The Changing of the Weather
Spring time is upon us and that means new birth. It also appears to be a metaphor in the world of education. New beginnings and “birth” is on the horizon and with that comes excitement and also a little trepidation. We are hopeful and extremely excited for our future at Washakie School District #2. In a small school I have had the amazing opportunity lately to serve on committees that involve hiring staff. This is important work that I personally take serious. As the process unfolded, I learned a lot. I learned about the needs of our building and I also took note on what it might take moving forward to embrace the change and also a “note to self” moment on what I need to hold myself accountable to. And I would like to share some thoughts with you.
For our school to continue to be successful, it is imperative that we respect and follow the chain of command. It was eye opening to me recently that often we have become “comfortable” and informal. Sitting on interview committees with a range of members, made me aware that others have similar thoughts. It’s easy to call our neighbor, i.e. the board member, and voice our concerns. And it’s acceptable because, in our mind, they are an elected official. They should listen to us. They too, want to be respectful of the voice of the people and you may find it quite common that they do listen and hear you out. This is a tough position to put someone in no matter the relationship/role. I love the small community and the flexibility and the comfortable, family feel. However, I would caution us all that the chain of command is a thing, not just in schools. Often, I too, get frustrated hearing “follow the chain of command”..... But far more things suffer when it’s not followed than when it is followed. Putting a board member in the position such as that, is difficult, and I understand the logic and the will to want to do that. I, too, have found myself wanting to ‘call the neighbor’. For the success of the school and the success of others who hold the position, consider all aspects of the situation. Is your choice fair? Is it equal? Are you speaking with your heart (emotional)? Or are you speaking with your head (logic and thoughts)? Where are we coming from? Judgement? We all want what is truly best. But the process we go about it is just as important as the content.
For our school community to move forward positively, we (the school and staff associated with the school) need positive vibes, support, and grace during this time. The staff here is in the trenches daily, working with students to the best of our ability. Spring time is rough, across the country in any school you will see similarities. Recently, the interviewees echoed the same sentiment. All schools are struggling right now with their own set of worries, among national concerns. The community support and positive energy is imperative at this grand juncture in our school progression. Recently, rumors get spread, people talk, and feelings get hurt. No one is immune to either side of this. The school is the heart of our community. When school is struggling, everyone seems to feel it. This has been another realization of mine this semester. If we want our “heart” to be healthy, we need to take care of it at all costs. That may mean taking a step back, and assessing, staying calm, or gathering more information before making split, off hand comments. And if our school is the heart, and your child goes to this school, that precious individual carries the heart- they are “the heart”. At the school, we want to take care of that child like it’s the last human on earth. Every child is such a gift. For us at school to do our job, we need positive energy, support, and consideration. I realized recently that educators do not go in to education because “it’s their fall back plan”. I’ve always known this and found value in it, I just really find it important right now, to highlight this. Educators are different humans. Everyone, no matter their job, has had a teacher at some point in their life; good, bad, or otherwise. An educators heart just beats differently; their genetic makeup is just different. Educators go into this profession, not for the fame, glory, or puke. We go in to this profession because it’s our calling; it’s our service duty to serve others. Teachers have to do and BE so many things all at the same time. Picture that meme about teachers being a nurse, a mom, a mediator, a cook, a thermometer, a recess specialist, a shoe tying magician, a book critic, a math wizard, etc…. All at the same time! Teachers work with children all over the board. And it is magic that somehow, all students progress- hopefully because progress is one of the many goals….. Teachers are magical and they get puked on, beaten up, torn to shreds personally, have to balance “life” and personal dealings, while developing new curriculum for the latest and greatest EVBXYZ assessment, debating recess disagreements, correcting late and missing work, updating grades, negotiating schedules, finding time to make the phone call home during the 3 minute passing period, all while, potentially holding back tears…..I mean, seriously, it’s juggling at it’s finest. I could go on and on, but for the sake of space for this article, I think you get the point. These past few years, educators have been in the trenches, dealing with their own life circumstances, and really never get a break from public ridicule. Recently, (I’ve just noticed I use that word a lot in this article because I’m passionate about my work and most current issues school is facing….) I have cried in a large meeting in front of my peers. I try really hard to be an emotional rock and I have had to practice, in my line of work, to not have large emotional reactions which is hard to do when I feel all the feels of those around me. But I admit it. I have shed tears and it’s OK to cry. I have- because this school is important to me and the people here are important to me. The heart has been suffering and it needs your protection. Please handle it with care. In the storm of change, please be kind and give grace to those heart holding, magicians we call educators.
Happy March! February flew by and this year continues soar at a rapid rate. Here are a few updates that I would like to share.
In classroom guidance we are wrapping up our kindness unit throughout most classes and we will be headed into our career unit soon. The 6th grade is off to a great start in the mental health unit. This will take place all semester long.
