Welcome to our New Staff for the 2015 - 2016 School Year!!!

Karen Halverson, High School Math, Laurel Baum, High School Art, Michael Cummings, High School Voc. Woods/Metals/Aqua,
Amber Oien, Kindergarten, Carrie Brooks, Elementary 3rd Grade, Alana Olson, Elementary 4th Grade, Marc Annan, Elementary 5th Grade,
Ashley Date, Special Education Paraeducator, Sarah Davis, K-5 Music Paraeducator

Perseid Meteor Shower Event

The Herold Observatory and the Onalaska Science Center are pleased to announce an all-night “Perseid Meteor Shower” event.  The Herold Observatory is the largest public telescope in western Washington.  Its twenty-four inch objective mirror is the about the same size as the Goldendale State Park telescope.  The Observatory is run by the Onalaska School district which is located in the small community of Onalaska, an unincorporated town on highway 508 about eight miles east of I-5. 

This should be a great year for hanging out all night long and checking out the Northwest’s best opportunity to view a meteor shower during the remainder of this year.  

The Herold Observatory and the Onalaska Science Center will be open throughout the night on Wednesday August 12th.  This will start at 9:30 p.m. and end at 4:30 a.m.; you are welcome to “camp out” in the field surrounding the Observatory and the Science Center. You may bring lawn chairs, blankets, sleeping bags and tents to set up in field to enjoy some full sky star gazing and/or some shut eye.  There will be drinks, snacks and a restroom for everyone’s convenience.

More information on the observatory, as well as directions can be found here.

The Elementary, Middle, and High School need Substitute Para Educators.
Click on the link to obtain a classified application, and turn it in to the Onalaska District Office

Mary Glenn, Chair of the Onalaska School Board of Directors, receives  the regional Community Partner Award from ESD 113.  The awards banquet was held on May 27th in Tumwater.  Mary has not only served as board chair, she has partnered with Onalaska High School's STEM program through her work at Tacoma Power at the Mayfield Dam site.  Mary also is a member of the District Leadership Team and has provided leadership to the district in a multitude of ways, especially as the middle school was going through the RAD process.  Congratulations to Mary for this very deserving recognition.

Congratulations OHS Band!

Congratulations to the High School Band as they placed First in their division at the 2015 SWW Mass Band.  This is the third year in a row that the HS Band has won their division.  It is a tremendous accomplishment for the program and the students.  It concludes a year of much success and accolades for the music program at Onalaska.  If you would like to see the award winning groups, their final concert is June 3rd, at 7 p.m. in the HS Gym.  Admission is free. 

"A Natural Field Guide to the Plants of Carlisle Lake"

"A Natural Field Guide to the Plants of Carlisle Lake" is now published and available on Amazon! This book was written entirely by students, and 100% of the profit made from this book goes directly to the Onalaska High School Science Club. The book is about the natural history of Carlisle Lake and the plant life that makes up its ecosystem. Click here to go to the amazon page, or search the title on amazon.com

Onalaska High School Grant Writing Team

TACT grant.jpg

Congratulations to the Onalaska Grant Writing Team for receiving their first grant, the TACT grant by TransAlta for $7,453. The grant will be used to purchase water quality testing equipment for Carlisle Lake. An article about the water quality team and grant was featured in The Chronicle, read about it by clicking here. Pictured above are the water quality testing members and volunteers. Not Pictured: Madison Girt, Jana Girt, Brittany Ross, Molly Musick, Johnny Garcia.

Onalaska Middle School - 2014 Achievement Award
Onalaska Middle School is the recipient of the 2014 Washington Achievement Award.  Achievement Award winners are selected by the State Board of Education using the Revised Achievement Index and is based on statewide assessment data from the three previous years.  Onalaska Middle School was recognized in the category of High Achievement.  Representatives from the district will attend an awards presentation at Spanaway Lake High School on April 28th.  Congratulations to the staff, students and parents for your continued support of improving education in Onalaska.

Onalaska Staff Present at the Washington Small School Conference in Yakima


Anne Stingley, Jamie Niemi, Stephanie Teel and Jeff Davis presented at the Small School Conference in Yakima on March 24th.  They told the story of Onalaska Middle School's journey from a Required Action District designation to becoming a School of Distinction.  The presentation was well received by the audience.  We will also be presenting our story in late June at the statewide administrators conference in Spokane.

Smarter Balanced State Assessments

     As most of you know, the state adopted the Smarter Balanced Assessments that are aligned to our new learning standards in math and English language arts.  We begin testing our 3rd graders next week in reading.

     This is not the first time that Washington state has changed its assessment system.  Whenever there is a change in learning standards, an assessment needs to be adopted that will assess student progress on what is being taught. 

     These new assessments are a much more accurate and complete reflection of what students know and can demonstrate than past assessments.  The results will, in turn, better inform our classroom instructional practices.

     As we have been preparing for this new assessment over the past two years, I do want to make sure that stakeholders understand that there is no comparison score-wise with previous state assessments.  Information from states who have initiated these new assessments have seen a drop the first year in the percent of students meeting or exceeding the benchmarks.  We anticipate the same will hold true for Onalaska as well as the rest of the school district across the state.  However, for us, this new assessment will set a new baseline for students and will allow us to examine the results and adjust our instructional practices to ensure students are proficient in the standards.  I can assure you that our teachers and support staff have been working diligently to prepare our students for these new assessments.

     I would encourage you to go to the OSPI website and click on the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium icon for more details

Congratulations Onalaska Middle School

The State Board of Education announced Wednesday, March 11, that Onalaska Middle School is no longer a Required Action District due to the improvements that have been made over the past three years in teaching and learning.  OMS has demonstrated marked improvement in student test scores over this period of time. OMS has become a model school for the rest of the state due to this turnaround. The staff and students are to be commended for their efforts in this outstanding transformation.  The District Leadership Team will be planning a community celebration in the near future to celebrate this great news.

2014-15 District Calendar (pdf)

District School Calendar

Kathleen Ahmann,
Aug 5, 2014, 12:59 PM
David Brown,
Dec 8, 2014, 8:38 AM
David Brown,
Mar 16, 2015, 9:11 AM
David Brown,
Aug 11, 2015, 2:08 PM
David Brown,
Aug 11, 2015, 2:00 PM
David Brown,
Aug 5, 2015, 9:16 AM
Kathleen Ahmann,
Dec 1, 2014, 1:46 PM