Aberdeen School District considering delaying 24-credit graduation requirements

The Aberdeen School District is looking to stall their transition to requiring 24 credits to graduate the class of 2019 and beyond, for two more years.
School Superintendant Tom Opstad told the school board at last night’s meeting “I spoke with administrators at Harbor High, and the high school. The state allows us to get a waiver for two years to look at how we are going to meet some of the needs that you’re going to have, or students that maybe in the past have struggled to get the number of credits that they need.” He said they were interested in the waiver, and he plans to bring forward a request to be adopted at the board’s May 19th meeting.
The new credit requirements would affect our Freshmen now, or our Seventh graders if the district chooses to delay them. Opstad said they may consider expanding school hours, or looking at trimesters in order to offer that many credits. “Right now they get six [credits] every year without Running Start, so twenty-four, and that’s what we’re looking at; how do we provide a little bit of flexibility for students but also options for students. Maybe they’ll take six credits in one quarter, or seven.”

So far over 30 school districts have filed to delay the 24 credit requirement, although Aberdeen would be the first in Grays Harbor, Opstad said Hoquiam School Superintendant Mike Parker brought the idea to him.

The State Board of Education added a credit of lab science, and three flexible credits, one in art and two in world language, that can be personalized to the student.

Hoquiam School District grant puts $600,000 into repairs to 2 facilities

The Hoquiam School District will spend over $600-thousand on energy efficient and safety upgrades in the coming months. School Superintendent Mike Parker tells KBKW “Lincoln Elementary is going to get the bulk of the work. We’re going to put in brand new windows, new lighting in the multipurpose room. The High School [HVAC] system is going to get retrofitted. We’re going to put new parking lot lights out there [at the High School], as a way to increase safety and save energy.
The school board recently accepted a $200,000 energy efficiency grant from the state, the work is expected to be complete by the beginning of the coming school year.

Hoquiam School Board selects Kathy Eddy for vacant Director position

The Hoquiam School board tonight will swear in it’s newest member, School Superintendent Mike Parker says “The school board on Monday night interviewed two candidates for the vacant position left by Dr Dave Westby, and they selected Kathy Eddy.”
Parker said Kathy Eddy, the wife of former Hoquiam councilman Jim Eddy, will be sworn in tonight as their 5th School Board Director.

Hoquiam School District gets $200,000 grant for energy efficiency improvements

The Hoquiam School District will receive over $200,000 in Energy Efficiency Grants from the state. Hoquiam is among 29 school districts across the state are being collectively awarded $9 million for school facility energy efficiency improvements, the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction announced this week.

The projects will produce immediate and long-term energy and operational savings, improve the indoor environmental qualities of our schools and help stimulate construction-industry jobs in the state. The energy grant projects leverage state capital dollars with utility incentives, energy savings and local money to make improvements that may otherwise not be affordable.

The 29 projects have a total project cost of $38.3 million.

“We aren’t the only state working on reducing our energy use, but we are one of the best,” said State Superintendent Randy Dorn. (According to the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, Washington ranks eighth in the nation.) “These improvements do more than just reduce energy,” Dorn said. “They remove obsolete heating and lighting equipment, keep cold winter breezes out and help create safer parking lots and walkways. The greatest change is that the improvements in the classrooms make concentrating on learning less of a challenge”

In all, 50 school districts applied for grant funding for school infrastructure and building system improvements with more than $50.1 million in total project costs.

To qualify for the funds, districts must conduct an investment-grade audit of their school facilities to identify projects that would yield energy savings and be most beneficial overall. The districts are required to measure, verify and report the actual energy savings.

Similar funding by the state Legislature for energy efficiency has been granted to school districts beginning in 2009. To date, OSPI has granted nearly $134 million to 176 school districts around the state.

For more information on these energy grants, or to view a map of all the energy grants by district, visit OSPI’s School Facilities Energy Grant Program Web site.

Hoquiam School Board looking for Director to replace retiring Dr. Dave Westby

The Hoquiam School District is looking for a new School Board Member, following the resignation of Dr. Dave Westby.
The School Board asks that interested parties who wish to serve as a Director on the Board complete a one-page application/questionnaire and be available for an interview on Monday, April 14 beginning at 5:30 pm in the high school library. Candidates must be a US citizen and live in the district.
The application is available in the Hoquiam School District office located at 305 Simpson Avenue or call 538-8200 for an emailed application.

Rachel’s Challenge comes to HMS thanks to Hoquiam Girl Scouts

A pair of Hoquiam girl scouts spent their summer working odd jobs to bring a nationwide program on bullying to their middle school. Eight graders Thyme and Linzey raised $2,000 over the summer, and with a match from Hoquiam School District they announced at last night’s city council meeting; “Rachel’s Challenge will be coming to our school on February 13th, and we wanted to invite the community to a community event [they] will be holding at the school at 6:30 that same night.”

