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Monticello Middle School – A Successful Summer!

Monticello Middle School hosted another successful round of summer school. Incoming 6-8th grade students attended regular middle school classes like math, reading, science (robotics), as well as a new advisory class called Character Strong (teachers are piloting this curriculum for next year).

The robotics program clearly engaged the students who became invested in the daily challenges of crafting and coding using LEGO Mindstorms during this 2-week program. Building and programming codes for their own bot designs, students taught their bots to use a wide range of sensors.  Airblock and Blue Heron Force drones and Makey Makey (an inventor’s tool kit) were also part of the curriculum.

In the reading class, students read about Lewis Hine and how his work impacted child labor regulations.  Students focused on vocabulary and making inferences based on sound evidence.  While in math, iReady lessons were utilized as well as student-crafted games.

Overall, the roughly 40 students who attended Monticello’s summer school classes learned new skills, demonstrated creativity, and were fully engaged throughout the program.

Monticello Middle School summer classes

Monticello Middle School summer 2019

 

2019-06-28T13:43:47-07:00June 28th, 2019|

Summer Meal Program information

Summer Meals for Kids!

This year the Summer Food Service Program will offer free nutritious meals to all neighborhood children ages 18 years and younger at:

Northlake Elementary, 2210 Olympia Way,  June 17 – August 16, Breakfast 8:30 am – 8:45 am,  Lunch 12:00 pm – 12:15 pm  *No Meals July 1- July 5

Kessler Elementary, 1902 Kessler Blvd., June 17 – July 3, Breakfast 8:30 am – 9:00 am, Lunch 12:00 pm – 12:30 pm,  July 8 – August 16 Breakfast 8:30 am – 8:45 am, Lunch 12:00 pm – 12:15 pm

Olympic Elementary, 1324 30th Ave., June 17 – June 28, Breakfast 8:30 am – 8:45 am, Lunch 12:00 pm – 12:15 pm

Monticello Middle School, 1225 28th Ave., July 8 – July 26, Breakfast 8:30 am – 8:45 am, Lunch 12:00 pm – 12:15 pm

Archie Anderson Park, 22nd Ave & Alabama St., July 8 – Aug 16, Lunch 12:00 pm  – 12:15 pm, Snack 3:30 pm – 3:45 pm  *Monday thru Thursday

Teen Center, 2121 Kessler Blvd., June 17 – Aug 16, Snack 3:30 pm – 3:45 pm  *No Meals July 4- July 5

All meals will meet the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, so you know your child will be eating a healthy meal. Supervised activities will be offered at Northlake and Kessler Elementary Schools, Monticello Middle School, Teen Center, & Archie Anderson Park. For more information, contact City of Longview, Parks & Recreation Department at 360-442-5400. For more information about the program, or to volunteer to help, call the Longview Public School Nutrition office at 360-575-7172.

The Summer Food Service Program is sponsored by The U.S. Department of Agriculture

2019-06-12T11:37:18-07:00June 12th, 2019|

Salas experiences government first hand

Monticello student Criselia Salas shares her experience as a state senate Page in hopes of getting other students to think about applying for the program.

Where do you go to school? Monticello Middle School.

What grade are you in at Monticello? Eighth.

How were you chosen to be a senate page? I was recommended by Mrs. Davis, so I filled out the papers. My mom said it would be a great opportunity for me to see how government works, so I read through it and was kind of interested.

Why weren’t you very interested? Because I am not really into political stuff, I am more a math person.

Criselia Salas with State Senator Dean Takko

Where did you send the application? We emailed it to 19th district State Senator Dean Takko.

How did you find out you were selected? They sent me an acceptance letter in the mail.

How did you feel once the program started?  Once it started and seeing all the action happening, seeing how it really worked; it caught my attention. Seeing how they would debate and all the action was just there and you were just into it, that the time would just pass so fast.

How many days were you up there? We were up there for a week.

What was your introduction to the process of government? They showed us around, showed us how government works.

What was the daily schedule? We would be in an office or on the floor. We had a page room, which was for catching up on our schoolwork. There was a classroom there where we learned more about the government.

What are some of the things you learned about the government? Learning about the bills was our main focus. We had to make our own bill too, and learned how a bill was processed. We had a partner, we went to one of the rooms, and acted like senators. We presented a bill in front of other pages to see if it would pass or not pass.

What was your bill about? It was about starting school later, like maybe an hour later in the day. Just moving it back a little more.

