West Ada Update - September 16, 2021
West Ada School District (WASD)
2021-22 School Year Theme: Reflect on the past, embrace the present and build on the future.
- September 27 - School Board Meeting
- September 29 - World School Milk Day
- October is Computer Learning Month, Hispanic Heritage Month, National Bullying Prevention Month and National Principals Month
- October 3-9 - National Fire Prevention Week and Farm-to-School Week
- October 4 - NO SCHOOL: Collaboration (all grades, K-12 with the exception of Renaissance High School - this is a remote learning day for RHS)
- October 5 - World Teacher's Day
- October 6 - National Coaches Day
- October 10-16 - National School Lunch Week
- October 11 - Columbus Day / Indigenous Peoples Day
- October 11 - Regular School Board Meeting
- October 13 - PSAT/NMSQT for 10th grade students
- October 17-23 - National Bus Safety Week
- October 20 - Parent/Teacher Conferences (No School Kindergarten, Tuition K in session)
- October 21 - Parent/Teacher Conferences (No School Grades K-8)
- October 22 - NO SCHOOL: End of Quarter 1
- October 23-31 - Red Ribbon Week: "Drug Free Looks Like Me"
- October 25 - Regular School Board Meeting
- November 22-26 - NO SCHOOL: Thanksgiving Holiday Break
PLEASE NOTE: To meet our goal of all students achieving at high levels, the West Ada School District Service Center is closed from 8:00-9:00 AM every Wednesday for collaborative team meetings and the work of Professional Learning Communities (PLC). In these meetings, teams review data, establish goals, and monitor school/district improvement strategies.
West Ada Family, we have been in school now for four weeks. In just a short amount of time I have seen firsthand the dedication and love our administrators, counselors, teachers, librarians and staff show every single student and family. Additionally, the efforts and tireless work our custodians, school nutrition workers, district personnel, IT technicians dedicate to keeping our daily operations successful. I continue to be amazed by our school and district personnel as well as our families and the amount of work you all put in to West Ada. THANK YOU!
Last week, I had the opportunity to substitute teach at Owyhee High School, going back to my roots as a Math teacher. It was such a tremendous joy being back in the classroom with eager learners. Thank you for having me Principal Rice and Owyhee High School. In addition to being at Owyhee, I have had the opportunity to visit many of our wonderful school sites throughout the district, taking note of the instructional impact in classrooms, student engagement, integrated use of technology, as well as the generosity, heart and resilience of our family. I am so thankful to work in such a compassionate and prosperous community, it truly does take a village.
This past Wednesday, September 15, I had the honor of visiting with our new building principals (13 total) to honor their commit-mint, invest-mint, encourage-mint and involve-mint in West Ada and provide each one with a minty goodie bag. We are so proud to have these wonderful leaders as part of the West Ada Family (see images below).
- Andrus Elementary - Danielle Andrus
- Centennial High School - Jason Robarge
- Desert Sage Elementary - Natalie Kelly
- Discovery Elementary - Brittany Amos
- Lake Hazel Middle School - Larry Parks
- Lewis and Clark Middle School - Monty Hyde
- McMillan Elementary - Sara DiGrazia
- Meridian Middle School - Rachel Edwards
- Mountain View High School - Scot Montoya
- Owyhee High School - Cliff Rice
- Pepper Ridge Elementary - Alisa Tueller
- Prospect Elementary - Gwenda Venecia
- Star Elementary - Todd Adams
Moving forward, I thank you for your continued embodiment of this year's theme: reflecting on the past, embracing the present and building on the future. I will be on campuses at various high schools next week visiting with their Student Council programs and am looking forward to it.
