Back to School Newsletter

Strain-Japan R-XVI School District

Welcome Back!

The first day of school is Tuesday, August 25, 2020. Open House will be held on August 20, 2020 in two sessions this year to allow for smaller numbers. Please bring your family according to the first letter of your last name:

Names: A-L

5-6:00 p.m.

Names: M-Z

6:15-7:15 p.m.

You may visit your child’s classroom. Teachers will be available to discuss curriculum for the coming year. You will be able to make a payment on your lunch account in the office if you need to. If your student has medications, this would be a good time to bring them in.

New Staff

Bus Routes

Our drivers will be contacting each family on their routes to advise everyone of the expected pick-up and drop-off times. We will post an anticipated pick-up and drop-off time at Open House. On days that Strain-Japan is not in session, but Sullivan High School is; the bus for the high school will leave the Strain-Japan parking lot at 7:10 a.m. and will return to the school at 3:05 p.m.

Afternoon Pick-ups

The procedure for afternoon pick-ups has changed. Parents will no longer be expected to leave their cars and walk to the front door. Parents are to form two lines in the lot and riders will be brought to the front two cars. Those cars will be dismissed and the next two cars will be loaded until all riders are accounted for. Like so many things, this is a change, so please be patient until we get the process down.

Student Planners

In an attempt to use more of a digital platform for our students, this year we will utilize Google calendar in place of a planner. Therefore, eliminating the transfer of an object between home and school. Your child’s teacher will be able to address any questions that you have about this change. The student handbook will be posted on the website.

Elimination of Paper Forms

In an attempt to streamline our back-to-school process and promote less sharing of germs, we have decided to put all our forms in digital format. If you are struggling to complete this, please let the office know and we will assist you. The only form that must be completed and signed is the Free and Reduced Lunch Application. Copies of this will be provided at Open House.

Breakfast and Lunch Information

Breakfast will be offered every morning from 7:10 to 7:25 a.m. The price of a student breakfast is $1.20. Lunch will cost students $2.40.


As a district we want our families to feel like they are connected and in the loop when it comes to what is happening at school. There are many ways for parents to be able to share in the great events that are happening every day. They are:

Faculty and Staff 2020-2021

Kathy Vandegriffe-Superintendent/Principal

Erica Williamson- Assistant Principal/MS Math and Science

Linda Meek-Kindergarten

Julie Wilson-First Grade

Mark Dace- Second and Third Grade

Kelly Webers-Fourth and Fifth Grade

Zack Harman-Library, MS Reading and ELA, Computers, Technology Coordinator

Kimberly Proctor-MS Social Studies and Current Events

Pat Songer-Special Services

Mark Forbes- PE/Health

Alice Hewkin-Music

Sherri White-Art

Edie Bomback-Title I

Destiny Norris-Office, Health Aide

Amanda Krone-Board Secretary/Bookkeeper

Sheila Cooper-Cook

Ken Price- Bus Driver

Serena Cochrane-Bus Driver

Board of Education

Caren Vogt-Board President

Matt Stewart-Vice-President

Aimee Jenkins-Treasurer

Kari Schatz

Chastity Moss

Greg Stotler

Krystal Hulsey

This Summer

As you have noticed, there have been some changes to our little school this summer. A new administrator always means changes, sometimes big, sometimes small. Change is fun but also scary! I want every family to know that my main goal for my first year is to build positive relationships with the kiddos and with the parents. I have heard numerous times about how our little school is like a family. I love that atmosphere and hope to work to build your trust. Do not hesitate to contact me with questions, comments, criticism, or even just to chat. I love to talk and look forward to sharing a laugh with all of you. I also want to work on getting our message out there to share with folks and let them know that we are the #bestlittleschoolever! I want to make this our motto.

I plan on working toward some improvements within our school and to our facility. We are starting by adding central air conditioning, a project that will be completed by the start of school.

At the request of the teachers, we will make an effort to get more lessons on a digital platform to be more prepared for the changing times in education. Every student will now have a Chromebook that they take home with them every afternoon.

And finally, I want you to know that we are all working hard to provide a safe environment for your kiddos. It is a scary time! We are surrounded by uncertainty and conflict right now. I just want to remind you that WE ARE STRAIN STRONG! Our theme for this year! We will get through this but we will only do it if we work together. Just like a family, we may not always agree with each other but we can all agree that we will have each other’s backs. This may mean taking a precaution that we may not believe is necessary but doing so for our family. We will come back and we will come back strong! STRAIN STRONG!



School Supplies

As in years past, the school will be purchasing supplies in bulk and distributing them to the students. This year we will be purchasing enough supplies for all students. If you would like to take advantage of this program, please submit payment at Open House. The cost per student is $23.50. Due to COVID, the use of this program is highly recommended, but not mandatory.