Fall Newsletter

October 2020

Almira School District

310 S. 3rd Street

P O Box 217

Almira, WA 99103

509-639-2414 fax: 509-639-2620


Introducing our newest ASB members

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Lindi Robertson

The reason why Lindi wanted to be in ASB is because she loves to help people. Last year she was a representative on the ASB for her 5th grade class, and she loved it. She loves being a part of spreading joy and kindness to people. Not just in school, but everywhere she goes!

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Adyn Peha

Adyn Peha is in the 7th grade and was elected to be this year's ASB treasurer. This is his first experience with ASB and he is excited to learn more about it, and how he can help the students in the school.

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Luke Goetz

Hello fellow Warriors! My name is Luke Goetz. I am in 7th grade and I am proud to be your ASB Vice President this year. I am really looking forward to the rest of this school year.
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Toby Schmauder

My name is Toby Schmauder, I am in the 8th grade. My favorite subject is math. I like playing baseball and my favorite thing to do is fishing. I'm excited to be the ASB president this year!

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6th grade rocks MobyMax!

Even though sixth grade is still distance learning, we still enjoy getting to see each other every day during our Morning Meeting and whole group or small group meets during the day. We have learned a lot about how to use MobyMax. We are into our third lessons for our Science unit: The diversity of Life on Earth and Social Studies unit: Introduction to the Geography of the Earth. We have also been working in several different ELA modules. We are looking forward to being back in the building starting October 12 for the Rocket Raccoon group and all of us back October 19 with the Groot group joining us. Submitted by Mrs. Sarah Sample

New Faces

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Welcome Faith Shores!

Hi, my name is Faith Shores. I was born and raised in the Central Valley of California. Growing up surrounded by orchards and Dairy farms, I have a deep appreciation for Agriculture. As a kid, I was highly involved in 4-H and FFA. I particularly loved sewing and showing sheep. The Summer of 2019, my daughters and I moved to Wilbur and we are thrilled to be a part of such a great community. I received my Bachelors degree in 2008, moving on to receive a California teaching credential in 2009, then my Masters degree in 2018. This is my 11th year teaching, and I look forward to many years as an Almira Warrior!

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Music looks a little different!

To say elementary music looks different this year is an understatement! However, we are having fun thinking outside the box for our music instruction! We enjoy the outside weather while we explore music form through movement with scarves, a giant parachute and ribbons. Our older classes have begun an exciting new music program with movement, rhythm, exercise balls, and drumsticks! When weather doesn't permit us to be outside we remain socially distanced in the classroom while exploring music composition and instruments we can make using the things in our classrooms. Hands on exploration and movement has everyone dancing to the beat and having fun! Submitted by Mrs. Kristi Okamoto

2nd grade happenings.

Second grade has started the year off with a lot of fun and learning! We are working hard to become strong fluent readers. We enjoy working on our weekly Spelling words and playing Word Eye Spy is our favorite classroom game. In Social Studies we are learning about the United States and what it means to be a Citizen. The changing weather and beginning of Fall, inspired us to create kites. Students learned quickly the importance of wind for flying our kites. Students ran on a calm day, determined to make their kites fly.

In Science, we have been learning tons about how our World is made of Living and Nonliving things. We had fun on a Nature Walk with the 1st grade class, exploring living things on the schoolyard.

Math has been all about exploring different math tools and strategies. The students are becoming skilled in solving addition and subtraction problems in a wide variety of ways. Submitted by Ms Faith Shores

Kindergarteners shaving??!!

Kindergarten has been hard at work as they go through ABC Bootcamp learning the sounds and letters of the alphabet. They have also been enjoying learning their sight words with fun chants, songs, and activities. In these pictures they are practicing their letters and sight words by using shaving cream! They had an absolute blast! We will definitely be doing it again! Submitted by Ms Julianna Hughes

1st graders getting schooled!

