District News
2015-16 Academic Calendar Approved PDF Print E-mail

Click here to download the 2015-16 Academic Calendar.

 
March News You Can Use PDF Print E-mail

Changes In Testing

With spring around the corner, students are now becoming familiar with the new Washington State standardized testing. For kids, the test will include new structures and online/electronic tools that must be learned to show their full potential. For adults, this means new language, testing formats, and scoring. Here is a general overview of the new changes that will impact students at Raymond Elementary.

Students will take the Smarter Balanced Assessment, which is used to identify if students are meeting Common Core State Standards. These standards are common across most states in the USA. Students will be taking electronic tests on Mathematics and English/ Language Arts. While there are several standards for each grade, there are 4 “claims” for each subject.

Math

1.)  Students can explain and apply mathematical concepts and interpret and carry out mathematical procedures with precision and fluency.

2.)  Students can solve a range of complex well-posed problems in pure and applied mathematics, making productive use of knowledge and problem solving strategies.

3.)  Students can clearly and precisely construct viable arguments to support their own reasoning and to critique the reasoning of others.

4.)  Students can analyze complex, real-world scenarios and can construct and use mathematical models to interpret and solve problems.

English/Language Arts

1.)  Students can read closely and analytically to comprehend a range of increasingly complex literary and informational texts.

2.)  Students can produce effective writing for a range of purposes and audiences.

3.)  Students can employ effective speaking and listening skills for a range of purposes and audiences.

4.)  Students can engage in research/inquiry to investigate topics, and to analyze, integrage, and present information.

Both subjects have a three-part test that consists of a computer adaptive test, classroom activity, and a performance task. The computer adaptive test will adapt based on correct/incorrect answers to provide great accuracy with student ability levels. After a short classroom activity coordinated by the teacher, students will complete a performance task. This portion has students apply their knowledge by answering questions centered on a common topic or problem.

All 3 rd through 6 th graders will take the Smarter Balanced Test in both math and ELA. 5 th grade students will also take the Science MSP (Measurement of Student Progress) electronically. This is the only test that hasn’t changed from the previous year. Testing will begin in mid-late march and carry through May. Visitwww.smarterbalanced.org for additional information and practice. 

Contact Info: Chris Cady, 360-942-3415 option 1,  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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Procrastination

In the musical You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, Charlie has a book report due. He sings in a hesitant, scared voice: “If I start writing now…when I’m not really rested…it could upset my thinking which is not good at all…I’ll get a fresh start tomorrow…and it’s not due till Wednesday…so I’ll…have all of Tuesday unless…something should happen…Why does this always happen…I should be outside playing…getting fresh air and sunshine…I work best under pressure and there’ll be lots of pressure if I…wait till tomorrow…I should start writing now but if I…start writing now when I’m not really rested…it could upset my thinking…which is not good at all.” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard a version of this from a student!

I’m a procrastinator. I know it. “I can return that phone call later.” “There will be time to finish this task tomorrow…at least before this weekend.”  Does this ring a bell? It’s a talk we all have with ourselves from time to time. Try to find someone who hasn’t procrastinated or grappled with putting off a task they know needs to be attended to. You will struggle to do so.

Surprisingly, there’s a scientific reason for this! Procrastination is so relatable, so universal, because the human brain is wired for it. Science explains that Charlie Brown’s struggle is sparked between two parts of the mind when it’s faced with a distasteful activity: a battle of the limbic system (the part of the brain that tells you to pull your hand away from a flame and avoid unpleasant tasks) and the prefrontal cortex (the internal “planner” that tells you to get the job done). When the limbic system wins, and that’s pretty often, the result is putting off for tomorrow what could (and should) be done today.


There are many great strategies for dealing with procrastination. Attack the hardest task when your energy is fresh and you give yourself the strongest chance of success. Doing otherwise can have a damaging domino effect. Putting off the dreaded item on your list saps your strength as you spend more time and energy dreading the task than it would have taken to get it done. Attack your biggest, most dreaded job first thing and the rest is downhill. Another trick to overpowering procrastination is to assess your day and your tasks at lunchtime. By waiting until the end of the day you’re not only out of time to do anything about it, but you feel as if you failed. Often you will hear me use the phrase, “It’s about what we can do, not what we can’t.” What I mean by that is to not look at a forest and say I’ll never get it done. See one tree and cut it down. If that’s too much, cut three branches. It’s about what you can do, not what you can’t. Finally, plan a “Get ‘er done” Day. Take that list of deeds and tasks that you’ve been putting off or ignoring, start out first thing in the morning and dedicate the day to checking them off your list. I find that the more I do the greater my momentum becomes. It’s pretty cool when after a bit you look back at that list you’ve been dreading and it’s disappeared.

