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Kessler Elementary School update

A message to Kessler families:

Dear Parents and Families,

Earlier this week the school district was notified of an issue at Kessler Elementary. The incident occurred on Monday at recess between a para-educator and a student.

After being notified, a school district administrator immediately talked with the employee and a parent of the child. Based on the initial discussions, the district employee has been placed on administrative leave while an investigation is being conducted.

The district expects to complete the investigation sometime next week and is working in cooperation with local law enforcement on the issue.

The safety and security of our students and staff members is a top priority.



Dr. Dan Zorn, Superintendent

Longview Public Schools

2019-12-03T08:37:52-07:00November 27th, 2019|

A message for Kessler Elementary families

A message for Kessler Elementary families:

Dear Parents and Families,

This email is a safety and security update for Kessler families.

The City of Longview has declared a severe weather event for tonight. This First Christian Church, which is across the street from Kessler Elementary, announced they will be operating a homeless shelter tonight through Saturday morning.

The district has contracted with Columbia Security to patrol the grounds around Kessler Elementary in the afternoon from 2:45pm until 5:45pm, then again in the morning from 6:45am until 8:45am, to assure the safety of our students. We are in close contact with Longview Police, and have asked them to increase their presence in the area. Also, the district is working with the ministerial association, who is managing the severe weather shelter, to understand how best to keep our students and staff safe. The church has set up a phone number for residents to report any incidents which may occur. The number is 360-749-8056 extension 123.

The safety of our students and staff members is our top priority. If you have any questions please give me a call.



Noma Hudson, Principal

Kessler Elementary School

Phone: (360) 575-7580

2019-11-27T14:46:05-07:00November 20th, 2019|

Summer Meal Program information

Summer Meals for Kids!

This year the Summer Food Service Program will offer free nutritious meals to all neighborhood children ages 18 years and younger at:

Northlake Elementary, 2210 Olympia Way,  June 17 – August 16, Breakfast 8:30 am – 8:45 am,  Lunch 12:00 pm – 12:15 pm  *No Meals July 1- July 5

Kessler Elementary, 1902 Kessler Blvd., June 17 – July 3, Breakfast 8:30 am – 9:00 am, Lunch 12:00 pm – 12:30 pm,  July 8 – August 16 Breakfast 8:30 am – 8:45 am, Lunch 12:00 pm – 12:15 pm

Olympic Elementary, 1324 30th Ave., June 17 – June 28, Breakfast 8:30 am – 8:45 am, Lunch 12:00 pm – 12:15 pm

Monticello Middle School, 1225 28th Ave., July 8 – July 26, Breakfast 8:30 am – 8:45 am, Lunch 12:00 pm – 12:15 pm

Archie Anderson Park, 22nd Ave & Alabama St., July 8 – Aug 16, Lunch 12:00 pm  – 12:15 pm, Snack 3:30 pm – 3:45 pm  *Monday thru Thursday

Teen Center, 2121 Kessler Blvd., June 17 – Aug 16, Snack 3:30 pm – 3:45 pm  *No Meals July 4- July 5

All meals will meet the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, so you know your child will be eating a healthy meal. Supervised activities will be offered at Northlake and Kessler Elementary Schools, Monticello Middle School, Teen Center, & Archie Anderson Park. For more information, contact City of Longview, Parks & Recreation Department at 360-442-5400. For more information about the program, or to volunteer to help, call the Longview Public School Nutrition office at 360-575-7172.

The Summer Food Service Program is sponsored by The U.S. Department of Agriculture

2019-06-12T11:37:18-07:00June 12th, 2019|

The Kessler Wax Museum

Fourth grade students from Kessler Elementary put on a “Wax Museum” project. The project entails students researching and learning about a well known person from history or modern culture. The kids prepare a short recap of the persons life to share with others. During the Wax Museum show the students stand in different parts of the auditorium like a wax museum figure, and when tapped on the hand by onlookers, recite the information about their chosen character. What an awesome show – great kids!




2019-06-06T15:17:32-07:00June 6th, 2019|

Spotlight – Mrs. Kelly, Kessler Elementary

Spotlight Interview

Where you were born? Northfield, Minnesota.

Where did your parents grow up? My dad was born and raised in Ohio and my mom was born and raised in Nebraska.  My dad was in the military.

Where did you grow up? Wheaton, Illinois.