The first grade class has had a blast kicking off the 2020-2021 with getting to know a new teacher as well as a new student. In early September, we spent time honoring September 11th by learning about the historical day and creating a craft to take home. In math they have loved to connect what they know with the things they enjoy, such as robots. Robot math included us all talking like robots, drawing robots, and then creating an addition number sentence that represents their robots. In science we have been learning about light, sound, and heat energy. The kids really enjoyed furthering their learning with an experiment about shadows and light sources. Submitted by Mrs. Megan Victorino

Middle School Distance Learning 2.0

The ACH Middle School is utilizing a “one stop shop” portal page for all the directions and materials needed for successful distance learning this year. Students and parents will find the Kindergarten through Eighth grade portals on the Almira school web page.

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Listed are the required assignments for each subject for the current week with specific due dates listed. Pay special attention to when the Google Meets are scheduled. To the right are links to Skyward for grades and attendance, Google Classroom for live meets, extra resources, PE assignments and MobyMax.

MobyMax is the online curriculum that we are using for ELA, Math, Social Studies and Science. This will allow us to seamlessly deliver content to students both remotely and at school depending on our situation.

MobyMax allows easy access to parents to track their student’s progress using the parent access feature. Remember parents, just sign in using your students log in credentials on the parent tab.
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Teachers are conducting interactive lessons and presentations using Google Classroom and providing extra resources to assist with student learning as needed through Google Classroom.

Parents are also able to access their student(s) MobyMax account to view how long they have actually spent working in each subject, and the assignments they have completed. Submitted by Mr. Sean Matthewson and Mrs. Kristi Okamoto

From the Superintendent's desk

Dear Parent/Guardians;

Thank you so much for a great start to a different kind of school year!

We are so fortunate to have a staff that carries pride into the walls of our school building. We have a strong sense of purpose and feel fortunate to work alongside you as parents in helping all of our students achieve their greatest potential. While this is not how I imagined my last year at Almira School District to be, I am very blessed to end my career here with the staff and students we have in our building. 14 years is a long time to invest in one place, but I am very grateful for the opportunity to meet amazing people and build relationships with our Warrior families and kids. Leaving the district will be bitter sweet, but knowing I am leaving it in a better financial and emotional state than when I arrived, is a goal I set and achieved. Almira School is healthier than it has ever been! The success of our opening comes from the culture and reflection of great leadership within our building! The 2020 ALMIRA staff are an amazing, strong, and cohesive TEAM! I feel so lucky to be part of a team of dedicated and caring individuals that are committed to the academic, social, and emotional growth of all of the children we serve. We strive to create a safe and supportive environment that encourages students to take risks and develop a love of learning. We offer opportunities for enrichment inside and outside of the classroom in order to promote higher-level thinking and more opportunities for student engagement.

Whether you are new to our school community or a veteran Warrior parent, we encourage you to get involved. This could be in the form of attending our events (when restrictions are lifted), reading newsletters, helping with homework, or signing up to help with additional school activities (when restrictions are lifted)! We greatly appreciate the tremendous support we receive from our WARRIOR community.

The welcoming culture of our TEAM has created a rich environment where kids come first! We look forward to forming a partnership with you and working together to ensure success for your children.

Kind regards,

Shauna L Schmerer

Principal/Superintendent/Special Education Director/ Teacher

Annual Notifications

Published as required by law to inform the community

This information is printed and distributed annually to all parents of the Almira District to inform them of their rights and responsibilities. Complete policies and procedures are available in the district office.

Notification of Rights Under Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) for Elementary and Secondary Institutions

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords parents and students over 18 years of age (“eligible students”) certain rights with respect to the students’ education records. They are:

1. The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the District receives a request for access. Parents or eligible students should submit to the school principal a written request that identifies the record(s) they wish to inspect. The principal will make arrangements for access and notify the parent or eligible student of the time and place where the records may be inspected.

