Tonasket School District

Weekly Update ~ 3/1/2019

"Focused on Learning and Linking Learning to Life"

One School

One Team

One Purpose - Student Success


Capital Projects Update

  • The energy efficiency audit is underway and when we get this report we will have a better idea as to the scope and cost of this part of the projects. At Wednesday’s board meeting, the school board approved the contract with the DES Energy Program which is the state program that conducts the audit an Investment Grade Audit. The purpose of this audit is to develop a detailed engineering study that will identify the scope of the work, energy savings, maintenance savings and a financial case that meets the district’s financial and operational goals. We should receive the audit report back by mid-April then we can begin the discussions of the capital projects timelines.

Powerful Teaching and Learning

  • In the book Visible Learning by John Hattie, he synthesized over 800 studies relating to student academic achievement. He found that Teacher-Student Relationships was 11th out of 138 indicators relating to student academic achievement. That means that it was the 11th most powerful strategy to impact student achievement, beating items like Home Environment which was number 38. At the bottom of this document is the section from the book that discusses this research. It is worth the read, and it is very worth your time as an employee in any position to build positive relationships with all of our students!


  • The school board set budget development parameters at Wednesday’s board meeting. They stipulated that we retain an 8% cash reserve and budget with a projected FTE of 1,070. The district will need to find ways to cut expenses next year, so I will be presenting options for reductions in expenses at the next work session on March 13th. Bobbi and I will be giving an all staff budget presentation on Monday, March 11th at 3:30 in the district board room. There will be plenty of time for your questions and input at this meeting. If you cannot attend this meeting and want the information please let me know so we can schedule another time to meet this need.

  • The district received a grant to purchase and install biometric finger scanners for our food service program. The purchase of the scanners addresses the concerns that have consistently been presented at our community outreach board meetings. The concern that students do not have enough time in the morning to eat breakfast before class starts. The scanners will help students get through the serving lines quicker. Information about the system for parents will be put on the website and in newsletters. Parent conferences will be held in March so information will be given to them at that time as well. Equipment is in the process of being purchased. Once the equipment is set-up, the district will scan the students’ fingers and after the scanning is completed, implementation of the new system will be in May.

  • We are in the middle of our bi-annual financial audit. We had our entrance meeting on Wednesday. The auditors will be focusing on Basic Enrollment, Fuel Controls, Food Service and ASB.

  • The Washington Kids Ready to Learn Act of 2018 requires public schools with at least 70% of students eligible for Free or Reduced-Price Meals to implement a Breakfast After the Bell Program. The Washington State Legislature provided funds for one-time, non-competitive startup grants for each school required to implement the program. The MS has been identified as eligible to receive grant funding for this program. The district is in the process of submitting the grant to receive this state funding.

  • On Thursday the district completed a lockdown drill. We provided time during the drill for teachers to review the lockdown procedures and to answer student questions about the procedures.

College, Career, Life Readiness

  • Katie Walker informed us that 11 of our seniors will be graduating this year with two degrees, a high school diploma and their Associates in Arts and Sciences Degree from Wenatchee Valley College Omak.

Parent and Community Engagement

  • I’ve included the note from the Migrant Team highlighting the Monthly Migrant meeting held on February 20. It was good to have discussions with the parents and hearing from them.

    “Last night's Migrant Monthly Meeting reminded me about trusting the team. About how great it is to work with folks that you can count on. It makes everyone's job easier when everyone is doing their job. There is always so much that goes into pulling off our monthly meetings. Everything from the initial PAC meetings with our parent leaders that plan the themes and food. From contacting and inviting families. From food prep to making sure we have all the people we need to pull it off, to childcare, to getting the technology set up, and coordinating presenters for each month's theme.

    “This month's theme was an open roundtable discussion with our school board members and Steve McCullough. There were some great discussions being had around each table and I heard from many people about how valuable this night was for them, both school board members and parents. Thank you to Ernesto Cerrillo, Clint Duchow, Sharron Cox, Joyce Fancher and Steve McCullough for joining us last night and taking part in the discussion with our Migrant and Bilingual Families. Thank you, Maribel, Cicely, Karina, and Norma for translating at the stations.

    “Thank you to Maribel and Lourdes for all the food prep this month, and thank you to Kristi Krieg for stepping in and chopping meat until your hands were cramping. Sorry about the dishwasher attack ;) Thank you to Giannina and especially Leann, who volunteered her time, for taking care of the kids in the gym. Thank you to Suzette, who came on her birthday, to help with serving food and cleaning up, you are a very special person! Mr. Ellis also sat in on some table conversations and provided a principal's perspective, along with Lilly Martin.

    “And then there is Martha. Martha is so instrumental in making these meetings happen, they would not be the same without her. Again, without everyone doing their part, these events would not be possible. And without these events, the bridge between the school and our community would not be as strong as it is.”

Staff Updates

  • At Wednesday’s board meeting, the board approved the following staffing items:
    1. Resignations:

      1. Sonja Bickel - Outreach Teacher

      2. Jolene Gayle - ES Resource Room Teacher

      3. Josh Emery - HS Asst Cross Country and MS Head Cross Country Coach

    2. Hiring:

      1. Cari Haug - MS Asst Track Coach

      2. Shelby Walker - HS Asst Tennis Coach

      3. Angela Nelson - Temporary SPED Paraeducator


  • Attending the state wrestling tournament was a thrill. Not only was it exciting watching our team earn its third straight team championship, scoring a record number of points, but it was also wonderful to watch the class with which the wrestlers, coaches, volunteers and families performed. We have a lot to be proud of with this program!

  • Congratulations to Scott Olson on the grant he received: “Good news! The Okanogan County School Retirees' Association has awarded a $200 Community Service Grant to Scott Olson to help fund chess sets and trophies, etc. for Tonasket Elementary's county-wide chess tournament for 4th graders. The members of OCSRA are pleased to help Scott and other volunteers provide this great opportunity for students.”

  • Congratulations to the HS Knowledge Bowl Team for placing fourth at Regionals last week.

  • Board Policy and Procedure updates. You can click the link below to view the policy and procedure updates.
      1. Procedure 1400 Meeting Conduct, Order of Business and Quorum

      2. Procedure 2029 Animals as Part of Instructional Program

      3. Procedure 2030 Animals in School

      4. Procedure 2255 Alternative Learning Experience Courses

      5. Policy 3144 Release of Information Concerning Sex and Kidnapping Offenders

      6. Form 3114 Principal’s Notification Checklist

      7. Procedure 3226 Interviews and Interrogations of Students on School Premises

      8. Policy 3231 Student Records

      9. Procedure 3231 Student Records

      10. Procedure 3413 Student Immunization and Life Threatening Health Conditions

      11. Policy 4314 Notification of Threats of Violence or Harm

      12. Procedure 4314 Notification of Threats of Violence or Harm

      13. Policy 6210 Purchasing: Authorization and Control

What Every Employee Needs to Know - Reminders

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