June 14, 2013
This was the final week for seniors at AHS and HHS. Graduation at Harbor High last night was great and I am looking forward to sunny skies (at least no rain!) on Friday evening at Stewart Field for Aberdeen High School’s graduation.
Monday at 9:30 a.m. is the AJ West Playground Celebration. They will be hosting a celebration in the cafeteria that will move outside for the ribbon cutting ceremony. This is a great new addition to the AJ West playground that will provide many years of use for the students of the AJ West community.
We have finished all the end-of-the-year testing and students will look forward to receiving the results for the End of Course exams in Algebra, Geometry, and Biology in August. The preliminary HSPE results are in and students will receive paper copies of their scores when OSPI sends out the final results – also usually in August.
Several large grants will be built into the budget, both on the revenue and expenditure side, that we may or may not receive this summer or fall. These include the five-year 21st Century Grant, Physical Education PEP Grant, and a local Youth Build Grant. The advantage of putting them into the budget is that we would not have to do a budget extension for these programs if we receive them.
We do have two expenses that may push us over our budget capacity in the General Fund this year. We found out this week that the boiler at the Hopkins/HHS building is no longer functional or worth repairing and we need to replace it. We are looking at replacing the boiler with a much smaller and more efficient one. David Herrington will provide more information for the School Board at the upcoming Board meeting.
Lots of activities and end-of-the-year events will be taking place over the next few days. The last day of school this year is Thursday, June 20. It is a half-day for all our schools.
Have a great weekend and enjoy the sunshine! GO BOBCATS!
Thank you, Tom
June 7, 2013
This has been a great music week for Aberdeen. Several band concerts took place this week at Miller JH and Aberdeen HS, including a fabulous AHS band concert I was able to catch the end of after the board meeting on Tuesday evening. We have a strong music tradition in Aberdeen and it is fun to see enthusiasm in both students and teachers.
AJ West will be installing their new playground Saturday with the help of many volunteers. The old playground equipment was removed and the area prepped for several new play structures. They plan on having their Playground Dedication on Monday, June 17 at 9:30 a.m.
Wednesday evening, June 12, is Family Country Craft Night and Dinner at McDermoth. It all begins at 5:30p.m. They will also be hosting their annual Passport Event on Thursday, June 13 beginning at 12:30 p.m. This is a fun world adventure and family members.
Stevens hosted a STEM Fair throughout the building on Thursday this week. Students at all grade levels were involved in sharing their projects with community members– including Dr. Brewster from Grays Harbor College! All students had a great time learning and sharing about science. Thank you to all the community members who provided comments for many of the students projects.
Students in the Algebra classes at Miller Junior High will be taking the End of Course exams the end of next week. Sixth-grade students will visit Miller during the week as well as they begin preparations for seventh grade next fall.
Miller is hosting a GEAR Up - STEM Fair on Tuesday, June 11,from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Stop by and see what exciting learning is taking place at the junior high.
We continue to have ongoing professional development with a number of trainings. Elementary staff were involved in redesigning the elementary report cards for next year to reflect the move to Common Core State Standards. Principals met with a trainer from the Washington State Leadership Academy to review the new principal evaluation on Friday. Teachers involved in the Freshman Learning Community will be meeting several times prior to the end of the year as they plan implementation plans for the fall.
As you can see, there is a lot going on these last few weeks of school.
If you have time, swing by AJ West to see how the playground installation is moving along!
Thank you, Tom
May 31, 2013
Wow! Next Monday is June 3. It is hard to believe how quickly the end of the school year is upon us this time of year. Our spring End-of-Course state exams will be taking place over the next two weeks along with the state Measures of Student Progress (MSP) tests for students in Grades 3-8.
High school graduation at Harbor High is scheduled for 6:00p.m. on Thursday, June 13. Aberdeen High hosts its graduation the next evening at Stewart Field,also at 6:00 p.m.
Wednesday and Thursday, the high school Cabaret was held in the Auditorium. This was a great event with a number of outstanding performers. Students from our AHS American Sign Language class helped provide interpreting services during the concert.
