Press Releases

  • WLWV Continues to Improve Student Outcomes Through Inclusive Practices

    Posted by West Linn-Wilsonville on 7/23/2019 2:00:00 PM

    Wilsonville High School Unified Soccer players celebrate a goal.

    On June 10, West Linn-Wilsonville Superintendent Dr. Kathy Ludwig and Assistant Superintendent of Student Services Dr. Jennifer Spencer-Iiams gave a special presentation alongside members of FACT Oregon, highlighting the changes in special education in the State of Oregon. Speaking in front of members of the Oregon Senate Committee on Education in Salem, Dr. Ludwig and Dr. Spencer-Iiams highlighted the importance of Inclusive Practices in Oregon schools. Specifically, they shared the dramatic impact Inclusive Practices have had on West Linn-Wilsonville schools and students in recent years.

    Even before Inclusive Practices were first implemented, the West Linn-Wilsonville School District’s mission statement was to create learning communities for the greatest and most thoughtful people for the world. And for the better part of the past decade, that mission has included Inclusive Practices. Congruently, the District has experienced a great deal of growth during that time, as the District has collected data, monitored student outcomes, cultivated school cultures, and refined Inclusive Practices.

    History of Inclusive Practices in West Linn-Wilsonville

    Inclusive Practices first came to the District around the 2011-12 school year. The goal of shifting to inclusive practices was simple: Ensure all students have equitable opportunity to reach their full potential.

    “Our journey began about seven years ago when we took a serious look at our practices and our consistently predictable data for groups of students that unfortunately reflected qualitatively different experiences and outcomes in our schools,” Superintendent Dr. Kathy Ludwig said during the June 10 presentation. “For us, we knew that we had to make a systemic change if we were going to be serious about our equity work.

    “We share the belief, vision, and expectation that all children belong in the general education classroom and that individualized services, whether for special education, language acquisition, social-emotional support, should be integrated into the classroom, where peers learn alongside one another, accessing exciting, relevant, and rigorous curriculum together through differentiation and accommodation.”

    Since then, Inclusive Practices have been ingrained into the West Linn-Wilsonville culture. But while inclusive practices have become increasingly popular and talked about in K-12 education all across the country, it’s a term that can mean many different things to different people. So what are inclusive practices in the West Linn-Wilsonville School District?

    In West Linn-Wilsonville, Inclusive Practices boil down to building and sustaining positive and safe school communities across the district while promoting the social-emotional, physical, and academic health of all students. Inclusive Practices means equity for all students, regardless of background or ability, to ensure all students have individualized opportunity to reach their full potential.

    More specifically, inclusive practices have meant eliminating segregated classrooms, ensuring students of all abilities are in the general education classroom as much as possible during the school day. This means students with learning disabilities who once spent parts or even all of their school day isolated in special education classrooms now experience learning alongside their general education peers. Individualized supports — such as paraeducators, communication devices, or modified curriculum materials among other resources — are brought into the general education classroom.

    “In WLWV, as we committed to inclusion, we had to examine the underlying assumptions that have allowed us to create segregated classrooms for students with disabilities over the years, and (we) needed to question those assumptions and believe that all children should have the opportunity to learn and participate with their peers,” said Dr. Spencer-Iiams on June 10. “We needed to think about our beliefs, our structures, and our practices, and we needed to think about inclusion in a way that was not a one-size-fits-all.

    “We committed to three high-leverage focus areas – improving our instructional practices, creating inclusive cultures, and increasing student voice. By committing to every student being at their neighborhood school, and in the general education classroom as much as possible, we’ve had to look at our teaching practices and, quite frankly, we had to get better.”

    Intentional Moves to Increase Inclusive Practices

    In making an intentional switch to Inclusive Practices, the District focused on a few key areas, including increasing professional development to build confidence and capacity of all instructional staff, increasing student participation in co-curricular activities to bolster student engagement, and increasing both parent and student involvement in the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) process for students who are served by an IEP. West Linn-Wilsonville staff engage in professional development.

    Over time, school cultures have shifted and students have adjusted. In fact, talk to any WLWV student today and chances are they won’t even remember a time when students with learning disabilities weren’t regular members of the general education classroom. The results that have followed, both quantitatively and qualitatively, have been undeniable, with increased outcomes for the entire student population.

