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Bistro at WAHS serves lunch, earns rave reviews

Posted on: November 17, 2017

Now in its second year, the West Albany High School Bistro is giving advanced culinary students a real restaurant cooking experience and providing one of the best dining experiences in town.

Led by foods teacher Dolly Victorine, the Bistro is part of the Culinary 4 class for seniors. Students are chosen through an application process and are mostly aspiring chefs or foodies who enjoy cooking and working together in a team environment.

“Everyone helps everyone,” said Logan, who is interested in enrolling in the culinary program at LBCC next year. “I’m not sure what I want to do, but I really like working with food,” he said.

Students are responsible for every aspect of the restaurant, including the menu, budgeting, planning, team assignments, table setting, payments and dishes. Students are also responsible for delivering meals within the school and to staff at other locations around the district.

At its busiest, the restaurant has served 20 in-house meals and 55 food orders to go. The cost of the meal covers the ingredients. Victorine said the class tries to make everything from scratch. This year, they have new mixers, food packagers and new smokers for cheeses and sausage.

All duties rotate and students are assigned to groups. Each group takes a turn assuming head chef duties. This week’s head chefs were Hayley, Kylynn and Ty, who chose American comfort food as a contrast to last week’s Thai-inspired menu.

This week’s menu included a Philly steak pizza, an asparagus-stuffed chicken breast, or potato soup and green salad. Each entree comes with a drink and dessert, which was a vanilla, chocolate or Oreo milkshake. At the end of each meal, the student chefs come out to greet the customers and share the plans for next week’s menu.

Head chef Kylynn said the key to a successful kitchen is to be able to work with people and to accept that people may do things differently. “I love the feeling when it turns out right, and we have the plate beautifully presented,” she said. “When we took out the pizza today, everyone applauded.”

The kitchen isn’t approved for commercial use, so the school restaurant is limited to staff only. Phase I of the bond-funded school rebuild will include a larger, commercially designed culinary classroom that should be accessible to diners from the community.

Many West Albany High School staff members are regulars. One teacher said, “We’re regulars, but it’s always a treat. Once you come once, you keep coming back.”



Rich Engel Named Assistant Principal of the Year

Posted on: November 17, 2017

West Albany Assistant Principal Rich Engel has been selected as the Assistant Principal of the Year for the state of Oregon for the 2017-18 school year!

The Confederation of Oregon School Administrators (COSA) will be recognizing Mr. Engel at their annual conference in June 2018, and he is now also a candidate for national honors as the National Assistant Principal of the Year through the American Association of School Administrators (AASA).

Congratulations, Mr. Engel!

Inclement Weather Procedures – Update Flash Alert

Posted on: November 16, 2017

This is the annual reminder of procedures for school closures or schedule changes due to inclement weather.

Closure and delayed start information will ordinarily be broadcast by 6:30 a.m. Closure information will also be posted on the district website.

Our district subscribes to FlashAlert. This service forwards school closure information to local radio and television stations. Staff, parents, or community members wishing to receive these notices directly can register at the Flash Alert website. Notifications can be sent to you via email. For those of you with tablets or smart phones, you can receive messages by downloading the FlashAlert Messenger app. This app is available on Google Play or the iTunes app store. There are no costs to the recipients for using the email or app notifications.

All addresses registered on FlashAlert will remain confidential. You will receive an email message once per year asking if you wish to continue your subscription and to confirm your email address. Subscribers should be aware that some email spam filters can prevent messages from being received.

Below are some of the radio and television stations who are notified of school closures:

FM Radio Stations:

KEHK FM 102.3
KFLY FM 101.5
KKNU FM 93.3
KLOO FM 106.3
KOOL FM 99.1
KRKT FM 99.9
KSND FM 95.1 (Spanish)

AM Radio Stations:

KGAL AM 1580
KLOO AM 1340
KWBY AM 940 (Spanish)

Television Stations:

KATU Chan 2
KEZI Chan 9
KGW Chan 8
KLSR Chan 34
KMTR Chan 16
KOIN Chan 6
KVAL Chan 13
*The television channel may vary according to listening area.

WAHS and SAHS Students Meet With State Education Leaders

Posted on: November 15, 2017

From the Chief Education Office:

“Students from three Oregon high schools had the opportunity to meet with state education leaders and policy makers to share their personal experiences with accelerated learning programs. These programs allow students to take college courses and earn college credit in high school.

The student forum, held on Nov. 8 in Salem, was facilitated by Grace Didway, a student at Oregon City High School and a member of Oregon Student Voice. Students in attendance from Oregon City High School, West Albany High School, and South Albany High School talked with members of the Sustainable Systems for Accelerated Learning Work Group. The work group – a collaborative effort among the Chief Education Office, Department of Education, and Higher Education Coordinating Commission – is developing a plan across K-12 and higher education to broaden accelerated learning opportunities and support long-term sustainability. Members of the workgroup include school district superintendents, university leaders, and the directors and staff of the state’s education agencies.”

Read the entire article here.

WAHS Students pictured: Curtis Allen, Dante Ammon, Ashton Davis, Stephanie Farnes, Izzy Hernandez, Elana Meza Wynkoop, Jewel Newman, Eli Nichols, Jacob Stephen, Joanna Viramontes, Gemma Williams

Bond update: Read about project planning

Posted on: November 15, 2017

After passing the bond measure to construct new schools and additions and make renovations, the design process has been in full swing.

District staff, the School Board and community members on the Bond Oversight Committee, have participated in a series of planning sessions to discuss timelines, site plans and designs.

The following is an update of progress to date. Find more information on the bond information section on the website.

