In addition to all of the communication and information shared regularly, we want to take some time each week to share more about our students, staff and programs throughout the district that share the mission of making each student future-ready. We are calling this series “The Weekender", and we hope you enjoy more insight into some of the great things going on in the Mead School District!
- Oct. 7, 2022 - Northwood Students Attend "Unlock Your Future" Event
- Sept. 30, 2022 - Evergreen's Living Classroom
- Sept. 23, 2022 - Future Ready Series: Community Resource Fair & Keynote Speaker
A group of 75 Northwood Middle School students led by teacher David Vail took a field trip to the “Unlock Your Future” event at the HUB Sports Center in Liberty Lake this week to connect with more than 60 organizations that represented four industries - Trades, Manufacturing, Construction and Medical.
A committee comprised of representatives from local nonprofits (Innovia Foundation, HUB Sports Center), education administrators, counselors and Career and Technical Education (CTE) staff and business chambers formed in 2020 to plan the event, and after working through the past two years of challenges, the group was able to bring the event to life. Representatives from these local businesses and organizations set up booths across four basketball courts at the HUB to share more information about potential pathways and careers for students and answer questions from students, teachers and administrators.
In line with Mead School District’s “Each Student Future Ready” mission, this event resonated deeply with many of Mr. Vail’s students who attended. “We had an awesome field trip to the Hub Sports Center to participate in Unlock Your Future,” Mr. Vail said. “There were so many businesses there to show the students jobs that were available with tons of fun activities. The students really connected with them and several are now considering careers they would not have otherwise.”
Last Friday, Evergreen Elementary benefited greatly as a part of Northwest Farm Credit Services’ "100 Percent Committed" program. In addition to on-site support with gardening and clean-up from 12 Northwest FCS employees, the company donated $10,000 to our garden project, essentially $2,000/year to the garden for the next five years.
The "living classroom" has been an ongoing project for Principal Mike Danford, several teachers, and a few dedicated parents over the past eight years. In that span, the group has organized clean-up sessions, set planting dates, and worked on weeding projects. There has been community volunteer support over the years, but Northwest FCS took it to another level.
The garden has truly been a multi-faceted and special place for the nearly 500 Evergreen students and all are impacted by the space at one time or another during a school year. Whether it be in terms of a reading activity, a writing project, or during science exploration, for example, the Living Classroom has a perfect backdrop for learning with its big, over-sized boulders that create mini amphitheatre. Along with the various projects (at all grade levels) delivered in the garden, several guest speakers have presented to children in The Living Classroom as well.
The recent clean-up held last Friday lasted four hours and included students, teachers, parent volunteers and Northwest FCS staff.
"The support was absolutely amazing Friday,” Principal Danford said. “To have that much help all at once was a real gift. And now, to step back and look at the garden is special. When the kids joined the clean-up, I was so excited, and a bit nervous. But never once did the kids complain about working or weeding. They were all so eager and seemingly enjoyed the work just as much as the adults. The donation from Northwest Farm Credit is tremendous. Theoretically, the gift will allow for maintenance of the space for the next five years!"
This week, we give a recap of our first event of our Future Ready Series, which is a series of three events focused on student wellness and mental health. Thank you to all of our community members who attended and the community organizations that contributed their resources toward a great event!
This Week: Future Ready Series: Community Resource Fair and Keynote Speaker
Preparing our students to be future ready is multi-faceted and having the skills to navigate challenges, be resilient, and care for oneself is critical. As the first event of our Future Ready Series, the Mead School District hosted more than 25 partner organizations and invited the community - from inside or outside the Mead School District - for a resource fair, keynote speaker and Q&A panel for the opportunity to discuss and learn more about addressing student wellness and mental health. More than 250 community members attended the event at Mead High School, which also included child care for families, food, a book fair, raffle and “Ideas” wall for attendees to provide feedback, comments or ask questions.
The keynote speaker, Tessa Stuckey, brought her background as a Licensed Professional Counselor and Author of For the Sake of Youth, to deliver an address about parenting in the age of technology, smart phones, screen addiction and social media, along with building a strong parent-child connection. Tessa also joined a Q&A panel with other professionals to answer questions from attendees and help provide direction or resources to the most pressing issues.