From LEFT to RIGHT: Todd Adams, Natalie Kelly, Danielle Andrus, Larry Parks, Dr. Derek Bub, Brittany Amos, Sara Digrazia, Alisa Tueller, Gwenda Venecia
National Arts in Education Week
"We are highlighting arts education in Idaho in honor of National Arts in Education Week! Today's highlight is the Idaho Fine Arts Academy in the West Ada School District, where students are placed in one area of focus based on their audition in dance, instrumental music, vocal music, theatre or visual arts. Students work with professionals in their chosen artistic field. The photo below shows dance teacher Rachel Swenson with her students - Ms. Swenson teaches multiple classes of dance education! #BecauseOfArtsEd"
CAREER AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION (CTE) SPOTLIGHT: SPORTS MEDICINE
Sports Medicine Pathway in West Ada
The Sports Medicine program prepares students for a career in the health care profession of sports medicine services. Students will gain fundamental knowledge of the health care industry, medical careers, first aid and CPR, medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, pathophysiology, and basic medical skills. Students will develop skills and pass competencies used in most athletic training settings.
The content includes effective communication, practical experience with CPR, first aid, taping, wrapping, stretching and rehabilitation of injuries. Students will be expected to complete a minimum of 30 hours per semester of lab experience in addition to class time. The pathway concludes with Sports Medicine III, where students will demonstrate competencies in taping, wrapping, modality application, proper use of rehabilitation equipment and high school sports medicine facility management. Students will be expected to complete hours of lab experience in addition to class time where they will receive a student athletic trainer certificate at the conclusion of the class.
Pathway Course Sequence:
- Health Professions A & B
- Sports Medicine II A & B
- Sports Medicine III A & B
For more information CLICK HERE.
Centennial High School Sports Medicine Teacher: Eric Taylor
Eric graduated from Clarkston High School (Class of '85) and went on to receive his B.S. Ed. from the University of Idaho, his M.S. in Exercise and Sports Studies from Boise State University and holds a Health Professions Specialist certificate from the University of Idaho. Eric has been teaching at Centennial High School for 30 years and is as happy as ever working in rehabilitation services in the Career and Technical Education (CTE) department.
Mountain View High School Sports Medicine Teacher: Terisa Zimmerman
Owyhee High School Sports Medicine Teacher: Shayla Foster
Shayla got her Bachelor's of Science at Chapman University in Athletic Training and her Master's of Science at Utah State where she worked as an Athletic Trainer for gymnastics and football. Shayla is also a manager for Justin Sports Medicine and covers professional rodeo as an Athletic Trainer across the western states.
Shayla loves the profession of Athletic Training and how Sports Medicine brings together a variety of healthcare professionals to help athletes get back to the sport they love.
Rocky Mountain High School Sports Medicine Teacher: Monica Martin
Monica Kraack-Martin of Rocky Mountain High School is the Head Athletic Trainer and Sports Medicine teacher. Monica is a proud member of the CTE Sports Medicine Program at Rocky who contributes eleven years of teaching experience in the sports medicine field and twelve years of athletic training experience to the success of her students. Monica enjoys the rigor and fast pace of the sports medicine program on and off the courts and fields of our athletics programs.
National Merit Semifinalists in West Ada
High School students who meet published program entry and participation requirements enter the National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®) at the specified time in the high school program, usually as juniors. Each year's PSAT/NMSQT is the qualifying test designated for entry to a particular year's competition. For example, the 2020 PSAT/NMSQT is the qualifying test for entry to the competition for scholarships to be awarded in 2022.
- For more information on the PSAT/NMSQT in West Ada review the information in the next text box.
- For more information on the National Merit Scholarship Program, CLICK HERE.
Congratulations to the following students at West Ada High Schools who have been recognized by the National Merit Scholarship Foundation as semifinalists in this year's scholarship competition:
CENTENNIAL HIGH SCHOOL:
- Rachel Hunter
- Blake Nelson
- Stella Reith
EAGLE HIGH SCHOOL:
- Halley Hoellwarth
- Madison Jiang
- Grace Lei
OWYHEE HIGH SCHOOL:
- Nathan Weed
RENAISSANCE HIGH SCHOOL:
- Jason Atwood
- Skye Bowman
- Michael Compton
- Hyrum Detton
- Daniel Franks
- Mia Gawith
- Amanda Senst
ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGH SCHOOL:
- Logan Johnston
National Merit finalists are generally announced in February with winners announced in March. Best of luck West Ada students!
