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November 2018 District Newsletter
Dear South Whidbey Families,

Fall has arrived, the leaves are falling, the rains are coming, and school is in full swing. 

This year, we are focused on improving communication throughout the district. In the mornings, we offer Word on the Street - Coffee with the Superintendent, hosted by Mukilteo Coffee Roasters. In the evenings, we offer Moving Forward - Community Conversations at the South Whidbey Elementary School Community Board Room. Both are open to the public for South Whidbey family and community members to ask questions, request information and learn more about what is happening at South Whidbey School District. Please see the website calendar and Peachjar flyers for upcoming dates.

Additionally, I am having a monthly staff conversation for staff members to come during their teacher directed time to ask questions and bring concerns directly to the Superintendent. Summaries of our gatherings and answers to questions are provided online for all to  review linked here. 

We transitioned to the new South Whidbey School District Website. The goal of the new website is to make the information you need easier to find. Please look here for answers. However, if you cannot find the information you need, please contact any of the school offices. Our staff will direct you to the information you need.  

Peachjar is available to all of our district families to provide you with current flyers and handouts regarding our school and community events. All of the current flyers can always be located on our  Peachjar site linked on our website.  

Attendance is an ongoing issue in our district. Students should be kept home if they are sick. However, to avoid truancy reports, parents and guardians must  call within 10 days  to excuse their child's absence.   More details regarding excused and unexcused absences is on our website linked here.   Add the attendance lines to your phone directory: 
SWSD Attendance Lines:
South Whidbey Grades 7-12 Attendance Line: (360) 221-0937
South Whidbey Academy Grades 7-12 Attendance Line: (360) 221-7879
South Campus SWES 5&6 & SWA Grades K-6: (360) 221-0638 
South Whidbey Elementary School Grades K-4: (360) 221-0637

We are hoping for a quiet, mild winter but planning for the "just in case." If there happens to be a school closure or late start due to inclement weather, we will be sending out an early morning ROBO call throughout the district. We set up ROBO SMS messages too. If you "Opted In" to receiving text messages, the notifications will come to you by phone, email and text message too. Please utilize our website for all your school news and updates. Don't hesitate to  contact us  with your questions.

Enjoy the holidays and upcoming breaks!
Jo Moccia
Upcoming Events
Nov 1: Grades K-4 Picture Retakes; SWHS Jazz Ensemble at UW Jazz Festival
Nov 1-16 : Grades 5-6 Food Drive;
Nov 2 : Grades 5-6 Field Trip to WICA - The Victoria Ballet
Nov 4: Daylight Savings Time Ends, Turn Clocks Back One Hour
Nov 5 : Grades 5-6 Picture Retakes
Nov 6 : SWHS SBAC -Math Makeup
Nov 7:   Early Release ; SWHS SBAC - Math Makeup; SWHS Veteran's Day Assembly  
Nov 8 : Grades 9-12 Winter Sports Packets Due. Get your packets turned in or have your fall sport paperwork transferred over.
Nov 9 : SWHS We Scare Hunger Food Drive Ends; Grades 5-6 Veteran's Day Assembly (11:30am); Grades K-4 Veteran's Day Assembly (1:30pm)
Nov 9-11 & 16-18: SWHS Drama Club  The Pajama Game
Nov 12: Veteran's Day ( NO SCHOOL) ;
Nov 13 : Grades 9-12 Winter Sports   (Boys and Girls Basketball and Wrestling) turnout starts; SWES Family Engagement Night - Reading and Literacy Skills (6pm)
Nov 14:   Early Release ; Meet with Principal Swanson - Open Discussion (8am); Word on the Street 8:30am; Free Preschool Child Development Screening (Appt Required);  SWHS SBAC - ELA Makeup;    
Nov 15: SWHS SBAC - ELA Makeup; Grades K-6 Harvest Feast (flyer linked here ) ;
Nov 16: Grades 5-6 Field Trip to WICA
Nov 19, 20, 21 : Grades K-8 Conference Week (No School for grades K-8)
Nov 21 : Grades 9-12 HALF DAY - Release at 11:30am
Nov 22 & 23: Thanksgiving Break ( NO SCHOOL )
Nov 27: Music In Motion Concert, WatchDOG Pizza and Movie Night - SWES-N at 6pm
Nov 28 Early Release ; Word on the Street (8:30am); ; School Board Meeting (6:30pm)
Nov 29: Holiday Band Concert (Grades 5-12) 7:00pm
Dec 3-7 :  Grades K-6 Book Fair in Library
Dec 5:   Early Release;  Moving Forward 6:30pm
Dec 12:   Early Release ; Word on the Street (8:30am); ; School Board Meeting (6:30pm)
Dec 13 : Grades 7-8 Band Winterfest Field Trip
Dec 14:  Grades 9-12 Band Winterfest Field Trip
Dec 19:   Early Release;   
December 24- January 6: Winter Break ( NO SCHOOL )
Jan 7: Return to School
Jan 9 Early Release ; Word on the Street (8:30am); School Board Workshop (6:30pm);
Jan 16:   Early Release ; Moving Forward (6:30pm) 
Jan 17: Grades 7-8 Winter packets due. Get your packets turned in or have your fall sport paperwork transferred over.
Jan 21 Martin Luther King Jr. Day ( NO SCHOOL )
Jan 22: Grades 7-8 Winter Sports Begins (Girls Basketball and Wrestling)
Jan 23 : Word on the Street (8:30am); School Board Meeting (6:30pm);
Jan 25:  Half Day (Grades 7-12 release at 11:30am, Grades K-6 release at 12:30pm)
Jan 28: End of Semester (NO SCHOOL )
Free Preschool Child Development Screening
Provided by the South Whidbey School District

