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Student Success

New year

posted Aug 18, 2014, 8:46 AM by Wm. Finch

This year will have many new types of learning, a-ha! moments and assignments that spark your interest.  There will be old friends, new friends, classes to love, posters and projects.  It's going to be a wonderful year!

Open House / Talent Show

posted May 7, 2014, 12:37 PM by Wm. Finch

Come out on Thursday, May 8th to see our latest display of student success

There will be tables setup in the school hallways displaying student work from this school year. We have some very smart and talented students! Stop by and check out all of the great pieces of work they have done!

After everyone has been given time to look at all of our student work samples, we will be having our first annual Talent Show!
The show will be emceed by one of our most outgoing students, Kilian Asbury. The show will feature students with all sorts of fun and impressive talents!

*pictures will be posted on the website

Look at us!!!

posted Feb 26, 2014, 12:33 PM by Wm Finch

We have some pretty awesome students at Wm. Finch Charter School (duh!)
Here are a few of them!!!!!

Click here to check out Dominic!

Click here to check out Kilian!

Woohoo!!!!! Keep up the great work Pioneers!!!

Student Writing Sample #6

posted Dec 18, 2013, 2:29 PM by Wm Finch

We have our newest submission of student work from one of Ms. Jefferson's high school students, Johnathan Bostrom. Just a warning, it's a controversial topic...how is the word "almond" really supposed to be pronounced?! 

Almond or Almond?



America was founded by people from many different countries, people who all

had different accents of the same language of English. As a result, America became known as the “melting pot” of the world. So, with all of the different dialects of the same language being spoken, what is the correct way to pronounce a simple word like almond? When examining this issue, three factors emerge: historical roots, geographical differences and correct grammar. How do these factors weigh in on the issue?


Historically, the word “almond” was pronounced with a soft “a”.  This is based

off of its French origin, which pronounced it: “almande”, also with a soft “a”.  As the word was transferred to other languages, such as English, it simply dropped the “e”, and otherwise remained the same. At some point, however, as the word was translated to American-English, it also dropped the “l”. Although this change did occur, how widespread was it? Was it just a local change?  


As is quite obvious, America has different zones, with foundations rooted in

America’s expansion period. Geographical boundaries that separate these zones make it certain that language variations occur, specifically in the pronunciation of almond. If one considers just these facts, the conclusion might be drawn that there is no correct way to pronounce almond, that it just depends on what part of the country you live in. Although this sounds like a tempting hypothesis, is there any other evidence to consider?


One more thing comes to mind when considering this issue, grammar. Is there a

correct way to pronounce almond grammatically? Yes. Using basic rules of the English language, one can deuce that pronouncing the “al” in the word almond as you would the word: “all” is the right way to do it. There are no two ways about it grammar is grammar.


Now that the truth has been clearly established, one more thing must be

cleared up. Contrary to the belief that almond was historically pronounced without the “l”, and therefore should continue to be, America has its own identity, separate from the influence of other countries. If Americans want to pronounce a word differently, they are very free to do so. And the way we pronounce almond is the way we’re supposed to. Almond is pronounced ALmond.



Student Writing Sample #5

posted Dec 10, 2013, 2:42 PM by Wm Finch   [ updated Dec 10, 2013, 2:43 PM ]

We have a sample from one of our outstanding middle school students! Lexi, a student of Mrs. Morgan, has kindly shared her fun story with us this month.
Please Enjoy!

3 Little Finned Pigs and the 2 big mean cats!!!

By Lexi Pearson


            There once was a story long, long ago about 3 little pigs and a big bad wolf, the big bad wolf tried to huff and to puff and blow their house down, but they were smarter than he ever imagined. So this story I am about to tell takes a bit of a twist, for it is no longer about 3 pigs, but 3 lion head goldfish and 2 big old cats. This story is not made up however; it’s very, very true. Now I am going to share it with you, there is no huffing and certainly not puffing, but a fun little story of 3 fantailed fish.


             This story starts with a trip to Wal-Mart for toilet paper, laundry soap and back to school gear. My Mother, my brother, my father and me all heading in with great cheer. As always I had to stop to look at the fish because they were so very near.  Along with me I took my little brother to peer, when he spotted the adorable swimming 3. Off into the aisle we searched for Mommy, to ask if she and father would come with us to see these 3.  To our amazement they quickly agreed, so we headed to show them all 3.  We approached the tank and leaned down to see what we fell in love with at a quarter past 3. Could it be that mother and father would allow them to be our new friends those ferocious 3 that swam around all crazy indeed.


