WLHS Math Teacher Kathleen Terner Inspires School Community with Latest Cross-Country FeatPosted by Andrew Kilstrom on 11/20/2020 8:00:00 AM
The past several months have been challenging for everyone across the world. While West Linn-Wilsonville students, parents, teachers, and community members alike have all adapted and adjusted on a seemingly daily basis to ever-changing circumstances, perhaps no one has persevered more than West Linn High School Math Teacher Kathleen Terner.
Like her students, Kathleen has taken to Comprehensive Distance Learning, adjusting to virtual learning, ZOOM classes, and Google Classroom. But her resilience dates back further than that.
Kathleen was diagnosed with throat cancer in November, 2019. She soon underwent surgery and began radiation and chemotherapy treatments, all the while continuing to teach her students at West Linn High School. She taught lessons for a period of time using a microphone to amplify her voice, but remained committed to teaching. In April, just weeks after the start of the pandemic, Kathleen learned that her cancer was in remission. It was the first of many achievements — something that would become a recurring theme for Kathleen in the months that have followed.
When West Linn High School seniors graduated in June and teachers finished their work for the school year, Kathleen decided to embark on another challenge — this one in the form of an eight-week motorcycle road trip across the country. To add to the remarkable feat, she decided she would be making the journey alone.
“My son lives in Washington DC and he was supposed to visit me in March,” she said. “But then the pandemic hit and it became clear that couldn’t happen. I was talking with a friend about how much I had been looking forward to seeing him, when the lightbulb clicked and I realized that I needed to visit him. My love for him was greater than my fear of traveling alone.”
Kathleen prepared her motorcycle — including a custom seat and additional equipment for the monumental voyage — and set off. The next eight weeks produced experiences that she had never dreamed of.
From San Francisco to Yosemite National Park, to the Tail of the Dragon in Tennessee and stops in Niagara Falls, Kathleen would travel more than 15,000 miles over the course of her eight weeks. More than once she completed what’s known in the biking community as the “Iron Butt”, traveling more than 1,000 miles in one ride. In fact, she pushed further, going 1,500 consecutive miles in less than 36 hours twice on her journey, proving her own strength to herself. “I had no clue I was capable of that. It showed me how much stronger I am than I realize,” she said.
Kathleen made it to Washington DC by July 16 and was able to spend four days with her son before continuing south. “The time with my older son highlighted all of the blessings that I have. It was such affirmation for me of all the positives I have in my life. “
Along the way Kathleen traveled through 27 states, explored more than a dozen national parks, met several members of the biking community, and learned invaluable truths about herself. The experience was so transformative that she decided to write a book about her experience. She has submitted her manuscript to a publisher in hopes of inspiring others with her own story.
“I only got my license two years ago. Several of those months I couldn’t ride because of cancer treatments, and it’s rare in the biking community for a woman to travel cross-country alone,” Kathleen said. “There was this point in the trip after a cool stretch of road when I stopped at a convenience store rest stop. This group of bikers passed me as I entered, and when I came out they were waiting for me, all lined up.
“A woman who was part of their group walked up to me and asked if I was riding alone. She told me that I was an inspiration for her, and it was such a powerful moment. I decided I want to share that with others in case they find it inspiring as well.”
In addition to her book, Kathleen documented her entire journey at www.kathleenterner.com. She continues to inspire those around her, and especially her students and peers at West Linn High School.
The West Linn-Wilsonville community continues to persevere as we adapt to new COVID-19 realities. There’s no better example of that than Kathleen Terner.
District Hosts Listening Session for Gender Neutral Restroom Capital Bond Project DesignPosted by West Linn-Wilsonville on 11/10/2020 10:00:00 AM
The West Linn-Wilsonville School District hosted a listening session regarding gender neutral restroom design for Capital Bond construction projects on November 17. The video recording of the listening session can be found below alongside the presentation and an online Google Form if community members would like to provide further feedback.
As a reminder, gender neutral restroom design are for select Capital Bond projects as part of the bond program. All schools, including newly constructed schools, will continue to have restroom options for all students, including traditional gender-assigned restrooms.
