Positively Pasco: Issue #178
April 3, 2023
Registration Open for 2023-24 School Year
Do you have a child starting kindergarten or joining one of PSD's schools for the first time this fall? Our 2023-24 school year online enrollment portal is now open.
Early registration will help establish a smooth transition, ensure timely communication from your child's school, and allow transportation routing for eligible students.
To register your child, visit our online enrollment website.
Applications Open for Two-Way Dual Language Program
PSD is accepting applications for the 2023-2024 kindergarten Two-Way Dual Language Program at various elementary schools. If you are interested in the program and are an English-speaking Pasco resident with a first-time kindergarten student, apply by May 15, 2023.
Acceptance into the program is based on eligibility, commitment for six years, and parent involvement. Applications are available at all Pasco elementary schools or the Dual Language Program webpage.
PSD Launches Calendar Art Contest
The 2023-24 Calendar Art Contest has launched, and Pasco students in grades K-12 will have the chance to show off their creative abilities for a chance to win big! This year's theme is ‘You Belong - Tú Perteneces;’ students should create artwork that best represents this theme. Prizes include:
One (1) Grand Prize Winner will receive a $300 Visa Gift Card. Their winning art submission piece will be featured on the cover of the 2023-2024 Pasco School District calendar. In addition, it will also be on PSD’s website, social media, Pasco School Minute radio spot, and internal/external newsletters.
Twelve (12) Winners will receive a $100 Visa Gift Card. Their winning art submission will be featured on their grade corresponding month in the 2023-2024 Pasco School District calendar. They will also be recognized on PSD’s website and social media platforms.
PSD Ambassadors Meet for Session Five
PSD Ambassadors met at New Horizons High School for session five, where they learned about the district's Fiscal and Employee Services Departments and got a tour of the school. This was an excellent opportunity for Ambassadors to learn about different funding sources and hiring and retention processes. Thank you to all who attended and presented.
Learn more about PSD's Ambassador program.
Reynolds Middle School Hosts VIP Day
Reynolds Middle School hosted VIP Day- an opportunity for community members and parents to visit specific Pasco schools to learn more about our district, schools, programs, and students.
Attendees enjoyed a presentation from Superintendent Whitney and School Administrators, an orchestra and band performance, classroom visits, a school tour, and lunch with students and staff. This was the last VIP Day for the 2022-23 school year, but check our website and calendar over the summer for dates for next year.
Three Rivers Elementary Playground Named #9 Best Inclusive School Playground in America
We're excited to announce that our Three Rivers Elementary School playground was named the #9 Best Inclusive School Playground in America. The playground opened in 2019 and was designed specifically to address the physical and social inclusion of students of all ages and abilities. Three Rivers and Columbia Rivers Elementary Schools in Pasco are currently the only inclusive playgrounds installed at a K-5 elementary school in the state of Washington.
Learn more about Inclusive School Playgrounds.
Corwin Ford Donates to Help Feed Students at Captain Gray STEM Elementary
Thank you to Corwin Ford Tri-Cities for donating $10,800 to help fight food insecurity at Captain Gray STEM Elementary. This generous donation will support the school's Bite2Go program run by Second Harvest, which provides children experiencing food insecurity with a mix of easy-to-open, single-serving, nutritious, nonperishable food items for meals and snacks over the weekend during the school year.
This school year alone, Captain Gray has been providing weekend meals for an average of 20 students weekly. These students receive four meals per weekend over 36 weekends in the school calendar year, totaling 2,800 meals per school year.
"We are so grateful for this generous donation from Corwin Ford Tri-Cities," said Jamie Chavez, Intervention Teacher at Captain Gray STEM Elementary. "The Bite2Go Program helps ensure our students don't face the hardship of food insecurity and contributes to them being more productive at school."
PEAK! Partners Celebrated During Annual Breakfast
Thank you to our PEAK! Partners and staff who attended our annual PEAK! breakfast, where school and business representatives had a chance to hear district and PEAK! Partner updates and talk about future ways to support PSD students. Everyone went home with Nothing Bundt Cakes because there are 'No ifs, ands, or bundts about how much we appreciate our PEAK! Partners!'
Learn more about the PEAK! Program.
Attendance Matters Prom Giveaway for High School Students
Llane's Boutique in downtown Pasco is giving away a prom dress and a tux rental gift certificate to students from Delta, Chiawana, and Pasco High Schools who have perfect attendance between April 10-21. All high school students can participate, and winners will be selected the last week of April.
For more information, contact Gracie Valle-Chimal or your school administrator.
Eduardo, a Chiawana High School senior, celebrates his passion for music every day. Eduardo has been playing instruments since fifth grade and dreams of playing Viola professionally for the symphony orchestra one day. Last spring, he was chosen to perform a solo at the Mid-Columbia Symphony Young Artists Competition, which features talented student musicians from across the region. Eduardo is a Running Start student at Columbia Basin College and plans to study music at college after graduation. Congratulations, Eduardo! We know you'll do great things.
Learn more about Visual and Performing Arts.