A group of students from Mead High School also shared their voices during the event to help reinforce the concepts of how important connections to others are, having positive and supportive adults in their lives, and how important it is for parents and school staff to be part of those efforts. Those students, as well as a few others have already committed to future events.
“Our Future Ready Events are intended to build resilience among our youth, families and community,” said Staci Cornwell, one of the event organizers and District Mental Health Coordinator. “Our efforts are focused on helping others feel connected, build positive conflict resolution and problem-solving skills, forge positive relationships with school staff, enhance protective factors and build community. We were so grateful for the turnout from our community at this event, and have heard from additional students and community organizations who would like to be part of future events!”
Future Ready Series - Event 1
- Dec. 10, 2021 - Staffers Recognized for Great Work
- Dec. 2, 2021 - Northwood's Amazing Mosaic
- Nov. 19, 2021 - Thankful for Student Art
- Nov. 12, 2021 - Trades Night Community Event
- Nov. 5, 2021 - Fall Athletic Highlights
- Oct. 29, 2021 - Dual Language Immersion Program
- Oct. 22, 2021 - Data Informs Decisions to Provide Targeted Support
- Oct. 15, 2021 - The Middle School Fund Runs’ Big Impact
- Oct. 8, 2021 - Nutrition Services Triumphs and Challenges
- Oct. 1, 2021 - Learning Improvement Day and PLCs
- Sept. 24, 2021 - Mead High School Design Studio
Staff members from the Mead School District were recognized by a number of external organizations for their amazing work!
Trish Henry, the district's Library and Curriculum Coordinator, was honored this month with the Washington Library Association President's Award as part of the team that created the WA Digital TeachKit. The TeachKit provides a series of easy-to-use guides to help K12 educators use common digital learning tools.
Mr. James Alford, 5th Grade Teacher at Brentwood Elementary, was nominated by one of his students and received the KHQ - Eastern Washington Teacher of the Month. Click here to check out KHQ's video presentation to Mr. Alford!
Mead High School Yearbook Adviser Makena Busch earned a National Yearbook Adviser of the Year Special Recognition Award given by the Journalism Education Association. Click here to read more about Ms. Busch and this award.
Meadow Ridge Elementary 4th Grade Teacher Marie Grieve was recognized as the Teacher of the Month in the December Edition of the local Kids Newspaper. She is in her 28th year at Meadow Ridge and 30th year overall of teaching. Click here to read more about her in the Kids Newspaper.
School-wide projects in a school that has 800 students can seem like a massive undertaking, but that didn’t stop Northwood Middle School Art and Yearbook teacher Tannea Zollinger from taking it on. Mrs. Zollinger’s vision of a school-wide mosaic dovetailed perfectly with the purpose behind Northwood’s Annual Fund Run, which took place earlier this fall. The Fund Run is the school’s lone fundraising event where the connection between the students, staff and community is of equal importance to the financial support raised for the school. Much like that event, where it takes support from the entire Northwood community to achieve success, this art project needed all 800 students to chip in.
Each student took a square of the Husky mosaic, numbered 1-841. The result was a massive, colorful piece of art now hanging in the commons at Northwood...and if you zoom out, but still look carefully, you can see Northwood’s Husky logo embedded within the mosaic. How about the strength in those eyes?!
"I think the students did a great job representing what ‘community’ means to them. We are all unique and add to our community whether we 'fit in' or not. We ALL belong!" - Mrs. Zollinger
A huge kudos goes to the 800 creative students and Mrs. Zollinger, for not only her vision, but for also spending her Thanksgiving weekend putting all of the pieces together!
“Tannea had a great vision for this project, and it was so cool to see our students come together in this way. This project turned out better than I could have imagined and really shows that when you combine the uniqueness of each of us, the result can be truly incredible. I’m proud of our students and staff for the time and energy they put into this special project.” Principal Troy Hughes
The Mead School District’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) Department teamed up with Associated Builders and Contractors Inland Pacific Chapter to host “Trades Night” at Mead High School this past week. Open to the community, the event featured 36 local vendors and over 100 volunteers to teach families about jobs in the trades that can lead to long-term careers!
