Staff Kudos October 2017
Recognitions & Accomplishments of staff doing great things
Jon Samuelson hosts Coding + STEAM webinar
In this edWebinar, Jon describes how he is actively combining coding with STEAM learning objectives, gives tips and tricks on integrating coding and STEAM plus lots of ideas to try in a classroom, makerspace, or school.
You can watch the webinar recording by clicking the link below.
Stoller 8th grader named finalist in Broadcom MASTERS science competition
Mithra Karamchedu, 8th grader at Stoller Middle School has been named one of 30 finalists in the 2017 Broadcom MASTERS science competition for his project: Remote Sensing the Ablation or Accumulation of a Glacier By Using Fractal Analysis on Glacier Images.
Broadcom MASTERS (Math, Applied Science, Technology and Engineering Rising Stars), is the premier science and engineering competition for middle school students.
Mithra's Project Background: Mithra is fascinated by fractals. Fractals are “self-repeating patterns and structures that exist basically everywhere,” he explains. A measure called the fractal dimension indicates how complicated a fractal is. That measure is based on the roughness of a fractal’s shape. Mithra is also concerned about climate change and its impacts. He had learned that the melting of a glacier signals its declining “health.” And that can be a sign of climate change. Basically, the worse climate change gets, the more some glaciers will melt. “It occurred to me that I could use fractal dimensions to determine the health of a glacier,” Mithra says.
Tactics and Results: “The more a glacier melts, the more its edges become fractured, which in turn must affect its fractal dimension,” Mithra reasoned. He accessed online satellite images and information for various glaciers. He also recorded the surface mass balance for the glaciers, where those figures were available. He used all that data to see whether particular glaciers were melting or growing. Then Mithra used fractal math with the data. Using an online tool called Fractop, Mithra calculated the fractal dimensions for more than 40 glaciers. He also calculated ratios to compare the fractal dimensions of various whole glaciers with their edges. Then Mithra analyzed all the data and noticed some correlations. “There is a consistent pattern to how glaciers grow and melt,” Mithra says. Scientists could use that pattern to monitor glaciers’ growth or shrinkage, he concludes. Overall, Mithra thinks his method would be easier than some complex mathematical models that scientists currently use.
Other Interests: Mithra enjoys drawing, and he especially likes to create cartoons. He also plays the mridangam. That’s a double-barreled Indian drum. In addition to various school activities, he plays tennis and has a black belt in Taekwondo. Mithra hopes to become a computer engineer. “I am somewhat obsessed with computers and computer programming,” he says.
Winners will be named on October 24, 2017, in Washington, D.C., after the finalists compete in a rigorous competition that will test their abilities in STEM, critical thinking, communication, creativity, and collaboration.
Nike Active Schools Innovation Exchange
Raleigh Park Elementary School welcomed P.E. teachers from China as part of the Active Schools Innovation Exchange hosted by Nike. With coordination by Teacher on Special Assignment Cheryl Wardel, teachers from both countries were able to share ideas and participate in a "brain boost." A visiting teacher also taught a P.E. lesson to 4th grade students.
Thank you, Intel!
Thank you, Intel volunteers for giving 13,100 hours during 2016-2017 to Beaverton Schools! The Matching Grant totals $131,000 to Beaverton schools.
Staff Spotlight: Beaverton School District Family Resource Coordinators
Spread across ten of Beaverton School District’s Title I schools, two humble and passionate women seek out and help families with children ages 0-6 years old who may be in need of basic needs, parenting, and early learning resources.
Karol Aragon and Elena Piñeda are the Beaverton School District’s Family Resource Coordinators. Karol works at Aloha-Huber Park K-8, Barnes, Beaver Acres, Kinnaman and McKinley elementary schools, and Elena at Chehalem, Greenway, McKay, Vose and William Walker elementary schools. They spend approximately six to eight weeks at each school, but support all of them continuously.
Referrals to the program are made by school counselors, school secretaries, or through word of mouth. Karol and Elena help families access resources for basic needs, like health and social resources for food, clothing, hygiene products, and dental, physical and mental health services. They also refer families to parenting resources such as parenting classes and workshops offered in District schools. Most importantly, they refer families to early learning resources such as quality child care information, early literacy and school readiness opportunities including Head Start programs and story times in District schools.
“I have done so many referrals to the Head Start program, and now many of those kids are already in the system, I feel like my work is going to lead directly to future success in school,” says Elena.