November 14, 2018

If you have a preschool age child (3- 5) with developmental concerns and would like to have them screened by our team (speech therapist, occupational therapist and school psychologist), please contact Marie at 360-221-6808 ext. 2206 to set up an appointment for the screening day or for more information. If you have developmental concerns for a child age birth to 3, contact Sharon at the Toddler Learning Center @ 221-6808 x 4420.
SWSD Projects Update
People were “craning” their necks this week as workers installed new heating units on the rooftops at South Whidbey High/Middle School and the Elementary South Campus. The project, funded by the district’s capital levy, replaced worn out heating units dating to the mid 1990s. The old units were removed and new units placed using a rather large crane that was needed for the long reach over the roof at both schools.
Work at both sites proceeded on schedule with minimal disruption of school activities. Additional equipment will be replaced as part of a future project.
South Whidbey Grades K-6
K-4 families are cordially invited to our Veterans Day Assembly on Friday, Nov. 9th, at 1:30pm in honor of Veterans and those currently serving in the military. If you are bringing a guest, please contact Katharine Pfeiffer at so we can honor them during the assembly.

Our annual Harvest Feast will be on Thursday November 15th. Our cafeteria and school farm will again partner to bring an amazing array of meal options from turkey and gravy to food prepared by our students from the school garden. Please join us for our harvest feast and enjoy an extra special meal with us. Email Kim Glandon for more information:

Don't forget to sign up for Artsonia to view and share your child's art work from school. Contact Valarie Heggenes:

The elementary school continues to work on our Positive Behavior Intervention and Support (PBIS) system this year and our work during the last month on preventing bullying and creating more unity in our school community has complemented our program. This year the students have been doing an amazing job of creating a community of respectful, responsible, safe and kind learners.

This year we have continued with our partnership with Ruby the dog. Ruby visits the school several days a week so students can read to her. The program has been a great addition to our reading intervention program. It is a great way to engage students in reading, especially reluctant readers. If you have a pet at home, you might try having your student read to it.

Family Engagement Night on the K-4 Campus is Tuesday, November 13th, 6-7:30pm. The goal is to share ways to encourage reading and literacy skills with families. Dinner and childcare will be provided. Information to come to RSVP. 

Thank you to all of the volunteers that helped create an exciting and festive afternoon on Halloween. Students thoroughly enjoyed the class activities as well as our annual parade to show off their costumes.

  Lost and Found: We have a plethora of coats, hats, lunch boxes and water bottles at both campuses . Please come check them out prior to 11/16, when we will be bringing all unclaimed items to Good Cheer.

Parent teacher conferences will be November 19-21. Please stay tuned for more information from your teachers on setting up times to meet.