             We headed home, my mother, my father, my brother and me. We had 3 new friends and a new tank too, these 3 swimming marvels would live within our home.  We brought them in and set up the tank, they began to swim around sometime near eight.  Our cats had not even noticed we were home let alone that these 3 had moved in as well, oh no, this is great. These 3 little fish swam in a pattern, round and round they went as if nothing mattered. They would eat a little, then they ate a lot, these 3 had the ability to make you keep feeding and feeding them a lot and a lot. Suddenly the 2 cats realized something amiss and ventured from there lazy slumber to see what was this.


           Calle was first, the younger of the 2, to jump up and see just what they needed to do. Tule was next, his curiosity he could not cure as he jumped up to see what was new and near. Tule cross-eyed as can be, he saw 6, but there was only 3.  What is this we see, they looked to one another could this be fresh food for one another? My little brother clapped hands to scare them away, but the curiosity that would kill the cat, kicked into high gear. His clapping did nothing more than cause them to reposition and bring the new 3 a little more near.  Nose to nose our cats and our new fish, the cats seeing dinner the 3 little fish waiting for theirs.


              The 3 little pigs as we lovingly refer, swam around and around. They searched for dinner, it had however been a mere 5 minutes not realizing that Calle and Tule were wanting the same however, they thought sushi, why not?-- that isn’t a shame. The cats tapped at the glass, the 3 swam away around and around as if to say, “too bad what a shame, you will never get us, the water keeps you away”.  The cats were perplexed, confused and in a daze, as they wondered if they would ever get in.  Calle discovered a possible way in, as she nudged the top and saw one part slip in. Tule looked on in amazement, not sure if it was true due to seeing everything just a little crazy. The 3 swam to the front assuming it had to be feeding time not realizing that they were dinner that night, for Calle and Tule.


              I heard a clatter and a boom, as I ran down the hall into my brother’s bedroom; the lid on the tank was pushed to one side. Calle and Tule making a run to go hide. I don’t think they intended for things to go this way.  As I yelled behind them, “what did you do?!”  I looked to make sure the 3 were in fact intact.  And swimming to the front from the back, they looked at me as if to say. “We made it we made it, now just give me and me and me a pellet or 3”.  Boy, this was a lot for only the first day, I gave them their pellets and I was done for the day.

Student Writing Sample #4

posted Nov 7, 2013, 10:07 AM by Wm Finch

We have a new example of student success! 
One of Ms. Jefferson's students, Hannah Houtrouw has written a wonderful book report on the book "Fission." Thank you to Hannah for sharing, please enjoy:

-Fission Book Report-

-by Hannah Houtrouw-


            Fission was written by Tom Weston, and copyrighted in 2011. It is a biography about the life of Lise Meitner, a relatively little known female Jewish Austrian physicist in the early 1900s. It is more than an ordinary biography, however, because it gives you deep insight into the scientist "cliques" in Vienna and Berlin of that era. Taking you on a journey through the personal lives of Dr. Meitner and her colleagues, such as Albert Einstein, Niels Bohr, and Max Planck, this is a very touching and emotional story.

            Lise Meitner was born to a Jewish Austrian family in Vienna in the late 1800s. Her passion from early on was physics, but, as was custom for that time, it was not proper and accepted for a woman to study the sciences and have a career. Because of this, she received much opposition, even a little from her family. Meitner was determined, however, and did not give up easily.

            First studying at the Institute of Physics at the Imperial University of Vienna, Ludwig Boltzmann was her professor, and she hoped to become his assistant some day. Just as this hope was rising, Boltzmann commited suicide, wrenching Lise's dream away from her. As luck would have it, though, she happened to be friends with Niels Bohr, who knew Emma and Grete Planck, the flamboyant twin daughters of Max Planck. She then became aquainted with them, and they told Lise to ask their father for a position as assistant. Lise was too nervous to do so, but they finally pushed her into it with their playful begging. Max Planck said he would not be able to take Meitner on as an assistant, because "women and physics don't mix," as was the common belief at the time. The twins finally convinced him, however, and this is how Lise Meitner came to be an assistant to Max Planck at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute in Berlin, Germany.

