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.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Notification Reminder for School Delays and Cancellations

This is a reminder that Wawasee Community School Corporation is using for reporting school closings and delays. This is a service designed by the Northern Indiana Educational Services Center that "provides a state of the art way to notify local news media and community members" when we need to close, delay, or dismiss early. In addition to local news media being notified, anyone may go to, enter his or her zip code, choose a radius, and see all the delays or closings within that area.

Community members can also sign up to receive emails and/or text messages when WCSC closes, delays, or dismisses early. We have found that those emails and text messages are received within a very short time frame from when WCSC contacts the service. Click on Community Members and then Register Free to sign up.

Once you have created an account, you can click on Account Info and then Notification Methods from the navigation menu. Once this screen has been displayed, you will be allowed to enter up to three different email addresses to which you would like to receive notifications. Your SMS/text messaging email address, if you wish to receive a text message on your cell phone, is your cell phone number (without hyphens or spaces) and your cell phone provider's SMS/text messaging email address. The most common providers' addresses follow:

After you have selected your notification methods, you can click on Account Info and then Select Organizations from the navigation menu. Then click on School Districts. Once this screen has been displayed, you will be allowed to drag an organization from the left hand box to the right hand box. Any organization listed in this right hand box will be the only ones for which you will receive future notifications.

We will continue to post delays and cancellations here and on our website.

2-Hour Delay - Tuesday, November 24

Wawasee Community Schools is on a two-hour delay today, Tuesday, November 24. We have dense fog throughout the corporation.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Wawasee H1N1 Update

The Kosciusko County Health Department held an H1N1 information session on Friday, October 16, for county school nurses and superintendents.

Symptoms of the 2009 strain of H1N1A were reviewed:

  • sore throat
  • cough
  • 103˚ - 104˚, even with Tylenol or similar product
  • possible vomiting and diarrhea
  • length of 7 to 10 days, with cough lasting longer

Fluids and monitoring are the most important treatments. Please do not return to work or school once a fever is no longer present with out the help of medication for 24-48 hours.

The 2009 H1N1A virus symptoms have been generally mild and treatable without doctor intervention. In certain cases, antiviral medications can lessen infection symptoms.

You get the flu from taking in fluids containing the virus which has been expelled in large droplets from the mouth or nasal area of someone with the virus. The virus generally lives until the fluid dries.

Covering your mouth when coughing, using tissues for runny noses, washing hands, using alcohol-based gels, and isolating infected individuals will slow the spread of the flu virus.

The 2009 H1N1A virus is not closely related to other recent flu strains, so the vaccine prepared for this year will not affect the 2009 H1N1A virus. This year’s ‘seasonal’ flu shot will protect against other flu strains expected this winter. Those individuals in priority groups for receiving the 2009 H1N1A vaccine should also get their regular ‘seasonal’ inoculation.

Two types of vaccinations have been prepared for the 2009 H1N1A virus. One is a mist administered through the nose. The other is a shot. The mist is generally more effective and is suitable for those 2-49 years of age. The shot is for 0-2 years of age, those 50 and older, those with asthma, and women who are pregnant.

Supplies of the H1N1A vaccine have been limited. The county expects shipments over the next month or two to inoculate priority groups. Those include:

  • pregnant women
  • caregivers
  • health care workers
  • children of 6 months to young adults of 24 years
  • those 25-64 with chronic health concerns

Teachers are not considered in the high risk category unless they fall under another priority group designation. Those 65 and older are generally not at risk for contracting the 2009 H1N1A virus.

The Kosciusko County Health Department will work with various entities to inoculate the priority grips. These entities are:

  • health care workers
  • first responders/key government individuals
  • private medical offices
  • health department walk-ins
  • pharmacies
  • school-based clinics

If the 2009 H1N1A outbreak should seriously worsen, other measures like voluntary quarantine, school closings, and other means to reduce social contacts will be considered. Schools are making plans for educational activities to continue at home and on-line in the event of closing due to flu related absences.

More 2009 H1N1A, along with general flu, information is available at or The Center of Disease Control.

The Wawasee Community School Corporation is tracking, and will continue to monitor, student and staff absentee rates. We’ll report significant changes to our community and to the Kosciusko County Health Department.

A Wawasee High School-based 2009 H1N1A inoculation session will be set for a Saturday in late October or early November, with the date depending upon vaccine availability. Volunteers will be needed that day.

Thanks to the Wawasee school nurses and the Kosciusko County Health Department for their planning and communication regarding the 2009 H1N1A flu virus, our students and our community.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Wawasee Swim Program and Swimming Pools

I'm writing to answer questions and address concerns about the youth swim program and the corporation swimming pools.

The Wawasee pools are located at the high school (41 years old, six lane, no diving board, no visitor seating) and middle school (20 years old, eight lane, diving well with two boards, visitor seating). Renovation took place during the summer to replace the high school pool heater and controls at approximately $50,000. Middle school pool renovations were more extensive. They began in August and lasted into October. The heater was replaced, as was the air heating/cooling/dehumidifying unit for the pool area. Re grouting of the tiles covering the pool occurred, along with some plumbing repairs. New duct work was installed, with accompanying ceiling work. The middle school cost was about $300,000.

Other infrastructure work occurred in both buildings. Each received new lighting in the hallways and classrooms, along with power ventilation units on their roofs to remove CO2 and moisture laden air from the buildings. The middle school received a new roof. The high school A classrooms have new unit ventilators to distribute heat and air. New heating/air piping, and new domestic water piping, was installed in the high school. Both buildings received new generators for use in emergencies. New boilers replaced the 41 year old ones at the high school. You, as taxpayers, spent about 2 million dollars at each location, with savings to return for years to come in the form of lower utility bills and fewer repairs to old equipment.

Heating pool water and supplying appropriate pool chemicals for both pools totals about $100,000 per year. We are presently studying pool covers to decrease our pool utility costs.

The swim club uses the pool without rental fees while building custodians are on duty.

Someone asked about specifics of each youth swim program. I am uncertain of that information, but e-mails/blog postings would lead one to conclude that the basics of each program are similar.

The school district built the pools first and foremost for drown proofing / learn to swim activities for children and adults in our lake area. Instruction is held for school age children during the school year in both pools, along with summer swim lessons. Some of those children are ones who live here only during the summer months, but their parents/grandparents help pay for the pools and our schools. Lifeguards are trained in our pools to staff the many camps in our area during the summer months. Community and recreational use of our pools is good. Those who would question use and cost of our pools based upon competitive swimming may consider the bigger picture of their purpose and use.

If someone has swim club or swim team related questions or concerns, the person to receive those contacts is WHS athletic director Mary Hurley.

Wawasee is a fortunate school community to have swimming pools available for our children.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Central Time Coalition

The following letter/information was sent to Indiana Superintendents and School Board Members from Sue Dillon, chairperson of the Central Time Coalition (

"School has started for 1.35 million children in Indiana. The Central Time Coalition (CTC) is concerned about safety hazards to school children due to Indiana's abnormal amount of morning darkness and is calling for Indiana to be returned to its correct time zone, Central Time. Indiana is the only state in the USA that is totally in its wrong geographic time zone. For the first 78 years (1883-1961) all of Indiana was in the Central Time Zone - then Eastern Time began creeping in. The results are that school children have been run over, raped and robbed because they have no choice but to leave home in total darkness to wait for their school bus or walk along dark streets. While in August most Indiana children go to school in sunlight, come mid-October they will already be seated in their classrooms before the sun rises.

"The Indiana State School Bus Drivers Association supports the return to Central Time because it would shift a much needed hour of sunlight to the morning rush hour during the fall, winter and spring. Ron Chey, president of ISSBDA says, 'Safety for children is our primary concern and it is often difficult to see the children along dark streets and roads. One more hour of sunlight would greatly improve visibility as well as morning driving conditions for everyone.' Darkness in the morning is much more dangerous for students because they have to wait in the dark for their bus to arrive while in the evening, they can immediately walk home. Even though the sun would rise earlier on Central Time, most children would have been delivered before sunset.

"Many claim that being in Eastern Time benefits Indiana commerce and transportation. That may have been true in 1961, but not today. When asked, 'Does it make a difference to commerce and transportation whether Indiana is on Eastern or Central Time?' a former Indiana Director of Commerce and a president of a major trucking firm both said, "No, but it does make a difference and is important for Indiana to observe Daylight Saving Time.' CTC agrees that we all benefit from a healthy economy so we support observance of DST, but it should be Central Time with Central Daylight Saving Time.

"The difference between Eastern Time and Central Time for our Hoosier kids is the difference between night and day. The Coalition asks for your careful consideration of our unsafe time zone situation in Indiana and that you support the return of Indiana to Central Time."