Karol and Elena support many families in navigating the unfamiliar school system, especially with technology. Many of the families they support do not already have kids in school and are unfamiliar with how the school system works. “Oftentimes these parents have concerns and questions about how to prepare their kids for kindergarten. They can call us and we can walk them through the processes. They are not used to the system, so we are there to help them, answer their questions and just be there for them and make them feel comfortable with the school system,” explains Karol. “I am really happy in this position, because it is really opening the door for families to start thinking about how to help their kids prepare for kindergarten when they are babies. They are willing to learn, they just don’t know how or where to even begin.”
The Beaverton School District Family Resource Coordinators are supported by a grant through the Washington County Early Learning Hub, and they support more than 200 families each quarter.
Fir Grove community comes together for a walk
Fir Grove Elementary School hosted its first annual Community Walks this fall. The goal was to help families start a healthy habit, spend quality family time together, and build a sense of community.
Families met by the school gymnasium each night at 6:00 p.m. September 25 – 28. There were three different routes to choose from each night; a 1.5 mile route, 1 mile route, and around the school block. Each route was made by volunteers carrying different colored balloons throughout the routes.
A total of 588 people participated throughout the four nights. Free blood pressure checks were offered by AFC Urgent Care, a local neighbor and community partner.
Each walker received a raffle ticket and winners were able to select from several different prizes including basketballs, footballs, soccer balls, jump ropes, and gym memberships from Anytime Fitness. Special guests Officer Frye from the Beaverton Police Department, Ryan Kramer from Anytime Fitness, TVF&R Firefighters, and the school mascot Furry Grover handed out the prizes.
Lynn Mutrie, Safe Routes to School Coordinator, gave participants walking safety tips the first night. Each night there was a special challenge for the children. As they went on their walk, they were asked to look for a specific item and count how many they could find, i.e. red doors, animals, etc.
It was a great community event that offered free, healthy fun for all.
Early Release/Teacher Collaboration at Mountainside High School
In today's digital age, we are bombarded with information. Anything you want to know is at your fingertips, just a Google search away. Sifting through that information to determine what sources are reliable, as well as recognizing obvious or underlying bias, is a daunting task for any adult. Now imagine trying to teach a student to make those distinctions while doing online research.
During Week 4 of Early Release/Teacher Collaboration, Mountainside High School Library and Information Technology Teacher Rosa Rothenberger, is sharing an extensive list of digital resources with the social studies team. The resources, which teachers will use in their current events unit, will help students further develop their critical thinking skills. "Without Rosa's help and expertise, the Individuals and Societies teachers at Mountainside would not have had the time or the knowledge to provide our students with so many great ways to learn about and critically analyze the news," says Mountainside MYP Coordinator Jeremiah Hubbard.
Rosa also shares multimedia and digital storytelling resources students may use for classroom presentations. The teachers discuss how students might be able to use the tools in their classes for critical thinking and communication learning targets.
Says Hubbard, "The Early Release time has been invaluable so far. Having time to work with your colleagues makes all of us better. I think of it as like a Greatest Hits album. Each teacher does some things well, has some great lessons, but also some weaknesses and blind spots. When we get the time to work together and discuss our practice, the result is the Greatest Hits of teaching - all the best stuff is recognized and adopted, and the weaknesses are addressed. We've known this for a long time, but finding the time has always been the challenge. I think students and community members will see the difference that structured professional collaboration makes in real and tangible ways."
Walk + Bike to School Day at Bethany and Greenway elementary schools
Westview HS STEM 4 Girls team wins 2016 -17 eCYBERMISSION Competition
Nandhana Nixon, Ragini Dindukurthi, Namitha Nixon from STEM 4 Girls worked with Team Advisor Nixon Xavier to minimize Phantom Limb Sensation/Pain for amputees using cost-effective virtual reality technology. They created a prototype using virtual reality with an armband and gesture control to create a cost-effective therapy that would be easily accessible to all amputees.
The web-based science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) program—sponsored by the U.S. Army and administered by the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA)—is designed to cultivate student interest in STEM by encouraging students in grades six through nine to develop solutions to real-world problems in their local communities.
Congratulations, The Three Musketeers!
(Photo courtesy eCYBERMISSION)
View their winning presentation here...
BSD teachers named 2017-2018 Civic Scholars
Jennifer Mohr-Colett, Music teacher at Fir Grove Elementary School was named a 2017-2018 Civic Scholar by Representative Sheri Malstrom, House District 27.
