Washtucna Tigercat Newsletter Washtucna School District • January February 2016

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Washtucna Tigercat Newsletter

Washtucna School District • January - February 2016

Superintendent’s Message

From Mr. Wing

A few years back the CEO of a company focused its product on educational institutions. They presented to a student body in grades 6 through 12 in Washington State. This presentation revolved around data that they had acquired that focused on the characteristics of students who, on a scale of 1 to 10, go above and beyond and strive for an 11.

The story presented to the kids, focused on the life of a quadriplegic named Nellie. Nellie was a disabled man who could not feed, bathe, or dress himself, yet by sheer determination had the inner fortitude to work through his disability and become a leader in his chosen field. Nellie is the lead recruiter for Pacific Lutheran Universities, a powerful, often nationally ranked football team in Tacoma, Washington. This is a position that is not handed down to just anyone, a position that is one of the most critical positions to the success of any collegiate football program.
What was it that made Nellie an “outlier” among all the rest of those that may have been in the same situation as he was? What was it that made Nellie not define himself by his physical disabilities? It is apparent that Nellie didn’t think of his disabilities as disabilities. If so, he would never have reached the heights that he had in his very competitive and demanding profession. Reviewing Nellie’s story, it is clear that his positive attitude toward life and others, as well as his internal motivation to embrace his limitations made him something very special. It made him that “outlier”.
What does it mean to have a positive attitude or have great character? Is it something that you are born with or is it a learned attribute? There are many aspects that build a positive attitude and one’s character. One attribute that many overlook and is certainly critical in the development of character and attitude is the ability to “embrace” adversity, challenges and sometimes failure. Show me a person with a healthy and vibrant attitude and character and I’ll show you a person that has conquered the many challenges life has to throw at us. Show me a person that has turned away from, ran from or avoided the challenges in life and I’ll show you a person that is lacking in those areas.
When we think about our work as educators, it is to assist, guide, persuade and counsel our students through the educational and life challenges that confront them. Working beside our students in the difficult times and not resolving challenges for them, will provide our kids with experience to build upon. The path to becoming an “11” starts with the willingness to embrace, rather than run from the challenges in life and our willingness to guide our students in that direction.
Best wishes over the holidays!
Vance Wing


Washtucna Schools

“For the Kids”

Upcoming Events


1………………..........…Winter Break – No School

18…………...Martin Luther King Day – No School

19……….Jr. High & High School Final’s 4, 6, & 7

20……….….Jr. High & High School Final’s 3 & 5

20……………...………... Early Release – 11:30am

21………...…Jr. High & High School Final’s 1 & 2

21………………........................End of 1st Semester

25……….…..1st Semester Report Cards Sent Home

26……………………...School Board Meeting 7pm


4. ……………………..…FFA Ag Expo in Spokane

10………………………...Early Release – 11:30am

12………………………......Snow Day – No School

15……………...President’s Day Break – No School

16….. FBLA Tri-City American’s Marketing Event

23……………………...School Board Meeting 7pm

24………………… FFA Chapter Breakfast 7:15am

Educational Guidance Counselor

I would like to wish Happy Holidays to all the families in our district and beyond, may you be blessed with much joy and happiness.   The New Year is approaching rapidly and so are some very important deadlines for our junior and senior students to keep in mind.

First and foremost is FAFSA. It will be available to fill out and submit on January 1st.  The earlier you file your FAFSA, the more options for aid you will have. Processing deadline for FAFSA, 2016-2017 academic year is February 15th, 2015.  FAFSA is available for completion on the first day of the calendar year. If you don’t get your FAFSA submitted by the deadline, you may be missing out on free money. Don’t do that. Make sure you know all the applicable federal, state, and college deadlines for the college of your choice and follow them. Get that money.  You have earned it with your first 13 years of hard work.  So once again file as soon as possible after January 1st. Awards are made until funds are depleted.

There will be a Financial Aid information night at Ritzville High School on Tuesday January 12, 2016. All who would like to attend are welcome; this informational event is from 5:30 to 7:30 at Ritzville High School. If your child is planning on attending college in the near future, this would be a great opportunity to get all your questions answered in one place. 

Another important deadline looming ahead is college applications; many deadlines are around the first of the year. Check college websites for admission dates, if you need assistance I would be happy to help.  The Washington State University priority application deadline for fall is January 31st.  You do not have to be approved for financial aid to apply for admission. Your $200 deposit is not due until March 31st.  Eastern Washington University has a priority deadline of February 15th.  As you can see these deadlines are approaching rapidly, so a good winter break activity would be to look at the website for your school of choice and get started.  