New Elementary School by Timber Ridge

Design continues for the new elementary school. Groundbreaking will begin this summer. The building will open in Fall 2019. The school is being bid as both a 500-student school and a 600-student school; the School Board hopes to be able to build the school with the larger capacity (the drawings below depict the 600-student school). This school will be immediately north of Timber Ridge School.

Timber Ridge Elementary School designs

Oak Grove Elementary School

The Oak Grove bond project began as a modernization of the existing building with a 44,000 Square Foot addition. The gym and most of the building would have been salvaged while the remaining part of the building would have been torn down and rebuilt. After further study, it was determined that the existing gym was not large enough and/or not properly located to serve as either a gym or a cafeteria in the remolded school layout. A new cafeteria was part of the addition. In addition, the estimated costs for expanding the existing gym was prohibitive.

With the additional bond dollars that resulted from the bond sale, a revised layout was designed that retained less of the existing building and added a new gym and cafeteria. During the cost estimating phase the estimators asked why we were trying to maintain the existing building as they believed it would not cost anything more to tear it down and start from scratch.

Further work concluded that for an additional cost of about $160,000, a brand new school could be constructed. There are many reasons that this plan is more efficient: longer building life expectancy, a school on a single grade (no ramps needed in the school), a more compact design that shortens distances around the school, cheaper to maintain, and an improved parking and vehicle circulation plan.

On Nov. 6, 2017, the School Board formally opted for the new school construction option. This school will be bid as both a 400-student school and a 500-student school. The school board hopes to be able to build the school with the larger capacity. The drawings below depict the 500-student size. This decision will require that the approximately 280 students who would have attended Oak Grove next year will need to be rehoused for one school year. That plan is being devised and is expected to be announced in February.

Here is a conceptual plan of how the new school will be laid out on the site.

Conceptual plan of school layout

South Albany High School

Work will begin this summer at South Albany High School, including new instructional space in the existing gymnasium building (Building 10). The projects include adding CTE classrooms. Directly adjacent to the west will be a new building housing an additional CTE classroom and a large multi-purpose space that can be used for both physical education and CTE lessons.

An added benefit of this project is the ability to significantly improve the inadequate lobby and restroom situation of the current main gymnasium. The space will be shared by the two buildings.

There is also planned a major overall and renovation of Building 4, transforming it into modern CTE space for students. This space will include a new maker lab, a new fabrication lab, new computer lad, renovated metals lab, and a covered courtyard for construction projects. Lastly there will be some improvements to the interior of Building 8 to make the space more functional for performing arts.

These drawing are subject to change.

Auxiliary Gym & CTE Classrooms - Proposed Design

Middle School Career Technical Education Improvements

Big changes are in store at our middle schools and their CTE space. Work will commence as soon as school ends with ribbon cutting planned for late August at all our middle schools (except that NAMS may be delayed one year depending on the outcome of where to house next year’s Oak grove students). New maker labs, new fabrication labs, improved wood shops, and improved culinary art spaces are all examples of the work on tap. As an aside, the locker rooms at the three older schools will also be receiving long overdue rehabilitation.

West Albany High School

The single largest project in the bond is phase one of an eventual new West Albany High School. Because of the magnitude of this project, the design is not as far along as the other school projects. The team has to decide what will be built now and how phase one will work within the eventual complete campus.

The first phase will include new CTE spaces for maker spaces, video production, digital audio, health occupations, and art studios, choir, band, and drama classrooms, an auditorium, cafeteria, administration, commons, and potentially a multi-purpose space used by physical education and CTE programs.

Decisions involved with this project include going two or three stories on the academic wing as well as the orientation of the new high school’s “front door.” This is a conceptual design of how that might look:

West Allbany High School layout

SWARM wins state grant to support robotics program

Posted on: October 26, 2017

The South and West Albany Robotics Maniacs (SWARM) team has been awarded a $2,500 grant from the Oregon Department of Education. This was the highest grant award in the state for the $20,000 grant program for Oregon teams.

The grant will provide an important part of the financial support the team needs to compete. According to volunteer Jodie Bowen, the team has worked on fundraising for this year’s challenge all year. “The entire team has put in countless hours throughout the year, including the summer, to raise awareness and money to fund the 2017-18 year,” she said.

This grant was part of the year-long fundraising effort. West Albany High School junior Josh Richardson was responsible for the grant writing that made this particular award possible.

The team is preparing for the FIRST Robotics competition, which start later this year. The challenge includes skills in science, technology, engineering and math to design and build a robot using a standard “kit of parts” within a common set of rules to play a sophisticated field game during the tournaments. Each team is guided by mentors with expertise in their fields.

The team meets every Thursday evening at South Albany High School in the woodshop. During the build season they meet more frequently.

This will be the first year the team will use space at one of the high schools. In prior years, they had been meeting in Tangent, but the donated space is no longer available.

“Principal Belveal offered them use of the woodshop in addition to a small room for their equipment,” said Bowen. “They also had a shipping container donated to them by Boeing that they can keep the rest of their equipment in. It was all such a blessing and the team spent the summer moving and getting their personal areas prepared and ready for the season.”

The competition will officially start at the competition kickoff on Jan. 6, 2018.

West Albany All-Sport Season Pass

Posted on: October 18, 2017

West Albany All-Sport Season Pass – $175.00

Good for all Home Bulldog Home Games (Varsity, JV and Freshman — boys’ and girls’ events)

Good for the entire family (4 max)

Not valid for away games or OSAA Playoff games

Proceeds go directly to support West Albany Athletics!

See front office for details.