Friday afternoon the students at Aberdeen High School filmed a Lip Dub. It was a fun event that involved every student at AHS. Look for the video to be available soon.
It sounds like it will be a warm and sunny weekend. I hope you are able to be outside and enjoy the sun and warmer weather over the next few days.
May 23, 2013
Even during this short week, we have numerous activities taking place throughout the school district. As I mentioned at the school board meeting on Tuesday, the calendar gets full this time of year at all our schools. Monday of this week, the Medical Careers class held its annual “pinning” ceremony in the auditorium at Aberdeen High School on Monday evening. It was a another outstanding group of students that made it through the program.
Wednesday evening I attended the WASA Regional meeting in Olympia. Mark Decker, Principal of Miller Junior High School, was recognized as the WASA Region 113 Outstanding Principal. Overall it was a great event. Mr. and Mrs. Decker are pictured below. Congratulations Mr. Decker!
Thursday evening was the annual Silver and Gold Banquet at the Rotary Pavilion. This is an outstanding opportunity to recognize students from both Aberdeen High School and Hoquiam High School for service to their community. Students are nominated and selected by staff members as standouts in the world of service and leadership. Mrs. Betsy Seidel and Mr. David Quigg were the guest speakers for the evening with hosting and dinner provided by the Aberdeen staff.
As you can see, lots going on these last four weeks of school. Check each schools webpage and calendar to see the scheduled events. Have a great Memorial Day weekend and enjoy time with your family and friends.
Thank you, Tom
May 17, 2013
This has been another outstanding week in the Aberdeen School District. The “All City” band and orchestra concert held on Thursday evening in Sam Benn Gym was excellent. There were more than 110 band students and over 30 orchestra students participating. Wendy Koski and Karen Meikle worked together with the music staff to put on a well-orchestrated program.
Several students from the newly formed Link Crew at Aberdeen High School visited eighth grade students at Miller Junior High on Monday during Advisory. They provided information on high school and answered questions students had about moving from Miller to AHS. High school Link Crew students were also on hand during the GEAR UP Family Night at Aberdeen High School on Monday evening to provide tours of the high school for junior high students and parents. This is a great program that will help create a positive, supportive transition for students as they enter high school.
Lynn Green and Jan Gravely are working on the upcoming 21stCentury Learning Centers Grant application. The Request for Proposal (RFP) is due out the end of this month and the grant needs to be submitted by June 30.
The final Gray-Pac Superintendents’ meeting of the year took place today (Friday) in the Community Room at AHS. Bill Kiem, the outgoing ESD superintendent was in attendance along with the new ESD superintendent, Dana Anderson. It should be a smooth transition since Dana has been an assistant superintendent at the ESD. Congratulations to both Bill and Dana as they take on their new roles this coming year.
Have a great weekend and enjoy life on the Harbor. Our girls softball team is playing for the district title in Centralia this afternoon. They will be heading to the state tournament May 24-25 in Selah, Washington This game is just for placement. We also have students completing in tennis, track, and golf. Best wishes to all our student athletes.
Thanks again, Tom
May 10, 2013
I attended the Miller track meet on Thursday and was impressed with the number of students turning out for track. We have over 90 seventh and eighth grade students participating. This is a fabulous number and it was great to see so many students involved.
Have a great weekend. It sounds like Saturday will be the nicer of the two days so enjoy your outdoor activities early. Remember Mothers Day on Sunday!
May 3, 2013
What a week for Aberdeen Schools! Our spring sports programs are completing the regular season with all our teams continuing into post-season competition. The spring musical, “You’re a Good Man,Charlie Brown,” is opening on Friday night and will continue through the weekend with performances at 7:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday with a Sunday matinee beginning at 2:00 p.m. The Aberdeen Daily World ran a great article on Thursday about the play with several pictures of our students during their dress rehearsal on Wednesday.
