Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

By Garth Meyer
Gazette Reporter 

First WASL visit will focus on math to improve test scores


October 17, 2019

Superintendent Jerry Pugh opened the Colfax School board meeting Monday night saying the Washington State Leadership Academy's first site visit to Colfax will focus on math.

“The first day of really mining data,” Pugh said.

He later talked about how the intention is to improve Colfax math test scores in statewide assessment data.

Jennings Elementary Principal Travis Howell took the board through results for “Smarter Balance” testing grades 3-6 last year.

“We continue to be well above the state in most areas,” he said.

David Gibb, principal of Colfax Junior-Senior High School, showed similar results.

The numbers also showed small dips in English/Language Arts and math, but the marks are still above average.

To a question from board member Brian Becker, Pugh added comments about WASL and the math concentration.

“I'm thrilled to be part of that process with them,” said Pugh.

The Colfax district staff joined WSLA this year, which Pugh has described as like getting a coach.

WSLA representatives will visit Colfax 15 or so times during the year while Colfax staff members will go to the Spokane Educational Service District office for four or five days for workshops.

Also Monday, the board accepted two donations to the Colfax School District from Schweitzer Engineering, for a total of $3,000, from an employee-focused program.

“I'd like to publicly thank them,” Pugh said. “Certainly we put it to good use within the district.”

ASB student representative Cotton Booker followed with his report, delivering updates on student activities, including big homecoming wins for football and volleyball over Liberty.

“Volleyball Thursday night, that was the most energy I've seen in the Colfax gym in a long time,” Booker said. ”It was wild in there. Student section was nuts.”

He noted the homecoming dance went well and most stayed to the end. He and other ASB officers will visit Colfax Main Street at the end of the week to judge “Paint the Town Pink” entries in the breast cancer awareness campaign.

In further business Monday, Pugh introduced the board to a new Washington State School Directors Association policy: A staff assistance program, which would focus on the “holistic employee” regarding access to help for emotional/mental health issues.

“We go to a dentist every six months for our oral health, and its normal, but for some reason we have this stigma about taking care of our mental health,” Pugh said.

Hiring approvals by the board included Morgan Willson, assistant coach for cross-country; Kylonna Krob, kitchen assistant; Lexi Graphos, kitchen assistant, and volunteer Megan Dorman, high school volleyball.

Pugh also noted Colfax Schools Foundation raised $1,100 at its first chili sale Oct. 11 before the homecoming football game.

Pugh also reported that school construction continues at the junior-senior high school for phases one and two, including asbestos abatement – marked by a windsock out the windows.

New classroom furniture has arrived in Spokane.


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