On Tuesday January 10, 2017, the Connect Center team headed out to Will C. Wood Middle School for a historical event sponsored by local LGTBQ organizations and the California Endowment. Around 200 students gathered in the school’s cafeteria to hear from retired NBA player Jason Collins, the first NBA player to publicly come out as gay during his career. Collins shared his coming out story with students as he described the stigma he felt and the stories he had to construct to hide his authentic self. He described feelings of alienation, especially in spaces such as the locker room.
All 14 student-led Green Teams participating in Project Green 2016 were awarded funding for water conservation projects at a ceremony on Tuesday.
Initially, only the teams that scored highest on a Project Green rubric were to be awarded funding. But because some of the schools proposed fairly inexpensive projects — Bret Harte Elementary asked only for mulch and planter boards — the district decided to fund all 14 proposals, said Project Green Specialist Rachel King.
Will C. Wood Middle School students were treated to a fun, Halloween-themed safety fair on October 30 – an event that closed Walk and Bike to School Month for SCUSD.
Co-hosted by the state Office of Traffic Safety, the fair featured Pete Walker, a California safety mascot who has appeared on billboards and bus ads throughout October. Walker wears a costume made of car parts and promotes the message “Pedestrians Don’t Have Armor.”
Many students, some dressed in costumes, posed with Pete Walker at a “selfie station.”
Students in Will C. Wood Middle School’s Book Club participated in a Japanese tea ceremony at Sacramento State and later dined at Benihanas to celebrate completion of the novel “The Sign of the Chrysanthemum” by Katherine Patterson.
Robotics teams from several SCUSD schools participated in the initial Northern California FIRST LEGO League qualifying tournament held November 10 at John F. Kennedy High School.
FIRST LEGO League is an international competition that develops critical skills in science and technology in a super-charged learning atmosphere. Small teams of 9 to 14 year olds design, build, program and test an autonomous LEGO Mindstorms robot along with a project developed as a solution to a real world problem developed with experts.
Both of Will C. Wood Middle School’s robotics teams made excellent showings at the First LEGO League Qualifier held at John F. Kennedy High School on Saturday, November 10.
The Super Spartans and Spartan League placed first and second in the robot performance portion of the tournament. The Super Spartans also placed first in robot design. Both teams are now preparing for the regional championships!
Will C. Wood Middle School is one of 11 SCUSD schools that completed the district’s Welcoming Schools Certification Process last year. The process requires schools to complete six “milestones” related to improving school climate and strengthening community partnerships.
The goal of the initiative is to stimulate partnerships between community organizations and schools, make families feel comfortable and welcome at schools, validate families on their efforts and foster a mutual understanding that families are part of the school’s and district’s decision-making process.
Students from Will C. Wood Middle School traveled to Point Reyes National Seashore last month where many of them experienced both the ocean and campfire s’mores for the very time. The 35 students and their chaperones stayed at the Clem Miller Education Center, a facility that includes five cabins and a large lodge for teaching, eating and hanging out. Kids hiked over 20 miles, learned native fauna and flora, visited a Miwok Village, studied the health of a creek and created a database report. Said one student: “It was a great experience to learn so many things in nature and see tide pools for the first time! I even picked up a jelly fish off of the beach!” Kudos to chaperones Nicole Costanzo, Marni Culy Wolf, Bruce Boyer and parents Sandra Tye and Mr. Thao.
The Will C. Wood Middle School Open House and Multicultural Faire featured costumes, dancing and delicious food. Families enjoyed seeing student work in the cafeteria and the creative door decorating contest boards displayed in the hallways. Performers included professional dancers from Underground Flow, Grupo Folklorico Los Alteños, Kalpulli Xihuacoatl Danza Azteca and student dancers, including the Spartan Breakers and the school’s Hmong Dance Group.