Friday, May 28, 2010

Hathaway Elementary receives Green School Certification

Hathaway Elementary has received Washington Green Schools certification
thanks to the efforts of a group of staff, students and community working to
make changes that positively impact the environment.

To achieve certification, the Hathaway Elementary "Green Team" conducted a
rigorous assessment of the school's energy use. The Green Team, led by
Hathaway teacher Cathy Burrows, completed a six-page survey, measured
windows, and conducted a thorough walk-through of the building.

The Green Team concluded that it could make the most impact in reducing
energy usage if computers, lights and electrical equipment were turned off
at night and if blinds were closed at night.

As a result of the assessment, the Green Team developed and carried out an
action plan that resulted in a large monthly savings in kilowatts.

"The kids were thrilled to see such a substantial savings in kilowatts,"
said Burrows.

A chart in the hallway tracks energy usage and progress towards goals so
that students and staff can see the progress.

Community member Dave Burnham led an effort in recycling. Recyclables from
each classroom were weighed and students and staff made an effort to reduce
their paper use. As a result, trash collection is not needed as frequently.

Burrows' first grade class previously used two garbage cans, but now needs
just one small one. Students have adopted the habit of recycling and reusing
paper when possible

"My class is so happy to be helping the environment by conserving energy and
saving paper," said Burrows.

The Green Team is composed of eight students from various grade levels,
staff and parent volunteers. Student representatives from the Green Team are
videotaped, presenting Green Team updates. The video is then shown to all
Hathaway students as part of the morning announcements on "Woof TV".

"I am so proud of the students on the Green Team," said parent volunteer
Darcy Bjorklund. "They have given up their time throughout the school year
to attend meetings where they plan the agenda, present their information,
and plan the next step. Since October 2009, they've helped their school to
save over 50,000 kWh of electricity!"

Energy conservation is one of Washougal School District's key initiatives
for the next few years. In addition to joining with Washington Green
Schools, Washougal School District has also partnered with the City of
Washougal to assist with the process. Pamela Tuite, a member of the city's
Planning Commission as well as its Sustainability Taskforce, worked with district
staff in the fall to provide training and support.

The Washougal School District Board of Directors will review a new Energy
and Resource Conservation policy for adoption in June.

The statewide Washington Green Schools program provides resources for
schools to reduce their campus environmental footprint and utility costs.
Key goals of the initiative include student leadership and community

Other areas supported by the Washington Green Schools initiative are toxics
reduction and indoor air quality, transportation and outdoor air quality,
and water quality and conservation on campus.

Hathaway staff and students will be recognized at a school assembly June 9
at 9:30 a.m. Erin Rowland from the Clark County Dept. of Environmental Services,
and a  member of the Washington Green Schools program. will present the school
with a flag and certificate.

Green Team student members are: Alyssa Barnett, Trillum Allison, Bailee
Watkins, Jade Darrow, Kianna Landon, Paeton Landon, Gunnar Bjorklund,
Jake Klackner and Everest Krabbenhoff.,

Staff members on the Green Team are: Gretchen McLellan,  Cathy Burrows,
Chung Savoie, Laura Bolt, Lindsey Hutchins,  Guy Havens, Kelli
Dizmang, Karen Perez, Debbie Mazour, Lisa Ka'aihue, and Marcia Hershaw.

Community representatives on the Green Team: Darcy Bjorklund, Dave Burnham
and Cheryl Baumgardner.

Washington Green Schools is funded by a grant from the Washington State
Department of Ecology. For more information, visit

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Superintendent's 2010-2011 Budget Report

Superintendent's 2010-2011 Budget Report 
The following information summarizes the District's position regarding budget reductions for 2010-2011. As a reminder, the budget shortfall was $630,000, and the solutions presented below have resolved the shortfall.

WAE Budget Proposal Approved by Board of Directors
Last night, the Board of Directors approved the generous offer of the Washougal Association of Educators to contribute $93,000 in residual professional development funds to the budget solution, contingent upon a match of $2.00/$1.00 from the District's unreserved funds. To view the WAE proposal, click here.

Superintendent's 2010-2011 Budget Recommendation
In addition, the Board approved the larger set of 2010-2011 budget recommendations that were generated in part by the Community Budget Task Force. To view the 2010-2011 Basic Education Budget Recommendations, click here.

Analysis of Budget Contributions to Shortfall
An analysis of the final budget recommendations shows the percentage of each contribution to the solution:

% of Contributions to $630,000 Budget Shortfall
Budget Contribution
Fund Amount

Delay of maintenance reserve fund to a later fiscal year

WAE's offer of residual professional development funds

District’s unreserved funds, matching $2.00/$1.00 in WAE funds

1.0 FTE Administrator, Reduction in Force

10% Reduction in District and building budgets

Other new revenue sources and cost savings


Next Steps
The 2010-2011 budget recommendations approved by the Board represent thoughtful input from the Community Budget Task Force, members of the community who emailed the superintendent and Board, the Washington Association of Educators, the district's administrative leadership team, the district office human resources staff and the Board of Directors. Together we shared information that ultimately led to the development of a budget solution which has deeply impacted the administrative team, but spared reductions of other staff members and programs that originally had been considered.
Over the next few weeks, budget manager Rosann Lassman and Carol Baker, Human Resources specialist, will work together to produce the 2010-2011 budget for Board input, review and approval.

Enjoy the Memorial Day weekend!

Community Leadership Award for Phil Rohn

Longtime Washougal resident and former Washougal School District Assistant Superintendent Phil
Rohn received the 2010 Washington Association of School Administrators
(WASA) Community Leadership Award for the Columbia River Region.

The award acknowledges Rohn's outstanding leadership as chair of the
Washougal Citizens for Better Schools levy campaign and his commitment to
serve as a liaison with the community.  Rohn was instrumental in the passage
of a levy in February 2010, securing vital financial resources for the school
district over the next four years. He donated countless hours serving on the
campaign and advocating for schools in the community. His support has
greatly contributed to the ongoing success of quality education programs for
students in Washougal School District.

Rohn has helped make the Washougal School District community a better place
to live, learn, and grow. He was recognized with other award recipients at
the Regional WASA 2010 Honorary Awards Ceremony May 21.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

WSD teachers earn National Board Certification

Washougal School District teachers Scott Rainey, Jemtegaard Middle School, and Brian Amundson, Washougal High School, earned National Board certification this year.

Certification is a one- to three-year-long introspective process that requires teachers to submit a four-part portfolio and a six-exercise content and pedagogy assessment. The four entries document a teacher’s success in the classroom as evidenced by his or her students’ learning. The portfolio is then assessed by a national panel of peers.

Brian Amundson says although the process was time-consuming, it was well worth it. “I decided to pursue national board certification because I had heard from others that it was a worthwhile process,” says Amundson. “It forced me to deeply evaluate and reflect on what I do in the classroom - everything from learning objectives and instruction to assessment.”

Scott Rainey says the process fostered his own learning and forced him to analyze his teaching practices. “Not just as a teacher, but as a person I believe in being a lifelong learner,” said Rainey.