Southwest Washington Middle School Choir Festival

(March 14, 2019) Mt. Solo Middle School hosted a Choir Festival featuring eighteen different choirs today. The choir festival gives students and music teachers the chance to perform in front of judges, get evaluated and receive an onstage clinic to help improve the choir.

Mr. Noakes (sound engineer), Mrs. Walworth (Monticello accompanist) and Ms. Davis (Mt. Solo accompanist) supported the all-day event. Mrs. Noakes organized the event with the help of teachers and students.

A great day of choir!

 

2019-03-14T13:51:52+00:00March 14th, 2019|

February Employees of the Month

Cascade Middle School Assistant Princiapl, Kristopher Chrisopulos is new to the district but has fast become a valued employee.  Over the course of the school year it has become very clear that he epitomizes the can-do spirit that is so vital to success with middle school students.  He has gone out of his way to develop a positive rapport with students and staff.  He looks for way to show people that he cares about and respects them, while still maintaining the highest standards of decorum and academic success.  His deft ability to create a positive atmosphere is motivational to both students and staff and makes school a great place to learn and work.

 

Kessler Elementary Secretary, Christine Kelly joined the district in 2005 as a paraeducator before becoming a secretary.  In her role as head secretary she is known for her calmness and ability to stay level-headed.  She can be on the phone, covering the nurse’s office, and talking to a parent at the desk all at the same time, and doing it with a smile on her face.  She knows the families and kids at her school and doesn’t get rattled when she is faced with a difficult situation.  She is an asset to her building and the district.

2019-03-14T12:40:57+00:00March 14th, 2019|

Family Resource Center opens at Monticello

Teachers and support team members across the district are seeing a growing number of kids and families who lack a stable food source and/or housing. To help the kids and families the district opened a Family Resource Center at Monticello Middle School. The resource center gives parents a place to get help and connect with food, housing, mental health or other services. It doesn’t matter which school a child attends – the family resource center is open to help them. The resource center was put together through donations and did not require district funds.

The Daily News wrote a front page story about the resource center that published March 2. This is another example of the district putting extra effort towards helping our kids be successful.

The Family Resource Center is open Monday through Friday from 9 am to 11 am and from 1 pm to 3 pm.

 

2019-03-08T14:24:07+00:00March 7th, 2019|

Application window open for Highly Capable student testing

Applications are now being accepted for the district’s annual Highly Capable Program identification process. To have a student evaluated for this program, parents/guardians give permission by completing the High Capable Permission Form and returning it to the student’s school. Permission forms are due Friday, March 15, 2019.

Cognitive Ability Testing (CogAT) will commence March-April 2019. The selection team will review student data April-May 2019. Testing results will be mailed in May 2019.

2019-03-04T17:15:11+00:00March 4th, 2019|

Calendar information 2019-2020 school year

Planning for vacation and family celebrations is important. While final details of the next year’s school calendar are not yet finished, several important key dates are set. To help you with planning below are important dates for the 2019-2020 school year. These dates have been finalized and approved by the School Board. (Please note the calendar for Broadway Learning Center is different and parents should check with Broadway for 2019-2020 calendar dates.)

Event Date
First day of school August 28, 2019
Winter holiday December 23, 2019 – January 3, 2020
Spring Break April 6-10, 2020
High school graduation June 6, 2020
Last day of school June 11, 2020

A more detailed 2019-2020 school calendar will be sent to parents and families in the Spring. If you have questions please contact your local school.

2019-01-25T15:05:18+00:00January 25th, 2019|

Capital bond information and input sessions

Longview Public Schools plans to put a capital bond measure to voters later this year. Capital bonds raise funds for school districts to upgrade facilities and build new schools.

To provide citizens information about the bond measure three community input sessions will be held. At the meeting you will get information on the facility upgrades and changes the district’s Facilities Advisory Committee has recommended.

Thursday, January 24 at 6 pm, district administrative offices next to RA Long High School – 2715 Lilac Street.

Wednesday, January 30 at 5 pm, Mark Morris High School.

Tuesday, February 5 at 5 pm, Mint Valley Elementary School.

We hope to see you at one of the community input sessions.

2019-01-25T11:07:08+00:00January 15th, 2019|

Teacher Spotlight – Mr. Jensen, Cascade Middle School

Spotlight  – Q & A

Where did you grow up? I was born in Fullerton, CA while my Dad attended optometry school. At the age of 8 years old, we moved to a small town called Logandale, NV, near the Utah border.

What schools did you attend? I graduated from Moapa Valley High School; I was a part of the first graduating class of over 100 students.

Mr. Jensen, Cascade Middle School

What did you do after high school? Right after high school, I worked for 2 years to save money. I was an assistant cook at the senior center, worked construction and cleaned up in a machine shop.