    Over the past seven years, student participation in co-curricular activities such as theater, choir, student leadership, and unified sports have all increased. In fact, both West Linn and Wilsonville high schools have been recognized as National Unified Champion Schools due to their commitment to unified sports. The District has focused on hiring teachers who demonstrate a commitment to inclusive practices, and professional development has increased co-teaching in classrooms while building educator capacity. Similarly, parents and students are more intimately involved in the IEP process, ensuring individualized supports are provided to students.

    “Once students see themselves as teammates on the field, on the court, on the robotics arena, or in the theater, they absolutely see themselves as peers in the classroom,” Spencer-Iiams said. “We also think about the involvement and engagement of parents a lot, especially in the IEP process. Making that meeting one of collaboration between parent, staff, and the student, really works on the premise that all students belong in the general education classroom, so we’re not debating that, but then we bring the individualized component to it to ask ‘What does this child in particular need to make that work?’”

    That doesn’t mean that commitment to Inclusive Practices doesn’t come with challenges and hurdles, however. Since Inclusive Practices were first implemented in West Linn-Wilsonville, District leaders have worked toward addressing systemic barriers that require unrelenting dedication and vigilance. Inclusive Practices requires buy-in from top to bottom, and the patience and understanding of staff and students alike to work together toward a common goal.

    “This work is messy, it’s ever-evolving, and it’s hard work. Only by committing to cycles of action, reflection, and improvement do we get better,” Dr. Spencer-Iiams said.

    What does the data say about Inclusive Practices in West Linn-Wilsonville?

    West Linn High School 2018 graduates prepare to receive their diplomas. The District tracks many data points related to Inclusive Practices and their impact on student outcomes across K-12. One piece of data that has been particularly powerful has been the District’s graduation rates over the past six years. Graduation rates for students who are served by an IEP, students who aren’t served by an IEP, and the overall total student population have all increased significantly over the past seven years.

    In 2013, the graduation rate for students served by Special Education (SPED) was approximately 67 percent. The graduation rate for the total West Linn-Wilsonville student population, meanwhile, was approximately 90 percent.

    Flash-forward to 2018 and the graduation rate for students served by SPED has jumped to 81.5 percent, higher than the state average for all students. Correspondingly, the WLWV graduation rate for the entire student population has also risen to 94.5 percent, which is the highest among Oregon school districts with multiple high schools.

    The data is a strong indicator that Inclusive Practices are benefitting all students and not just those who are served by Special Education.

    “We still have work to do, but we are encouraged, and we absolutely know this is the right work,” Dr. Spencer-Iiams said.

    While many strides have been made, West Linn-Wilsonville continues to build Inclusive Practices across all of its schools. A total of 14 school districts toured West Linn-Wilsonville schools during the 2018-19 school year to see Inclusive Practices in action and the benefits they are providing students. School districts from parts of Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Tennessee visited to learn and share experiences, with more districts from across the country lined up to visit during the 2019-20 school year. It’s all part of West Linn-Wilsonville’s desire to practice a growth mindset, refining practices and ensuring learning communities for the greatest thinkers and most thoughtful people for the world.

    Dr. Ludwig and Dr. Spencer-Iiams concluded their presentation to the Oregon Senate Committee on Education by sharing a message provided by a West Linn-Wilsonville parent. It’s a sentiment that summarizes well what the District is working towards.

    “By putting kids together and creating a positive environment to understand each other, it takes away the fear some may have of anyone that seems ‘different.’ They will have the confidence to interact with all people, be more kind, inclusive, and advocate for those who may need it. This is something I couldn’t teach them just by talking about it. You’re creating a generation that will be more accepting, understanding, and empathetic.”

    To learn more about Inclusive Practices in the West Linn-Wilsonville School District, please visit the District Website. To watch the video of the June 10 presentation, please visit the Oregon State Legislature website.

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  • Summer Reading Program Builds Reading Skills for Students From All WLWV Primary Schools

    Posted by West Linn-Wilsonville on 6/20/2019 3:00:00 PM

    Students read during the Summer Reading Program on June 20.   Students read during the Summer Reading Program on June 20.

    While the West Linn-Wilsonville School District’s Summer Reading Program has gone through a variety of iterations over the years, one thing has always stayed constant — the program increases reading skills for students in a fun and inclusive environment.

    The free three week-long Summer Reading Program kicked off on Monday, June 17. Open to all West Linn-Wilsonville students in grades 3-5, the program consists of nearly 200 students with representation from all nine of the District’s primary schools.

