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Assessment Season

Each month, Dr. Zorn reaches out to our business community via the Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce newsletter with information about the successes and challenges of our public schools.

April showers may bring May flowers, but springtime also brings our annual state testing for third through eighth and tenth grade students.

Each of our students in these grades is assessed on his or her Reading and Mathematics skills. Additionally, our fifth, eighth and tenth grader students are tested in Science. End of year “summative assessments” provide the district valuable information about how well our students’ have mastered grade-level standards and helps to identify the learning needs of each student. The information we gather also guides our efforts to improve the curriculum and instruction offered by the district.

Aside from the summative assessments that are the focus of spring testing, it is daily classroom “formative assessments” that hold the most promise in improving the learning of each of our students. Gathering necessary information each day does not require a test, but rather the expert observation of student work and regular discussion with students about their learning and understanding. Through the informal, daily collection of information regarding our student’s mastery of essential skills, teachers are able to answer the four fundamental questions that guide their planning, teaching, and learning

  • What do students need to know, understand, and be able to do?
  • What instructional strategies and/or activities should be used to meet the standards?
  • How do we measure and assess whether students have attained the knowledge/skill?
  • What do we do when students don’t learn and/or they already have the knowledge/skill?

Through answering these questions, teachers can then provide learning opportunities that meet the unique learning needs of each student in their classroom. The answers to these questions are used to adjust instruction to maximize opportunities for increased achievement. This information also provides opportunity to identify any deficits of knowledge or skills shared by the class which need to be addressed by whole-class instruction. Effective instruction is nearly impossible without constant collection of information about student learning and immediate feedback to students. Constant monitoring of student learning leads to appropriate adjustments in the instructional support provided by informed and expert teachers.

In the Longview Public Schools, our focus continues to be upon improving the achievement levels of our students. To this end, we value the role that both daily formative assessments and end-of-year summative assessments play in providing the information we need about our students and their learning.

2018-04-25T13:23:07+00:00 April 25th, 2018|

R.A. Long future business leaders shine at state conference

Success was sweet for two Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) members who competed in the State Leadership Conference in Bellevue, Wash. in early April.

FBLA winners Isaac Brill and Erik Wrzesinski

R.A. Long junior Erik Wrzesinski placed 7th in Accounting 2,  and senior Isaac Brill placed 3rd in Computer Problem Solving, 9th in Networking Concepts, and 10th in Personal Finance.  Both students will advance to Nationals in June in Baltimore, Maryland.

FBLA’s mission is to bring business and education together in a positive working relationship through innovative leadership and career development programs. In Washington, over 5,000 students participate in 160 chapters.  CTE Business Teacher Sharon Jacobs said, “R. A. Long has not had a top ten winner on stage for about 14 years, perhaps a few more.”

2018-04-17T16:57:07+00:00 April 17th, 2018|

Longview Luminaries: Donald B. Barker

The schools and community of Longview, Washington have long supported the development of outstanding individuals whose contributions have enriched the city, state, nation, and world.  We would like to take some time to highlight some of these notable individuals and the nurturing community from which they came. These bright spots in the Longview community exemplify the values that the Longview School District aims to instill in all of its students and serve as beacons of integrity, passion, and brilliance. Here, we introduce the next of our many notable Longview Luminaries, Donald B. Barker.

As a student in Longview Public Schools in the 1950s and ‘60s, Don Barker excelled in science. His projects won local science fairs and took him to the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry for regional fairs, where they would win again.

One year, after a group of chemical engineers awarded him a prize at the OMSI show, Barker told them he wanted to become an aeronautical engineer. Then he received some life-changing advice.

“They said, ‘Don’t become an aeronautical engineer. Become a mechanical engineer, and you can study everything the aeronautical engineers do,’” he recalled. “A mechanical engineer can pass himself off to any discipline.’”

And that’s what Barker did. With bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering, and a doctorate in engineering mechanics, Barker became a professor at University of Maryland, College Park. In addition to teaching, he worked on projects related to nuclear power, mining and drilling, space flight, avionics, cellular communication and more.

What is the common thread that strings these various projects together?