 The winter break is also a great time to work on that personal mission statement that many colleges will want to see with their applications. The following six steps are from an article in USA today by a top personal statement writer. 

  1. Be yourself

  2. Show diversity

  3. Do your research and tailor your essay accordingly

  4. Be concise and follow directions

  5. Go beyond your Sat Scores and transcript

  6. Tell a story

 For full review of this article please go to this website: http://college.usatoday.com/2012/01/09/six-tips-for-writing-great-personal-statements/

 Another great website for college personal statement help is:


 The shmoop.com website is a great resource for many topics a high school and college bound student might need. Check it out and use it if you need it.

 Many of the local community colleges have later application deadlines but please note that registration for classes is often done on a first come first serve basis. The earlier you apply the more likely you can get the classes you actually want.

Also, keep in mind that without an SAT score or possibly in some cases even with one you will be required to take math and English entrance tests before you can register for classes as.  This can delay the registration process for up to a month or more so please plan accordingly.

   If you are a junior or senior and you have yet to take the SAT, time is running out.  There are only 4 more testing dates before summer and the next registration deadline is December 28th.  According to the official SAT website, most students take the SAT for the first time during the spring of their junior year and a second time during the fall of their senior year.  Please consult the following website for more information, https://sat.collegeboard.org/register/sat-us-dates. This website has many practice problems and a complete test you can take to make the process simple and anxiety free. We also have testing reference books in the office you can check out.

 Also keep checking our school’s home page under scholarship opportunities. As scholarships come into the office I will filter them out to prospective students. Copies are also available in my office.  I am available in the office in a very limited capacity over the next few months so please if you have any questions feel free to e-mail me at tryan@tucna.wednet.edu  and I will get back to you as soon as possible. Have a wonderful holiday and very safe New Year.

Troy Ryan

Kindergarten News from Mrs. Erikson

Kindergarteners are practicing decoding words and playing games that reinforce sight word memory.  We are writing sentences about things we like and learning to leave spaces between our words.  In math, we are learning about numbers greater than ten and organizing amounts in “ten frames,” in order to prepare us for understanding place value.  We play lots of math games, to reinforce the skills we are learning.

First & Second Grade News From

Mrs. Sitton

A new year is upon us with the school days flying by and before we know it we will be at the hundredth day of school.  The month of January brings lots of practice with addition and subtraction.  Single digits for first graders and two digits with and without regrouping for second grade.  This work will take us into February as well.  We will be working on verbs, our action words, in English during January and then take on another writing project for February using what we have learned about words and how they form sentences.  Then in Social Studies we will work on how our world has different resources and how we can use them wisely.  We will then move on to the many different cultures that can be found on our planet Earth.  We will study movement in Science with push and pull and how our great planet changes over time.  Look for the 100th day of school on February 4th provided we have no snow days between now and then.  The 100th day brings lots of activities in our classroom all centered around the number 100.  A fun day to celebrate and learn about the number 100.   Enjoy your Christmas break and we will see you in the New Year. 

Third and Fourth Grade News from Mr. Wade

In 3-4 we have been learning about civic duties, rights, and responsibilities in Social Studies. With the upcoming presidential primaries and elections next year, it is the perfect time for students to know what it means to be a responsible citizen, and what the prerequisites are to be President of the United States. We have examined our presidents of the past, and the positive contributions that each has made. We have also discussed how at times there are tough issues that congress and our president have to decide upon, and how they must use conflict resolution skills similar to those that we use in our classroom. Finally, we discussed the importance of voting, so that your voice can be heard. 

We are also getting into writing full force. Our class is discovering that it is really easy to think thoughts of what we want to write, and say what we would like to write but that writing it is a whole different matter, and it isn't always easy. There have been moans and complaints..."Do we have to do this?” to which I have responded: "The more we write, the easier it will become." It is so vitally important that we are able to express ourselves eloquently on paper, to able to share our thoughts, feelings and ideas, with someone else. 

In the New Year we are going to resolve to be better readers as well. Room 17 will be implementing a reading/writing challenge of sorts. It will be a goal to do our personal best and exceed our limitations by working extra hard and finding the ways we personally work the best, so we can also work the most productively as well. I will be staying after school to help any students who need extra assistance, and as a team I have no doubt that we will reach our reading/writing goals! On a final note, I was very proud of our class for memorizing a Longfellow poem titled 'Autumn Sonnet' and reciting it to some of our older students. They memorized it beautifully, and gave an outstanding presentation!

