Tonasket School District receives academic award

TONASKET – The Tonasket School District board meeting on Monday, Nov. 24 began on a very positive note with a letter of congratulations to the school for their receiving the Academic Improvement Award.

The school district won this award based on academic achievement and yearly improvement in fourth grade writing and math and seventh grade math.

The meeting then moved to Tonasket Elementary School Principal Jeff Cravy’s report. Cravy said the Professional Learning Communities Summit on Nov. 12 through the 15 was one of the most professional and informational conferences he had ever attended. He said he came back from the conference with a lot of information and ideas to improve education instruction at the elementary school.

“The most useful information was the practical steps to getting started and the idea that we just needed to jump in and solve issues as they came up, instead of waiting until all systems and staff are in alignment,” Cravy said.

Cravy also said the Family Fun Night on Friday, Nov. 21 was a huge success. He said there were 123 attendees and that Pepsi provided drinks and the elementary school provided popcorn.

After Cravy’s report, Ed Morgan, the middle school principal, gave his report to the board. Morgan also said the PLC Summit was a good experience. He said 11 people from the middle school and high school went.

“The workshop was one of the best we’ve been to because they have different components from different parts of education that they put together into a packet,” Morgan said.

Morgan then presented the middle school roadmap to the board. The goal of this roadmap is to “ensure high levels of learning for all students by incorporating the components of Professional Learning Communities (PLC). This year’s focus will be on professional development, classroom-based assessments and the pyramid of intervention.”

In addition, Morgan told the board that parent-teacher conferences went well. He said they heard a lot of positive comments about Family Access, but added the number of conferences was down, speculating the increased use of Family Access might be the reason.

High School Principal Jeff Hardesty then gave his report to the board. Hardesty echoed Morgan’s sentiments about parent-teacher conferences, stating that they went well at the high school too, although attendance was also down at the high school.

“Becky Hightower and Tyrone Glanzer worked to put together a Career Night with businesses and colleges but some colleges didn’t show up and neither did parents,” Hardesty said. “But it was a step in the right direction.”

Hardesty said during the Oct. 23 Pyramid of Intervention time, there were 56 less students on the ‘F’ list than the previous one.

“That’s a pretty exciting change,” Hardesty said. “We went three weeks without a P.O.I. and the failure rate increased little during that time, so some teachers want a P.O.I. every week.”

He also told the board that Glenn Braman, the head boys basketball coach, is starting a study table on his late-night practice days.

“He is tracking the grades of each of his kids,” Hardesty said. “Athletes who are doing well academically can bank community service hours if they help another student.”

After Hardesty’s report, Haley Grillo, the Associated Student Body representative, gave the ASB report to the board. Grillo said Hardesty asked the student council to participate in the Pyramid of Interventions and the ASB was glad to help by purchasing Tiger Pride Bags to be given out to students who are drawn from the glass jar on POI days.

“Tiger Pride notes are written by staff members for students who go above and beyond expectations,” Grillo said. “ASB student council will be adding more items as the year goes on. Students seem to be enjoying these rewards and Hardesty calls each student down to his office after POI days to visit with them.”

Grillo told the board that the Future Farmers of America club just sent 11 members to Wenatchee on Nov. 20 for their apple-judging contest where all members did exceptionally well. She said the Family Career and Community Leaders of America Club recently did a candy-gram fundraiser for Halloween.

“They are also doing a fundraiser where they collect pop can tabs to raise money for the Ronald McDonald house in Spokane,” Grillo said.

Grillo said the Future Business Leaders of America club still only has three members and they are hoping to have their chapter signed up by Christmas break so they can become an active chapter. Finally, Grillo said the winter sports began on Monday, Nov. 17.

Dr. Randy Hauff, superintendent, then recommended Kelsey Starzman as the high school knowledge bowl coach and Lesli Koplin as the middle school knowledge bowl coach.

The next school board meeting will be on Monday, Dec. 15 in the Tonasket School District board room and on Friday, Dec. 19 there will be a special board meeting to approve the consent agenda.