Green Acres Initiates Elementary STEM Program

Green Acres Elementary is becoming a Weber School District STEM Emphasis School to help students become better problem solvers and more engaged learners.

The Grizzlies are choosing to emphasize STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math)in order to help prepare students for their life after graduation. According to the National Academy of Sciences, an ever-increasing number of employers and public officials have said that young people need to, “…have some degree of scientific and technological literacy in order to lead productive lives as citizens, whether or not they ever work in a STEM-related field… such literacy is important to being a smart consumer and thoughtful participant in democratic decision making and to making sense of the world more generally.”

Green Acres is one of two schools in the state using Launch, the elementary version of Project Lead the Way (PLTW); with Municipal Elementary following about a month behind them as a third school. Launch/PLTW is the curriculum that is used for the engineering component of STEM. There is one teacher in each grade level who is a PLTW teacher and they make sure every student in that grade level gets through at least one of the engineering modules. This year, the school is starting with the engineering design process.

“Part of what we want kids to know is that you learn a lot from mistakes and that if you get it wrong the first time that’s great because you learn a lot more that way than if you already knew it,” Principal Lisa Gilstrap said. “We emphasize a growth mindset so people don’t think ‘I’m not a math person,’ or, ‘I’m not a science person.’ Instead, they think, ‘I can do math. I can do science. I just have to figure out how to figure it out.”

The school will be integrating STEM ideas throughout the curriculum. For example, Gilstrap explained students may have to engineer a beanstalk when reading and learning the story of “Jack and the Beanstalk,” or come up with a design for a paintbrush in art. “Really, it’s about becoming problem solvers.” The problem solving instructional approach emphasizes students taking more responsibility for their learning in all subjects.

The program is in its early stages at the school with pre-surveys and students just starting to work into it now, and it will continue to grow. “I think it’s really good for students,” Gilstrap said. “I think it will engage the students that are more hands-on. It challenges our students that have things come easy to them- they’re going to have to learn to work through stuff. It’s going to be good for both my faculty and for my students. Plus, I love that all of my students get to participate in this as well. That’s a beautiful thing.”

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Wahlquist Legacy Continues

Seventy-six years ago, on April 7, 1938, the Weber School District Board of Education formally considered construction of a new school in Northwest Weber County. The new school would be a combined elementary and junior high school to replace schools in Harrisville, Farr West, Slaterville and Marriott. Authorization was granted in May of 1938 to apply for a Works Project Administration grant and plans were approved the following June. Built at the cost of $160,121, the WPA provided the labor and the School Board furnished the materials for the building. The new structure was thought to be the most modern school plant in the state! On April 27, 1939, six acres of land was purchased for the new school site.

Wahlquist was named after the late Keith C. Wahlquist, Superintendent of Schools when construction began. Wahlquist opened on November 24, 1941 with an enrollment of 300 students. Sidney L. Wyatt was the first principal and nine teachers were on staff. During the 1949-50 school year, an additional 13 acres of land was purchased and a new wing was constructed on the west side of the original building. Wahlquist became a junior high school in the fall of 1950 with 750 students enrolled with a faculty of 26 members.

Since those first early years, thousands of students have passed through Wahlquist's corridors—many of them sons and daughters, grandsons and granddaughters and even great and great-great grandsons and granddaughters of those pioneer students. Because of this, Wahlquist Jr. High School has been built upon a proud heritage of community spirit and tradition. Wahlquist Jr. High is much more than just a building or a school--it is an institution of love, friendship and character. Wahlquist Jr. High School is home to many and a symbol of pride to the fourteen communities she has served over the years.

This fall Wahlquist Jr. High School moved to a new building situated on 25 acres of land and built at a cost of over $23,000,000. Over eleven hundred students are currently enrolled, with a staff numbering more than 80. We've come a long way, baby! As students embark this new journey, they will be continually reminded of the legacy of their past.