As the West Linn-Wilsonville district staff and the Capital Bond team prepare to work with architects on remodeling and rebuilding plans for the various projects, restrooms will be one of the areas where some adjustments will be made. This includes adding some gender-neutral, single occupancy stalls in addition to the gender-assigned stalls already present in our schools. THese will not replace all gender-assigned restrooms, and all options will remain available to students at all schools.
A growing number of school-age children in the U.S., and in our district, indicate a preference for more privacy in restrooms because of medical, social-emotional or mental health needs. Using restrooms in ways that provide similar options for all students so groups don’t feel singled out is associated with positive school climate. The overall accessibility and aesthetics of restrooms matter significantly and students report avoiding using bathrooms during the school day based on these factors.
We are at the beginning of this design process. Nothing has been set yet. This is an iterative process. During the Listening Session, district staff will present the background for this decision along with samples of gender-neutral, single occupancy restroom designs for participants to ask questions, make suggestions and share thoughts. We have already held several student focus group sessions on this topic. Comments and suggestions from our students, staff and community will help guide us through the design process and as we better understand how to keep our school buildings, including restrooms, safe and welcoming for all.
School Board Tackles Several Business Items During Nov. 9 MeetingPosted by West Linn-Wilsonville on 11/10/2020 9:00:00 AM
The West Linn-Wilsonville School Board held a public meeting on Monday, Nov. 9. Business items discussed during the meeting included:
- Capital Bond Projects and Gender Neutral Restroom Discussion
- Capital Bond Gender Neutral Restroom Presentation
- Financial Report
- Budget Calendar Adoption
- Budget Committee Member Vacancy
- Adopted Policy JHFE
- SIA Grant Approval
- First Reading of Policy ACB
- 10-5-20 Board Meeting Minutes Adoption
- 10-14-20 Board Meeting Minutes Adoption
- 10-26-20 Board Meeting Minutes Adoption
To watch video of the meeting, please visit the School Board website.
School Resource Officer Program Review Links and InformationPosted by West Linn-Wilsonville on 10/23/2020 11:00:00 AM
The October 26 Work Session begins at 5 p.m.Please click the link below to join the webinar:
To join by phone, dial: +1 346 248 7799
Webinar ID: 913 5164 0237
Over the past several weeks, district staff have compiled various reports for the Board to discuss and analyze while conducting their review. Reports the Board will consider and reference include:
- Review of the SRO Program (history, overview, costs, training, job description, referral data). Both the West Linn and Wilsonville Police Departments compiled reports for the Board to review.
- Feedback from students, staff, parents, and community members in the form of focus groups and an online survey. Results from the online survey were analyzed by third-party research firm Patinkin Research Strategies.
- Research of other SRO programs and school security models.
- A Recommendation by the Superintendent and district staff to the School Board regarding the program review findings, including areas of strength and areas for improvement.
As always, community members who would like to provide additional feedback for the School Board to consider can submit public comment via email to Kelly Douglas, firstname.lastname@example.org.
West Linn-Wilsonville to Host Anxiety 101 Workshop for FamiliesPosted by West Linn-Wilsonville on 9/28/2020 9:00:00 AM
West Linn-Wilsonville social workers Brittany Bucholz, LCSW, and Sarah Hiatt, LCSW, will host an informational night for caregivers on Thursday, Oct. 1, covering Anxiety 101. Brittany and Sarah will cover anxious feelings in children, what they look like during these unpredictable times, and how we can support them.
Topics covered will include what anxiety is, causes, what it looks like, how to support your child, coping skills, and resources.
The meeting will take place Thursday, Oct. 1, from 6-7:30 p.m. This meeting will be held in English and Spanish. Join this virtual meeting by using this link.
School Sites and Facilities Remain Closed through JunePosted by West Linn-Wilsonville on 6/1/2020 9:00:00 AM
The West Linn-Wilsonville School District has received questions from the community regarding the plans for reopening school fields, playgrounds, gardens, common spaces, gyms, and other school facilities for public and/or recreational use during the summer.
