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Riverviews - Fall 2016

FALL 2016

 

Fall 2016 Edition

        Superintendent's Message

        Business Services

        Communications

        Food Services

        Human Resources

        Information Technology

        Student Services

        Teaching & Learning

        Important Links/Resources

Riverviews - Fall 2016

 

Riverviews is a quarterly e-Newsletter sharing news and information about what is happening in our schools. We hope you find Riverviews a helpful tool and resource in gaining a better understanding of what takes place in our District on a daily basis. 

 

As the District achieves its mission to "Educate Children" and fulfills its vision of becoming a national model of educational excellence, this newsletter will spotlight the work being done to try and reach that mission and vision.

 

In this edition of the Riverviews e-Newsletter, our District Level Administrative Team share updates, sharing perspectives, thoughts, observations, and offering you a look at the exciting things happening within their individual departments.


As always, we thank you for taking the time to read through this latest edition of Riverviews and wish all a wonderful Winter Break and holiday season.

 

Sincerely,


Michael Ward
Communications Coordinator
Riverview School District
wardm@rsd407.org 

 

Superintendent's Message
Dr. Anthony Smith

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As we look forward to the winter holidays, what always comes to mind for me is our fantastic community and the wonderful partnerships our schools and community enjoys. I am proud to live, work, and participate in so many of the great things that happen in Carnation, Duvall, and the surrounding areas. This is truly a great community and school system. I am so thankful for our 450 school district employees that dedicate their lives toward making our next generation successful!


I wanted to share some recent highlights and provide an update on where the district is headed in the future:


Riverview is one of three school districts in the United States to receive AP Honor Roll recognition from the College Board for the past five years in a row! This award that honors districts for Advanced Placement excellence, underscores our high expectations for student success. The criteria for the award follows. It is noteworthy that in the "small district category," we have to improve participation/access by the 11 percent standard below.

  • Increased participation/access to AP by at least 4 percent in large districts, at least 6 percent in medium districts, and at least 11 percent in small districts;
  • Increased or maintained the percentage of exams taken by African American, Hispanic/Latino, and American Indian/Alaska Native students who scored 3+ on at least one AP Exam; and
  • Improved performance levels when comparing the percentage of students in 2016 scoring a 3 or higher to those in 2014, unless the district has already attained a performance level at which more than 70 percent of its AP students are scoring a 3 or higher.

Our School Board was recognized as Washington State Board of the Year. Only three School Boards in Washington State attained this recognition.  Last month, the Riverview School Board was honored by the Washington State School Directors Association (WSSDA) as one of three school boards in the state to receive the prestigious WSSDA Board of the Year Award for 2016. The Riverview School Board was selected in the 1,000-9,000 student enrollment category.
 

The current Riverview Board Members include President Carol Van Noy, Vice President Danny Edwards, and Directors Lori Oviatt, Jodi Fletcher, and Sabrina Parnell. The Board was joined by student representatives Pascal Nagata and Sophie Paradis and Riverview Superintendent, Dr. Anthony L. Smith, who was elated with the award announcement.


This award is about a school board that is passionate about our singular focus of providing each and every student with the best education possible.  They are known as progressive educational leaders throughout the state of Washington and get involved at all levels of government to advocate for the support needed to ensure our students and staff excel.

 

After somewhat flat enrollment, our school district is growing. The Duvall, Carnation, and surrounding areas are experiencing growth along with the rest of the Eastside of King County. From October of 2015 to October 2016, our student population grew 2.4%. We are now at 3,225 students. In addition to this growth we implemented district and state funded full-day kindergarten for all students, which necessitated the need for more classrooms in our three elementary buildings. To address our district-wide growing student population, we have had to add double portables to Cedarcrest High School (2), Cherry Valley Elementary, and this summer will add a double portable to Stillwater Elementary. We expect growth to continue at a rate of 30-60 students per year.


The district is focusing on equity and access and working to ensure that all students, Cradle to Career, are successful now and in the future. A focus area going forward is to understand and address all the issues surrounding equity and access for all students. This effort involves training at the administrative level first and then the formulation of a five-year plan which will be rolled out this spring as part of our yearly strategic planning process. Currently, we are focusing our efforts to expand our thinking and actions beyond K-12, to "Cradle to Career." This will mean increased partnering with early childhood providers and working with each student on a start toward a post-secondary certification while in high school.