Through the generosity of the Andrew F. Wahlquist and Andrea K. Wahlquist, son and granddaughter of Keith C. Wahlquist, more than $22,000 was donated in the last year to the new Wahlquist Jr. High School. The donation consisted of a bronze plaque memorializing Keith C. Wahlquist, hanging above a stone bench in the foyer of the school as well as a large oil painting commissioned as a gift to the school to hang in the front hallway of the building. The painting, by former Wahlquist student and renowned artist David Jackson, depicts an Eagle in the Ogden-Weber Valley. Because Keith Wahlquist was an author as well as an educator, a display case has also been installed in the Media Center to display memorabilia such as Wahlquist's typewriter, a scrapbook of writings for students to check out and read, a stopwatch, and a photo of Wahlquist.

These items will serve as a reminder of Wahlquist's rich history for many generations to come.

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What Did You Learn Today?

Our students' math classes are looking quite different from those we've been accustomed to in our educational experiences. The Utah Core State Standards have increased emphasis on understanding the why (conceptual understanding) to ensure success for our students in future mathematics studies and to encourage college and career readiness. This is not to say that procedural understanding (the how), skill and fluency are not important. Rather, procedures and algorithms follow mastery of conceptual understanding. 

Finally, quality mathematics instruction integrates the application of mathematics in which students use mathematical concepts to solve real-world problems. The ability to apply mathematical knowledge represents the deepest level of understanding and demonstrates the essential skills of critical thinking. In today's mathematics classes, students are expected to work collaboratively with others, to persevere in solving challenging problems, to develop critical thinking skills, to communicate their mathematical understanding to others, and to be more active and engaged in their learning process.

Parents can support their child's learning by asking critical questions, such as "What did you learn today in math?" It is also beneficial for parents to have their students teach them how they went about solving a problem in class and describe their thinking process. This is a great opportunity to solidify instruction that occurred during class and to increase the likelihood of long-term retention.

A video showcasing current teaching practices:

Sharing Strategies for Counting Collections (Teaching Channel)

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Documents that provide productive questions to promote a meaningful math conversation with your child:

Download

Download

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New School Year Brings New Schools, Other Projects

The 2014-2015 school year is sure to bring excitement for students, faculty and staff of Weber School District.

Two new schools will be opening its doors for the 2014-2015 school year. The new North Park Elementary will open with a dedication ceremony to be held August 18, 2014 at 6:00 p.m. Wahlquist Junior High will also be opening for the 2014-2015 year, with its dedication ceremony scheduled for August 25, 2014 at 6:00 p.m. We invite you to come out and see these two beautiful new schools.

The students of West Weber Elementary will be attending the old Wahlquist Junior High school, while their new school is being built. The new West Weber Elementary will be completed and ready for students in August of 2015.

North Ogden Junior High School, home of the Knights, will be getting a new gym with construction beginning in 2014. The project design has been awarded to Bott Pantone Architects. With a new gym, comes an auditorium to be located in the original gym providing for a larger cafeteria.

New to Weber School District for the 2014-2015 school year is the Weber Innovation Center located on 12th street. This school will house our Weber Online program as well as Project Lead the Way.

Last, but certainly not least, we will be breaking ground for the Club Heights/Marlon Hills new combined elementary school in the spring of 2015. This school should be up and running by August 2016.

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2014 e-Cybermission Winners

ecybermission01The Curriculum Department is pleased to announce the winners of the 2014 e-Cybermission STEM Challenge. E-Cybermission is an online Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics competition centered on solving an authentic problem in the community. Sixth through ninth grade students work in teams of three or four to select a problem, develop and test a solution and write up their findings. The competition begins in early Fall and concludes the first week of March with an online judging period.

Team Kugelblitz from T. H. Bell earned 1st place district honors for their project "A Community's Biofuel." The team studied the production of biodiesel derived from discarded cafeteria food as a way to minimize the waste the school puts back into the environment and to reduce the dependence on fossil fuels. Team members Riley Midgley, Tyler Coy, Jeremy Broadbent and Tyler Staten each received $50 for their efforts. The school also earned $300 for the promotion of STEM education.

Team Kugelblitz expanded their project this year with a focus on more efficient manufacturing processes. They visited local businesses specializing in similar production and ended up creating a method to process their fuel with 99% efficiency! The students had tremendous support from their advisor, Michael Wade, as well as from mentors at Hill Air Force Base. In addition to winning first place in Weber School District, these young men were also awarded 1st place honors, including $1000 U.S. Savings Bonds, in the national e-Cybermission competition for the 9th grade division in Utah.

