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LPS celebrates summer reading!

Longview Public Schools Superintendent Dan Zorn and School Board member Phil Jurmu set the pace at Longview’s Go Fourth parade.

While serving as grand marshal of the 2018 Go Fourth parade, Superintendent Dan Zorn and his crew of LPS staff, board members, family and friends passed out thousands of bookmarks encouraging everyone to read this summer.

The bookmarks include a link to “Superintendent Storytime,” where Dr. Zorn shares several of his favorite children’s books.

 

2018-07-09T08:04:52+00:00July 5th, 2018|

LPS graduates take diverse paths: Becky Grubbs, MMHS

Young people sample lots of activities in high school, and by the time they graduate each has a unique set of experiences to call their own. We asked three members of Longview’s class of 2018 to share something about their high school careers, a piece of advice and their post-graduation plans.

MMHS grad Becky Grubbs

Mark Morris grad Becky Grubbs

Mark Morris High School: Hardwired to help

Becky Grubbs seems hardwired for volunteering.

“I’ve been doing non-profit work since I was 18 months old,” said
the senior, describing those early times with her grandparents
at FISH of Cowlitz County, which distributes food and other services.

This year and last, Becky received Volunteer of the Year honors from the Cowlitz-Wahkiakum United Way.

Becky began volunteering at the United Way as a sophomore and soon was helping plan events, like the Day of Caring campaign. This year she worked with LPS to implement a literacy program that put 100 Mark Morris and R.A. Long students in third grade classrooms where they encouraged the younger students to read for fun.

“Becky took it on as her pet project … and set up student teams at the high schools,” said Brooke Fisher-Clark, United Way executive director. “It was really magical to see that partnership.”

Becky said volunteer work has taught her that there is always a way to help.

“United Way really helped me find out how to contribute,” she said.

Next steps: Finish an associate’s degree in business at Lower Columbia College and then pursue a four-year degree to become a financial planner or accountant.

Advice for younger students: “I would suggest they look for opportunities for things they can do in their own community. There’s always some way to help. You can always find something to do.”

Click here to read about Discovery graduate Natalie Rodriguez .

Click here to read about R.A. Long graduate Hamzah Amjad.

*

Story originally appeared in the Summer 2018 issue of the Longview Schools Review.

2018-06-21T14:54:14+00:00June 21st, 2018|

LPS grads take diverse paths: Hamzah Amjad, R.A. Long

Young people sample lots of activities in high school, and by the time they graduate each has a unique set of experiences to call their own. We asked three members of Longview’s class of 2018 to share something about their high school careers, a piece of advice and their post-graduation plans.

R.A. Long High School: Intent on STEM

R.A. Long grad Hamzah Amjad

R.A. Long grad Hamzah Amjad

From Hamzah Amjad’s perspective, having technology isn’t enough.

“It can be used to solve most of the world’s problems,” he said. “We just haven’t yet figured out how to help people who need it.”

Hamzah is preparing to do just that. In April, he was among 49 Washington high school seniors—one from each legislative district—who signed letters of intent to pursue careers in STEM—science, technology, engineering and mathematics. In September, he will begin engineering studies at the University of Washington.

“I like things that manifest into real-life scenarios,” he said, describing how his calculus and AP statistics classes helped him see real-world applications for theoretical material.

Hamzah points to medicines that are designed to cure cancer but perhaps aren’t used in the most efficient way. And he mused about artificial intelligence in cars—couldn’t it be used to prevent vehicle accidents?

His teachers anticipate he will make a difference.

“Hamzah is a phenomenal person who is always ‘on his game,’ and he carries himself with a humility that people are drawn to,” said math teacher Paul Jeffries. “He is committed to his future and will be successful, because he doesn’t know how else to be.”

Next steps: Study engineering at University of Washington.

Advice for younger students: “Everyone’s different, so you have to find your own way … but ask for help if you need it.”

Click here to read about Discovery graduate Natalie Rodriguez.

Click here to read about Mark Morris graduate Becky Grubbs.

*

Story originally appeared in the Summer 2018 issue of the Longview Schools Review.

