Monday, March 30, 2015

What is Bright Futures?

Bright Futures is a Bentonville Public Schools initiative that streamlines school, community, and business resources to meet the needs of our students often within 24 hours. When students have their needs met, it becomes easier for them to be successful in school both academically and socially.

Bright Futures provides an umbrella of support for students.  All referrals filter through our school counselors.  We work to streamline new and existing resources to meet student needs. 

Here are a few examples of Bright Futures at work:
School supplies are provided to a student by a school counselor
PTO Gives Back purchases clothing for a needy student
Snack packs are given to students who may come from food deprived homes on Friday so they will not experience hunger over the weekend
A social worker works with a homeless family to secure housing
Local business donates a mattress for child sleeping on the floor
A vendor provides products to fill a need through our Facebook page
A barber donates a free haircut to a student who cannot afford one
Volunteers commit to being mentors for students who need positive role models in their life
A group of retired ladies knit stocking caps for children and donate them to a school
A parent donates an additional$5 to cover another child’s field trip cost
A monetary donation is made to the Bentonville Schools Foundation for Bright Futures to use for student needs when donations cannot be found

We are all part of the Bright Futures Team.

We live in Bentonville.  Is this program really needed?  Yes.  Typically a school district’s poverty rate is measured by their free and reduced lunch program.  Currently, the district’s free and reduced lunch rate is at 28%.  That equals4,288 students living in poverty. 

Click here to watch a video created by student of Bentonville Schools:

Is this another Hand-Out Program?  No.  Our mission is to meet student needs.  When the support needed reaches the extensive level, our social workers engage with families to help provide resources while teaching the family skills to become independent. 

How can I help?  Like us on Facebook—Unfilled needs run through our Facebook posts.

Host a Bright Futures Drive—Essential Needs, Canned Goods, Snack Items. 
Invite Bright Futures to present our program at your workplace, civic organization, or faith-based group. 

Donate to Bentonville Public Schools Foundation and tag funds for Bright Futures

Contact Amanda Musick at 479.696.9573 or emailamusick@bentonvillek12.orgfor more information.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Providing Students Access to Technology: 1:Many at WJHS

At Washington Jr. High School, we place a very high importance on providing students and teachers access to modern tools in order to help ensure a meaningful, engaging learning environment.

One of the ways that we do that is through our 1:Many grant initiative.

In our 1:Many initiative, teachers apply for a cart of laptops in order to ensure that they have a device for every 1-3 students.

The applications are reviewed by our district Instructional Technology Support Specialists and our WJHS admin team.  The process of identifying the recipients from all the quality applications is always very difficult and this year was no exception.

We're striving to get to a place where teachers don't have to apply for this "basic" equipment and we will continue to work to use all available funds to support our transformation.

While some schools see technology devices as "nice to have" extras, we see them in the same light as books, paper, pencils/pens, projectors...for us they are basic, required learning tools.

Our kids deserve the best that we can provide.  So, we are continually working to transform every room in the building on our way to a 1:1 environment.

With today's awards, we now have fifteen 1:Many classrooms in our building to compliment the ten classrooms that have acquired 1:1 grants through our district's 21C program.

Congratulations to the latest round of 1:Many grant recipients!

Libby Brown

Casey Cunningham

Britani Durr

Deb Hight

Linda Holland

Stephanie Jones

Jennifer Tatum

Kim Woods

Monday, March 16, 2015

Speaking of Testing

During my professional reading this morning, I saw this quote from Todd Whitaker:

I was reminded about our goals at WJHS of providing "meaningful" learning opportunities for students, developing Wildcats (Welcoming, Involved, Leading, Dependable, Cooperative, Ambitious, Teachable, and Serving), and The Wildcat Way.

The name of the curriculum we use may change.  The name of the assessments we're required to give may change.

However, our practice of doing what's best for students will remain.

Go Wildcats!

Tim Sparacino, Principal

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Job Shadowing forms are DUE!!!

All 8th graders need to make sure they have turned in their job shadowing forms to Mrs. McDowell.  


Tuesday, April 28th
7:05pm Game
Naturals vs. Springfield Cardinals
Buck-A-Brat Night!

Choir students will perform the National Anthem!

$8.00 per ticket
(checks can be written out to WJHS)
Choir students will receive their ticket order forms by the end of the week.  Order forms are also available in the main office.  

**$3 or $4 of every ticket sold will remain in the choir department. (depends on how many total tickets we sell) Thank you for your support!**

Performing Students: 
Meet at Arvest Ballpark no later than 6:30pm by Guest Services (between sections 113/114)
Wear your choir t-shirts, please
After we perform, you will be released back to your families to enjoy the game!

Needed Recyclables during Testing Week!

During testing week March 11th - 17th the Amazeum is letting us use their wind tubes for our learning stations. Students will be able to create things and fly them in the wind tubes. We need your trash such as cool whip tubs, yogurt tubs, plastic fruit containers, toilet paper/ paper towel cardboard tube. Please send these recyclables to Mrs. Ashley Jones in room 201. 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Relationships, Relationships, Relationships

Mrs. Marquess, our Executive Director of Secondary Instruction, shared the article below with me today.

Reading it reaffirmed one of our CORE values (Relationships) and what The Wildcat Way stands for.

Excerpts from the article that resonated with me are:

... compelling evidence from the fields of adolescent development and resiliency studies show that caring relationships are the key factor in helping young people flourish.

... a teacher’s personality counts...

... If an inquiry-based system is to succeed, we’ll need human beings in the classroom who know their field, but who also radiate the kind of positive, non-judgmental love that helps students open their minds and hearts.

To the teachers of WJHS, I say thanks for being knowledgeable in your content and current on pedagogical practices but more importantly, thanks for striving to model The Wildcat Way and building strong relationships with our students.

Go Wildcats!

P.S. For a peak inside our school and evidence of The Wildcat Way, check out our #gowjhswildcats hashtag on Twitter and/or Instagram.

Tim Sparacino, Principal
Washington Jr. High School