Why did you think starting school later would be good? When we did the research, we found that students, if they were to move school start time back, would sleep late and be more into school.  Research showed more sleeping time would be positive since their bodies are changing.

So did your bill pass? Yes.

What were some of the tasks you were assigned and what were some of the things you experienced? It was mostly being out on the floor. We had to pass out papers to the senators. We learned their names and they would just debate on and on. We would also get to be in the legislature and see how that worked. We would hand out papers to their offices, so we would go to the Jack Building.

What did you experience at the end of your week? Towards then there was not much to do because they were off the floor, it was more like passing out notes and being in our schoolroom and doing our presentations to other senate pages.

What did you think of Senator Takko? He was funny and kind. I really enjoyed meeting him. I did not really expect that, but he had a great personality. His office was interesting. He had deer and elk hung up on his wall.

Did you meet any other senators that you liked? I would talk to some but I did not catch their names. We would be talking to them on the floor starting and they would get back to their offices.

How did your last day end? It was a slow day, most everyone was able to leave at noon. We got a certificate for being senator’s pages at the capital. We earned about $200.

What will you do with all that cash? Probably by clothes and shoes for school.

As you look back on your time as a senate page, what are your thoughts? I recommend it. At first, I wasn’t sure because I am not a political person, but when I look back, I really enjoyed it. I made memories and learned how government works. At first I did not even know what bills were, once I got there I learned so much.

What was it like being away from home? It was kind of a struggle at night because I missed my family, but at the end of the week, I realized I enjoyed it. The week passes by so fast, at first you kind of worry but at the end you just want to go back and redo it.

What should I ask that I have not? There are not many students recommended for this or who know about it. They want more people to experience being a page and they do want the help. In a textbook, you do not get the caption of it all like you do when you are there. It is a great opportunity for middle and high school students and it makes you think – maybe this is what I want to do when I grow up.

Would you consider being in politics when you grow up? Maybe, I actually like debating and seeing how government works. At first, I was not interested in any of that, but after I came back, I was interested in it.

Do you know what you want to do when you grow up? I am thinking of being a doctor or maybe a lawyer, I do not know yet.

Will this experience you will help you be a more knowledgeable citizen? Yes, I really think so.

To your Mom, Mrs. Taylor – What are your thoughts on Criselia’s time as a senate page? I am just so proud of her.

Mrs. Taylor – are you glad Criselia had the opportunity to be a page? I am glad she had the opportunity. I agree with her that even if people are interested a little bit in the idea of being a senate page they need to look into so they can have that experience.

Mrs. Taylor – were you nervous about Criselia going away for a week? One of the things I noticed in her is when she left she was emotional and it was scary. She was very nervous. It was a hard decision for her. However, when she returned, she returned more mature. She came back with this great reflection, this great experience and knowledge of how our government works and why bills are so important.

Mrs. Taylor – did you encourage Criselia to go? Yes, we encouraged her to go and learn about the process, because she had no idea. When you are a mom trying to explain to her what a bill is, that is such a boring conversation. When she actually got to experience it herself she was able to have the understanding she needed to come back and grow from it, share it with others. She said she really wants her younger sister to be a page.

Mrs. Taylor – what else? I am happy she had the opportunity to learn from this experience. She did not go because her mom made her do this. She learned from the experience and did not take it for granted. I am a very proud mom.

Also, I would like to sincerely thank Mrs. Davis for her support in making this opportunity possible for Criselia. Mrs. Davis was very encouraging and amazing in helping make this process fell safe and comfortable for our family. Thank you!

2019-06-04T07:52:44-07:00June 4th, 2019|

Merzoian, Shepherd & Shepherd discuss closing the achievement gap

Scott Merzoian, Monticello Principal, served on a panel of high performing principals in Seattle at the state principal’s Equity Conference. Merzoian did a fantastic job communicating the success Monticello has enjoyed under his leadership.

Pictured from left to right:  Jennifer Leach, Longview School Board; Christopher Carter, Principal Asa Mercer MS, Seattle; Maggie O’Sullivan, School Leader Rainier Prep, Seattle; Scott Merzoian, Principal Monticello MS; Sylvia Campbell, Medical Lake MS near Spokane; Lanette Shepherd, Orchestra Director Longview School District; Stephen Shepherd, Vice Principal, Mt. Solo MS

Mr. Merzoian was the final panelist to speak to 80 principals from around the state and finished off an informative session about Closing the Achievement Gap for Low Income Students.

