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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Marny Lombard

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News >  Spokane

Group Offers Teens Pathways To Job Success Expert To Instruct Parents On Ways To Lead Children To Rewarding Career

A group of Spokane businesses and schools has invited more than 20,000 parents to come learn how their teenagers can prepare for well-paid careers. The consortium, called Pathways, wants parents to hear this message: The right planning in high school can unlock a future with well-paying jobs in Spokane. The keys include getting an early start and realizing that two-year professional-technical programs after high school will set many young people on a strong earning track.

News >  Washington Voices

Making Readers Teachers Pull Out The Stops To Get Young Students Up To Speed With Their Reading

1. Practicing her writing is 7-year-old Lindsey Wells, who attends Lynn Page's first- and second-grade classroom at Trent Elementary (temporarily housed at Skyview). Photo by Dan McComb/The Spokesman-Review 2. Lynn Page instructs Matthew Prindville, 6, in reading during a special class for readers at Skyview Elementary, where classes are being temporarily held. Photo by Dan McComb/The Spokesman-Review
News >  Washington Voices

A Big Raise Schmeddings’ Dream Barn Finally A Reality With Help From The Entire Family

1. Sarah Schmedding is one of three generations of her family building a barn on her parents' property. Photo by Christopher Anderson/The Spokesman-Review 2. Tools line an interior wall of the Schmedding barn. Photo by Christopher Anderson/The Spokesman-Review 3. The Schmedding clan includes, from left, Linda Schmedding, Matt Schlaich, Sarah Schmedding, Jean Schutte, Bernard Schutte, Emily Schmedding, Floyd Schmedding, Eleanor Schmedding, and Harry Schmedding. Photo by Christopher Anderson/The Spokesman-Review 4. Floyd Schmedding repairs a weather vane atop the barn he and his family are constructing. Schmedding began building the structure four years ago.Photo by Sandra Bancroft-Billings/The Spokesman-Review 5. Sarah Schmedding spars with Sport. "He's easy to get going," Floyd Schmedding says of his spunky pal. Photo by Christopher Anderson/The Spokesman-Review 6. "The grandfathers," Harry Schmedding and Bernard Schutte, team up to cut a board and joke about keeping all of their fingers. Photo by Christopher Anderson/The Spokesman-Review
News >  Washington Voices

Volunteers Raise Funds For Center Of Sharing

One evening this week, 19 volunteers raised $5,250 for the Valley Center of Sharing. They did it by telephone, asking Spokane Valley residents to help their neighbors in need. The center helped 9,000 families last year with food, clothing, health care, senior services and more. That takes support from many hands.
News >  Washington Voices

Taxpayers Ready To Update Cv, U-Hi?

The Central Valley School Board wants to know if taxpayers are ready to make improvements to the district's two middle-aged high schools. At a work session last month, the board asked staffers to ask the community for feedback to the idea of renovating or rebuilding Central Valley and University high schools. Central Valley was built in 1952; U-Hi in 1962. Both schools have had some work done over the years, but wiring, heating, cooling and insulation are all outdated by decades worth of new technology. "We do a good job on the care and maintenance of our facilities, so the buildings do look good from the outside," said Gary Hann, board chairman. What needs changing is on the inside, he said. "I think that we need to look at our facilities in terms of their adequacy for ... the year 2000 and beyond," said Central Valley School District Superintendent Wally Stanley. Space in the high schools is another issue. The board wants to move ninth graders into the two high schools, so that the junior highs can become middle schools. Stanley said he believes Central Valley apparently is the last school district in Spokane County to keep ninth-graders in with younger students. The board has plenty of decisions to make: If the public is supportive of work on the high schools, when should a bond election be scheduled? Next spring, or the spring after? Should a new U-Hi be built on district land at Pines and 32nd? Or should U-Hi undergo renovations and remain at its site, which has long been considered too small? The issue of upgrading the district's two high schools is not new. In the last 10 years, four bond elections addressing high school improvements failed to capture either the needed supermajority or a strong enough overall voter turnout.
News >  Washington Voices