Free to the public, more than 800 people visited vendor booths, operated machinery in the parking lot, talked with local leaders in the trades and came away with a better understanding of opportunities right here in our local community.
“This turned out to be an incredible event for our community. We owe a big ‘thank you’ to Associated Builders and Contractors for partnering with us and to Community Schools for providing volunteers to help put on the event. The builders and contractors really made this event special for our community with the hands-on experiences they provided. We had everything from welding to operating machinery to sharing opportunities that are available right now. We have more in store for the future and will continue to grow this partnership.” - Doug Edmonson, Mead School District Director of CTE, Technology and STEM
The Mead School District will host another Trades Night on May 4th, 2022, with a focus on connecting our high school students to summer jobs and internships. Look for more information on that event this spring.
Check out some of the highlights of the night in the photo slideshow below!
First, we want to congratulate all of our fall sports participants on an outstanding season of competition and wish the best of luck to those competing in upcoming state championships and playoffs. It is an exciting time for these programs!
Not only have our student-athletes done well athletically, but they have kept a commitment to their academic studies at the top of their priority list. Recently, our fall sports squads were recognized by the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association with Team Scholastic Awards for those who compiled 3.00-3.50 and 3.50-4.00 grade-point averages as a team.
The WIAA Scholastic Award program is to recognize and reward those teams or groups
that maintain a high collective academic standard. It is open to Varsity or Sub-varsity (JV, Freshman, etc.) sports teams, activity squads such as Dance & Drill and Cheer squads, and fine arts groups such as bands, choirs, orchestras, dramatic troupes and forensics teams. Any
team/group with an average GPA of 3.0 or higher qualifies for a state award.
Mt. Spokane High School
Outstanding Awards (3.50-4.00)
Girls Cross Country 3.905 ~ Coach Andy Sonneland
Boys Cross Country 3.758 ~ Coach Scott Daratha
Varsity Volleyball 3.774 ~ Coach Laurie Quigley
JV Volleyball 3.643 ~ Coaches Laurie Quigley & Hannah Reiman
9th Volleyball 3.638 ~ Coaches Laurie Quigley & Olivia Goss
C-Team Volleyball 3.626 ~ Coaches Laurie Quigley & Robin Haws
Girls Varsity Soccer 3.783 ~ Coach Shannon Stiles
Girls JV Soccer 3.627 ~ Coaches Shannon Stiles & Steve Del Pizzo
Distinguished Awards (3.00-3.50)
Varsity Football 3.366 ~ Coach Terry Cloer
JV Football 3.133 ~ Coaches Terry Cloer & Chris Sloan
Freshman Football 3.160 ~ Coaches Terry Cloer & Josh Cowart
Girls C-Soccer 3.490 ~ Coaches Shannon Stiles & Scott Phillips
Varsity Slow Pitch Softball 3.496 ~ Coach Carl Adams
JV Slow Pitch Softball 3.437 ~ Coaches Carl Adams & Trek Davis
Girls JV/F Cross Country 3.383 ~ Coaches Andy Sonneland, Summer Clegg, Katie Mann
Boys JV/F Cross Country 3.472 ~ Coaches Scott Daratha, Jacob Fry, Jeanne Helfer
Mead High School
Outstanding Awards (3.50-4.00)
9th Volleyball 3.931 ~ Coach Kim Ralston
Girls Cross Country 3.889 ~ Coach Dori Whitford
Girls Soccer 3.872 ~ Coach Casey Curtis
C Volleyball 3.757 ~ Coaches Tessa Hodgson & Erin Glasser
JV Volleyball 3.750 ~ Coach Michael Williams
JV Girls Soccer 3.743 ~ Coach Tanner Wilburn
Boys Cross Country 3.741 ~ Coach Austin Stuchell
Volleyball 3.734 ~ Coach Shawn Wilson
C Girls Soccer 3.692 ~ Coach Shel Shelton
JV Girls Cross Country 3.690 ~ Coach Roger Thompson
Dance 3.606 ~ Coach Angela Pierson
Slow Pitch Softball 3.570 ~ Coach Tiffany Casedy
Cheer 3.520 ~ Coach Katherine Melka
Distinguished Awards (3.00-3.50)
JV Boys Cross Country 3.450 ~ Coach Royce Hogue
JV Slow Pitch Softball 3.383 ~ Coach Halley Lentz
JV Football 3.254 ~ Coach Jesse Wilhelm
Football 3.242 ~ Coach Keith Stamps
9th Football 3.208 ~ Coach Brian Patterson
As part of the Mead School District’s development of strategic priorities, one of the areas that our community voiced desire for was a dual language immersion program. Mead is always looking for avenues to address opportunity and achievement gaps in our district, as well as to provide innovative options to our Mead families. When tackling those topics, a dual language program rises to the top as one way to improve student outcomes across several domains.
