Walker Howler

November 20, 2020

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Dear Families,

Thanks to everyone who attended last night's Walker Community Night! It is so fun to have an opportunity to connect and play together as a community. We are looking forward to more of these events throughout the year. Please see below for a video that we shared last evening from Mrs. Jeffs and our amazing Choir singing our school song!

We hope to see you all at our next Site Council meeting on 11/23 from 3:00-5:30. At this meeting, we will engage in a presentation with the architects who are working with us to redesign our school. We are excited to show you how we are integrating our mission statement and core values into our new building! This meeting is open to everyone. Please look for an email from me on Monday with the link.

As you know, we only have school on Monday and Tuesday next week. Please take a moment to read the letter below: "Thanksgiving for All" written by our new Director of Equity and Inclusion, Andrea Townsend. The message is an important and powerful one.

Please see below for more information. Please do not hesitate to contact me with questions or concerns. I will respond as soon as I am able.

In Community,



Pronouns: she, her, hers

Mission Statement: The Walker Community values diversity, empathy, and perseverance. We honor the entire learning process from mistakes to academic mastery. We teach our students to advocate for themselves and others. We nurture kindness, creativity, and wonder.

The Wolf Pack Choir Sings "Howl Walker Wolves"

Thanksgiving for All

Dear ASD families,

As someone born in another country who came to the United States as an adult, I only learned about Thanksgiving my first year here. I really appreciate the opportunity this holiday brings to gather with friends and family (maybe, via Zoom this year) to reflect on all of the big and small things for which I am thankful.

This year…

  • I am thankful for our resilient students who, despite having to join their classes via Zoom, actively engage with their teachers and peers to keep growing academically and socially.
  • I am thankful for our parents and extended family members who support our students daily as they join their classes from home instead of school due to COVID-19.
  • I am thankful for the caring and devoted ASD staff who teach and support students online, coordinate materials so that students have physical resources at home beyond the digital ones, make healthy to-go breakfast and lunch for our children, and provide laptops and hot spots to those who need them to be able to connect to class.

However, I have also learned that Thanksgiving is not a time for celebration for everyone, particularly Native Americans.

I would like to share with you an article called “Do American Indians celebrate Thanksgiving?” written by Dennis W. Zotigh, Kiowa/San Juan Pueblo/Santee Dakota Indian and writer and cultural specialist at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. The article opens with a piece of historical art and the caption reminds us that “Thanksgiving, as the United States’ origin story, leaves out painful truths about the nation’s history. Giving thanks, however, has always been part of Native Americans’ everyday lives”.

In his essay, Zotigh offers us an opportunity to see this holiday from his Native perspective. He writes “The Thanksgiving myth has done so much damage and harm to the cultural self-esteem of generations of Indian people, including myself, by perpetuating negative and harmful images to both young Indian and non-Indian minds.” I would like to encourage you to read this article to see the Thanksgiving holiday from another perspective.

Lastly, this Thanksgiving, I am grateful for being part of the Ashland School District and having the opportunity to spend my days working on what I am passionate about, Equity and Inclusion, and for our school community’s willingness to continue learning and growing to provide an equitable education for all students.

Andrea Townsend

Director of Equity and Inclusion

Walker Events & Activities

Site Council: 11/23 3:00 - 4:30

Join us for our next meeting to learn about the Walker Redesign!

Site Council is a great way to get involved in our school’s instructional program to ensure success for all students. Our Site Council is continuing to focus on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. Site Council is open to all Walker families! Please email Ky Ferguson, if you plan to attend and she will send the meeting Zoom link.

Please see below for the minutes from the last meeting in both Spanish and English.

Library Spotlight

Transgender Awareness Week is a week when transgender people and their allies take action to help raise the visibility of transgender people and educate the public about who transgender people are, share stories and experiences and address issues members of the community face. Please click here to learn more about Transgender Awareness Week.

Did you know that you can still check out Library books during Distance Learning? We want you to have real books in your hands! Go to the Library Canvas Course, Book Checkout button to learn how to check out library books! Questions? Contact Ms. Julie through Canvas Inbox.

Our Walker Library Canvas Course is full of wonderful resources for our students and their families. Check back often for more Windows and Mirrors experiences at our Library!

PTO Meeting 12/3 6:00 - 7:00

Please take a moment to complete this very short survey so our PTO can learn what you think would be most supportive this year!

Do you identify as a parent or guardian of a child attending Walker Elementary? Then you are a member of PTO and an essential part in supporting our school's students, teachers, and staff with equity and care! Do you identify as a staff at Walker Elementary? Then you are partners with Walker's parents and guardians as we continue our work this year to strengthen the community and support our children through these challenging times! Please join us for our next meeting!

For security purposes, the agenda and zoom link will be sent via email and Fresh Schools prior to the meeting. Fresh Schools is your PTO communication system. See more info below.

Questions? Please email PTOWalkerWolves@gmail.com.

Please see below for the minutes from the last meeting in both Spanish and English.

Walker & Community Information

Digging Deeper at Walker School!

For the past four years the fourth grade classes have been partnering with Rogue Valley Farm to School (RVF2S) in an amazing program we created together called Digging Deeper. This partnership brings the opportunity of having the expertise of a RVF2S garden educator in our classrooms each week.

