Tonasket School District
Weekly Update ~ 2/11/2022
"Focused on Learning and Linking Learning to Life"
Thank you Counselors!!!
These are trying times full of frustration for families and the district. We are proud of our students for exercising and understanding their civil rights for peaceful protest, but the fact remains that we still have to operate under the rules the State sets for public school districts. Below is an email sent out February 10, directly from the State Superintendent of Public Instruction to all school district superintendents and School Board members reminding them of the ramifications if they were to choose to ignore the law.
Please be patient and kind to everyone in our school and community as we continue to try to navigate this difficult situation. Hopefully, this will help clarify why we can't just stop enforcing the mask mandate at this time.
As you are aware, the OSPI team is having healthy and important discussions with the Governor’s Office and the state Department of Health (DOH) about the transition from pandemic response to endemic procedures. One of the major topics is the current statewide mask mandate. I am hopeful the statewide mask mandate for schools will be removed, but a specific timeline for that has not been announced by the Governor. He is expected to provide more detail, including a timeline for when the change would take effect, next week. We do not expect a change to take effect until at least a few weeks from now.
Please note, face coverings for students and staff are still required at this time per requirements by the Governor, Secretary of Health, and the Department of Labor and Industries. Until the statewide mask mandate is eliminated, it continues to be a willful violation of the law to enact board policy or explicit practices that remove masking or allow for noncompliance within your buildings. As superintendents and elected officials, you are held to the highest standard of lawful behavior. We don’t always agree with laws, or proclamations that have the power of law, but I hope we can all agree that we have moral and legal obligations to follow the law. Our children are modeling behaviors and forming opinions on our civil order based upon what they see and hear from leaders like you in their community.
We are very close! Please be patient and respectful. As soon as we hear more about masks, contact tracing, or any other changes to our mitigation protocols, we will share those with you. Until then, please remind your district leadership teams, building personnel, students, families, and community members that we are still under a masking order until DOH and the Governor determine next steps. Failure to follow the law and executive orders may lead to OSPI withholding, and eventually reducing, your funding; and you may have personal liability if you willfully violate a law, safety order, or executive order.
I deeply appreciate that these complex times test our will and our shared responsibility to each other, so right now is the time to double down and step into your leadership.
Thank you again for leading when it is most difficult.
The school board has scheduled a meeting for Sunday, February 13 at 7 PM to discuss the masking mandate. This will be a virtual meeting for all members of the public.
SCHOOL DISTRICT GOALS:
Capital Project Update
- The HS CTE shop is making progress. The metal supports are up and are starting to take the shape of a building.
- The ES modular is set up and ready for use. We are waiting on the fire alarm inspection and then we are ready to occupy the building. There is no local inspector for this and we have been working for weeks to get someone from another region to come here to sign off on our occupancy.