Roy Junior High School 8th graders, Wesley Daugherty, Ryland Sparrow, Josh Crossley and Gabino Romero Aguiar, entered the e-Cybermission arena with their project "Blazer of Glory." These students sought to decrease injuries sustained by falls on icy walkways by building an "ice blazer" crafted from a lawn mower and rotating torches. This design enabled the students to melt ice and collect the water to prevent re-freezing. Each student earned $40 and the school received $200 for STEM education. Math teacher, Toni Booth, served as the advisor for the students and was thrilled with their progress and innovation.

ecybermission02In addition to the two phenomenal teams above, The Awesome Peeps, from Majestic Elementary School earned 2nd place honors in the national competition at the 6th grade level. Team members, under the direction of teacher Cassie Grether, were Siera Hadley, Kobe Pincombe and Carsen Mann. We applaud these students and advisors for taking an active interest in their communities and for their interest in STEM-related disciplines. We also appreciate the support of the Weber School District Foundation and Boeing for their continued financial support of this competition.

Next year's e-Cybermission event begins in September and is open to all students in grades six through nine. For more information, contact Sheri Heiter at 801-476-7956 or sheiter@wsd.net. Additional resources connected to this opportunity can be found at http://ecybermission.com/.

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Weber on Wellness Program Helps Participants with Healthy Lifestyle Choices

The "Weber on Wellness" program is a district-sponsored wellness program through check withholdings that offers employees incentives for participating in preventative health screenings, classes, activities and contests to better their health. The activities are centered on encouraging employees to live a healthy lifestyle by eating nutritiously, exercising and managing stress. The program also provides an opportunity for district employees and their families to participate in activities such as snowshoeing, hikes, bike rides, and pickleball.

The Ogden Marathon, held on Saturday, May 17, included 62 Weber School District Employees who have been participating in the "Weber on Wellness" program this year.

One participant from the program said, "I loved working with the incentive programs through Café' Well. I enjoyed the competitiveness of it and knowing that I could actually do this. We set some goals to lose weight and I have been able to lose 30 pounds so far. My blood pressure and cholesterol have come down. I don't even need medication for cholesterol anymore!"

Another participant said that she liked that the program gave her new ideas on being healthy. "I have learned so much about a lot of different ways to stay healthy," she said. "I have seen how much work goes into this program to make it successful and informative. Some of the things I have participated in are the 'Rethink Your Drink', that was great. I have never been much of a water drinker but really found the importance of water and how much it helps us to be healthier. I have really tried to drink more water and do notice a difference. Also, the rewards for doing your wellness checkups give you motivation to have those things done that maybe you wouldn't think of otherwise."

Those participating regularly in the program have seen outstanding results including participating in the Ogden Marathon when some never thought they could. Participants have seen weight lost, blood pressure and cholesterol decreased, motivation to reach goals increased, friends made, and most importantly, overall wellness in their lives.

A third participant would like people to not be quick to judge the program. "...I would like to say, you never know. This program may help you correct an unhealthy behavior," he said. "To those that participate in the Wellness fair and do nothing about their unhealthy behaviors, I would say-if I can do it, you can do it. If we would all become more aware of our health, our rising yearly health insurance premiums may begin to slow down. Many of our costs are being perpetuated by us as the users. We can all do a litter better when it comes to our health decisions."

For more information on the "Weber on Wellness" program, please contact Lauri Judkins at lajudkins@wsd.net.

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Summer Lunch Provided at Eight School Sites

Weber School District will be offering free school lunch to all children ages 18 and under this summer at eight of their elementary schools from Roy to North Ogden. School lunch will be offered Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Adults accompanying children may eat for $3.25. 