Don’t allow procrastination to define you. Take charge of your tasks. No need to pick just one tactic. Have them all in your arsenal so you’re ready to handle whatever obstacle your battling brain might toss in your path.

Contact Info: Dave Vetter, 360-942-3415 option 2,  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 
School Make-up Day on 4 March PDF Print E-mail

Our schools were closed on 5 January due to flooding. As a result, we will be holding classes on 4 March to make up that lost day. This date was identified on our academic calendar as a "Possible Weather Day" and we will use it as such.

 
January News You Can Use PDF Print E-mail

 

Raymond Elementary News      

January marks the inception of the “heart” of the school year. All routines, programs, schedules, etc. are now automatic for staff and students. Kids are deep into the curricula, and there are very few distractions that break up the weeks. As a staff, we want to ensure ALL students learn and grow to their fullest potential. Learning is a life-long journey, and students should be taking responsibility for their own learning; both inside and outside of school. The students that are reaching full potential are all performing the same basic actions. These students are spending time reading to family members and mastering math facts through fluency practice.

As a staff, we make sure to use assessments to guide our next steps. When students are tested, this information is not just used for a general rating of performance. This data is dissected and analyzed to teach students at their level. We are now finishing our Winter Benchmark Testing. This information indicates growth in comparison to the beginning of the year, and is used in providing the correct interventions to fill in the gaps. There will be many students successfully completing programs and moving into new groups. Much of this success is linked to setting goals at the beginning of each month and reviewing progress towards these goals. For that reason, we make sure to celebrate the meeting of monthly goals with a Big Deal Celebration.

I appreciate all of the hard work you put in with your children. Being a parent is an exhausting job even without the homework. In the beginning of the year, many of you signed the “parent commitment” banner. If you too are setting/reviewing goals for the near year, here are the commitments from the banner. I agree to:

-Have my child attend school on time and prepared for the day’s work.

-Have my child come to school rested with plenty of sleep.

-Support the school staff with maintaining proper discipline.

-Encourage my child to be respectful with diverse cultures.

-Have a time and place for my child to do his/her homework, and I will check the homework for accuracy.

-Have on-going communication with my child’s teacher at school.

-Attend parent-teacher conference twice a year.

-Read to my child and let him/her see me reading every day.

-Teach my child that an education is important.

Contact Info: Chris Cady, 360-942-3415 option 1,  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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RHS Flex Center

Today’s students have needs and challenges unlike any students who came before them. They have job and family situations that often have caused a loss of academic credits. Many have taken advanced classes and require further classes to help them in their pursuit of academic rigor. State mandated learning and testing requirements frequently mean students need to take classes that don’t always fit into their academic schedules, yet they must somehow be taken. Raymond High School took a look at the needs of its students and decided to develop the Flexible Learning Center to better serve its kids.

Flexible learning includes general education courses that meet the math and writing requirements, as well as many other subjects, in a flexible online format. The “start now” feature of our online courses for credit provides students with a self-paced online instructional environment while incorporating innovative learning experiences that match the lifestyle and learning preferences of today’s learner. The Flex Center was designed to enable students to continue on their pursuit of credit recovery and remediation. Academically advanced students have the added opportunity to take high school courses that are more suited to their individual ability, whether that means Advanced Placement (AP) classes, to prepare for End of Course (EOC) remediation or to participate in SAT preparation courses. RHS also consistently reviews and revises its curriculum and programs each semester in order to successfully remediate and recover children from our at-risk student population.

Another important aspect of the RHS Flex Center is Mrs. Cindy Collins, our Flex Center Coordinator. She works together with Mrs. Webber, our Guidance Counselor, and our classroom teachers, to monitor and facilitate the needs and progress of our students. If a student needs help in any given area, they may receive classroom instruction in their mainstream class and then move to the flex center to complete their assignment alone, with peer tutoring or Mrs. Collin’s assistance. They may do this for a day or for a week, as their needs dictate. She also works in conjunction with Mr. Londino, our Alternative School instructor, to take care of any alternative student needs that develop.