Some Additional Information from the Central Time Zone Coalition
  • Every square inch of Indiana falls within the true boundaries of the Central Time Zone.
  • Nearly 1/5 of Hoosiers live in the 12 Indiana counties that are still on Central Time.
  • A shift from Eastern to Central Time would mean that sunrise and sunset would occur one (1) hour earlier on Indiana clocks.
  • 1-hour earlier sunrise would greatly assist visibility for drivers in seeing students.
  • Darkness reduces visibility for all drivers.
  • Black ice is primarily a morning darkness problem. Sunlight helps melt black ice thus one hour earlier sunrise would help reduce black ice danger for commuters.
  • Sunlight assists snow and ice melting chemicals in their effectiveness thus one hour earlier sunrise would make road conditions safer for commuters.
  • Morning fog often burns off in the first hour after sunrise.
  • Each hour of school delay due to unsafe travel conditions is an hour of classroom instruction that is lost.
  • One (1) additional hour of sunlight in the morning could reduce 2-hour delays due to fog/snow/ice to 1-hour delays.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Press Release from the Kosciucsko County Health Department

Press Release: 2009 Novel H1N1 Status Update for Kosciusko County

  • A significant rise in influenza-like-illness has occurred in Kosciusko County.
  • Many of theses illness have tested as positive for Influenza A. Most influenza A that is occurring is due to the 2009 Novel H1N1 influenza strain. This is also occurring throughout the state and country.
  • As of this time most 2009 H1N1 infected individuals are experiencing mild illness and do not require medical care or testing.
  • Individuals with mild illness should remain home and treat the illness as any other “flu.”
  • The ill individuals should remain home at least 24 hours after the fever is gone.
  • Individuals with severe illness or special health consideration should consult with their healthcare providers.
  • The current recommendations do not recommend exclusion of contacts or family of those with probable or confirmed H1N1 illness from work or school.

The Kosciusko County Health Department continues to work with local healthcare providers, schools, pharmacies and business to be prepared for distribution of the 2009 H1N1 Novel Influenza Vaccine.

  • Release of the inactivated vaccine is anticipated in mid to late October, but no date has been provided to anticipate delivery.
  • Release of attenuated flu vaccine, flu mist, is anticipated to be released slightly sooner but no date has been provided to anticipate delivery.
  • An initial shipment will be received and distributed, and then ongoing shipments and continuing efforts to provide vaccination are planned.
  • The vaccine will be distributed to priority groups. Once priority groups are vaccinated the vaccine will be available to those individuals that are not part of a high priority group.
  • Vaccine is anticipated to be received on an ongoing basis until the population has been provided the opportunity for vaccination.

Vaccination efforts initially focus on 5 target groups:

  • vaccination for pregnant women
  • people who live with or care for children younger than 6 months of age
  • healthcare and emergency medical services personnel
  • persons between the ages of 6 months through 24 years
  • people ages 25 through 64 years who are at higher risk for novel H1N1 because of chronic health disorders or compromised immune systems

Once the demand for vaccine for the prioritized groups has been met at the local level, programs and providers should also begin vaccinating everyone from the ages of 25 through 64 years. Current studies indicate that the risk for infection among persons age 65 or older is less than the risk for younger age groups. However, once vaccine demand among younger age groups has been met, programs and providers should offer vaccination to people 65 or older.

General CDC information on H1N1 illness:

Friday, September 18, 2009

Spring 2009 ISTEP+ Results Released

On Wednesday, September 16, 2009, Dr. Tony Bennett, superintendent of public instruction, released the spring ISTEP+ results. You can read the press release here.

Wawasee Community Schools had the following percents of students passing:
  • Grade 3 English/Language Arts: WCSC-75% (State of Indiana-74%)
  • Grade 3 Mathematics: WCSC-77% (State of Indiana-72%)
  • Grade 4 English/Language Arts: WCSC-76% (State of Indiana-73%)
  • Grade 4 Mathematics: WCSC-81% (State of Indiana-70%)
  • Grade 4 Science: WCSC-77% (State of Indiana-71%)
  • Grade 5 English/Language Arts: WCSC-72% (State of Indiana-70%)
  • Grade 5 Mathematics: WCSC-83% (State of Indiana-76%)
  • Grade 5 Social Studies: WCSC-54% (State of Indiana-60%)
  • Grade 6 English/Language Arts: WCSC-70% (State of Indiana-69%)
  • Grade 6 Mathematics: WCSC-78% (State of Indiana-73%)
  • Grade 6 Science: WCSC-58% (State of Indiana-54%)
  • Grade 7 English/Language Arts: WCSC-67% (State of Indiana-67%)
  • Grade 7 Mathematics: WCSC-77% (State of Indiana-68%)
  • Grade 7 Social Studies: WCSC-58% (State of Indiana-58%)
  • Grade 8 English/Language Arts: WCSC-66% (State of Indiana-65%)
  • Grade 8 Mathematics: WCSC-65% (State of Indiana-67%)

From the Indiana Department of Education's Press Release: "Last year, the Department of Education established the ISTEP+ Parent Network, an online resource offering parents secure access to their students’ ISTEP+ scores. Accessible on demand throughout the year at, families can use the ISTEP+ Parent Network to review students’ latest assessment results quickly and easily and connect to useful educational resources. Parents who do not receive a letter containing secure ISTEP+ Parent Network login information should contact the student’s school directly."

Monday, August 24, 2009

Railroad Crossing Repairs

Bus routes will be jumbled over the next week or two, depending upon weather, to repair railroad crossings. CSX crossings from the line at Noble County to Front Street in Syracuse will affected.

The tentative schedule is as follows:

Tuesday, the 25th 1000 E
Wednesday, the 26th E Wawasee/ 900E
Bishop Road/775E
Thursday, the 27th Shore Dr. Syracuse
7th Street/ Front Street

Each crossing is scheduled to be closed for 4 days.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Public Education: The Cornerstone of Our Democracy

The following was written by Brett Boggs, superintendent of Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation and was published in the Warsaw Times Union:

Public education in Indiana is under attack, directed from the office of Governor Mitch Daniels. During a July news conference, after the General Assembly finalized the 2010 budget, Governor Daniels expressed his negativity toward public education in stating, “If this is an end to public education as we know it, I say thank goodness.”

Governor Daniels recently criticized Indiana’s public schools by stating, “We do not have one good school system in the state.” The truth is, Indiana’s public schools nationally rank in the top half of the states in almost all measured areas and continue to show improvement statewide. Indiana’s graduation rate from the class of 2007 to the class of 2008 went up from 76.4 percent to 77.8 percent while dropout rates went down from 11.9 percent to 10.3 percent. The average daily attendance rate in Indiana’s public schools has never been higher. Indiana’s SAT scores continue to approach the national average, despite the fact 62 percent of Indiana’s students take the SAT compared to 45 percent nationwide. The number of students graduating with Academic Honors or a Core 40 diploma is the highest in state history. During the past 10 years, the percentage of Indiana high school graduates pursuing a college education has risen by over 12 percent while the number of students on free and reduced assistance has grown from 28 percent to 42 percent. The number of Limited English Proficient students in Indiana’s public schools has increased from 10,616 students in 1997 to 45,885 students in 2007. The number of students receiving special education services has also increased from 14.7 percent to 16.7 percent during the same 10-year period.

Quality education for all is the key to success for 21st century America. Public schools are the only schools legally required to accept and serve all children, no matter their race, religion, educational attainment, social class, family income, or special needs. Public schools enroll all students and provide services designed to meet the special needs of a wide variety of abilities. Public schools must provide services for children with disabilities, children who do not speak English or whose proficiency in English is limited, and children who are educationally disadvantaged. Support services offered by Indiana’s public schools include school meals, after-school programs, counseling, and free transportation to and from school.

Indiana’s public schools are where children learn to live in an increasingly diverse society. Children learn to tolerate, interact with, and hopefully enjoy people who are different than themselves. Attitudes children form during their school experiences constructively serve them in the world they will shape as adults.

The United States has led the world for more than 100 years because of the character of its people and what they know. During that time, the vast majority of its citizenry has been educated in our nation’s public schools. Indiana’s public schools provide a successful place for all children to learn. Public education provides the foundation of our economy and the very foundation of our society.

Indiana’s public schools operate under high standards and public accountability. Statewide standards for academic subjects, teacher qualifications, and other requirements provide students with a safe and effective learning environment.

The status quo is never good enough. The Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation continues to maintain a strong focus on improvement by implementing a wide range of initiatives, from technology integration to innovative teaching practices, to ensure every student receives the best education possible. Today’s public schools are better than ever and will continue to be responsive to individual student needs while adapting to a rapidly changing society in which students use technology and information as workers, consumers, and citizens.

Universal education for all citizens, better known as public education, is the cornerstone of our democracy. Today’s public schools, the product of more than a century of reform and revision, are one of America’s oldest and most dynamic institutions. Public education must continue to play a key role in achieving and reflecting our American ideals.

School - The Story of American Education,
An American Imperative: Public Education,
Progress in Indiana’s Schools by Franzy Fleck, Indianagram, June 2009

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Wawasee Community School Corporation Board Policies

Board policies for the Wawasee Community Schools are now on-line on our web site. After hitting the 'board policies' button on the main corporation page, you can keyword search for the policy you are seeking.
The project to update board policies and make them accessible on our web page began in the spring of 2008. It's great to have the policies readily available to our parents, community, students, and staff.