Every state legislator is naming teachers to be Civic Scholars. This program is part of a statewide initiative to enhance high-quality professional development in civic education for teachers. With the recognition of Civic Scholar, teachers receive:
- Free registration for the Civics Conference for Teachers at the State Capitol, December 1, 2017. The conference will feature workshop presenters from each branch of Oregon government as well as strategies from master teachers.
- Special recognition at the conference
- Follow-up classroom assistance.
Congratulations, Annette and Jennifer!
Early Release in Action: West T.V. Elementary School
The entire staff of West Tualatin View (West T.V.) Elementary School, from the principal to the front office secretaries, gathered around tables in the school's cafeteria to learn and collaborate on International Mindedness on Wednesday, October 4.
The school has been working to become a Primary Years Program (PYP) school for several years, and on September 29, 2017, applied to become authorized. With applying for authorization comes the requirement for all of the school's staff to be trained in the International Baccalaureate (IB) standards and practices. This year's administratively directed Early Release/Teacher Collaboration will be focused on just that.
"The advantage of having Early Release/Teacher Collaboration on Wednesdays is that I don't have to give up my staff meeting time. We can use staff meeting time for other important learning and professional development staff should have this school year, like readers workshop, math workshop, restorative practices, PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports), etc.," says principal Kalay McNamee. "Having the time to focus directly on our IB requirements is invaluable."
The lesson focused on International Mindedness, one of the IB learner profiles. The staff discussed the meaning of their names, how to act locally and think globally and how to incorporate these important lessons in their classrooms and their daily work.
Five Westview HS 2017 grads awarded OSU Presidential Scholarships
The graduates include: Rima Pandit, Jennie Wang, Sneaha Malineni, Jason Tai and Arhtur York. Of the five, Jason Tai and Arthur York enrolled at Oregon State University.
As Oregon State University’s most prestigious award, the Presidential Scholarship is designed to reward academic excellence and inspire those selected to continue to be a positive force in the world. The scholarship is highly competitive with Presidential Scholars in line to pursue elite awards such as the Goldwater, Fulbright and Truman Scholarships upon graduation from Oregon State. In total, the Presidential Scholarship provides $40,000 over the student’s undergraduate career ($10,000 renewable for four years).
To be considered for the Presidential Scholarship Competition, students must have a minimum 3.85 un-weighted GPA, and a minimum score of 1360 SAT (new test format) or 1900 SAT (old test w/ essay) or 29 ACT. In addition, applicants are evaluated on their scholarship application and Insight Resume response, specifically in the following areas:
- An understanding of you as a unique, contributing individual
- Your accomplishments, perspectives, experiences, and talents
- Your achievements within the context of your social and personal circumstances
- Participation in activities that develop academic, intellectual, and leadership abilities
HS2 teachers named Outstanding High School Classroom Teachers
The OSTA Outstanding High School Classroom Teacher Award is to recognize and honor outstanding work motivating student achievement and excitement in science.
As stated in their nominations:
"Carlie has a radiant positive attitude and a sense of optimism that inspires not only her students, but also her peers as well. She is a Master Teacher through Project Lead The Way, a nationally recognized STEM organization. She has transformed our Health Science CTE program at Health & Science HS, creating a nationally recognized program. Carlie also serves as the HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America) advisor at HS2, developing a program that has been recognized as a model school in Oregon. She is a dynamic Anatomy & Physiology instructor, teaching several students who were later recognized as Ford Scholars and Gates Millennium Scholars."
"Doug has spent the nearly 40 years as a dynamic Science teacher. He is a master of student engagement, finding ways to hook nearly every student with high energy inquiry-based learning. He exhibits an energy and enthusiasm rarely seen as an educator, and he willingly shares his expertise to others in our Science Department, finding ways to simplify lab activities and obtain better results. Even though he is late in his teaching career, it is amazing to see how Doug integrates technology into his instruction. He also creates an amazing rapport with all students, helping them perform at their best."
Congratulations, Carlie and Doug!
Beaverton and Sunset high school students participate in Japanese exchange
On October 5, 2017, 13 adults and 12 middle school students from Gotemba City had a weekend trip to Beaverton to celebrate the '30th Anniversary of the Beaverton/Gotemba sister-city friendship'. The middle school students enjoyed four-day-long home stay at the families of students who are in Japanese Programs at Beaverton and Sunset high schools.