 

Sincerely,

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Dr. Anthony L. Smith

Superintendent

 

Business Services
Bill Adamo, Director

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Transition year for District Business and Operations

 

After twelve years of service to the Riverview School District and over forty years of public school business and administration experience, I will be retiring this winter. Efforts have been in place for a succession plan and I look forward to introducing a new Director of Business Services soon. 


New supervisor of the District's Transportation Department

 

At the start of this school year, the district was fortunate to find the very capable Sabrina Warren to replace Jenny Bullard in the Transportation Department. Although only on the job for three months, Sabrina has exhibited outstanding initiative and, if you will excuse the expression, "drive."


Another busy year for the District's Maintenance and Facilities Department

 

This month, the district has taken occupancy of two new double portables that are used to accommodate enrollment increase; lower class sizes in grades kindergarten through third grade; and the implementation of the full day kindergarten program. The portables are located at both Cedarcrest High School and Cherry Valley Elementary.  The district is continuing its periodic voluntary testing for lead in drinking water at all the school sites. Results will be available early this winter.

 

Communications
Michael Ward, Coordinator

http://files.constantcontact.com/f67bf2ee001/71746c51-4a4e-44b9-a762-7796325f0fee.jpgCommunications in Riverview is never still, seldom static, and always presenting new and unique challenges and opportunities week to week and day after day.

As we continue to look and develop our plans and strategies on how to get the most important information into your hands, and in front of your eyes, as efficiently as possible, I am thrilled to introduce SchoolMessenger as a mechanism that adds another important layer to district-wide communications.

SchoolMessenger 

In our new partnership with SchoolMessenger, we can send text alert notifications to those of you in our Riverview community who have a cell phone number on file with the district and have decided to opt-in to receive the alerts.

We held an "Opt-In" day on December 13, and saw more than 2,400 of you text "Y" to 675-87 and join our texting pool. Quickly, we determined that some of you may have short code alerts and responses blocked by your carrier, or that phone numbers thought to be registered with the district are not on file. If you have not received a text message, please notify your school secretaries and/or registrars and make sure current numbers are on file. If you replied to receive text alerts and did not receive a confirmation message, check with your carrier and make sure that you are cleared to receive these types of messages.

Lastly, you can e-mail me at wardm@rsd407.org and we will work with our technology team to research the issue further and see if we can remedy any lingering issues you may be having.

If you did receive the text notification and choose to not receive any additional text alerts, you have two options; A) simply do nothing and ignore the message, or B) text STOP to 675-87 to opt-out of the alert system.

Ambassador Program 2016-17

I would be remiss if I did not mention that we have received overwhelming response to our second iteration of the Riverview School District Ambassador Program. 25 of you, consisting of a mix of parents, community members, teachers, and district staff, have signed up to take part in five 90-minute sessions this year, learning about how the District operates on a daily basis.

Three more sessions remain for this year's program and the Ambassador Program showcases department directors, supervisors, and coordinators throughout our District, as well as our elected School Board Directors, offering insight and information regarding the work they do in the District. This peeling back of the curtain, if you will, allows our future Ambassadors to see how the daily operations of our district are managed and handled.

For more information about the Ambassadors Program, please reach out to my e-mail address listed above. 

 

Food Services
Kaye Wetli, Supervisor

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Have you checked out the new interactive lunch menus on the district website? 

http://www.healtheliving.net/instance/2040237/district/21

When you hover over the menu item, you can view serving, nutritional, and allergen information about that item. You can select the language you wish to view.  You can calculate nutritional and caloric values for selected items using the interactive nutritional portion of the program. You can find the interactive menus on the district website under district departments under Food Services. Select the school menu you wish to review, select lunch menu, and select the calendar month you want to view.

