Friday, May 6, 2016

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

WCS Chatter
April 22, 2016

As April concludes and we embark on the month of May I reflect back on our school year. But there’s little time for reflection:  We have so much to do before the school year concludes in June.

 As the weather gets warmer, we sometimes see that our students’ focus on their studies can wane a bit while outside activities look more appealing than schoolwork. I ask for your assistance and support in keeping the emphasis on school and the tasks at hand when your child is at Washington Charter. 

Awards That Have Come Our Way

WCS students have excelled in so many ways since the last issue of the Chatter. 

SCIENCE FAIR: We sent 10 projects to the DSUSD Science Fair with great results, earning multiple first – and- second-place honors on March 9th. Then, among our first-place winners we heard them announced again as Sweepstakes Winners. These talented students then advanced to the County Fair for yet another competition. Congratulations to: Ben Hecht, Zoe Reber, Ian Chase, Dylan Muela, Carter Kirchhevel, Lillian Wallis, Tegan Nguyen, Sammy Adams, Alex Kiner, Karly Kovaleff.

Washington Charter School also fielded multiple teams to compete at the regional level for Odyssey of the Mind. Two or our teams went on to advance to the State Level and, on April 2, they went up against those judged best from all over the state of California. The result? Both WCS teams emerged as best in the state and even more important, 14 or our students are going to Ames, Iowa for the Odyssey World Finals, May 25-28th. That means that we will compete against the top teams from across the whole country and the globe. It’s an amazing experience, made possible by the teams’ hard work in raising funds for the trips. That effort, by the way, will continue with weekly Popsicle sales and an upcoming yard sale. In early May many of our students and classes will be recognized at the Art and Essay Awards Ceremony that will be held in the council chambers of Palm Desert City Hall. Included in this edition of the Chatter are our individual and classroom winners. 

On April 13th it was officially announced that the California Department of Education has recognized Washington Charter School as a California Gold Ribbon Elementary School. We are honored to receive this validation for the excellent programs that are in place at WCS. In our application we focused on two model programs at the school. We first highlighted our intervention programs. With a focus on early intervention WCS has seen students who were struggling soar with confidence. Intervention programs are in place for all grade levels for the benefit of our students. Our second area we noted was our relentless focus on closing the achievement gap. We have a multitude of programs in place to make this a reality - lowering class size, rigorous teacher training, effective intervention programs, solid parent support, an engaged school counselor – and these are all factors that contribute to our increased student achievement and the closing of the achievement gap. The application that was submitted was well written and succinctly conveyed to the readers the impact that each of these programs has had on student achievement. Mrs. Kuperstein, Mrs. Santos, Mr. Saldivar and Mrs. Cleland wrote our application over multiple weeks. Mrs. Espinosa used her skills to tighten the application so it remained within the required space limit. On May 11th we will be in Anaheim receiving the Gold Ribbon School award.  

SBAC Testing Has Arrived
Last year we received baseline SBAC data (Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium). The rigor of SBAC was evident as our students took the test last spring I am proud of their efforts and perseverance. It required extra effort because the new format of the test was one that was not familiar to them or the staff when compared to those of previous years. WCS’s curriculum and instruction have transformed over the past three years and our involved parents and staff frequently report  that the expectations of what a student can do (and how he/she conveys what has been learned) has changed dramatically. In this process, we align curriculum and instruction to our new national standards and I see that our students are staff have embracied the challenge. 

Soon our 3rd-5th grade students will use their Chrome books to tackle a series of assessments: this will tell us how we are doing as a team in mastering the new standards. Sometimes students can approach all of this with anxiety but we have put in place many methods to alleviate this. We want them to perform their best and, in addition to what their teachers are already doing in this regard, we are suggesting a series of steps you can take at home:

* Students should get ample sleep before testing

* Eat a healthy breakfast

* Encourage your child to do their personal best and not to worry if there are questions they do not know the answer to

* Arrive at school on time and try not to miss school on a testing day

Lost and Found
Each day items are left on the playground or in the cafeteria area. We have a designated a spot where students can be reunited with a lost article. To help with this, please have your child’s name written on the tag so we can see it clearly. In addition, we’ve heard that some are taking items that don’t belong to them. If you discover that your child has brought home the wrong items, please return it to us as soon as possible. At designated times during the schoolyear we put unclaimed items on the cafeteria table for families who would have need of them. If an item of clothing is on the lost and found hook, only remove it if it belongs to your child.

