West Ada Update - September 23, 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.
This past week I had the pleasure of visiting with the Student Council advisors and students at Meridian High School, Owyhee High School, Mountain View High School and Renaissance High School. Thank you all for having me on your campuses, it was a pleasure to meet all of you and learn about the wonderful things you have going on. Homecoming is coming up at the high school level and it is so fun to see the various spirit activities Student Council has planned and the excitement surrounding upcoming dances. (see image gallery below)
On Friday, I will be at Rocky Mountain High School and Centennial High School visiting with their Student Council programs and I am looking forward to it. I am working on getting to each high school to visit with their programs. I am so proud of the student expression, volunteerism and collaboration we have going on in Student Council and in programs throughout West Ada; fostering leadership and encouraging teamwork.
I was honored to visit Crossroads Middle School today with Idaho's Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra to recognize and celebrate our very own Todd Knight as the 2022 Idaho Teacher of the Year. Todd is extremely passionate about teaching, whether it is engineering, science, or anything else for that matter! Todd loves the classroom and feeds off of the energy in the air when he is in "the zone." Todd's goal with his students is to get them to discover their energy and capture it for their own use. Todd prides himself on being a lifelong learner and wants students to learn, not because of the grade their might be getting in class, but for the sake of learning. We are so proud of you and this major accomplishment Mr. Knight - CONGRATULATIONS! (scroll down for more information on Todd Knight, Crossroads Middle School)
I would like to extend a HUGE SHOUT OUT to our West Ada School District Instructional Technology department and School Community Liaisons. This past Tuesday, September 21, was National IT Professionals Day. We are beyond thankful for all that our IT department does to support our students, families, staff and buildings throughout West Ada. Thank you for your hard work, effort and contributions to the continued success and development of West Ada. This past week was Coordinators Appreciation Week. My deepest appreciation to the Community Coordinators/School Community Liaisons throughout West Ada School District that work tirelessly to support our schools. Your grace, joy, determination and vision is beyond appreciated. We greatly appreciate all the Community Schools Liaisons: Kamille Peck (McMillan Community School), Eva Urquia (Peregrine Community School), and Sarah Henthorn (Desert Sage Community School), do for our schools, students, families, and community. THANK YOU!
West Ada High School Student Council Visits
Owyhee High School Student Council
Principal Pride: Katie Rutan, Frontier Elementary School
This week our PRINCIPAL PRIDE spotlight is on Katie Rutan, Frontier Elementary School.
- Number of Years in West Ada: 17
- Number of Year at Frontier: 4
- What I like about West Ada: I'm West Ada, born and raised. I love the innovation of this district. We have a strong desire to keep growing and learning for students.
- The best thing about being a Principal is...I have the best school and community. Our students, staff, and parents are like family and we care about one another. Frontier is such a positive place to work. Our students are diverse and bring so much culture and life to the building.
- Family: I am a mother to an amazing three year old daughter named Georgia.
- Favorite Food: Chips and salsa
- Favorite TV show: The Great British Baking Show
- Hobbies: Baking, Gardening and Canning
- Fun Fact: I work in the same building that my Dad was principal at in 1986. Frontier is home.
We are so lucky to have such exceptional leaders in West Ada. Thank you for your continued leadership, dedication, service and compassion to those you serve!
TikTok "Devious Licks" Challenge
It's the latest trend to go viral on Tiktok, called "devious licks": Middle school, high school and college students vandalize school property, most commonly bathrooms, and post their results on the social media app. This is done partly in hopes of increasing followers, views, or likes for the video. This trend has been seen throughout West Ada and across the nation in schools and colleges alike. Each of these incidents is costly and creates hours of extra work for staff members and building custodians. TikTok has been quick to shut down the trend, with the company removing many of the videos from its platform. We ask for the support of our West Ada School District parents and community as well.
We are asking for your help!
- Please have a conversation with your student(s).
- Please encourage them to help us in any effort to eliminate these actions. We know most of our West Ada students have nothing to do with these acts, but if students can even avoid viewing any videos posted to social media, this may help decrease the motivation to post videos of these actions.
- Encourage students to alert building administrators or our security staff with any information related to these acts of vandalism or theft.
- Students or parents can email any administrator or staff member with information regarding this situation.
- Parents, if you find anything at home that you recognize as having come from a school campus, please let us know. We are missing classroom signs and various fixtures, for example.
Your support is invaluable, and we thank you in advance for your continued partnership and efforts to keep our schools safe, functional, and beautiful.
IMPORTANT CHILD NUTRITION UPDATE
Food shortages are nationwide, and our district is also experiencing unavailable items or last-minute replacements. Menus are subject to change. Online menus are available and we will do our best to update with any changes. We appreciate your patience and understanding. We look forward to serving students free breakfast and lunch in our school buildings during the 2021-22 school year.
