Community Letter

April 30, 2021

Dear Lopez Community,

Hello there! This is the special end-of-month newsletter chock-full of important updates and announcements, but also news from our classrooms and Parent Partner Program. Read on to see what's up at LISD!

Superintendent Update from Dr. Carl Bruner

It’s difficult to believe that we’re at the end of April! As is typical of how we experience time, in the moment, this pandemic year has passed slowly. In retrospect, though, it’s racing by. The return of students has helped create an energetic pace.

This week’s School Board meeting brought some significant decisions. Specifically, the Board:

1. Approved the contract for the new superintendent, Ed Murray. Mr. Murray will begin his work with the District on July 1.

2. Passed a resolution placing a Capital Levy proposition before voters on August 3. The proposed levy will run for 5 years and is estimated to cost approximately $.09 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. If approved, this levy will:

  • Fund construction of an enhanced water system that will provide a comprehensive, updated design, backup in the event of a pump or power failure, reservoir recirculation, more efficient operation

  • Support the cost of annual major maintenance projects, easing the burden on the general fund.

3. Set the enrollment projection at 230 student FTE for the 2021-22 school year. Close to last year’s target, the Board chose to remain conservative in their projection due to the COVID-19 related uncertainties that remain. This enrollment figure determines the largest portion of state funding we plan to receive.

Next week, you’ll receive a questionnaire designed to help us identify those opportunities we provide that are most important in motivating and inspiring your student(s). Your feedback will help us determine how to best direct our resources.

That’s all for now.

Enjoy the weekend and Go Lobos!

Carl Bruner, Ed.D.

Interim Superintendent

Yearbook Request from John Platter

If your student wasn't photographed during either of the school picture days and you still want your kid's photo in the yearbook, please send a photo to Please choose a neutral background with good lighting!

Great Islands Clean-Up

A small but mighty group gathered for the Great Islands Clean-Up on Saturday, April 24. We picked up about 15 pounds of trash in the Village on this rainy morning! Thanks to Leah, Isaac, Lucia, Deirdre, Amy, Del, and Paul.
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Spanish Interpretation News

We now have Spanish language interpretation services for all LISD regular board meetings AND we have contracted with an interpretation service for conferences and conversations with Spanish speaking parents. This means that we can be more consistent in our support of families and our ELL coordinator, Arielle Ott, can spend more time working with students.

L.I.F.E. Program Plant Sale on Saturday, May 8.

Save the date and space in your garden for vegetable starts, raspberries, flowers, tomatoes, and more!

Mask Disposal Recommendation from Karen Hattman, our School Nurse

If you are throwing away a face mask, the ear loops need to be cut in half so these do not end up around the neck of a bird, duck or other small critter. Please then throw them in the garbage. Contrary to popular belief, chipmunks do NOT use them for hammocks!

Secondary Update from Principal, Dr. Martha Martin

Hello Secondary Families,

We just finished Week 2 of hybrid learning and it really is so wonderful to have students in the building. When they are here, this place feels so alive and vibrant!

Term 6 conferences are Wednesday, May 5. Teachers are reaching out to parents for instructions on how to sign up, and I encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity to meet with your child's teachers.

The junior class is planning prom, which is scheduled for Saturday, May 22nd. It will be held outside under the covered area with Covid-19 safety protocols in place. We'll need plenty of chaperones so don't be surprised if you are asked to help! Tickets will be on sale this week for $15 each. We are limiting the number so only juniors and seniors and their dates are invited to attend at this point.

A subgroup of secondary teachers and I are working on the secondary course schedule and the daily/weekly schedule for the 21-22 school year. Though the course schedule cannot be finalized until the budget process has concluded, we hope to have a draft available by mid-May so students may begin registering for classes.

Have a fantastic weekend!

All my best,


Spanish Class News from Arielle Ott

The students in Spanish 1 have begun presenting their end of the year projects. Some have written and illustrated children's books, others have cooked authentic recipes, some filmed traditional dance tutorials, and one even interviewed a native Spanish speaking student at our school. Each project is presented in Spanish and teaches the class something cultural about a Spanish speaking country. I am so impressed with their work this year!

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Sustainable Agriculture news from Amy Studzienko

The high school Sustainable Ag students visited Lopez Harvest's Christine Langley this week to help prep some raised beds for fall brassicas. We were very impressed with her highly evolved processes and infrastructure. She has two greenhouses on rails which she can push around the field adding weeks of spring in one spot, and weeks of fall somewhere else later. It was truly inspiring!
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Pandemic Essays from Richard Carter's 6th Grade Students

  • "The best thing that has happened to me in this past year is the fact that I have had time to really find out who I am as a person and express myself. I have been able to find more things I enjoy but before the pandemic I was always busy and never just had time to relax and explore who I am."
  • "What I’m most grateful for one year later is that there is a vaccine and more people are getting vaccinated everyday. It seems to be coming to a close and is good for the world."
  • "For me the most positive thing is that we get to spend more time with our family."
  • "I think that school should be in-person school because it lets us interact with people that are not on a screen and it won’t hurt our eyes."
  • "For me, the biggest positive about the pandemic has been spending so much more time with my family, and doing more crafts like building model cars which are SO FUN!"
  • "From now on, I think school should be always in person unless there is a: War, Pandemic, etc."
  • "I miss sushi a lot but that’s not the only thing I miss because of the pandemic."
  • "I waited for the time to come to hear that there was a death on Lopez and everyone would go crazy and it would be a blood bath waiting to happen."
  • "One way I’ve changed as a result of the pandemic is I’m getting weird about people hugging me and talking without a mask and walking around without a mask."
  • "So I’m grateful we're going back to in person school and hopefully I can get back the motivation that I had."
  • "What I am saddest about is that during the months without people I had developed a fear of communicating with people and sharing my feelings."

Elementary Update from Principal, Mary Fordham

Dear Family Lopez Lobos,

“Starting strong is good. Finishing strong is epic.” – Robin Sharma

Now that we have students back in school, more support for our remote learners, and spring conferences in the rearview mirror, it is starting to feel like the end of the school year is just around the corner. Before we can get to the finish line, we still have seven weeks of excellent instruction and great learning for students. The elementary team is focused on finishing strong and they are ready to support students in making the most of their learning. Thank you families for supporting your students with a "Finish Strong" attitude.

Thank you,


Parent Partner Projects Submitted by Rachel Post

Check out parent partner students' artwork, weaving with a loom, weaving a basket with homegrown materials, knitting, making homemade blood squibs for movie production, and much more!

Also, don't forget to complete the Parent Partner Intent Form if you're interested in this program for the 2021-22 school year:

Lopez Island School District

Carl Bruner, Interim Superintendent

Martha Martin, Secondary Principal

Mary Fordham, Interim Elementary Principal

The Lopez Island School District does not discriminate in any programs or activities on the basis of sex, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, veteran or military status, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. The following employee(s) has been designated to handle questions and complaints of alleged discrimination: Civil Rights Compliance Coordinator, Interim Superintendent –, Title IX Coordinator, HR Specialist Renee Koplan –, Section 504, Interim Elementary Principal –, OR contact by phone, 360-468-2202, OR mail to 86 School Rd, Lopez Island, WA 98261.