Beaverton HELP Center & Assistance League support Head Start students
Each bag contains a warm winter coat, a shirt, pants, underwear, socks and a shoe card for $22. Audra Scott in the Teaching & Learning Department (T&L) coordinates Operation School Bell (OSB) with the help of all K-12 counselors to provide BSD students living in great financial need with new clothing with the donations from Assistance League.
The OSB 2017-18 season for students in grades K-5 starts the first Saturday in October and the middle school high school program will begin in January 2018. When the season is over Assistance League will have clothed nearly 2,000 BSD students!
Southridge HS Miles for Matale 5K supports school in Matale, Uganda
September 23, 2017. The Miles for Matale 5K raised money to purchase technology
for Southridge’s sister school St. Andrew’s in Matale, Uganda. Southridge IB Diploma
candidates partnered with the Harambee Center for a morning of fun, fitness, and learning.
In addition to a kids’ run and the 5K run/walk, the Harambee Center hosted games for kids and other educational activities including an African drumming/dancing demonstration, African food, and an African Marketplace. All of the proceeds will be donated to St. Andrew School to purchase several computers to augment the four currently owned by the school. Students raised more than $3,000!
WE Embrace Equity: Padres Unidos at Mountain View Middle School
At Mountain View Middle School, the demographics of the parents involved and engaged in the school is now more closely aligned to the demographics of the students attending the school thanks to the newly formed parent group Padres Unidos.
Last school year, principal Matt Pedersen asked Community Liaison Nora Acosta to invite a small group of Spanish-speaking families she thought might be interested in a leadership role at the school to meet with him. The goal of the meeting was to have a conversation about their needs and concerns and how to get more Spanish-speaking families involved in decision-making that will make Mountain View Middle School better. "My personal mission is that we are a community school and I want Mountain View to be seen as a school for parents as well as students," says Pedersen.
It all started with four. Four parents attended the first meeting and quickly became engaged and connected to Mountain View. They were given T-shirts with the staff motto and welcomed as important members of the school community. They attended school events and recruited more Spanish-speaking parents to the group. As a culminating event, they hosted a Fiesta Latina that featured cultural music, dance, and food.
The group, now 66 members strong, meets once a month to discuss school processes and communications, and to plan educational opportunities that can help parents and students be successful in school. "I'm excited about offering something to the Spanish-speaking community whether it is monthly Padres Unidos meetings, or we have a successful community event that they plan and we nail it because we are talking to the right people about what to offer. To me that would be a tremendous success," exclaims Pedersen.
When asked what Padres Unidos means to him, father of a 7th grader, Hugo Fernandez says, "Since I began attending these meetings, I have felt more confidence and security, which I had not previously experienced in any school. For example, I can come and have the confidence to say hello and talk to the principal without any fear, as I had before. I feel happy about this change that I thought would never happen, for being Latino and not feeling part of the community. I thank Matt Pedersen, the principal, for giving me the opportunity to feel like family here at Mt. View Middle School."
The goals the group developed for the 2017-2018 school year are lofty, but they feel confident that their needs and concerns are being met and that they have a voice in the education of their children. "I want the Mountain View community to know that if ANY parent wants to ask a question, or check up on their student, that our doors are open," exclaims Pedersen.
WE Expect Excellence: Successful opening of three District schools
Sato Elementary, Vose Elementary and Mountainside High School all welcomed students and staff on the morning of Tuesday, September 5, 2017 thanks to the herculean efforts of Facilities, Maintenance and Custodial staff who completed final cleaning, unpacked and built furniture, and set up libraries, computer labs, offices and classrooms.
Volunteers from throughout the District also worked countless hours to ensure all three buildings were school-ready on Tuesday.
"This was an amazing example of the collaboration that will drive us to excellence as we continue implementing our community's $680 million Bond Program. We opened three brand new schools, two of which were built in a year, and moved or established four whole school communities; a feat never before attempted here at BSD. With teammates like this, we will succeed. Thank you all," says Sheri Stanley, Administrator for Facilities Development.
Thank you all, for your commitment to excellence!
7th grade AVID scholars at Whitford MS take over the "Coachman Corner"
Students in the 7th grade AVID elective class manage the store, run schedules on Google Calendar, monitor transactions and ordering supplies. "It's a great leadership opportunity that the students are owning," exclaims Justin Bolton, 7th grade Math and AVID teacher.
Instead of just selling candies and other non-essential items, students can now purchase AVID binder materials, high school t-shirts, college swag and other essential school materials. Students earn "Cool Coaches" by exhibiting positive behaviors to purchase items from the Coachman Corner.