This year, our funding has been drastically reduced. For the program to continue in the same way it has been (meeting weekly with hands-on lessons and materials), we will need $7000. We have received a very generous 1:1 matching grant from Jackson Soil and Water Conservation District.

If you can help support this program in any way, please mail a check to Walker Elementary, 364 Walker Ave, Ashland, 97520. Please let Cheryl know that is it is for the 4th grade Digging Deeper program. If anyone is willing to pledge time in the garden, this will also be matched by JSWCD at the rate of $25/hour (please contact me to discuss this opportunity). All money needs to be pledged before December 2nd in order to get matched by JSWCD.

Help Fundraise for our Walker PTO!

1. Go to smile.amazon.com.

**This will auto connect to any amazon or amazon prime account you have

2. First drop down menu on the left is Amazon Smile. Click on that.

3.Go to "Change Your Charity". Click on that.

4. In the search text box put "Walker Elementary PTO"

5. Search for the one from Ashland OR. Click that.

6. You are done!

When you use Amazon for ordering, you must use the smile.amazon.com link for Walker to get passive fundraising benefits from your purchases. A lump sum is given to Walker every month and no one user is identified in the process.

If you have any questions, please contact Staci.Buchwald@gmail.com

NSWB & Talent Maker City Present: Fight Fire with 5K!

Walker loves El Tapatio!

Our friends at El Tapatio paused all restaurant operations to host a resource center for our community after the devastating wildfires. Volunteers organized donations of housing, food, clothing, and other essential items for those impacted. El Tapatio has recently opened back up for business. Please show your thanks by stopping by or ordering food for delivery today!

$$$ for Walker!

The more approved Free and Reduced Lunch Applications we receive, the more money we get for Walker Elementary!

The Ashland School District has just received a waiver from the federal government to continue serving free meals to all children, ages 1-18, through December 31, 2020. Any adult can pick up meals for children at the AMS cafeteria from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm Monday - Friday.

Application for free or reduced meals can be found at: https://family.titank12.com

Frequently Asked Questions:

Are all families who qualify enrolled?

- No, many families qualify and they are not in enrolled in the program.

Do students who qualify have to eat hot lunch?

- No, enrolled students do not have to eat hot lunch.

Why should we apply?

- The more approved applications we have, the more money Walker school receives.

- It also makes us eligible for state and federal grants.

What programs rely on this funding?

- Reading Intervention, Child Development Specialist, Student Advocate, Educational Assistants, Peer Mediation, Student Leadership, Family Fluency Library, Math Intervention Materials, Summer School, Art Room, and other programs


If you need tech help, please reach out directly to our amazing Tech Department here to request help or give them a call 541-201-2600.

If you need to borrow a device from the District to access Distance Learning, please complete the recent survey emailed to you. If you already filled out the District survey, you should hear soon for a time to pick up a device. If you have not completed the survey or your tech needs have changed, please contact Cheryl for assistance.

Fresh Schools

What is FreshSchools?

FreshSchools is an Online Directory and a PTO Database to simplify communication with families in each classroom and across the school.

How do I log into FreshSchools?

You should have received an email directly from FreshSchools. If you have not, please log in by clicking https://freshschools.com/app/users/sign_in. You may opt out of making contact information visible school-wide, but still receive information with the “Private” option. We are striving for 100% participation to make teacher, room parent, and volunteer communication easier.

Is there an iPhone or Android app for FreshSchools?

Yes there is an iOS and Android app available. These apps are for families and staff after you’ve signed up for FreshSchools.

Do you share my information?

FreshSchools takes privacy very seriously and does not share your personal information with any third-party organization.

If you have any questions, please contact: Jennifer Pelzer at jenniferpelzer24@gmail.com or 408-685-8296


Even though we are in Distance Learning, we could still use volunteers to help teachers via Zoom. All volunteers must complete a background check every year. You can access the form at https://www.ashland.k12.or.us/Page.asp?NavID=1536. Forms can be submitted with a copy of your driver's license to the school office or the Ashland School District Office. Teachers will let you know when they are ready for you to begin joining their classes.

Financial Support

Families who have experienced significant income loss may now be eligible for free or reduced-price school meals. Apply online or contact your local school.

DHS will continue to work with federal partners to provide help to Oregonians in need. To apply for Nutrition Assistance, visit needfood.oregon.gov or call 2-1-1. Read the full details here.

If you need help paying your electric bill, check out the Oregon Energy Fund. It provides funds for energy assistance to more than 30 partner agencies and nonprofits in Oregon. Find more information here.

Our Wolf Pack Needs Your Help!

Right now, we are all dealing with the impacts of the Covid 19 Pandemic. While we are all in the same storm, we are not in the same boat. Many of our families are struggling due to the loss of jobs, income, and stable housing. Walker has been working hard to support our families with a weekend food program. Our current funding sources are running low, and we could use your help!

Please visit: https://donate.ashland.k12.or.us/wolfpacksupport/ to donate today.

100% of donations will go directly to purchasing food and supplies for our families in need.

If you are a family in need, please reach out directly to your child's teacher, or Tiffany.

Wolf Pack Support Program

Walker School

Mission Statement: The Walker Community values diversity, empathy, and perseverance. We honor the entire learning process from mistakes to academic mastery. We teach our students to advocate for themselves and others. We nurture kindness, creativity, and wonder.