2018-06-21T14:58:28+00:00June 21st, 2018|

LPS graduates take diverse paths: Natalie Rodriguez, Discovery

Young people sample lots of activities in high school, and by the time they graduate each has a unique set of experiences to call their own. We asked three members of Longview’s class of 2018 to share something about their high school careers, a piece of advice and their post-graduation plans.

Discovery High School: Finding her wings

DHS grad Natalie Rodriguez

Discovery grad Natalie Rodriguez

After moving back to Longview from Texas in her sophomore year, Natalie Rodriguez’s plan was to finish high school online so she could avoid people.

Then the self-described “really, really shy” student heard about Discovery, Longview’s alternative high school, and gave it a try.

When Natalie was required to make her first presentation, Discovery teacher Tamra Higgins nudged her through it.

“Ms. Higgins was like, ‘It’ll be OK. You’ll be fine,’” Natalie recalled—and found out she was.

She continued trying new things, including a library science class at R.A. Long and volunteer work at Monticello Middle School. Along the way, she found a passion for libraries.

“I realized if you work in a library, you’re helping people,” she said.
“Libraries are like hospitals for the mind.”

Higgins and English teacher Ron Moore agreed that Natalie has evolved into a whole new student.

“Natalie consistently asked some of the best questions and offered the deepest and most sophisticated insights,” Moore said. “She became a class leader and risk taker—miles away from that timid girl who was hesitant to put her toe in the water.”

Next steps: Start at Lower Columbia College, preparing for a career as a library technician.

Advice for younger students:
“If you’re on a cliff and you need to jump, but you’re too scared to jump, find some wings, staple them on—and just jump.”

Click here to read about Mark Morris graduate Becky Grubbs.

Click here to read about R.A. Long graduate Hamzah Amjad.

*

Story originally appeared in the Summer 2018 issue of the Longview Schools Review.

2018-06-21T14:52:38+00:00June 21st, 2018|

Star polisher – Cory Doehne

Who’s your star polisher? “CVG teacher Cory Doehne and studentMr. Doehne,” writes Mac, a fifth grader at Columbia Valley Gardens.

“We are learning about dividing decimals and when I get stuck he helps me out. Also he is funny and he tells jokes at the end of the day and my favorite is: What goes up and never goes down?

.

.

.

“Your age.”

As part of our district’s focus on student connectedness, we shared part of a poem called “The Star Polisher” with our fifth grade students and invited them to consider how Longview Public Schools staff have made a difference to them. Read about more of our stars and star polishers here.

 

2018-05-14T13:15:03+00:00May 14th, 2018|

Star polisher – “All of my teachers” at CVG

Who’s your star polisher? “All of my teachers,” writes Milly, a fifth grader at Columbia Valley Gardens, pictured with teacher Kelly Jaspers. “They help me learn through tuff and hard times in school.”

Kelly Jaspers and Milly at CVG

As part of our district’s focus on student connectedness, we shared part of a poem called “The Star Polisher” with our fifth grade students and invited them to consider how Longview Public Schools staff have made a difference to them. Read about more of our stars and star polishers here.

 

2018-05-10T13:39:11+00:00May 10th, 2018|

Message from the Superintendent

Dear Community Members,

A sign hangs in my office, right above my computer monitor. It says, “I will devote time each day to improving the literacy skills of our students.”

It’s a promise I made to myself March 18, 2008, when I was an assistant superintendent in Montana, and it’s a promise I continue to keep today.

Declaring my intention to help improve student reading and writing might seem like a strange goal for a superintendent, because my job is to oversee an entire school district—15 campuses, 908 employees, nearly 6,500 students and an $87 million budget. My days revolve around community outreach, and meetings about curricula, facilities and future planning.

But when it comes right down to it, my goal as superintendent is to position the school district so it has the skilled people, the functional buildings and the up-to-date technology that make learning not just possible but inevitable.

Why? To help each of our students become literate learners. Literacy is the most important thing we do. It is the key to opening the gateway of opportunity and success for our students.

In this autumn’s Report to Our Community, you will see that Longview’s students and staff are making progress. Our graduation rate is rising, and our students’ results on state-mandated testing show areas of improvement.

