Inside Schools

October 2017

CPSD schools getting more fathers involved

Male role models greet Lochburn students
Dads and other male role models greeted Lochburn Middle School student son the first day of school as part of the school's first Million Fathers March.

Research shows that fathers today are more involved in their children’s education than ever before. For that reason, Clover Park School District (CPSD) schools are welcoming more dads onto campus and into classrooms.

Two programs, in particular, are highlighting this trend. On the first day of school this year, Lochburn Middle School hosted a Million Father March event as a way to encourage dads and other male role models to bring their kids to school.

“For the most part, we see a lot of women involved in our students’ lives at school, but I don’t think the men actually get a direct invitation,” said Lochburn teacher Talia Kircher, who organized the event. “This event was important because it showed our students that not just our staff care about them but also the men in our community care about them and their education.”

The Million Father March is a nationwide initiative spearheaded by the Black Star Project to get black and Latino fathers more involved in their children’s education. Lochburn was the first CPSD district school to participate. Dads and other family members along with their students were welcomed by staff and provided donuts for breakfast. Several fathers lined up in the school’s entry way and cheered and gave high-fives as buses emptied and students arrived for their first day.

“It had an impact not just on our families but also on our staff,” said Lochburn principal Greg Wilson. “It was a positive experience for our staff to see how many families, and particularly male role models, cared and felt that the first day was important to starting the school year right.” While the Million Father March offered an exciting way to kick off the school year, another program also gets dads in schools, all year round.

Rainier Elementary School hosted its third annual Watch D.O.G.S. (Dads Of Great Students) launch pizza party Sept. 14 to get more dads volunteering in the school.

“When we have events where their dads come, the kids get so excited,” said Rainier principal Kylie Danielson. “It makes them excited to have their dads in school – it’s another opportunity for them to get quality, one-on-one time with their dad.”

Watch D.O.G.S. is a program created by the Center for Fathering to give students access to more positive male role models as well as put more male figures on campus to help strengthen school security and reduce bullying.

The program has seen positive growth since it was started by Rainier staff members Kimberly Boyajean and Gricelda Villanueva near the end of the 2015-16 school year. More than 400 dads signed up last year to volunteer and the school saw dads volunteering on almost a daily basis.

Villanueva said the students are not the only ones impacted by the program.

“A huge realization for me is the impact it has on the dads,” she said. “Involvement opens your eyes. Once they come in, they’re usually hooked and then they want to come back.”

CPSD has active Watch D.O.G.S. groups in a number of schools, including: Beachwood, Idlewild, Custer, Dower, Four Heroes, Oakbrook, Meriwether and Lake Louise Elementary Schools, Lakeview Hope Academy and Harrison Preparatory School.

New elementary reading curricula implemented

Teachers training
Elementary school teachers train in the new reading curriculum over summer break.

Clover Park School District (CPSD) implemented two new reading curricula for the 2017-18 school year for elementary- and preschool-aged students. One of the curricula will be used in kindergarten through fifth grade classrooms, while the other is aimed at special education preschoolers.

Each school year, CPSD updates one content area.

Selecting a new curriculum begins by reviewing Washington State’s Learning Standards, which serve as a roadmap to preparing students to be careerand college-ready after high school. CPSD staff also examine what students’ needs are in the various content areas, and then gather input from parents and teachers.

“We have a process for selecting new curricula that is aligned with what Washington state recommends,” said CPSD supervisor of English language arts and social studies Erin Vidal. “We evaluate for standards and bias and narrow down materials to figure out which ones we’ll pilot in the district to get feedback on implementation from students, parents and teachers.”

The process resulted in choosing the Reach for Reading curriculum for kindergarten through fifth grade students and Pearson’s Opening the World of Learning curriculum for preschool special education students.

Cengage, the publisher of CPSD’s new reading curricula, collaborated with National Geographic to include high-interest, non-fiction content along with fictional stories and a digital component to enhance learning for students at all skill levels. Newer state standards encourage greater interaction with the kinds of non-fiction reading students will be exposed to in college and in their post-education careers.

“We’ve seen a decrease in narratives and an increase in non-fiction texts,” Vidal said. “That means that there is science and social studies content embedded in the new reading curriculum.”

Each student will have their own book and can access leveled library books in each classroom that complement the stories in their book.

The curriculum also features a technological component. Students have access to a digital platform that allows them to see their text books, play literacy games and take assessments from home. Teachers can use features aligned with the current classroom technology, such as smart boards, to engage students.

Another unique factor of the new curricula is diversity."

We talk about the diversity within our schools and the importance of embracing and learning about it in our communities,” Vidal said. “That diversity is represented in the new curricula. Students can open their books and see people who look like them.”

Parents and community members can serve on the adoption committee and view the final proposed materials at a community showcase before they are adopted by the school board.

