Superintendent's Update

May 2020

School Closures Updates

Dear Staff and Parents,


I hope that you had a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend!


I recently had the awesome privilege of participating in the Lincoln Bull Pups Parade. Cheering, as our students and parents drove by, gave me a sense of joy and connection. On the other hand, I felt a sense of utter sadness as I was staring at a camera in an empty gym, instead of seeing the expectant faces of ESD seniors when delivering my farewell to the 2020 graduates. What a difficult year we have faced together! At the end of my speech, I intentionally reminded myself of how choosing gratitude during challenging times helps me to be more resilient. I appreciate the importance of human connection now more than ever. I am also thankful daily for the all-out commitment that staff and parents have demonstrated this year towards supporting our students' academic and social/emotional needs. Working together, we are ESD Strong!


The strong partnership we have with our parents was demonstrated in receiving over 700 responses to the parent surveys that were sent out a few weeks ago. Please click here to see summaries of the parent responses.


Principals and district personnel will be using this information to affirm the practices that are working and to change processes and approaches that are not working with distance learning. In ESD we embrace the continuous cycle of improvement because we are a learning organization.


During the weeks of June 1st and June 7th, I will be hosting parent and staff focus groups to hopefully get feedback on potential models for what school could look like next fall. Please click here, if you would like to sign up for one of these sessions. Please sign up here, even if you sent me an email previously. These sessions will be held from 6:00 to 7:00 pm by Zoom June 4th, and during a few of the evenings between June 8-June 11, depending on the number of parents and staff members that sign up.

How will we make the decision about what school will look like next for the 2020-2021 school year?

We anticipate that we should receive the official “Back to School” models from OSPI towards the end of the week of June 8. We anticipate that these models will require strict adherence to guidelines from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and will give us a choice of selecting a model similar to one of the following:


  • Send all students back to school in the fall.
  • Start the year with distance learning and then gradually have smaller groups of students attend school throughout each week.
  • Start the year with a “Hybrid” model. This model could include having all students return to school in smaller groups (as allowed by their parents), implementing some distance learning and having staggered starts and stops, ex. A/B days or half days, etc.
  • Continue with a Distance Learning Model all year.



Decision Making Process:

June 12: After the models are released from OSPI, the superintendent, executive directors, directors and administrators will review them and together prioritize these models in the order by which we think these models will work. Depending on services needed for transportation, meals and other factors, we may decide to choose one model for the whole district or a variation of one model for different schools. Once we have these models prioritized and formatted in ways that we think will serve our overall district the best, then:

During the second and third weeks of June:

1. Principals will share potential options with their faculty and get their staff’s input.

2. The superintendent and/or executive directors will share these recommendations with our parent/student and staff focus groups and get their feedback.

June 17th:

The superintendent will take the feedback from these focus groups and share it with a district-wide group that will be made up of 2 parents (elementary and secondary), 4 staff members (2 elementary, 2 secondary), 3 administrators ( 1 sec, 1 ms, 1 elem), 3 district level staff, the superintendent and two ESD Board members. This district-wide team will consider all feedback previously gathered concerning the recommended models from the June 3rd meeting and give their recommendation for the 2020 school year model to the superintendent.

June 24th: School Board Meeting

The superintendent will make the final recommendation to the Board of Education. The ESD Board of Education will make the official decision about the type of model that will be used in all schools for next year.

Celebrations

Kudos to Principal Beau Snow, Student Activities Director Haley Naboychik and the entire EHS staff for their exceptional efforts in honoring our seniors. From the Celebrate Seniors yard signs, to the Friday Nights Lights events to the virtual graduation ceremony, the EHS team has gone the extra mile to help our graduating class of 2020 feel special. The virtual version of graduation will be shown the night of June 19th, followed by a fireworks display at the high school. More specific information will be coming soon.

A special thank you to our custodial, grounds and maintenance crews for all of their hard work in keeping our buildings clean and safe and for sprucing up our outdoor areas.

Congratulations to our nutrition/transportation/para-educator teams for their continued excellent efforts in providing over 50,000 meals to our students since the first school closure on March 16th! This amazing team is now serving about 9,300 meals each week.

BOARD END #1: Strong Foundational Academic and Future Ready Skills for All Students

Creativity is an important "future ready" skill that is fostered in our "specials" or elective classes at the elementary and secondary levels. Enjoy a "virtual art show" from Mt. Stuart's budding artists.

BOARD END #2: Preparing Students to be Global Citizens in an Ever Changing World: Excellence With CTE Programming

ESD's Career-Technical Education (CTE) teachers have worked hard this year to continue to enrich their career pathways for next year. Our goal is for every student to have multiple opportunities to identify and develop their strengths and interests so they can link these passions to potential career pathways. Upon graduation, for most students, they will need some type of post-secondary education in order to make a livable wage. These options could include industry certifications, community college, four year college or specialized training associated with various jobs. Finding the right fit for life beyond high school can be overwhelming, and we are putting classes and opportunities in place to ensure that all seniors leave with a post-secondary plan in place.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/12mw6rzBtT6W6CWPtPFsGtAGzZGOMcvKo/view?usp=drive_web

BOARD END #3: Connections with Elementary Students

Teachers have reached out in multiple ways to touch the lives of our students during these difficult times. For example, Lincoln Elementary School recently hosted a parade where students were celebrated as their parents drove by cheering teachers and administrators to celebrate their Bull Pup Pride. Fourth grade teacher Karen Foley also created yearbook photos for her students as a way for them to remember their times together as a class. The Mt. Stuart staff created a Thank you to Parents video as a way to demonstrate appreciation for the many hours that parents have put into supporting their children at home. Valley View teachers created a "We miss you!" video for their students.

A special thank you to all of our teachers for their dedication to reaching the hearts of our students through activities that affirm the value of each child.

Big picture

Bond Project Update

Work has started this week to lay the foundation for the new Mt. Stuart, and we hope to begin this same type of work on our new school on North Cora Street soon. Our facilities will be a huge asset to our community. Please visit our website to see updated pictures and more detailed information about these construction projects.

TEAM: Together Everyone Accomplishes More

As I think of the journey ahead of us for the 2020-2021 school year, I recognize that teamwork will be absolutely necessary to help all of our students cross the finish line at graduation. This example of Olympic Runner Derek Redmond in the 1992 Olympics (captured in this YouTube Link) inspires me every time to press into challenges, willingly lean on others, and demonstrate tenacity towards reaching the outcomes we desire for students as described by our Board Ends.



Together We Are Better!


Sincerely,


Jinger Haberer, Superintendent of ESD