2. The right to request the amendment of the student’s educational records that the parent or eligible student believes are inaccurate or misleading. Parents or eligible students may ask the Almira School District to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write the school principal, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the district decides not to amend the record as requested by the parent or eligible student, the district will notify the parent or eligible student of the decision and advise them of their right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the parent or eligible student when notified of the right to a hearing.

3. The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. One exception which permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the district as an administrator, supervisor, instructor, or support staff member (including health or medical staff and law enforcement unit personnel); a person serving on the school board; a person or company with whom the district has contracted to perform a special task (such as an attorney, auditor, medical consultant, or therapist); or a parent or student serving on an official committee such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks.

A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.

The District will forward school records, without parent consent, to schools in another district to which a student transfers. This is to facilitate the prompt placement of the student in the new school. The district will also forward, without consent, transcripts, or other information requested by high school students, to colleges and other educational institutions to which the students are applying.

Not all confidential records are maintained by the district indefinitely. If a parent/guardian, or student 18 years of age or older, wishes to obtain a copy of the student’s confidential file, a written request must be made to the principal.

4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the District to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is: Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, DE 20202-4605


The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) replaced No Child Left Behind (NCLB) on December 10, 2015. It is the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). ESSA became fully operational in school year 2017–18. ESSA places an emphasis on parents’ right to know about the professional qualifications of their child’s classroom teachers. Parents have the right to request the following information about the instructional staff working with their child: · Has the teacher met state certification for the grades and subjects that he or she is teaching? · Is the teacher working with an emergency or conditional certificate? · What was the baccalaureate degree major of the teacher and any other graduate certification or degree held? · What are the qualifications of the paraeducators working with the child? Requests for information should be sent to their respective district superintendent.

Highly Capable program: In order to develop the abilities of each Highly Capable Program student, the district will offer a highly capable program which provides kindergarten through twelfth grade students selected for the program access to basic education program that accelerates learning and enhances instruction. The framework for such programs will encompass, but not be limited to, the following objectives:

A. Expansion of academic attainments and intellectual skills;

B. Stimulation of intellectual curiosity, independence and responsibility;

C. Development of a positive attitude toward self and others; and

D. Development of originality and creativity.

The board will annually approve the district’s highly capable plan including: the number of students the district expects to serve by grade level; the district’s plan to identify students; a description of the highly capable program goals; a description of the services the program will offer; an instructional program description; a description of ongoing professional development for highly capable program and general education staff; program evaluation; a fiscal report; and assurances that the district is legally compliant. The superintendent will establish procedures consistent with state guidelines for nomination, assessment and selection of children of demonstrated achievement or potential ability in terms of general intellectual ability, academic aptitude and creative or productive thinking.

Childfind: The Almira District provide many programs for children residing in our school district at no cost to the parent/guardian. The schools offer special programs such as speech therapy, physical and occupational therapy, Title I/LAP and Special Educational academic programs, and preschool classes to special needs children aged birth to 21. Developmental screening and/or comprehensive assessments for children who are suspected of having a disability, which could adversely affect their educational development, are available at no cost to you for a free and appropriate public education. These services are available for persons between the ages of birth through 21 years of age with suspected disabilities including highly mobile children with disabilities (such as migrant and homeless children). Children suspected of having a disability and in need of special education even though they are advancing from grade to grade, who are residing within the boundaries of the Local Education Authority (LEA) and not currently receiving special education services, are identified, located, and evaluated. If you would like to make an appointment for a free, developmental screening and/or comprehensive assessment for your child, please call: Almira Schools: 639-2414.

Title I: Title I funds have been used by the Almira School District to provide qualified students a remedial reading and math program. Students receive additional assistance from paraprofessionals in the classroom.

Learning Assistance Program (LAP): The LAP grant has been used to provide one-to-one and small group help to children that need additional assistance.

Home Based Instruction: A parent who intends to cause his/her child or children to receive home-based instruction in lieu of attendance or enrollment in a public school, approved private school or an extension program of an approved school, must file an annual declaration of intent. Forms are available in the district office.

