Tonasket School District

Weekly Update ~ 1/29/2021

"Focused on Learning and Linking Learning to Life"

Be Positive, Be Grateful, Be Involved, Be Flexible

The B117 variant of the COVID virus has been found in the State of Washington and our local health officials are warning us that this new variant is more contagious than the traditional COVID virus. Please remember the importance of continuing to be vigilant with COVID health and safety protocols both in school and out of school. Stay distanced, wash your hands, wear a mask, avoid groups, and stay home when you are feeling sick.


Capital Project Update

The vocational agriculture committee met last week to finalize plans for the new shop building. After making a few adjustments, we are now awaiting final plans for review and board approval with the goal of going out to bid in March.

Powerful Teaching and Learning

  • On the 21st, the Migrant held a monthly meeting with families via zoom. Several presenters shared information including, Cindy Valdez from our ESD, Rudy Mondaca from L&I, Daiam Navarro and Kristi O’Neil from Worksource, and Brandi Belgarde from The Support Center.

  • North Central ESD resumed its Superintendent Advisory Meeting last week in a virtual setting. Two leaders from our superintendent association, WSSDA, shared their work with equity in their organizations and we discussed the first two chapters in the book, Belonging Through a Culture of Dignity by Floyd Cobb and John Krownapple. So far I would highly recommend this book!


The next Supt’s On for Staff will be held on Wednesday, February 3 at 3:30 PM. This is a virtual "open office hour" for just staff members to hear directly from the superintendent on various topics, hear concerns from staff, or share some of the great things happening around the district.

District Culture and Climate

The district office is working on a brochure for staff and community to help our parents and community members know who to go to for concerns or questions. The secretaries reviewed it as well and had some great additions. You should see the brochure in their buildings soon, and we are going to include it in our next newsletter to all families.

College, Career, Life Readiness

MS Teacher April Cole shared what their 1st-semester engineering students worked on and it is a great example of linking learning to life. Here’s what they did from April Cole:

Students learned about how covid-19 spreads by touching surfaces then touching one's face. They were challenged with creating items to help prevent the spread of the virus in this manner. They learned to use a CAD (computer-aided design) software to create 3-D designs of their items and shared their ideas with others. They had to modify their designs based on feedback from peers then their items were printed using our 3-D printer that was purchased using a grant we received from the Okanogan County School Retirees' Association. We had some AMAZING failures, which we celebrated daily, and some successes. Students would evaluate their fails and make more modifications to their designs. They did a fantastic job and learned a lot about measuring, planning, and true problem-solving.

Click the link below to see pictures of their work.

Parent and Community Engagement

  • Supt’s On - A Virtual Community Connection with the Superintendent. The next monthly virtual meeting will be February 3 at 5:30 PM for the English session and 6:30 for the Spanish session. Spread the word around to your community member friends who would like to visit or even listen in to our monthly conversations about school topics. I find this is a great way to connect with parents and community members.

  • Jordan Weddle has continued teaching basic computer classes for our migrant parents, parents, and community members with the continued help of Martha Wisdom, Maribel Pio, and Maria Gonzalez. Parents are learning how to use a computer, access the internet, get on Skyward, write letters in google docs, and participate in Google Meets. Parents are also getting an overview of Google Classroom and Seesaw so that they will be able to see what their students are doing in classes. Every parent who participates in the class receives an older surplus computer. They have classes booked through February and March.

Creative and Innovative

The high school has partnered with the JED Foundation and is creating an interdisciplinary team to include staff, students, and parents to work on school-wide strategies for supporting the emotional well-being of our students. The first meeting to begin their work is February 9. JED is a two-year program designed to guide schools through a collaborative process of comprehensive systems, programs, and policy development to support our students.

Staff Updates

At the January 27 board meeting, the following personnel items were approved:


Thank you to Kathy, Brenda, Deb, and Tricia 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 110.5 years between the four of you! I wish you the very best for a happy retirement and congratulate you on a job well done.

  • Kathy Gardner - Accounts Payable - effective in June. Kathy will have worked 32 years.
  • Brenda Mitchell - SPED Secretary - effective August 31. Brenda will have worked 30 years.
  • Deb Michels - Student Programs Secretary - effective July 1. Deb will have worked 31 years.
  • Tricia Cummings - Paraeducator - effective in June. Tricia will have worked 17.5 years.

  • Tracy Tamashiro - Special Programs Secretary
  • Emily Schell - SPED Paraeducator


  • Breakfast participation in the middle school has been very low, so the kitchen staff, with Kristi Krieg’s help, sent out a survey to students seeking feedback on what they would like to eat for breakfast at school. It's not new news that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Studies indicate that eating breakfast helps students do better in school. For those students not getting breakfast at home, we hope to serve healthy food that they find more appealing.

  • Our district’s Fall athletic season starts February 16 for football and February 22 for volleyball, soccer, cross-country, and Fall cheerleading. I know coaches and athletes are anxious to have the sports seasons underway.

  • Tuesday morning, the Department of Health posted an updated version of their K–12 Schools Guidance. In this update, they’ve added:
    1. An additional question for daily health screening,
    2. Requirements guiding K–12 performing arts activities, and
    3. Quarantine language with recommendations for people who have recently traveled to countries where the new variant of the virus has been identified.
  • I sent this update from the county health dept.on Wednesday to the district news regarding more staff eligible for the COVID vaccine: Per Dr. James Wallace, Okanogan County Health Officer, and Okanogan County Public Health, the following school district staff will be considered Phase 1A Tier 2. The change to prior county guidelines is the addition of the 4th element. This addition aligns the Okanogan County Phase 1A Tier 2 definition with Chelan-Douglas and Grant County Public Health definitions.
  1. School nurses.
  2. Any staff who have duties related to “COVID/sick” rooms (may include office staff or paras depending on an individual district’s COVID-19 plan.)
  3. Staff who conduct screening for staff or students – this includes people who are screening or assessing individuals with symptoms of COVID-19. It does not include routine symptom screening.
  4. School staff who are in learning locations where COVID patients could be present and masking is not an option, such as in Life Skills classrooms.

COVID Data Dashboard - Data for January 25 - January 29

  1. Positive COVID cases in our school community since starting school - 28
  2. New members of our school community (students and/or staff) reporting as a new positive - 0
  3. New Cohorts required to return to remote only learning (Contact or lack of staffing) - 0
  4. New Classrooms required to return to remote only learning (Contact or lack of staffing) - 0
  5. New Grade levels required to return to remote only learning (Contact or lack of staffing) - 0
  6. New Schools required to return to remote only learning (Contact or lack of staffing) - 0
  7. Staff with at least first vaccine - 37

What Every Employee Needs to Know Reminders

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