What: Free Summer Lunch Program
Who: Weber School District
When: June 2-July 31 (except July 4, July 24-25) 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Where:

Municipal Elementary School: 5775 S. 2200 W. Roy, UT 84067
Valley View Elementary School: 2465 W 4500 S. Roy, UT 84067
Roy Elementary School:  2888 W. 5600 S. Roy, UT 84067
MarLon Hills Elementary School: 4400 Madison Ave. South Ogden, UT 84403
Washington Terrace Elementary School: 20 E. 4600 S. Washington Terrace, UT 84405 
Green Acres Elementary School: 640 E. 1900 N. North Ogden, UT 84414
North Ogden Elementary School: 530 E. 2650 N. North Ogden, UT 84414
Lakeview Elementary School: 2025 West 5000 South Roy, UT 84067

For more information, contact Weber School District Child Nutrition at 801-476-7833 or 801-476-7838.

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2014 Retirement Newsletter

Changing Lives Through a Lifetime of Devoted Service. Take a look at the 2014 Weber School District Retirement Newsletter.

 

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2014-15 Board Administrator Appointments

The school board appointed Lori Rasmussen as our new Elementary Supervisor.  There were many strong applicants for that position.  We congratulate Lori for her new appointment and look forward to her contribution and leadership.  The board also made the following administrative changes:

Elementary
Katie Amsden – Washington Terrace
Diane Rockwood – Freedom
Karen Neiswender – H. Guy Child
Rick Proffer – Club Heights
Kelli Booth – Canyon View
New Elementary Interns – Phil Nestoryak & Heather Neilson 

Secondary (No Principal Changes)
Clyde Moore – Assistant Principal at Roy High
Steve Short – Assistant Principal at Weber High
Chris Earnest – Assistant Principal at Bonneville High
Nick Reyes – Assistant Principal at Sandridge Junior High
Kyle Hansen – Assistant Principal at North Ogden Junior High
Heather Hardy – Assistant Principal at Roy Junior High
Sherry Patton – Intern at Fremont High
Brock Mitchell – Intern at Bonneville High  

We look forward to working with these great administrators in their new capacity.  Thanks to all of you for what you do for children every day!

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20th Annual Math Science Olympiad and 5th Annual Iron Kid Competition Held

On May 12-13, Weber School District's top Math, Science, and "Iron Kid" students competed against each other in the 20th Annual Math Science Olympiad and 5th Annual Iron Kid Competition held at the Weber County Fair Grounds.

Students from third through sixth grades competing in the Olympiad participated in different activities such as Krypto, boat races, Spaghetti Towers and Tangrams. Those participating in the Iron Kid Competition had to show their skills in the shuttle run, Speed Stacking, flying discs, jumping jacks, and hula hooping.

Students were excited as all of the events were about to take place. They practiced all of the events many times at school in their classes and were ready to go. Many of the students competing in the Math Science Olympiad said that part of the fun they were having at the competition was competing against the other elementary schools and showing off what they had learned. Jaxen Lythgoe, a sixth-grade Valley Elementary student competing in the Krypto competition said, "It's really fun to compete in and show off what you've learned and you get to take home medals for doing school work."

Anderson Songer, another sixth-grade student competing in Krypto for Valley Elementary pointed out that the Math Science Olympiad gets students thinking but also gets them working as a team. "It really challenges your brain and it also helps you learn how to use team work and it brings team spirit for your school."

During the Iron Kid competition the energy was high as students practiced their speed stacking and even their fast jumping jacks while they waited for their teams to compete. The students could all agree that Iron Kid was about more than just having fun. Calli Clark, a third-grade student and Gage Peck, a fourth-grade student from Valley Elementary explained that with all of the events they do in the competition, it's a great way to stay physically fit. 

The level of learning at these two competitions was high and the level of fun was even higher. Weber School District wishes to congratulate all of the students who participated in the Math Science Olympiad and Iron Kid Competition. Thanks for all of your talent and hard work!

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Preston Warren and Bud Turner Named Employees of the Year

Weber School District Teacher of the Year and Classified Employee of the Year were announced during the Weber School Board meeting held May 7, 2014.

Preston Warren was named Weber School District’s "Teacher of the Year." Warren was chosen from seven nominated teachers. Warren has taught at Bonneville High School for 14 years and goes above and beyond for his students.