Is Wheaton, Illinois a suburb of Chicago? Yes, it’s about 24 miles west of Chicago.

Where did you go to middle and high school? I went to Edison Jr. High, in Wheaton and Wheaton Central High School.

What year did you graduate? Wheaton Central High School Tigers, class of 1986.

Did you like high school? Yes, I loved high school. I played sports and was an honor student, so I had a good experience.

What sports did you play? I played softball and was a Varsity cheerleader.

What position did you play in softball? Shortstop most of the time, but I only played one year of it because the rest of the three years I did cheerleading.

What did you plan to do after high school? I wanted to be a lawyer when I was in high school and had a part-time job in a law firm as a bookkeeper. I realized that was not what I wanted to do.

Why did you decide being a lawyer was not for you? Lawyers do more research than they actually work with people.

Did you go enroll in college? Yes, I went to the College at Dupage, in Glen Ellen Illinois and then to Montana State University in Bozeman, MT.

What classes did you take in junior college? I started with criminal justice because being a lawyer was still on my mind.

What made you change your mind about being a lawyer? I had a professor I really liked who had been a defense attorney, a prosecutor and a police officer. He taught law and justice and was able to give us kind of a look each role and I fell in love with being a police officer.

Did you change your career path to law enforcement? Yes, I went to school to become a police officer. I wanted to work outside where what you did was different every day.

What school did you earn your degree from? I graduated with an Associates in Applied Science/Criminal Justice from College of DuPage and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Sociology from Montana State University. I graduated with honors from both.

What took you from the Midwest to Montana? We grew up going to Colorado every summer. My grandpa built a cabin out there and I love the mountains. I was tired of the city and wanted to get away from home.

What did you like about the country? The wide open spaces and the horses. I love the mountains and all the outdoor activities. I always told myself I would go to college out there.

How did you pay for college? I grew up with my mom primarily and we didn’t have the money for college, so I worked full-time and went to college full-time.

What kind of jobs did you do during college? I worked in grocery stores, at a pizza place and at Montana State University. I was also a dispatcher for the campus police.

How did you choose Montana State? I could not afford the Colorado Schools and my girlfriend was going to go to Montana State.

Why was your girlfriend enrolling at Montana State? She was going to go to Montana State because her dad lived out there and so, I thought I would go too.

Was it expensive to pay out of state tuition? I looked at how much college cost and it was actually cheaper to go Montana State than it was to go to Northern Illinois State University.

Was it hard to be away from family and friends? No, I just made all new friends. I really wanted to get away from home (laughs).

What did you earn your degree in? Bachelors of Science in Sociology, with a criminal justice emphasis.

What did you do after college? I did an internship for the King County Sheriff’s Department in Seattle. My dad lived out here and I chose to do an internship out here because I could stay with him.

Where does your dad live? He lives in University Place, WA near Tacoma.

So you lived with your Dad and completed an internship? Yes, I lived with him while I did the internship. I had to work ten 40-hour weeks without pay. I was getting college credit for the internship.

What did you do for money? I also worked as a TSA (Transportation Safety Administration) person while I did the internship. So I got a little bit of extra money.

What did you do after completing the internship? As soon as the internship was over, I started testing for police departments and was offered two positions – one with Kent PD and one with King County Sherriff’s Department. I took the King County Sheriff’s Department job.

How long did you work on patrol? I graduated in the Winter of 1990 from college after the internship and then I was hired on in June of 1991. I worked on patrol for 8 years before I decided to retire to stay home with my children.

What is it like to be on patrol? I loved it. It’s something different every day, you get to go around to help people – obviously some people not so much.

What did you like the most about being a deputy? What I liked most is that it wasn’t the “same ole – same ole” every day. You’re not stuck inside.

What precinct did you patrol from? I worked out of the Federal Way precinct for the first five and a half years. Then I went out to the Maple Valley precinct, where I worked the east hill of Renton and Kent.

Were you ever on a stop or call where you were emotionally touched in some way? Yes, several. I remember a call with an older couple, she ended up passing before him. It was so sad because he loved her so much, you could just see it. He just held on to the bag afterwards when the funeral home was taking her. I wanted to start crying, and was thinking, “Okay, stop crying, I have got to be strong!”

Can you tell us a funny story? Oh, I worked as an undercover prostitute to arrest guys (laughs) for soliciting prostitutes.

