Among the numerous
Veterans Day events that cadets from Air Force Junior ROTC squadron WA-083
participated in last month, the largest was the annual Auburn Veterans Day parade. The
squadron is a regular at that parade—the second largest Veterans Day event west
of the Mississippi—and this year they managed to win the Admiral Award for best
military entrant for the third time in a row. Not bad for an event with over
200 different organizations participating, many of them competing for that same
award. The cadets who marched are members of the unarmed drill team. Earning this distinction three times in three
years is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the team members and
the leadership of the commander, Cadet Adam Matthews. The team has worked hard
since the end of September in preparation for the first drill meet of the
season on December 14th at Washington High School.
Besides the parade,
cadets from the squadron also planned, organized and conducted the school’s
Veterans Day assembly, presented the colors nine times at local schools and
assisted with the Puyallup VFW’s Veterans Day event. The assembly—narrated by
Cadet Jose Monterroso—included a salute to staff members who served, the
reading of the winning VFW Voice of Democracy essay by Cadet Kayla Abler, a
really large United States flag folding (it took 10 cadets!) led by Cadet
Meagan Dunmire, an exhibition by the aforementioned drill team and an armed demonstration
by cadets Nathan Delacruz and Nick Hawk.
Color guards presented for
assemblies at numerous local schools, including Ford and Keithley Middle Schools;
Central Avenue, Elmhurst and James Sales Elementary Schools; and Washington High School. Additionally, Cadet Trent Aldan carried the Air Force
flag during a Veterans Day program by the Puyallup VFW post.
On November 12, the School Board unanimously approved resolutions to place a four-year Edcuational Programs and Operations levy and a four-year Instructional Technology levy on the February 11, 2014 ballot.
Both of the proposed four-year levies will renew the District's current levies approved by the voters in 2010 that expire at the end of 2014. The estimated annual tax rate of each levy will be at or below the actual 2013 rates.
The Educational Programs and Operations levy will fund
educational programs and operations,
including, but not limited to: classroom teachers; safety personnel;
health services, librarians and counselors; student transportation (staff and
fuel costs); programs for special needs students, such as gifted, remedial and
disabled; textbooks, classroom supplies and library materials; and other educational programs and operations
expenses. Taxes collected by the
proposed levy will provide approximately 20% of the District’s General Fund
budget, including mandated programs not funded by the state.
The Instructional Technology levy will continue to fund the acquisition,
installation and modernization of instructional technology equipment, infrastructure,
systems and facilities and make
other improvements and upgrades to the District’s instructional technology
systems and facilities, all to enhance student learning. The proposed levy would significantly increase the number of computers accessible to students, fund a replacement cycle for staff computers, and provide necessary network, file storage, and data subscriptions.
The Franklin Pierce School District Board of Directors -- Cole Roberts (Chair), John Harstad (Vice Chair), Doug Carlson, Mary Sherman and Mark Baumgarten -- has been recognized as a 2013 Washington State School Board of Distinction by the Washington State School Board Directors' Association. This is the fourth consecutive year that Franklin Pierce School District has received the honor. Only 15 of the state's 295 school districts were recognized as a School Board of Distinction for 2013.
WSSDA’s Boards of Distinction awards program honors school boards that demonstrate effective use of the Washington School Board Standards. The standards, developed and adopted by WSSDA in 2009, promote researched-based governance practices that lead to high levels of student and district performance.
Award applicants are required to submit an essay and supporting evidence to demonstrate how they are putting the new standards into practice. This year, applicants were asked to address the following benchmarks (one from each of the five standards).
Adopting policies based on well-researched practices that emphasize a belief that all students can achieve at high levels. Ensuring non-negotiable goals for student achievement are established and aligned to the district’s plan. Ensuring management of the organization, operations, and resources for an efficient and effective learning environment.
Committing to continuous improvement in student achievement at each school and throughout the district.
Soliciting input from staff and a wide spectrum of the community so that a diverse range of interests and perspectives on issues is considered.