PSAT / NMSQT (Preliminary SAT / National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test)
The PSAT (Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test) measures a student’s ability to do college work. The PSAT is a short form of the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) and measures math reasoning and reading and writing skills and includes multiple choice and fill-in response questions.
All sophomore students in West Ada take the PSAT. It is recommended that students take the PSAT as a junior as well. For students who are enrolled in honors courses, it is recommended to take the PSAT as a junior because it is the qualifying test for scholarship competition such as the National Merit Scholarship (NMSQT).
The PSAT is NOT used for college admissions. ALL West Ada School District sophomores (10th grade) will take the PSAT, during school hours, for FREE, on OCTOBER 13. Juniors interested in taking the PSAT / NMSQT for National Merit scholarship purposes should contact their School Counselor to sign up and pay assessment fees with their school bookkeeper. More information can also be found about PSAT on the College Board website page at www.collegeboard.org.
To link your PSAT score to Khan academy for SAT prep follow these steps:
- Go to satpractice.org. Create an account on Khan Academy or sign in to your existing account.
- When prompted, agree to link your Khan Academy and College Board accounts.
- Send your scores.
Congratulations Courtney Collette!
In addition to her chalk art, Courtney also entered pieces of work in the most recent Western Idaho State Fair. Courtney was awarded the prize for Best of Show for the entire youth department, Best of Show in the ages 13-14 category, and first place for charcoal portraits. (see image below)
Courtney credits her teacher Mrs. Valenzuela for being an amazing mentor!
Love and Logic Parenting Class
West Ada will host a six-week session of Love & Logic at Frontier Elementary for any West Ada School District parents/guardians who are interested.
Love & Logic is a parenting approach that provides parents with an opportunity to gain practical and proven tools for raising respectful and responsible kids. Classes will begin Monday October 11th from 6-8 pm in the Frontier gymnasium and will be held weekly. The last class will wrap up on Monday November 15th. The cost of the class is $15 per person/couple (to cover the cost of the workbook). The class will be limited to 20 people/couples in order to maintain proper social distancing. Given that this class is on school property, masks will be required.
Please email Buffington.email@example.com in order to reserve your spot!
- Location: Frontier Elementary – 11851 Musket Dr., Boise, ID 83713
- Time: 6:00-8:00 p.m.
- Class Dates: Mondays—October 11, 18, 25 and November 1, 8, & 15
- Facilitator: Sara Jo Buffington, School Counselor
- Class Fee: $15 per person/couple (Fee covers the cost of the class workbook)
- Register by contacting Sara Jo Buffington at Frontier Elementary School
- Registration Deadline: October 1, 2021 – or until full
EL Family Night at Centennial High School
Idaho Science & Aerospace Scholars
Calling Idaho high school juniors! Apply now for our Idaho Science and Aerospace Scholars (ISAS) program, a STEM course provided at no cost to the student! Apply by November 1, 2021: https://www.sde.idaho.gov/academic/isas/
ISAS is a competitive program that allows high school juniors to take an engaging online NASA-developed course on Space Exploration through the Idaho Digital Learning Alliance that teaches a broad range of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) skills! This graded course consists of eight online units and a semester project allowing students to build their knowledge of space exploration and its relationship to Idaho STEM. Master educators will work with students online throughout the course. At the completion of the course, students will have the opportunity to participate in a regional gathering Capstone Celebration at the University of Idaho, Idaho National Laboratory, at Idaho State University, and with the Idaho National Guard at Gowen Field. Based on their performance in this course, students will be invited to participate in a week-long summer academy at Boise State University and NASA Ames Research Center in California. Students will receive one high school science elective credit for successful completion of the online curriculum or may register for (2) concurrent credits for a fee through Boise State University. In the event that in person activities are not advisable due to safety or health concerns, alternative virtual events will be available.
For more information or to apply, CLICK HERE.
Virtual School House (VSH) Transfer Options:
Virtual School House (VSH) was created to assist families for many reasons, COVID-19 and otherwise. Families that are requesting a transfer to Virtual School House should complete the In-District Transfer form, submitting their completed form to their current school.