What was arresting solicitors like? Well you don’t have to dress up in Federal Way. You can look like your old normal self.

You just throw on a pair of jeans? Yup, jeans and a tank top. Walk around areas like most people do, and you had undercover officers around. You’d go and take them into a room and there is an arrest team in the room. You arrest them in the room and wait until you arrest six guys, then you go get the jail van and load them up and ship them to Seattle.

Was it a little frightening getting into someone else’s car? We didn’t get into the car that was one thing, there are precautions.

How did it work? You walk in front of an area where there is a motel. We got a room for the sting.

Were you scared the first time you went undercover? No, not really. Its funny, the stories you get. One guy was celebrating that his wife having a baby that day and I just say “um.. yeah, interesting.”

It sounds like you loved being a deputy, is that right? I did love it, never thought I’d resign to take care of my kiddos.

Why did you finally resign from your job? I just felt it was something God asked me to do. My husband and I are married, and he never asked me to resign. More and more I was feeling the “tug” that I needed to stay home and raise my kids.

How many kids do you have? We have two. Shane is 24, and Bridget is 21.

Was it hard leaving your job? Yeah, it was tough. I really felt that was my calling.

Being a stay-at-home mother is a lot of work, isn’t it?  It was a hard transition because I was so used to being a deputy and now I was just a mom.  But, it was definitely rewarding and I wouldn’t have given it up. I wouldn’t change it for anything because I have really good kids and I have a really good relationship with my kids.

So the change was tough at the time, but rewarding? Oh absolutely, yeah.

How did you get to Longview? My husband worked for paper mills out of an office in Steilacoom. They sent him to the Longview mill. He was servicing chemicals to mills, Weyerhaeuser, NorPac and Fibre.

Did he commute to Longview?  Yes, he was commuting and I had already resigned from the Sheriff’s Department to stay home. We started looking for houses in Longview and eventually moved down.

What year did you move to Longview? We moved here in 2001.

Did your kids go to school in Longview? They did. Robert Gray, Mt. Solo and Mark Morris.

When did you go back to work? I went back when Bridget was in 1st grade because financially it was tough after I had resigned.

Did you volunteer in the schools? Yes, I was volunteering in my kids’ classes all the time and my girlfriend who worked at Broadway said, “Christine, you could be getting paid for what you are doing right now.”

Did you apply to work for the school district? Yes, I started subbing in the spring of 2005, and by the fall, I got a permanent position at Broadway. I was at Broadway for a year (2005-2006) and went to Robert Gray in 2006-2007. I moved to a secretarial position at Kessler in the Fall of 2007.

What happened next? The next year, Rita who was the main Secretary, went out on a medical leave. When she came back she didn’t want to be full-time, so she asked if I would job share with her.

When did you get back to Kessler? I’ve been back here for five years.

Do you think about going back into law enforcement? No, I love law enforcement, but it doesn’t give you the flexibility of being able to be involved with your kids.

Does your background in law enforcement help you as a school secretary? Yes, I think my background helped me deal with some of the families and situations.

What’s the best thing about your job? I think interacting with the kids, and it is different every day, like police work.

What’s the toughest part about your job? The toughest part is the multi-tasking you have to do when you don’t have an assistant. You’re having to type stuff up for the principal, they’re calling you on the radio because they need something, teachers are calling you on the phone because they need someone to go to the classroom, kids coming into the nurse, and she’s swamped or not there.

So what characteristics do great secretaries have? Being able to multi-task and I think my police work helped me with that. And I think being able to be positive. Doesn’t mean you’re always in a great mood necessarily, but you can fake it (laughs).

What would you say to the community about what it’s like in schools today? Well, I think technology has made it a lot different. Cell phones add difficulty for elementary schools.

Why do cell phones make things difficult? It becomes a problem because you get a lot more stuff that happens outside of school transferred into the school. Stuff happens on social media that gets transferred inside the classroom. Also, the violence in schools has escalated, unfortunately.

What’s your favorite food? (Laughs) I love ice cream.

What’s your favorite ice cream? Either chocolate chip mint or coffee flavored.

Do you like ice cream in a cone or a cup? Cone, a plain cone, or a waffle cone.

What’s your favorite color? That changes over the years, but primarily pink.

What haven’t I asked you that I should have? I have a wonderful husband named Sean and we will have been married for 25 years this June.