Our 5-6 program enjoyed a fabulous Fall Harvest Party and a crazy hat day on Halloween. Monthly, we have held our Cougar Pride Assembly where we recognize students who have gone “above and beyond” in demonstrating our Cougar R.O.A.R. principles of showing Respect, Observing Rules, Acting Responsibly and being Ready to learn.  We will also be kicking off our “Scare Hunger” food drive to benefit Good Cheer at the assembly – with a representative from Good Cheer here to speak to our students about the importance of the food bank in our community. We hope to “fill the truck” of Good Cheer when the drive ends on 11/16 – so please send nonperishable food items with your children, which they will bring to their homeroom. 

Please join us for our 2018 Veteran's Day assembly on November 9, 2018.   If you or a member of your family is a veteran, please join us! We will be honoring all those who have served our country.   The 5-6 assembly will be held at 11:30am on the South Campus.. 

We would love to have parent volunteers for the following roles on the South Campus:
  • -Help with the “Cougar Den” student store – Fridays 11:00 – 12:00
  • Tutor/Mentors for a new lunchtime homework club we will be kicking off in early December – 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. – Wednesdays. Training will be provided.
  •  “Editing helpers” beginning in early January during our homeroom classes –            11:40 – 12:00. We will be working on writing skills schoolwide during homeroom and helpers would work with students on writing skills, editing, revisions, etc… training will be provided.
Remember that all volunteers need a Washington State Patrol Background check on file with the district prior to volunteering. Please see Megan in our office to get your background check completed.

South Whidbey Grades 7-8
Home of the Cougars!

SWMS is in its second year on the SWHS campus. Last year, before the end of school, we requested families to answer a survey on their thoughts about the new 7-8 configuration at the SWHS Campus.

On October 25, 2018, we had a Parent Night Meeting to go over the survey results. A powerpoint of the meeting is available on our website linked here. Families who answered the survey found that the transition went smooth, the bus schedule was better, students like the multi-period schedule, and having their own wing.

For 2018-19, we are working on three goals: students gaining a 60% or greater growth on the 2019 ELA and Math assessments and building a culture around restorative practices, community and social emotional learning. SWMS started Wednesday enrichment classes. Those students who need extra help in their core classes receive it during these periods. The rest of the SWMS students receive a choice of enrichment classes between Marine Studies, Exploring trails, Greek Mythology, Community Service, Intro to Boxing, Journalism and more.

Stay tuned in for bigger and greater things happening at SWMS! Join Principal Swanson at 8am for coffee at Mukilteo Coffee Roasters for an open discussion on the following dates: 11/14, 12/12, 1/9, 2/13, 3/13, 4/10, and 5/8.

South Whidbey Grades 9-12
After a successful Homecoming week, the Leadership students have been hard at work  preparing for Veteran's Day. They will focus on honoring those who have served and teach their peers about the sacrifices made by so many. In addition to presentations and assemblies, Leadership has its sights on spending time focusing on inclusion and building a climate that is welcoming and supporting for all. The Character Strong curriculum is going to be included in this next endeavor. Additionally, service based projects to support our school, district and community are getting underway. If you have an interest in working with the leadership class in a service component, please email

South Whidbey Academy
We have had a great start to the year. Kristen Nelson has joined us this year as our English/US History teacher, the kids have welcomed her as all the staff. The students enjoyed Homecoming this year, lots of our students participated in many of the activities. 
Our ASB officers are President: Dylan Blair Vice President: Mariah Peters and Senator: Olivia Karlov
Students are all engaged and doing well in classes. We have a great opportunity this year with Dee Brown (former student academic counselor) She is working with our seniors to prepare them for college opportunities, trade schools or employment after graduation. 
Please check out our website
SWSD School Bus Drivers Make Learning Happen 
for the South Whidbey School District!

Here are your 2018-19 bus drivers:

Bear - Steve Lampkin
Cheetah - Teri Teeter
Cougar - Jim Davis
Falcon - Bonnie Nixon
Frog - Junus Darugna
Giraffe - Woody Woodard
Hummingbird - Joe Merrick
Lion - Jeremie Canty
Monkey - Carmen Schulz
Orca - Ken Barstow
Turtle - Annette Banks
ECEAP Driver - Carmen Schulz
Sno Isle Driver - Carmen Schulz

Substitutes - Sue Harris, Ken Beaver, Dan Schlangen, Wendy Busch

Driver Trainer is Carmen Schulz
Head Mechanic - Todd Brager
Assistant Mechanic - Woody Woodard

Transportation Supervisor and Dispatcher is Linda Proctor

Please contact the Transportation Department directly at (360)221-5209.