The RHS Flex Center is just that, a flexible learning situation with flexible classes, schedules, instruction and instructors. Today’s students are often faced with an ever moving target and the Flex Center is one way Raymond High School is helping students meet the challenge!

Contact Info: Dave Vetter, 360-942-3415 option 2,  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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Go Gulls!!!

You can update your contact information online here. If you don't have your district login and password, contact Kristi at 942-3415, option 4. Alternatively, you may email  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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December News You Can Use PDF Print E-mail

Raymond Elementary News                                  

The focus of December has been on kindness and caring. Instead of pranks, classrooms have been pulling RAK’s (random acts of kindness) on other classes. If a classroom gets “RAK’ed,” they perform another random act of kindness on another unsuspecting group. It has been fun during the month, and will hopefully linger into the rest of the school year. Students have been continuously working towards their academic and behavioral goals, and the hard work will be celebrated at the end of the month. The 4 th grade Empathy Video at the November awards assembly was a hit! It seems to be the start of something great. The next assembly will feature many creative videos from several grade levels. Not only does it give a clear picture of the character trait in focus; it allows students to express creativity and share it with the whole school.

Students qualifying for the Highly Capable program traveled up to Cosmopolis to spend the day with peers of other partnering districts. Students in the program are signed up for 8 days throughout the year, and each day has a different theme. While the first focused on art, the latest day focused on science. Students learned about biomimicry, which is when we use the designs and processes of nature to solve human problems. It was enjoyable for students and produced some fun photo opportunity for this year’s annual.

The Elementary Grade School Winter Concert was a hit as usual. Mrs. Bailey did a great job gearing appropriate music to each grade level. Classes had their individual practices throughout the last few weeks, and it came together in a collective musical cuteness. Students are excited for the holidays, but are still being held to high standards. Aside from the curriculum, they have been filling hallways and tree with decorations and ornaments. Everyone is prepared to finish 2014 with diligence, and unwind during the break. 

Raymond Junior/Senior High

December has been another fast and furious month here at RHS. It seems as if we just started the school year and yet the end of 2014 is in sight.

We finished November with Aspire ACT testing for our sophomores and worked with our seniors who needed to retake their SAT. The importance of these tests is greater than just getting scores. They may be used for college entrance and also to satisfy state mandated tests requirements that are tied to graduation. Mrs. Webber, RHS Guidance Counselor, has made RHS a testing site so our kids don’t have to travel to other schools on a Saturday to participate and made these tests a priority.

Carl Bivens (Spanish, Reading) and Meagan Skoubo (JH Math) have been leading 9 other teachers through training for the Common Core tests that schools will start administering this spring. Mr. Bivens and Mrs. Skoubo received their training through the University of Washington-Tacoma and use after school instructional time, lunch sharing time and share Google documents to work closely with staff in a Professional Development community. It’s been a very impressive process to watch take place and Raymond’s students are receiving the benefit of their teacher’s hard work.

Mrs. Bailey and the Jr/Sr High School bands along with the Performing Arts class presented a wonderful Christmas Concert. This marked the first performance of the Jazz Band as well. The Jazz Band members come in at 7:45 in the morning to practice and dedicate their early mornings to their music. Putting together a concert with the logistics of preparing four groups to perform at it is a challenging task and Mrs. Bailey and her students are to be congratulated.

Cecilia Jimenez was chosen as the Lion’s Club Student of the Month for December. Among many other involvements, Cecilia is a member of the Honor Society, a cheerleader, and a member of the ASB. Her list of accomplishments is huge and she is a student RHS can be very proud of. Congratulations, Cecilia!

Looking forward, we will start preparing for our annual student led conferences to be help the first week in February. We have utilized electronic portfolios the past two years and the presentations keep getting better and more informational.  A successful presentation is supported by technology as a visual aid and enhances the student’s message.

Finally, Raymond’s SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) club, under the guidance of Mr. O’Brien, participated in the downtown Raymond Christmas parade December 6 th . They carried their lighted SADD sign and passed out candy canes with the message of having a safe holiday and a Merry Christmas. They won first place for school spirit.  Well done, kids!

 
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