And when you pair the research around dual language with a generous planning and implementation grant provided by OSPI, our District decided now was the time to begin work on creating a permanent program for our families to access. Beginning next fall for the 2022-23 school year, we’ll launch our first dual language immersion classroom. Given interest in our inaugural year, the District hopes to open more classrooms in the future!
This exciting endeavor will begin with a single Kindergarten classroom with 10 spots available to students at the initial school and 10 spots available to Multi-Lingual Learners, identified through a Home Language Survey. Each student will embark on a six-year commitment where they will be part of the program within their school through fifth grade.
There are a few key pillars to a successful program that our Learning and Teaching Services team is focused on: (1) Students in the program will acquire the ability to use both languages in oral and written form; (2) Achievement gaps are closed over time as research has shown dual language students have high academic achievement in both languages; (3) students develop opportunities to connect with others who speak a different home language.
In digging deeper into the model of a successful dual language program, our District has chosen Spanish as the partner language because it is the second most popular language in the world, including 55 million people in the US alone. In the program, more than one language group will be taught in two languages with 90 percent of the instruction in the partner language to start.
More information will be available about this program throughout the year, but we are excited to be able to share this initiative with our community.
There are so many good things happening in our elementary schools, one of which is how our teachers utilize benchmark assessments three times each year to develop specific intervention plans to provide targeted support for students when needed. Our story about a group of first graders at Colbert Elementary can help illustrate the need and success that these assessments have on student growth. And when we say “success”, we are referring to both academic skill development and self-esteem, confidence and pride in their growth.
From a technical standpoint -- here come the acronyms -- students in grades K-5 take a combination of MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) and DIBELS (Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills). For students in Grades 1-5, MAP offers information about math and ELA (English Language Arts). DIBELS is all about early literacy skills (K-2) and reading fluency (grades 1-5). Assessments are used to help determine intervention needs as well as opportunities when students may benefit from further challenge. Parents may recall hearing about these assessments during recent parent-teacher conferences.
Each school has collaborative, grade-level data meetings where they use assessment results to develop specific intervention plans for our students. Plans align instructional resources and strategies with the learning needs of our students. From these plans, students' progress is monitored to ensure that learning and growth is happening.
But, you may be wondering, how does it actually work?
For a group of three first graders at Colbert whose kindergarten year was cut short due to the pandemic, missing out on important phonemic awareness skills (ability to hear and manipulate sounds) put them at risk. Colbert LAP teacher Vivian Davis found, through benchmarking data, a below-grade-level score and an intervention schedule was developed. From there, this group set forth on a plan to learn all of their letter names and sounds, proceeded to learning to blend words, and then by the end of the year, were able to read. As Mrs. Davis tells it, “the biggest change was in their self-esteem. They go from not knowing their letter names and sounds to, in a year-and-a-half, seeing themselves as a reader.”
By the next set of assessment data, teachers can see when skills have clicked, and as students learn and grow, the focus of the support also changes. It’s a pandemic-proof system that ensures equitable access to core content, reveals opportunities when students need to be challenged and identifies where some intervention support can help create future-ready students.
The gratitude that everyone in our district has for our community can’t be overstated. It’s huge! The latest evidence is the support our schools receive from their own communities through fundraisers allows us to give our students and staff an incredible experience. While the support is felt far and wide among our buildings, here’s a quick peek inside the only fundraiser our three middle schools put on. It’s called the Fund Run and there’s even a friendly competition between them that brings out the best in everyone.
The fundraising portion concluded early this week and wrapped up this morning with a celebration, including an assembly, prizes and the student participation in the run itself. This year, Mountainside Middle School collected $38,715 in donations, while Highland brought in $36,265 and Northwood totaled donations of $36,077. These donations go toward creating many of the extracurricular opportunities for students like music, athletics and much more.
