Superintendent's Update

March 2019 Edition

Note from the Superintendent

Good afternoon,

While I have appreciated the beauty of the snow and icicles on the trees and houses in Ellensburg, I am glad that Spring is just around the corner! I am so excited about the life changing work that is happening for our students in Ellensburg and am thankful to be here serving alongside you.

Excellence in Ellensburg

A huge thank you to our amazing transportation department for safely transporting our students to and from school during the snowy month of February. We currently have 32 bus drivers with a combined total of 349 years of bus driving experience. On average, we transport 1,775 students to and from school every day in a school district that encompasses 544 square miles. When we include extra-curricular trips and summer school programs, our drivers traveled over 340,000 miles in the 2017-2018 school year.

Our three mechanics provide maintenance and repairs to our fleet of 38 buses, 15 motor pool/maintenance vehicles and trailers, five tractors, snow plows, mower decks, and the two school emergency generators at EHS and MMS, respectively.

We greatly appreciate the expertise and commitment of all members of the ESD transportation department.

Newly Adopted BOE Ends!

I. Foundations for Academic and “Future Ready” Skills

Interim Assessments: Thank you for all of the efforts that supported the implementation of the district-wide interim assessments. We appreciate the opportunities that this data provides to building-level professional learning communities to look at these results and use them to inform future instruction.

Washington State Leadership Academy (WSLA): Administrators from all buildings, along with coordinators, directors and administrators from the central office have been meeting regularly as participants in this academy. We are looking at data and working together across our ESD system to see how we could best leverage the work that takes place within our schools’ professional learning communities. This work includes accelerating the learning for all students and especially for our students who have Individual Education Plans (IEPs) and our English as a Second Language Learners. This collaborative work will support closing achievement/opportunity gaps for our students who are not proficient in the WA State Standards.

Professional Development for New Elementary Resources in Math and Literacy:

Thank you for everybody's district-wide efforts to best implement the new Fountas and Pinnell and Eureka math curriculum. Also, a huge shout out to the instructional coordinators and elementary staff who were responsible for creating and hosting classroom learning labs at Valley View Elementary. These professional learning opportunities supported teachers in implementing guided reading and balanced literacy workshop practices. This approach also provided opportunities for teachers to spend a few days with their colleagues to observe each other teach and learn from each other’s expertise.

II. Successful Citizenship in an Ever Changing World: Citizenship and Post-Secondary Preparedness

Problem/Project based Learning: We are excited about the work that is already happening in different classrooms regarding this approach. I would love to visit your classroom when you are implementing this type of learning with students, so please send me an email at when you are planning this type of opportunity. I look forward to learning from you and your students’ experiences.

Citizenship: Kudos to Lincoln Elementary students who recently visited Hearthstone to brighten up the day for elderly community members who reside there..

Post-Secondary Preparedness: Thank you to the EHS Career and Technical Education team for their commitment to developing career pathways. Drafts of potential career pathway opportunities for students have been recently constructed and may be available for students to use, as early as next year.

III. Connections: To peers, staff, and the school/ESD community

Restorative Practices and Community Circles: We are excitedly moving forward with implementing the community circles approach in all schools across the district. The widespread use of community circles in ESD classrooms will help to establish an inclusive culture. This approach could also be used to help students problem solve and resolve conflicts as members of restorative circles or conversations.

Importance of Student Voice, “Lunch with the Superintendent”: Twice this year, I have met with a mixed group of students from different grade levels at EHS and have asked them to describe what they have liked about their experiences in ESD and what they have considered as challenges. Overwhelmingly, students have complimented the caring approach of their teachers and liked the variety of different classes that are offered within our system. Challenges include that they would like to have more one-on-one or small group interactions with their teachers. Both times when I have met with students, they have also mentioned that they think we should do a reboot on helping students understand the purpose of the ESD App “Stop It” and how to use this important application. As you are aware, this App is a place where students may anonymously share information with administrators, if they see instances of bullying or are concerned about the actions of their peers (ex. extreme depression or thoughts about suicide). I know that a lot of work has been done to advertise this App, and we will continue to look for new ways to get the word out to students about how and when to use it.

It is a privilege to serve as your superintendent, and I am learning so much from the collective expertise of our ESD family. I appreciate each of you and all that you do for our students.


Jinger Haberer, ESD Superintendent