Dr. Lanette Shepherd, Longview Orchestra Director, conducted research as part of her recertification for National Board this year about high performing middle schools serving low-income students.  From this research, she formed a panel for the Equity Conference with principals across the state. This was done because Dr. Stephen Shepherd, Vice-Principal Mt. Solo, proposed this panel discussion to the Association of Washington State School Principals Equity Conference for 2019.

Jennifer Leach, Vice-President of the Longview School Board attended, and was impressed with Monticello Middle Schools growth and Longview Public Schools representation.

2019-05-23T12:59:47-07:00May 23rd, 2019|

Family Resource Center opens at Monticello

Teachers and support team members across the district are seeing a growing number of kids and families who lack a stable food source and/or housing. To help the kids and families the district opened a Family Resource Center at Monticello Middle School. The resource center gives parents a place to get help and connect with food, housing, mental health or other services. It doesn’t matter which school a child attends – the family resource center is open to help them. The resource center was put together through donations and did not require district funds.

The Daily News wrote a front page story about the resource center that published March 2. This is another example of the district putting extra effort towards helping our kids be successful.

The Family Resource Center is open Monday through Friday from 9 am to 11 am and from 1 pm to 3 pm.

 

2019-03-08T14:24:07-07:00March 7th, 2019|

Calendar information 2019-2020 school year

Planning for vacation and family celebrations is important. While final details of the next year’s school calendar are not yet finished, several important key dates are set. To help you with planning below are important dates for the 2019-2020 school year. These dates have been finalized and approved by the School Board. (Please note the calendar for Broadway Learning Center is different and parents should check with Broadway for 2019-2020 calendar dates.)

Event Date
First day of school August 28, 2019
Winter holiday December 23, 2019 – January 3, 2020
Spring Break April 6-10, 2020
High school graduation June 6, 2020
Last day of school June 11, 2020

A more detailed 2019-2020 school calendar will be sent to parents and families in the Spring. If you have questions please contact your local school.

2019-01-25T15:05:18-07:00January 25th, 2019|

Capital bond information and input sessions

Longview Public Schools plans to put a capital bond measure to voters later this year. Capital bonds raise funds for school districts to upgrade facilities and build new schools.

To provide citizens information about the bond measure three community input sessions will be held. At the meeting you will get information on the facility upgrades and changes the district’s Facilities Advisory Committee has recommended.

Thursday, January 24 at 6 pm, district administrative offices next to RA Long High School – 2715 Lilac Street.

Wednesday, January 30 at 5 pm, Mark Morris High School.

Tuesday, February 5 at 5 pm, Mint Valley Elementary School.

We hope to see you at one of the community input sessions.

2019-01-25T11:07:08-07:00January 15th, 2019|

Longview teachers have class

We’re proud of our educators and are taking this opportunity to introduce you to two of them, in their own words. They have different interests but share a passion for preparing Longview students for successful futures!

This is a supplement to the Longview Public Schools annual report. Both Gail Wells and Sam Kell are featured in the printed version of the annual report.  

Gail Wells, math teacher, Monticello Middle School.

Gail Wells believes everyone can do math. She works the room and uses technology to gauge how much each student understands, even those who never raise their hands.

Where did you grow up and go to school? I was born in North Dakota and grew up in Federal Way, Washington. I was in the first graduating class at Thomas Jefferson High School in Auburn and went to Western Washington University for a degree in home economics.

How did you get from home economics to math? My passion was food and nutrition, but math is completely entrenched in home economics—measuring food, finance, sewing …

Why do people think math is so hard? Society doesn’t allow people not to be “readers,” but for some reason it’s OK to not be good at math. The mindset should be that “I can do it,” because everyone can.

How long have you been teaching? Twenty-six or 27 years—10 years at St. Helens and 10 years at Robert Gray, with four years as a math coach at Kessler and Robert Gray. Now I’m finishing at Monticello Middle School.

How has teaching math changed? When I was in school, it was, “Here is how you do it. Now copy what I do.” We don’t do that anymore. Instead of just handing students an algorithm or a way to do something, we do a lot of concrete building of understanding before moving to the abstract.

What is the best thing about being a teacher? That look on a student’s face when they “get it”—it’s priceless.

What are some of the keys to being a good teacher? Number one is understanding what the goal is. For me it’s the state standards—I have to know what the students need to know. Also …

  • Making sure the students get the needed feedback so they can self-evaluate.
  • Being ready when they walk through the door—knowing where you’re going and how to get there, not just turning the page on the book and teaching them what’s on the next page.
  • Adjusting if the students are not getting it.

