Welcome to the 2019 school year. Washington Elementary School is expecting an enrollment of approximately 105 students when school begins on Aug. 22. It will be great to see both new and familiar faces!

Office personnel at Washington includes Phyllis Clemens-principal, and Jodi Bredahl-secretary. We are pleased to welcome Jenna Newman, Kindergarten, and Larinda Hirschkorn, Special Education Strategist, to our staff. Returning teachers for the coming school year are: 1st Grade-Brenda Jensen; 2nd Grade-Lori Hare; 3rd Grade-Emma Mickelson; 4th Grade-Lynn Fossen; 5th Grade-Mark Ukestad; Speech/Language-Lisa Fisher; Special Education-Paula Grueneich; Title I-Linda Kessler; Music-Heather Aune; Phy. Ed-Michael Smith and Barb Williams; English Learners (EL)-Leah Nelson; Talented and Gifted-Nancy Anderson and Bryan Edens; Instructional Coach-Kristina Barton; Counselor-Amanda Legrey; and Librarian-James Nyland. Our paraprofessionals will be Shari Pettys, Shelley Anderson, Peggy Beck, and Ella Ortberg; EL para-Megan Casavant; and Library assistant-Renee Listul. Patrick Greenwood is our head custodian; we are still looking to fill our assistant custodian position. In the kitchen we have JoAnne Schroeder as our cook and Doreen Larson as our Food Service cashier.

Students attending Washington will receive the same services and programs offered in other Jamestown Public Elementary Schools. This includes Reading and Math intervention programs — Reading Mastery, Corrective Reading and Connecting Math Concepts — for students in grades 1-5 who qualify through the MTSS (Multi-Tier System of Supports) process. Additionally, Washington is a School-wide Title One school, which allows all students access to intensive instruction needed to succeed. This program is funded with federal dollars with the focus on assisting students in the area of reading and math. The development of Professional Learning Communities at both the school and district level will further strengthen staff’s efforts to work collaboratively to improve student achievement. We are working to secure a North Dakota Reading Corps tutor--an AmeriCorps member who will work with kids who need a boost to catch up to grade level in reading. Washington Elementary School will continue to work to meet district and school-wide goals in reading and math and will, along with other schools in Jamestown, begin to more clearly define goals and interventions as the MTSS process is expanded to encompass social/behavioral needs.

In addition to the core curriculum, Washington students will be engaged in the following activities this year: Character Counts, Artist-in-Residence, PTO activities, Lyceums, Family Reading and Math nights, Book Fairs, and Music programs. In the area of fine arts, students in fourth and fifth grade may audition for boys’ and girls’ choirs; fifth grade students have the opportunity to join beginner’s orchestra second semester and beginner’s band in the summer (before sixth grade). Fifth graders may participate in the following athletic activities: basketball, volleyball, gymnastics, swimming, cross-country, and track. We continue to develop and grow in our implementation of the Nurtured Heart approach — a relationship-focused method for helping children (and adults) build their Inner Wealth and use their intensity in successful ways. Our school participates in the Fresh Fruit and Veggie Snack, the 21st Century After School — M.O.S.T. (Meaningful Out of School Time), and the Weekend Backpack programs. If you have questions about any of the programs and activities, please call the school office after August 8.

If you still need to register your child for the coming year, please contact Amy Neustel at the district Central Office-252-1950. After Aug. 8, we encourage new families to call 252-0468 for an appointment to visit and tour our school during office hours, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. This will give us an opportunity to meet you and answer questions you may have.

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Note to Kindergarten Families: The first two days of school, Aug. 22 and 23, will be used for assessment of all students entering Kindergarten. You will receive a call on or about Aug. 12 to schedule an appointment; you will only come for that time on one of those two days. Regular classes for Kindergarten begin on Monday, Aug. 26.

The PTO sponsors numerous projects and activities for our school, including “Back to School Night” for all students and families on Tuesday, Aug. 22 5:30 – 7 p.m. Hot dogs will be served at 5:30, and there will be information available on how you can become a part of PTO. School-wide Title I information will be shared with everyone, our staff will be introduced, and teachers will inform parents and students of procedures, expectations, and routines for the coming year. You won’t want to miss it! Hope to see you all there!!