After working for 2 years what did you do? I went to the airport, looked at the flight departure board and randomly picked Marseille, France as my destination. I left from McCarron Airport in Las Vegas headed for France.

What was your plan once you arrived in France? I didn’t have a plan.

Did you make this trip with someone? No, all by myself.

What is the first thing you did upon arriving in France? I arrived at Charles de Gaulle airport and missed my connecting flight. A German man noticed my confusion and helped me get a taxi to the train station, which got me on a train to Marseille.

What did you do upon arriving in Marseille? Marseille was big, loud, and a little overwhelming for me – I stayed for 2 days. I bought a bus ticket and when it stopped in a city I liked, I got off.

Did you work in France? No, I used my savings to experience the differences between small town life in France and my small town in Nevada.

How is France different from America? Definitely, the food is different. Transportation is different too. You could walk about anywhere you needed to go in the small towns I visited. When I got bored of a town, I jumped on a train and did the same thing in another town.

How long did this last? For 2 years.

What were some of the memorable experiences? My first Christmas away from home was in a small town called Aubagne. Aubagne is famous for nativity scenes – it was magical. During my time in Nice it snowed for the first time in 15 years – I was on the beach at the time.

One time, I was riding my bike in the middle of the country and didn’t even know where I was. I stopped, there was a wheat field on one side of me, a vineyard on the other side and the purple mountains (the Alps) in front of me and I realized – this is the song America the Beautiful. It was such an amazing moment I wrote a story and sent it to my local newspaper, who published it.

Did you learn to speak French? Yes, I taught French class in Clatskanie for a few years.

Upon arriving home, how much money did you have left? 44 cents.

Where did you go to college? When I got home, my parents had applied to college for me. In three days, I had to report to Brigham Young University (BYU). I was not excited about this at all.

What happened at BYU? After three semester’s my grades were poor, so I dropped out. I just did not try.

Did you work after attending college? I spent time doing all the jobs I ever wanted to do.

What sort of jobs did you do? I worked in a bookstore, delivered flowers, drove a limousine, worked at a summer camp in California. I was an extra in Hollywood movies. None of the jobs were careers I wanted. This lasted 2 years.

What next? I met a girl on a blind date and got married 12 months later. We have four kids now.

Did you go back to college? Yes, I restarted at Whatcom Community College then transferred to Western Washington University. From WWU I moved on to Willamette University and earned my Master’s in teaching.

During college did you work? Yes, I worked the gun counter at Joe’s Sporting Goods. I started teaching firearm/hunter safety and taught over one-thousand people in one year. It was during this time I realized teaching was my passion.

What did you learn from teaching hunter safety? I realized teaching kids in the 12-15-year-old age group was what I wanted to do.

Where was your first teaching job? In Winston, Oregon down by Roseburg.

When did you start teaching in the area? I taught for five years in Clatskanie, but wanted something closer to home (we live in Kelso) and ended up getting a job here at Cascade.

What are some traits of a great teacher? Know the subject really well and care enough to make sure nobody falls through the cracks. Everyone must learn the skills before moving on.

What is the best thing about being a teacher? Having a captive audience, if they are not laughing and having fun I am not doing my job. Learning grammar and sentence structure is not fun, so finding ways to make it fun helps students learn.

What is your outlook for the future? It’s positive. There are enough kids working very hard that society will be okay. There will always be kids who struggle, but many come from challenging family backgrounds who try so hard.

What advice would you have for new teachers? Keep it light, but data is your best friend. If you don’t have data telling you where the kids are it’s tough. Knowing what the kids did and did not learn is crucial to success.

What are some of the keys to being a good writer? Know your subject and don’t leave anything out.

What are the kids of today like? Kids of today are bombarded with society – they cannot escape it. It affects them negatively and positively, they need more time away from technology.

If you could talk to the entire community what would you say? I would tell the community to love your kids and spend as much time with them as you can. Cherish every moment possible with your kids.

What is the hardest part of teaching English? Grammar. This is the only place grammar matters. Kids ask why they can’t use the letter “u” to write the word “you”. Some kids don’t understand the importance of learning proper English.

Are good writing skills hard to come by? Absolutely. Being a good writer is tough, when I have student who is naturally gifted I want them to use it.

What else? I like things because they are unique. I love the sport of curling because it’s unique – curling is fascinating.

2019-01-02T10:12:04+00:00January 2nd, 2019|

Teacher Spotlight – Mr. Kessler, Cascade Middle School

Spotlight  – Q & A

Where did you grow up? I was born in Longview and raised in Toutle. My family on my father’s side lived in Toutle since the 1860’s. Some of the original homesteaders in the Toutle Valley are the Tippery’s, who are in my family tree. My grandmother on my Dad’s side was a Tippery. While my parents still live in Toutle, my family lives in Castle Rock now.

What high school did you attend? I graduated from Toutle High School – class of 1993. The Fighting Ducks!

