September Newsletter

Wallace & Priscilla Stevenson Intermediate Volume 2 Issue 1

Dear Families,

We are nearing the end of our second week of school and the energy in the halls is great! We've had a few changes to our staff this year, and I'd like to take a minute to introduce you to our newest members:

Kristen Demchuk joins our office staff as our Office Manager; she grew up in the area and has a long history of accomplishments within the community.

Jessica McElfresh joined our Fourth grade team; she comes to us from Stevenson where she taught Kindergarten last year and prior to that served as a Washington Reading Core member at Whitson.

Mandel Medenbach has also joined the fourth grade team. Prior to fourth grade, Mr. Medenbach taught Literacy and Science in sixth grade within our building.

David Monnig who taught fourth grade last year, has moved to sixth grade and is now teaching Math and Science with the sixth grade team.

Shannon "Charlie" Mortenson joined our sixth grade team and is teaching English Language Arts and Social Studies. Prior to joining our team Charlie, taught Middle School, and High School drama class.

Aside from new staffing, our building is also working out the details in merging timelines for our reporting systems. We went from having our grading/reporting periods broken up into semesters in Fourth grade and quarters in Fifth and Sixth grades last year to a building wide trimesters grading/reporting system for all grade levels for the 2015-2016 school year. Stay tuned for more updates on grading timelines and models of assessment.

The beginning of the school year has been full of amazing activities and opportunities for learning! We are fortunate to have two teams participating in Lego Robotics this year and we're looking for students to fill these team slots. There's a form attached at the bottom, if your student is interested in getting more information on joining a team.

It has been a great start to the school year thanks to our supportive parents and dedicated teaching staff.

Thanks for supporting the Wallace & Priscilla Stevenson Intermediate School! Go Kodiaks!

Columba Jones


Student Happenings

4th Grade

The fourth grade is fortunate to have funding from the P.T.O. and the Mid-Columbia Fisheries for an extensive science unit on salmon. Students will watch salmon eggs grow and hatch in tanks in our classrooms, perform stream surveys to test water quality on Jewett Creek once each month, and have classroom presentations from U.S. Fish and Wildlife biologists. Our first field trip this year is to the Spring Creek Fish Hatchery. We’ll be going September 25th; a field trip permission slip will be sent home next Friday, September 11th. Our salmon unit ends with us releasing our baby salmon into the Columbia in December.

An exciting piece of information is that, this year every family with a fourth grader gets a free pass to any national park in the country this year. Here's the website with more info:

5th Grade

Fifth grade students have begun the year reading a humorous fiction story while focusing on the story structure to comprehend the story. We are writing about one day on our dream vacation. Students are imagining going to Disneyland, Hawaii, Hogwarts, and even Jurassic Park. As they write they are focusing on the six traits of writing that we use at this grade level. This will be their first sample for the year. In social studies we are learning geography terms and will complete this unit with each student creating a map of an island country and each student will apply many of the geography terms that have been learned in this unit.

In Science and Math our students are deeply engaged in learning about Energy this month. We are studying energy sources, forms of energy, how energy is stored and how energy is converted. In Math our classes have started the year studying the base ten system. Students are studying place value and decimals to the thousands place as well as ordering and comparing the value of both whole numbers and decimals.

6th Grade

We have two new sixth grade teachers this year. Shannon Mortenson has moved over from Columbia High School, and David Monnig has moved up from fourth grade. Mr. Monnig and Ms. Pfister are teaching math and science, and Ms. Mortenson and Ms. Erkkila are the social studies and language arts teachers.

In math, we have a new curriculum that is well aligned with the common core standards. Chapter one begins with ratios and rates. Math teachers will also be piloting standards based grading this year. This will be explained in more detail during open house night and the first round of parent-teacher conferences.

The Solar System is the topic of the first unit in science. During the month of September, students are recording the phase of the moon on a daily basis. Mapping skills and interactions between the sun, earth and moon will be major focuses.

In English language arts, we are looking into how we communicate in both literature and writing. We will review the basics and work with students to improve comprehension and structure. We also are working on creating connections with our reading material to help students better understand the author's purpose and develop their own opinion about the work.

Office Reminders

Visitors and Volunteers

Please remember to stop in at the WPSIS office and pick up a visitor's badge when coming in.


Regular attendance has a direct correlation to a student's success at school. See the link below for some helpful tips!

Please keep in mind, if your student must be absent, the WPSIS office will need a note within 48hrs explaining the reason for their absence.

TDAP Immunizations

Verification of your student's updated immunization record needs to be in before November 1st.

General Information

Please see the attached Frequently asked questions

School Sweatshirts and T-shirts orders

We are ready to take orders on WPSIS school t-shirts and sweatshirts; swing by the office to pick up your order form, or print one of the attached forms. Our first building order for attire will go out Thursday October 1st , 2015.

Upcoming Dates

  • September 15th: K-8 PTO meeting 6-7pm at Whitson in the Library
  • September 15th: Picture Day
  • September 17th: Open House 6:00-7:30pm
  • September 21st: CLC starts- Invitations will be mailed out
  • October 5th- 9th: Parent Teacher Conferences