For more coverage on the new curricula, listen to September’s episode of Community Conversations on the CPSD website

Lakeview Hope Academy receives Partnership School Award

Science exeperiment deomonstration
Lakeview Hope Academy was awarded a 2017 Partnership School Award from the National Network of Partnership Schools for its STEM Family Academy that helped support students at the school's STEM Fair last February.

Lakeview Hope Academy recently earned a 2017 Partnership School Award from the National Network of Partnerships Schools (NNPS). The award specifically recognizes Lakeview’s Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) Family Academy.

NNPS reviewers praised Lakeview’s STEM Family Academy for good planning, including high school students and having translators to allow more families to actively participate.

“Lakeview’s Action Team for Partnership listened to what parents said about needing resources and support to help their students in science and from that feedback, created the STEM Academy night,” said Clover Park School District family and community partnership coordinator Holly Bocchi. “Students are the ultimate winners when schools and families partner together.”

The STEM Family Academy was created to support students participating in the districtwide STEM fair last year by supplying materials to families, providing students with hands-on experience with different aspects of STEM and encouraging collaboration with parents.

Father and son at STEM Fair
Father and son at Lakeview Hope Academy STEM Fair.

“Teachers facilitated the activities,” said Lakeview teacher Paulie Jacobson, who served on the action team committee. “But the activities were family and student-focused – they were interactive and involved.”

One of the primary goals of the STEM Family Academy was to bring awareness of science-related activities to students and support students outside the classroom.

“Over the past few years, we’ve really pushed to get parents involved in our school,” said Lakeview principal Meghan Eakin. “We wanted a program that could support Lakeview’s STEM fair. There was a school wide expectation that everyone did it, and I didn’t want to assume students would be able to take it home and complete it without the necessary support from the school.”

Lakeview’s Math Family Academy was also praised by the award committee for its use of games to develop computational skills.

“These events are not done for parents or to parents but with parents’ help and input,” Bocchi said. “We are so proud of the work Lakeview continues to do to engage families in school.”

Check out the latest Community Conversation on the district website


On the first Friday of every month, CPSD partners with local radio station KLAY-1180 AM to air Community Conversations, a segment featuring 10-minute interviews with district administrators regarding pertinent updates and information.

In this month’s Conversation, executive director for teaching and learning Kristi Smith and English language arts supervisor Erin Vidal discuss the two new reading curricula being implemented in the district’s elementary schools. To hear current and previous Community Conversations, please visit the district website at www.cloverpark.k12.wa.us.

New state education budget lacks clarity

Piggy bank

The Washington state legislature’s last minute approval of the state budget has left school district leaders across the state scrambling and looking to the Office of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction for clarity in how funds will be distributed to individual districts. The budget was part of the legislature’s attempt to fully fund schools in response to the Washington State Supreme Court’s 2012 McCleary Decision.

There has been news coverage about how the new legislative budget passed in June is going to affect funding at a number of districts in Washington in school years 2018 and beyond.

“We still cannot definitively say how all these new changes will affect Clover Park School District (CPSD) due to a number of uncertainties and a lack of clarity from the legislature,” said Rick Ring, administrator for business services and capital projects.

As we learn more about the specific impacts to CPSD, more information will be published in Inside Schools and other communications channels.

CPSD explores sale of Woodbrook property

The Clover Park School District (CPSD) Board of Directors is proposing the sale of the property where Woodbrook Middle School is located. The district is planning to build a new middle school on the current Mann Middle School site that would consolidate Mann and Woodbrook Middle Schools into one school.

As a result of the new school, the property, which includes Woodbrook along with three smaller parcels, would no longer serve a necessary function for the district. The property is more than 37 acres and has been zoned as Industrial Business Park by the City of Lakewood.

The recommendation for the sale came from the district’s Facility Advisory Committee in January 2017.

A public hearing was held Sept. 13 to share information about the proposed sale and provide the opportunity for public comment.

Woodbrook and Mann students and staff will remain in their existing facilities until the new middle school is completed. The new middle school is currently in the design phase. The CPSD Board of Directors will consider a resolution for the sale of the property at its Oct. 9 meeting.

Front door of Woodbrook Middle School
CPSD is exploring the sale of the property that currently houses Woodbrook Middle School and includes three other adjacent land parcels.
Clover Park School District 90th anniversary logo

Clover Park celebrates 90th anniversary this year

Throughout the 2017-18 school year, Clover Park School District (CPSD) will celebrate its 90th anniversary. Festivities will include a number of activities during the school year and a community celebration in February.

CPSD’s origins date back to February 1928 when five grade school districts – American Lake South, Custer, Lakeview, Lake City and Park Lodge – were joined to create the newly approved Union High School District #204.

The new district commissioned the building of Clover Park Junior High School in 1928.