Mr. Kessler

Where did you go to college? From Toutle High School I enrolled at Lower Columbia College (LCC) then transferred and graduated from Central Washington University in Ellensburg. Ellensburg is great, but it’s not “here”.

How is school different now from when you grew up? The transient nature of students is significantly different from when I grew up. The Toutle High School class I graduated with had about 40 kids, most of whom went through K-12 together. You just don’t see that anymore.

Why the transient nature? It’s socioeconomics. People living in poverty, having difficulty finding steady work or a stable place to live.

Where were you on May 18, 1980 when Mt St Helen’s erupted? I was sitting in the dining room learning how to tie my shoes. One of my sisters was helping me get ready for church. The neighbor came over and told us the mountain blew. We were forced to move to Longview for about a month before coming back home.

What memories do you have of the eruption? I remember trying to process the idea that all the logging equipment on the mountain was just gone – vanished. I remember Spirit Lake before the eruption, everything is very different now.

When you left high school, did you want to be a teacher? Being a teacher was in the back of my mind. My parents did not push us into college; they wanted us to find our own way. I think Dad wanted me to be an engineer.

 Did the eruption of Mt St Helens change your career path? The eruption changed the career path for many of us. By some estimates, the eruption blew away about 25 years’ worth of tree cutting. Cutting just wasn’t the same as it had been in the past, with much of the old growth timber gone, many people couldn’t make the same sort of living.

 Do you have a family? Yes, I am married with two kids a girl and a boy. I met my wife Amanda at LCC in an English composition class.

 What was college like? My advisor at LCC, Mike Dugaw, “chewed on me” one day for not being more dedicated to college. He promised a scholarship to LCC if I joined the debate team – which was a turning point in my life. I loved the debate team and solidified the idea of being a teacher.

What are some of the things Mr. Dugaw taught you? He never let us off the hook. Mr. Dugaw always had high expectations for us. Without Mike Dugaw, me staying in college was doubtful.

How did you pick Central Washington University? First, it was the least expensive state school and my sister Jennifer got her accounting degree there. In addition, I liked the town. For a kid from the country I fit in at CWU.

What are some of your college memories? I was accustomed to snow, but didn’t know much about cold weather. You learn “cold” in Ellensburg. I remember an old-timer helping me keep my engine block from freezing by suggesting I place a chicken lamp underneath the truck every night.  

Why did you choose teaching middle school? There is a different feeling in middle school versus elementary or high school. The students bring such energy and enthusiasm – it’s great.

How has teaching social studies changed? Changing family dynamics impact teaching. Many of our kids are dealing with very tough socioeconomic issues, the hierarchy of needs. Compared to when I was in school it’s very different.

What do you do after work? I’m on the Castle Rock City Council, coach football, wrestling and track at Cascade and for the last 17 years I’ve been on the Castle Rock reserve police force.

What is the best thing about being a teacher? The best parts…there are so many. I would say the immediate gratification of a kid learning something and the relationship you build. Then ten years from now, you see an ex-student who’s now a molecular biologist or a sports journalist. It’s so cool to see the students later in life. The impact one person can make on a person’s life can be dramatic.

What are some of the keys to being a good teacher? Get help from other teachers. Dena Enyeart gave me some great material for a lesson on Alexander the Great.

When did you get to Cascade? In the fall of 2002, about 16 years ago. When I first came here I taught science for a while, but teaching history is my passion – my hobby. I read magazines like “Frontiersman Magazine”, I love history.

Are history and science related? Yes, history and science linked. Our country’s advances in medicine, advances in the military all relate back to science. Bringing multi-disciplinary sciences into the classroom to teach history is great. It makes the lessons so much more valuable.

What advice would you have for new teachers? Coming in as a new teacher would be extremely difficult. The biggest thing would be to try to find a way to balance helping kids while still challenging them. Letting them know you care about them as a person, but also as a student who needs to learn – it’s balancing relationship and rigor.

How has your experience in other aspects of life helped your teaching? It helps me understand where many kids are “coming from”. The life experience helps me understand how to help families better. When we talk about the Constitution in class my experience as a police officer and city council person really helps.

What else? I believe in public service and will do whatever I can to help my students be successful.

2018-12-26T09:18:55+00:00December 26th, 2018|

Winter break early release and January back-to-school

Longview students will be released early on Friday, December 21, 2018 to begin their winter vacation.  Release times are:

  • Elementary schools – two hours earlier than regular release time
  • Cascade – 11:45am release
  • Monticello – 11:50am release
  • Mt. Solo – 11:55am release
  • High schools – 11:50am release

Students return back to school on Wednesday, January 2, 2019. Students will be released one hour early on that day.

Broadway Learning Center has no school on Friday, Dec. 21. School resumes for Broadway students on Thursday, January 3, 2019.

 

2019-01-02T17:27:13+00:00December 20th, 2018|
Translate »