McKInney-Vento and Child Find: The McKinney-Vento Act defines homeless children as "individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence." The act provides examples of children who would fall under this definition:

Children and youth sharing housing due to loss of housing, economic hardship or a similar reason

Children and youth living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camp grounds due to lack of alternative accommodations

Children and youth living in emergency or transitional shelters

Children and youth abandoned in hospitals

Children and youth whose primary nighttime residence is not ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation (e.g. park benches, etc)

Children and youth living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations

Migratory children and youth living in any of the above situations

If you become aware of students who may qualify for services under the McKinney-Vento Act, or are in need of services for students in your family, please contact the principal of your school with this information.
ChildFind is the process of identifying all persons from birth to age 21 who may be educationally handicapped. In the early years it is especially important to identify those children who may require special attention in some area. Identifying a concern early can lessen the effects of the problem for the child in later years. The Almira School District is responsible for evaluating and identifying children who may require special education services, and for providing those services to district children age birth to 21. If you feel that you have a student who may require special attention in some area please contact the Almira School District.

Special Education: Any application and any required policies, procedures, evaluations, plans, and reports will be made readily available to parents and other members of the general public through the district special education and superintendent office (509-639-2414)

Medication at School: State law requires that orders from a licensed health care provider for medication and/or treatments and a nursing care plan be in place before a student with a life-threatening health condition attends school (RCW 28.A.210). A health condition is considered life-threatening if that condition will put the student in danger of death during the school day if a medication or treatment order is not in place. Policy and Procedure 3416 allows school personnel to administer oral medication during school hours only under limited conditions which include a written request by a parent/guardian and a physician or dentist. Under normal circumstances prescribed and over-the-counter medication should be dispensed before and/or after school hours under supervision of the parent or guardian. If a student must receive prescribed or over-the-counter oral or topical medication, eye drops, ear drops or nasal spray (“medications”) from an authorized staff member, the parent must submit a written authorization accompanied by a written request from a licensed health professional prescribing within the scope or his or her prescriptive authority. If the medication will be administered for more than fifteen consecutive days, the health professional must also provide written, current and unexpired instructions for the administration of the medication. Non-prescription medications must be sent to school in the original container. Prescription medications must be in a container appropriately labeled by a physician, dentist, or pharmacist. All medications must be accompanied by the Medication Request Form, which may be obtained from school office personnel. If a student needs to carry and self administer their own medication, the school office manager or school nurse must be contacted for more information about appropriate and necessary procedures. Policy and Procedure 3413 require that all students submit records of immunization in order to register for school. Parents/guardians may claim a medical, philosophical, religious or personal exemption from any or all immunizations for their children. Please contact the school office manager with questions about immunization requirements.

Pest Control Policy (Policy 6895): The Almira School District has policy #6895 and procedure #6895P (see below) in place outlining Pesticide Notification, Posting and Record Keeping. The District strives to manage pests by the most economical and beneficial means, and with the least possible hazard to people, property, and the environment. The district may apply pesticides in the following areas; playfield, classroom, food service areas and buses, during the course of the year. The District will post notices, in the form of signs, in the school office, on bulletin boards and perimeter fences 48 hours prior to application. Parents and staff who have been placed on the registry through written request will be notified 48 hours before applications in writing and via the webpage www.almirasd.org . In the event of an emergency application the registry of parents/guardians and employees will be given written notice as soon as possible after the application. Parents/guardians and employees may obtain a record of pesticide usage by contacting the Superintendent.

