Tonasket School District

Weekly Update ~ 8/28/2020

"Focused on Learning and Linking Learning to Life"

Be Positive, Be Grateful, Be Involved, Be Flexible

COVID-19 Updates

Big picture

As you can see from the data above our county has reduced its cases per 100,000 significantly since early August. We need to get closer to 75 cases per 100,000 in order to bring students back to campus, so we have a way to go still.

I recently read an article about a school in Germany that safely reopened for in-person instruction last spring and is now fully open. When asked what they attributed their success to, the Director of Schools stated, "Schools don't reopen schools. Communities reopen schools." The Director went on to say that their success reflected the willingness of their entire community to socially distance themselves, wear masks, and participate in testing. (paragraph is stolen from a fellow superintendent, but I really did read the article)

Our community has taken great steps in combating this disease, but only working together can we reopen our schools.

We (TSD) submitted an exemption request to the County Health Department to start bringing small groups of students on campus starting with those most impacted by our distance learning. I will keep you updated on the status of this request.


Capital Project Update

  • When you returned to the buildings, you probably noticed the safety and security project is nearing completion with doors and windows installed. We are waiting for the electronics to be installed.

  • The shop project architect plans are near completion and should be ready for board review in September or October.

  • Phase two of the HVAC system was completed at the beginning of August with the installation of the new boilers in the HS/MS.

Powerful Teaching and Learning

Teachers and support staff met together this week to prepare for the start of the school year next week. I applaud the incredible work being done and the willingness of our staff to be flexible as we build a new way of delivering a quality learning experience to all of our students.


A committee will be working to develop a procedure for health screening and tracking for staff and students. They are working to determine the most efficient and effective method for us to verify that all students coming to school are free of COVID like symptoms.

District Culture and Climate

During times of high stress (like now) I have to remind myself often that the story I am telling myself about a situation might not be true. I have to stop and reflect that I often do not have enough information to really understand the situation and that I need to have a deeper conversation with someone to really understand their perspective and motives. Another way to put this is to “assume positive intent.” It is easy to jump to negative conclusions in the absence of information, and I want to challenge you and myself to pause and reflect prior to jumping to any conclusions during stressful times like these.

College, Career, Life Readiness

The school board approved the yearly CTE report at the last board meeting.

Parent and Community Engagement

On August 13, I held a virtual town hall meeting for our parents. We ran an English language and a Spanish language meeting and had around 150 families attend the meetings combined. At the meeting, I shared information on the school reopening plans. It went so well I think I will do this on a regular basis.

Creative and Innovative

We have purchased an online curriculum to support our teaching during this unique year. We purchased Edgenuity for grades 6-12 and Accelerate Education for grades K-5.

TEA and PSE Updates

PSE and the District are working on an MOU concerning remote learning and COVID related issues.

Staff Updates

Our new staff for this year is:

  • Aldona Graves – Kindergarten Teacher
  • Jacob Wicken – 3rd Grade Teacher
  • Christopher Musa – HS Math Teacher
  • Jessica Bolt – MS Counselor
  • Cheri Wahl - MS Math Teacher


With the large fire near Loomis, we have been a fire camp location since the 19th. A type 2 incident team took over on the 20th. The Palmer Fire is nearing 70% containment, so the fire camp may be moving out over the weekend or early next week. I’ve heard there’s been some good connections made between district staff and fire camp personnel.