    Bus transportation is provided for all participating students, who arrive at Boones Ferry Primary at 9 a.m. where they spend the better part of 3.5 hours interacting with peers from all over WLWV, selecting books from the BFPS library and, of course, finding a comfy spot to curl up and read.

    “One thing I really like about the program is that, even in just three weeks, we really feel like a mini-family and students get to know one another really well,” says Elisa Lee, the District’s Dual Language Coordinator and one of the Summer Reading Program coordinators alongside Kelly Rogers. “We have tremendous staff members, instructional assistants, and reading specialists who help make this program successful.”

    It’s the second year that the program has been open to all nine primary schools. Students receive snacks and a hot lunch during their day of learning, providing ample time to get to know teachers from other schools as well as peers they might not otherwise get the chance to meet. In addition to reading, students spend time discussing literature, participating in writing activities, and even some art projects all aimed at accelerating and improving reading skills.

    “It’s really an extension of what students receive in the classroom during the school year,” Rogers says. “Instruction is probably more focused during the course of the school year, but our teachers are certainly using all of the same strategies that we would in the regular classroom setting.”

    New this year is an additional component for the District’s Dual Language students. WLWV Dual Language teachers oversee students who participate in the Spanish-English program using books written in Spanish as donated by Lowrie Primary. The additional element allows Dual Language students the chance to further their skills in the summer months.

    The Summer Reading Program lasts through July 5, meaning students have plenty of time remaining to find books of interest during their summer vacation.

    “It really is a comprehensive program and one that we’re proud to be a part of,” Rogers says. “It’s a great resource for students and families.”

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  • WLHS Celebrates Inclusivity with Third Annual Unity Day

    Posted by West Linn-Wilsonville on 5/24/2019 5:00:00 PM

    Students learn about Islam and Islamophobia during a work session on May 24.  Students enjoy food trucks on Unity Day May 24.  Haden Misra presents on the topic of identity on May 24.

    Unity Day has become an integral part of West Linn High School. Students hosted the third annual Unity Day on Friday, May 24, increasing inclusivity while building school culture.

    Once again, the entire day was dedicated to student-taught classes on subjects that matter most to West Linn High School students. Students had the opportunity to sign up for four different sessions, selecting Unity-inspired classes that are most relevant or interesting to them.

    Classes covered a wide range of topics, including workshops titled “Sustainability 101,” “Be the Difference,” “Discrimination: thought you’d see the last of me,” “Islam and Islamophobia,” “Body Positivity and Eating Disorders,” “Mental Health and Sports: Balancing Your Life,” and “Nutrition 101” among others. In total, there were more than 50 different workshops taught by students.

    While classes varied widely, all offerings had two things in common: workshops had ties to unity and were of importance to West Linn High School students. One such class was taught by senior Haden Misra. Called “Complexities of Identity,” Misra and his classmates delved into the intricacies of identity, its importance in the world, and how it can change and develop over time.

    Misra explained how he grew up multi-racial, and how his cultural identity has ebbed and flowed throughout his life. He shared his own experiences in exploring his Indian heritage, and how his own journey with his identity continues to develop. Students discussed the differences in cultural, gender, and sexual identity, as well as the role that identity plays in society. Ultimately, students agreed that identity is unique to the individual, and while there are many factors that go into self-identity, our differences are what make the world, and West Linn High School, in particular, a special place.

    In "Mental Health and Sports: Balancing Your Life,” students explored the importance of practicing healthy habits for both the body and mind. High school students lead hectic lives filled with school, co-curricular activities, family responsibilities, jobs, and internships among other potential stressors. The importance of routine, time for relaxation, and the willingness to accept help are all important to leading a healthy lifestyle.

    In “Islam and Islamophobia,” meanwhile, students shared their own experiences with growing up Muslim in America and the many stereotypes that young people face. Celebrating culture and embracing diversity are vital to inclusive cultures, as students explored ways in which students can learn from one another and grow as learners and people.

    Students further celebrated unity with a variety of food trucks during the lunch period, as well as a culminating staff vs. student soccer game in the school’s main gym. While the WLHS staff walked away with an upset victory, the entire school were winners on Friday.

    West Linn High School will continue to grow and refine Unity Day, and the important aspects of inclusion it promotes in the West Linn community.

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  • Safety Spotlight — Reducing Herbicide Use in WLWV

    Posted by West Linn-Wilsonville on 5/8/2019 3:00:00 PM

    Fence guarding along district fence lines will reduce the amount of required herbicide application.

    If you’ve been out to the Athey Creek Middle School soccer fields recently, you might have noticed a new addition to the fence lines that surround the schools’ property.

    The black covering that can be seen along the base of District fencing is actually a specially-designed fence guard that prevents the growth of pesky weeds that can lead to dangerous pests. The new environmental safety feature is just one example of the District’s efforts to reduce the use of herbicides across school grounds.

    Integrated Pest Management Plan Background

    The West Linn-Wilsonville School District takes great pride in creating safe and welcoming schools that provide the optimal learning environment for all students. Naturally, that safety and security extends all the way to the school grounds, encompassing environmental safety throughout the District. The District’s Integrated Pest Management Plan is particularly important to environmental safety in West Linn-Wilsonville.

    Integrated Pest Management, or IPM, is a process for achieving long-term, environmentally sound pest suppression through a wide variety of tactics. Those tactics include structural and procedural improvements to reduce the food, water, shelter, and access used by pests — in particular, weeds and unwanted plants.

    Through extensive training, IPM staff are educated on sanitation, monitoring, and exclusion as the primary means of controlling pests. The IPM process is guided by strict legislation, ensuring school districts across Oregon have approved IPM plans to limit pests with the least possible risk to students and staff.

    Herbicide Use Decreased by 80%

    Part of West Linn-Wilsonville’s IPM Plan includes the use of State-approved herbicides, which are only used when absolutely necessary. Specifically, the District practices targeted spraying of herbicides, which minimizes the amount and frequency of pesticides used. The District has continually worked to reduce herbicide use over the past five years, decreasing the amount of herbicides used by more than 80 percent over that time. Herbicides are only applied to pests when absolutely necessary, and never for aesthetic reasons.

    Ongoing Reduction Plans

    The District is constantly looking for ways to minimize herbicide use even further. Typically, the District applies targeted spraying — using the minimum amount of herbicides as possible — once per school year at every school location. For many schools, the District is actually able to go two years without applying any herbicides to school grounds at all. This is why patrons might notice more weeds around the District than in the past, as herbicides are only applied when absolutely necessary.

    The District also experimented with herbicide-free methods of pest prevention this school year, testing a Saturated Steam Machine to gauge its effectiveness in eradicating and preventing weed growth on District Grounds. After thorough experimentation, staff found that the technique was only marginally effective, requiring a significant increase in staff time that is unmanageable for current staffing levels, and would require multiple treatments throughout the school year

    Fence Guards an Effective Alternative

    West Linn-Wilsonville has found success using fence guards, such as those at the Athey Creek Middle School soccer fields. Weed growth and pest infestation are most common along fence lines, as weeds rapidly grow up fence posts allowing them to spread seeds.

    Because the majority of the District’s herbicide application occurs along District fence lines, the implementation of fence guards helps to reduce herbicide application even more than current efforts.

    West Linn-Wilsonville has nearly 15 miles of fencing throughout the District. While fence guard materials are relatively expensive, the District has budgeted for additional fence guarding in coming school years. The District plans to purchase one full mile of fence guard every year, eventually covering all District fence lines with the preventative apparatus.

    District Partners Aid in Herbicide Reduction

    District staff continues to monitor explore and pilot alternatives to herbicide use — towards complete non-application wherever and whenever possible. Non-Toxic Wilsonville members have been helpful partners in suggesting viable and innovative alternatives and promoting healthy neighborhoods and communities.

    To learn more about the District’s Integrated Pest Management Plan, please visit the District Website.

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  • Bevy of 2014 Capital Bond Improvements Planned for 2019 Summer

    Posted by West Linn-Wilsonville on 4/24/2019 9:00:00 AM

    The Long Range Planning Committee presented the 2014 Capital Bond Quarter One report during Monday’s April 22 School Board meeting, setting the stage for a bevy of important projects that will take place throughout the school district this summer. The following are just some of the projects students and community members can expect to see take place in the coming months just in time for the 2019-20 school year.

    Safety and Security

    The West Linn-Wilsonville School District is committed to creating and maintain safe, secure facilities for students, staff, and patrons. All WLWV schools have been assessed for safety-related corrections, with a number of specific improvements identified across the district. In particular, the district has used 2014 Capital Bond money to update: communication systems, school entrance security, door hardware and locking, safe classroom accommodations, school-grounds exterior security measures, limited video surveillance, and lighting/controls.Door hardware and locks will continue to be implemented throughout the district.