Mental Health Provider Fair
West Ada School District hosted their 4th annual Mental Health Provider Fair today. The fair brought together community mental health providers with West Ada school counselors, social workers, psychologists and nurses to provide and share information so they may serve students and families in the best way possible. The 40 local providers were available to meet one-on-one with West Ada counseling staff members to provide information about services and how they benefit students, parents and guardian.
Thank you to all those involved and to Dawn Tolan, Counseling Coordinator, for organizing and facilitating this incredible event.
2022 Idaho State Teacher of the Year: Todd Knight, Crossroads Middle School
Todd Knight was selected as the Idaho State Teacher of the Year for 2022. Todd’s journey in education began at Meridian High School where he peer tutored students in a Special Education resource room. During this time, Knight oftentimes found himself learning alongside the students he was instructing. However, the true lesson behind his peer tutoring was not taught via curriculum and standards, but rather through indelible prints on Knight’s heart as he poured himself into helping other people. This overwhelming desire to make a difference in a wholesome, unselfish way became Knight’s focus for his educational journey.
At Boise State University, Knight’s college career had its share of ups and downs. Several key people heard his choice of profession and questioned if he was living up to his full potential, even dissuading Knight from his decision to become a teacher. Nevertheless, Todd persisted. The diversity of classes and majors allowed Todd to observe different styles of teaching and enabled him to develop a deeper understanding of various topics, contributing to a well-rounded education.
Todd graduated in 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education, continuing his education in 2015 to receive a Masters of Curriculum and Instruction in STEM Education from Concordia University. After a year and a half of substitute teaching within West Ada School District, Knight ended up working at one of the schools he was most impressed with, Crossroads Middle School in Meridian, Idaho. Todd currently teaches eighth grade physical science, seventh and eighth grade engineering technology and robotics, as well as sixth and seventh grade introduction to coding at Crossroads Middle School.
Todd is the definition of a family man, purchasing his mother's home last year enabling her to retire. Todd and his family (his wife and daughters, 3 and 5 years old) live in his childhood home along with his mother. Todd absolutely loves brain games and enjoys hanging out with family and friends. In his free time, Todd enjoys working outside, playing board games and cards, occasional video games, as well as cooking and baking.
West Ada is beyond thrilled to celebrate this incredible honor with Todd Knight. Congratulations!
Eagle Hills Elementary Run Club!
Miss Idaho Teen USA
Jenna shared, "There I was, standing on stage STILL trying to figure out what invention I could come up with to make this life of ours easier (IYKYN ) ; when the words 'And our new Miss Idaho Teen USA is… JENNA BECKSTROM!!' I can’t imagine that there will ever be another moment in my life that will feel like a bolt of lightning hit me and left me stunned, breathless, and floating with happiness all at the same time!!!I have wished for this opportunity since I was three years old and watched my sister (whom I idolize) compete in Miss Idaho Teen USA! In our group of Teens competing, there wasn’t a wrong choice for the judges to make- so I am deeply grateful that they trusted me with this job to represent our state. I take that very seriously and I can’t wait to get to work!!"
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
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 on October 13, 2021. 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.
Learning doesn't stop when the bell rings at Silver Sage Elementary
At Silver Sage Elementary, their learner powers don’t stop at 3:55pm.
Have you heard about some of their after school activities?
- Young Rembrandt’s is an art club taught by Ms. Lundgren. Each week students follow each step to create a piece of work. They meet on Wednesdays after school.
- SOLEkids is a running program that teaches perseverance, goal setting, and builds character. It is an 8 week program where each week builds towards the final 5k race! SOLEkids meets every Tuesday and Thursday.
Such awesome opportunities for students to be active and involved even after the bell rings!
Meridian High School Alumni sets World Record
Kids, please don't try this at home!
You can follow Joel and his beard on Instagram @joelnert.
Lowell Scott Middle School
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
Idaho Statesman Athletes of the Week
- FOOTBALL: Nathan Reynolds, Meridian High School - Nathan led the Warriors’ defense in a 35-0 shutout of Capital, scoring on a 49-yard blocked punt return and recovering a fumble in the second half that led to another touchdown.
Way to represent West Ada! For more information and to read the full article by Michael Lycklama, CLICK HERE.
Patriot Reserves Wrestling Camp for K-5 Athletes
- K-2 grade—6-7pm
- 3-5 grade—7:00-8:00pm.
There is still time to sign up if you, or someone you know, is interested. Use the PDF attachment below for details and for more information or contact Head Wresting Coach Jason Blue (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Apply Idaho is a free, common college application to 10 in-state colleges and universities. No SSN is required (though it is recommended).
NEW THIS YEAR, students will be able to see their GPA and SAT/ACT scores prior to submission. Only Idaho high school seniors can use Apply Idaho. Learn more at nextsteps.idaho.gov
Apply Idaho opens on October 1, 2021!!
Summerwind STEM Academy Outdoor Classroom
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.
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.