Monday, August 10, 2009

WHS Freshman Orientation

On Thursday, August 13, 2009, from 7-8:30 p.m., there will be a program to welcome freshman and new students to Wawasee High School. Orientation activities will help new students learn how to be successful in high school, find their classes, learn about clubs and activities and become familiar with the building. New students will be given their schedules and locker assignments as part of the orientation program. Students will have the opportunity to tour the building with their parents after a presentation by WHS administration and guidance. There will be current Wawasee High School students in grades 10-12 stationed throughout the building to provide direction and answer questions as students and parents tour the building. Part of the tour will include a free snack and an opportunity to go through the lunch line to see how it works.

Parents and students should arrive no later than 7 p.m. to the high school, as the presentation will begin at 7 p.m. Schedules and locker assignments will not be available until after the presentation by administration and guidance. Once the student and parent(s) receive the schedule and locker assignment, they will tour the building with the help of a map and the student mentors.

Students who will be new to Wawasee Community School Corporation who will be in grades 9-12 are also invited to attend. These students should call the Wawasee High School guidance office to make an appointment to enroll. This is necessary in order to be part of the orientation program.

To make an appointment to enroll a new students or for questions, please call 574-457-3147, ext. 220.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Middle School Shot and Discus Areas

The shot put and discus areas at both Milford School and Wawasee Middle School will be relocated next year to provide greater safety for participants and observers. A net will be erected to partially enclose the discus ring. Our track coaches, athletic directors, and maintenance personnel are working together to make this necessary change.

Wawasee Full Day Kindergarten

The Wawasee Community Schools are continuing a full day kindergarten program initiated last school year. Approximately 40% of our kindergarten children are placed into the all day program after assessments by teachers and para-professionals. Generally, those children most in need of additional school assistance will attend the all day program.
The state funds a portion of the program, while the parents pay an amount based upon their household income level.
The all day kindergarten program showed impressive gains during the 2008-09 school year.
Milford has one section of all day students, while Syracuse and North Webster each have two sections.
Please fell free to contact the school principal with questions.

Wawasee High School Weight Room Repairs

Prior to the beginning of the school year, repairs will be made in the WHS wrestling/weight room area. Metal supports will be welded and fastened to better secure the floor to the surrounding walls. These repairs are cautionary in nature to address slight shifting which has taken place over time. We want to make certain that the shifting stops. We are able to use the weight, wrestling, and locker areas in the meantime.
Please feel free to address any questions to me. My office phone is 457-3188, Ext. 371.

Wawasee Middle School Pool Renovation

The Wawasee Middle School swimming pool will be closed for renovations during August and September. A portion of the ceiling will be removed and relocated to allow placement of new duct work for heating/cooling the air. A new dehumidifier will be installed, along with a new room heating/cooling unit and a new pool heater. Other modifications will be made to allow for greater energy savings.
If the renovations are accomplished prior to the end of September, patrons will be notified.
The Wawasee High School pool will be in operation during the August/September time period.
Please call the Wawasee Middle School office at 457-8839 or the Wawasee High School office at 457-3147 after August 3 with any questions.

Back to School Spending

The average American family spent $443.77 on back-to-school spending in 2005. That amount rose to $563.49 in 2007, the last year for which figures are available.
Also, 93% of teachers spend their own money on school supplies annually, averaging $552.
Everything adds up, especially in today's economy.

Tobacco Free Wawasee in 2009-2010

The Wawasee Community School Corporation campuses, buildings, vehicles, and events will become tobacco free on August 1 of this year. Previously, our smoke free policy covered only buildings and buses. Thanks to everyone for their cooperation as we strive to comply with all applicable laws and regulations and make Wawasee as safe and healthy as possible.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Letter to the Editor: Thank Goodness?

John Ellis, executive director of Indiana Association of Public School Superintendents, sent the following letter as a letter to the editor/guest column of seven papers state wide. The letter is in response to the governor's recent comments regarding the new state budget and public education.

Educators who work daily to teach and develop 94% of Indiana’s school age population are concerned about the future of providing school services in tight economic times. Many who care about the delivery of quality educational programming were disappointed to see the Indiana General Assembly give tuition tax credits, sending public funds to private entities.

At least one person saw both of these concerns as positive. The Post-Tribune, a northwest Indiana newspaper, quoted Governor Daniels one day after the end of the special session: "If this is an end to public education as we know it, I say thank goodness.”

As the Governor writes off 94% of our children and 52% of our state’s expenditures, it is worth a look into his major educational initiatives as Governor. He really liked but was not able to deliver on the promise of expanding and fully supporting full-day kindergarten. Let’s find his second initiative to improve education for Indiana’s youth. No, really, let’s try and find even one.

We should all voice concern over Indiana’s graduation and dropout rates. We all should settle for nothing less than our best attempts to serve all students. Let’s all work toward improved achievement for all students. How do we get there in the Governor’s plan? Eliminate all funding for teacher training. Take from them opportunities to learn and share the best practices nationally and internationally to improve in all three of these areas and then criticize and berate all public school educators by stating in The Madison Courier newspaper, “We do not have a good school system in the state.”

“Thank goodness” for the end of public education? Opinion has been ruling over research and facts for too long. Public schools, the only state and national institution charged with developing good citizenship, are under attack and public schools have been responding. A good read for anyone who wants to track the opinions of those wanting to destroy public schools regardless of the facts has recently been published by the Educational Research Service—Dr. Gerald Bracey’s Educational Hell: Rhetoric vs. Reality.

Dr. Bracey states “…the humble public school is one of the greatest democratic inventions in the world.” He calls on educators to “mount a vigorous campaign to defend a great American institution” against “blatant propaganda pushed by the economic elite to discredit public investment that helps ordinary citizens.” Thank goodness.

John Ellis, Executive Director,
Indiana Association of Public School Superintendents

Elementary Textbook Rental & Fees for 2009-2010

The elementary textbook rental & fees total costs for 2009-2010 are as follows:

Kindergarten: $ 88.75
Grade One: $116.25
Grade Two: $121.35
Grade Three: $128.15
Grade Four: $107.75
Grade Five: $104.05

*Grades 6-12 textbook rental and fees will be based upon each student's class schedule.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Enchanted Hills Community Center Summer School Opportunity

Bowen Center's Enchanted Hills Community Center in partnership with Wawasee Community Schools is trying to sponsor a summer school program. At this time, there are not enough students committed to attending to actually run the program. If your child is going to be in grade four through grade eight during the 2009-2010 school year, and you are interested in your child participating in this program, please contact the community center (260-856-2136) or WCSC's central office (574-457-3188). A minimum of 20 students must be signed up with a maximum of 25 students able to participate.

The program will run Monday-Thursday from 9 a.m.-noon beginning July 19 and going through August 15 at the Enchanted Hills Community Center. The focus of the program is to work in teams using LEGO robotics to work on math, science, and language arts skills.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

WHS Class Reunion for Class of 1979

The 30-year class reunion for the Class of 1979 will occur on August 15 at 7:00pm at the South Shore Golf Course Clubhouse. Contact Phil Beer at 317-965-9159, at 380 East 226th Street, Sheridan, IN 46069,

Friday, June 19, 2009

Report on May 12 Meeting of Board of School Trustees

In “Good News” Dr. Edington recognized senior Paige Geer for her involvement with the KYLA organization and senior Jayna Winegarden with her KEYS organization involvement.

Allen Coblentz and student representatives of the super mileage car did a presentation of the process of making the car as well as the competition in Indianapolis. There was a short break in the meeting to view the car and ask any additional questions.

Mrs. Rebecca Linnemeier moved to accept the AP U.S. History Class Trip donations of $100 from Biomet, $250 from Zimmer, and $300 from The Papers. The motion also included accepting the donation from the Kosciusko County REMC for Vocal Motion performance at the annual REMC meeting. Mrs. Mary Lou Dixon seconded the motion. The motion carried 5-0.

Mr. Dallas Winchester moved to accept the grouped action items, and Mrs. Mary Lou Dixon seconded the motion. The motion carried 5-0. Included in the grouped action items were the minutes of the April 21, 2009, regular school board meeting, certified personnel recommendations including the retirement of Randy Warren, and claims dated April 1 – 30, 2009.

An Academy report was given by Mrs. Anne Rackley, Academy Director. Many students have benefited from the Academy and they are making great strides to encourage students to complete their high school education.

Dr. Bob Cockburn presented the stat of the month on sub groups in ISTEP testing.

Mrs. Mary Lou Dixon moved and Mrs. Rebecca Linnemeier seconded the motion to accept the additional action items. The motion carried 5-0. Additional action items included: April 2009 financial report, approval of handbook changes as presented, and approval of the Performance Services, Inc. contract subject to the changes presented by school attorney David Cates.

Dr. Edington’s superintendent report started by thanking school attorney David Cates and Milford principal Cindy Kaiser and the handling of a court situation involving a Milford student. He thanked them for keeping the focus on education of children. He also noted that the bomb scare at WHS for May 11th was handled very well by the administration and staff. Notification of modifications to law enforcement, parents, and media was well done. All students as well as staff entered the building through the front doors of the building. Summer projects will begin soon. Some will start before the end of the school year, but will be during second shift. Dr. Edington noted the passing of WMS head custodian, Dave Welker. He will certainly be missed. Finally, the WHS social studies academic super bowl team placed 4th at the state meet. Mrs. Mary Lou Dixon was the social studies super bowl coach.

