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Ribbon Cutting Celebrated Fitness Center Opening

ph: students gathered in auditorium

Weston Middle School celebrated the opening of its new $100,000 Fitness Center on the morning of Wednesday, September 20. All the students gathered in the Auditorium, along with special community guests and representatives from the National Foundation for Governors' Fitness Councils (NFGFC). Principal Ann Vescio thanked the three students who worked with her to produce the video that was instrumental in the winning of the center. Those students are Josh McDowell, Peyton Sincleir and Bailey Malchow. Vescio said the center is a wonderful addition to the school, entire school district and the two communities of Weston and Athena.

Jake Steinfeld, Chairman of the NFGFC, congratulated the entire school on producing the video, which out of 220 applications was one of three chosen in Oregon. "You guys are really stars. Remember you can do anything in life as long as you have a dream and go for it," Steinfeld said.

The Fitness Center will be used as part of the middle school's P.E. program and for after-school weightlifting classes. Weston Middle School hopes to work with the City of Weston to open the facility in the future to community members.

To view a photo album of the September 20 event, visit the district Facebook page.

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Weston Middle School to Receive $100,000 Fitness Center

Weston Middle School was recently selected by the National Foundation for Governors’ Fitness Councils (NFGFC) Don’t Quit campaign to receive a $100,000 fitness center. The middle school is one of three Oregon schools selected.

The Ribbon Cutting for the Weston Middle School Fitness Center is on Wednesday, September 20 at 9 AM at the school. The public is welcome to attend.

Ann Vescio, principal of Weston Middle School and coordinator of the fitness center for the Athena-Weston School District, said the district and community are very excited to receive the center. “We are so pleased that our school was chosen and that we can benefit for so many years in the future from this opportunity,” Vescio said.

According to Vescio, the fitness center will be used as part of the middle school’s Physical Education program and allow the school to offer an age-appropriate, after-school weight lifting activity for middle school students. In addition, Weston Middle School hopes to work with the City of Weston to open the facility in the future to community members, said Vescio.

Three Weston Middle School students produced a video application that impressed the selection committee, Vescio said.

Plans for the state-of-the-art fitness centers will be unveiled this fall. Each fitness center is financed through public/private partnerships and does not rely on taxpayer dollars or state funding. All public and private elementary and middle schools in Oregon were eligible to apply for the Don’t Quit! campaign.

In a press release from the Oregon Department of Education, Oregon Governor Kate Brown congratulated all three Oregon schools that were selected. “It’s no secret that when healthy eating and exercise are introduced during adolescence, young people continue to make those good decisions throughout their lives. I thank the National Foundation for Governors’ Fitness Councils for helping these three middle schools promote active lifestyles in young Oregonians,” Brown said.

Oregon, Colorado, Louisiana and Maryland were selected to participate in the 2017 NFGFC Don’t Quit! campaign. Since 2012, NFGFC has delivered fitness centers in 18 states and Washington, D.C. The foundation's goal is to place fitness centers in all 50 states. For more information about the NFGFC, www.natgovfit.org.

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September is Attendance Awareness Month

Image: Attend today, Achieve Tomorrow

Did you know that children can suffer academically if they miss 10 percent of the school year? That’s just 18 days or 2 to 3 days a month. And that can add up before you know it. This September Athena-Weston School District is celebrating Attendance Awareness Month with a renewed push to get all kids to school—on time, every day.

Research shows us that absences add up. That’s as true for kindergartners as it is for 12th graders. It’s as true for excused absences as it is for skipping school. We know there will be days when your child will miss school, especially when they’re sick. But we know that nationwide, as many as 7.5 million students miss 10 percent of the school year? That’s 135 million days of missed school – and missed opportunities. And research shows us it also marks the point when students start to fall behind academically because they have missed too many days.

So this September, for Attendance Awareness Month, let’s work together as a community – school and business leaders, parents, students, teachers, doctors, neighbors – to get all kids to school – on time, every day.

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District Focuses on Attendance Awareness in September

iamge: 2017 Attendance Awareness

Help send the message that going to school every day matters for success in school and life. Improving student attendance is an essential, cost-effective but often overlooked strategy for ensuring our students are on-track to learn and succeed. Nationwide, as many as one out of 10 students are chronically absent, meaning they miss 10 percent or more of school days, or nearly a month. Chronic absence is a leading, early warning indicator of academic trouble and later dropout.

The good news is that chronic absence is a problem we can solve. While addressing some attendance barriers—such as health, poor transportation, and unstable housing—can require longer-term strategies, everyone can make a difference by helping student and families understand that going to school every day and avoiding absences whenever possible is critical to realizing their hopes and dreams. Too often, we don’t realize how quickly absences add up: Missing just two days every month can cause a child to fall behind.

Find key messages that everyone can use to help spread the word about this important issue in this Attendance Awareness flyer (PDF)

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Notice Re: Air Quality

Due to air quality conditions from wildfires, all schools in the Athena-Weston School District will have indoor recess and P.E. until further notice. For sports practices and games, those will be decided by the end of each day.

The Umatilla County Public Health Department is a helpful resource for air quality updates. Visit the health department website.

Air Pollution and School Activities/Outdoor Sport Events - Health recommendations for Schools, Coaches, and Event Coordinators for fine particle (smoke) air pollution (PDF)


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