Raymond Long, principal of Bonneville High School, nominated Warren and says that his classes are not only ones that students want to attend, but classes in which students are excelling. "The uniqueness of bringing personal and professional qualities together has enabled Mr. Warren to lead his colleagues and students into a better understanding of and zest for Language Arts," he said in his letter of recommendation. "He has provided the resources of time and expertise necessary for the success of his program. It has allowed him to share with others his belief in the importance of Language Arts Education and its role in the school curriculum."

Warren has also taken on many extra responsibilities such as being in charge of the Sterling Scholar program at Bonneville High School. He spent many hours preparing for this responsibility and it paid off. Seven Bonneville students took first place at the regional competition and three of those seven students went on to compete at the State Sterling scholar Competition.

Assistant Superintendent, Linda Carver said, "Mr. Warren demonstrates the highest level of professional commitment and skill in his work with students and colleagues and gives generously of his time. Often his work extends beyond the school day. He takes on extra responsibilities and completes those assignments effectively and efficiently. Mr. Warren is a professional who is able to consistently communicate and connect with the students, staff and other stakeholders with whom he comes in contact. He truly cares about the kids and is always conscious of the role an educator can play in the lives of young people."

Bud Turner was named the "Classified Employee of the Year." Turner has worked as the district maintenance welder for 11 years. During this time, he has, according to Weber School District’s Maintenance Supervisor Brian Smith, "...made a difference in so many areas, not only with his talents, but with his attitude."

Turner also goes above and beyond to help those he works with. Smith says that his job requires him to work with every maintenance crew in the district and he has a part in helping each crew complete their projects.

Assistant Superintendent, Lex Puffer said, said, "He has a unique talent both as a fabricator and as a craftsman. He is detail-oriented, meticulous, and seeks perfection in each of his assignments. Bud has a positive attitude and is willing to help others in any area he can. When he repairs equipment, he makes the item stronger and better than before so it will not break again. He has the ability to listen and communicate with others. He follows through with any commitment he makes and willingly shares his knowledge and expertise in helping others achieve their goals. Bud Turner has made a huge impact in so many areas, not only with his talents, but with his attitude."

All the nominees will be honored at a banquet hosted by Tony Divino Toyota Scion on May 13, at 6:00 p.m. at Ogden Golf and Country Club.

Weber School District wishes to congratulate Preston Warren and Bud Turner on this achievement and thank them for their outstanding service to the district!

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Community Says Goodbye to Old North Park Elementary

northPark3Former teachers, parents and students attended an open house at North Park Elementary in Roy, Utah last Thursday.  The event was hosted by current administrator, Joanne Hobbs and her faculty and staff members.  While construction workers hammered away at the site of the new North Park next door, the community said goodbye to Weber School District’s first and only circular school building.

Many stories were told that night: some from former teachers to former students, and others from moms and dads to their children.  Every area of the school was buzzing with busy chatter and scattered with happy faces.  One former teacher in attendance actually embarked on his teaching career the year North Park opened.  He enjoyed telling people his story – how North Park opened as a half circle instead of a whole, and how he started teaching that year not yet completing his teaching credentials.  (He still needed seven credits.)  Somehow he managed to finish his degree during year and reminisced of those times with a happy heart.  This delightful, retired teacher was reunited with one of his former students during the open house.  It was a touching moment.

In another area of the building, two former colleagues met up – later joined by one of the parents they knew from way back when.  It was a “Kodak Moment,” and they had their picture taken together in front of the teacher’s old classroom.  What fun!

History was revisited that night as guests wandered the circle perusing old articles and viewing pictures of the past.  It was a wonderful evening full of fascinating stories and fond memories. 

The students at North Park Elementary will be moving into a new school just north of the present building for the 2014-2015 school year.

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WSSA Utah State Tournament

 speedStacksThe WSSA Utah State Tournament is being held on May 10th, at North Ogden Elementary. This is a qualifier event for the Junior Olympics. {featured cupFeatured.jpg}

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Facts About Utah's Core Standards

To better understand the facts about Utah's Core Standards here are some links that provide valuable information.

http://www.corestandards.org/    |    http://schoolboard.utah.gov/

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