District News
New State Assessments This Year PDF Print E-mail

The State of Washington has once again changed the assessment instruments used to check student learning. The new tests are called "Smarter Balance" assessments and will increase the rigor of the tests significantly. According to the Smarter Balance web site, the "assessments will go beyond multiple-choice questions to include extended response and technology enhanced items, as well as performance tasks that allow students to demonstrate critical-thinking and problem-solving skills.

Performance tasks challenge students to apply their knowledge and skills to respond to complex real-world problems. They can best be described as collections of questions and activities that are coherently connected to a single theme or scenario. These activities are meant to measure capacities such as depth of understanding, writing and research skills, and complex analysis, which cannot be adequately assessed with traditional assessment questions. The performance tasks will be taken on a computer (but will not be computer adaptive) and will take one to two class periods to complete.

Smarter Balanced capitalizes on the precision and efficiency of computer adaptive testing (CAT). This approach represents a significant improvement over traditional paper-and-pencil assessments used in many states today, providing more accurate scores for all students across the full range of the achievement continuum."

The OSPI website has some information regarding the new tests. Specifically, parents and students may find these links helpful:

There is a site with Interactive Sample Math Items available.

Additionally, there are printable versions of those items.

Printable Versions of Sample Items

English/Language Arts, by grade bands:

Short Answer:                   ELA 3-5            ELA 6-8           ELA 11

Activity and Performance:   ELA 3-5            ELA 6-8           ELA 11

Math, by grade bands:

Short Answer:                    Math 3-5          Math 6-8          Math 11

Acitivy and Performance:     Math 3-5          Math 6-8          Math 11

 
October News You Can Use PDF Print E-mail
Raymond Elementary News PDF Print E-mail

Raymond Elementary School students have been exhibiting diligence in character and academics since the start of the year. All of this hard work calls for some celebration! Our "standout students" for our first month's character trait (respect) were treated to a pizza party at Slater's Diner. I enjoyed some time to slow down, sit down, and truly get to know the students... and some quick teachers enjoyed the left-overs! Students reaching academic goals also celebrated with their "Big Deal" celebration. Students enjoyed activities from ranging from Bingo to Zumba. Students not meeting goals received support on how to break goals into small chunks and revisit/enhance progress of long-term goals.

Another fun-filled assembly came with a visit from the Raymond Fire Department and their huge mascot, Fire Pup. Students learned tips on fire safety and prevention. Of course, everyone enjoys practicing the stop, drop and roll or crawling below the smoke to get to safety. The assembly was filled with great information and many laughs. I am sure parents appreciated students coming home from the half-day and testing smoke detectors.

Students had half-days all last week due to conference week. Teachers informed parents of student progress and set goals accordingly. In higher grades, conferences were student-led; and the teachers could fill in any "gaps" that may have been omitted. Conferences were well-attended by parents/guardians, and staff, students, and parents are working collectively to having all children succeed. All staff members have been celebrating success and reinforcing positive behaviors which has led to a great atmosphere and learning environment. Chris Cady, Principal Raymond Elementary

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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 Raymond Junior/Senior High

Attendance Matters 

Regular attendance is one of the most important contributing factors to any given student’s success. Laurie Hatfield, RHS’s Gear Up coordinator, states "If a Freshman student attends for the first 30 days of his/her freshman year, she/he is 70% more likely than other students to graduate HS and go on to post secondary education." Raymond Jr/Sr High School’s education system is based on the assumption that barring illness or an extraordinary event, students are in class every school day. We know that missing school matters. According to the Center for Social Organization of Schools:

  • Chronic absence in kindergarten is associated with lower academic performance in first grade. The impact is twice as strong for students from low-income families.
  • Chronic absenteeism increases achievements gaps at the elementary, middle and high school levels.
  • One of the most effective strategies for providing pathways out of poverty is to do whatever it takes to get these students in school every day.

Students miss schools for many reasons. ­The three most prevalent are:

  • Students cannot attend school due to illness, appointments, family responsibilities, or the need to work.
  • Students choose not to attend school due to personality conflicts, avoidance of schoolwork, tests, etc..
  • Students choose not to attend school because they, or their parents, do not see the value in being there; they have something else they would rather do.