Please note that the frog route is still on modified route until the County completes road word on Anderson.

Waiting for the Bus? Walking to School?
Help other road users to see you. Wear or carry something light-colored, bright or fluorescent in poor daylight conditions. When it is dark, use reflective materials (e.g. armbands, sashes, waistcoats, jackets, footwear), which can be seen by drivers using headlights up to three times as far away as non-reflective materials.

South Whidbey School Bands
The South Whidbey Schools Performing Arts Boosters would like to thank our generous community for once more supporting the high school band program by purchasing some of their holiday decorations from a music student! 

South Whidbey School Board
We will have only one meeting in November (28th) and one in December (12th) due to the holidays and breaks. The Board will be attending the WSSDA Board Conference in Bellevue from November 14-17, 2018.

Welcome to SWSD New Employees
Monique Karlov - SWSD Business Secretary
Patty Maddux, Youth Support Specialist
Kelly Pinkley, Para Educator
Tamara Valdez, Para Educator
Aubrey Waldron, Para Educator
Tiffany White - Para Educator
Randall Haller, SWCC Custodian
Lori O'Brien - SWES Teacher
Amber Hedgpeth - SWES Teacher
The South Whidbey Community Center (SWCC) is in full swing with lots of community fun, learning and activities from art and cooking, to karate and crossfit. Being in a central location, we provide a place for people to work and organize together for the benefit of the South Whidbey community. Rooms are rented to individuals and organizations that offer programming which benefits the whole community. Additionally, w e provide hourly meeting spaces for classes and groups to meet.

The community center is a safe environment for all ages to come and embrace technology and get connected. The Recreation Room (Room 121) is open to the public. Feel free to come in and chill, play ping pong and have a cup of coffee or a snack. You’ll find the Rec Room just inside the main entrance, up the stairs and to the right, just across the hall from the SWCC offices and information desk. Successful community building is a grassroots effort. Feel free to come in and share your vision. Stop by on a Thursday for a tour. Check us out online and signup for our newsletter:

We welcome volunteers who want to be a part of this community asset. Please email Gail Lavassar for more information at .
The Family Resource Center is settled into our new location at the South Whidbey Community Center, stop by for a cup of coffee or tea and find out more about what we have happening here!

We’ve been busy this year, our Back to School program supported 290 students with the supplies they need to be ready to learn for the school year ahead. We have school supplies available to students all year.

We are kicking off our 3rd annual Ready for Rain program-we’re stocked with rain boots, raincoats and winter jackets-everyone learns better when they are warm and dry! Please don’t hesitate to call or stop by if your student is in need of a jacket or boots, but your finances keep you from making a purchase.

Preparations are underway for Holiday House! The reality for some families on South Whidbey is that the ability to give gifts to kids gets lost in the stress of paying rent, unexpected bills, and the high cost of living. Holiday House ensures despite the overwhelming financial factors that cause stress, at least every child can receive a new, popular present from their parents-and feel the joy of the holiday season.

If you would like more information about any of the programs Readiness to Learn offers, stop by room 117 of the Community Center. Call 360-221-6808, ext 4321 or email:

Back to School, Ready for Rain and Holiday House are all made possible by generous donations from community members and organizations. We are thankful for our generous community!
South Whidbey PTSA Grades 7 - 12:

Please come and join us at our board meetings every second Tuesday of the month at 6:30 p.m. in the conference room in the SWHS/SWMS Office. Our next meeting is Tuesday, November 13th. 

The Elf Chase is coming….get ready for some holly-jolly fun and help support our biggest fundraiser of the year. The Elf Chase 5K Walk and Fun Run is happening on Sunday, December 2, 2018 at the SW Parks & Rec. Community Park. Registration opens at 9:00 a.m. Please sign up early to be guaranteed a cool Elf Chase Tee Shirt. Visit our website ( for registration forms and to prepay registration fees online to avoid the rush on the day of the event.  NEW THIS YEAR….we are making this year’s Elf Chase a true FUN walk and run and all participants who complete the course will be put in a drawing for some wonderful prizes donated by local businesses. We will also have prizes for the best costume and plenty of elves to be chased for prizes for your youngsters!  (2018 Participant Registration Form Link)