“I’m a failure analyst. Fracture mechanics—how cracks grow—is my area of expertise,” he explained. “The principles are the same”—whether considering how blasts crack rock or soldering breaks down on electronics circuit boards—“it’s just the scale you’re working on.”

One especially fruitful area of research for Barker his team of colleagues was electronics packaging. In the area of avionics, for example, many aircraft carried two sets of parts, because engineers didn’t know when they would fail. Barker’s group—with Barker focused on the effects of vibration and shock—helped determine how long parts would last and when they would reach their “end of life.”

With cell phones, the researchers found they could be dropped three times on concrete and possibly be fine, but drop it one more time, and it would fail. Of course there is a caveat: the gadget’s survival often depends on whether it lands on its corner, edge or on the top or bottom.

“Electrons don’t fail,” he explained, “it’s the circuit traces, the wiring that’s going to fail, so there won’t be a path for the electrons.”

At times his research group was working on projects for up to 30 corporations and government agencies. And over the course of his career, he produced a dozen books or book chapters, and collaborated on 61 papers in refereed journals and 116 other published papers.

After retiring in 2013, Don said he turned off his research efforts but stayed in Maryland.

“I fish, I kayak, I have a rowing shell, I do a lot of cycling, I race radio-controlled sailboats,” he said. “I have too many hobbies.”

Don Barker
Don Barker holds his paper airplane, which won the distance category in UCLA’s 1973 paper airplane contest.

Don Barker was a student at Kessler and Northlake elementary schools, Monticello Junior High and R.A. Long. Here are a few of his science projects:

  • A visible wind tunnel: He built a wind tunnel into which he introduced smoke, so observers could see turbulence passing over sections of airfoil.
  • A centrifuge: He built a centrifuge with 2Gs of force and grew beans in it. Compared with beans in a regular environment, the centrifuge beans couldn’t stand upright.
  • A vortex: He built a tank so observers could view a vortex from the side.
2018-04-17T16:58:18+00:00 April 12th, 2018|

We are all educators

Each month, Dr. Zorn reaches out to our business community via the Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce newsletter with information about the successes and challenges of our public schools.

March included Education Support Professionals Week—a week honoring the many contributions that our 447 support professionals provide to our students.

This time of year is also a great opportunity to reinforce that education is first and foremost a “people business” built on meaningful relationships to foster student success.

Although their jobs do not require a teaching certificate, support staff members are essential partners in our educational programs. They provide service that covers nearly every aspect of the education and support given our students, their families, and our community.

These individuals keep our schools clean, our lawns mowed, and our children fed. Endless hours of classroom support are provided our students and their teachers, helping to fill opportunity and learning gaps. Our support professionals keep our technology running and serve the needs of our students, staff, families and community. They make sure our students have a secure and healthy environment in which they can learn. Our students are transported safely and given specialized care through the expert and selfless commitment of our education support professionals.

In our schools, we are all educators. We simply play different roles as we seek to provide the most responsive and effective education for the students we serve. As we offer a welcoming, safe environment at all our schools, it is essential that students have positive relationships with one or more adult role models. Connected students achieve at high levels, graduate more frequently, and have greater success once they leave high school.

Those connections can be with the persons in the classroom, the individual cleaning the corridors, the staff member in the career center or school office, the lady serving up lunch, or the bus driver who is the first and last “school” face seen during the week.

For many of our students, their families provide strong connections. Sadly, however, this is not the case for all of our students; they need an adult who takes an interest in their success in school and in life. That is part of the work we do—create student connectedness. It is key that our schools provide places where a student feels successful appreciated, and honored.
I would ask you to thank a school district employee that you might know. They are both contributing to our schools and contributing to our community as they live, work and shop in Longview. If you are so inclined, consider nominating a school staff member for the annual Crystal Apple Awards before nominations close on April 13.

I also urge each member of the Chamber of Commerce to also see yourselves as educators of our children. The example you provide, the support you demonstrate, and the love you share plays an integral role in shaping the lives and the future of the students of our community. Your encouragement, time, guidance, and kindness is an essential component in determining the quality of the education our children receive. Please reach out to a young person and ask them about their schoolwork and their interests. Your attention and concern can make a big difference.

