Note From the Superintendent
Dear ESD parents, guardians and staff,
During a recent presentation to the Leadership Kittitas County Cohort, we had an opportunity to highlight our development of the ESD Board Ends, STEM pathway and focus on freshmen success. This cohort spent the entire day visiting schools in Kittitas County, and one class member shared during the debrief, “Today has given me great hope for the future.” In a world that is ever changing, I am confident that our youth that graduate from ESD will make a positive impact in our global community. Hope is evident in the daily commitment of our staff to affirm the value of each child and to promote their academic success.
An example of this educator commitment is the accomplishment of becoming a National Board Certified Teacher. Recently, Christine Collignon-Ray, first grade teacher at Lincoln Elementary School, and Joan Smith, special education teacher at Morgan Middle School, earned this prestigious certification. Judi Nicolai, Spanish teacher at EHS, also recently recertified. Please join me in congratulating these teachers for successfully completing this rigorous process. In addition to the expertise and deep level of reflection that teachers who earn National Board Certification develop and experience, ESD National Board Certified Teachers are also automatically placed on the Master’s Degree Column on the ESD Salary Schedule (assuming that they are not already at this level or beyond). Additionally, they currently receive an additional $5,000 dollars a year from the state for the life of their certificate. Please contact Jennifer Kuntz, Director of Teaching and Learning, if you are a teacher who is interested in earning National Board Certification.
ESD Bond Project Update
ESD Board Ends/ Outcomes for Students
During the 2019-2020 school year, we will be focusing on empowering every student to achieve our district-wide outcomes which are also called our Board Ends. We call these outcomes the Board Ends because our Board of Education will be supporting these outcomes with both policies and allocation of resources.
The below diagrams are intended to provide clarity about our work together as a district. The first multi-colored triangle represents the Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) framework that every school is implementing. This framework shows that students can receive different levels of academic and social emotional support while they are at school. The green level at the base of the triangle represents the types of supports that all students receive within their general classroom. The yellow level represents support that is more frequent and specific to the needs of groups of students. Students who receive this level of support often meet in a small group, like a reading or math group, that is designed to work on specific skills. This could also include a social-emotional support group, like a group designed to help students who are experiencing significant grief or anxiety. The red level of the triangle represents students who may need to receive frequent one-on-one support from staff members throughout the week or throughout the day. Typically, the number of students who need this type of support is small compared to the number of students in the yellow or green levels. Students may move in and out of different levels of support depending on their needs.
Board End #1: Solid Academic and Future Ready Skills
Teachers and administrators from each of our schools have recently completed our district-wide “Data Dives”. The student subgroup data that administrators and teachers looked closely at during this process were our English as a Second Language Learners(ELLs). It is a gift to have students who are proficient in two languages. As we develop and refine our skills in supporting our ELL students, all students will benefit. Many schools have also decided to focus on increasing the number of opportunities that students have to collaborate, practice engaging dialogue and use academic language. For many students, especially for ELLs, it is necessary for them to talk about their ideas before they write about them. Verbally explaining their thinking and problem solving strategies are also necessary actions for all students to take to excel in their mathematical skills.
Board End #2: Successful Citizens in an Ever-Changing World
Thank you to all of the staff who participated in the Hour of Code. The Hour of Code was a success this year ! Schools across the district participated in this December event ranging from a "Pizza and Coding" event held at Ellensburg High School, to students coding at Morgan Middle School during advisory periods. Additionally, Valley View, Lincoln, and Mt. Stuart teachers brought the Hour of Code activities into their classrooms. A survey will soon be sent to educators who participated in the Hour of Code, asking for their feedback. For those educators wanting to receive additional resources, a free book titled No Fear Coding: Computational Thinking Across K-5 Curriculum will be sent to their school to help provide ideas and opportunities to integrate Computer Science into their existing curriculum.
Also, Tiffany Price, computer science teacher at EHS, and Joell Boast, STEM teacher at MMS, were both recently featured in an article that describes the importance of having students learn to code.
Board End #3: Strong Connections with: Peers, Staff, School and local Community
Kudos to the staff at Ellensburg High School who recently collaborated together to ensure that 100 percent of their freshmen participated in and led conferences with their parents and administrators. Starting in early October, EHS staff worked together during freshmen advisory periods to empower freshmen to lead conferences with their parents or an administrator. During these conferences, freshmen were able to demonstrate their accomplishments and acknowledge their challenges. It was also an important time for students and parents to understand how to support teachers’ efforts and students’ learning at home. These connections are critical to the success of all students.