Testing Dates: ACT (grade 11)- March 23, ASVAB(grades 11-12)- March 31, WYTOPP window for spring testing grades K-10 April 13-May 7
HOST an exchange student! If you or someone you know would be interested in hosting an exchange student, there are many opportunities out there. It has been a while since Ten Sleep had an exchange student. It would be great to have this in our community. Contact Mrs. Wiechmann at the school if you are interested!
Currently, we are collecting donations for what previously was called the “Staff Scholarship”. Due to COVID, we have been unable to sell donuts. Previously, our Friday donut sales went towards raising money for the Staff Scholarship. If you would be interested in donating to this cause, please stop by the school or contact Mrs. Wiechmann at the school.
Recently we came in contact with the Strong Families Strong Wyoming: A Healthy Marriage and Relationship Education Project. This is a federally funded grant program that offers evidence based, medically accurate curriculum. I’m pleased to announce that we will be incorporating this curriculum into the HS Health curriculum starting now. Topics include, but not limited to: healthy relationships, finance, bullying, and conflict resolution. Other districts have accepted this curriculum and found success. We are excited to offer this to our students and confident in the potential outcomes. If you would like more information, visit: http://sfsw.org/
We are also collecting donations for our students. These donations will be used to provide for those students who have unmet needs. We currently have a student club called Pioneer Pride. This club was designed with the idea as an outlet to help students make healthy choices and promote positive actions in our school. This club, now with a strong financial foundation, can also be used as a source for helping meet students’ needs in another fashion. There is a board who oversees the expenditures and makes decisions. If you would like to donate, please contact Mrs. Wiechmann at the school.
Scholarship listing: Class of 2020
Valedictorian, graduates with Honors
American Petroleum Institute $500
Friends of the Ten Sleep Library $400
Washakie Medical Center Auxillary $500
Washakie County Family Practice Scholarship $500
Ten Sleep Staff $300
Ten Sleep CSO $250
Bighorn REA Scholarship $1,000
Trustee’s Scholarship in combination with the Hathaway. - $20,000 renewable for 4 years for a total of $80,000
*Zayne plans on attending the University of Wyoming in the fall with a major in Molecular Biology and a minor in Business. After receiving an undergraduate degree, Zayne will apply to medical school to receive a MD.
Friends of the Ten Sleep Library $300
Ten Sleep/Hyattville Lions Club, Ten Sleep/Hyattville Merchants Club combined total of $1000
Rod Walker Memorial Scholarship $250
*Sky will be attending Sheridan College in the fall, and will be majoring in Dental Hygiene
Sons of the American Legion $500
Rod Walker Memorial Scholarship $250
Black And Gold Scholarship
Adeline Neilson Scholarship
SunLight Federal Credit Scholarship
*In the fall of 2020, Anna plans to attend Eastern Wyoming College and take on the adventure of Cosmetology. For the summer she plans to work for Black Hills Bentonite
Salutatorian, graduates with Honors
Friends of the Ten Sleep Library $300
Ten Sleep Staff Scholarship $300
Ten Sleep CSO $250
BPO Does Scholarship $200
Richard M. Baker Scholarship $2000
*Bryley will attend Casper College in the fall
Dylan Crossland Memorial Scholarship $1000
Sheridan College Music Scholarship renewal for 2 years at $10,000 per year
LCCC Music Scholarship renewal for 2 years at $3000 per year - Offered
*Liam plans to attend Sheridan College majoring in music education.
Congratulations Cameron Bishop
Congratulations James Settlemire
May 2020: May has been off to a great start. We are nearing the end with scholarship applications and planning our next year courses. Students should expect to see material out for scheduling sometime soon. If it doesn't work out this school year, we will work it out in August. Thank you for your patience with this process. Virtually, it will be a bit of a trick.
Students have been receiving weekly lessons via their google classrooms. Lessons usually include a personal video from Mrs. Wiechmann and additional links, forms to fill out for discussion questions, or links to a storybook read aloud. Students are doing their best to fulfill all of their assignments and lessons. 6th grade will start to plan their year as a 7th grader where they get to move from class to class.
Seniors will be receiving their scholarship packets with instructions on how to redeem their scholarships and awards during the graduation ceremony. The list of scholarships and awards will appear in the Ten Sleep Tribute and the Northern Daily News. We will also include a list on our school website.
ACT: ACT dates are June 13 and July 18 ... if students wish to test either of these dates, please email Mrs. Wiechmann as soon as possible. Otherwise, we will look at testing in the fall.
Contact Mrs. Wiechmann anytime: [email protected] [email protected]
Guidance Lesson Curriculum
KG: Respecting Uniqueness
Grade 1, 2: Respecting Uniqueness
Grade 3: School Wide Kindness projects, Respect
Grade 4, 5: Self- Discipline-Training our Brain, Perseverance- Find the “silver lining”, Respect
Grade 6: Mental Health Education: Definitions and Stigma
The Great Kindness Challenge: January 27-31
National Guard Career Presentation: February 5, noon HS grades
Prevention Needs Assessment: February 25 Grades 6, 8, 10, 12
ACT: March 24
October 2019 NEWS
Welcome back to another fantastic year at Ten Sleep Schools. This is a location where counseling news, important dates and information, classroom news, guides and resources for parents, and much more can be found monthly.