Fifth and Sixth Grade News from Mrs. Camp

The sixth graders have been digging into fractions in Math.  Fifth graders are multiplying and dividing fractions. They have been laying the foundation to start fractions as they learn all the rules of divisibility, multiples, factors and try to keep all of them straight in their minds!  We have played Math Trivia with different categories building the mental math strategies as well.  In Reading the students will wrap up the novel, The Cay.  We have discovered what it might have been like to be only 11 years old on a Cay in the Caribbean and ship wrecked during WWII.  This book is rich in dialectal language, history, survival skills and learning to understand loneliness.  We have visualized, written essays and had great discussions about how we would handle that situation if it were us.  What’s the MATTER in Science?  Well, we are checking out the different physical types of matter such as suspensions, emulsions, colloids, and solutions.  Can you describe the differences?  Don’t be afraid to ask a 5th or 6th grader. 

English with Mrs. Gloyn

Winter announcements for all grades:

Are you interested in more contact with me, more information about whether or not your son or daughter has homework, or easier access to Skyward grades?  Thanks to technology, that time is here! Students should already have shown this information to you, but just in case you haven’t seen it, check out what is available to you for English:

  • Remind – this is an app that you and your son or daughter can download to your phone.  This app can prove especially useful for students who are very involved in FFA and sports.  I will post a “remind” daily that lists what homework or activities happened during the day.  With this app, students can be aware of what is due upon their return.

  • Did you know that Skyward has an app?  This is another great way to keep updated on your student’s current grade.  Simply download the Skyward app and you will have instant access to current grades whenever you would like.

I am currently working with Eastern to offer more college credit courses for next year’s junior and senior students.  Students took home a letter in December with potential course offerings and descriptions.  Next year I can make available two English courses: ENGL 170 – Intro. to Literature and ENGL 101 – English Composition and two Humanities courses: AAST/HIST 215: Early African American History and CHST 196: Chicano Studies.  All courses will be worth ½ of a high school credit and 5 college credits.  At this time, there will be no cost to families if one class is taken per semester.  If your son or daughter is interested in more than one course each semester, it will cost your family $75.  I need a commitment to courses for next year as soon as possible. 

The sophomore class participated in the Interim Smarter Balanced Assessment.  This proved to be a great opportunity for myself and the students.  Each student had a chance to practice the test required for graduation that they take this spring.  After completing the test, the students received a score report that looks exactly like the one that they will get next fall.  The good news is, they all passed!  We will continue to work hard this year to ensure a good score at the end of the year, but please ask to see your child’s score report if they are in the sophomore class.  If you are a parent of a seventh, eighth or ninth grade student, they will also be participating in some interim testing before the end of the semester in January.  Watch for score reports to be sent home!

Finally, congratulations to Daphnee Smith, John Riser, Josh Crouse, Michael Brownlowe, and Rhianna Conn for their hard work and participation in the Speech, Spelling, and Math competition in Rosalia on December 8th.  Each student brought home a participation certificate and a ribbon.  These students put in a lot of effort and hard work to compete.  They should be proud of their accomplishments!

Looking back on November and December…
Our first Turkey Trot held on November 21 went well! We had several participants and quite a few pounds of food collected from our walkers and/or runners (as well as a couple of individuals who could not attend)! Thank you for your support! I’d like to extend a special thank you to Amanda Miller, Ashley Boyer, Lurrissa Wells, Daulton Poague, and Alycia Phelps for all their work in helping to get the turkey trot together. Oh yeah, Dyson Schiable ran the whole route and made it back to the school first!
This year’s Turkey Raffle winners are Jean Miller, Nick Kraft, and Sue Whitman! Congratulations and we hope you enjoyed your prize!
FA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA! We went caroling! This is our fourth year going about the town singing to anyone who will listen. Several students and adults participate in this event each year. It’s always cold, but the fun makes it so much warmer! We may not know many songs, but we can sing with gusto.
Looking forward…
January is always really cold, but we are preparing to attend winter conference during February. January will also be the time that FBLA students will be able to buy their “new” t-shirt designed by Amanda Miller.
February is a busy month. We’ll start off by participating in the FBLA Virtual Business Challenge and the Virtual Business Finance Challenge. Our students will participate in the finance challenge. The Virtual Business Challenge and the Virtual Business Finance Challenge are FBLA events where participants use highly visual simulation software (like SimCity) to manage a business or their own financial wealth. Students participate online for free and compete for the highest score against schools across the United States. The Challenges encourage FBLA members to test their skills individually or as a team. Top prizes include a $500 scholarship! Good luck, members!
Winter Conference is held on February 23, 2016! Winter conference is where our members have the chance to compete in a variety of business topics. These competitions prepare our students to attend State Conference.
Heads up! Easter 2016 falls on March 27, and FBLA will host their spring fundraiser – See’s Easter Campaign – February 29 through March 11! Yum, yum!