As of May 28, Clackamas County has entered into Phase 1 of its reopening plan. While the plan increases the limit of gatherings to 25, schools and school campuses are to remain closed. Additionally, the Governor’s most recent Executive Order 20-25, specifically states that Executive Order 20-20 regarding K-12 schools, is still in effect.
EO 20-20 states that “public schools shall limit school facility operations only to essential functions, consistent with any social distancing requirements set forth by Oregon Health Authority”. Most requests we are receiving for recreational use or sports activities do not fall in the “essential function” category.
The District Safety Leadership Team is actively reviewing all forms of guidance and liability parameters set forth by the Governor’s Office, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA), Clackamas County Health, Oregon School Activities Association (OSAA), and PACE (school district insurance provider). Each of these agencies have conditions and protocols that must be met before school districts can reopen under Phase I.
To reduce the risk to our students, staff, and community to the greatest extent possible, the District will keep all sites and facilities closed until a well-designed plan can be developed and communicated to all of our students, staff, patrons, city officials, law enforcement, and the district’s insurance provider.
At this time, the West Linn-Wilsonville School District is remaining closed to any school-sponsored or community-sponsored activities or events through July 5, with one exception: high school graduation ceremonies which have been approved by OHA, ODE and city officials.
The district will tentatively plan to reopen sites and facilities beginning July 13, subject to meeting all regulatory guidelines. Until then, all district sites and facilities remain closed.
Local law enforcement will continue to monitor parks and playgrounds and enforce closures.
We thank our community for your patience and understanding as we work to make our spaces available and enjoyable once again.
Willamette Fourth-Grade Shares Powerful Message with Her Own Children's Book Series, "Katie Not Afraidy"Posted by West Linn-Wilsonville on 5/15/2020 3:00:00 PM
Delilah Joy “DJ” Perkins isn’t your typical fourth-grade student at Willamette Primary. She’s also an accomplished children’s book author. Three years ago, DJ started writing “Katie Not Afraidy”, an inspiring story that draws on her own experiences with anxiety. DJ bravely opened up to her mother, Gina, about her desire to share her story with her peers, ultimately leading to a book that will benefit children just like herself for years to come.
“Katie Not Afraidy” is a book about childhood anxiety and is based on a fictional character, Katie, processing and overcoming strong emotions. DJ and Gina released the first edition in November 2017 and DJ read it to her classmates in 2nd grade. Shortly after, they decided to complete a rhyming second edition. DJ teamed up with professional illustrator, Kristina Yu, owner and creator of Cheery Human Studios to create beautiful, authentic images representative of childhood anxiety. They also partnered with professional children’s book editor, Kimberly Martin, to make sure the book was well-received at all grade levels.
After self-publishing and printing the second edition, DJ worked with teachers and staff at Willamette Primary to schedule readings of “Katie Not Afraidy” in different classrooms. She plans to share her story in more classrooms across the District when schools reopen. More recently she has conducted several online readings hoping to help teachers virtually who are looking for creative curriculum ideas. She wants to serve as a guest in teachers’ online learning environments and, after each book reading, talk to students about how to manage strong emotions and send messages of confidence.
“I want to tell others, you are never too young to fulfill your dreams,” she says.
Gina Perkins, co-author, could not be more proud of her daughter’s journey. “I know I'm a proud mama, but the creativity I've seen DJ's story ignite in her peers has been really amazing,” Gina says.
DJ and Gina partnered with Willamette Teacher-Librarian Claire Baker to record a trailer video accessible to other students in the District. They hope to produce more videos and schedule virtual book readings in the future. For now, they are thinking about how they can help their community in a positive way.
In a recent video addressed to parents and educators, Gina shared how her family has “given a lot of thought to how they show up with what they have to serve who they can during this time.”
Both believe they can make a positive impact on students across the District by scheduling virtual book readings and continuing to share DJ’s story.