Rachel Scott was the first student killed at Columbine High School in 1999, her dad and step mother turned her legacy of reaching out to those who were different into a challenge to others to do just that.
Rachel's Challenge quote
The program “Rachel’s Challenge” will take place February 13th at the Hoquiam middle school, with a community presentation at 6:30 that evening at the school’s gymnasium.

Ballots hit the mail soon for Hoquiam School District M&O Levy

The Hoquiam School District is hoping that it’s taxpayers will again support a Maintenance and Operations Levy replacement for 2015 and 2016. The current levy collects about $2.7 million in property taxes annually,  Superintendent Mike Parker said they haven’t raised that amount for the past 4 years “This year we have to raise it just one dime, it’s going to be $4.90 [per thousand],” reminding voters that this is the bi-annual M&O levy that supplements the school’s general fund. “It’s not additional money, the current levy that was approved a couple years back will expire at the end of 2014, so what we need to do is go back and replace it.”
Hoquiam Public Schools Making Connections, The Hoquiam School District newsletter, is  published on a regular basis to keep the community informed about our  children’s education. Newsletter comments and suggestions should be directed to Mike  Parker, Superintendent, 538-8200. Hoquiam Board of Directors: Christie Goodenough, Chris Eide; Hoki  Moir, Mike Cummings, Dave Westby Superintendent: Mike Parker  Assistant Superintendent: Shannon Webster
Hoquiam Public Schools
Making Connections, The Hoquiam School District newsletter, is
published on a regular basis to keep the community informed about our children’s education.
Newsletter comments and suggestions should be directed to Mike
Parker, Superintendent, 538-8200.

Ballots are being mailed out later this month, if the levy passes again the district would receive an extra $1.2 million in Levy Equalization Funds. For complete details on the district’s levy, and how they plan to spend the money collected, check out the special edition of their newsletter “Making Connections.”

You can also visit the district’s website at www.hoquiam.net

Hoquiam School District earns School of Distinction award

HOQUIAM, Wash. – The Hoquiam School District this week was recognized as a School of Distinction in their region. School Superintendent Mike Parker tells us Educational Service District 113 notified them this week that they are one of twelve schools throughout the region that will receive the award.
ESD 113 serves 44 school districts in Thurston, Lewis, Mason, Grays Harbor and Pacific Counties as well as approved private schools within those counties.
To earn School of Distinction status, schools must be performing at least at the state average in each grade level measured in their school (3rd through 8th and 10th grade) on Reading and Math assessments. Schoolswere then evaluated on combined Reading and Math improvement over the last 5 years. The top five percent of the elementary schools, middle/junior high schools, high schools and alternative schools are designated as Schools of Distinction.

Hoquiam School District Details Summer Lunch Program

HOQUIAM, Wash. – The Hoquiam School District announces the sponsorship of the Simplified Summer Food Program for Children.  Meals will be made available at no charge to attending children 18 years of age and younger.  All meals are available without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. 

To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue S.W., Washington D.C. 20250-9410 or call toll free (800)795-3272 (voice) or (202)720-6382 (TTY).  The USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Breakfast will be provided at Central Elementary in Hoquiam, WA from July 10, 2012 through August 23, 2012.  The meal will be served from 8:45-9:00 a.m. Tuesday through Thursday, and is open to children 18 years or younger.

Lunch will be provided at 2 locations this year.  Central Elementary 310 Simpson Avenue, Monday through Friday from 11:30- 12:00 p.m. and Lincoln Elementary 700 Wood Avenue, Monday through Friday from 12:15- 12:45.  Lunch will be available June 20, 2012 through August 24, 2012.

Hoquiam School District Talks Early Release

HOQUIAM, Wash. – School board members heard from more teachers than parents at a meeting Monday night on the proposed shortened class schedule for the coming school year, as one parent spoke against the plan “I don’t think less seat time for our students is going to improve their education.”
School Superintendent Mike Parker detailed the proposed options for an early-release Wednesday “We put together two alternatives, actually three if you count doing nothing, maybe we go to twenty days instead of every Wednesday, then the other option was to do every Wednesday.”
Marissa LaLonde is a 4th grade teacher, she says Hoquiam’s teachers are stressed for time as it is.
The standards keep going higher and higher, and we’re getting asked to do more and more, and we have to be effective. To be effective Teachers have to collaborate. – Marissa LaLonde
The extra 90 minutes created by an early release would allow teachers of core curriculum to collaborate on teaching practices, make needed changes, and analyzing student performance.