You also will read that Longview has a vision for the future. That involves updating our facilities, beginning with those that support our youngest learners.

Do new buildings improve our students’ ability to read and write? Not by themselves. But when you add the passion and talents of LPS staff to facilities that work—buildings that accommodate the latest teaching technology and methods—it’s a recipe for student success.

And seeing our students’ success is what makes all the planning and strategy worthwhile.

Thank you, as always, for your support of Longview Public Schools!

Sincerely,

Dan Zorn, Superintendent

2018-06-05T15:25:09+00:00October 23rd, 2017|

Families, teens invited to view ‘Screenagers’

Screenagers poster-LongviewBetween social media, video games, academics, socializing and other pursuits, the average youth spends 6½ hours a day looking at screens.

When physician, filmmaker and mom Delaney Ruston learned this, she set out to explore the impact on young people and their families, including her own. The result is “Screenagers: Growing up in the Digital Age,” a film that tells the stories of students and their families.

Exploring the impact of digital media on human development—including insights from psychologists, brain scientists and other researchers—“Screenagers” offers families strategies for finding balance in the digital age.

Longview Public Schools and the Longview Police Department are presenting “Screenagers”—with Spanish subtitles—at 6 p.m., Tuesday, May 30, at Kessler Elementary, 1902 E. Kessler Blvd., Longview. The movie is free and open to the public—and the Pioneer Lions Club will be providing free kettle corn.

For more information and to register, visit https://impactflow.com/event/presented-by-longview-police-department-2910.

2017-05-31T13:54:46+00:00May 10th, 2017|

Sun and Shine help illuminate the “CVG Way”

Sun, Ray and Shine

Caleb Pierce, Jayne Poole and Clara Prothero use their alter egos, Sun, Ray and Shine, to teach and encourage CVG students. Watch a video of their antics here

A fast drumbeat and cheery tune kick off spirit assemblies at
Columbia Valley Gardens Elementary. A video lights up the gymnasium’s giant screen, where “Sun” and “Shine”—two characters in yellow and blue T-shirts—march in time to the music and demonstrate the catchphrases that define the CVG Suns:

Safety first
Understands responsibility
Nothing but your best
Shows respect

As the video winds down, the real Sun and Shine—a.k.a. third-grade teacher Caleb Pierce and kindergarten teacher Clara Prothero—stride into the auditorium to a cacophony of excited screams. It’s time for the day’s skit.

CV“They’re like our mascots,” explains Logan, a fifth grader.

“They tell us what to do and what not to do, like on the swings,” adds classmate Reece.

“They’re teachers,” says Aiden, also a fifth grader, with an impish grin, “but they’re really nice.”

Sun and Shine have been bringing their show to CVG assemblies for the past three years—often with their sidekick, Ray—math coordinator Jayne Poole.

Their March skit focused on following directions, using several young audience members to help Sun teach Shine
that following directions the first time is important, because in case of an emergency, that’s how you get to safety.

“We focus on these expectations as a school at all times,” explains principal Aaron Whitright. “Sun and Shine provide an interesting way of spreading the word of what it means to do things the ‘CVG Way.’”

Prothero says Sun and Shine appear to have had another impact on school assemblies: building community.

Last fall, Sun and Shine added a new trick—“the CVG Slide,” a special school dance. Now assemblies finish with everyone—staff and students—doing the Slide together, giving students the opportunity to have fun with their teachers.

“I feel like there’s a lot more joy. It’s not just going to an assembly,” Prothero says. “When you show the kids we’re in this together, they’re more excited to get on board.”

2017-03-29T15:23:01+00:00March 29th, 2017|

LPS snow day makeup plan approved by School Board

The Longview School Board approved a snow day makeup plan at its Monday meeting. The revised calendar has school in session Feb. 1 and June 19-23. Commencement will take place June 17, as planned.

Feb. 1 had been scheduled as a records day but now will be a full day of classes for staff and students—with no early release.

The week of June 19-23 had been listed on the district calendar as a makeup week, if needed.

We appreciate everyone’s patience and flexibility as we work through these unexpected scheduling challenges.

2017-02-01T13:22:43+00:00January 25th, 2017|
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