    During Quarter One, select camera installation occurred across the district and the district’s emergency radio system was deployed. This summer, shelter-in-place curtains will be installed at CREST Headquarters, and WLWV’s safety plan will continue to be implemented districtwide.

     

    Softball Field Lighting at Wilsonville High School

    Lighting will be installed at the Wilsonville High softball field.

    Wilsonville High School’s softball field will have lighting installed this summer. Lighting will allow for play later into the day and will further upgrade softball facilities at Wilsonville High School, with further upgrades planned in the coming years.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Cedaroak Park Flooring Replacement

    Cedaroak Park Primary School will receive new flooring for classrooms and porches throughout the school. The work is expected to be completed before the start of the 2019-20 school year.

     

    Tennis Court Resurfacing at West Linn and Wilsonville high schools

    Tennis courts at both West Linn and Wilsonville High School will be replaced this summer. Tennis courts at both schools were last resurfaced in 2012. Tennis court surfacing typically lasts 5-7 years. Tennis nets will also be replaced.

     

    Track Replacement at Wood Middle School Wood Middle School will have its track resurfaced this summer.

    The track at Wood Middle School will be replaced this summer, completing a project that was started in the summer of 2018. The Wood track was last surfaced in 2004, with an expected lifespan of 10 years. The project includes the removal and replacement of the track and underlying pavement and includes the entire track area (including long jump pit and shot put area).

     

     

    Crosswalk Flasher Power, performance lightingWest Linn High School will receive an upgraded crosswalk. , track upgrades, bleacher replacement at West Linn High School

    This project includes supplying line power to existing solar-powered crosswalk flashers at West Linn High School. While solar-powered, this project will ensure consistent operation of the crosswalk at all times of the year. The design is complete and the project will be vid in the coming weeks. The work is planned to be completed this summer.

    Bleachers in the West Linn High School main gym will be replaced this summer, and high jump and pole vault pits were recently replaced at West Linn High School. This projects included replacement of the aging discus cage. 

    West Linn High School’s Performing Arts Center will also receive high-efficiency LED lighting this summer, replacing aging performance lighting. The project is expected to be completed this summer and will save both energy and money over time.

     

      

    Music Room at Bolton Primary

    Bolton Primary will receive a new music room.

    Bolton Primary will have two existing classrooms demolished this summer, paving the way for the creation of a new acoustically attenuated music room with associated storage as well as a conference room. This project is expected to be complete before the 2019-20 school year begins.

     

    Performance Lights at Willamette Primary School

    Like many schools throughout the district already have, Willamette Primary will receive new performance and stage lighting in the gymnasium. The work is planned for this summer and expected to be completed prior to the 2019-20 school year.

     

    Renovation and new playground at Boeckman Creek Primary School

    Boeckman Creek Primary received new playground equipment over spring break.

    Boeckman Creek Primary recently received new playground equipment thanks to the partnership and funding of the Boeckman Creek PTA. The new equipment was installed over spring break with finishing touches occurring through April. Aging vinyl-wrapped wall panels will also be replaced throughout the school this summer, with completion expected prior to the beginning of the 2019-20 school year. Portable classrooms will also be installed at Boeckman Creek to accommodate enrollment growth in Wilsonville.

     

    Courtyard Entry at Wood Middle School

    Wood Middle School will receive a new entryway to its courtyard.

    Wood Middle School will have an existing window system replaced with double doors to improve access to the courtyard. The work is expected to occur this summer, with further improvements to the courtyard expected in the 2019-20 school year.

     

    Site Improvements at Rosemont Ridge Middle School

    The Rosemont Ridge Middle School baseball field will receive new dugouts this summer, with work expected to occur during the summer.

     

    Wrestling Mats at Athey Creek Middle School

    Athey Creek Middle School will have new wrestling mats and new mat hoist installed this summer.

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  • Calendar Change — School Board Approves Updated 2018-19 School Calendar

    Posted by West Linn-Wilsonville on 4/16/2019 9:00:00 AM

    The West Linn-Wilsonville School Board approved an amendment to the 2018-19 school calendar during a special meeting on Monday, April 16.

