Webucator is a weekly publication produced by the Tacoma Public Schools Public Dec. 18, 2009 Information Office for district staff members. To submit story ideas or inquire about a published story, contact Pam Thompson at email@example.com or call the Public Information Office at 253.571.1015. Please note: When submitting photos of students with Images of the week a story, please include their names and make sure the students have no photo restrictions. Key Club builds houses Webucator on the Web: Webucator is now online and you can also access last year‘s archived Webucators through the district Web site. Dates to remember Dec. 17: Sheridan E.S. Family sing-a-long and holiday craft night, 6 p.m. Dec. 18: Optional enrollment program ends, 4 p.m., CAB, Room 202 Dec. 21: First day of winter Wilson H.S. Key Club members Jan. 1-31: School Board Recognition Month build 50 gingerbread houses for Jan. 1: Emancipation Proclamation anniversary Sherman E.S. students. Jan. 4: School resumes Jan. 18: Martin Luther King Jr. Day Board news Board members take oath of office Dec. 10 Board members take oath of office Wilson elves and Santa‟s helpers Newly elected board member Catherine Ushka-Hall had her daughter Amelia Hall, a help Sherman students decorate Mason Middle School student, read the oath of office, and she was accompanied by the gingerbread houses. Ushka-Hall‘s father, Michael J. Ushka. Kurt Miller was re-elected to his board position and was sworn in by his parents Marie Natermas and Earl Miller. Special recognition of Tacoma Athletic Commission The board recognized the Tacoma Athletic Commission for its generous donation of $105,000 for the district‘s middle school athletic programs. Athletics and Activities Director Jennifer Kubista introduced Matt Haner, president of the commission, who introduced the other commission members present. Dec. 10 study session A Wilson helper makes suggestions to a young student as The board held an in-depth review of the district‘s real property and gave she puts candy on her edible Superintendent Art Jarvis and other administrators direction on how they want the house. district to proceed with each site. Some options for action are: sell properties the district no longer uses, leave a property as is for the short- or long-term, use as a swing site Board members sworn in when renovating another school, remove buildings on a site. The study session on school climate will be rescheduled. Read full story Upcoming events Stadium students exhibit art at college Dec. 4-Jan. 14 Catherine Ushka-Hall‟s daughter Images by three Stadium High School photography program students were selected for Amelia Hall reads the oath of rd exhibition at the 23 annual Pierce College High School Art Exhibit which runs from office for her mother, the newest board member. Michael J. Ushka Dec. 7 through Jan. 14. For details, check the Pierce College Web site. assists his granddaughter during the ceremony. The students are senior Kelly Larson, with A Product; junior Taylor Cole-White, with The World Through Rainy Glass; and freshman Meriel Peterson, with Change. John Drashil is the photograph instructor. Jordan Hudak, a student in one of Laurie Brown‘s printmaking classes, also had a piece of art work selected for exhibition. Learn more about Feb. 9, 2010, replacement levy To learn more about the Educational Programs and Operations Replacement Levy that will be on the Feb. 9, 2010 ballot, please click here. News and updates Returning board member Kurt Miller takes the oath of office from his parents Marie Natermas and Mason and Meeker food drive competition Earl Miller. What do 14,000 pounds of food look like? Ask the Associated Student Body (ASB) Schools gather 14,000 pounds students at Mason and Meeker middle schools. They weighed all the food brought in for the two schools‘ food drive competition and totaled more than 14,000 pounds of food donated by Mason and Meeker families. The schools delivered the food to the FISH food bank at Mason United Methodist Church on Wednesday, Dec. 16. The food bank representatives said this was the largest donation they had ever received. Meeker was in the lead with more than 7,000 pounds of food, and Mason was close behind with more than 6,500 pounds. Mason and Meeker middle school Mason staff members contributed about $300 worth of food from Costco. Meeker students unload 14,000 pounds of food at a FISH Food Bank. challenged each staff member to bring in 50 pounds of food. Mason‘s Principal Patrice Sulkosky and Meeker‘s Principal Kevin Ikeda wore each other‘s school sweatshirts to show support for the competition. The principals declared both schools winners, and students will receive a non-uniform day on Dec. 17 and 18. Mason robotics teams wins second place in state championship Engineering Ink, a Mason Middle School robotics team, won the second place champion award on Saturday, Dec. 12, at the For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) LEGO