Congratulations to our Patriots of the Month
Peyton Young, Jake Smith, Lucia Triviso, Megan Antonov, Lucus Welch, Victor Sanchez, Grace Novall, Jonathan Rodriguez, Hudson Young, Cameron Trubee, Jared Morales, Davina Haggar, Drew Durrett, Luka Vuksanovic, Jackson Wilson, Anton Benitez, Angel Oropeza, Jackson Menard, Monserrat Basilio Valdez, Madisyn Scott, Alex Eye, Lilith Chamberlain, Maximus Vasilev, Emre Kocaballi, Rihanna Gutierrez, John Overgaag, Jayden Kinkade, Cadence Casas, Tess Mollica, Jessica Gastelum, Milan Diaz, Nicholas Guarino, Taylor Geller, Joseph Cornelius, Christian Clevenger, Rachel Sanford, Tobi Ajumobi, Milo Morrell, Noah Henderson, Paul Bucy, Sophia Swart, Ryan Kain, Mia Afsar, Marissa Alcala, Colln Amick, Israel Ayala, Maddy Azar, Giorgia Balbini, Kathryn Berenbaum, Charlize Box, Avery Brick, Sofia Clarke, Zachary Cooley, Caden Crisp, Leila Dzafic, Jasmine Espinosa, Riley Faulkner, Miguel Flores, Simon Frary, Maya Getzelman, Gustavo Gonzalez, Jake Harris, Chip Nelms, Paz Holoubek, Reese Jahries, Jackie Jones, Josef Kincaid, Alex Kiner, Savannah King, Samantha Lee, Ryan Martinez, Hope Messer, Cosette Oh, Apharna Parvatharajan, Sophia Perez, Kristof Pheil, Tilda Rector, Tyler Risk, Mina Rocha, Isabella Rodriguez, Kiki Rogers, Ana Georgina Rojas, Evan Saenz, Tyler Sloan, Audrey Steepleton, Pierce Armstrong, Alan Ascencio, Madeline Blakley, Jake Brande, Edwin Castro, Ian Chase, Amailee Crisp, Delanie Doyle, Lauren Farrell, Jonathan Flores, Caitlyn Gayler, Jeffrey Hedgecock, Destiny Hernandez, Lucca Huth-Vagell, Mia Ibarra, Tyler Johnson, Zygi Kalanta, Matteo Lexa, Isabella Lindudottir, Malia Martin, Loreli Menache, Joshua Mondragon, Shaan Moorjani, Tegan Nguyen, Christian Nicholas, Isaac Noriega, Shinkwon Park, Sidharrth Parvath, Riley Raubolt, Tatum Rindels, Sheyla Rizvanbegovic, Alani Rodriguez, Riley Rosam, Cage Rubarth, Sophie Rullier, Kayla Salgado, Troy Samora, Jillian Seaman, Noa Sotomayor, Rheyna Tamboong, Riley Tiezel, Holly Trubee, Gisseel Vargas, Willow Wilde

Upcoming Events
May 3-Presentation by the WCS Ambassadors at the Desert Sands Board of Education meeting at the school district office 7:00 p.m.

May 5-Talent and Variety Show  8:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 6:00 p.m.

May 12-Governing Board Meeting 3:30 p.m.

May 25-Patriot of the Month Assembly 8:20 a.m. and 12:00 p.m.

May 30 & 31-NO SCHOOL

June 1-Reading Carnival
8:30 to 10:00 a.m. TK – 2nd grade
10:15 to 12:00pm. 3rd – 5th grade

My Favorite Landmark

2nd-Kayla Salgado
3rd-Brooke Shopshear

1st-Siri Sodelind 

1st-Chanbin Park

1st-Shinkwon Park

1st-Ms. Tierny’s Class

1ST-Ms. Elliott’s Class

3rd-Ms. Kristy’s Class

3RD-Stefan Viik

2ND-Parisa Azody

1ST-Aidan Forehand
3RD-Daniel Yi

2ND-Angel Munoz