Community Letter

March 5, 2021

Dear Lopez Community

As you can see, we are using a new newsletter format. Thanks to Kathy Booth for encouraging me to look beyond the Google Docs. I'm hoping you'll find this format easy to navigate and also visually appealing. Also, the program is called Smore, which (in my humble opinion) is just about the most festive campfire food ever invented.

I'm sending the newsletter out two ways today so you will likely get it twice. We are experimenting with messages using the Qmlativ system but I'm using School Messenger as a backup. Thanks for your understanding.

We are beginning to see signs of spring and I'm wondering is this if "fake spring" or "fool's spring" like we experienced in Idaho. The weather gets a little warmer, crocuses begin to poke out of the ground, and then BOOM...a big wet spring snow.

Next Saturday, March 13th, will mark the end of our first year on Lopez Island. I arrived on Lopez on the day schools closed for Covid. I was just sure that by the time I started my new job in April, we'd be back in the building. I'm ridiculously optimistic like that! In a conversation with Amy Studzienko on how I should commemorate this day, she suggested foraging nettles and making something. Stay tuned for an update on my first nettle pesto Lopezian anniversary dinner! Also, in case I don't say this enough, I truly love it here.

All my best,

Martha Martin, Secondary Principal

Superintendent Update from Dr. Carl Bruner

Happy March!

Next week is designated as Education Support Professionals Week, an opportunity for us to

share our gratitude for the work of all of our classified staff who are such an integral part of the education we provide. Please join us in expressing our appreciation for our food service staff, bus drivers, custodians, maintenance staff, paraeducators, secretaries, technology staff, and all others, without who we would not be able to operate.

Our elementary team continues to make headway in planning for their students to return to

school in a hybrid model. We welcome back 1st graders next week. Plans for grades 2 - 5 are

being finalized.

We are in the process of posting a position for an additional 2nd/3rd grade teacher to team

with Kendra Lewis once students return through the remainder of this school year. The class

size of Ms. Lewis’s split class makes it difficult to bring students back into school without

additional teaching support. This new position will be supported by the second round of

federal COVID-19 relief (also known as CARES) funding we are scheduled to receive this spring.

Secondary teachers continue to explore opportunities for providing in person learning

opportunities and support for their students.

The second sports season for our league begins on or around March 31 and will include soccer and volleyball. We are currently looking for an alternative practice soccer field on campus to avoid damaging our varsity field, which is saturated. Volleyball, as an indoor sport, will be organized according to the state Department of Health guidelines.

On Tuesday, Governor Inslee announced that educators and licensed childcare workers could

begin receiving COVID-19 vaccines, following the federal government’s direction. LISD Nurse,

Karen Hatteman has begun working with providers to see when District employees may be able to take advantage of this change in the priority schedule. As the supply of the vaccine

increases, we hope to begin seeing the impact.

Thanks to LISD Bus Driver/Driver Trainer Teri Linneman, our efforts to identify student

transportation solutions began to pay off this week. At this time, we believe that we will begin

to transport those students who require transportation to get to and from school beginning

March 22. Given the limited number of drivers we have available, we are asking that families

continue to provide transportation for their children, if possible.

As we welcome more students back into the building, we are re-emphasizing what we know

about those factors that are important in guarding against the spread of the virus.


● We are providing KN95 masks to all staff and are encouraging their use.

● We have established an enhanced cleaning schedule for the elementary school wing.

● Staff have replaced our HVAC system with new, MERV 13 filters.

● Our HVAC system has been checked to ensure that classroom spaces have separate

supply vents and return vents and that the system is working properly.

● Portable air filters are being provided to high risk areas as an extra precaution.

● Hygiene protocols are being reviewed with staff.

Our supply of personal protective equipment remains ample for staff and students.

If you’ve driven by the school lately, you’ve likely noticed the damage to our gutter on the

Center Road side, which resulted from the snowfall we experienced. We have been working

with our insurance company and are attempting to get a contractor out to the island to provide an estimate. Clearly, it’s taking longer than we anticipated!

That’s all for this week.

Have an enjoyable weekend. Go Lobos!

Star Make-Up Testing

For students who have not yet completed winter Star testing, here are the make-up days.

  • Tuesday, March 9, 2-3 pm
  • Wednesday, March 10, 1-2 pm
  • Thursday, March 11, 2-3 pm

We administer the Star test to get a snapshot of individual and collective student progress in reading and math. We triangulate the data with both formative and summative assessment data from class to help us understand where a student is in terms of grade level standards, and all that information helps teachers (and parents in Parent Partner Program) make informed decisions about lesson design and content, differentiation, and assessment.

It's good practice for a school to administer a common interim assessment (Star is one of those) several times during the year. In terms of looking at how the student body is progressing, the data is most valid when all students take the test.

Here is the link:

From Karen Hattman, our School Nurse

Please review your child's immunization records to be sure they are up to date on required immunizations prior to returning to in-person learning.

Schedule Change Reminder

March 19th, formally known as a staff inservice day, is now scheduled as a regular school day. It takes the place of the day we lost due to the countywide power outage in January.

Library News from our School Librarian, Deirdre Steinbrueck

Celebrating Women's History Month

Student's are welcome to visit and check out books with the focus on the role of women in our history. We thank the Lopez Island Library for sharing these books with our students. I will be adding quotes to the board throughout the month, and readings will be provided to elementary teachers. If students or parents are interested in checking out books, please email

Websites of interest with a focus on events in the history of women: - Site is pretty cool, IMO.

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Lopez Island School Photo Day

Tuesday, March 16 in the gym

Schedule from 8:00am to 11:45am.