Nationally recognized energy
and facility services firm McKinstry and Tacoma
Power jointly presented the Franklin Pierce School District with a rebate check
for $28,001 at last Tuesday’s school board meeting after completing $2,078,768 in facility
improvements to help lower energy usage and reduce operational costs. The
project cost was also offset by a $1 million grant from the Office of
Superintendent of Public Instruction that McKinstry helped the district secure,
and $44,555 in energy conservation incentives available for lighting and
heating systems upgrades.
Facility upgrades included the
Replacement of aging heating and ventilation systems at Ford
Middle School and Washington High School gyms
upgrades at Washington High School, Franklin Pierce High School, Ford Middle
School and Keithley Middle School
upgrades at Washington High School, Franklin Pierce High School, Ford Middle
School, Keithley Middle School and Midland Elementary School
(“envelope”) upgrades and weatherization measures
water conservation measures
Annual energy savings from
these facility improvements are expected to be $30,259. In addition, the
district will save an estimated $7,000 in annual operational and maintenance
costs. These energy improvement measures will reduce carbon emissions by 616,474
pounds a year, which is the equivalent of removing 58 cars from the roads or 14
houses from the power grid.
“This project is an important
long-term investment in the health of our schools. Not only does this project
save the district money, it creates a better environment for students to learn
and teachers to teach,” said Superintendent Dr. Frank Hewins. “We’re thankful
for this partnership with McKinstry and Tacoma Power.”
from the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction is part of the 2012
Jobs Now Act. Approved by the Washington State Legislature in April 2012, the Act (now the
Washington Energy Efficiency Grant program) allocated
nearly $78 million to competitive grant programs to fund energy and operational
cost saving improvements in public buildings across the state. The Legislature has
authorized an additional round of funding for 2013-2015.
Ford Middle School eighth grade band students, William
Simpson and Odette Mohr were chosen to participate in the Washington Music
Educators Association (WMEA) Jr. All-State band and choir which will perform on
Saturday, February 15 in Yakima, WA during the Washington Music Educator’s Convention.
William and Odette were chosen through an audition process from hundreds of
band students from across the state of Washington.
Many professional musicians credit their All-State
experience as crucial to their decision to choose music as a career. Thousands
of others whose career paths took them in other directions have great memories
of participating in this inspiring and motivating musical experience and claim
that it was a life-changing experience for them.
Well-known Washingtonians who have participated in
past years’ WMEA All-State groups include The Seattle Post-Intelligencer’s
Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist and columnist David Horsey, 2008
National Teacher of the Year Andrea Peterson, and jazz saxophonist Kenny G.
L to R: William Simpson and Odette Mohr
At the Washington High School football game on October 25th,
the Patriot community held a ceremony to posthumously honor WHS alumnus and
professional football player, Lewis Bush. Lewis Bush’s jersey, #36, was retired
Lewis was a standout athlete at Washington High School from
1984-1988. As a football player, Lewis was the perfect mix of speed and size.
As a running back, he set the WHS single-season rushing record in the fall of
1987. That season, Lewis led the Patriots to arguably their most impressive win
in school history by dismantling the eventual AAA state champion, the Puyallup
Vikings, 35-21. In track and field, Lewis was the Pierce County League’s 100
meter champion his sophomore, junior, and senior seasons. He led the Patriots’
track and field team to a second place team finish in the state of Washington
in the spring of 1988.
Lewis received a football scholarship to Washington State
University and played defensive end for the Cougars from 1988-1992. Lewis played
in the Aloha Bowl in 1988 and Copper Bowl in 1992. Following his senior season,
he was honored with the Niemi Award as the Cougar senior player who best
exemplifies courage, spirit, and attitude.
In the spring of 1993, Lewis was selected in the 4th round
of the NFL draft by the San Diego Chargers. He played seven years as a
linebacker with the Chargers and participated in the 1994 Super Bowl. Lewis
played another three seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs. During Lewis’s
10-years NFL career, he racked up 354 tackles.
While in the NFL, Lewis generously donated toward the
purchase of new team sweats for the WHS track and field program.
Lewis passed away unexpectedly on December 8, 2011.
On October 25th, Lewis became only the third Patriot in
school history to be honored with a jersey retirement. The others are United
States military service member Tom Allison and Pierce County Sheriff Ronnie
Owens. Both Tom and Ronnie were killed in the line of duty.