League (FLL) Washington state championship tournament held at Bellevue High School. The all-girls team earned second place overall out of a field 210 Washington state teams who competed in the FLL Smart Move challenge this Meeker and Mason students help year. carry donated food to trucks to deliver to a food bank near The first and second place champion awards are the most prestigious given out at the Mason. state tournament. Each year, tournament judges give the champion awards to the two top teams who they feel performed best overall in each of the robot design, research project, teamwork and robot performance judging categories. Bryant students invited to Young Leaders Conference Twelve Bryant Montessori students have been invited to represent their school and the state of Washington at a Junior National Young Leaders Conference (JrNYLC) this coming year in Washington, D.C. The JrNYLC is a leadership development program that links the academic study of leadership with the rich tradition of leadership from American history. Ian Lightner, Isabel Mejia, Will Bentley, Eli Rodkey, Malachi Flynn, Montre‘ Brown, Tasier Hagler, Kalleight Wacker-Harris, Nurhan Sezgin, Aaryiane LaDay, Kylie Mocan Mason and Meeker students pose and Nastasjia Plunket are sixth graders in Bryant‘s middle school and were nominated with their principals when they for the honor by their teachers: Wynne Brown, Jennifer Rink-Brown and Laura Earnest. delivered 14,000 pound of food to Bryant has also had three other students attend in the last three years: Bryant seventh a local food bank. It was the graders Isabella Carter and Alise Borne; and SAMI ninth grader Kiah Lee. largest donation ever received by the food bank. Read full story Key Club builds 50 gingerbread houses for Sherman The Wilson High School Key Club helped plan the Communities in Schools holiday party at Sherman Elementary School. The Key Club members put together 50 gingerbread houses and then helped the students decorate them with all the trimmings. They also helped the younger students put icing on cookies which were made by the Pro Start class at Wilson. At the end of the evening, the Wilson students were Santa‘s elves and passed out presents. Wilson had a student committee for this event and they met at lunch to plan. The Wilson students went to various stores to buy the items for the party and even got together on the weekend to do the gift bags. They picked up and delivered the big container of coffee donated by Starbucks. Some of them also sat on Santa‘s lap. About a total of about 20 students participated. This event would not have happened without the Key Club. The party was partially Principals Kevin Ikeda and Patrice funded by the Kiwanis Club of Northwest Tacoma and the Optimist Club of West Sulkosky wear each others‟ school Tacoma. sweatshirts in support of the food donation competition. Hunt participates in Brokenshire Backpack Project Students invited to JrNYLC The Hunt Middle School Drama Club participated in the seventh annual Keith Allen Brokenshire Memorial Backpack project as a community service project. They collected supplies during their performances of the play, ―How Long ‗til June?‖ on the evenings of Dec. 9-11. The play was written by Hunt‘s own drama teacher and International Baccalaureate coordinator Annette Hockman. It is about the fears and anxieties of going to school from the perspective of the student, as told to her by students from elementary through high school. Twelve Byrant Montessori middle school students have been invited The Brokenshire Memorial Backpack Project fills backpacks with clothing and personal to attend a junior leadership supplies and donates them to the district‘s Tone Resource Center for homeless conference in Washington, D.C. children. Last year, the project donated 40 filled backpacks to the Tone Center. Fern Hill families enjoy bingo After reading about the Brokenshire project earlier this fall, Hockman thought there was a good fit with the story line in her play. After presenting the service idea to her drama students, the club decided to participate in gathering supplies and providing backpacks to teens in need. In an effort to help the Brokenshire project meet their goal of 60 filled backpacks this Fern Hill E.S. families and year, the Hunt Drama Club has set a goal of filling five backpacks. If you would like to students enjoy a bingo night with help with donations, please contact Hockman at 253.571.2402. popcorn. To participate in the Brokenshire project click here for a list of the items needed. For more information contact Vera Brokenshire at 253.861.3577 or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Mason student starts Japanese Anima/Manga Club Madison Chavez, a Mason Middle School seventh grader, wanted to share her passion for the Japanese culture with her classmates. To accomplish this, she began the school‘s first student-led after-school club, a Japanese Anime/Manga Club. Madison is president of the club which meets after school on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The SPARX leaders, Jessica Mikity and Marcus Strong help manage the students and Families study bingo cards at Fern Hill E.S.