Mrs. Joy Goshert, Director of Curriculum and Instruction, started her report with comments about the PPL 221 handout included in the board packet. Mrs. Goshert and Mrs. Wendy Hite, Director of Special Services, briefly explained how they plan to use the ARRA funds (stimulus funds) for special services as well as Title I. Mrs. Goshert noted that the corporation plans to continue next year as they have this year with full day kindergarten. One change is that they will be doing kindergarten screening in the spring so that parents will know sooner whether or not their students will be enrolled in full-day kindergarten. The 2009-2010 school calendar has not been finalized, but with no staff development and parent teacher conferences being scheduled, this does make for a very clean calendar. The calendar committee is going to meet again on May 13th to finalize the calendar.

The NEOLA board policy revisions were presented to the board for a first reading.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

ISTEP+ Review Process

If you recall, many of our state's teachers and parents expressed concern over the spring ISTEP+ test.

Dr. Tony Bennett, superintendent of public instruction for Indiana, had members of his staff along with representatives of the testing vendor and more that 160 teachers conduct a comprehensive review of the spring ISTEP+ exam. The results of that comprehensive review were released on May 29, 2009.

Dr. Bennett states, "Although across all grade levels and four separate content areas, less than 2.5% of questions were determined to be substantially out of alignment, I and my staff understand the tolerance for error in high stakes testing is zero. I share your disappointment that even a single item was out of alignment, but am gratified that the responsive action will be swift and significant and, most notably, that student scores will not be affected as a result of the misaligned items."

To read all of the information released by Dr. Bennett regarding the comprehensive review, please click here. Click here for a breakdown by grade level and subject for all of the items reviewed.

Monday, May 11, 2009

WHS Update

Today, Wawasee High School principal Ellen Stevens sent the following letter to high school parents updating them on today's events in responding to the bomb threat made for Monday, May 11, 2009:

This letter is to follow up on the events of this morning at Wawasee High School. As you are all aware, there was a thorough search involving dogs this morning before school opened. Everyone entering the building had to check in with a police officer who searched their bags. Nothing suspicious was found in the search of the building or the belongings that were searched.

An investigation is underway and the police are working to identify the person or persons responsible for the threat to our school. If we are able to identify a responsible party, it is our intent to handle the situation as an extremely serious event. Anyone having information related to this incident or any other threat to our school's safety is encouraged to contact a school administrator.

I regret that all of us had to go through the extra security measures this morning. It is an unfortunate reality that we have no choice but to take such issues seriously.

For the remainder of the day, there were extra police present in our building. We owe a great deal of thanks to our police officers from the Syracuse Police Department, the Kosciusko County Sheriff's Department, Allen County, and Vigo County. They all responded quickly and thoroughly to our need. Working together we will continue to maintain a safe and secure building for our students and staff.

Friday, May 08, 2009

WHS Information for Monday, May 11, 2009

The following was sent by principal Ellen Stevens to Wawasee High School parents on Friday afternoon regarding Monday, May 11, 2009:

Officials at Wawasee High School discovered a hand written message in a bathroom stall that relayed a bomb threat for the high school on Monday, May 11, 2009.

Immediately upon the discovery of the message, the Syracuse Police Department and the Kosciusko County Sheriff's Department were notified of the threat and have been assisting the school in taking the necessary steps to be certain that the school is safe for staff and students on Monday. Officers from the Syracuse Police Department and the Kosciusko County Sheriff's Department will be present at the high school, and the building will be thoroughly searched before school on Monday.

Students will not be admitted to the building until 7:15 a.m. on Monday. All students and staff will enter the building by the front door (door #1) only. All other entry points will be secured and unavailable for entry. All buses will drop students at the front door. Upon entering the building, students should expect that all bags, purses, and backpacks will be searched as they enter.

Once the students have checked in to school, they will be expected to make only a brief stop at their locker and then go directly to their first class where their teacher will be waiting. Once all of the students are in class, we will begin school and run the day on our normal schedule.

We regret the disruption and inconvenience that we will face as a school on Monday. However, this underlines the need for cooperation from all groups associated with the high school to help us be proactive with these types of issues. Anyone who has information related to this specific incident or any other safety issues at the school is encouraged to call and report immediately so the school officials can react. The safety of our students and staff is a priority.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Wawasee Community School Coporation Board Meeting - April 21, 2009

The Wawasee Board of School Trustees met on May 21 at Milford School. A work session at 6:30 pm preceded the regular meeting. The Board was updated with plans for summer construction work to be completed at each building.
The regular session began at 7:00 pm. A $500 donation to the WHS by Brenda and Jay Rigdon was accepted by the Board, along with a $25,000 Safe Routes to Schools grant to educate our elementary children on safe walking and bicycling techniques to school. Over 80 trains per day pass through our school district, and they do not travel slowly! MS teacher Christie Holst and Roy Hufford wrote the successful grant.
Minutes, personnel recommendations, and claims were acted upon. Our retiring teachers this year, in addition to earlier announced WHS Career and Technical Education Director Phil Metcalf and WHS assistant principal Alan Frank, are Laurel Graham, Julie Gunden, Nancy Nelson, Betty Lambert, Jerri Mahnensmith, Karilyn Metcalf, Cindy Peterson, Beth Skaggs, and Mary Jo Short.
In other personnel news, Tracy Roberts was hired to replace Phil Metcalf, and MS teacher Roy Hufford is heading to Carroll Consolidated Schools as elementary assistant principal.
The Middle School Leadership Academy students and teachers presented their activitites during this school year.
ISTEP data for each WCSC school relating to adequate yearly progress (AYP) was discussed with Dr. Bob Cockburn, corporation data specialist. Syracuse Elementary School and Wawasee High School passed AYP in every category, while Milford School missed in only one area out of 23 possible. Wawasee Middle School missed the mark in the language arts portions of the ISTEP test, while North Webster Elementary missed on some math and language arts areas.
The Board approved 2008 construction projects that include replacing some classroom heating/cooling units at WHS and SES; lighting at WHS and portions of MS, WMS, and SES; boilers at WHS and WMS; and pool heaters at WHS and WMS. Final portions of the middle school roof will be replaced, and the vocational building will be remodeled. It will be a busy summer!
Salaries for both teachers and non-teachers will go up 1 and 1/2 percent for the 2009-10 school year.
The vocational business classes at WHS will be eligible for additional state reimbursement next year, due to additional teacher training and licensure.
Federal stimulus monies and Indiana state budgets were discussed as we look toward our financial future as a district.
Proposed handbook changes for '09-'10 were distributed to the board members. Those changes will be considered at the May meeting.
Middle and high school social studies textbook and materials adoptions were completed.
Next year's calendar, with the now-required 180 full days, is currently being discussed and changes will be brought to the board at a later date.
The next meeting is set for May 12 at 7:00pm in the WHS Lecture Room.

Friday, May 01, 2009

WCSC Community Newsletter

May is here, with five weeks remaining in the school year. For some, the countdown of days has begun! We will continue our focus on the academic growth of our students.

We honored secretaries last week on their special day. School Nurses’ Day is May 6, and Teacher Appreciation Week is next week. We appreciate all they do!

The general assembly concluded without a two-year budget being adopted. They’ll get back together in June to attempt to meet the Governor’s new expectations for a larger state reserve. Politics!

Property tax bills are out for Kosciusko County. The Wawasee school tax rate is $.48. Other school rates in our county range from Warsaw at $.97 to WaNee at $1.23. The General Fund has been removed from property taxes and is now covered by the state through increased sales tax. Certain property tax relief measures in place last year have been removed, too. In short, property tax bills for most are a little less than last year.

Ten teachers retiring this year are Phil Metcalf, Betty Lambert, Julie Gunden, Cindy Peterson, Jeri Mahnensmith, Karilyn Metcalf, Beth Skaggs, Laurel Graham, Mary Jo Short, and Nancy Nelson. WHS assistant principal Alan Frank is retiring, also. We miss them already, even though they’re not gone!

We were recently awarded a Safe Routes to School grant by the state. The $25,000 grant will pay for educational activities to help our students safely walk and ride bikes to school. With about 80 trains per day, several busy highways, and lack of sidewalks at a few locations, our children are at risk. We hope for a second grant to connect the North Webster Elementary School to town sidewalks. Thanks to Milford School teachers Christie Holst and Roy Hufford for authoring the successful grant.

Congratulations to WHS teacher Allen Coblentz, retired SES teacher Larry Pletcher, and the WHS students who did so well in Monday’s high mileage competition in Indianapolis. They averaged almost 1,000 miles per gallon with their specially-designed vehicle.

Coach Mary Lou Dixon is leading the WHS Academic Super Bowl social studies team to state competition again this year. Andrew Anker, Krista Bornman, Brandon Cox, and Cassady Palmer will compete on May 9.

The WHS band, under Fred Elliott’s direction, received two Gold ratings at ISMAA competition this spring. Great!

There are presently no swine flu cases reported in or around Kosciusko County. We’re working with the Department of Homeland Security to monitor the situation. Thanks to Myra Alexander and Bob Lahrman for their efforts to keep us informed. Now go wash your hands…..

