News from the WESD

What's happening in the WESD?

Spring break is upon us! I hope that you use this time to relax and spend time with family and friends. Once we return from break, WESD schools will be administering AzMERIT tests the week of April 2. It is important that students are as prepared as possible. Student attendance is extremely important on testing days. In order for our students to be successful, they need to be present. Please refrain from signing students out early on testing days. Thank you for your continued support as we enter into the final months of the school year!

Start Your Career with the WESD Family

The Washington Elementary School District is seeking highly motivated individuals to apply for teaching positions at WESD schools. Recently, the WESD Governing Board approved a teacher salary increase which will help support the many dedicated WESD teachers.The WESD also offers student-loan forgiveness and teacher support programs. Apply online at jobs.wesdschools.org. Please select the posting titled, Teacher – All Positions. For more information, contact the WESD Recruitment Office at 602-347-2622 or e-mail teach@wesdschools.org.

Meet Ymi Ngo: She recently served as a teacher intern in the WESD University After-school Academy. Last month, she was offered a teaching contract at the WESD Teacher Interview Fair!

Now Enrolling Students for Kindergarten

Kindergarten is the foundation for academic success. WESD offers a free, full-day kindergarten experience that includes art, music and PE. We are currently enrolling kindergarten students for the 2018-2019 school year. Families with a child who will be five on or before September 1, 2018 can enroll for kindergarten at our Welcome and Registration Center located at 3200 W. Cholla Ave. For more information, or to begin filling out the registration materials, visit the Web site or call 602-896-6950. Please share with your family and friends. We look forward to meeting you and your students.

A message from Gifted Services

WESD currently provides gifted services to over 1,500 students across the District. The goal of the gifted program is to foster students who are self-directed learners, problem-solvers, community contributors, collaborative workers and complex thinkers. In many ways, the current program has been successful in meeting the needs of a majority of gifted students enrolled in our schools. A majority, however, is not enough. We recognize that we have work to do and have put together a team of stakeholders to closely evaluate current practices in order to identify what is working well and what needs to be modified. So far this year, we have (a) implemented a pathway for allowing non-gifted, high-achieving students to benefit from Project Potential during the intervention block; (b) identified underrepresented populations of students that need to be assessed in alternative ways; and (c) obtained approval to have a half-time gifted teacher on every elementary campus beginning next year. We want to make WESD’s Gifted Services Department the premier gifted program in the state. Why? Because our kids deserve it. I am excited about the work our program evaluation team is doing and look forward to sharing our progress with you in the near future. –Jason S. McIntosh, Ph.D., Gifted Services Coordinator, 602-347-2651, Jason.Mcintosh@wesdschools.org

Tax Credit Donations

We know that your time is valuable. This year, you can now make a tax credit donation online. Donations will be used to support WESD’s athletic teams, character education programs like Rachel’s Challenge, and special field trips. You will also receive a dollar-for-dollar reduction on your state income taxes. Thank you for your continued support this tax season.

Want to be involved?

The WESD has a mentor program called Seven Anchors. Research shows that the more support a child has from an encouraging adult, the more likely he or she will be to succeed in school and in life. If you’d like to mentor a WESD student, please contact Wendy Gallegos at 602-347-2858.

WESD Success Stories

School Social Worker of the Year

Donna Denial is the lead social worker for the Washington Elementary School District. She was recently recognized as the School Social Worker of the Year by the School Social Work Association of Arizona. Donna has been a social worker in the WESD for 20 years. In her role as lead social worker, she provides direct services at our schools while also supporting school social workers and mentoring new staff. She establishes lasting community relationships and coordinates services for families at her school and at the District. Donna also developed the Golden Ticket Program, which recognizes students and staff who go above and beyond by exhibiting teamwork and kindness. Congratulations, Donna! You have truly made a positive impact on the #WESDFamily.

