School District of Washington

Where Everybody Has A Home
We Have Many Things to Be Proud of as 2018 Ends.

We Encourage Students to Capitalize on What We Have to Offer.
Superintendent Dr. Lori VanLeer

Dear Parents and Guardians,

As we wrap up 2018, we wish to thank you and our students for a great year. We have so much to be proud of, with our students rounding out the top of the list. Our goal now and in the future is to provide our students with tremendous learning opportunities by means of courses, curriculum, projects, and extra-curricular activities that ignite their passions. If students get involved in school, take advantage of all there is to offer, garner the support from their parents, teachers, business partners, and the community, they can truly achieve anything. We want to help our students grow and learn, explore new things, find their passion, pursue their dreams, and ultimately become the best that they can be.

Below you will find just a sampling of great experiences that are available to our students. In future issues, we will highlight the many things going on in other buildings and programs. In our next strategic plan, for years 2019-2024 (coming soon), we will strive to provide the best educational experiences possible. Whether our students desire agriculture, the arts, sports, academics, technology, community service, and/or everything in between, there is a place for them. We encourage our students to get involved, because here in the School District of Washington there truly is a home for everyone.

Happy Holidays,
Dr. VanLeer

The School District of Washington is in the first year of BUILD Academy (Building Unique and Innovative Learning by Design) held at Four Rivers Career Center. 

BUILD Academy offers an authentic project based learning experience to over 100 sixth-grade students from Washington West Elementary and Campbellton Elementary. This project based learning model exposes students to possible careers that they may not even knew exist before they enter the BUILD Academy. 

The end project is a dog house. However, the true learning occurs when these students use every day standards by means of developing a business plan, designing business logos, drafting the dog house design from scratch and applying math and measuring skills to the actual building of the doghouse.  

"I am excited to be a part of the roll out of BUILD Academy. I was confident that the Project Based Learning method combined with the uniqueness of the program would be second to none. However, I underestimated how much excitement, pride and passion it would ignite in our sixth graders," said Annie Wieland, FRCC College and Career Specialist. "I was pleasantly surprised at the level of leadership and patience our high school Building Trades students displayed. Additionally, our sixth-grade and building trades instructors took an idea and brought it to life through collaboration and a lot of extra time, all the while, making it look easy.  BUILD Academy has been a win-win for all involved."
Washington High School AP Classes

Washington High School offers a comprehensive list of AP courses for students. In the past 10, years we have grown our AP course offerings from two to 12 courses. 
AP courses provide students the opportunity to participate in a nationally recognized program and earn college credit. How much credit a student earns depends on the college they will attend, the major they select, and how well they scored on the National AP exam. 
Washington High School has been recognized as and AP Honor Roll school. An AP Honor Roll designation means we have increased our offerings and kept a high achievement level. These courses are among the most rigorous offered at WHS. 
AP classes offered at WHS are AP Calculus, AP Statistics, AP Computer Programming, AP Computer Science Principles, AP Literature and Composition, AP Language and Composition, AP Seminar, AP Art Studio, AP US History, AP Government, AP Biology, AP Chemistry, AP Physics and AP Research ( To be offered 2019-20).
"I enjoy the independence you get from my AP class. You get to work a lot on things tailored to the career path you’re interested in exploring," said WHS senior Mia Shaffar. "You get to do things at your own pace and research things that personally interest you. The program is really tailored around each individual student."
"Taking an AP class definitely helps prepare you for the future in a positive way," added WHS junior Ethan Brueggemann. "It gives me good experience for my college career."
WHS Cocoa Cafe

The Cocoa Cafe started in November of 2005. Life Skills students work as cashiers, taking orders, microwaving, toasting, pouring drinks and serving orders. The goal is to provide them with job experience, and in the process, they learn life skills such as communication skills, social skills, team work, following a check list to see a job through from start to finish, independence, self-advocacy, money skills, and job skills that will transfer into other work settings after they graduate.  
The students use the money they make to go into the community and volunteer with Downtown Washington, Inc., to help set up for several events held in Washington. They also sponsor a family at Christmas, support Loving Hearts, and donate to charities like the Children's Relay for Life and Friends of Kids With Cancer.
"We want our students to learn the importance of giving back to the community by being a part of the events that happen here and the importance of giving time and treasure to help others,” said Judy Obermark, WHS Life Skills teacher. “It is our hope that as we volunteer in the community, the skills our students have will be noticed and that business owners in the community will think outside the box and find ways to employ our students. Our population of workers need part time work and a job description that is more narrow in focus. By showcasing what they can do in the community, our students can help make our community a better place.”
Fine Arts

Whether its theater, choir, band, art, photography, dance, or a number of other options, there are several opportunities for students in the Fine Arts throughout the School District of Washington.

Students involved with Fine Arts learn about being a part of a team, working with a variety of personalities, time-management skills, problem-solving skills, meeting deadlines, critical thinking skills, and so many more skills to help them to be successful far beyond high school.

“I have done theater all four years of high school and it's probably the biggest part of my high school experience. My best friendships have come out of theater. It's really like a big family and it taught me to have empathy for people no matter who they are or where they come from," said WHS senior Dori Key. "My time management and communication skills have improved so much through my experience in theater.”

"I truly believe I get as much out of the program as the students do. Watching them grow as people and performers is the best part of my job. I feel incredibly lucky to get to do the work I do here at WHS," said Kerry Holtmeier, WHS Theater Director.

Here are few statistics about the value of participating in fine arts in high school:

* 89% of surveyed business executives participated in the arts during their school careers. (Unmasking Business Success, 2015).

* High school students who earn few or no arts credits are five times less likely to graduate than students who earn multiple arts credits. (National Endowment for the Arts: The Arts and Achievement in At-Risk Youth, 2012).

