the progress of individual students over time. WCSC, thanks to Dr. Bob Cockburn, is now able to track individual student scores, while also safeguarding privacy. We are ready for the NCLB changes and challenges.

Indiana received their state report card recently from Education Week. The Quality Counts report has Indiana standards, assessments, and accountability ranked #1, school finance ranked #11, chance for student success ranked #29, K-12 achievement ranked #25, teacher evaluation ranked #28, and pre-K through 16 alignment ranked #12. We are doing pretty well as a state!

How many times on an average day does a WCSC bus cross a railroad track? Would you believe 188!

There are no secrets to success: Don’t waste time looking for them. Success is the result of perfection, hard work, learning from failure, loyalty to those for whom you work, and persistence…. Colin Powell Former chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff

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2-Hour Delay: Wednesday, February 27

Wawasee Schools are on a two-hour delay today, Wednesday, February 27. Please follow the alternate kindergarten schedule if you have a student in kindergarten.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Boys Basketball Sectional: Game On

The Wawasee boys' varsity basketball team will host Northwood tonight at Wawasee at 7 p.m. in the first round of sectional.

Wednesday evening, Lakeland and Whitko will compete at 6 p.m. followed by Columbia City and West Noble at approximately 7:30 p.m.

On Friday night, the winner of the Wawasee/Northwood game will play Tippecanoe Valley at 6 p.m. followed by the winners of Wednesday's games at 7:30 p.m.

The championship game will be played at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday night.

All games are at Wawasee High School.

Go Warriors!!

Schools Closed: Tuesday, February 26

Wawasee schools are closed today, February 26. This makes the last student day on Tuesday, June 3, and the teacher work day on Wednesday, June 4.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Northern Lakes Conference Athletics

Following the winter sports season, the Wawasee boys are in 7th position in Northen Lakes Conference all-sports standings with 44 points. The Lady Warriors are in 5th place with 51 points. Northridge tops the rankings for both boys and girls with 84 points for boys and 76 points for girls.

School District Funding

Someone referred in a previous blog to funding issues for public schools. Different districts are allowed different levels of funding by the state. Wawasee is near the bottom in our area (Ft. Wayne Journal-Gazette, Sunday, May 6, 2007). Eight area districts are lower than Wawasee, while 26 districts are higher in General Funding. If we received the same per pupil funding as neighbors Tippy Valley and Whitko, our annual increase would be about $300,000. If we had the same funding level as West Noble (or the state average), we would increase our General Fund by over $1,000,000 per year. The funding level of the top school district on the Ft. Wayne area list, Wabash City, would provide Wawasee with over $4,500,000 each year in additional General Funds to provide and support instruction. Being near the bottom of the funding list means that Wawasee has to work harder to provide the best possible instruction for our children on a limited budget.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Superintendent Goals

I was asked about the goals set for me as a new superintendent for Wawasee Community Schools. They are to:
-learn about the district and community. (Continuous)
-study the teaching learning process in place at Wawasee. (by August)
-move to the community. (by summer)
-update the current 10-year plan for facilities. (by September)
-formulate a new school board member orientation program. (by October)
-complete the new transporatation/maintenance facility on Kern Road. (by November)
-and update school district policies. (by December)

Please feel free to comment on these goals or suggest other goals for now or the future.

I do know that winning ball, swim, and wrestling titles may be on your list. Like the recent weather, though, these are not mine to control!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Calendar Change Reminders

Corporation calendar changes made because of cancelled days due to weather were posted a couple of weeks ago. We just want to remind everyone of those changes that are happening in February and March:

  • Wawasee Schools will be in session on Monday, February 18.

  • Schools will be in session on Monday, February 25.

  • Students will not be in school on Thursday, February 28. Teachers will be working on this day, and the third trimester will begin on Friday, February 29.

  • On Good Friday, March 21, students will be in school until 12:30 p.m. (12:45 p.m. at Wawasee Middle School), and teachers will have in service time in the afternoon.

More information regarding our corporation calendar is on our corporation website.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Two Hour Delay Tuesday

Wawasee is on a two hour delay Tuesday, February 12, 2008.

Monday, February 11, 2008

2 Hour Delay Monday, February 11, 2008

Wawasee is on a two hour delay on Monday, February 11.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Early Release Reminder/Update

Wednesday, February 6 is a scheduled early release day for teacher in service in the afternoon. If we would have to have a delay on Wednesday because of weather, there would be no early release. Students would follow the delay schedule and go to school until the regular school day dismissal time. This would allow us to count the day as a student day.