‟s Family Bingo Night. provide art materials. Meeker weighs in with food Madison‘s younger sister, Alexis Chavez, a sixth grader, is the club co-vice president with Cody Fitch, a seventh grader. They help Madison facilitate games, Manga art and anime movies for the nearly 20 club members. They also keep the students busy with contests and drawing lessons and learning about the Japanese Anime/Manga categories, such as Pokeman, Digimon and Naruto. Madison is also known at school for her drawing abilities. Lori Chavez, paraeducator at Grant Center for the Expressive Arts, said her daughters gained appreciation for the Japanese culture, traditions and language in elementary Meeker M.S. students weigh school with several teachers including Yumiko Abe. Recently, Madison and Alexis thousands of pounds of food. treated the club members to sushi rolls they assembled at home. ―Madison spends her Stanley students get warmer own money when she purchases treats, such as Japanese cookies and other snacks, for her club members,‖ said Chavez. Applause Stanley wraps up warmly for holidays When Stanley Elementary School students head for home when school is out for the holidays, they will all have a new hat or scarf and gloves/mittens. That is more than 300 children who will be warmer thanks to the efforts of Kathleen Larson, a behavioral On Friday, Dec. 18, all Stanley specialist at Stanley. She started to gather donations of handmade or purchased winter E.S. students will go home with a wear in September 2008. new hat or scarf and mittens, thanks to the efforts of Kathleen Larson. When friends and family wanted to give her presents, Larson asked for cold weather gear for Stanley students. She asked staff members and volunteers. She canvassed Dr. Jarvis is conductor people in her elder care group. ―I asked any where I could,‖ Larson added. ―Having a new warm hat or scarf and mittens is so special to kids. I am so appreciative of all the people who donated money or clothing!‖ Students who helped prepare the cold weather clothing for distribution were fourth graders Gloria Tupulua, Saraya Domen, Salah Jafar and Gracie Rowe. Gracie's grandmother, RoseMary Delany made and donated dozens of hats for Stanley. Serena Smith, the Mitten Lady from Frank Toby Jones, donated mittens as she did last year. Dozens of community members and Stanley staff members have donated yarn, hats and gloves. Many senior citizens have knitted and crocheted these items. Special thanks go to the wonderfully generous community members from all at Stanley! Superintendent dons conductor’s cap Conductor Art Jarvis visited Skyline Elementary students to read the all-time favorite, ―The Polar Express‖ to students from Susan Mosich and Michele Dimant‘s first-grade classes. The students were treated to a cup of hot chocolate and a silver bell just like Superintendent Art Jarvis dresses as a train conductor to read “Polar the story. Thank you, Dr. Jarvis! Thanks also go to paraprofessional Patty Woodmark Express” to Skyline E.S. students. for the conductors outfit! Point Defiance thanks Tacoma North Rotary Point Defiance Elementary School sends a huge thank you to Tacoma North Rotary for providing every third grader with a new dictionary! Sheridan competes at middle school level Teachers Delma Constantine and Adriana Julian took their Sheridan Elementary School third graders to Lincoln High School on Dec. 5 for the FIRST Lego League competition. The amazing thing about this experience was that the Sheridan third-grade team got registered in the middle school league rather than the elementary league, and they were still able to hold their own placing 10th place out of 18 middle school teams. Way to go Sheridan Robotic Team! The Sheridan robotic team presented their problem, ―How can we prevent animals from Conductor Jarvis reads “Polar Express” to first-grade students at being run over by cars?‖ to a panel of judges. They also brought their robot which they Skyline E.S. created out of Legos and programmed to do several tasks, which wowed the judges. Birney students lend a hand Sheridan received a grant from Mathematics, Engineering Science Achievement (MESA) and Intel which paid for the robot and entrance fee to the competition.