The big thing here at Monticello is I have an amazing teaching partner, Phil Hartley. We collaborate, do assessments, reflect on student work, talk about the goals and are transparent about our work. Today we are going to share kids and do some interventions, so we can get them where they need to be right now.

To be a good teacher, it’s everything, including a great administration that supports you. It’s not just one thing.

What advice do you have for new teachers? Don’t think you already know everything. I’ve been teaching for 26 or 27 years, and every year I learn something new. Every year I get better. So listen to your colleagues, listen to your students, and be willing to adapt. Be a part of the team.

What’s something people might not know about you? I’ve been making gingerbread houses for 30 years. I have two sons who were in the armed service—one still is. I send gingerbread houses to Afghanistan and Bosnia. My daughter taught English in South Korea, so I sent one to her.

What would you tell the community about what life is like in school? When those kids come up the stairs and say hi to me, it’s wonderful. It’s the best place in the world to work.

What are students like today? Students are considerate of each other. They want to do their best—they want to succeed.

Anything else? This is my last year of teaching. I want to have more time with my family and visit my grandchildren—I have six. My career as a teacher has been an amazing journey. I feel deeply blessed by every student I’ve ever had.

 

 

Sam Kell, industrial arts teacher, Mark Morris High School

Sam Kell practices what he teaches. At school, he introduces pre-apprenticeship students (pg. 3) to technical skills like carpentry. In his spare time, he works on his own fixer-upper house.

Where did you grow up and go to school? I spent my childhood in Kelso and Longview, and went to Catlin Elementary, Columbia Heights Elementary, Cascade Middle School and Mark Morris High School. I spent one year at Lower Columbia College and finished my final three years at Central Washington University in the industrial arts program.

Why did you get into teaching? I always liked working with people and going through the learning process. My mom is a pre-school teacher.

Who introduced you to industrial arts? My dad is a self-employed residential contractor. He flips houses and owns rentals. I started working with my dad when I was 10 or 11 years old. I was just a helping hand with sheetrock and roofs. In school I excelled in shop classes and was happiest in project-based learning.

What’s the best part about being a teacher? Building relationships with the students. Teaching is all about the relationships and the growth.

What are the students of today like? They are hard-working and task driven. People may assume students never get off their smartphone or think, “It’s not like when we were in school.” But I still see the drive in students to get things done. Sometimes it takes different teaching styles to motivate different students.

What is one thing you want to teach every student? One thing I’d like to teach every student is lifelong learning and self-evaluation. To be able to reflect on the job you just completed is a very important skill no matter what you do. I learned a long time ago, “reflect and do better.”

What would you like people to know about school? School is about learning, and failure is okay.

 Do you have hobbies? I love hunting, fishing and hiking, and I share season tickets to the Trailblazers. I’ve been a Blazers fan since elementary school. I watched Michael Jordan and Clyde Drexler play. I also own a house in Kelso—it’s a fixer upper.

 Anything else? It’s important for young people in our community to recognize their own skills and recognize what Longview has to offer. Longview is a great place.

2018-11-07T15:28:49-07:00November 6th, 2018|

R.A. Long High School and Monticello Middle School named “Schools of Distinction”

The Center for Educational Effectiveness (CEE) announced 91 school across Washington State were named 2018 “Schools of Distinction”. Included in the list were four-time winner R. A. Long High School and first-time winner Monticello Middle School.

Being named a school of distinction is a prestigious award recognizing sustained improvement over a five-year period in English, math or graduation rate. Being recognized as a school of distinction means being in the top 5 percent of improvement for their levels.

Middle schools are judged based on improvement in math and English over a five-year period. Monticello Middle School has shown outstanding growth, especially in math. Superintendent Dan Zorn said, “The effort and results of Principal Scott Merzoian and his dedicated group of teachers and support staff has been fantastic.”

R. A. Long High School was recognized as a “School of Distinction” for the fourth time. High schools are graded on their graduation rate. R. A. Long’s preliminary 2018 graduation rate is 96 percent, which is one of the highest graduation rates in the state. “Principal Rich Reeves and his team do amazing work every day,” Superintendent Zorn said.

Overall only five schools in the greater Southwest region of Washington State received School of Distinction awards, with two of those being from the Longview Public School system.

Monticello staff and ESD 112 Assistant Superintendent Mike Nerland.

R.A. Long staff, students, and ESD 112 Assistant Superintendent Mike Nerland.

2018-11-27T16:49:27-07:00October 24th, 2018|