    The Oregon Education Association is organizing a statewide day of action planned for May 8 related to insufficient school funding. West Linn-Wilsonville staff recommended the Board make a change to the calendar in response to that possible day of action, as District leaders are unsure how many teachers will participate across the Portland Metro area.

    In order to keep the full allotment of instructional hours intact for students, and maintain a high level of quality teaching and learning when students are in the classroom, the School Board approved three calendar changes involving previously scheduled professional development days.

    Wednesday, April 24 was converted from a Professional Growth Wednesday to a full day of school for all students and schools; Wednesday, May 8, was converted to a full Professional Growth Wednesday, meaning no school for students; and Wednesday, May 22 was converted to a Professional Growth Wednesday with two-hour early release at the primary level only.

    The School Board approved the calendar change on April 16 to give families adequate time to make any necessary adjustments ahead of May 8. All after-school athletic events, as well as AP testing, will continue as normally scheduled on May 8. To view the updated 2018-19 school calendar, visit the About Us section of the district website.

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  • Safety Spotlight — Reunification

    Posted by West Linn-Wilsonville on 4/16/2019 8:00:00 AM

    The West Linn-Wilsonville School District hosted its third joint-safety meeting of the 2018-19 school year on Feb. 13, joining first responders, board members, administrators, First Student bus partners, and others to discuss and practice around the topic of reunification.

    What is Reunification? Reunification is the process of controlled release of students. A reunification may be required if certain emergency events occur at school, such as threats to safety in the form of weapon threats, bomb threats, or building evacuations due to extreme weather, gas leaks, or earthquake situations.

    The school district works in collaboration with the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office, West Linn Police Department, Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue, and other community partners in the event of a reunification. Safety agencies use the Standard Reunification Method, which is based on protocols established by the I Love U Guys Foundation.

    Student and Parent Reunification is a protocol that makes the process of student release more predictable and less chaotic for all involved. Because a controlled release is not a typical end of school day event, a reunification may occur at a different location than the school a student attends. This is called an OFF-SITE reunification. The location of an off-site reunification will be announced to parents once students have arrived and the reunification center has been established.

    Notification of a Student and Parent Reunification: In the event that a reunification is required, parents are advised to stay home until receiving communication from the district or law enforcement. This allows law enforcement and first responders to better secure the site prior to a controlled release reunification process. The reunification process will only begin once law enforcement has decided it’s safe to do so.

    Parents will be notified about a reunification process in a number of ways. Parents will receive a broadcast phone message, text alert, and ListServ email, including instructions of what to bring and where the reunification center is. Parents are required to bring ID and will be asked to fill out a reunification form at the reunification site prior to their student’s release. If a parent can not immediately get to the reunification site, a student’s emergency contact may also pick up a student.

    For more information about the reunification process, please watch this instructional video.

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  • Young Scientists Impress at 2019 NWSE ISEF Competition

    Posted by West Linn-Wilsonville on 4/15/2019 3:00:00 PM

    Wilsonville High's Nathan Tidball won first place in the Chemistry category. More than 70 West Linn-Wilsonville high school students and another 30 middle school students competed in the Northwest Science Expo on Friday, April 12 at Portland State University. Dozens of those students received awards and scholarships, serving as tremendous representatives of West Linn-Wilsonville among some of the brightest students from the Pacific Northwest.

    Of note, Wilsonville High Senior Nathan Tidball won first place in the Chemistry category for his project titled "Acrylate Polymerization: Formation of UV Curable Antimicrobial Surfaces"; and West Linn High School's Pooja Jain and Neel Jain won first place in the Electrical and Mechanical Engineering category for their project titled "Skyhound: A low-cost, 3D printed autonomous WiFi tracking search drone to locate missing victims of natural disasters." Dozens of other middle and high school students placed in category competitions and also won special awards. See the full list of award winners.

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  • District Leadership Focuses Data Lens on Improving Student Outcomes

    Posted by West Linn-Wilsonville on 4/10/2019 11:00:00 AM

    Education Northwest's Hella Bel Hadj Amor speaks with District Leadership on April 4.

    Data-driven evidence is a vital component to education in the West Linn-Wilsonville School District. Staff’s use of relevant and significant data to monitor and positively impact student outcomes is pivotal to teaching practices and decision-making processes.

    Tracking important educational data to ensure the success of all students is an equally strong priority for the West Linn-Wilsonville School Board as well. In fact, both the Board and District leadership engaged in powerful professional development around data this past week.