What else? I do a lot of volunteer work outside of the schools. I’ve worked for Longview Community Church, with high schools and middle school youth groups for about 15 years.

Do you enjoy being the head secretary at Kessler? I love what I’m doing, where I’m working and the people I’m working with. I love seeing the kids every day.

2019-05-30T10:38:00-07:00May 28th, 2019|

Family Resource Center opens at Monticello

Teachers and support team members across the district are seeing a growing number of kids and families who lack a stable food source and/or housing. To help the kids and families the district opened a Family Resource Center at Monticello Middle School. The resource center gives parents a place to get help and connect with food, housing, mental health or other services. It doesn’t matter which school a child attends – the family resource center is open to help them. The resource center was put together through donations and did not require district funds.

The Daily News wrote a front page story about the resource center that published March 2. This is another example of the district putting extra effort towards helping our kids be successful.

The Family Resource Center is open Monday through Friday from 9 am to 11 am and from 1 pm to 3 pm.


2019-03-08T14:24:07-07:00March 7th, 2019|

Calendar information 2019-2020 school year

Planning for vacation and family celebrations is important. While final details of the next year’s school calendar are not yet finished, several important key dates are set. To help you with planning below are important dates for the 2019-2020 school year. These dates have been finalized and approved by the School Board. (Please note the calendar for Broadway Learning Center is different and parents should check with Broadway for 2019-2020 calendar dates.)

Event Date
First day of school August 28, 2019
Winter holiday December 23, 2019 – January 3, 2020
Spring Break April 6-10, 2020
High school graduation June 6, 2020
Last day of school June 11, 2020

A more detailed 2019-2020 school calendar will be sent to parents and families in the Spring. If you have questions please contact your local school.

2019-01-25T15:05:18-07:00January 25th, 2019|

Capital bond information and input sessions

Longview Public Schools plans to put a capital bond measure to voters later this year. Capital bonds raise funds for school districts to upgrade facilities and build new schools.

To provide citizens information about the bond measure three community input sessions will be held. At the meeting you will get information on the facility upgrades and changes the district’s Facilities Advisory Committee has recommended.

Thursday, January 24 at 6 pm, district administrative offices next to RA Long High School – 2715 Lilac Street.

Wednesday, January 30 at 5 pm, Mark Morris High School.

Tuesday, February 5 at 5 pm, Mint Valley Elementary School.

We hope to see you at one of the community input sessions.

2019-01-25T11:07:08-07:00January 15th, 2019|

Longview teachers have class

We’re proud of our educators and are taking this opportunity to introduce you to two of them, in their own words. They have different interests but share a passion for preparing Longview students for successful futures!

This is a supplement to the Longview Public Schools annual report. Both Gail Wells and Sam Kell are featured in the printed version of the annual report.  

Gail Wells, math teacher, Monticello Middle School.

Gail Wells believes everyone can do math. She works the room and uses technology to gauge how much each student understands, even those who never raise their hands.

Where did you grow up and go to school? I was born in North Dakota and grew up in Federal Way, Washington. I was in the first graduating class at Thomas Jefferson High School in Auburn and went to Western Washington University for a degree in home economics.

How did you get from home economics to math? My passion was food and nutrition, but math is completely entrenched in home economics—measuring food, finance, sewing …

Why do people think math is so hard? Society doesn’t allow people not to be “readers,” but for some reason it’s OK to not be good at math. The mindset should be that “I can do it,” because everyone can.

How long have you been teaching? Twenty-six or 27 years—10 years at St. Helens and 10 years at Robert Gray, with four years as a math coach at Kessler and Robert Gray. Now I’m finishing at Monticello Middle School.

How has teaching math changed? When I was in school, it was, “Here is how you do it. Now copy what I do.” We don’t do that anymore. Instead of just handing students an algorithm or a way to do something, we do a lot of concrete building of understanding before moving to the abstract.

What is the best thing about being a teacher? That look on a student’s face when they “get it”—it’s priceless.

What are some of the keys to being a good teacher? Number one is understanding what the goal is. For me it’s the state standards—I have to know what the students need to know. Also …

  • Making sure the students get the needed feedback so they can self-evaluate.
  • Being ready when they walk through the door—knowing where you’re going and how to get there, not just turning the page on the book and teaching them what’s on the next page.
  • Adjusting if the students are not getting it.