Chiawana and Delta High School Compete at the WIAA State Speech Tournament
In the first live state competition since 2019, 14 Chiawana High School students and two Delta High School students competed at the WIAA State Speech Tournament. The Washington State Forensics Association Erik Helppie Student of the Year Award and Scholarship were also presented to Chiawana senior Lorena Vegas. Lorena may be a familiar face since she was featured in the district's bond information videos. This is the third time in six state tournaments that the Big Silver Bowl will come live at Chiawana.
Chiawana is now preparing four students to compete at the National Speech and Debate Association (NSDA) tournament in June. They are Alecx Naungayan and Michael Wood in Dual Interpretation, Selah Gutierrez in Humorous Interpretation, and Lorena Vegas in Informative Speaking. Lorena will be honored at the tournament as a four-year qualifier. She is also the Inland Empire District student of the year and will be considered for the NSDA student of the year.
For more information, contact Vicki Hyde.
PHS Students Visit Health Science University
LatinX Medical Student Association (LMSA) mentees visited the Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences in March. Students had an enriching off-campus experience familiarizing themselves with a health science school they can attend after their bachelor's to get degrees in physical therapy, dental medicine, occupational therapy, or osteopathic medicine.
Learn more about the program.
For more information, contact Amandalyn Rubio.
Pasco Welding Club Placed 2nd in CBC Junkyard Wars Metal Art Contest
Pasco High School’s Welding Club participated in the CBC Junkyard Wars Metal Art Contest on March 17 where students were given a theme of "Corn" and had six hours to design and fabricate a 3x3 metal art project. Pasco High’s team placed second out of 15 schools. Judges were represented by several welding industry partners in the community. Projects from this event will be displayed at the Ranch and Home store in Kennewick, then auctioned off with proceeds benefiting the Washington Future Farmers of America (FFA) Foundation.
For more information, contact Jacob Munden.
Chiawana Students Create Biofuel from Food Processing Water with Help from PNNL
Students in Melanie Bachart’s Bioethics class got the full experience of producing carbon-neutral biogas from food waste that usually winds up in landfills. Biogas can be used in place of natural gas to power electrical generators or to provide heat for industrial processes. It can also power cars and trucks that run on compressed natural gas.
It was a tactile, memorable experience for the students. Their adjunct instructors for the project were Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) researchers representing PNNL's Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) program.
Learn more about this school project.
Chiawana STEM Students Place 2nd in High School Engineering Competition
Chiawana High School (CHS) Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) students participated in the High School Engineering Competition titled "Catch Me If You Can," which was held at Kamiakin High School in February. They competed against students from other local high schools and were challenged to design a prototype to solve the STEM problem. Students were scored based on their design's overall effectiveness and the time it took them to complete the prototype. They were also awarded points based on using fewer materials for the prototype construction.
The CHS STEM ninth grade team, composed of Bradley Caulfield, Audrina Conner, and Zoi Cleavenger, tied for second place at the event beating out over 40 other teams. Congratulations to these outstanding ninth grade STEM students!
Pasco Students Participate in Annual Quinceañera Expo
In March, Eagle Media Radio held its Annual Quinceañera Expo at Hermiston's Eastern Oregon Trade and Event Center. Out of 35 young ladies that began the journey of being the "Youth Ambassador of the Year," only seven made it to the finals, four of which were Pasco students.
Congratulations to the following students:
Evelin Navarro, "Miss Elegance", Chiawana High School
Valeria Zepeda, "Miss Congeniality", McLoughlin Middle School
Yatciry Espinoza, "Miss Personality", Chiawana High School
Jaqueline Navarro, “Miss Talent”, Ochoa Middle School
Pasco Students Release Salmon at Sacajawea Park
The Salmon Celebrations have begun, and Markham and Columbia River Elementary Schools went to Sacajawea Park to release salmon. Schools are scheduled to release Salmons between now through May 26.
Students participating in the program study the salmon, observe their life cycle, and participate in the Salmon Celebration at Sacajawea Park in March, April, or May, where they will release the grown salmon into the river and participate in learning stations.
For more information, contact Kim Van Eaton.
Congratulations to our North Star Winners
Superintendent Michelle Whitney presented our latest round of North Star winners with awards to acknowledge them for shining brightly in their profession and putting students first!
Congratulations to the following employees:
Zulay Larios, Kindergarten Teacher at Robinson Elementary
Candis Seaboldt, Audeena Smith, Haley Mackie, Cheyenne Webb, Charleen Maib, and Susana Valencia, Special Education Department at Ochoa Middle School
Aaron Bell and Edgar Rodriguez, Security Specialists at Ochoa Middle School
Miguel Taboada Honored at ESD 123 Crystal Apple Awards Ceremony
Our 2023 Crystal Apple Winner, Miguel Taboada Catalan, was celebrated at the Education Service District 123 with family, friends, colleagues, and Stevens Middle School students cheering him on.
Michelle Whitney, PSD's Superintendent, presented Miguel with his crystal apple and shared his journey as a student in Pasco schools. As a result, Miguel received $1,000, a beautiful crystal apple, and gifts donated by local businesses. He will also be submitted as a nominee for the Washington State Teacher of the Year program.
