Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Washington Charter School  
45-768 Portola Avenue
Palm Desert , CA  92260
Allan Lehmann, Principal 

WCS Chatter
Special Edition
September 30, 2014

It’s hard to believe that the first month of school has come to an end. It’s has been an amazing month of learning, exploration, analyzing, and inquiry for our students. I thank you for your continued support. As the school year progresses new information and opportunities for growth await your child.

The Healthy Hunger Free Act of 2010
The Healthy Hunger Free Act of 2010, Health Department regulations and Washington Charter School policies cast a light on the importance of healthy eating, exercise and a balanced diet. According to the 2013 report from the Health Assessment Resource Center (HARC) almost 40% of Coachella Valley children ages 2-17 have a body mass index (BMI) that places them in the “overweight” or “obese” category. There are several causes for being overweight and because we have a full-time physical education teachers, active students and families at WCS,  I don’t see our numbers at this rate. But it is an alarming statistic nonetheless.

One of the ways to stay healthy is to increase the amount of fruits and vegetables we consume each day. The nutrition services department of Desert Sands Unified has made a commitment to make school-provided lunch and breakfasts more healthful by complying with recently enacted state and federal nutritional guidelines such as providing fresh fruits and vegetables at every lunch. I am excited to share that the district in the coming months plans to implement salad bars at all elementary schools. The salad bar will not be as comprehensive as the one that was previously at WCS but it will be an excellent complement to the school lunch.

Additionally, for health reasons last year we did away with treats coming in for birthday celebrations including balloons. Recognition of birthdays is done in the class by the teacher and fellow classmates.

We also asked when there is a “class party/celebration” that there be a balance of food items. Health Department regulations are clear that all food served in school must be prepared in a certified kitchen (excluding food that you send in with your child for his/her lunch and snack). Unfortunately, that means we cannot allow homemade goods to be brought to school for a class party etc. Store-bought individually wrapped goods are allowed since they are prepared in a certified kitchen. As you also know we have a number of students attending WCS that have severe allergies in particular to eggs and nuts. We continue to request that an item that is brought in for a class party take into consideration the needs of all children with dietary restrictions.
What does this all mean at WCS?

When the classroom has a class party/celebration food served must be a compliant snack:
* Fruits and vegetables (dried, freeze-dried, canned and fresh)
* Whole-grain based chips (popcorn, low-fat and low-sodium chips)
* Whole-grain crackers
* Nuts and seeds (check with your teacher first)

Beverages are also covered un the Compliant Sacks rules. Allowable beverages include:
* Water
* Milk (dairy and otherwise)
* 100% fruit juice and juice diluted with water or carbonation
* Flavored waters without added sweeteners

Thank you very much for your cooperation. We look forward to a happy and healthy 2014-2015 school year!

Uniform Reminder
I visited some classrooms last week and I am proud of the uniform compliance. A gentle reminder: Please be sure to check that socks are solid white, red or navy blue. Black socks are not permissible. Also some of the boys like to wear navy basketball shorts but those are also not permissible. For girls, please be sure that skirts or shorts worn to school are proper length (below the finger tips when ones arm is by her side). Also we are seeing an increase in skirts that have lace and frills. Those are not permissible even if they are color compliant. We appreciate your support.

I realize that there are times when items get left at home including lunches, water bottles and homework. Our school policy is for the front office is to announce over the PA in the classroom to let a child know if there is a lunch or water bottle for them in the office. At recess or lunch your child can come to the office. If it’s homework, we place the homework in the teacher’s mailbox, but we will not interrupt instruction.

A message from the Superintendent’s Office
Measure KK is a $225 million school bond which will be voted on this November by the voters residing in the Desert Sands Unified School District. Measure KK imposes NO NEW TAXES on voters who continue to pay at the current tax rate. Passage of this bond maintains the quality of local schools and improving safety systems to insure the security of our students. It also updates and renovates facilities and equipment and supports career technical programs and advanced courses in math and science. Additional information can be found at

Congratulations to the following Super Students
Helena Fernandez, Blake Ainsworth, Eddie Miranda, Preston Ellis, Jordanne Jackson,
Zach Smalaj-Blandon, Cassidy Nissen, Alani Rodriguez, Riley Wilson, Reese Jahries, Jeffrey Hedgecock, Maddox Trent, Kristof Pheil, Peyton Young, Josiah Alvarez, Hannah Curtis, Valeria Sandoval, Sydney Young, Charlie Jeffrey, Sara Hanson, Mikenna Pruette, Maggy Jahries, Ian Chase, Tayla Berg, Alexandra Kline, Shinkwon Park, Anna Braun, Julia Washburn, Brody Trent, Braden Bernaldo, Cole Geller, Maya Moranda, Max Raumin

Upcoming Events
October 8 Super Student Grades 4th & 5th 8:20 a.m. 
October 14   Mini Muster 3rd Grade
October 15  Super Student Grades 1st-3rd 8:20 a.m. 
October 16  Governing Board Meeting 3:30 p.m.
October 22  Immigration Day 5th Grade
October 22 Super Student Grades 4th & 5th 8:20 a.m.
October 23 Red Ribbon Week Kickoff
October 29 Super Student Grades 1st-3rd 8:20 a.m.




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