—Adriana Julian, Sheridan E.S. Dhavy Roeun take first place Whitman Elementary School‘s Dhavy Roeun won first place out of five states (Washington, Alaska, Idaho, Montana and Oregon) in the Punt, Pass and Kick competition. She competed at the Seahawks training center on Saturday, Dec. 5, and then received her awards at the Seahawk game on Sunday, Dec. 6. Congratulations to Dhavy the NW Regional champion. She attended a game and a luncheon and was part of the half-time show demonstrating for the Seahawk NFL Punt, Pass and Kick winners. Dhavy is nine years old and is coached by Angela Mace, Whitman physical education teacher. Dhavy won the local contest at Whitman; then she took first place at a regional state competition in Kent. She was in the top four out of five states that competed where she did her personal best a total of 160 feet and 11 inches. Foss AFJROTC units continues community service Foss High School‘s Air Force Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (AFJROTC) has a long history of community service. For 15 years, Foss‘ AFJROTC has held food drives to help less fortunate families during the holiday season. They have dubbed the event A Birney E.S. student lends a ―Operation Bread Basket.‖ Last year, they assembled boxes of food for 33 families in hand at St. Leo’s Food the Tacoma Public Schools. Spurred by their success, Cadet Staff Sergeant Popo Te‘o Connection. noted ―It‘s so great. We get to help all these families.‖ This year, the students set their sights even higher. In the wake of the economic depression, the cadets of the Foss AFJROTC decided even more action was needed. Every fall, senior cadets in the AFJROTC unit assemble to develop unit goals for the year. The team decided that not only would the annual Operation Bread Basket feed a minimum of 25 families this year, but that the unit would be holding a Thanksgiving food drive and a winter coat drive as well. They named the two new programs Operation Thanksgiving Relief and Operation London Fog. The name ―Operation London Fog‖ was inspired by the famous coat company of the same name. ―We added the two extra drives since there are so many more people in need this winter,‖ said Cadet Senior Master Sergeant Michael Shultz, who along with the Cadet First Lieutenant Julia Shimanskiy, spearheaded Operation London Fog. Birney students help out sorting Read full story food at St. Leo’s Food Connection. This is the second year they have First Creek shares abundance worked at the food bank. The spirit of the season took over First Creek Middle School on Dec. 15 as students and FIRST Lego team take second staff members shared their abundance with struggling families from the community. The day was coordinated by First Creek counselor, Coleen Cline, who began this work in September in response to the overwhelming needs identified in the First Creek community. The staff's Yule Tide Fund generously sponsored 25 families with gift cards ranging from $20 to $50, depending on size of the family. Life Center and Albertsons donated 40 family holiday meals, which will couple with overflowing boxes of canned foods collected by the schoolwide ASB Holiday Food Drive to serve many more. Toys and other necessities provided by Rhonda Tabron's (life skills teacher) church will also be distributed along with cookies baked by her students. The Engineering Ink team from Mason M.S. won second in state in the FIRST Lego League Huge thanks goes to Wilfred Allison for making several trips to Walmart for gift cards competition. and Rachel Smith-Mosel, ASB advisor, for coordinating the schoolwide canned food drive. Principal Delores Beason is reminded of a quote from Winston Churchill, "We Sheridan competes in robotics make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give." Happy Holidays from First Creek to friends and colleagues in the Tacoma Public Schools. CIS coordinates Fern Hill’s Family Bingo Night Community in Schools (CIS) Site Coordinator Robin Malich put together an amazing night of fun, prizes and bingo for Fern Hill Elementary School families on Dec. 10. Families braved coming out in the bitter cold to attend this exciting event at school. Sheridan E.S. team mates work Local businesses generously donated a variety of items that were used as prizes for with their robotic vehicle at a bingo winners and were also used in a raffle to raise funds to support the Community in competition. Schools after-school program. Everyone in attendance was entertained by our ―mystery‖ bingo caller,‖ Marybeth Launius, a third-grade teacher. ―The successful turnout was due to the collaboration between Fern Hill‘s Booster Club, parent involvement committee and CIS,‖ said Principal Tammy Larsen. ―We‘re all looking forward to this becoming an annual family event.‖ Sherman holiday party awed parents The Sherman Elementary School holiday party with the Wilson High School Key Club was an absolutely fabulous event! I spoke to several parents who were completely in The Sheridan E.S. robotics team awe of the scope of the evening. The principal was there all evening with huge grin on competed in the recent regional her face and the kids were having a great time. Communities in Schools Tacoma would contest held at Lincoln H.S. like to thank everyone involved for making this an affair to remember!