  • 8:00-8:30 All Staff individual photos
  • 8:30-9:00 Last name beginning with A B C (student or primary guardian last name)
  • 9:00-9:30 Last name beginning with D E F G H I
  • 9:30-10:00 Last name beginning with J K L M
  • 10:00-10:30 Last name beginning with N O P
  • 10:30-11:00 Last name beginning with R S
  • 11:00-11:45 Last name beginning with T V W Y Z

Students that cannot make it for the time assigned may reschedule to another time by emailing Ronda or Karrie Students also have the option to wait until Retake Day, scheduled for April 15, in the afternoon from 12:00 to 3:15pm.

Please arrive early and keep a 6-foot distance from others. Wear a mask until the time for your picture. Students check in at the gym lobby door, make their way into the gym to be photographed, and follow the arrows to the exit door.

Kevin Hellriegel, will offer the same great service we have received in the past. Order form and payments options will be emailed once they are made available. We hope that all students, including current seniors, and staff will get their photos taken for ID cards, Skyward, the yearbook, and staff badges even if they are not purchasing photos.

Education Support Professionals Week

Next week, March 8-12, please join us in offering appreciation. This statewide celebration was started in 1975 to recognize these employees for the difference they make in our schools. At the Lopez Island School District, Education Support Professionals make up more than half our staff! Our office, maintenance and custodial kitchen, transportation, library, garden, and paraprofessional staff members (I hope I'm not forgetting anyone!) are incredibly valuable members of this school community and we couldn't make it all happen without them.

Coffee Talk

Join Mary and Martha for a Coffee Talk on March 11 at 5:30. Here is the Zoom link:

You can ask us questions, give us feedback, and most importantly, we can all get to know each other just a little bit better. You don't have to drink coffee, but please join us!

Secondary News

LMC Open Access

Secondary students are invited to enjoy time in the Library Media Center (LMC). If you’d like to study, socialize, or sequester, this is the place! The wifi is always up and running, and books may be checked out.

Make your arrangements by emailing to set up your time. Slots are in half hour increments, running from 12:30 – 3:30 M-F. Students will follow safety protocols upon entering (masks on, temperatures taken, social distancing will be the norm and hands will be clean!).

In-person Learning

We do not yet have a comprehensive plan to bring students back into the building grade by grade, but you will begin to see a few more options and opportunities for in-person learning on the Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday long class days or for specific events, activities, or guest speakers. Some teachers are working with our school nurse, Karen, on safety protocols and practices.

Introducing.....the LISD Golf Team!

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Elementary News

Dear Lobo Families,

It continues to be exciting in the elementary wing. This week, kindergarten cohorts began in-person learning two days a week. Also, this week Megan Ramsey, first grade teacher, hosted individual families with their first grade student in order to visit the classroom, observe the safety procedures and protocols, and ask questions about restart for first grade. Next Monday, March 8th, we will welcome our first graders back to school in two cohorts. Second through fifth grade teachers continue to prepare for their classes to return back to school soon. An announcement for second through fifth grade restart dates will be made next week.

As always, we continue to serve our students with the best learning opportunities. Check out some highlights from teachers below.

Thank you,

Mary Fordham

Kindergarten Update

Kindergarten is up and running and I think we are having more fun than we are supposed to,

but shhh, don't tell, it's our big secret. For remote learners school-home provides in-person instruction, and face to face contact instead of screen time. Now, where did I put that extra stamina? With puppet shows, goofy songs that leave us giggling on the floor, inventing counting games, making art with seeds, telling stories and drawing our families, it's starting to feel like school again. Kids are doing great learning new safety protocols. They've mastered mask wearing, most of the time. The hardest part is keeping space between kids. As soon as one magnet feels another, the attraction is hard to resist.

I'm filled with gratitude for the many school personnel who are making this work, and parents you are rockstars!! It's going to get even more exciting, as bigger kid voices start filling these quiet classrooms. Each start of our morning meeting, I ask my kindergartners to self reflect, "How are you feeling today?" And nearly everyday, I hear kids say, "I feel happy because I get to come to school." Cue my melted heart...B

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5th Grade Update from Becca Hamilton

5th grade is finishing their Biography writing project and working on presentations to the class in March. The presentations can be in a format of their choosing. The biography ties into February (Black History Month) and March (Women's History Month). Each day last month we learned about a different African American who made a difference or has been influential, many of whom have gone unrecognized due to their status/race (scientists, artists, civil rights activists, sports stars, medical doctors, aviators, etc.). This month we are learning about influential historical women. The classroom discussions have been quite rich. Learning to quote and cite sources as well as do a Works Cited Page is also part of this research project. Biographical and informational readings on the ReadWorks website supplement our learning (famous African Americans, slavery, the Undergroune Railroad, scientists, artists, sports figures, aviators, etc.).

We are also reading a book together in zoom rooms. Students are paired with different group members several days a week to read a portion of a book together with a whole class discussion afterwards. The book we are reading is Walking Backward by Catherine Austen."

5th Grade Haiku

by Seamus O'Bryant

Up the Mountain

I love to see the highland

My dream I shouted

Peace is the answer

Kindness opposing violence

Revenge un loyal


by Julia Sather

Sun shining through the trees on a summer afternoon

rain pouring on the top of the roof at night like a dragon's feet stomping

feeling the wind rushing through your hair

You in boots and snow falling from the sky

All of life is here for you to enjoy, you just need to see it.

In the summer it is hot,

In the winter it is cold,

But forget the seasons for a minute,

for all would be alright if only all the world could see,

that if we work together

we wouldn’t be here today as we see.

Decatur News

Decatur students are participating in a San Juan Island Animal Safari.

They have created a list of animals native to the San Juan Islands. So far, they have only taken one Safari on island but they are monitoring 7 different species. Nina and Martha are visiting the Decatur School in a couple weeks and we can't wait to find out more.