This year Raymond Jr/Sr High is focusing on reducing Tardies (late for class), AWOLs (skipping a class), and absences (missing a day). Excused absences shall be granted as follows:

  • Parental Excuses—Each student will be allowed up to 3 days per semester that can be excused by the parent. Parental notes will be allowed as proof of the excused absence. Additional parental excuses may be recorded as “unaccepted” and result in detention and/or Saturday school as determined appropriate by the principal.
  • Medical—If the student brings a doctor’s statement or a health department statement indicating that the student was absent because of illness, the absent will be excused. An authentic medical note or letter must be provided with a phone number of a doctor for verification. A doctor’s excuse will not count as one of the 3 parental excused absences allowed each semester.
  • Prearranged—Prearranged absences may be approved by the principal for a valid educational opportunity, educational travel, religious events, and/or death.
  • Unavoidable—If the three parental excused absences per semester have been used, “unavoidable excused absences” may be granted by the principal as a result of a parent conference.

Being at school, on time and in class, is a primary necessity for success in education. Please make sure your student attends school every day possible.

If you have questions, please contact Dave Vetter, 942-3415, option 2 or  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  .

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We wish to thank those parents, community members, students and staff who participated in our strategic planning input sessions. The school board and staff will  review the data and build a responsive plan. 

 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 .

 
Local Principal Honored PDF Print E-mail

Dave Vetter, Principal at Raymond Junior/Senior High, has been chosen as the League Distinguished Principal of the Year by the Washington Association of Secondary School Principals. He will be recognized at a luncheon at the DoubleTree Hotel in Seatac on 27 October.

Congratualtions Mr. Vetter!

 
School District Saves Local Taxpayers Money PDF Print E-mail

Raymond, WA - August 28, Raymond School District took advantage of historically low interest rates in the municipal bond market and completed the refinancing of its 2004 Unlimited Tax General Obligation Refunding Bonds. The original 2004 bond proceeds had been used to refinance the District's 1999 and 1994 prior voted debt (which financed the construction of the new high school, renovated the elementary school and added classrooms and a gymnasium).

The refinancing will reduce debt repayment costs by approximately by a total of $170,000 over the next four years, when the debt will be retired. Working with Martin Nelson and Company, the District was able to replace the 3.87% average interest rate currently paid on its outstanding 2004 debt with a new rate of 1.22%.

The District was able to secure such low interest rates through the use of an inaugural credit rating from Standard and Poor's and the utilization of a guarantee from Washington State to pay the District's debt service in the event of default. The District's first effort to acquire its own credit rating yielded a strong result. Standard and Poor's awarded the District an "A+" ranking as a result of its highly stable finances, strong liquidity and modest debt load.The S&P rating award also reflected the District's financial success from prior e-learning programs.

"We continue to seek ways to be effective and efficient with taxpayer funds" said Superintendent Dr. Steve Holland. We know our residents are concerned about the economy and we felt these cost reduction efforts were important. The District chose to enter the bond market now so that taxpayer savings could be achieved while interest rates are still at generational lows".

"The refinancing opportunity surfaced in June of this year and we felt it was important to complete the project now before interest rates turned volatile and we found ourselves missing an opportunity to reduce interest costs by 2.65% per year," said Fiscal Officer, Tera Stephens.

 
Ron Bell Appointed to Board PDF Print E-mail
Former RHS Principal Ron Bell was appointed to the board on May 22nd at the Raymond School District board meeting. The board expressed their appreciation to all interested applicants, which included Ms. Julie Gardner and Ms. Kim Rumbles, as well as Mr. Bell. Mr. Bell, who has been a teacher, coach and counselor, stressed that the reason he wished to be on the board was to contribute to the community and ensure that all students have the best education possible. The appointment was required because current board member Beth Stevens will resign from the school board as of June 11th. Bell's appointment will become effective when he is sworn in at the June board meeting on the 26th, and will last until the next general election.
 
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