 

Family Access is a valuable tool for families to use regarding their student's meal account. On the left hand column on the home page there is a Food Services tab. The information includes:

  • Current account balance
  • Payments that have been made
  • Weekly purchases
  • A link to the monthly menu
  • A link to apply for Free and Reduced Meals
  • A link to e-Funds for Schools to make an on-line payment

The Account Settings link in Family Access offers the ability to update the parent/guardian address, phone number and email. There is a box to check to receive an email notice when your student's meal account balance falls below $6.50. There is also an option to check the box to show Google translator and a drop down box to select a different language.


Riverview also offers a program to pay for various school fees online.
E-Funds for Schools offers options for parents/guardians who choose to make payments on-line and is extremely user friendly. Not only will you have the ability to have school fees and meal payments electronically withdrawn from your checking account or charged to your credit card, you also have the flexibility to make payments at any time that is convenient to you.

 

The e-Funds for Schools service is offered by a third party service provider and the district does not request or keep records of family checking or credit card account information. There is no fee if you use your checking account. There is a $1.00 fee to use your credit card. Online meal payments go immediately to your student's meal account.  You can sign up to receive email and/or text messages that provide a daily report of student account balances.


We encourage you to check out the interactive menus, use Family Access for student account information, and use e-Funds for a convenient way to make meal payments.

 

Human Resources
Janet Gavigan, Director

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Hiring for 2016-17

 

The 2016-17 school year brought 68 new faces to the Riverview School District community by the time school opened or within a month after the year began. With several retirements, staff who relocated, internal movements, or additional positions to support learning, it meant we successfully filled over 100 positions. Of those who are new, 36 were new certificated staff and 22 were new classified staff. The Human Resources team continues to successfully navigate the challenging economy to find staff that meets the increasing needs of our district.  


As part of the strategic plan and ongoing human resources analysis, we have found the number one recruitment of applicants comes through our own district employees and community. This statistic tells us that our community speaks positively of our schools, shares it, and encourages friends and neighbors to apply for open positions. Speaking of our district employees as our number one recruiter; it came as no surprise that employees enjoy working at Riverview, since 34 percent of our staff have been here over 15 years. Continue to spread the good word that Riverview School District is a destination district, has a solid commitment to the students, and is an exceptional place to work. 


The Human Resources Website

 

The viewing and use of the RSD website continues to attract and/or be a useful place for both outside applicants and internal staff to locate resources, learn about the district, or access opportunities. Not only is the Human Resources page a place to find current job openings as well as information on how to apply for a job, a substitute, or a volunteer, the HR Department has now added a few new links for the staff to access HR forms and Certification Resources. As part of the ongoing commitment to attract new staff as well as to serve current staff, our website may be a place to start for useful information.

If you have questions about renewing your certificate, National Boards, or adding endorsements, the links will help you by leading you to the right path for information. Check it out! You will find these resources at the Riverview website under District Departments, Human Resources where you should look at the left side banner to locate what you need.  Remember HR is here to help. Give us a call if you have questions.

Information Technology
Paul Censullo, Director

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We are in Year One of our 1:1 laptop initiative that seeks to provide personal learning tools to all our students throughout all our schools and programs.

 

Some of the highlights:

 

  • We have expanded our 1:1 in-class laptop program to 24 classrooms at Tolt and Cedarcrest. This provides laptops for every student in all 8th grade core content classrooms (science, math, social studies, language arts) and all science, math, and 9th grade language arts classrooms at the high school.
  • We have increased the use of iPads in all our K-2 classrooms to do integrated lessons connected to core curricular objectives.

 

With all our mobile devices we will be focusing on the following questions:

  • What resources and strategies support and develop independent and self-initiated learning in our students?
  • What resources and strategies encourage more quality collaboration and communication in our classrooms?
  • What resources and strategies can help teachers customize learning and differentiate instruction?
  • How can the use of mobile devices extend student learning beyond the classroom?

We look to positively affect:

  • Student learning, engagement, and organizational skills
  • Student and teacher collaboration
  • Greater access to technology as a classroom tool
  • Increasing future workplace skills
  • Equity for all students

Digital technologies have great potential to support powerful teaching and student-centered learning environments as we look to increase access for all students in the coming year.