WHS math teacher Kristi Harris will represent Wawasee in helping the state with Algebra I end-of-course assessment evaluation in June. How I Spent My Summer Vacation!

Columbine’s 10th anniversary passed on April 20. We’re older, wiser, and, hopefully, safer in our schools than a decade ago.

Raises for the 2009-10 school year have been set. Teachers and classified personnel will receive a 1.5% increase. Thanks to the WCEA for helping us look at options to retain jobs in these tough economic times.

When our students take ISTEP next spring, 7% more need to pass the test for WCSC to pass AYP. The following year another 7% more need to pass ISTEP for us to pass AYP…. until 2014, when all of the children in all of our schools and the nation’s school will pass their state tests. That is the way No Child Left Behind designed the AYP system. For us at WCSC, let’s look at next year and work together to achieve an 80% pass rate as a district. We’re at about 72% now. That’s a couple more students per class passing the test.

The calendar committee is meeting to find unique and creative ways to have some staff development and, perhaps, parent conference opportunities next year. With the 180 full student day mandate from Dr. Bennett, we’ll give it our best shot!

Stimulus money, over a two year period, is heading our way. These federal funds are targeted at special education (about $750,000) and Title I (about $200,000). The funds come with many strings attached. We’re looking at increased staff development, technology, and other one-time uses to help our students. In two years the funding will be gone, and we don’t want to start programs we won’t be able to finish.

A Milford School child custody case made the news recently. A local court had ruled one way, while an Indian tribal council had ruled another. We went to court to find out which order we should obey. Due to federal treaty language, the Indian tribal council ruling prevailed. Thanks go to the Milford School folks for protecting the child and keeping education as a focus over these difficult days.

Enjoy the wonderful Spring weather, the field trips, and other concluding activities for this year.

It is often said that history repeats itself, but that is not entirely true. Every moment is unique. history may offer similar situations from which some wisdom may be gleaned, but it never duplicates itself. The other thorn in historical account is that while we know what actually did happen when past actions were taken, there is no way to know what would have happened if different or no actions were taken.

Parallels between the challenges faced by Franklin D. Roosevelt and Barack Obama are obvious: bank failures, stock losses, foreclosures, high unemployment, and widespread economic hardship. Roosevelt made heroic attempts to mitigate calamity through government intervention. Obama seems likewise inclined. There was criticism then as now, and New Deal efficacy is still questioned, but most citizens saw it as evidence of caring intention, and it is fact that millions of Americans were saved from starvation through direct relief.

Today there is more abundance to eat though masses of the general populace are without the necessities of life. It took Americans until well after WWII to pay for what their survival cost – much longer than the 10-year duration of the Depression itself. It will take a long while to dig out of this hole too, but lessons come with losses – wealth of a different kind.

In times of change, learners inherit the Earth; while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists. - Eric Hoffer

I’ve always tried to be the guy who expects the most out of himself, so when I do ask those other guys to do the same, they’ll look at me and say, “Well, maybe this guy isn’t so full of crap.” - Tom Brady

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Letter from Dr. Remington, County Health Officer for Kosciusko County

The following is a letter from Dr. Remington with the Kosciusko County Health Office. The letter is an update on the North American Human Influenza A (H1N1):

The experience with North American Human Influenza A (H1N1) – previously known as “Swine Flu” –is growing, including a case at Notre Dame.

At this writing there are no documented cases in Kosciusko County, although it is very likely that we will see cases here in the next several days. Fortunately, at this juncture, the cases have been relatively mild and not life threatening. They typically resolve in a few days without any formal medical care required.

The symptoms of North American human influenza A (H1N1) are similar to the symptoms of regular seasonal influenza and include:
Fever over 100 degrees
lack of appetite
Some people have also reported runny nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea

I believe, at this juncture, it is important to convey the importance of “social separation” of those who may be ill with this influenza. People who have a fever with a prominent cough and achiness, should try to stay home until the fever is gone, and are feeling much better. They should not go to work, go to school, or enter crowded community settings. This simple step will help more than anything else. If someone is “worrisomely” quite ill, they should seek medical care.

The role of masks, antivirals (such as Tamiflu or Relenza), and hospital medical care are quite secondary to the simple interventions of “social separation” and are not needed for the vast majority of people with suspected influenza.

If this new strain eventually demonstrates to cause a high rate of very severe cases and/or death, then our public health directive may change. We all need to stay tuned to the developing story with this outbreak in the days and weeks ahead...

...Your health department remains strongly connected to our Kosciusko County emergency planners and expertise of the Indiana State Department of Health, and the Centers for Disease and Control. We are very tuned in with this outbreak.


William L. Remington Jr., M.D.
Kosciusko County Health Department

Good News

Congratulations to the Wawasee High School Academic Super Bowl Social Studies team which qualified for state competition by placing third in their class at regional competition. They will compete at the state level on May 9th. Team members are Andrew Anker, Krista Bornman, Brandon Cox, and Cassady Palmer. The team is coached by Mary Lou Dixon.

Congratulations are also in order for members of the Wawasee High School Band and Mr. Fred Elliott who competed at Warsaw High School in the Indiana State School Music Association's Organizational Concert Band Contest and earned two gold ratings - one for their performance and one for sight reading.

We know many hours of preparation went into earning these honors. We are proud of all of you!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Information on North American Human Influenza A (H1N1)

Federal, state and local officials are closely monitoring reported cases of the swine flu virus – officially known as North American Human Influenza A (H1N1) – in the United States, including one confirmed case in northern Indiana.

Symptoms and How It Spreads:
The swine flu symptoms appear to be similar to the symptoms of regular human seasonal influenza, including fever, lethargy, lack of appetite and coughing. Some people with swine flu also have reported runny nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

The spread of this virus is thought to be happening in the same way that seasonal flu spreads, mainly from person to person through coughing or sneezing of people affected. Swine influenza viruses are not transmitted by food. You cannot get swine influenza from eating pork or pork products. Eating properly handled and cooked pork and pork products is safe. Cooking pork to an internal temperature of 160°F kills the swine flu virus as it does other bacteria and viruses.

What Schools {Students & Parents} Can Do Now:
As a precautionary measure, schools {students and parents} are encouraged to take the following steps to prevent or contain the spread of the swine flu virus:

1) Practice good personal hygiene.

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hands cleaners are also effective.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.

2) Try to avoid close contact with sick people.

  • Influenza is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of infected people.
  • If you get sick, stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.

3) Get credible information.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Post Prom - Second Edition

The Wawasee Post Prom will be held at the WHS. Please disregard the earlier announcement.

Monday, April 27, 2009

New Post Prom Location

The Wawasee Post Prom Party location has been changed from the WHS Auxiliary Gym to the South Shore Golf Course Clubhouse. Security will be added to watch all exits, and the bar area will be made alcohol-free. Attendees are encouraged to share rides.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Junior Achievement Fun Run

On Saturday, May 23, 2009, the Junior Achievement Fun Run will take place as a part of Milford Fest 2009.

The 5K Run/Walk will begin at 9 a.m. from the Waubee Lake Park Pavilion on Camp Mack Road. There will be prizes, door prizes, and goodie bags plus refreshments after. Awards will be given for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place in each category with awards for best overall man and woman.

All proceeds benefit Junior Achievement serving Wawasee area programs and impact over 1000 students in Wawasee Community School Corporation.

You can register online by May 15, 2009, with the cost being $10. Registering by May 15th guarantees you a t-shirt.

You can also register the day of the fun run between 8:30 and 9 a.m. with the cost being $12.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

April 28-May 1: ISTEP+ Testing

Tuesday, April 28-Friday, May 1, Wawasee Community Schools' third through eighth graders will be taking the ISTEP+ multiple-choice assessments. This is the final part of the spring 2009 ISTEP+ testing.

For more information on the spring 2009 ISTEP+ testing, please read the press release from the Indiana Department of Education.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Thanks, DEKKO Foundation!

Milford and Syracuse Schools were fascinated by the African Drum Ensemble a few weeks ago, and on Friday had the opportunity to see Synergy Brass Quintet live in concert. Synergy Brass Quintet performs more concerts than anyone in classical music today, averaging nearly 300 engagements a year. They have traveled to every corner of the globe and are internationally recognized as one of the world's premier brass ensembles. They have been on NPR, NBC, ABC, the Hallmark Channel and performed with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Boston Pops. To have them stop in our own "corner of the world" was an amazing experience for our students and left them wanting more classical music. Who would have guessed classical music could be so exciting?!?! Again, thanks to the DEKKO Foundation for helping us make it happen!

written by Peg Zimmerman, Milford School

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Notes from School Board Meeting on March 10, 2009

The Wawasee Community School Corporation Board of Trustees met on Tuesday, March 10, 2009, at 5:30 p.m. in the North Webster Elementary School Library.

Donations were accepted for the WHS choral department from the Knights of Columbus ($1150.00), a sound system from Mr. And Mrs. Walter Palmer, and the Academic Super Bowl from Wawasee Kiwanis ($500.00). The WHS Student council sponsored a Winterfest for Riley Hospital, with the total of Riley donations for the year at $8000.00.

All-NLC Frosh Brittany Robinson swam to an 8th place in the state championships in the 50 freestyle and a 7th place in the 100 butterfly. Along the way, Brittany won both events at the NLC and sectional championships and established school, pool, conference and sectional records.