If weather is good and we can start on time without a delay, students will be dismissed at 12:30 p.m. (12:45 p.m. at Wawasee Middle School).

2-Hour Delay: Tuesday, February 5

Wawasee Community Schools are on a two-hour delay with alternate kindergarten schedule.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Make Up Day

The weather has not been too cooperative with our efforts to have school every weekday! Friday was our sixth day missed this year. We have notified parents, staff, and community members about making up one day during the morning of Good Friday. It was our last opportunity to find time within the school year before adding days to the end of the school calendar. Our missed day on February 1 will be made up on Monday, June 2. We will work with WHS administrators on bringing back Seniors June 2, since that will be after their graduation date.

2-Hour Delay: Monday, February 4

Wawasee Schools are on a two-hour delay with alternate kindergarten schedule. Roads are very slick this morning. Please drive carefully!

Friday, February 01, 2008

Closed Schools: Friday, February 1

Wawasee Community Schools are closed on Friday, February 1. This will make the students' last day of school on Monday, June 2, 2008, with the teacher work day on Tuesday, June 3.

The Wawasee Academy will be closed on Friday and Saturday.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Game Changed to Tonight for Girls' Basketball

The Wawasee High School girls' basketball game with Northridge scheduled for Friday, February 1 here at Wawasee has been changed to be played tonight -Thursday, January 31 - at Wawasee High School. The junior varsity game will begin at 5:30 p.m. followed by the varsity game.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Two-hour Delay - Wednesday, January 30

Wawasee Schools are on a two-hour delay today with alternate kindergarten schedule. Roads are slick; drive carefully!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

School Calendar Changes

The winter weather has been rough on the Wawasee Community School Corporation calendar. Five days have been missed (as of January 29) due to inclement weather. Only four weather days were built into the 2007-08 calendar. After discussion and study, the following changes will be made to the school calendar:

  • Move the end of the second trimester from Friday, February 22 to Wednesday, February 27.
  • Move the No School: Teacher Day from Monday, February 25 to Thursday, February 28.
  • Begin the third trimester on Friday, February 29.
  • Use Good Friday, March 21 as a school day, but with an early student release for staff development. Good Friday was previously a no school day.

Moving days at the end of the second trimester allows each trimester to maintain the same number of instructional days. Going to school until 12:30 p.m. (12:45 p.m. at WMS) on Good Friday will help to save graduation on its May 30 date. A copy of the revised calendar will be on the corporation website tomorrow.

We will be sensitive to both individual and family needs concerning attendance on Good Friday for students and staff members.

Please feel free to contact me at the WCSC Central Office if you should have any questions about the above mentioned calendar changes.

Thank you for your cooperation as we work together for the best interests of the Wawasee Community School Corporation children and community.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Activities Update for Tuesday, January 22

Wawasee Community School Corporation has cancelled all practices and cancelled or postponed all games/meets scheduled for Tuesday, January 22. This includes the solo and ensemble contest rehearsal at Wawasee Middle School.

The meeting of the Wawasee Board of School Trustees at 5 p.m. at the central office will still take place.

The following athletic events have already been rescheduled:
  • Wawasee High School girls basketball game at Tippecanoe Valley will be played tomorrow night, Wednesday, January 23.
  • Wawasee High School gymnastics meet at Warsaw will take place on Tuesday, February 5.
  • Milford sixth grade girls basketball at Central Noble will be played on Tuesday, February 5.
  • Wawasee Middle School seventh and eighth grade boys basketball at Edgewood in Warsaw will be played tomorrow, Wednesday, January 23. The seventh grade game will begin at 4:30 p.m.

Wawasee Schools Closed - Tuesday, January 22

Wawasee Community Schools are closed today, Tuesday, January 22. Freezing drizzle is over many areas of the corporation, making for very slick roads.

2 Hour Delay Tuesday

Wawasee Community School Corporation is on a two hour delay Tuesday, January 22, 2008.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Tuesday, January 8: School Closing Early

Wawasee Community Schools are closing two hours early today due to flooding of some of the roads in our corporation and the continuing rain. There will be no afternoon kindergarten. All after school activities are cancelled. The board of school of trustees work session will still take place at 5 p.m. at central office.