The big thing here at Monticello is I have an amazing teaching partner, Phil Hartley. We collaborate, do assessments, reflect on student work, talk about the goals and are transparent about our work. Today we are going to share kids and do some interventions, so we can get them where they need to be right now.

To be a good teacher, it’s everything, including a great administration that supports you. It’s not just one thing.

What advice do you have for new teachers? Don’t think you already know everything. I’ve been teaching for 26 or 27 years, and every year I learn something new. Every year I get better. So listen to your colleagues, listen to your students, and be willing to adapt. Be a part of the team.

What’s something people might not know about you? I’ve been making gingerbread houses for 30 years. I have two sons who were in the armed service—one still is. I send gingerbread houses to Afghanistan and Bosnia. My daughter taught English in South Korea, so I sent one to her.

What would you tell the community about what life is like in school? When those kids come up the stairs and say hi to me, it’s wonderful. It’s the best place in the world to work.

What are students like today? Students are considerate of each other. They want to do their best—they want to succeed.

Anything else? This is my last year of teaching. I want to have more time with my family and visit my grandchildren—I have six. My career as a teacher has been an amazing journey. I feel deeply blessed by every student I’ve ever had.



Sam Kell, industrial arts teacher, Mark Morris High School

Sam Kell practices what he teaches. At school, he introduces pre-apprenticeship students (pg. 3) to technical skills like carpentry. In his spare time, he works on his own fixer-upper house.

Where did you grow up and go to school? I spent my childhood in Kelso and Longview, and went to Catlin Elementary, Columbia Heights Elementary, Cascade Middle School and Mark Morris High School. I spent one year at Lower Columbia College and finished my final three years at Central Washington University in the industrial arts program.

Why did you get into teaching? I always liked working with people and going through the learning process. My mom is a pre-school teacher.

Who introduced you to industrial arts? My dad is a self-employed residential contractor. He flips houses and owns rentals. I started working with my dad when I was 10 or 11 years old. I was just a helping hand with sheetrock and roofs. In school I excelled in shop classes and was happiest in project-based learning.

What’s the best part about being a teacher? Building relationships with the students. Teaching is all about the relationships and the growth.

What are the students of today like? They are hard-working and task driven. People may assume students never get off their smartphone or think, “It’s not like when we were in school.” But I still see the drive in students to get things done. Sometimes it takes different teaching styles to motivate different students.

What is one thing you want to teach every student? One thing I’d like to teach every student is lifelong learning and self-evaluation. To be able to reflect on the job you just completed is a very important skill no matter what you do. I learned a long time ago, “reflect and do better.”

What would you like people to know about school? School is about learning, and failure is okay.

 Do you have hobbies? I love hunting, fishing and hiking, and I share season tickets to the Trailblazers. I’ve been a Blazers fan since elementary school. I watched Michael Jordan and Clyde Drexler play. I also own a house in Kelso—it’s a fixer upper.

 Anything else? It’s important for young people in our community to recognize their own skills and recognize what Longview has to offer. Longview is a great place.

2018-11-07T15:28:49-07:00November 6th, 2018|

Teaching the whole child

Education is evolving and methods for discipline are changing too.

Some of you may remember a teacher telling you, “don’t do that.” Well no more.

Now instead of telling students what not to do, the focus is helping kids learn how to manage their own behavior better – it’s called social emotional learning and conscious discipline.

Educators are now focused on “connectedness”, creating relationships with students and helping them learn how to manage their emotions and behavior.

Using the concepts of social emotional learning and conscious discipline kids will learn more, get better grades and stay in class.

Kessler Elementary Librarian and Writing Instructor Brenda Winters says conscious discipline has changed her classes dramatically.

“It did not take long for me to notice a huge difference in class,” Winters said.

She added, “The biggest piece for me of conscious discipline that has made the difference is developing tools to build relationships with kids, to connect with them. There’s more buy-in on their part in terms of learning when they know you care about them.”

Conscious discipline is a life skill that’s helping kids learn by improving the learning atmosphere in class. Students are acting out less and causing fewer distractions, student bad behavior “referrals” are down by about half compared to previous years.

Kessler Principal Noma Hudson has taken the social emotional learning training twice and works diligently to maintain its principles throughout each school day.

“Our kids need consistency, and they need relationships,” Hudson said.

2018-10-12T13:44:30-07:00October 11th, 2018|