All-NLC swimmer Senior Jake Garner placed 14th in the 100 butterfly in the IHSAA state championships. Jake established the WHS record for this event at the Concord sectional. Also swimming in the state championships were Junior Robert Smith, 31st in the 50- freestyle and Warrior 200 yard medley relay swimmers Garner, Smith, Caleb Buyer and John Kirkwood, finishing 27th.

The Warriors are coached by Julie Robinson, Lenore Stump and Kevin Hite.

Minutes of the February meeting were approved, as were claims for payment.
Personnel recommendations, including the retirement this year of WHS assistant principal Alan Frank, were acted upon. Mr. Frank's knowledge, compassion, and work hours will leave a hard-to-fill void!

Dr. Bob Cockburn presented data relating to the changing demographics of our district and the Wawasee community. Free/reduced lunch numbers are double ten years ago, and English as a second language student have increased markedly.

Mr. Phil Metcalf, Vocational Director, and Ms. Shannon Fry, WHS counselor, discussed dual-credit opportunities for our high school students. Dual-credits are a way of awarding college credit for certain high school courses. WHS has been involved with dual-credits in several vocational areas. Advanced Placement, dual-credit classes for an Academic Honors Diploma are now being investigated.

The WCSC is piloting a full-day kindergarten program this school year. Teachers in that program presented preliminary results from this year. Full-day students are spending much more than double the ½-day students in learning activities. The teachers recommended continuing the program at least at the present levels for 2009-2010.

Mr. Jim Evans, finance director, reported to the Board on levels of the various funds. The Board approved a resolution to appropriate the construction funds to be used during the next two summers. A new copier lease was approved, too.

Dr. Edington, superintendent, reported about reading level (vocabulary) issues with the mathematics story problem portion of the recent ISTEP tests. District school nurses were thanked by the Board for their efforts. The status of planned summer facility work was discussed.

Director of Curriculum and Instruction Mrs. Joy Goshert discussed Fall ISTEP test results which impact our school designations. Wawasee Schools passing No Child Left Behind this year are Wawasee High School and Syracuse Elementary School. Wawasee passed as a district.

The School Board adopted new policies which have been researched and discussed during the past year. The policies officially begin on August 1.

The next Board meeting is set for 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 21, at Milford School.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Dr. Bennett Announces Changes to 180 Instructional Day Policies

The following is a March 17, 2009, press release from the Indiana Department of Education. Wawasee Community Schools will need to work on options to respond to this new directive, which may cause a change in our board adopted 2009-2010 corporation calendar.

"(Indianapolis) – Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Tony Bennett announced changes in Department of Education policies designed to ensure students receive at least 180 days of instructional time each year, the minimum number required by state law.

“As President Obama said last week in unveiling his education agenda, ‘the challenges of a new century demand more time in the classroom,’ and I couldn’t agree more,” Bennett said. “The academic achievement of students is an urgent state priority and we should begin by ensuring students are in class at least the full number of days required by state law.”

Bennett announced a change in the way the Department of Education will handle waivers of the financial penalty for canceled instructional days due to severe weather. Last week the Department of Education adopted an emergency policy establishing guidelines for school corporations to apply for waivers of the financial penalty for canceled instructional days during the 2008 – 2009 school year only.

However, beginning in the 2009 – 2010 school year, the Department of Education does not intend to adopt such emergency policies.

“In the past, the Department of Education has occasionally allowed school corporations not to make up all the days that were canceled due to weather,” Bennett said. “Going forward, we believe this practice does not meet the needs of Indiana’s students. School corporations have it in their power to create academic schedules that build in the necessary flexibility that will allow them to ensure their students receive at least the minimum number of instructional days. The Department of Education stands ready to assist schools in planning their calendars and seeking creative solutions to guarantee students receive the 180 days of classroom instruction.”

After comprehensive review of the statutory language authorizing the waiver of a financial penalty by the Department’s legal staff and independent experts, the Department concluded that the practice of allowing eligible schools to schedule up to six half-days professional development during the school day was outside the scope of the waiver statute that authorizes the Department of Education to grant waivers only when instructional days are “canceled” due to “extraordinary circumstances.”

Beginning in the 2009 – 2010 school year, the Department of Education will no longer permit schools to use half-days for professional development activities within the 180 full instructional day requirement.

Additionally, parent-teacher conferences must be conducted outside of the 180 day requirement. A one or two hour delay due to weather-related conditions will still be considered an extraordinary circumstance. The school day will still be counted as an instructional day with this type of delay.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Use of WHS Computers to File Unemployment Benefits

Beginning the week of March 16, community members will be able to use the computers in the Wawasee High School media center to file their unemployment benefits.

The media center is located directly inside the front door of the high school and will be open Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday from 3-5 p.m. to enable patrons to use the computers.

If you have any questions, please contact the high school. This is Wawasee High School's opportunity to give back to the community for the support that has been shown over the years to our students and staff.

written by Ellen Stevens, Principal of Wawasee High School

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

School Delay on March 11, 2009

Wawasee Community Schools will be delayed 2 hours on March 11, 2009, due to high water on roads.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Alternative to Suspension & Expulsion for Middle School Students

The Alternative to Suspension and Expulsion Program, otherwise known as ASE, provides placement for students in middle school who have been suspended or expelled from school. Prior to the ASE program, a student who committed a major infraction of the school rules was suspended or expelled to home for some period of time. The result was that the student returned to school further behind than when he or she left, and nothing was done to address the behaviors that led to the suspension. The ASE program was created for this need.

Students that are sent to the ASE now have the opportunity to attend alternative school for half a day. During this time the students work on their academics, as well as the reasons why they were sent there in the first place. A licensed teacher provides personal instruction to help the students keep up on current assignments, catch up on late work, as well as assess the students' academic abilities. The students also work with a licensed mental health therapist to work on behaviors and conflict management. For students who are assigned there for three or more days, they are required to meet with the school, parents, and ASE staff members to help communicate the students' needs and discuss preventative measures to reduce repeated offenses.

The ASE program is in its 5th year, and each year helps provide new insight as the program continues to grow and evolve to help best meet the needs of Wawasee’s students.

-written by Mark Mitchell, Mental Health Therapist

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Friday, March 20, 2009

This is a reminder that Wawasee Community School Corporation will be in session on Friday, March 20, 2009, as a snow make-up day. Students will be dismissed at their building's regular dismissal time.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Spring ISTEP+ Testing

Next week, Wawasee Community Schools will begin testing students in grades 3-8 on the spring 2009 administration of ISTEP+. According to Dr. Tony Bennett, Indiana superintendent of public instruction, this "marks Indiana's official move to spring ISTEP+ testing."

The spring 2009 ISTEP+ will be administered during two testing windows at grades 3-8, an applied skills (writing items) testing window in March and a multiple choice items testing window at the end of April-beginning of May. Students need to take all sections of the test. According to Dr. Bennett, "Results of the spring 2009 ISTEP+ will be released in late August after cut (passing) scores are set and adopted by the State Board of Education. Results each year thereafter will be available to students, parents and educators before the end of the school year."

At Wawasee, we will test students in grades 3-8 on the following days:
  • Applied Skills (writing items) will be given on March 3, 4, 5, and 6.
  • Multiple Choice items will be given on April 28, 29, 30, and May 1.

We encourage you to make sure your student gets a good night's sleep each night and eats a healthy breakfast each morning. Keep in mind each school serves breakfast. For students who qualify for free lunch, there is no cost. For students who qualify for reduced lunch prices, the cost of breakfast is 30 cents. For students who do not qualify for free or reduced lunch prices, the cost of breakfast if $1.

The Indiana Department of Education has released information on what parents can do to help students prepare for ISTEP+:

  • Stay connected. Cramming for a test rarely results in the type of learning that will stay with your child throughout his or her life. The best preparation is to provide consistent support for your child throughout his or her education.
  • Know what's expected. Read Indiana's Academic Standards so you know what your child should know and be able to do; reinforce these expectations at home and stay connected to your child's academic performance through the year.
  • Check grades. Your son or daughter may say things are "fine" at school, but don't stop checking report cards, progress reports or, if available, your child's online grades or class progress.
  • Talk to the teacher. Teachers know how hard students are working, how well they are behaving, quality of their homework and what areas need improvement. Collect email addresses or phone numbers of all your child's teachers and check in periodically.
  • Don't buckle on homework. If your child is not studying at home, ask why, and double-check with teachers. It's tough to hold the line, but making sure your child does his or her homework is important for academic success.
  • Ask for help. Students who are struggling in a particular class may need extra help after school or with a tutor. Find out from your school where you can go for help and make sure your student gets the help he or she needs. Catching a problem area now can make a big difference.
  • Go to parent meetings. Most schools offer parent nights or teacher/parent sessions that provide great information. Check your school's calendar at the beginning of the year and plan to attend.
  • Get involved. Nothing will have a bigger impact on your student's success than your involvement in his or her education.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

U.S. Students Move Up in Math and Science

Critics who argue that the United States lags behind its international peers in the education rankings might find some evidence to the contrary in recent results of a major international assessment, which shows fourth-and eighth-graders making strong gains in math and modest improvements in science.

