ESD August Update

Excellence in ESD

Dear ESD Team,

I hope that you are having a fabulous summer. I spent time camping, canoeing and kayaking in July and am excited for this year to begin!

Below are a few important updates:

  • Learning Improvement Days (LID): ESD has great professional development planned for teachers on their LID days. Our LID days this year are August 30th, 31st, and September 7th. More details on the agendas for these LID days will be coming soon.
  • Summer Institute: ESD has an exciting opportunity for teachers this summer! ESD Summer Institute is running from August 9th - 20th. Teachers have the opportunity to attend up to 7 hours of training for per diem pay and (space allowing) can attend additional trainings for clock hours. We are offering 18 different trainings with some of them facilitated by our own staff. In addition to the trainings being offered, we have 32 teachers whose Special Project applications were approved, and they will be completing those projects during Summer Institute.
  • Early Release Wednesdays: The ESD Calendar Committee, consisting of various stakeholders, made the recommendation last year to discontinue the "Late Start Mondays" and to instead implement "Early Release Wednesdays". This recommendation was approved by the ESD Board of Education. Therefore, this year students will be released approximately one hour and 40 minutes early from school to allow teachers to meet together in Professional Learning Communities (PLCs). Data collected by the prominent educational researcher John Hattie demonstrates that giving teachers this regular time to meet in PLCs is one of the most effective practices that school districts can implement to raise and support student achievement. Please click on this FAQ link for more information about the Early Release Wednesdays and their support of PLCs:

  • Resources for Before and After School Care: For parents or staff members who are in need of before or after school care, please visit our community resources website at . This website describes different childcare programs that will be housed at Mt. Stuart and Valley View and throughout our Ellensburg community.

Directives Issued by OSPI to ESD Regarding Health and Safety Requirements for the 2021-2022 School Year

On July 28, 2021, Governor Inslee, the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, and the Washington Department of Health issued requirements for Washington public school districts to follow regarding the mitigation of health risks for staff and students for the 2021-2022 school year.

These requirements, as described by the DOH, were issued to achieve the following two goals:

  • Minimize transmission of COVID-19 among students and staff in K-12 schools and to their families and broader communities

  • Maximize in-person instruction

Some of the main components of these guidelines are:

  • All staff and students must wear masks while on school buses and when indoors at school, regardless of vaccination status.

  • Masks may be worn while outside, but are not mandatory.

  • Proper Protective Equipment (PPE) will continue to be made available to all students and staff.

  • Continued “layered” mitigation measures within schools will be implemented which includes: promotion of physical distancing, antigen testing when appropriate, proper ventilation and cleaning of facilities, etc.

  • Quarantine protocols will be updated to align with DOH guidelines and recommendations from Kittitas County Public Health to reduce student exclusions from instruction.

These updates will be reviewed at the ESD Board of Education meeting on August 11th during the regular Board meeting that starts at 6:00 pm.

Although these requirements from OSPI and the Department of Health may not be seen as ideal in the view of some stakeholders, it is important for us to stay focused on what we can control which is to provide a quality and engaging education for all students. We accomplish much more as a team. As we focus our efforts on personalizing the learning for every student this year, we will provide hope and joyful opportunities for our children to thrive and succeed.


Jinger Haberer, ESD Superintendent