The Clover Park name was not attached to the district until 1941, when the newlybuilt Clover Park Senior High School joined Union High School District #204 as a full district to include grades one through 12.

Today, the district encompasses 68 square miles, includes 24 schools and serves more than 13,500 students in preschool through grade 12.

“Clover Park School District has a rich history in the region and has come a long way from those humble beginnings,” said CPSD superintendent Debbie LeBeau. “It is exciting to celebrate everything that has been accomplished since, along with the progress we continue to make every school year.”

As part of that celebration, the district is asking for any photos or memorabilia readers of Inside Schools may have that they would be willing to contribute as CPSD commemorates its history. Please contact CPSD community relations manager Ben Miller by email (bmiller@ cloverpark.k12.wa.us) or phone (253- 583-5040) if you have anything you’d like to contribute.


Lakewood City logo

Improvements planned for Fort Steilacoom Park

With more than one million visitors to Fort Steilacoom Park each year, the City of Lakewood is always looking at ways to expand recreational opportunities at our 350-acre “crown jewel.”

From sports fields to the newly paved parking lot and trail around Waughop Lake, we are committed to making sure our park offers an enjoyable experience to everyone who visits.

Here are just some of the improvements we have planned for Fort Steilacoom Park in 2018:

Sport Field improvements: Upgrades are coming to our heavily used sports fields that will increase capacity, make them more usable for all ages and a preferred destination for leagues looking to host tournaments and regular season play. Field improvements include: • Replacing below-grade dugouts; • Adding outfield fencing; • Adding storage for pitching mounds and maintenance equipment; • Creating a soccer field adjacent to Angle Lane; • Connecting pedestrian pathways; and • Installing picnic shelters.

Pavilion in the Park: This new outdoor stage and meeting facility will provide a venue for community gatherings, public and private ceremonies, entertainment and performances.

Roadway improvements: Temporary patches for potholes be gone! A new and improved road is planned through the park to improve access to all amenities and our newly paved parking lot near Waughop Lake and the dog park.

These planned upgrades will compliment improvements made this year including the installation of a new a picnic shelter at Waughop Lake and recent paving of the milelong trail around the lake, and newly paved parking lot.

If you haven’t been to the park recently join us Saturday, Oct. 14 from noon to 3 p.m. at Fort Steilacoom Park for our 11th Annual Truck and Tractor Day – a great family-friendly (and free!) fall festival. There will be free pumpkins and hard hats for kids, while supplies last.

Spot Light on Schools

Harrison Preparatory School ASB

Board president Dr. Marty Schafer (back row, second from left) welcomed Harrison Preparatory School's principal Kevin Rupprecht (back row, far left) and the ASB and Lakewood Youth Council members to the Sept. 11 board meeting.

Lakes High School ASB

Lakes High School's ASB and Lakewood Youth Council members stand with board member Paul Wagemann (far left) and Lakes princiipal Karen Mauer-Smith (far right).

Clover Park High School ASB

Clover Park High School's ASB and Lakewood Youth Council members attended the Sept. 11 board meeting with board member Joe Vlaming (second from left) and CPHS principal Tim Stults (back row)

Lakes High School students


Dad droping off student on first day of school

Clover Park School District schools opened their doors for the first day of school Aug. 30. Kindergarten classes started Sept. 5.

Students looking at their new class schedual


Superintendent Column

Attendance matters...every day

Superintendent Deborah L. LeBeau
Deborah L. LeBeau

Why is Washington state focusing on student attendance rates in school? Daily attendance has been consistently shown to be one of the most powerful predictors of academic success starting as early as kindergarten. Students cannot successfully learn and complete requirements if they are not present for classroom instruction. Children who miss too many days in kindergarten and first grade can struggle academically in later years. They often have trouble mastering reading by the end of third grade. By middle and high school, chronic absence is a leading warning sign that a student may drop out.

Did you know that students can suffer academically if they miss 10 percent of school days, or 18 days per year? That’s just a couple days each month. Absences have a negative effect on student success, whether they’re excused or not. Students are learning about more than just math and reading. They’re learning how to show up for school on time every day, so that when they graduate and get jobs, they’ll know how to show up for work on time every day. They are also learning persistance, to be critical thinkers, how to collaborate and solve problems, and leadership skills.

Sometimes it’s tempting for students to stay home because they’ve got too much work or don’t understand what’s going on in class. But missing a day only makes that worse. Encourage your student to attend school and discuss concerns with his or her teachers.

While we do all we can to ensure students learn in class every day, families can help by making sure students get to class. You can implement firm bedtime and homework routines each day, get to know teachers and administrators and ask school staff for help if you and your children are facing barriers to attending school regularly.

Thank you for making daily attendance a priority, a habit that will help students do well in the classroom and eventually be successful in life as they pursue their promising future.