Show and Tell: Schools and youths in the news

Sydney Sakamoto seated with her family
Sydney Sakamoto seated with her family Courtesy

Bethel honored by White House, Department of Education

The White House and the U.S. Department of Education recently recognized the Bethel School District as a leader in the use of Open Educational Resources.

OER are curriculum materials that are free and open-licensed so they may be reused by anyone, as well as remixed, retained and redistributed for other users. Bethel was one of only six school districts nationally recognized as a mentor district because of its work with OER, and its willingness to help other districts.

At the White House, the U.S. Department of Education announced it will require that all future curriculum developed with federal funds be made available as OER. Backers say the goal is for high-quality open-resource curriculum to become the norm as old textbooks are phased out, saving money on textbook purchases and allowing the curriculum to be continually updated.

Seabury School partners with Korean school

Seabury School has entered into a partnership with Korea POLY School, an English language institute, to bring North American-style gifted education to the students of South Korea.

Seabury, a Tacoma private school serving highly capable students from prekindergarten through eighth grade, will provide curriculum units and help train KPS teachers for the first phase of the project expected to launch in March. KPS Director Alex Im visited Seabury in October, and in February, members of Seabury’s team will travel to South Korea to train KPS teachers.

Two school boards earn awards

Two Pierce County school boards have been named Boards of Distinction by the Washington State School Directors’ Association.

School boards for Puyallup and University Place earned the award, which is recognition of their efforts to operate under WSSDA standards. This year, boards were asked to demonstrate how they conduct business and ensure transparency and accountability, provide for student and staff safety, and measure student academic progress.

The boards will be honored Nov. 20 during the WSSDA annual conference in Bellevue.

Special education social worker recognized

Sydney Sakamoto, a special education social worker with the Clover Park School District, has been named the 2015 School Social Worker of the Year by the Washington Association of School Social Workers. She received the recognition for her more than 20 years of professional work and her terms of service on the association’s board.

Former Iraq minister to speak at Lighthouse Christian School

Lighthouse Christian School in Gig Harbor will host Canon Andrew White, known as the Vicar of Baghdad, for a community presentation Nov. 17. He pastored one of the largest churches in Iraq until 2014 and currently serves as president of the Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East. The talk is at 6:45 p.m. at the school. For more information call 253-858-5692.

JBLM kids benefit from Books on Bases program

Kindergarteners at Hillside Elementary on Joint Base Lewis-McChord recently received books from Blue Star Families, an organization that supports military families.

“Children in military families on average will attend six to nine schools throughout their academic career,” said Maria Mahoney with Blue Star Families. “One of our goals is to help bring literacy to military children.”

The books are part of the organization’s Books on Bases program, which gives books to military children, base libraries, Department of Defense schools, and military-impacted public schools and libraries. The books are donated to the organization by partners, including Disney, and Barnes and Noble.