NOTE: If students and families elect transfer to VSH, after school has begun, students will NOT be allowed to transfer back to a brick-and-mortar school until semester, at the earliest.
VSH is running on a quarter system:
- Quarter 1: August 26-October 22
- Quarter 2: October 25 - January 14
- Quarter 3: January 18-March 18
- Quarter 4: March 28-June 3
Enrollment Deadlines for student to be enrolled in VSH “Live” Courses:
- Quarter 2: Friday, October 29th
- Quarter 3: Tuesday, January 29th
- Quarter 4: Friday, April 1st
In-District Transfer Application Forms (IDTAs) must be signed by the home school on or before the deadline date for each quarter. VSH does not need to have them by the deadline but should receive shortly thereafter.
Enrollment After Deadlines:
VSH will accept elementary, middle and high school students after the deadlines listed above on a case-by-case basis. Please contact a VSH Counselor to discuss available options as you are making a decision.
Please note: In-District Transfer Application Forms must still be submitted for enrollment consideration.
West Ada Community Schools
By transforming schools into neighborhood centers, West Ada strives to bring together organizations that offer a range of supports and opportunities for children, youth, families and communities.
West Ada's three Community Schools are connected to Title I elementary schools. Title I schools are determined based on the number of students who are eligible for free or reduced lunch and receive additional Federal funding. West Ada has eight Title I elementary schools. Community Schools work to provide resources and opportunities where they are most needed throughout West Ada School District.
Students and families can connect with Community Schools via their school's Administrator, School Counselor or Social Worker.
- Pantry contains household necessities including: clothing, shoes, school supplies, household items and hygiene products
- Parent education on topics such as Love & Logic, nutrition, and discipline.
- Early Childhood Education courses
- Before and after school programming and support
- Computer and internet access
- Help for families in creating solutions for problems involving housing, employment, food, transportation, etc.
- Strong relationships with families for the benefit of students
Idaho Statesman Athletes of the Week
- FOOTBALL: Art Williams, Rocky Mountain: Ran for three touchdowns and finished with 129 total yards on 18 offensive touches in the Grizzlies’ 48-28 win at Eagle.
- CROSS COUNTRY: Brighton Heywood, Rocky Mountain: Took fourth place in the girls race at Tiger-Grizz at 20:28, leading the Grizzlies to the girls team trophy as well.
Way to represent West Ada! For more information and to read the full article by Michael Lycklama, CLICK HERE.
About the Class:
The classroom portion of Drivers Education will take place ONLINE. The class will be synchronous (all students will be online at the same time during class time).
Students must be available for class on Mondays and Wednesdays between 3:30 to 5:30 pm. Attendance and participation are mandatory to complete the class.
Driving will be scheduled at the following high schools: Centennial, Eagle, Meridian, Mountain View, and Rocky Mountain High Schools. There will be no driving portion of the program available at Owyhee High School. West Ada is working to add an onsite program at Owyhee High School in the future. Students may register for another site and would need to be able to meet at another high school location for the driving portion of the program.
The course is approximately 8 weeks and is typically held after school three days a week. (2 days of class and 1 day of driving). There will be no scheduled online classes over school breaks. However, students may be asked if they are available to drive during these breaks.
The West Ada School District Driver Education program is taught by certified instructors, utilizes a state-approved curriculum, uses inspected and safety-equipped vehicles, and provides insurance coverage while students are in the program.
- Students must be at least 14½ in order to register for the Driver Ed. program.
- Students apply for enrollment and will be selected based on the age of the applicant, meeting the registration deadlines, and the availability of instructors.
- If selected, the student will receive a “Confirmation of Enrollment” email, after the registration deadline, (see below) indicating placement into the class. (Parent Email address must be provided in the online registration form.)
For more information CLICK HERE.
What is a Letter of Compliance / Verification of Compliance (VOC)?
This is a certified letter that is required by the Department of Motor Vehicles. A Verification of Compliance can be obtained from the student's home school. The letter states that the student is enrolled in school. The Verification of Compliance process typically takes 1-3 school days to be completed. It is valid for only ninety (90) days from date of signing. District Policy does not allow the letter to be faxed.
