Woodland School District’s use of small group instruction and specialized summer sessions help ensure student learning continues and improves district-wide

Small group learning sessions ensure students get the dedicated instruction they need to improve. Photo courtesy Woodland School District
Small group learning sessions ensure students get the dedicated instruction they need to improve. Photo courtesy Woodland School District

Woodland was the first district to return to in-person learning following the pandemic lockdown

The staff of Woodland Public Schools works hard to ensure Woodland’s students have the opportunities they need to recover learning that may have been lost due to the constraints of the pandemic including remote learning.

Woodland’s schools were the first in the area to return students to in-person learning following the pandemic lockdown. 

“Our district was the first in the area to return elementary students to full-week in-person learning and the first to return all grades K-12 to in-person learning on a hybrid schedule,” said Superintendent Michael Green. “Those incredible milestones result from the collaborative culture and can-do spirit of our amazing staff who do everything they can to ensure the most effective student learning takes place in our schools.”

Many students continue to struggle to catch up as a result of the effects of remote learning during the pandemic. As a result, Woodland’s schools have taken efforts to provide additional learning for students who need help.

Woodland's elementary schools were the first in the region to return to full-time in-person learning. Photo courtesy Woodland School District
Woodland’s elementary schools were the first in the region to return to full-time in-person learning. Photo courtesy Woodland School District

Targeted small-group learning for those in need

At the elementary level, teachers have developed targeted small-group workshops in both reading and math to provide a boost for students in need. At Woodland Middle School, students significantly below their grade’s reading level have been invited to take part in special tutoring sessions. 

Teachers at Woodland High School provide additional tutoring in small groups as well as support through the school’s successful Positive Academic Support System (PASS) which provides struggling students with dedicated mentors to help them stay on top of their studies.

Summer school offers high school students the chance to recover lost credits

At the elementary level, teachers have developed targeted small-group workshops in both reading and math to provide a boost for students in need. A summer school program was introduced with students selected based on academic progress. 

“We began inviting all current kindergarten students who needed additional support with reading and math skills,” explained Malinda Huddleston, Teaching & Learning Specialist for Woodland Public Schools. Then, we invited first grade students with a similar profile as well as students with learning needs who did not meet their goals this year.”

Woodland Public Schools was the first to return to in-person learning for all grades K-12. Photo courtesy Woodland School District
Woodland Public Schools was the first to return to in-person learning for all grades K-12. Photo courtesy Woodland School District

The summer session is running from June 21 through July 8 from 8:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m., equivalent to a half-day of school, five days a week. Students will be taught in small groups of five students. 

“We will use a direct instruction approach with an emphasis on skill mastery,” said Huddleston. “Reading will focus on phonemic awareness and decoding, and the math instruction will focus on foundation skills such as number sense.”

By using smaller groups, students will have multiple opportunities to practice new skills in an environment that provides immediate feedback, intervention assistance, and offers the opportunity to celebrate success. “Target instruction benefits students who need additional support because the skills being taught are being customized to each individual students’ weakness areas,” said Huddleston.

In order to engage students further, students will take part in fun activities including snack time, recess, and group read-alouds. “Students will also set goals, receive feedback on their progress, and celebrate their success,” said Huddleston. “Learning should be fun, and that can be accomplished when students set goals, work hard to achieve them, and then get to celebrate their success with their classmates.”

At Woodland Middle School, students significantly below their grade’s reading level have been invited to take part in special tutoring sessions. Teachers at Woodland High School provide additional tutoring in small groups as well as support through the school’s successful Positive Academic Support System (PASS) which provides struggling students with dedicated mentors to help them stay on top of their studies.

Special help for English Language Learners (ELL)

Woodland also takes special care to address specific learning challenges presented to particular groups such as English Language Learners (ELL), students whose native language isn’t English who were particularly negatively affected by remote learning. 

“Many of our Spanish-speaking families did not have experience working with Chromebooks and often did not have access to quality broadband internet access,” explained Malinda Huddleston, Teaching & Learning Specialist for Woodland Public Schools. “By targeting these students in need, we can provide them with the additional intervention they need to catch up with their grade-level peers.”

Incoming 5th through 7th grade ELL students at Woodland Middle School will be invited to attend a summer school session which will provide extra support in English, Science, and Math. Like the high school summer session, transportation and meals, including breakfast and lunch, will be provided.

Upgraded heating and cooling systems will provide healthier learning

Scientific research has demonstrated that one of the most effective methods for decreasing the spread of COVID and other airborne diseases is to improve airflow and air quality. In order to accomplish this, improvements had to be made to each school’s Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems.

At Woodland Public Schools, HVAC improvements will be implemented at every single school building to ensure that clean, filtered air circulates quickly throughout classrooms in order to prevent the spread of any disease which can pass in an aerosol form. “The COVID-19 pandemic certainly demonstrated the importance of clean hygiene on every level from the thorough deep cleaning of all buildings to every individual following proper hand-washing protocols,” said Green. “Our facilities staff have taken great steps to ensure our HVAC systems work effectively to keep our staff and students healthy in every learning environment.”

Woodland’s Summer Meal Program returns for 2022

Woodland Public Schools will once again provide meals to any child 18 years old or younger throughout summer starting Tuesday, June 21, the day after the last day of school, and running Monday to Friday through Fri., August 19, the last weekday before the new school year.

While there will be no options for meal pickups this year, children can eat breakfast and lunch free-of-charge Monday through Friday at the Woodland Middle School cafeteria located at 755 Park Street, Woodland, WA 98674. Breakfast will be served from 8:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and lunch will be served from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The program will be closed on July 4 and 5 for the Independence Day holiday.

Learn more about how Woodland Public Schools educates students and serves the community, by visiting the dedicated news webpage at www.woodlandschools.org/news/wsd

Information provided by Woodland School District.


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