“The message for the country is that we're improving in mathematics, particularly at the 10th percentile,” or the lowest performing students, says Patrick Gonzales, the U.S. coordinator for the test, the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), at the Department of Education. “In science, there are more mixed results.”

U.S. fourth-graders scored 529, on average, in math, which is higher than the TIMSS scale average of 500, and they scored 539 in science. Eighth-graders scored 508 in math and 520 in science.

Some experts, while supportive of the results, say the devil may be in the details. Mike Cohen, president of Achieve, a nonprofit education organization, cautions that the U.S. results are relative. More developing countries participated in TIMSS this year than in previous years, and so while the results are heartening, “there is still much work that needs to be done,” he says.

Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education, offers another perspective: If the United States were in the international education emergency room, our vital signs would now be stable. “However, all the other patients are getting better faster. It's time to ask, “What do we need to do to catch up with the others?”

Top 10 Average Math Scores of Eighth Graders
China - 598
Republic of Korea - 597
Singapore - 593
Hong Kong - 572
Japan - 570
Hungary - 517
England - 513
Russia - 512
United States - 508
Lithuania - 506

School Delay 2-26-09

Wawasee Community Schools will delay the start of school on February 26 for 2 hours due to fog.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Swimming Success

Congratulations to Brittany Robinson who competed in the IHSAA Girls' Swimming State Finals on February 13 and 14 and earned a 7th place finish in the 100 Yard Butterfly and an 8th place finish in the 50 Yard Freestyle.

This week on Friday and Saturday, Wawasee has boys' swimmers competing in the IHSAA Boys' Swimming State Finals. Jake Garner will be competing in the 100 Yard Butterfly, and Robert Smith will be competing in the 50 Yard Freestyle. The 200 Yard Medley Relay team comprised of Jake Garner, Robert Smith, Caleb Buyer, Nicklas Thystrup, and John Kirkwood will also be competing.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Congratulations to Kristina Long!

Syracuse fourth grade teacher Kristina Long has been selected to receive a 2009 Teacher Creativity Fellowship grant funded by Lilly Endowment, Inc. She is one of 129 Indiana educators selected to receive a Teacher Creativity Fellowship grant.

Mrs. Long will receive $8000 from Lilly Endowment, Inc. to use for her project "The Three R's - Rebuild, Revive, and Renew." Mrs. Long applied for the grant because it "would afford [her] the opportunity to impact the lives of hurricane victims from Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and spend six weeks [this summer] involved with the rebuild and recovery efforts in three key areas impacted by these hurricanes. In addition, [she] would like to do a comparison study of the rebuilding efforts of New Orleans, Louisiana, and Galveston, Texas."

In her proposal, Mrs. Long wrote, "Life is full of ups and downs. Nietzsche once said, 'That which does not kill us makes us stronger.' Heartache can be brought to us by unforeseen tragedies that can turn our lives upside down. Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Ike have been these kinds of tragedies. The impact from these hurricanes could be felt throughout our country. Being married to a native Texan and having lived and taught for five years in the Houston area, my heart ached for the people of Louisiana and Texas as their lives were uprooted. My heart has a mission to help these individuals recover from this devastation, bless their lives with encouragement, and help build a new and brighter future for them. Beyond the goals of home reconstruction and the comparison study, my additional objective is to help the adults and children of these areas. I want to give back to the people of Texas and Louisiana and provide hope by forming life-long relationships with these individuals. Most importantly, I am hoping this experience will humble me and give me a greater appreciation for the good fortune I have been blessed with as an educator. I want to have a heart of compassion and desire to understand life in a new and meaningful way...

"A Lilly Endowment would provide me some welcome challenges, both personally and as an educator. It would also give me the resources to impact the lives of three different areas of our country by being part of three different rebuilding teams. I would work alongside a team to rebuild homes, schools, and lives that have been devastated by Katrina, Rita, and Ike. It is my goal that these rebuilding efforts will not only make a difference to those I help, but also renew my spirit by humbling me to have a greater appreciation for good fortunes that are bestowed upon me.

"As a follow-up, I would use this experience to provide real-life stories and examples of weather-related devastations to my students back in Indiana. I would also be able to provide key teaching illustrations for linking learning to schemata in real situations. Additionally, I believe these experiences will change my inner spirit to be a more compassionate person and teacher."

Mrs. Long, Wawasee applauds you, and we are truly blessed to have you as teacher for our students!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Vaccination Update

There were not enough vaccines for all of the high school students who were planning to be vaccinated. The Kosciusko County Health Department has arranged to return to Wawasee High School on Thursday, February 12 from 12:30 p.m-2 p.m. to finish vaccinating those high school students who were not able to receive vaccinations today. Students need a signed consent form in order to be vaccinated.

If parents have had their children vaccinated at another health care provider site, please let the school nurse know so the information can be posted to the students' school records.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Free Vaccinations for Meningococcal Disease

The Kosciusko County Health Department is scheduling free vaccinations on Thursday, February 5, for students ages 11 through 18 at our middle schools and high school. The schedule will be
  • Milford Middle School: 7:30 a.m.-8:30 a.m.
  • Wawasee Middle School: 9 a.m.-10:30 a.m.
  • Wawasee High School: 12:30 p.m.-2 p.m.
Click here for information on the meningococcal vaccine, date/times, and a consent form which a student MUST have in order to receive the vaccine. This information will also be coming home today with your middle and/or high school student.

February 2, 2009: Kosciusko County Health Department Press Release

Below is an updated press release from the Kosciusko County Health Department in cooperation with the Indiana State Department of Health in reference to a Wawasee Middle School student.

The administration wants to thank the Kosciusko County Health Department, our instructional and guidance staff, mental health therapists, custodial staff, and our local ministerial staff members who have provided and will continue to provide support during this time.

WARSAW, IN 46580-2877
(574) 372-2349
Fax: (574) 269-2023

February 2, 2009

The Kosciusko County Health Department, in cooperation with the Indiana State Department of Health is investigating a suspected case of meningococcal disease. There is only one unfortunate and isolated case. No other illnesses have been reported that meets the criteria of meningococcal meningitis or disease.

The Kosciusko County Health Department has continued to collaborate with the school system, the local hospitals, and the ISDH throughout the weekend to monitor for possible cases or threats to the public health.

The Kosciusko County Health Department, has contacted persons who have had close contact with the case and has made recommendations on who should have antibiotics to prevent infection.

A person must have direct contact with an infected person’s saliva during the 7 days prior to the onset of illness in order to become infected. The disease is not spread through casual contact or by simply being in the same room as an infected person.

This disease caused by the bacterium Neisseria meningitidis generally affects people in two ways:
· meningitis (an inflammation of the tissues covering the brain and or spinal cord)
· bloodstream infection (that usually leads to bleeding under the skin)

These include, but are not limited to a sudden onset of fever, headache, stiff neck, confusion and
sometimes a rash. Newborns and small infants may also vomit, and be tired or very fussy. If any of these signs or symptoms should develop, the person should be taken immediately to a physician or emergency room to be evaluated for possible meningococcal disease.

Close contact means:
· household members
· persons who frequently eat or sleep in the same house
· persons who spent 4-6 hours per day together
· persons who have come in contact with salvia of the infected person by kissing, sharing eating and drinking utensils

For all other persons, including those who had casual contact as would occur in most school, social, or church activities, the risk of infection is very low. Preventive antibiotics are not recommended for casual contacts of infected persons.

There are two vaccines that protect against most types of this disease. A dose of meningococcal vaccine is recommended for children and adolescents 11 through 18 years of age. Meningococcal vaccine is also recommended for other people at increased risk for meningococcal disease such as:
· College freshmen living in dormitories
· U. S. military recruits
· Travelers to countries where meningococcal disease is common, such as parts of Africa
· Anyone with a damaged spleen, or whose spleen has been removed
· Persons with certain medical conditions that affect their immune system (check with your physician)

To reduce the spread and risk of any communicable disease, it is recommended that individuals avoid sharing foods, drinks, lipstick/balm, cigarettes or other media on which there is contact with another person’s saliva.

For more information you can visit the ISDH Quick Facts site at: Or the CDC Meningitis (Meningococcal Disease) web site at If you have questions please call the Kosciusko County Health Department at 574-372-2349.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Monday Night 8th Grade Parent Meeting

The meeting for parents of eighth graders for planning/preparing for high school that was scheduled for Monday night has been cancelled.

A Message to Wawasee Middle School Parents

Dear Wawasee Middle School Parents,

On Monday, counselors and ministers will be available at Wawasee Middle School to assist students in the wake of our recent tragic situation involving one of our students. The administration and staff will work with class schedules on Monday to facilitate taking care of our students’ emotional needs.

As an extra precaution, the Wawasee Middle School building has been thoroughly sanitized by our custodial staff. We will continue working with the Kosciusko County Health Department. At this time, there is only this one case that is under investigation by the health department.

Thank you as we cooperate together to work through this situation.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Answers to Questions About Meningitis: A Press Release from Kosciusko County Health Department

The Kosciusko County Health Department, in cooperation with the Indiana State Department of Health is investigating a suspected case of meningococcal disease. The case is under medical supervision and can no longer spread the disease. The Kosciusko County Health Department, has contacted persons who have had close contact with the case and is making recommendations on who should have antibiotics to prevent infection.