We are also looking for businesses to sponsors the Elf Chase. All sponsors get advertised on our candy cane lined course. For higher levels of sponsorship, get your name on the Elf Chase Tee Shirts and more (see our website and Business Sponsorship Form for details). BEST OF ALL your money goes to fund Teacher & Staff Grants and other SW PTSA Programs. Last year we gave $5,467.00 in teacher and staff grants and these grants funded items including: novel sets for the classroom, math related board games, science equipment, P.E. equipment, field trip expenses, video production equipment and more. Your sponsorship funds will also go to award two deserving SWHS seniors two $500.00 scholarships! To sign up as a Business Sponsor, please see our website where you can pay online ( ) or download a business sponsorship form. ( 2018 Elf Chase Business Sponsorship Form)

Remember when shopping this holiday season, to shop at Amazon Smile and choose to support SW PTSA! A percentage of your payment goes to SW PTSA!
Hello from SWEPTA K-6!

At our first board of the year, we opened by going around in a circle and saying what we love best about South Whidbey Elementary (SWE). The gist of everyone’s answer was about the great people at SWE-the kids, the teachers, the parents-we all feel so lucky to be part of such a great community! And really, that is what SWEPTA is all about, keeping that good feeling going for the school community we all love-we’re all in it together.

We’re off to a great PTA year-one way we can measure that is by the number of paid memberships we have so far. We’re up to 71 SWEPTA members this year, and that is more than we’ve had in at least 5 years! And, most of those paid members work at SWE K-6. We have almost 100% teacher membership, which is really something to be proud of. Thank you to everyone who has joined so far! We’re hoping to reach our goal of 100 paid members this year. We can do it with your help! You don’t need to volunteer to be a member (but you can-email  to be on our volunteer list!) and you can join online through the WA State PTA website:

We have some fun plans in the works! Here are some dates to put on your calendar: November 27th at 7:00, our November Board meeting. December 1st, our annual Holiday Market, this year being held at the South Whidbey Community Center-check our website ( ) for details. We’re still looking for vendors. Stay tuned for upcoming details about a November Family Fun Night and Spiritwear! 
South Whidbey School Gardens
September and October at the school farm are action-packed, with the students enjoying the late summer harvest and then watching the fall move in and the season change. It's such a busy time with over 500 students per week at the farm and/or culinary classes, K - 7. So much learning!

It's a great time to teach about flowers and seeds, decomposition, the seasons, and so many other subjects. Harvesting crops they planted in the spring, the children learn about life cycles. Pulling out the plants helps reinforce understanding of plant structures. Building compost piles teaches about decomposition and microbes. Weighing pumpkins teaches math and graphing. Click  HERE  for the classes on the Autumn Cycle. Click  HERE  for the delight of the students returning to the farm in September.

You can make lunch payments by dropping off a check at your school office or online linked here.

For more information on free or reduced lunch, please contact Monique Karlov at (360)221-6808 ext 2224.
South Whidbey Schools Foundation
The South Whidbey Schools Foundation is a charitable organization dedicated to providing grant opportunities to district staff to facilitate and bring additional resources to the classroom, as well as experiences outside the classroom. We are pleased to report that we have recently approved over $42,000 in grants this school year thus far! Grants funded range from field trips, music, art and science enrichment, professional development support, and helping bring back clay and music curriculums to the students! Primary ways in which we fundraise include our annual spring gala (auction), "Dine out Wednesday’s" in March and October, and through our annual newsletter mailing. We appreciate the support we get from our local businesses as well as the individual donations we receive. They all add up to making it possible to support our wonderful school district to grow well rounded and highly capable citizens of the future. Go Blue!  
Our Commitment to Non-Discrimination
The South Whidbey School District #206 does not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, marital status, honorably discharged veteran or military status, sexual orientation including gender expression or identity, the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability in its programs and activities and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. The following employees have been designated to handle questions and complaints of alleged discrimination: Affirmative Action/Title IX/ RCW 28A.640 /RCW 28A.642 compliance officer, Dan Poolman,, or Section 504/ADA coordinator, Dr. Jeff Fankhauser,, 5520 Maxwelton Road, Langley, WA 98260, 360-221-6100.
South Whidbey School District | (360) 221-6100 | Email | Website
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