 

Student Services
Dr. Kenneth Heikkila, Director

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Expanded Services and Supports

 

Expanded services and supports for student learning are the theme for Student Services in the current school year. Multiple staff positions were added this year in several Student Services programs that have resulted in program enhancements to meet an increase in needs or to further enhance services. Highlights in some of the Student Services programs:

  • Community linkages: Student Services is collaborating with several agencies. Examples include Evergreen Hospital, Friends of Youth, Treehouse, and the Snoqualmie Valley Community Network. Through these collaborations the district is able to provide direct services for students or to work toward developing additional services.
  • Counseling: Carnation Elementary, Cherry Valley Elementary and Stillwater Elementary began the year with a school counselor on site five days a week. This is a significant addition to have one counselor at each elementary school who will be supporting student needs daily. Emily Sampson joined Leanne Koenigs and Danielle Peters on the elementary counseling team. 
  • Early Childhood: A partnership with Encompass of North Bend began this year to serve preschool children who qualify for ECEAP (Early Childhood Education Assistance Program). The Riverview School District is providing space and transportation for 18 preschoolers living in the district, and Encompass is staffing and implementing the early childhood program.
  • English Learners: Certificated staff was increased by a full time English learner teacher to meet the needs of an increased number of students who qualify as English learners. Kaeleigh Wilson is the new addition to this team.
  • Nursing Services: Nursing hours have increased for the current school year. On any given day there are four nurses in districts with a nurse at three elementary schools on a daily basis. Health needs for students are well supported. Some nurse staffing changes have resulted in hiring Leigh Ann Gutmann, Janet Morgan-Figgins and Michelle Wells this year. They are three of the six team members.
  • Special Education:  At the administrative level, Student Services has added a part-time assistant director. Molly Lutz is serving in this role, and her focus has been in special education. This has facilitated an increase in collaboration among special education staff and efficiencies in systems for required paperwork.
  • Title I: Carnation Elementary and Tolt Middle School continue to be the targeted assistance schools utilizing Title I funds. For these schools, a new position has been created, a parent engagement specialist. Maribel Paniagua is serving in this role and will be collaborating with Title I staff. 

 

Teaching & Learning

Roni Rumsey, Director

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The 2016-2017 school year has brought many changes and exciting developments to the Teaching and Learning Department. During August, staff participated in professional learning in collaboration with Issaquah, Tahoma and Snoqualmie Valley School Districts. Staff was also provided learning opportunities to enable them to effectively use technology as a learning tool as well as prepare them for the shift to Office 365.  

 

As the year continues, the Tolt Middle School math department is participating in on-going professional learning in partnership with the University of Washington. Staff is also afforded the opportunity to participate in job embedded professional learning being led by our Professional Learning Leaders.  

 

Data continues to be a focus, whether we look at student achievement or staff perception. Creating opportunities for staff to enhance their skills is done by reflecting on data points and determining what types of learning designs will best meet these needs.

 

This winter, the Teaching and Learning Department will be busy with the first of many required assessments and will continue through June.  Other professional learning opportunities within this time frame will include increasing skills in technology, understanding how to support students in math classes and student engagement.

 

Lastly, our department is getting reading for a professional learning day on January 13, 2017. During this day, teachers will be spending time using their new electronic devices, preparing for a conversion to a new storage system and continuing their learning around 1:1 devices in the classrooms. This will be an informative day with many ideas for teachers to use moving forward.

 

Our work in Teaching and Learning has been focused on student engagement for the last few years and we are seeing the results in observations in the classroom and looking at data. We are excited to see what the rest of the year will bring.   

 

Important Links/Information Resources
Riverview School District

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Be informed through the Riverview School District's Twitter page

See us on Instagram...search for Riverview407 


Visit the Riverview School District home page for current news and information regarding our Riverview schools:
www.rsd407.org

 

 

The Riverviews Quarterly e-Newsletter is published a minimum of three times per year by Riverview School District #407. It is designed to inform community members about the strategic direction of the district as well as provide routine information of interest.

Direct any questions and/or comments to Communications Coordinator, Michael Ward - wardm@rsd407.org.

 

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Riverview School District
15510 - 1st Avenue N.E.
P.O. Box 519
Duvall, Washington 98019
425-844-4500

Riverview School District
15510 - 1st Avenue N.E.
P.O. Box 519
Duvall, Washington 98019
425-844-4500