Exemplary Principal Award

Congratulations to Principal Rhonda Warren from Sunburst Elementary for being recognized as a finalist for the Maricopa County Education Service Agency Exemplary Principal Award! Rhonda and Principal Sue Brown from Moon Mountain Elementary were chosen as semifinalists out of 964 school principals in the Maricopa County for their accomplishments of significantly improving student learning, retaining teachers and cultivating a collaborative and positive school culture. The WESD would like to thank Rhonda and Sue for their commitment and dedication to improving the educational experience for our students! We would also like to wish Rhonda the best of luck as she moves to the final round.

NBC Teachers

The WESD recognized amazing teachers who received or renewed their National Board Certification, the most prestigious professional certification offered in education. Since 1998, 78 WESD teachers have achieved National Board Certification and 35 are current employees. Of the 78 NBC teachers, 18 have successfully completed their 10-year renewal and eight of those teachers are current employees. We would like to congratulate those who received their National Board Certification and those who have successfully completed their ten-year renewal. Congratulations to: Krystal Crown, Tumbleweed Elementary, Early Childhood/Generalist; Gale Parisi, Arroyo School, Early Childhood through Young Adulthood/Exceptional Needs Specialist; Kari Abraham, Moon Mountain Elementary, Early Childhood/Generalist, 10 Year Renewal; Mary Brontsema, Tumbleweed Elementary, Literacy: Reading - Language Arts/Early and Middle Childhood, 10-Year Renewal; Annie Diaz, John Jacobs Elementary, Early Childhood/Generalist, 10-Year Renewal (not pictured); Alysia Simpson, Acacia Elementary School, Early Childhood/Generalist

District Spelling Bee

Thirty students competed at the annual WESD Spelling Bee, which lasted 23 rounds. Congratulations to Jaidyn M., eighth grader from Mountain Sky Junior High, who came in first place by spelling the winning word, “cringle.” Isaac P., eighth grader from Abraham Lincoln Traditional School, finished in second place! Jaidyn moved on to the Maricopa County Region IV Bee and took first place! She will now move on to the Arizona State Spelling Bee which will take place on March 24! The winner of the state bee participates in the Scripps National Spelling Bee at the end of May, in Washington, D.C. Good luck, Jaidyn!

Toshiba Exploravision Competition Regional Winners

Congratulations to Orangewood second graders Hannah K. and Elsie T. who have been selected as the regional winners in the 26th Annual Toshiba Exploravision Competition. Elsie and Hannah’s project, Robo-Police, was one of six winners in the US.! They received external hard drives and a laptop for their classroom. Hannah and Elsie will now build a prototype of their project and create a video and Web site showing how Robo-Police works. The top project winners will each receive a $10,000 scholarship and a trip to Washington, D.C. Good luck, Hannah and Elsie! #WESDFamily

Celebrations and Thank Yous

WESD Community Food Drive

Did you know the WESD’s annual community food drive is the second largest in Maricopa County after the postal carrier drive? After two weeks of collecting food at every WESD campus, the WESD had the amazing opportunity to give back to our local community at St. Mary's Food Bank Alliance. With 40 volunteers from the WESD (24 District employees), Nothing Bundt Cakes, Pure Heart Church and School Connect, we were able to package 1,008 emergency food boxes. Thank you to everyone who volunteered today and to St. Mary’s Food Bank for organizing the event!

Read Across America Day

Mountain Sky Junior High hosted the annual Read Across America breakfast this year. Guests included members of the WESD Governing Board, Washington District Education Association (WDEA), Washington Education Foundation (WEF), WESD administrators and community partners. Mountain Sky strings performance group, Beau Musique, and the Vocal Premier Choir students performed for guests during the event. Following a delicious breakfast of green eggs and ham provided by the WESD Nutrition Services Department, guests went to schools to read to students! Thank you to everyone at Mountain Sky for making the morning so special! A special thank you to Principal Perry Mason and his entire team as well as the Read Across America committee who worked hard to organize the morning! The WESD Family had an amazing time celebrating Read Across America Day. WESD schools hosted character parades, reading events and invited guests to come read to students. A special thank you to all those who participated!

Read Across America Day Events
If you would like to see what is happening each day in the WESD, make sure to like us and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. Thank you for supporting #WESDFamily!

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