This November we have been given the opportunity, through a $500 dollar grant, to spread awareness about the dangers of texting while you drive! In our community we have been promoting to NOT text and drive. The Washtucna ASB has been busy at High School basketball games handing out flyers and putting up posters throughout the school. We handed out flyers to Lacrosse, Kahlotus, Washtucna and Prescott communities. We also have been promoting our campaign throughout the community by putting “W8 2TXT” on the reader board downtown.

In our “Texting and Driving” campaign, we sent out a survey to the students and staff in our school and the results we’re quite interesting.

  1. “Does your mom/dad use their phone while they drive?”

36 No - 36

Yes - 12

  1. “Should your mom/dad use their phone while they drive?”

No - 45

Yes - 4

  1. “Do you think its okay to text and drive?”

No - 48

Yes - 1

  1. “Texting and driving is the number one cause of death for teens.”

True - 35

False - 10

FACT: It is the number one cause of accidental teen deaths!

  1. “Who do you think would most likely text and drive you’re…”

a. Mother/Female Guardian - 11 votes

b. Father/Male Guardian - 14 votes

c. Sibling - 9 votes

d. Other family member - 14 votes,

e. Friends - With the highest number of votes, lead us to believe that students think their friends will most likely text while driving rather than the other options considered.

  1. “What do you think kills more people every year, driving while drunk or driving while texting?”

Drunk driving - 21

Texting and driving - 27

FACT: Texting and driving actually does kill more people than drunk driving.

  1. “If you are over 16, have you ever caught yourself texting and driving?”

Yes - 14

No - 12

That means that over 53% of our community surveyed over the age of 16 has caught themselves texting and driving. STOP! Don’t text and drive!

FACT: You are 23 times more likely to crash while texting and driving. Please be safe! Don’t text and drive!
The Cheryl Tobin ASB Community Food Drive

This year was the third annual Cheryl Tobin Community Drive hosted by the Washtucna ASB. The Food Dive began on November 23rd and went until December 16th. A special thanks to the community members who donated during the doorstep pickup on December 9th and at Java Bloom. For this years’ food drive, grades were grouped to form three teams and were awarded weekly for the most food collected. All together the teams accumulated over 550 lbs. of food, the Community donated 85 pounds and the FBLA Turkey Trot donated 40 pounds for a total 675 pounds! Thanks so much for your support and donations!

FFA Trapshooting Activity

With Hunters Safety completed we have had a couple of students (Garrett Correll and Derek McKeen) who have been attending trap shoots. Our first trap shoot was on November 7 at the Ritzville Gun Club and the second was on December 5th at the Pomeroy Gun Club. We are well on our way to getting our Trapshooting Team back up and running. The district has been very supportive and students now have the gear necessary for these shoots. A special shout out to Theresa Correll for donating her time and mileage by transporting the firearms for our team. If you would be interested in attending shoots with us and/or have a 12 gauge you would be willing to let a student use call Mrs. Draper at the school. The greatest need that stops students from being involved in this activity is the fact that we don’t have enough 12 gauges for students to use.

STATE FFA Tractor Driving Career Development Event

Tractor driving was a great success! Our team participated in the Tractor Driving CDE and did awesome. Students were honing skills and increasing speed and abilities right up until the contest. Our team got 7th overall in the state! It was wonderful to see that we were right up there and competitive against teams that have training for years! Congratulate the guys when you see them: Derek McKeen, Garrett Correll and Daulton Poague. We will be recognized on stage at State FFA Convention in May.

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Order March 1 – May 31

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The Washtucna School District #109 complies with all federal rules and regulations and does not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, honorably discharged veteran or military status, sexual orientation, including gender expression or identity, the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability in its programs and activities and provided equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. Inquiries regarding compliance procedures may be directed to the school district’s Title IX Officer Luke Glidden; Section 504 Coordinator Lacy Nichols; and Civil Rights Compliance Coordinator Vance Wing @ 730 E. Booth Avenue, Washtucna, WA 99371; 509-646-3237 or 509-646-3401. 

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