A person must have direct contact with an infected person’s saliva during the 7 days prior to the onset of illness in order to become infected. The disease is not spread through casual contact or by simply being in the same room as an infected person.

This disease caused by the bacterium Neisseria meningitidis generally affects people in two ways:

meningitis (an inflammation of the tissues covering the brain and or spinal cord) or
bloodstream infection (that usually leads to bleeding under the skin)

These include, but are not limited to a sudden onset of fever, headache, stiff neck, confusion and sometimes a rash. Newborns and small infants may also vomit, and be tired or very fussy. If any of these signs or symptoms should develop, the person should be taken immediately to a physician or emergency room to be evaluated for possible meningococcal disease.

Close contact means:
  • household members
  • persons who frequently eat or sleep in the same house
  • persons who spent 4-6 hours per day together
  • persons who have come in contact with salvia of the infected person by kissing, sharing eating and drinking utensils

For all other persons, including those who had casual contact as would occur in most school, social, or church activities, the risk of infection is very low. Preventive antibiotics are not recommended for casual contacts of infected persons.

There are two vaccines that protect against most types of this disease. A dose of meningococcal vaccine is recommended for children and adolescents 11 through 18 years of age. Meningococcal vaccine is also recommended for other people at increased risk for meningococcal disease such as:

  • College freshmen living in dormitories
  • U. S. military recruits
  • Travelers to countries where meningococcal disease is common, such as parts of Africa
  • Anyone with a damaged spleen, or whose spleen has been removed
  • Persons with certain medical conditions that affect their immune system (check with your physician)

To reduce the spread and risk of any communicable disease, it is recommended that individuals avoid sharing foods, drinks, lipstick/balm, cigarettes or other media on which there is contact with another person’s saliva.

For more information you can visit the ISDH Quick Facts site at: Or the CDC Meningitis (Meningococcal Disease) web site at If you have questions please call the Kosciusko County Health Department at 574-372-2349.

Ski Trip Cancellation

The Wawasee Middle School ski trip scheduled for this afternoon and evening has been cancelled. It will be rescheduled.

WMS Krispy Kreme Doughnut Pick Up

If you ordered Krispy Kreme doughnuts from the music department at Wawasee Middle School, the doughnuts will be delivered to the middle school at 10 a.m. You may pick them up in the band room any time after 10 a.m. and before 4 p.m. today.

Website Problems

The website is currently having difficulties on their end and are working on fixing the issues. If you normally receive a text message or an email from that website, you would not have received one for our closing this morning. All media we normally contact were contacted as well as the information being posted on our website and here on the Wawascene.

January 30 School Closing

Due to drifting in various areas of our district, Wawasee Community Schools are closed today. The make-up day for this closing will be on Friday, March 20th.

January 30, 2009 School Delay

The Wawasee Community Schools will delay classes for two hours on Friday, January 30, 2009 due to drifting snow.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Girls' Basketball Sectional Hosted by Wawasee High School

Mary Hurley, WHS athletic director, has released the following information regarding the 2009 IHSAA Girls’ Basketball Sectional Tournament:

The Class 3A Sectional 21 will be played at Wawasee High School on
Tuesday, February 10th at 7:00 PM (1 game)
Wednesday, February 11th at 6:00 PM (2 games)
Friday, February 13th at 6:00 PM (2 games)
Saturday-Championship Game- February 14th 7:30 PM.

The drawing for the tournament pairings will be done in the IHSAA office on Thursday, January 29th beginning at 7:00 PM. The teams participating in Sectional 21 are Columbia City, Lakeland, NorthWood, Tippecanoe Valley, Wawasee, West Noble and Whitko.

Each participating school will be provided season tickets for pre-sale. Tournament season tickets (one ticket, good for admission for all four evenings) for the sectional will be sold for $9.00 in the Wawasee Athletic Office daily beginning Tuesday, February 3rd 7:30 AM – 4:00 PM until the opening round of the tournament.

Ticket sales each evening at the door are $5.00. There is no single session presale. No ticket reservations or telephone orders will be accepted.

Wawasee Tournament Tee Shirts will be available for $6.00.

Monday, January 26, 2009

The "Nitty Gritty" Head Lice Guide

The following is helpful information in preventing and managing head lice:

  • The parent/guardian has the ultimate responsibility to ensure their child is free of live lice and viable (live) nits. The parent/guardian is responsible for the care of their child's scalp and hair.
  • The parent should carefully check their child's scalp and hair once each week. Many people think that itching is a good indicator of evidence of lice. However, the first infestation may produce NO sign or symptoms for 4-6 weeks!
  • Remember that children may get head lice if they are in sustained head to head contact. Sleepovers among friends and relatives are a common way they are passed from home to home.
  • Avoid indirect head-to-head contact. Although not a common source of transmission, avoid sharing articles such as hats, combs, brushes, and hair accessories.
  • Parents are asked to inform the school if their child has head lice. Lice infestations are handled in a confidential manner.


  • Consult with a nurse, pharmacist, or physician and purchase treatment. READ INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY BEFORE STARTING TREATMENT.
  • Check the scalp and hair of all members (including adults) of the immediate and extended households. Pay special attention to the crown of the head, behind the ears and at the nape of the neck. Treat only those with active infections. Notify other homes where your child spends extended periods of time (day care, child care provider, etc.).
  • Consult your health care provider before treating young children and infants, if one is pregnant or nursing, if one has special health conditions.
  • Treat with a medicated shampoo that is available at your pharmacy. Home remedies such as vinegar, mayonnaise or olive oil have not been proven effective. Never use kerosene!
  • Do NOT use cream rinse or combination shampoo/conditioner before using lice medicine. do NOT re-wash hair for 1-2 days after treatment.
  • Remove eggs. This is the most important step to getting rid of lice. Use a bright light to examine the hair. Eggs must be removed daily by hand or fine-toothed "nit comb" or the eggs can hatch to cause reinfestation.
  • After treatment and nit removal, clean the house. Launder all bedding towels and clothing. Non washables can be placed in a hot dryer for 20 minutes or dry-cleaned. Other items can be placed in a tightly sealed plastic bag and placed in the freezer over night. Vacuum carpets, chairs or cushions including car seats and headrests.
  • Do NOT shave the head or cut the hair unless your child wants you to do so.
  • Do NOT use lice sprays. This can be harmful.
  • Do NOT use lice removal products to prevent lice.
  • In order for the child to return to school, the student must have been treated and show no evidence of live lice.
  • Upon return to school, the school nurse will inspect the hair and scalp. It is very beneficial if a parent or designated adult accompany the child.
  • If using over-the-counter treatments, retreat in 7-10 days. If using the prescription drug malathion, retreat in 7-10 days only if crawling bugs are found.

Questions may be addressed to your school nurse.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Peanut Butter Products

Many of you have heard about the recall of products containing peanut butter. At Wawasee Community Schools we are complying with the precautions associated with peanuts and peanut butter waiting for further directions from officials.

For those of you wanting more information on the recall of products, today the U.S. Food and Drug Administration released another update Recall of Products Containing Peanut Butter: Salmonella Typhimurium and has also put out an Excel spreadsheet with a list of products that may be contaminated.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Game of the Week

The varsity boys' basketball game will be the televised Game of the Week Friday evening, January 23, when the Plymouth boys' basketball team comes to town. Channel 46 WHME-TV out of South Bend will cover the game with the broadcast at 11 PM Friday and 9 AM Saturday.

It is a great opportunity to showcase our student athletes (Curtis Coverstone has been selected as the Warrior Academic Student Athlete of the Week), our programs, school and community. Many local patrons sponsor the game through advertising. I am sure many of you personally know quite a few of the players, cheerleaders and pep-band members. We also have scheduled the two middle schools' cheerleaders doing a routine that evening.

Come join Coach Mishler and the boys Friday evening as we entertain Plymouth in a conference match-up! The junior varsity game begins at 6:15 p.m. followed by the varsity game.

Go Warriors!

from Mary Hurley, Athletic Director

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Dekko Foundation Art Enhancement Grants

Milford School and Syracuse Elementary School have both received Dekko Foundation Art Enhancement grants this year. The purpose of this grant is to bring the arts into the school for students to experience in person. This money may only be used for arts experiences in the elementary grades and not supplies or equipment. Each school received $3000 to achieve this endeavor. Some of the programs that have been scheduled by the music department for this spring include:

  • The Griot Drum Ensemble will be visiting both elementary schools, with the group staying after school to lead the Syracuse Elementary drum circle students during their practice time. This group will be coming from Indianapolis on March 12.
  • The South Bend Symphony Woodwind Ensemble will be visiting both elementary schools on April 2. They will be in Milford in the morning and Syracuse in the afternoon. They introduce the students to the instruments as well as various composers and music styles.

For the art department, Brenda Stiver has invited a traveling artist, Jake Webster, to come and present a program for the 4th and 5th grade students with a hands-on workshop. Denise Potter also has a traveling art program and various artists headed to Milford.

We look forward to updating you on the success of these programs in future posts. Thanks for supporting our arts programs.