Fast Forward Funds
The Fast Forward program provides every student attending an Idaho public school an allocation of $4,125.00 to use towards Advanced Opportunities in grades 7-12. The program was expanded by the Legislature in 2016 through the passing of Senate Bill 1292. These funds can be used for dual credits, overload courses and exams such as Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate. For details and more information on Fast Forward speak to your student's Middle School Counselor or High School College and Career Counselor or CLICK HERE. The deadline for submissions is October 1, however most schools appreciate submissions no later than September 24 to ensure accuracy and timeliness for both students and families.
There has been a change in implementation using Fast Forward funding for flagged accounts. Please read below.
IMPORTANT: Please note that failure to pass a course you use Fast Forward funds for will result in a hold of future Fast Forward funds for ALL courses!
- To access additional future funds, students will be required to pay for the next course AND earn credit for that course (pass it) before ANY funds for courses can be accessed.
- Your funds will remain frozen for ALL courses until both steps are completed! If you currently have a flag for an unsuccessful course that the state has paid for, the same is true in that you must pay for the next course AND earn credit for that course (pass it) before ANY funds for courses can be accessed.
- Failure to meet the AP exam requirements will cause an exam flag and will also freeze Fast Forward funds for all exams until the next one is paid for.
As we look at Air Quality in our local community, West Ada School District uses the Meridian St. Luke's rating for air quality decisions. St. Luke's Meridian is centrally located in our district and provides a local AQI (Air Quality Index) that assists the district in determining the level of pollution and health risk in the air.
The websites listed below may be used to monitor air quality. When the community is in or near the RED (unhealthy), outdoor activities such as sports, athletic practices, marching band and recess will be canceled. Most often, during periods of poor air quality in RED, families will get an email notifying them of athletic and activity cancelations due to poor air quality.
Idaho Department of Environment Quality - Real-Time Air Monitoring:
Optional Device Protection Plan
West Ada School District offers optional device protection to families to cover the accidental breakage or damage that might occur to a child’s iPad or laptop. This voluntary protection plan is available for $25 per device and covers repairs or replacement due to accidental damage from drops, spills, vandalism, loss, theft, and incidental damage to another student’s device. Device protection does not cover intentional damage to a device, or damaged or lost accessories such as district provided cases, chargers, pens, or hotspots. Please see the Parent Student Device Handbook or Optional Device Protection Plan in the Student Handbooks for detailed information on the District’s Optional Device Protection Plan.
The optional device protection plan enrollment period is August 16-October 31. Families may sign up and pay for optional device protection through the Payment Portal located in PowerSchool. Please refer to the image below for instructions on accessing the optional device protection form in PowerSchool.
Families are responsible for the repair or replacement of devices which are damaged, lost, or stolen outside acceptable use guidelines published in student handbooks. Device protection is a voluntary, non-refundable, yearly cost for each device. Families may be able to add devices to their homeowner’s or renters’ insurance plan and may consider these alternatives prior to purchasing optional device protection.
Mitigating Measures in the Classroom
- Teachers and students must sanitize their hands upon entering the classroom. Building custodians will check wall mounted hand sanitizer dispensers daily to check levels and replace cartridges. Teachers are responsible for requesting individual bottles of hand sanitizer from administration.
- Student desks should be distanced as much as possible, at least three (3) to six (6) feet apart is ideal.
- Remind students of the need to maintain distancing and that students should only get up to move around the classroom with teacher permission and supervision that ensures adequate physical distancing as much as possible, three (3) to six (6) feet is preferable.
- Remind students NOT TO SHARE laptops or computer keyboards, drinks, food, snacks, gum, writing utensils, tissues, face masks, make-up, chap stick, eating utensils, musical instruments, or personal items.
- Student desks, chairs, keyboards, or other items frequently touched at the student’s desk should be cleaned between use by different students.
- In those school buildings in which the building maintenance staff indicates that it is not possible to perform at least four air exchanges per hour, consider opening your classroom door and the classroom windows if weather allows and the open door and windows do not create excessive noise in the classroom. You can learn more on this page Modifying Facilities.