Eagle Sightings December

Caspar van Haalen, Principal

Dear Eagle Families,

The day after Thanksgiving was Native American Heritage Day. “American Indian culture emphasizes harmony with nature, endurance of suffering, respect and non-interference toward others, a strong belief that man is inherently good and should be respected for his decisions. Such values make individuals and families in difficulty very reluctant to seek help” (Duran, 2002). For Native Americans, these values and their consequences are historical. And now more than ever, many more of us find ourselves confronted with the reluctance to seek help some eight months into the resurging COVID-19 pandemic.

We all have our values and belief systems. I am convinced that among the commonalities are the need for support as well as the capacity to lend support. Our island community is one of caring. Please do not hesitate to reach out to the school and to community organizations for help.

While many of you and us were saddened by the decision to suspend in-person learning, we are relieved that the COVID-19 count on our island seems relatively contained. Following health department guidelines and any state mandates, we will do what is deemed necessary to ensure our learning community’s health and safety to the maximum extent possible.

To keep our positive, welcoming school culture alive, students are encouraged to participate not only in engaging academic Zoom meetings, but also in our Spirit Days, student council meetings, and the upcoming Winter assembly (details to follow). Our teachers put together interactive meetings and activities to cater to whole-group as well as individual students’ needs to sustain our culture of belonging and positive self-worth.

In the area of academics, our teaching staff carefully track student progress through rigorous teaching, timely intervention, and assessments that measure learning relative to the state standards. They use the web-based schoolwide programs Fast ForWord and IXL Math and Reading, to name but a few. Your student should be able to show you how to access these programs and how she/he uses them to challenge her/himself through practice and new learning. Please contact your child's teacher if you have any questions or concerns regarding your child’s progress.

As the principal, I encourage you to attend any of the virtual meetings you will receive a standing invitation for. It is of great importance to me to hear from you and engage in conversation about topics that matter to you. Of course, if you would like to stop by and see me in person, that is absolutely possible. Just call the school to schedule an appointment.

Our PTO still meets on a monthly basis. Please consider joining this awesome group of parents and school staff. Together, we can make our school an even more special place!

Lastly, thank you for supporting your student by picking up school supplies and packets. We realize that you are asked to do a lot besides parenting. We are eternally grateful to you for being part-time teachers as well. Your flexibility is greatly appreciated!

If you’d like to know (more) about how to accommodate your child through this period of ongoing anxiety and uncertainty, please don’t hesitate to contact Terra Holmgren, our school counselor. She shows up in every classroom to teach the Kelso’s Choices and Second Step programs. The social-emotional wellbeing of our students, of you, and of our staff is paramount. If we don’t take care of those needs, we cannot engage in successful learning and teaching.

On behalf of the school staff, I wish you a warm December filled with hope and love for one another.

In educational partnership,

Caspar van Haalen


If your child has to miss a day of class please remember to excuse the absence by emailing jillpeacock@sjisd.org.

Thank you!

Zoom with Mr. van Haalen

Join FHES principal over Zoom for a chat or a listen.

  • Thursday December 10th 12:00 - 1:00p
  • Thursday December 17th 5:00 - 6:00p

Bring your questions, concerns, gratitude, and thoughts.

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Yes, meals are currently free, however...

we still need your Free & Reduced price applications, the benefits are many for both families and schools.

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open tech hours 10:00 - 1:00 room 12 at the Middle School

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We are collecting King's receipts! Thank you for saving your receipts and supporting our school!

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