Tonasket School District

Weekly Update ~ 12/3/2021

"Focused on Learning and Linking Learning to Life"

Be Positive

Be Grateful

Be Involved


Capital Project Update

Cement has been poured for the CTE shop and for the elementary modular! It was poured on Wednesday this week. It’s taken some time to get the modular moving forward, but I feel confident in saying that our two 3rd grade classes will be in after Christmas break. The shop project is on schedule as planned.

Powerful Teaching and Learning

Last week, the administrators met with Jordon and Kristi K. to discuss forming a data team to help build a more accessible and useful data system. Jordon and Kristi will be leading this effort, but we will be seeking input and participation from other staff as we move this initiative forward.


  • The district’s Educational Programs and Operations (EP&O) Levy expires at the end of 2022. In the October and at the November 10 board meetings, discussions were held to consider running a replacement levy in 2022. At the November 29 meeting, the board adopted a resolution to run a replacement levy at the February 8 special election. They set the levy rate at $1.60 for both years which is the same rate as the previous levy. Throughout January, I’ll be meeting with all staff to talk about the levy so you have an understanding of the levy and what it finances. Our county votes by mail only and ballots will be mailed on January 21. To register to vote online, click on this link:
  • Today I started having lunch again with small groups of students in my office after not being able to do it for over a year. I had a great conversation with four Choice High School students where they shared what they thought was going well and what they thought we should change in our school. They continued the theme that I have heard previously from most groups that the relationship with staff is one of the most important aspects of their school day.

  • At the monthly Okanogan County superintendents’ meeting, we discussed some of our common challenges with leading during the COVID Pandemic.

  • Members of the school board and I attended the annual WSSDA (Washington State School Directors Association) Conference held in Bellevue a couple of weeks ago. This annual event gives board members the opportunity to spend several days learning from peers and other educational experts. It’s also a time for the board and superintendent to strengthen their connection. This was one of the better WSSDA conferences I’ve attended!

District Culture and Climate

So much of our community, family, and school culture is built up or torn down by words. The international service organization, Rotary, has a 4-way test that they use to guide personal and professional conversations that is a great reminder to all of us as we manage life’s challenges!

Is it the truth?

Is it fair to all concerned?

Will it build goodwill and better friendships?

Will it be beneficial to all concerned?

Parent and Community Engagement

  • Have you driven through downtown and noticed the new reader board is up and running on the corner of US Bank? What a great addition to our community! This is a great way to get our latest school news and announcements out to the community. A huge thank you goes to Marilee Nielsen, Shannon Larson, Teri Leep, Mindy Scott, and Seth Thomas for spearheading the project and being on the Athletic Booster Club Board. The district would also like to thank US Bank for the location of the reader board, Vassar Electric for donating their time to hook up the electrical components, the Athletic Booster Club members for making this project a priority, and to our awesome community for your donations to the Booster Club for funding the reader board.
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  • At this week’s community Supt’s On virtual meetings, we discussed the upcoming levy and I asked the participants a series of questions about their positive and negative experiences with school during the last two years of pandemic schooling. The comments were extremely helpful! The next Supt's on with the community is January 5 & 6.

TEA and PSE Updates

At the November 29 board meeting, the board approved an increase in the PSE substitute rates. Most of our current rates were lower than the minimum wage beginning in January, so our sub rates needed to be increased to be above the minimum wage.

Staff Updates

  • At the November 29 board meeting, the following personnel items were approved:
    1. Hiring: Shane Spangler - 8th Grade Boys Basketball Coach
      Jessica Burke - Basketball Cheer Coach
      Maribella Castro - One Year Food Service Clerk
      Sheena Crothers - Paraeducator

    2. Resignation: Kahlil Butler - SPED Paraeducator

  • I’d like to express my appreciation to the following retiring staff for their service to the district and to the students: Thank you to Mike, Jan, and Rosemary for your many years of service to the district. We couldn’t ask for more dedicated employees like you. Combining all your years together, they add up to over 100 years between the three of you! I wish you the very best for a happy retirement and congratulate you on a job well done.

  1. Mike Carlson - HS Custodian - effective December 1. Mike worked for 35 years.
  2. Jan Kitterman - Bus Driver - effective December 30. Jan worked for over 36 years starting as a substitute bus driver.
  3. Rosemary Stevens - Paraeducator - effective December 31. Rosemary worked for 34 years. She started as a bus driver, then moved into a para position.


  • Correcting Facebook Rumors
    1. Contrary to this week’s Facebook post by a community member, the Tonasket School District does not allow COVID-19 positive individuals to come to school. Individuals who are exposed to COVID-19 and are vaccinated do not need to quarantine based on the WA State Department of Health COVID-19 guidelines for schools.

  • Board Policy and Procedure Updates (Link Below):
    1. 1815 BP Ethical Conduct for School Directors
    2. 1825 BP Addressing School Director Violations
    3. 3122 BP Excused and Unexcused Absences
    4. 3416 P Medications at School
    5. 5400 BP Personal Leaves
    6. 6970 BP/P Naming School, Facilities, and Teams, and Use of School Mascots, Images, or Logos

    What Every Employee Needs to Know Reminders

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