Seward Schools Site-Based Council
The council had its last meeting of the school year on Thursday night, May 10, 2012. Council members agreed that in the future, the Council secretary (currently Leigh Ray) will post monthly updates on Seward City News after each meeting. The council exists to share decision making among staff, students, and families. In addition, it assists in the development of area school programs; works as one decision making team, with decisions being made through consensus; and is informed and up to date on the current programs within the local schools. You can also find it on Facebook now–just search for Seward Schools Site Based Council.
Some highlights from Thursday night’s meeting:
- High School Staffing – Al Plan, who used to teach at the middle school a couple of years ago, has been hired for math & science. Jennifer Swander, who taught at Spring Creek School, has been hired for Language Arts and a class on computer applications. Sami King has been hired as the new AD and the PE/Health teacher.
- The high school will have new signs before the start of the 2012-2013 school year.
- The high school and the elementary school will be receiving new roofs this summer.
- Because of the new roof going on at the high school, Mt. Marathon pre-race events and registration have to happen elsewhere.
- Science teacher Carlyn Nichols and her 7th graders recently completed a big project, which culminated with an all-day field trip to the tide pools and SeaLife Center.
- Students learned about dental health and sugar content when a dental hygienist and a nutritionist visited the schools recently.
- Discussions continued about the pay for paraprofessional substitutes, which is reported to be too low.
- The elementary school just hosted its 10th Annual Math Bowl, which brought 50 teams from around the district. The school superintendent, Dr. Steve Atwater, and staff from the central office had a team as well! Senator Lisa Murkowski made an appearance too, but she did not compete in the math bowl.
For more details, the minutes from every meeting are available on school websites and through KPBSD.
Some Education Notes
Place-Based Education: In our schools, many classrooms are actively involved in projects that are place-based. Wikipedia defines that as follows: “Place-based education seeks to help communities through employing students and school staff in solving community problems. Place-based education differs from conventional text and classroom-based education in that it understands students’ local community as one of the primary resources for learning. Thus, place-based education promotes learning that is rooted in what is local—the unique history, environment, culture, economy, literature, and art of a particular place–that is, in students’ own ‘place’ or immediate schoolyard, neighborhood, town or community.”
Recent and Upcoming Place-Based Projects:
Invasive Weeds. The fourth graders in the classrooms of Mrs. Flowers and Mrs. Tougas have used radio, art, theater, technology, and writing to learn and share about invasive weeds. Be sure to go to the Resurrection Art Coffee House next week to see the theater team perform (Friday, May 18th, 10 a.m). Also, listen to local radio for their advertisements–the Pink Panther melody is your cue that the ad is starting! Many parents, local businesses and organizations contributed to this project.
Seward History. The first and second graders in Mrs. Ray’s classroom just completed a month-long project in which they learned about the history of Seward and created a website, brochures, podcasts, and photo collages and photo stories aimed at the tourists that come to visit our town. See their work around town, and also at www.sewardtouring.com. Many parents, local businesses and organizations contributed to this project.
School Yard Habitats. This project is just getting underway and will involve all three schools and the community. The project will transform the land on our school grounds into an environment that welcomes learning and studying outside. Since our three schools are all right next to each other, we are in a fantastic position to work together in creating a schoolyard habitat campus. Please come to the brainstorming/informational meeting on May 14th at 3:30 in the high school auditorium. All people are welcome.
GIS Mapping of Scheffler Creek was recently completed by the fifth and sixth graders at Seward Elementary. Next week the students will be releasing silver salmon into Bear Creek that were raised in an aquarium at school. These programs originated with the iTREC! or Iditarod Trail to Every Classroom program.