“One thing I want other children to know through writing this book is that they too can make a difference,” DJ says, “We are the heroes of our own stories; our own truth queens and kings. Our story bugs can’t stop us from being who we were created to be.”
You can learn more about DJ's story at http://katienotafraidy.com/.
West Linn-Wilsonville’s Brittany Bucholz Receives Super Heart Hero Ambassador AwardPosted by West Linn-Wilsonville on 4/29/2020 12:00:00 PM
Every May, Clackamas County celebrates Mental Health Awareness Month by honoring community members for their contributions to the field of behavioral health. Nobody is more deserving than West Linn-Wilsonville Student Support and Outreach Specialist Brittany Bucholz, who was recently awarded the Super Heart Hero Ambassador Award for her contributions to mental health across the school district.
“Brittany joined the West Linn-Wilsonville school district almost four years ago and has had a tremendous impact on our students, staff, and families,” said Assistant Superintendent Jennifer Spencer-Iiams. “She created a program for supporting our students with the most significant mental health needs in the district by developing strong relationships, bringing forward appropriate resources, and directly supporting students in crisis.”
Brittany is a key member of the district’s Crisis Response Flight Team and has been pivotal in revising the district’s comprehensive suicide prevention program. She also represents the district on county groups such as the Children of Incarcerated Parents. She also helped develop a series of parent education nights with her fellow social workers. The education nights titled Anxiety 101, Anxiety 102, and Calm & Connected Parenting deepened partnerships with parents and empowered families in promoting positive mental health.
Brittany is also one of the district’s QPR trainers, providing suicide prevention and response training to staff and community members across West Linn-Wilsonville. She has continued to connect with students and provide crucial mental health support during these challenging times.
“Every day Brittany connects with students, supports staff, and helps parents navigate the community mental health system,” Dr. Spencer-Iiams said. “She is a true champion of mental health in our community!”
Staff, Community Surprise Class of 2020 Seniors With Special GiftPosted by West Linn-Wilsonville on 4/27/2020 9:00:00 AM
Class of 2020 Seniors were greeted with a special surprise on Thursday, April 23, when high school staff members hand-delivered special signs to commemorate their upcoming graduation. Thank you to our high school staff, grad party committees, and community partners for providing and delivering special yard signs to every senior at West Linn, Wilsonville, and Arts and Technology high school this morning! Staff surprised students with signs and special notes, reminding students how much we care about them. All three West Linn-Wilsonville high schools will hold graduation celebrations in June. Details are still being worked through to ensure the best possible experience for the Class of 2020.
West Linn-Wilsonville Students and Staff Create PPE Equipment for Health Professionals, Seeking Donated Materials to ContinuePosted by West Linn-Wilsonville on 4/6/2020 9:00:00 AM
With continued efforts across the nation to slow the spread of COVID-19, many West Linn-Wilsonville students and staff have spent their increased time at home to help combat the global pandemic.
Robotics students from Wilsonville and West Linn High Schools, in particular, have stepped up in a big way in recent weeks. Students from both schools, who compete in the First Robotics Competition league during the school year, started out by using their unique skillsets to create Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for health professionals and first responders.
While students from West Linn’s Team 7034 To Be Determined and Wilsonville’s Team 1425 Error Code Xero spend the competition season as friendly rivals, they’ve turned teammates in the common fight against COVID-19. Creating much-needed equipment for Health Professionals across the Portland Metro area, students have used 3-D Printing technology to manufacture face shields and other PPE parts and masks for healthcare professionals at Meridian Park Hospital and OHSU.
With the robotics season still in flux, it would have been natural for robotics students to become dismayed, but the talented group instead set their efforts on helping those on the frontlines across the region.
Using resources from across the district, and thanks to donations from community partners such as the West Linn Public Library, students, staff members, and parent volunteers have continued to produce PPE equipment throughout the extended closure. But after days of work, students are now running out of school resources to continue creating PPE equipment. Students are seeking filament from the West Linn-Wilsonville. To donate to their cause, please contact Team 7023 at email@example.com or Team 1425 at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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