Classified Appreciation Week
Classified employees were celebrated during Education Support Professionals Week, which takes place March 13-17.
Our 1,185 classified employees play essential roles in many aspects of education. We could not do it without them. These critical employees include our district and school office professionals, custodians, paraeducators, print shop workers, interpreters, maintenance and grounds crew, bus drivers, health room staff, technology support, kitchen/food service staff, and more! We appreciate the work these employees do daily in support of learning. Their contributions help make strong schools and contribute to the well-being of our community.
Lakeview Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
The Lakeview Early Learning Center is open, and we are celebrating by hosting a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony in partnership with the Pasco Chamber of Commerce. Please join PSD staff, community members, students, volunteers, and more to commemorate the grand opening.
The Lakeview Early Learning Center is a partnership between the ESD 123 Early Learning Education Assistance Program (ECEAP) and Pasco School District, where children age three to five can experience an authentic learning environment in the Lakeview Community. Lakeview Early Learning Center serves three classrooms of up to 20 children each, focusing on a play-based academic environment.
When: April 13, 4:30 – 5 pm
Where: Lakeview Early Learning Center, 1751 S. Road 40, Pasco
For more information, contact Ana Munguia.
PSD Volunteer Appreciation Event
If you have volunteered your time to support Pasco students and schools, please join us during our PSD Volunteer Appreciation Event. We will recognize our volunteers for their dedication to Pasco schools and students.
When: April 20, 4:30-5:30 pm
Where: Chiawana High School Student Mall 8125 W. Argent Rd., Pasco
Light hors d'oeuvres and refreshments will be served.
Please RSVP by April 6 to Ana Munguia, 509-546-2686.
Join Us for International Culture Night
Pasco and Chiawana High Schools would like to invite you to their International Club Culture Night featuring Japanese Exchange students from Yamate Gakuin High School in Yokohama, Japan. These students will present different cultural presentations displaying different parts of Japanese culture, including dance, origami, candy, dresses, and more. The event is open to the public and is free.
When: April 20, 5:30 - 8 pm
Where: Pasco High School Student Mall and Gym, 1108 N 10th Ave., Pasco
For more information, contact Carol Kauer.
Barbara McClintock STEM Elementary Presents Annie the Play
Enjoy a musical performance by McClintock STEM Elementary students and meet an orphan named Annie whose hard-knock life takes a turn. Thank you to our sponsors for making this possible: Tri-Cities Family Law, Amerigroup, SuperMex, Pasco Kiwanis Club, Monarch Dental Health, Garcia Family, Dennis, and Kathy McCall.
When: April 20 and 21, 6:30 pm (Doors open at 6 pm)
Where: McClintock STEM Elementary, 5706 N Road 60., Pasco
For more information, contact Tara Childs.
Northwest Association for Blind Athletes Presents Paralympic Experience
The NW Association for Blind Athletes presents the Paralympic Experience to give youth in grades K-12 who are blind or visually impaired an opportunity to learn fundamentals in Goalball and tandem biking. Teachers of the Visually Impaired and other family members are also welcome. Parents or teachers are required to supervise students throughout the entire event.
When: April 21, 9 am -1:30 pm (check-in at 8:45 am)
Where: Stevens Middle School, 1120 N 22nd Ave., Pasco
To register, please contact Megan Ahleman at 360-768-5654. Registration is due by Friday, April 14. Lunch will be provided.
Meet with Superintendent Whitney
Pasco School District's Superintendent, Michelle Whitney, invites parents, community members, and employees to join her for an informal discussion about Pasco Schools over a light lunch.
Soup with the Sup
When: Friday, April 28, 12 – 1:30 pm
Where: Booth Building Board Room, 1215 W. Lewis St., Pasco
For more information, contact Jennie Richardson.
Hispanic Academic Achievers Program Students Recognized in April
The Hispanic Academic Achievers Program (HAAP) recognizes and celebrates Hispanic Heritage students by recognizing their academic success to students with a 3.0 GPA or above. The HAAP certificates will be awarded to students by their principal/teacher at their school before the end of the school year.
The HAAP Awards will be streamed live on Facebook for fourth through eighth grade students. In addition, HAAP high school students are invited to attend an in-person ceremony to receive certificates and scholarships.
When: April 28, 6 pm
Where: Three Rivers Convention Center, 7016 W Grandridge Blvd., Kennewick
Cinco de Mayo Celebration
In partnership with the City of Pasco, the Downtown Pasco Development Authority invites you to a Cinco de Mayo Weekend Celebration at Peanuts Park on the corner of 4th and Columbia.
Schedule of events:
Friday, May 5, 6-8 pm: Cultural Night
Saturday, May 6, 11 am: Parade
Saturday, May 6, 1-6 pm: Student entertainment
Sunday, May 7, 12-10 pm: Enjoy music from popular out-of-state bands.
No School - Spring Break
Public School Volunteer Week
Secondary Early Release