Procedure 6895P: Pesticide Notification, Posting and Record Keeping Requirements

The District shall comply with all legal requirements for record keeping regarding the application of pesticides to school grounds or school facilities. This includes creation of an annual summary report of pesticide usage and compliance with state department of agriculture rules regarding record keeping. Such records will be available on request by interested persons under the state Public Records Act and other laws. Procedure 6895 shall be printed and distributed annually in employee handbooks and student handbooks to employees, students and parents at the start of the school year or when an employee begins work or a student enrolls .At least 48 hours before the application of a pesticide to school facilities or school grounds, the District shall notify parents and staff who had a written request on file of the planned application in writing, including the heading, “Notice: Pesticide Application.” This notice shall be posted in a prominent place in the building office in addition to being provided to parents and staff. This pre-notification is not required if the school grounds or facilities will not be occupied by students for two days following the application of the pesticide. If the application is not made within 48 hours of the notification, another notification shall be made prior to the application. This pre-notification is not required in the case of any emergency application of pesticides to a school facility, such as an application to control stinging pests, but full notification shall be made as soon as possible after the application. Following the application of a pesticide to school facilities (structures and vehicles) a sign shall be posted at the location of the application. The notice shall be at least 8.5 x 11 inches in size, shall include the heading, “Notice: Pesticide Application,” and shall state the product name; date, time and specific location of the application; the pest for which the application was made; and a contact name and telephone number. The notice shall remain posted for 24 hours, or longer if required by the label of the pesticide. Following the application of a pesticide to school grounds notice shall be posted at the location of the application and at each primary point of entry to the grounds. The notice shall be at least 4 x 5 inches in size and state that the landscape recently has been treated with a pesticide and provide a contact name and telephone number. The notice shall remain posted for 24 hours, or longer if required by the label of the pesticide. These notices are not required for the application of antimicrobial pesticides (substances used to sanitize or disinfect for microbial pests: viruses, bacteria, algae and protozoa). These notices are not required for the placement of insect or rodent bait that are not accessible to children.

Dangerous Weapons Policy (Policy 4210): It is a violation of state law for any person to carry a firearm or dangerous weapon on school premises, school-provided transportation or areas of other facilities being used exclusively for school activities. The law outlines exceptions in certain cases, i.e., security activities, firearm safety lecture/course, law enforcement officers, etc. School officials shall notify the parents or guardian of the student and the appropriate law enforcement agency of known or suspected violations of this policy. Students who violate this policy shall be subject to discipline, including a one-year expulsion for a violation involving a firearm. However, the superintendent may modify the one-year expulsion on a case-by-case basis.

DRUG AND ALCOHOL FREE SCHOOL AND WORK PLACE (Policies 3240, 5201, 5281): There is zero tolerance. Students can be suspended and or expelled. Employees will be subject to discipline action and possible discharge.

Use of Tobacco on School Property (Policy 4215): Any use of tobacco products by staff, students, visitors, and community members shall be prohibited on school district property. Possession or distribution of tobacco products by minors is prohibited. This shall include all district buildings, grounds and district-owned vehicles.

Harassment, Intimidation, Bullying (Policy 3207)

The District is committed to a safe and civil educational environment for all students, employees, volunteers and patrons, free from harassment, intimidation or bullying. “Harassment, intimidation or bullying” means any intentional written, verbal, or physical act, including but not limited to one shown to be motivated by any characteristic in RCW 9A.36.080(3), (race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation or mental or physical disability), or other distinguishing characteristics, when the intentional written, verbal, or physical act:

· Physically harms a student or damages the student’s property; or

· Has the effect of substantially interfering with a student’s education; or

· Is so severe, persistent, or pervasive that it creates an intimidating or threatening educational environment; or

· Has the effect of substantially disrupting the orderly operation of the school.

Harassment, intimidation or bullying can take many forms including, but not limited to, slurs, rumors, jokes, innuendoes, demeaning comments, drawings, cartoons, pranks, gestures, physical attacks, threats or other written, oral, physical or electronically transmitted messages or images.