—Terry LeRud, Communities in Schools Tacoma Hunt drama club performs Principal thanks Wilson elves, CIS What a fabulous holiday event we had at Sherman Elementary School! Great thanks to Gina Irvin for organizing it, Joe Raniero, Wilson career counselor, and the Wilson Key Club ―Elves‖ for all their help, and to Community in Schools for supporting our CIS program at Sherman. The lives of the students and families who participated were incredibly enriched. It was one of the warmest, most meaningful activities I‘ve seen in years. Thanks, Gina! Thanks, Joe! Thanks to all the Wilson ―Elves.‖—Connie Wick, principal, Sherman E.S. The Hunt M.S. performs a play written by teacher Annette Hockman titled “How Long „til Mt. Tahoma AP students earn college credit June?” Last year‘s Mount Tahoma High School freshmen have done what few freshmen in the Stadium work selected country are able to do. A group of Brent Gaspaire‘s AP World History class earned college credit. His AP US Government and Politics class of seniors also had 22 students earn college credit. Advanced Placement courses, referred to as AP courses, are college level classes that high school students take with the potential of earning college credits. These classes are most often taken by students in their sophomore, junior and senior years. Last year, for the first time, the district offered AP World History to Mt. Tahoma‘s freshmen. Of the 19 students in Gaspaire‘s class, eight passed the college credit exam with a score of ―3‖ or above, earning college credits. According to Gaspaire, eight students passing in any AP class in the district is rare let alone as freshmen. Last year‘s senior class had the highest number of students passing any AP class in the history of the district. Four of those students passed with a score of ―5,‖ the highest score possible. Meriel Peterson‟s Change will be Professional development on display at Pierce College through Jan. 14. She is a Stadium H.S. freshman. Processes change this year Administrative internship process 2009-10 The administrative internship process has been revised. Please go to the Professional Development (PD) Web site to view the guidelines and application. Applications are due to PD by March 31, 2010, for internships the following school year. National Board Certification The National Board certification process has been revised for 2009-10. Please go to the Professional Development (PD) Web site to view the guidelines and application. You must apply for the OSPI conditional loan. Applications are due to PD by June 10, 2010, for support from TNBP for the following year. Please go the OSPI Web site for conditional loan application dates. The first round of applications is due Jan. 5, 2010. Kelly Larson, a senior at Stadium, will have her photo called A Product on exhibit at Pierce Click here for the Professional Development Web site. College. Tech tip Using subscription databases The Tacoma School District has purchased the rights to specific subscription databases to be used by staff and students. To use the databases a login and password are required along with a networked computer. There are many more online subscription databases available through your local public library. To access these databases you will need a valid library card. Check out Pierce County Library at www.piercecountylibrary.org and the Tacoma Public library at www.tacomapubliclibrary.org/Default.aspx. Health tips Helping You Even More Always wanted a gym membership, but thought it was too expensive? Well, not anymore! Starting this January, The Sound Partnership is offering all members two corporate membership options: LA Fitness: Sign up before the end of June 2010, and your initiation fee will be waived. Your monthly dues will be $29.99 and family members will also pay $29.99. All-Star Fitness: Sign up now and your initiation fee will be waived. If you sign up for 12 months, your monthly dues will be $35 and family members will pay $29. With both options, you're saving upwards of $150.00! To sign up for La Fitness, you'll need to contact The Sound Partnership at (253) 571-1083 to receive a La Fitness Taylor Cole-White‟s photo entitled voucher. For All-Star Fitness, simply show your school ID badge to receive the The World Through Rainy Glass corporate rate. will be in the Pierce College art exhibit through Jan. 14. Cole is a junior at Stadium H.S. Can't decide what gym to sign up for? Consider taking a tour of each facility and seeing what one best meets your workout needs. Call The Sound Partnership at 253.571.1240 for more information. Quick Links Event Calendar Community opportunities Job openings News & Information Free swine flu shots offered Policies & Procedures The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department will hold the second in a series of swine Professional Development flu clinics that provide an opportunity for local children and adults to receive vaccinations Staff classifieds free of charge. The Multicare and Franciscan health systems also announced free H1N1 Webucator