The Latest from Camas School District
Inside this issue:
- Statement of Support
- Plans to Seek Interim Superintendent
- Physical Distancing; Six' to Three'
Board Highlights (just the facts)
Statement of Support
At last night’s school board meeting, board members discussed the recent shooting in Georgia, the impact violence like this has on all of us, and the district’s statement of solidarity. Board member Erika Cox shared, “We talk about current events with our students, and we protect one another. We give space to listening to other experiences that aren't our own, and from those, we grow into better learners, empathetic leaders, and cultivators of inclusiveness.
“Last week the anti-Asian hate crimes in Atlanta, San Francisco, New York can't be ignored so that in our community, we can continue to support one another and step up to the responsibility we have in calling out injustice and racism.”
As we continue seeing and serving each student, we acknowledge the impact race, gender, religion, ability, and class have had on our students’ experiences in our schools, and we want to do better.
As the discussion was taking place, notifications were coming in about another mass shooting in Colorado. Our hearts go out to the victims and their families, including the heroic police officer responding to help. It can feel overwhelming to navigate this world with so many examples of hatred, pain, and loss. Our students are very much aware of this world and recognize inequity. We must give students space to ask questions, process, and try to make sense of the world. The challenge for us as parents, mentors, and educators is that it’s often just as difficult for us to make sense of the world. Being present for our students means we have to pay attention to our own needs and emotions so that we can better respond to our students’ needs and so we can better respond to the needs of our colleagues, friends, and neighbors as well. This school year continues to present a lot of challenges. This year also continues to present a lot of opportunities to reach out to each other and offer kindness and support.
After combing over hundreds of data points and meeting with community leaders, cabinet administration, and staff, the Board determined, after an executive session last night, to hire a search firm to help them find a one-year interim superintendent, as well as to conduct a full search during the 2021-2022 school year for permanent placement.
"We heard from the community the value of this position and in order to take the next step, it will take time for evaluation as we refine our path forward," commented Board President Tracey Malone. "We will continue to keep our community informed as the process takes shape."
Reopening Schools Plan
Superintendent Jeff Snell reviewed our Reopening Schools Plan, noting the recent change in the CDC's guidelines from 6' to 3' in classrooms on Friday which has not yet been adopted by the Washington Department of Health, but some communication is expected soon. With a change from 6’ to 3’, there is potential to add more days to our secondary student schedules. Our school teams will review any updated recommendations and plan accordingly—more information to follow.
The Camas Educational Foundation held its annual auction last weekend in a COVID-friendly hybrid environment. Food was available for curbside pickup from two of our downtown restaurants.
“I continue to be impressed with the flexibility and ingenuity our community exhibits during the pandemic. CEF volunteers worked hard to bring us a new, hybrid auction, all in support of our students, and the result was fantastic. Thank you, CEF, for all you do for Camas kids,” Snell commented.
State Stabilization Funding
Superintendent Snell reported that there is still work to be done to create equity among districts related to how Elementary and Secondary Emergency Relief Funds (ESSER) are distributed. ESSER funds are distributed at the same proportion as Title I funding. This means that districts with higher free and reduced meal participation receive more funding proportionally. In Camas, we will receive $369 per student while other local districts receive much more. When we look across the state, some districts will receive relief funding greater than their impacted loss due to the pandemic impact. Other districts like Camas will not receive enough federal relief funding to address the impact.
Mill Town Pride
A real standout in our district is Adam Green, Systems Engineer & Server Administrator, especially over the last few weeks. Recently, Adam managed a server conversion that effectively improved the performance and reliability of 100 virtual servers providing services to every part of the Camas School district.
When we had a sudden and unexpected disruption to the Camas School District website, which is hosted outside of our environment, he worked tirelessly to figure out what went wrong, and how to get us back up as quickly as possible. Within a few hours, we went from troubleshooting a hosting issue to migrating everything to a new and faster server that will allow us to continue to develop and grow the many resources available. Not many get to see the behind-the-scenes work, but it’s people like Adam and the rest of the Camas IT department that make everyone’s work easier.
Camas High School Sports Medicine Teacher Jake Howell is receiving the Mill Town Pride award for his dedication not only to the students he teaches, but also the athletes in competition.
If you've ever been to any of our athletic events, you've seen Jake and often students from his classes. When you go to an athletic event, you are normally focused on the field or court, but if you are paying attention to the sidelines, you'll see Jake is there before and after every game.
Recently, Jake stepped into the role of contact tracing helping staff determine who were close contacts, who had been tested and communicating with families to ensure our process is complete. Thanks for all you do, Jake!
Business Services Director Jasen McEathron updated the board on our current budget and how the development of next year's budget is progressing. He noted potential opportunities for additional funding from the State and indicated we will know more when the current legislative session ends in late April.
Would you like to see more? Agendas, supporting documents, and minutes are posted here.
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As the number of days students are in school increases, so does the number of cars driving to and from school. Camas School District and the City of Camas want to make sure everyone is safe and comfortable while navigating the roundabout at Lake and Everett. Take a minute to refresh with these informative videos!
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