Check out some photos from the celebration and hear from each of the school principals below!
“Our annual Fund Run is one of the greatest culture-building things we do at Mountainside every year. Students are working together to achieve common goals, friendly competition is taking place, and school spirit is high. We could not be more thankful for the generosity of the Mountainside community in supporting our students and our school on this one and only fundraiser!” - Gregg Hare, Mountainside Middle School Principal
“The first annual 'Run for the Pack' was a HUGE success. Students, staff and families started an incredible tradition for our Highland Wolves. Thanks for the generosity everyone and your support for Highland! Highland is such a great place to learn and have fun with friends! Go Wolves!” - Barb Pybus, Highland Middle School Principal
“Each year I am impressed and thankful for the support from the Northwood and Mead community. The Fund Run really matters to us and helps bring us together. Students, staff, and parents continually step up to invest in our school. The support means so much to Northwood and allows us to give students opportunities they would not have had otherwise. Music, sports, clubs, and activities truly bring kids joy and allow them to use and showcase their talents. Connecting, engaging, and giving kids opportunities has always been needed, but never more than now.” - Troy Hughes, Northwood Middle School Principal
First, let’s start with some numbers to wrap our arms around the amount of work put in by our Nutrition Services Department and others who support them…
That’s some amazing stuff! Our students were served no-cost, healthy breakfast and lunch meals more than 125,000 times in just September alone. Now that we know how big the job is to serve meals at buildings throughout the school district, let’s layer on the challenges that come with food supply during the pandemic. Our nutrition team is continuing to work through supply chain issues that have forced menus to change with short notice. We know how disappointing that can be for our young ones, especially when it’s the day that their favorite meal is scheduled to be served! But, proper planning and preparation has kept the changes to a minimum and food served twice a day, every day.
Nutrition Services also completed a full summer, serving meals for curbside pickup from a central location in the district. This service gave our families a reliable source of food each week with seven-day meal kits. The program ran from June 29 through August 26 and amounted to a total of just over 56,000 meals that included breakfast and lunch items!
You can find information about our nutrition program, monthly menus and more at our Nutrition Services home page here: https://mead.healtheliving.net/
We all know that, even during a pandemic, the learning must continue! To achieve our district’s overall mission of ensuring high levels of learning for all students, our staff must have a clear understanding of the priority standards in all content areas -- i.e. what we want all students to know and be able to do. The benefit of this collaborative work from our staff members is a consistent and connected delivery of curriculum throughout the district. The result for our families is students who are proficient and prepared for whatever is next, whether that is the next grade level, next class in a content area or the next step after graduation.
Our teachers and administrators meet throughout the district once per week before school starts to accomplish this work in their Professional Learning Community (PLC). It also includes a full-day session called a Learning Improvement Day (LID) on October 8. Many of you may be wondering why there is no school that day or may not be familiar with the term “Learning Improvement Day.” This is the first of three LIDs over the course of the school year, where our teaching staff will be taking a deeper dive into their Professional Learning Community to identify the priority learning standards, assess the district-wide delivery of curriculum and ensure the appropriate supports are in place both behaviorally and academically.
Real-world problem solving is happening! More than 100 students take part in this four-period block class at Mead High School that uses human-centered design to approach real problems and create real solutions. Using industry-standard tools like 3D printers, laser cutters and CNC machines combined with access to the Adobe Creative Suite and CAD/CAM software, students come up with their own solutions with research and collaboration.
This interdisciplinary flexible program is geared to meet students where they are and allow them to take chances, be challenged and learn from failure. It’s a multi-age classroom that is a community of learners who are stepping outside the traditional way of learning. They can earn credits toward English, History, Math, Physical Science and CTE-elective courses like Applied Physics, Physical Computing, User Centered Design, Technical Writing, and more.
So, what’s the result? Students come out of this program ready for whatever challenges they may face because they’ve learned HOW to learn. They’ve gone on to attend college, join the military and start their own businesses. Later this year, we’ll take a deeper dive into the Design Studio classrooms, but for now, you can check out the program’s intro video here and an informational flyer here.