A framed jersey will hang alongside Tom’s and Ronnie’s
jerseys in the Patriot Dome.
Friends and family of Lewis Bush were presented with the #36 jersey that will hang in the Patriot Dome indefinitely.
Several schools through the district participated in a region-wide earthquake drill on Tuesday, October 17, called the Great Washington Shakeout. The day's drills were part of a large, coordinated awareness campaign for residents to prepare for an inevitable earthquake. The Washington Emergency Management Division says more than 860,000 people were registered to drop, cover and hold during Thursday's earthquake drill at 10:17 a.m. The majority of the district's 7,350 students contributed to that statewide participation count.
Supt. Hewins observed an earthquake drill at James Sales Elementary, a participating school of the Great Shakeout. "Students and staff quickly got underneath their desks and then evacuated calmly afterwards, following all the procedures as planned," said Supt. Hewins. Assistant Supt. Lance Goodpaster reported similar results during his observation of Brookdale Elementary.
Today's drill is one of many that schools conduct throughout the school year. By law, every school must annually complete three lockdown drills, three fire evacuation drills, one shelter-in-place drill, and one discretionary drill. Due to the risk of earthquakes in the region, many schools choose earthquake drills as their discretionary drill. Monthly drills are one of many ways that schools promote preparedness among staff, students and parents.
Students in Mrs. Sims' 4th grade class "drop, cover, and hold" during
an earthquake drill on Thursday, October 17.
Teachers at James Sales Elementary hold up green cards at the earthquake
evacuation site to indicate that all students are accounted for.
A total of 35 community stakeholders toured Brookdale Elementary, Ford Middle School, and Washington High School on Tuesday, October 15. The group included elected officials and their staff, a dean from Pacific Lutheran University, business leaders, school board directors, community associations, parent teacher associations, unions, community residents, and interested parents. The tour was this year's Your Public Schools in Action tour, an annual event that Franklin Pierce Schools hosts to empower community stakeholders with a first-hand experience educational rigor in the district.
The guests arrived at Washington High School at 8:30 a.m. to be greeted by coffee and district administrators. Dr. Frank Hewins, Superintendent of Franklin Pierce Schools, started the program with a presentation on the characteristics, challenges, and successes that define the district. Then the tours of the three schools commenced. With the group of guests split into three groups, students at each of the three schools led the guests to classrooms, where engaging lessons were being taught by teachers and worked on by students. In between each school visit, guests rode one of the district's school buses, on which they received handouts from administrators on topics of budget and finance, teaching and learning, human resources, and learning support services. Each of the three school principals also provided a formal introduction to the school upon the guests’ arrival. The day concluded with a lunch catered by the district's Nutrition Services Department; the lunch consisted of the same ingredients used to prepare student meals.
This year's tour held a theme of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). While guests did see some general education classrooms, they mostly visisted classrooms with a STEM focus.
"We wanted guests to experience and appreciate the great work of our staff, the curious and engaged minds of our students, all in an authentic context -- visit actual classrooms that didn't change their work to accommodate the tour, ride a school bus, and eat typical school lunch food," said Dr. Hewins. "I think we accomplished that, and more," he said.
Guests remarked how impressed they were with the work that the district was doing and the corresponding results, as well as how different schools of today are from schools that they attended.
Franklin Pierce Schools has an open door policy. Anyone interested in taking a tour of schools need not wait for the next Your Public Schools in Action tour. If you would like a tour, please contact the Public Information Office at 253-298-3087.
Guests observe math instruction at Brookdale Elementary School.
Senator Bruce Dammeier speaks with a 4th grade student
at Brookdale about the math assignment.
| Safe Schools Alert
| Superintendent's Corner
The staff and students of Franklin Pierce Schools have been hard at it since our opening day on August 27. Without interruption or distraction, our schools have remained focused on what we are paid by our public to do – educate our kids. We are not without our challenges but as you will see throughout this publication, Franklin Pierce Schools are on a continuous cycle of becoming the best they can be - one day and one child at a time.
| Quarterly Newsletter