vaccination clinics. Click here for details. The Health Department's H1N1 Vaccination Clinic will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 16, at the department‘s main building, 3629 S. D St., Tacoma. Subsequent clinics are scheduled at the same time and location each Wednesday until further notice. Winter Madness at the Tacoma Public Library From sleevefacing and family gaming to movies, marshmallow critters and creepy crawly critters, the Tacoma Public Library will provide relief from the after-holiday blues with free programs for kids, teens and families. "This is the library's answer to the perennial ‗I'm bored and I have nothing to do‘ blues common at the end of December," explained David Domkoski, the library's Community Relations officer. The events, said Domkoski, are fun, free and for all ages. No reservations are needed. More information is available on the library's Web site at www.tacomapubliclibrary.org or by telephoning the library at 253.591.5666. Contact: David Domkoski at 253.591.5688 for more information. City of Destiny award nominations due Jan. 18 There is still time to nominate a special individual or group who volunteered time and energy, not money, within Tacoma‘s city limits, for the 2010 City of Destiny Awards. ASBs and Key Clubs can be nominated, according to Maria Lee with the city of Tacoma awards program. For details, please check the Web site at www.cityoftacoma.org/destinyawards or call Maria Lee at 253.591.2054. Daffodil Festival needs help The free Daffodil Festival is in need of help to continue holding the festival. Check the Web site at www.daffodilfestival.net for ways you can help, become part of the festival or attend an upcoming event. The Daffodilians Inc. is a 501(c)(3). First Night needs student volunteers Students can earn community service credits by volunteering for Tacoma‘s First Night event. Student volunteers are needed to help with set up on Dec. 30–31 and tear down on Jan. 1. Students can sign up directly on the First Night Web site, contact volunteer coordinator Robin Lucas by cell phone at 253.826.9001 or e-mail Patrice O‘Neill, First Night festival director, at email@example.com. Reward for cat lost near Portand and McKinley avenues A former TPS special education student, Kellie Ann Olsen, and her family are offering a $100 reward for finding her lost cat named Cleo. The large fluffy cat ran away from st Kellie‘s sister‘s house in the 1300 block of East 41 St. in Tacoma between Portland and McKinley avenues. Cleo has a microchip and is an indoor cat. She was wearing a collar with a purple heart with her name and phone number. If you have any knowledge of where this cat may be hiding or staying, please contact Kathy (Olsen) Vater, Kellie‘s mother, at 360.543.9037 for messages and call backs or e-mail her at LostCat111309@live.com. Click here for details. Special request for quadriplegic man District substitute teacher, Gary Aronson and wife Gayle, who just retired from OSPI, are seeking financial help to replace their quadriplegic son‘s lift van. Ian Aronson was injured in a diving accident seven years ago. To make a contribution to Ian‘s van fund, contact Gary Aronson at 253.235.1000 or firstname.lastname@example.org or contact any Bank of America, attention: Ian H.B. Aronson Van Fund (non-profit corporation). Eat at Round Table Pizza to help police officers’ families Come have a great meal and support the families of our fallen Lakewood police officers on Dec. 22. All day on Tuesday, Dec. 22, 15 percent of of all sales at participating Round Table Pizza locations will be donated to the families of the slain police officers. Click here for details and locations. Tacoma School District complies with all federal and state laws and regulations and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, or ancestry, the presence of any sensory, mental or physical disability or use of a trained guide dog or service animal by a person with a disability, age, familial or marital status, honorably discharged veteran or military status. This applies to all educational programs and extra-curricular activities. Inquiries regarding the application of the above should be directed to Dr. Da Verne S. Bell, district liaison, equity and diversity, telephone 253.571.1292. Inquiries regarding the application of Title IX should be directed to Jennifer Kubista, director of Athletics and Activities, telephone 253.571.1123. Inquiries regarding the application of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (concerning students with disabilities who are not eligible for special education) should be directed to Chris Backman, coordinator of guidance and counseling, telephone 253.571.1182. Inquiries regarding accommodations for disabled employees and the public should be directed to Leslie Nohr, disability accommodation officer, telephone, 253.571.1021. These individuals may be contacted by mail at P.O. Box 1357, Tacoma, WA 98401-1357.