Education Insider

Anacortes School District News & Events - 1/7/22

Welcome to the district's bi-monthly newsletter! At the bottom of this newsletter, you'll find a link to the Community Bulletin Board.
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Welcome back!

I hope you had a wonderful holiday season. Happy New Year!


We do not intend for students to return to remote learning. We want our students to remain in school. We continue to follow the Skagit County Public Health guidance.


As you know, COVID cases continue to rise in Skagit County. Although the Omicron variant is weaker (symptomatically) than past variants, it is highly contagious. Medical officials share that we should see a spike in cases at the end of January based upon pre-holiday COVID data. Districts across the region are experiencing insufficient stocks of rapid antigen tests, and the lack of supplies may not keep up with the student and staff population who may be infected. According to the DOH guidance, staff and students may need to quarantine for extended periods.


There may be situations when we cancel athletics and extracurricular activities due to staff shortages, lack of available testing, or high numbers of students in quarantine. We are doing everything possible to avoid these situations.


A lack of personnel and substitutes would be the only circumstances that would cause us to close school or move to remote learning for a short time.


We are continuing to revise our coverage plans to avoid closing schools. Our Human Resources team has successfully recruited substitutes for classified and certificated positions. We are also hiring permanent substitutes at each school to cover classes and supervision when needed. Please refer to our website for job openings and consider applying - we need all hands on deck for all roles in our district. We can keep our students in school if we all work together as a community. Please apply for our open positions!


Thank you for your continued support. I am grateful to all of you.


Sincerely,


Justin

Law Enforcement Appreciation Day - Jan 9

Join us in celebrating Law Enforcement Appreciation Day - Sunday, January 9!


We are grateful for our strong partnerships with the Anacortes Police Department, the Skagit County Sheriff's Office, and all the law enforcement members within our community.


We would also like to thank our School Resource Officer, Travis Dotzauer! The SRO position rotates every five years. Officer Dotzauer stayed on a little longer, through COVID, but will be transitioning back to patrol at the end of this school year. Officer Jordan Kellington will take over as SRO for the 2022-23 school year. You'll learn more about Officer Kellington in our upcoming issue of the Anacortes Pride. Stay tuned!

Impact Aid - Surveys Open

Impact Aid is a federal funding program that helps make up for lost tax revenue to local districts due to non-taxable federal property within our boundaries. Eligible families include those with a parent/guardian who is active duty, or civilians who work on certain federal property, including tribal lands.

Impact Aid FAQ
Letter from Naval Commander

Please fill out a survey form, even if you don't think you qualify:


Impact Aid Survey Form - Forms are open now in Skyward Family Access

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Please refer to our Strategic Plan and the actions we are taking this school year to reach our goals.
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Celebrate School Board Recognition Month

Join us in celebrating School Board Recognition Month!


January provides an opportunity to celebrate and thank these hard-working individuals for all that they do on behalf of our students, staff, and schools.


The board will be officially recognized at the January 20th evening board meeting. We invite you to attend the meeting to express your appreciation, or submit notes of appreciation to the board: information@asd103.org.


Current board members are: Jennie Beltramini, Matt Cutter, Diana Farnsworth, Marilyn Hanesworth, and Meredith McIlmoyle. Student board representatives are: Chloe Chambers, Cassius Tossavainen, Annaly Ellis, and Brady Graham.


More information about the School Board can be found on our website: https://board.asd103.org/home


Questions? Contact Torhil Ramsay, (360) 503-1211 or tramsay@asd103.org

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The Anacortes School Board approved two resolutions on November 18, 2021, placing two ballot measures before voters for the February 8, 2022 election.


  • Both measures are replacement levies, taking the place of expiring levies approved by voters in 2018.

  • The two combined, estimated rate of $1.28 per $1,000 valuation is 32 cents lower than previously approved rates in 2018.

  • Both levies fund services for students that are not provided by Washington State.


More information can be found on our website: http://www.asd103.org/2022_election

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COVID Guidance for Schools

While the CDC has recently changed their quarantine guidance, all Washington schools must continue to follow the State Department of Health guidelines, which remain the same as they have been this school year. If and when guidance changes from our local health authorities, we will update everyone.


K-12 Schools need to continue to follow state and local health department guidelines, which currently remain the same as they have been all school year:


We recently hired Dianne Szerlong as our new COVID Coordinator. Dianne will help set up the district's Test-to-Stay program. The Test-to-Stay program is a protocol from WA DOH guidance to schools. It provides on-site rapid testing for unvaccinated students who are exposed to COVID at school. As long as they continue to test negative they continue to stay in class during their modified quarantine periods.


You will receive more information once the Test-to-Stay program is up and running in the near future. We look forward to implementing the test-to-stay program to help keep students in school safely.


Contact Dianne: dszerlong@asd103.org, or (360) 503-1217


Our COVID dashboard of positive cases reported among our staff and students is posted here: https://sites.google.com/asd103.org/anacorteslearns/covid-dashboard


Thank you for continuing to follow health and safety protocols.

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Signs of Suicide Prevention Program Training

When: January 13, 2022, 6-7 p.m.

Where: Anacortes High School Commons

Who: Geared to middle & high school families; open to all community members


The Anacortes School District will be providing a National, Evidence Based, Suicide Prevention training for all Middle and High School Students beginning the end of January and continuing through February of this year. We have chosen the curriculum called Signs of Suicide that is created through Screening For Mental Health, Inc.


The SOS Signs of Suicide Prevention Program is the only youth suicide prevention program that has demonstrated an improvement in students' knowledge and adaptive attitudes about suicide risk and depression, as well as a reduction in actual suicide attempts. SOS is a universal, school-based depression awareness and suicide prevention program designed for middle-school and high-school students.


Both the middle and high school programs provide age-appropriate materials for students. There are also materials for staff, families, and community members that outline the program objectives and prevention efforts. There will be a parent and community information session on January 13th, 2022 in the Anacortes High School Commons from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. This will be facilitated by an outside trainer. Please see the attached flier for more information.

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Updated guidance for school athletics

We greatly value our student athletes and their ability to continue competing while we continue to face challenges posed by the current pandemic. Based on new guidance from the Skagit County Health Department, we will be adhering to stricter masking standards at all athletic events and postponing concessions until further notice. ASD has not been doing concessions this year.


We are also required to provide COVID testing for all athletes, coaches, trainers, and supporting personnel in high-risk indoor sports activities (currently basketball, wrestling, and cheer), regardless of vaccination status. We also must increase testing frequency to 3 times weekly. Among those screening tests, at least one must occur no sooner than the day before the competition, ideally and whenever possible, the day of the event.


Our new COVID coordinator will also help implement a "test-to-stay" program to help keep more of our students in classrooms when they have deemed a close contact with someone who tested positive.


We all want to keep our student athletes on the fields, courts, and lanes.


Resources:

Skagit County Health Department

WIAA Covid Guidance - 12/17/21 Update


Questions? Contact Erik Titus, Athletics & Activities Director, (360) 503-1305 or etitus@asd103.org

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We continue to recruit for paras, subs in all positions, and coaches. We are also going to hire permanent subs that will be able to rotate buildings and positions, and fill in as needed. Please refer to our HR page for openings: https://anacortesjobs.hrmplus.net/JobOpenings.aspx
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  • Jan 14: No School; Staff Professional Development Day
  • Jan 17: No School: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  • Jan 20: School Board Meeting


An updated school calendar is on our website. May 31, which was reserved for a snow day, will now be a regular school day.

Click the link below to find items submitted for our community bulletin board: