Tonasket School District

Weekly Update ~ 1/11/2019

"Focused on Learning and Linking Learning to Life"

One School

One Team

One Purpose - Student Success

I hope you all had a restful Christmas break and enjoyed time with your family and friends. I’m looking forward to a great 2019!


Powerful Teaching and Learning

  • Bobbi Catone, Business Manager, started in our district as a bus driver many years ago and over time, moving through several different positions, became our current business manager. Over the past two years she has completed college courses through SPU to become:
    Certified School Business Specialist in School Accounting
    Certified School Business Specialist in Retirement
    Certified School Business Specialist in Payroll

    Currently involved in:
    Washington State School Business Officials (WASBO) Co-Chair for Payroll/Personnel/Retirement networking group
    WASBO committee member representing schools in State Employee Benefits Board (SEBB)

    She won’t tell you but she had high praise from professors and high grades in each of her classes!

  • This weekend the school board is meeting on Saturday and Sunday for a retreat. They will be reviewing their self-assessment and working with a (free) consultant provided by WSSDA, the state school board association.


    • January enrollment was 1085 FTE. This is down from an October FTE of 1,113. The leaving students are pretty evenly distributed across all grade levels. Our budget was built on an FTE of 1,080.

    • As we ended Christmas break, there were several sightings of a cougar in town. In order to ensure the safety of our students, Lilly Martin ensured extra support staff overseeing the perimeter of the ES playgrounds on Thursday and Friday when students returned to school. All recess staff was instructed to be on heightened alert, keeping students close by preventing them from straying away from the group. In the event of a sighting near the school during school hours, recess would have been held indoors. Brian Ellis contacted the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife to get some guidance on the recent cougar sightings. Brian reported they said it’s not uncommon for cougars to come into the valleys to follow prey. Cougars live in Okanogan County and the department will not respond to a sighting unless they are threatening humans. At this time there is not a reason to respond or overreact. If we see a cougar they have asked us to call them at their North Central Region 2 office in Ephrata at 509-754-4624. If people want to know more information about interacting with wildlife, people can visit their website at:
    • Temperance and Good Citizenship Day, observed Wednesday, January 16, 2018: RCW 28A.230.150 states that on January 16 of each year (or the preceding Friday when January 16 falls on a non-school day) each public school will observe Temperance and Good Citizenship Day. Observation of Temperance and Good Citizenship Day is meant to promote civics education and peaceful citizen engagement.

      The original language of the 1923 Washington law included specific language regarding the education of the effects of alcohol and drug use; however, this language was removed when the law was revised in 1969. While many interpret “temperance” to mean prohibition, as defined above, instruction on “temperance” may include information about prohibition, but it is not a specific requirement of the law. The 2013 Legislature added the expectation that Temperance and Good Citizenship Day include opportunities in our schools for eligible students to register to vote at school.
    • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, observed Monday, January 21, 2019: In January 2004, the Washington State House of Representatives passed House Resolution4676 to recognize Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, honoring the importance of the life and work of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The resolution calls on the people of the state of Washington to study, reflect on, and celebrate Dr. King’s life and ideals in order to fulfill his dream of civil and human rights for all people and urges “all the citizens of our state to make Martin Luther King, Jr. Day a day of service—a day on, not a day off.” There is no state law or specific regulation that requires school districts to observe this day in any particular way.

    District Culture and Climate

    • At the Thursday emergency planning meeting of four northern Okanogan districts, we reviewed the Secure the Building and Clear the Hallway annexes/Flip Charts. We will go over these at our next administration meeting and then push them out to staff for feedback and adoption.

    • A goal for me in the new year is to attend more staff meetings and leadership team meetings. I look forward to seeing staff at these meetings.

    Parent and Community Engagement

    • January is School Board Recognition Month. Thank you school board for helping build the future of public education.

    Creative and Innovative

    • The School Board held a work session on Wednesday where Chelsea Freeman and staff and students from the Choice High School presented to the board. Last year, Chelsea Freeman and other Choice High School students and staff researched and visited Big Picture Learning (BPL) programs around the state of Washington. Chelsea at that time presented information on what was learned so far about BPLs to the School Board, asking for their support to begin transitioning Choice High School from an ALE program to a BPL program. Since the start of the 2018-19 school year, students enrolled in TCHS created their own learning plans with the support of advisors which included a vision statement and individual goals and projects. TCHS students and staff have held two open house events and one round of student exhibitions. In addition, all current students are participating in weekly internships in our community. Moving forward, TCHS hopes to continue to increase the rigorousness of student projects and the connection between Learning Through Internships (LTI) and independent student projects. The next round of student exhibitions is on January 17 and 18.

    Capital Projects Update

    • We had three responses to our ESCO (Energy Service Company) searches and after reviewing them and talking to their references, we decided to go with MacDonald-Miller for our ESCO. The primary reasons for choosing MacDonald- Miller were price, references, and ability to hire local contractors. On January 24, Mike and I will be meeting with Kirsten Williams from the Dept. of Enterprise Services energy program and with Michael Coffey of MacDonald-Miller. We’ll be going over the potential measures and laying out a schedule for the project proposals which I’ll present at the January 30 board meeting.


    • With the disbanding of our Tonasket Police Department, we will now be supported by our county sheriff’s department. You can reach the Okanogan County Sheriff by dialing 911 in an emergency or their direct line at 509-422-7200 for other business. The Tonasket City Mayor is negotiating with the Sheriff’s department for law enforcement support for the city and I will pass that information on when there is an agreement.

    • Saturday is the annual Apple Pie Tournament in the HS Gym. Good luck to our wrestlers competing.
    • Board Policy Updates. You can click on the link below to view the policy and procedure updates: 2162 Procedure: Education of Students with Disabilities Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

    What Every Employee Needs to Know - Reminders

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