Spring testing is upon us as well. All elementary schools and Miller Junior High School will be administering the state Measures of Student Progress (MSP) and local Measures of Academic Progress (MAP). Students at Miller, AHS, and Harbor High will be taking the End of Course (EOC) exams in Algebra, Geometry, and Biology in June. The EOC exams are all part of the graduation testing requirements along with the High School Proficiency Exams (HSPE) in reading and writing.
Thursday afternoon Stevens Elementary held their annual science fair for all fifth grade students. This was a great event with all students learning about the scientific process by carrying out their own experiment. Thursday evening was the A. J. West Fiesta (Cinco de Mayo). It was also a great event with outstanding student and parent participation.
Students at Central Park received instruction about color and light from one of our outstanding art teachers. Mary Pier, Miller Junior High School, worked with students Thursday and Friday this week as they applied what they learned to create beautiful pieces of art that will be displayed proudly in the near future.
Have a great weekend and enjoy this fabulous weather.
April 26, 2013
This has been the best week yet for all our spring sports teams in terms of weather. The sunny, warm days are a welcome site for coaches, athletes and parents. Some of our teams are finishing up their regular season play over the next week and will begin competing in the playoffs in mid May.
Tuesday, April 30 will be the Aberdeen High School Boys Soccer Senior Night at Stewart Field at 7:00. We will be celebrating our Seniors in their last regular season home game against Capital High School. Come out & support your Bobcats!
I am continuing to review grant opportunities for our students at the high school in order to implement a 1:1 technology program beginning next fall. While there are challenges, it is also interesting to learn more about the processes required for different grant applications. We should hear within the next month about a Grays Harbor Community Foundation Grant submitted for adding and upgrading some of our orchestra instruments.
The legislative session is wrapping up this weekend and there seems to be complete agreement that our representatives will end up going into special session. At our regional superintendents meeting on Wednesday, we were told there will more than likely be a 2-3 week break between the regular and special sessions. That means our budget will be developed and in final stages before we have any information from the legislature on the revenue package for K-12 education. Challenging! For more on the legislative wrap up, check out the new TWIO on the WASA website – www.wasa-oly.org.
Aberdeen High School is looking for volunteers for sophomore Mock Interviews and Senior Boards. If you would like to volunteer for either or both, please email Lynn Green at firstname.lastname@example.org or Barb Paige at email@example.com. This is a great opportunity to see our students at different stages in the portfolio process.
I will be taking over the duties as our regional WASA President beginning September 1. This will be a year appointment with some follow up duties in 2014-2015 as the past-president. It should be a fun year as I plan to visit all 44 superintendents in our ESD over the next 15 months and pick up ideas from every district I visit that I can bring back to enhance our work in Aberdeen.
Thanks again and have a great weekend.
April 19, 2013
Word is spreading about the iPad program at Miller Junior High throughout our region and state. Several school districts have sent teams to visit Miller to see how the students and staff are using the technology in the classroom. Mark Decker is a great ambassador for the program and he, along with a team of teachers, will be presenting at the AWSP/WASA Summer Conference in Spokane in June. I am sure that will generate more schools interested in visiting Miller in the future.
Have a great weekend as we look forward to warm and sunny days over the next week.
April 12, 2013
The SkillsUSA team is completing in the state finals this weekend. Several members of the team competed at Aberdeen High School in the electrical wiring division. Overall, we have ten students competing in state events with the goal of making it to nationals in June.
Six members of our high school math team will be competing at the state high school math contest in Yakima on Saturday. This is the second year our high school students have competed and will grow over the next few years as more students become involved. We currently only have juniors, sophomores and freshman on the team in a planned format to have hem move up each year until we have all four grades competing.
The Aberdeen Music Boosters are having their annual fundraising auction and dessert benefit at Miller Junior High on Saturday evening from 5-8 p.m.
The latest TWIO is now posted on the WASA website. It highlights the House budget. Given some of the new numbers, it now looks like McDermoth will not be fully funded for All Day Kindergarten. We will have to wait and see what comes out in the final budget.
Thanks again for your support and have a great weekend.