The current topics being reviewed in grades kindergarten -6th grade are:
KG: Manners, Rules, and using our tools (listening skills, following directions, etc…) to be successful students.
Grades 1/2: Tools for success (listening…), and tattling vs. reporting
Grade 3: Choices- making good choices, consequences, teamwork
Grades 4/5: Decision making- How our choices affect others and what is our decision based on
Grade 6: creating SMART goals pertaining to character building and how to be successful in school
There was a college planning presentation brought to our school by the TRIO program and some ladies from NWC and UW presented on college information and planning for the future. This event took place on September 9.
The seniors will attend FAFSA night on October 8 from 4-6 with their parents. This is an opportunity for college bound students to apply for financial aid with the assistance of a trained FAFSA professional.
Grades 9-12 have received letters home with information about what to expect for their student in the upcoming year.
Students attended the University of Wyoming Campus Pass event on September 14, which included college information for planning for the future, tours, and a free football game. We went to Laramie and back in one LONG day!
Thoughts about helping your student have success at school:
*As a parent, project a positive attitude about school, teachers, activities, homework and class expectations. If a child feels your frustration, it gives them the excuse to not perform and then they lack respect for the teacher/event/activity.
*Establish home routines. Research highly supports the idea of consistency and predictability which help a child feel safe.
*Don’t over focus on grades. This creates the foundation for an overly competitive student. It also puts the parent in a position of judgement.
*Homework is your child’s responsibility. Promote good habits (and a routine) early. Rescuing a child from their classroom expectations fosters negative energy that in turn gives a student the “permission” to disrespect a teacher’s/activities - expectations/assignments/lessons; also de-valuing their work/event/activity/assignment.
*Establish family rules for TV, computer, or video game use. Research can support that some electronic devices are addictive.
*Put your phone down and tune in to your child. The messages we send to our children carry with them throughout their lives. Time is all a child really wants.
*Avoid overly involving your child in EVERY activity. Find a balance. Exposing your child to different sports/activities is great, just perhaps one at a time.
These ideas and more can be found at positivediscipline.com
Secret Service Club:
This is a community service focused club for grades KG-4. Students “sacrifice” their noon recess for meetings, activities, and discussion biweekly. Activities may occur on the weekends. This has been a huge success for our young students. We are working on some logistics and will have sign up forms out soon for students to bring home.
FOR Club (Friends of Rachel’s)
This club stems from “Rachel’s Challenge”. It is for grades 7-12 that meet biweekly to work on spreading a culture of kindness throughout our school. If you attend our school, the “chain” of kindness can be seen which starts in the entry way of our school.
Need more information? Want to volunteer? Want to help? Contact the school to get involved today!!!!
The Ten Sleep Goblin Gallop will be held on October 17 at 5 pm. The event starts at the Ten Sleep Rodeo Grounds. This traditional event has partnered with a few clubs in school to provide a platform for a drug/alcohol/tobacco prevention campaign and health/safety/mental health information along with a community kindness movement: run/walk for a cause. There will be free chili served at the closing of the event. Free drinks, door prizes, and participation prizes will be available.
Quick love and logic parenting tips: SUPER HELPFUL! I learned a lot!!!!!
Tips for teachers and parents
Classroom management: handling disrespect
Character Education Topics
Grade KG, 1st: Honesty and “making mistakes is OK”
Grade 2/3: Friendship behaviors
Grade 4/5: Fairness, honesty, respect
Grade 6: Mental Health disorders, specifically anxiety,
and scenarios and role-play with responding to a peer
ACT: The Junior class will be taking the ACT on April 2. All juniors need to be in attendance that day. They will have a late lunch; therefore they will need a good breakfast and snacks. There is one 15 minute break during the test.
WYTOPP spring state testing will be for grades KG-10. The testing window is April 15- May 10. Students need to do their very best to be in attendance for this testing. Makeup testing is sometimes difficult for the student. So to minimize the strain on the student, attendance is recommended!
Scholarships are in full force. Scholarships are handed out to students. Scholarships are also emailed to students when applicable. Extra copies are available on the hallway scholarship board. Extra copies are available in the counselor’s office. Due dates are listed on the school website under counselor: scholarships.
Counseling News and other stuff:
Classroom Guidance: themes and skills we are working on
KG/grade 1: Making mistakes is OK, how to stay positive and make the most of a mistake
Grades 2/3: Friendship Behaviors
Grades 4/5: The importance of communication and HOW to be a better communicator
Grade 6: Mental Health Education
Parents: Are you frustrated, stressed, or worried about what the future holds for your child?
Well, you are not alone! If you like to read and research, check out this article : How to Teach Your Kids To Care About Other People by Caroline Bologna in the huffpost. Search for it. It is worth the time!
Or check out this article: Why are Kids Impatient, Bored, Friendless, and Entitled?