    The School Board focused on just this topic at their most recent work session on April 8, bringing in Oregon School Board Association data expert Renee Sessler, who introduced Iowa Lighthouse data training to help align Board and District priorities and strategies. The Board learned how achievement data is used at the state and local level, honing their understanding of WLWV practices as they gear up for the budget season and the 2019-20 school year.

    The School Board’s first two goals speak to student achievement and the methods in which district staff work towards student success. In particular, Board Goal No. 1 serves as a guiding light throughout the district. The April 8 work session served as an opportunity for the Board to focus on how data is currently being used in the District and how it relates to Board and District Goals.

    District leaders, meanwhile, spent time on April 4 with Education Northwest data experts, working specifically on indicator development to better utilize data in optimizing outcomes for all students. Consisting of building principals and assistant principals, instructional coordinators, district administrators, operations staff, and other district leaders, staff spent the afternoon drilling in on outcomes, indicators, and influencers using real WLWV data. Staff practiced identifying the three criteria in WLWV data, analyzing the many ways in which that data can affect student outcomes, outlining areas where teachers can adjust or improve teaching practices.

    Sorted by school and level, educators focused on indicators unique to the District and individual schools such as attendance and student discipline, and how that indicator data can be used to improve outcomes for student groups. The District has collected meaningful indicator data since 2004, including interim and summative assessment data.

    Building principals and District administration will continue to work with Education Northwest through the school year and beyond to identify indicators at the building level, helping principals to build their school work plans for the coming 2019-20 school year.

    To learn more about the 2017-18 District Work Plan, as well as strategies the District is in engaged in to improve achievement outcomes for all students while eliminating achievement gaps, visit the district website.

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  • Meridian Creek, Wood Middle School Students Prepare for Another Shred Day

    Posted by West Linn-Wilsonville on 4/9/2019 10:00:00 AM

    Students Mia Poppe, Lily Scanlan, and Aric Mistovich are student leaders for Meridian Creek's upcoming Shred Day.

    Shred Day has become a yearly tradition and important part of Wilsonville over the past four years. That tradition will continue once again this year when Meridian Creek and Wood Middle School students host the community event on Saturday, April 20, from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at Academy Mortgage in Wilsonville.

    The event allows any member of the community to shred sensitive documents free of charge in what promises to be a fun environment. Students will be on hand to greet community members, shred documents, and collect donations for school programs and leadership initiatives. It’s an opportunity for seventh-graders to practice leadership skills while giving back to the community.

    “Shred Day is part of our ongoing leadership efforts through our school and our community,” said Meridian Creek seventh-grader Aric Mistovich. “We hosted a ‘No One Eats Alone Day’ and Spirit Week, but this event involves the whole community so we can give back.”

    The event started four years ago when MCMS Math Teacher Kemble Schnell — then a teacher at Wood Middle School — began brainstorming leadership events for her students. A partnership with Advantage Mortgage soon followed and the first Shred Day was born.

    When Meridian Creek Middle School opened for the 2017-18 school year, Ms. Schnell brought the tradition to her new school while including her former Wood students in the fun. The event serves as an opportunity for leadership students from both schools to continue building an inclusive and strong relationship while joining forces for the entire community’s benefit.

    Shred Day also serves as a stepping stone for Meridian Creek Middle School students as they continue to build leadership skills. Students plan to visit nonprofit organizations that create care packages for natural disasters in the coming months so that they can make a global impact in addition to their school and local events.

    “Shred Day is about our local community, but we also want to think globally,” said seventh-grader Lily Scanlan. “We want to help the entire world and show other students that they can get involved in different ways.”

    Leadership also serves as an entry point for students who want to meet new friends in addition to making a positive impact. Seventh-grader Mia Poppe, who is new to Meridian Creek this school year, said leadership opened many doors for her.

    “I wanted a way to get involved in the school and it let me meet a lot of new people and friends,” she said. “I’ve learned a lot and really enjoyed leadership this year.”

    Students are hard at work spreading awareness for Shred Day with their classmates and the larger Wilsonville community. They encourage anyone to attend and take advantage of the free opportunity. The event has been successful in years past, so much so that they filled their truck before the event was scheduled to end.

    Shred Day is Saturday, April 20, from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m at Academy Mortgage; 29100 Town Center Loop W, Wilsonville, OR 97070.

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