Thank you for your continued commitment to our kids and our schools. We are all educators!

2018-04-09T14:35:34+00:00 April 9th, 2018|

Literacy is the winner for district March Madness 2018

The competition was tough, the fans were loyal and upsets were few.

Longview Public School’s Classic Picture Book March Madness celebrated some of the most-beloved books for generations of kids. “Sweet sixteen” favorite read-aloud books started the tourney March 1. Each week, Facebook polling results cut the the number of contenders in half.

In the end, Where the Wild Things Are, Maurice Sendak’s Caldecott Medal-winning tale of Max and his monsters, won it all after five weeks of contests. Nearly 325 Facebook followers took part in the project (loosely) based on the NCAA Basketball Tournament that generates excitement each spring. In Longview Schools, literacy is the most important thing we do, and we are excited to have the community focus on reading!

Supt. Dan Zorn closely monitored all contests and provided insights into the tournament in his “bracketology ” overview early in March.

“My personal favorite was Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel, because really, who doesn’t love a steam shovel named Mary Anne?” said Supt. Zorn.

An early strong contender Horton Hears a Who was eliminated in the first round in the closest of contests–just a four-point difference behind the eventual champion Where the Wild Things Are.

However, in the end, what won was the love of reading and a passion for children’s literacy!

Hear Dr. Zorn read the two finalists

Check out the March Madness match-ups and winners

March Madness final bracket
2018-04-02T10:15:19+00:00 April 2nd, 2018|

R.A. Long students shine at state health occupations competition

R.A. Long students Macie Jones, Piper Nguyen, Quinn Laulainen, Ashlyn McCartney, and Alejandro Chavez

Hard work paid off at the recent state Health Occupation Students of America competition in Spokane, Wash. for three R.A. Long students who placed in the top ten in their events.

Macie Jones placed second in Pharmacy Science, and will be advancing to the International Competition in Dallas, Texas in June 2018.

Piper Nguyen placed fourth in Pharmacy Science and Alejandro Chavez placed seventh in Healthy Lifestyles. Also attending the conference were club officers Quinn Laulainen and Ashlyn McCartney.

2018-03-28T16:49:08+00:00 March 19th, 2018|

Student artwork honored at ESD 112 event

Congratulations to Longview’s amazing student artists, who have their art on display at the 2018 Southwest Washington Regional High School Art Show!

Mark Morris senior Myriah Mitchell has been named a winner of an ESD 112 award for her piece called “Portrait of Sasquatch.” Myriah is a student of Breanna Hauer.

Portrait of Sasquatch/stoneware, Myriah Mitchell, Mark Morris grade 12

You can check out all 239 pieces of student artwork submitted by students in the six-county Southwest Washington area on March 20 at a gallery walk and awards ceremony at Educational Service District 112 in Vancouver. The gallery walk will take place from 5 to 7 p.m., with awards being presented at 6 p.m.

Additional work by Longview students may be viewed below.

2018-04-09T14:05:04+00:00 March 14th, 2018|

Join the team that is creating the future today.

Although school may seem like a September-through-June operation, hiring for school districts is a year-round event.

Spring for Longview Public Schools’ Human Resources team is a season of preparing for next school year and helping schools finish this year strong.

The hiring window for substitute employees is currently open,  and applications are now being accepted for most positions. Visit Careers to see which positions are currently hiring.

Substitute employees are critical to keeping operations up and running smoothly when regular staff are unable to come to work. Bus drivers, nutrition service workers, and secretaries are just a few of the substitute employees who work a family-friendly schedule as their time permits. Substitutes have the opportunity to spend time in different buildings to find a good fit–should regular employment be part of their plan.

The district is also looking for certificated teachers for the remainder of this school year and also for the 2018-2019 school year.

Longview Public Schools offers competitive compensation packages and professional development opportunities.

Ready to join a group of student-centered educators? Visit Work, Learn, Live Longview to find out more about the Longview community, and Careers to see which positions are currently hiring.

Enthusiastic professionals

Human Relations Team

Helpful Human Resource team

Focused child advocates

2018-03-09T17:02:26+00:00 March 9th, 2018|