            After a short amount of time, she even had her own private workspace where she helped Otto Hahn, a fellow scientist, with projects and experiments. This workspace was an old carpenter's workshop in the basement, the "only" place available. In reality, she was not allowed anything better because she was a woman, technically only a "guest" at the university. The prejudice continued her whole life, especially intensifying around the time of World War II. This time it was not because she was a woman; it was because she was a Jew. Dr. Meitner did not consider herself a Jew, however. Her family was Protestant, which they had become to better fit in with Viennese society. Ethnically she was a Jew, though, and for this reason had to flee the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute because of the rising hostility against Semitic people. She fled just in time, before the Nazis took complete power and attempted to destroy the Jewish race in Germany.

            Many of her friends, such as Einstein, were also Jewish and fled around the same time she did. The university was literally emptied of its talent, because many of its most prominent professors and students were Jewish. Meanwhile, the ethnically German Max Planck had given up his place as professor at the university in Berlin of his own choosing. This occurred after he asked Hitler if there might be a special allowance made to let Einstein, Meitner, and others stay at the university, regardless of ethnicity. Hitler became mad with rage at this suggestion, and refused. Planck then said he would also leave the university because he had no desire to continue his work without his best assistants. The few Germans that were left were not able to continue the work in as efficient a manner as formerly, and the Institute did not make much progress, much to the irritation of Hitler.  

            First fleeing to Denmark by invitation of Niels Bohr, via the Netherlands, Lise Meitner had reached the refugee phase of her life. Shortly after, she fled to Sweden where she continued her work in Stockholm. It was in a small village in Sweden where Meitner discovered the secret of fission, which was later used to create the atom bomb, much to her dismay. She is mainly famous for this particular discovery. Meanwhile, Niels Bohr also had to flee his native Copenhagen because he was Jewish on his mother's side. He disappeared to England, and then was transferred to the United States where he helped with the project of the atom bomb. Albert Einstein also took up a new home in Princeton, N.J., U.S.A.

            After the war was over, Lise Meitner was invited to the U.S. to receive several awards for her contribution to the sciences, and was named as "Woman of the Year." She moved to England shortly after, residing there until the end of her life in 1968. Although she never received the Nobel Prize, an element has been named after her, the Meitnerium.

            Dr. Lise Meitner was one of the most determined physicists ever, who fought to overcome obstacles no matter how large. She never thought too highly of herself, maintaining a humble disposition throughout her whole life. For this reason, she rose up to become a well-respected physicist. Also a pacifist, she was disappointed that her discovery of fission led to the atom bomb. Her desire was that scientists in the future would use atomic energy for peaceful purposes. For these reasons, she will not be forgotten. On closing, I would like to add that I feel that my report is too petty to truely sum up Dr. Lise Meitner's inspiring life.

Student Writing Sample #3

posted Nov 1, 2013, 2:12 PM by Wm. Finch

Please enjoy our latest example of student success. Below is an essay from Mrs. Michael's 9th grader Cody Faver:

My Trip to Oregon

            We left on our Oregon trip on a Tuesday. When I say we, I mean my whole family, my mom, dad and my three brothers. I was stuck in the back seat with my little brothers. They were noisy, messy, always fighting, and just plain annoying.    

            Our first stop was a city called Corvallis. We were excited because there was a Cabela’s. Cabela’s is a sportsman’s paradise. My dad bought a Duck Commander Double Threat duck call. He used the duck call in the car until we were deaf.  It drove me crazy.

            The next day we headed to the coast and stayed in a town called Florence. Our hotel was a dump. We all decided we wanted to go to the beach. We didn’t plan on getting wet, but the water was irresistible. After we were wet and cold, we went back to the “roach motel” to clean up.

            Thursday, we went to the Oregon State University Aquarium in Newport. I liked the fish in the aquarium. There were fish of all sorts of colors, sizes and types.  It was fun watching them.  Then we headed to a place called Happy Camp Hideaway in northern Oregon.

            At the resort I met up with my cousins, aunts, and uncles. The resort was really nice. My favorite part was playing in the waves with my uncles and dad. The waves were huge. We got caught in a riptide. I couldn’t swim back to shore. I got nervous. My dad told me to swim sideways along the shoreline until I got out of the riptide.

            We stayed at the resort for three days. It was fun hanging out with my cousins that I hadn’t seen for a long time. When the three days were over, we drove straight home. I had fun, but was really glad to be home too.