To Learn More Than Beans, His Students Study Them

The question is, is the bean alive? That's how teacher Bernie Hite's fourth-period biology students at Central Valley High School started class on Monday. His sophomores were armed with basic knowledge about the process of scientific inquiry and black-eyed beans. "Soup beans," Hite specified. "If I told them I bought these from a seed store, that would be easy. You plant them, they grow, they're alive. So these are soup beans." Hite's not into making things easy for his students. He describes the hardest part of his job as staying out of the students' way. "When they ask a lot of questions, I just say 'I don't know,' which is sometimes the truth," Hite said. Sometimes he sees students do good work; "sometimes their work reeks." No matter. Either way they learn from their work, Hite said. Teams of three or four students tackled the bean question together on Monday. They'd learned last week about the five characteristics of life: the ability to metabolize or grow; the presence of carbon molecules; a response to stimulus; the ability to reproduce; and the presence of cells. A trio in one back corner puzzled over their first experiment. They had soaked six beans, wrapped them in a wet paper towel and enclosed the whole thing in a petrie dish. Now they weren't quite sure what they had - except for wet beans. Hite stopped by and asked what response they'd observed. "It stinks," volunteered Kevin Reed, one of the threesome. "Stink is a response," said Hite, the scientist. Then he went into question mode: Were they taking precise notes? Did the experimenters have expectations of what might happen? "You didn't set this up blindly, did you?" Next, Reed and his partners decided to look for evidence of cells. Hite steered them away from the idea of simply putting the whole bean under a microscope. "You looking to get a slice of it?" Ah, good idea. "You want a slice of it wet or dry?" Nudge, nudge. Hite pressed on: "I'm curious to know how you're going to test if that bean has complex carbon compounds." Finally, to the relief of the three students, Hite moved on to the next lab table. "Twenty questions! Thanks for the help," Reed muttered. But 10 minutes later, after trying out three microscopes and several levels of magnification, these sophomores had success. Eye to the microscope, Reed said, "Those are definitely cells. Definitely cells. Definitely." National Merit recognition West Valley High School has learned that senior Heidi Craig is a National Merit Scholarship semi-finalist. Sarah Harris and Tracy Hansen earned commendations from the scholarship organization. At East Valley High school, Scott Keith is a semi-finalist; Keith transferred here this fall from Billings, Mont. Commended at East Valley were Catherine Meier and Jennifer Ladieu. Central Valley High School reports that Andrew Steen is a semi-finalist. Michael Easton is a commended student. At University High School, four seniors earned commendations: Erik Boyce, Christopher Cordodor, Daniel Kearsley and Matthew Pierce. Craft fair at WVHS West Valley High School band supporters should mark Oct. 18 on their calendar. A craft fair is being held that day in the high school gym to raise money for the band. The craft fair will include more than 80 craft booths. Hungry shoppers will also find a food court at the high school selling baked potatoes, Mexican food and German sausages. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. for shopping for holiday crafts, indulging in dessert goodies and buying a chance to win $500 through a cow pie raffle. The school's 90-plus band members are raising money to get to national competition in Florida next March. They need $80,000 for the trip and have raised about $20,000 so far, said Jim Loucks, band director. The band is also looking for corporate sponsors. For more information, call Loucks at 922-5488. Tech-walk at University Elementary Students and staffers at University Elementary School raised $2,500 on Sept. 27 with a technology walk-a-thon. Ten of the school's 20 classrooms currently have computers. Teacher Glen Green said he hopes to buy computers for the rest of the classrooms. Each classroom will then be connected to the Internet.
News >  Washington Voices

Second Step Helps Schoolkids Channel Emotions

The seven boys stood in a knot and studied their problem. They had to decide which teammate would not run in the relay race. The taller boy leaned over one of his teammates. He was insistent. "You're faster than he is," he hissed. His hands were clenched; his body language said: "Do it my way."
News >  Washington Voices

Anti-Gang Speaker To Talk Respect At CV District

Jesus Villahermosa will talk tonight with Central Valley School District staffers, parents and community members. His topic: respect. Villahermosa, a sheriff's deputy from Tacoma, is a nationally known anti-gang speaker. He also is speaking this week to students from several CV schools. Tonight's community session is the first of four talks on school safety and violence prevention set throughout the school year.
News >  Washington Voices

Schools Choice Law Goes Annual

If you "choiced" your children into a Central Valley school this year, and they make it past the magic day, you will never have to go through the paperwork again. Children from outside a school's normal attendance boundaries who choose to attend that school, and who made it past the official cutoff date of Oct. 15, become residents of their chosen school. They can stay in that elementary school until it's time for junior high. Then they may attend the junior high and high school attended by children from their chosen school. That's true today and has been since the choice law passed the Legislature several years ago. But no more, after this year.
News >  Washington Voices

Getting Back To Life After Suffering A Broken Back, Loretta Serbell Is Recovering And Has Big Plans For The Future.

1. Loretta Serbell points out the pin in her back installed by doctors after a car accident several weeks< ago. Photo by Steve Thompson/The Spokesman-Review 2. Loretta relaxes in her tiny bedroom, where she spends much more time than she would like to. Photo by Steve Thompson/The Spokesman-Review 3. (Photo of Loretta Serbel) 4. Loretta's friend Catie Meier gives her a back rub while tutor Valerie Kurtz gives a vocabulary test. Photo by Steve Thompson/The Spokesman-Review
News >  Washington Voices

Fourth-Grade Results Reflect Beginning Of Long-Term Reform

The scores on new fourth grade tests in most Spokane Valley schools reflect low scores announced statewide a few weeks ago. Educators in the Valley say they're not surprised, that schools are at the beginning of a long-term reform process. "These kids are being tested in a way they've never done before," said Sharon Mowry, director of curriculum for West Valley, defending her district's performance.
News >  Washington Voices

Lots Of New Faces Teaching In CV District

New teachers are scattered across schools in the Central Valley School District. Some come with advanced degrees and years of experience. Others are starting new careers. Here are backgrounds on the new Central Valley teachers: Elementary schools
News >  Washington Voices

Mountain View Students Respond To Reward System

Mountain View Middle School is shaking out the wrinkles in its new system of discipline and rewards for student behavior. Now starting its second year, the program is called the honors level system. This year's changes mostly emphasize the positive. "You've got to have the carrot a little closer," said Clayton Andersen, parent of a Mountain View student.
News >  Washington Voices

Success Academy Stresses Teamwork

Pupils at Millwood Elementary School hunted the halls and classrooms to find 35 teddy bears for a picnic in the gym. It was a good way for the children to explore the school and find a teddy bear friend. Photo by Steve Thompson/The Spokesman-Review