* “I have found that using theater exercises to develop skills in listening, trust, improvisation, imagination, and role-play can help scientists become better able to collaborate and communicate their work.” (Patricia Raun, 2017 EdTA Conference).

Many students join choir as freshmen and continue through the program until they graduate. During that time, the students gain increased confidence in themselves, become better critical thinkers and reap the many health benefits that singing daily allows. They also are able to perform in a variety of events where they are able to share the joy of music with the community.

"Over the past three years of working as the Choir Director at Washington High School, I have been able to witness the incredible gifts that so many students possess," said Jessie Patterson, WHS Choir Director. "It's always such a joy to watch them grow and learn how to be better musicians and people through music. The transformation they experience is truly magical."
Center for Advanced Professional Studies
(CAPS) and Career & Technical Education

CAPS programs are nationally recognized, innovative high school programs. Students fast forward into their future and are fully immersed in a professional culture, solving real world problems, using industry standard tools and are mentored by actual employers, all while receiving high school and college credit.

CAPS is an example of how business, community and public education can partner to produce personalized learning experiences that educate the workforce of tomorrow, especially in high skill, high demand jobs.

What makes Washington CAPS unique to other CAPS programs is that it is held in the career and technical building. Our CAPS Global Business Entrepreneurs have opportunities to not only come up with a business idea, but they can implement it with our resources. These students work with students in other programs to take an idea and manufacture a product. Our entrepreneurs can utilize student skills in Building Trades, Machine Tool, Information Technology, Engineering, Graphic Communications, Welding, and Auto Technology/Collision Repair.  
Additionally, Washington CAPS students work closely with business and industry, Washington Area Chamber, and Downtown Washington to take charge with solutions to real life problems.  
Our CAPS Teaching Careers has a "grow your own" mentality. Students in this program work closely with teachers in their home district for exposure and experience. Our goal is to encourage our future teachers to be innovative 21st century educators.  
CAPS Health Occupations has taken on a whole new look. Our classroom is now held at Mercy in our new Health and Science Innovation Academy. Here, students have resources right at their fingertips. They work with hospital personnel as mentors and rotate through clinicals.  
Project Lead The Way

Project Lead The Way provides transformative learning experiences for students and teachers by creating an engaging, hands-on classroom environment that empowers students to develop in-demand knowledge and skills they need to thrive.

Engineering and Biomedical Science are offered in the PLTW program for the high school level. At the middle school level, offered are Medical Detectives (students play the role of real-life medical detectives as they collect and analyze medical data to diagnose disease) along with Design and Modeling (students discover the design process and develop an understanding of the influence of creativity and innovation).

PLTW Engineering is a hands-on pathway for students who enjoy math and science classes. There currently are four engineering classes offered through Washington High School and Four Rivers Career Center.

Introduction to Engineering Design (IED) and Principals of Engineering (POE) are offered at the high school. Students develop a solid foundation of skills to help them problem solve and use some of the software used by engineers in the design process. 
Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) is the first class offered in the fall at FRCC. Engineering Design and Development (EDD) is offered at FRCC in the spring semester.

PLTW Biomedical is a program with four different courses, all relating to different aspects of health science. The first two courses, Principles of Biomedical Science (PBS), and Human Body Systems (HBS), are offered at Washington High School. Medical Interventions and Biomedical Innovations are the final two courses in the PLTW Biomedical program. They are offered at Four Rivers Career Center.
“The students really enjoy the Project Lead the Way courses. We recently went on a field trip to Siteman Cancer Center at Washington University in St. Louis. We had Research Professionals talking about what they're researching to treat cancer. My students were able to understand and answer questions to college professors who run labs about what we are learning in class," said Madi Darnell, Biomedical instructor ."The students were really proud of themselves for understanding the in-depth research happening at Wash U. It showed us that the things we learn in this class are preparing them for the rigor of college science classes, and also on the cutting edge of current research and discoveries happening in lab settings around the world. If a student is planning on going into a health science career, or even if they are just curious to know about how our bodies work, and about how we come up with some amazing treatments for diseases, this is a beneficial class to take.”

Washington High School and Middle School offers students a wealth of opportunities to engage in meaningful after school interscholastic activities. 

These activities offer students the chance to compete, build leadership skills, establish relationships that can last a lifetime and learn to overcome adversity. 

"It's my belief that the high school and middle school experience would not be the same if we did not offer these opportunities to our students," said WHS Activities Director Bill Deckelman. "No matter what your passion is, you can find an outlet for it through our extensive programs offered at the high school and middle school."
Scholar Bowl

Scholar Bowl is a competition that tests players on a wide variety of academic subjects. The School District of Washington has high school and middle school teams, and also has gotten elementary students involved.
The game is typically played with a lockout buzzer system between at least two teams, usually consisting of four or five players each. Players are read questions and try to score points for their team by buzzing first and responding with the correct answer.

Washington High School won the Class 4 Scholar Bowl state championship in 2017.

The NJROTC program at Washington High School prides itself on developing self-reliance, self-discipline, self-respect and respect for others in each cadet. 
"The goal is to develop a sense of citizenship in them and help them to set goals which maximize each Cadet's potential," said Master Sgt. Tim Gates, NJROTC instructor.
For those cadets choosing to enlist in the military, each one is able to enter at an advanced pay grade. For those wishing to attend college, there are opportunities and scholarships available, which can pay 100 percent of college costs. 
Community service is a huge part of being a cadet in the NJROTC program. They also have extra-curricular activities, which include Close Order Drill, Air Rifle, CyberPatriot and SeaPerch.
School District of Washington
220 Locust Street
Washington, MO 63090