This policy is not intended to prohibit expression of religious, philosophical, or political views, provided that the expression does not substantially disrupt the educational environment. Many behaviors that do not rise to the level of harassment, intimidation or bullying may still be prohibited by other district policies or building, classroom or program rules. This policy is a component of the district’s responsibility to create and maintain a safe, civil, respectful and inclusive learning community and shall be implemented in conjunction with comprehensive training of staff and volunteers. The district will provide students with strategies aimed at pre3venting harassment, intimidation and bullying. In its efforts to train students, the district will seek partnerships with families, law enforcement and other community agencies. Interventions are designed to remediate the impact on the targeted student(s) and others impacted by the violation, to change the behavior of the perpetrator, and to restore a positive school climate. The district will consider the frequency of incidents, developmental age of the student, and severity of the conduct in determining intervention strategies. Interventions will range from counseling, correcting behavior and discipline, to law enforcement referrals. Retaliation is prohibited and will result in appropriate discipline. It is a violation of this policy to threaten or harm someone for reporting harassment, intimidation, or bullying. It is also a violation of district policy to knowingly report false allegations of harassment, intimidation, and bullying. Students or employees will not be disciplined for making a report in good faith. However, persons found to knowingly report or corroborate false allegations will be subject to appropriate discipline. Please direct all informal or formal complaints to Shauna Schmerer Superintendent/Principal at 509-639-2414.

Asbestos: In the past, asbestos was used extensively in building materials because it its insulating, sound absorbing, and fire retarding capabilities. Virtually any building constructed before the late 1970s contained some asbestos. Intact and undisturbed asbestos materials generally do not pose a health risk. Asbestos materials, however, can become hazardous when, due to damage or deterioration over time, they release fibers. If the fibers are inhaled, they can lead to health problems, such as cancer and asbestosis. In 1986, Congress passed the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHEARA) which requires schools to be inspected to identify any asbestos containing building materials. Suspected asbestos-containing building materials were located, sampled (or assumed) and rated according to condition and potential hazard. The law further requires an asbestos management plan to be in place by July 1989. Almira School District developed a plan, as required, which has been continually updated. The plan has several ongoing requirements: publish a notification on management plan availability and the status of asbestos activities; educate and train its employees about asbestos and how to deal with it; notify short-term or temporary workers on the locations of the asbestos containing building materials; post warning labels in routine maintenance areas where asbestos was previously identified or assumed; follow set plans and procedures designed to minimize the disturbance of asbestos containing building materials; and survey the condition of these materials every six month to assure that they remain in good condition. It is the intention of Almira School District to comply with all federal and state regulations controlling asbestos and to take whatever steps are necessary to ensure student and employees a healthy and safe environment in which to learn and work. You are welcome to review a copy of the asbestos management plan in school district administrative office or administrative office of the school during regular business hours. Justin Manning is our designed asbestos program coordinator, and all inquires regarding the asbestos plan and asbestos-related issues should be directed to him at 509-639-2414.

Annual Measurable Objectives (AMO)

AMOs are unique yearly targets in reading and mathematics for each subgroup, school and district, as described in Washington’s Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Flexibility Request. AMOs replace the state uniform bar used under Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) as prescribed in ESEA Explanation of these steps and consequences to the school and district can be found on the OSPI website, along with school lists: www.k12.wa.us/ESEA/AMO.aspx

Equal Opportunity Employer: The Almira School District complies with federal and staff rules and regulations by not discriminating in any programs or activities on the basis of sex, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, veteran or military status, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal. This holds true for all district employment and opportunities. Inquiries regarding compliance and/or grievance procedures may be directed to the Title IX officer: Shauna Schmerer Superintendent/Principal P O Box 214, Almira, WA 99103 509-639-2414.

To ensure fairness and consistency, the district has adopted procedures found in board policy 5010 and 5010P to be used in the district’s relationship with its staff with regard to employment problems covered by state and federal equal employment opportunity laws and/or this affirmative action program. No staff member’s status with the district shall be adversely affected in any way because the staff member utilized these procedures.

School Report Card: progress of all Almira/Coulee-Hartline district schools can be found on the OSPI Report Card website found at: http://reportcard.ospi.k12.wa.us