Cascade Superintendent announces retirement

Despite students and staff having Monday. Nov. 12 off to commemorate Veteran's Day, the school board was business as usual and conducted their first November school board meeting. The meeting brought an encouraging presentation of Alpine Lakes Elementary flourishing student body but also a melancholy announcement from the face of Cascade School District, Bill Motsenbocker.
    To kick off the meeting, Alpine Lakes Elementary principal, Kenny Renner-Singer, presented some statistics and praises over his young students to both the board and the audience. The information and data from the previous year were extracted from Osborn Elementary due to Alpine Lakes being a fresh asset to the district for this 2018-2019 school year. However, it was the same group of students studied. He talked both about the new building and also data on education development for the students.
    "One of the great things about the decision about the school being at that Pine Street location is that we've been able to, a number of times, cross-age learning experiences for kids," said Renner-Singer. "It was a neat experience."
    For one particular project, the younger students had the opportunity to intermingle with the nearby 7th graders. The 7th grade team had all science, math, reading and social studies combine to do a project together that the preteens later had to present their learning over the three weeks to the Alpine Lakes students. It was a collision of various learning experiences for the different age groups and was a chance for the students to rub shoulders with their younger and older counterparts.
    Along with that, the special education teachers are just a hop, skip and a jump away from the preschool. So they've been able to slingshot back and forth between the schools to help out, according to Renner-Singer.
    "Those things aren't possible, even if it's only two more blocks, just being able down the soccer field path has been great," said Renner-Singer.
    After Renner-Singer also presented the contrast and comparison between the testing scores of English/Language Arts, Math and Science over the last three years. There seemed to be very little variance in terms of performance for English/Language Arts. While consistency is notable, there was also progress made for a large portion of the elementary students as well.
    "One thing exciting thing to share, is our current 5th graders, had enormous gains. The 34 out of the 97 moved towards standards, only seven moved backwards. This was a group that was extremely large and so they were overloaded. So from kindergarten to second grade, probably the most important years to be in small classes, they were in large classes," said Renner-Singer. "This group is kind of steadily improved as they've gone through, so this was exciting to see their huge jump between 3rd grade performance and 4th grade."
    The data was evidence that the Alpine Lakes Elementary students are only improving as they continue their growth over the course of their years in the Cascade School District. Renner-Singer, a self proclaimed competitive principal, compared the schools to other schools in the state with the same population of students. It was apparent by the flat line in the sample versus the constant increase of Cascade School District students meeting state standards, that things are literally looking up for Cascade students for state testing.
    "Our schools are moving in the direction of becoming an AVID elementary school. Teaching those skills that for kids to be successful at this level, but then beyond, getting them college ready with organization skills and academic skills that can transfer all the way up through," said Renner-Singer.
    He informed the board that they have begun the steps, such as a staff training, to ferment the professional development to prepare teachers for teaching these skills. Lastly, he shared that when English Language Learning students pass the state test and consequently exit the ELL program, the students have a solely Spanish speaking celebration.
    "It's not an easy test and it's a really fun event," said Renner-Singer. "It's the only event that's entirely done in Spanish. The only word I understand is Renner-Singer."  
    Overlapping, there will be a possible fixture in the Cascade School District is responsive to possible cultural clashes for staff and students. Policy 3241 is under Classroom Management, Discipline and Corrective Action and recently have added culturally responsive action under this. Motsenbocker noted that there is a strong Hispanic speaking population and this policy would be a great asset to be implemented within the district.
    After sharing the endless good news regarding to Alpine Lakes, the board then had to approve a more melancholy resignation and retirement of Superintendent Bill Motsenbocker.
    "The work we've accomplished together has been joyful and productive," said an excerpt from Motsenbocker's resignation letter. "My career has spanned over 30 years and five school districts, but none have compared to my years here at Cascade."
    After the acknowledgement of Motsenbocker's impressive list of accomplishments for the Cascade School District in the five year window of his employment here, the board addressed the upcoming timeline. Motsenbocker's retirement would be effective June 30, 2019 and the interviews for his replacement would began officially in March.
    Other various business attended to during the meeting:
- The approval of Policy 1400: Meeting Conduct, Order of Business and Quorum.
- The approval of Policy and Procedure 2190: Highly Capable
- The approval of Policy and Procedure 3413: Student Immunization and Life-Threatening Health Conditions).
- Discussion of Beaver Valley improvement plan, such as working on attendance issues.

User menu

NCW Media Newspapers