Student Writing Sample #2

posted Oct 8, 2013, 8:41 AM by Wm. Finch

Here is our latest example of student success. Below is a persuasive essay from one of Ms. Jefferson's high school students, Killian Asbury. 
Please keep in mind that this is a persuasive essay that was researched and written in the view point of the student. The essay does not reflect the feelings or beliefs of Wm. Finch Charter School, and we are not trying to impose any ideas on students, parents, or anyone else who may be reading our website. 
With that in mind, please enjoy Killian's essay, and thank you Killian for sharing!

Killian Asbury

English 11

 Mrs. Jefferson

Persuasive Essay

The Alienated Inalienable

            Abortion is a commonly discussed topic and has probably written about immeasurable times.  The topic comes up in politics, religion, school, and just about any place you could think of. And yet again, this is the topic in which I am writing about. My point of view on this topic is very simple and not complex in the least. I do not think abortion is right. I feel a zygote at one day or thirty weeks is the same, and that is a human.

            I feel that a couple brilliant minds would agree with me.  If we could bring the great philosopher, John Locke, to 2013  and ask him about abortion, I believe he would  side with ‘pro-life’. John Locke said about marriage and children “Adam and Eve, and after them all parents were, by the law of nature, under an obligation to preserve, nourish and educate the children, they had begotten"(Second Treatise, Chapter 6). So, I feel Locke would also believe that a zygote has the right to birth. In my opinion, a zygote once formed is a human life, and is to be respected.   Pro-choice seems to fall perfectly under John Locke’s definition of a tyrant. Locke said “Tyranny is the exercise of power beyond right, which nobody can have a right to" (Second Treatise, Chapter 18). This description to me seems to fit all too perfectly.

            Thomas Jefferson, another extraordinarily brilliant person, I feel would side with me and the pro-life stance.  One of Thomas Jefferson’s most famous quotes supports my statement perfectly. He stated, “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” I think Jefferson would classify abortion as nothing other than murder of an innocent and defenseless person. Jefferson said that everyone has the right of life, but, abortion robs people of this every day.

            Two words that are confused all too often are agency and freedom. Every man and woman alike have agency, the power to choose and act, but, likewise not everyone has freedom, which is the power to choose and act without restraint. So, freedom is governed by laws and limitations, but, we have the agency to choose if we obey these laws. Now by means of agency and freedom, people can legally abort human lives in the United States of America, but, by doing this they are robbing others of their agency and freedom, and by these means, murder has been legalized. I believe if our Founding Fathers could look at America, they would be somewhat disgusted. Looking at and/or thinking about the abortions of human lives is repulsive to every sense. For me, to think women take part in this willingly, is selfish, narcissistic, and just plan inhumane.

            In conclusion, I think abortion is unconstitutional, inhumane, and immoral. If people would just stop and really think about what they were doing, which is robbing the life, happiness, agency, and freedoms, that the person, may experience in their life, then they would more than likely change their mind.  

We have our first student writing sample!

posted Sep 12, 2013, 2:11 PM by Wm. Finch   [ updated Sep 12, 2013, 2:12 PM ]

Please enjoy the following poem, written by Summer Diamond, a high school student. To download a copy of the poem, see attachment at the bottom. 

"Buttons on the Road"
by Summer Diamond

Fingers typing all over the phone,
In the flow of traffic, never alone.
A swerve in your lane, a tap on the brake,
The parents of a child, who will never wake.

A look at a phone, for a simple hello,
From the grasp of direction, your hands have let go.
As the car crumbles, life flashes you by,
Imagining your family, the tears you will cry.

In stones of sorrow and ravaging guilt,
Another life killed, by a steering wheels tilt.
A date with the court for a life taken,
Your world from your feet is utterly shaken.

Someone's baby is now dead,
All because you tilted your head. 

Monthly Student Writing Samples

posted Aug 6, 2013, 8:16 PM by Wm. Finch

Through this page, we the teachers and staff of Wm. Finch hope to show you examples of how our students are successful. Those examples will mainly be in the form of student writing samples. As an independent study school, our students don't have many opportunities to share their writing, and other work, with many people other than their teacher. We would love to give all students an opportunity to show off their talents, and an opportunity for us to show off what talented students we have! Please check back monthly to see what talented and successful Wm. Finch student we are showcasing. 

Any student wishing to have his/her writing shared on the website should talk to their Independent Study teacher. 

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