Tonasket School District
Weekly Update ~ 1/20/2022
"Focused on Learning and Linking Learning to Life"
Last Friday’s Threat
Last Friday, the ES received a very short call with a threat to come and "blow up the school." The caller then hung up.
Based on some of the call specifics, we determined that the greatest risk was from someone from the outside, not something inside the school. Evacuating the building would have exposed our school community to more, not less, risk because of the nature of the call. We thought that the call was probably not a real threat, but out of due care and caution, we called a Secure the Building (which is not a lockdown) which restricts all staff and students to the buildings and restricts anyone from entering or exiting the buildings.
Law enforcement was called, responded quickly, and determined that the call was a hoax that came from a juvenile in California that chose our school at random.
I am very proud of how our staff responded to the incident and also share a huge thank you to our Sheriff's Department for their quick response, and for their ability to quickly identify that this was a hoax.
Parents, please remember that during a Lockdown, Secure the Building, or Clear the Hallways emergency, all outside doors are locked for the duration of the event and no one will be allowed in or out. All possible efforts will be made to communicate the status of these events to staff and students as the situation allows. The first priority will always be the safety of students and staff.
SCHOOL DISTRICT GOALS:
Capital Project Update
Powerful Teaching and Learning
The HS Vet Science students and their teachers, Jordan Bradley and Ramsi Marchand-Bradley, visited Michael Garrett’s cattle ranch giving cows immunizations and health checks.
Last week the Tonasket FFA Shop team went to Okanogan HS to compete in a FFA Shop competition. The students took a small engine test, measured valve and air gap clearances, and arc welding.
- The past couple of weeks has been challenging for the district to have enough coverage for staffing and classes with the increase in the positive Covid cases, other illnesses, and other leave requests. The principals are working with their building staff to come up with day-to-day solutions to these staff and substitute shortages. As our COVID case rates increase and with the increased transmission rate of Omicron, I have asked the administrators to move as many of their meetings with staff as possible to virtual to mitigate the spread of the virus.
- The legislative session has begun, and there are several school-related bills being discussed. Through our participation in the Eastern Washington Quality Schools Coalition, I have been able to participate in meetings with various legislators to discuss several bills. One of the themes we are stressing at every meeting is no new mandates from the legislature! Three very interesting bills that had committee hearings this week were:
Stabilizing enrollment to pre-pandemic levels (SB 5563/HB 1590).
Increasing school staffing levels for school nurses, counselors, social workers, and psychologists (SB 5595/HB 1985 and HB 1664).
Right-sizing transportation funding to cover actual costs (SB 5581 and HB 1808).
Parent and Community Engagement
- THS & TMS are working on a project for students at Tonasket Middle and High School. They are searching for THS graduates who are willing to share the career that they are in. They need a short video clip of Alumni describing their job. The object is to showcase all the different directions people from Tonasket have gone from our school district.
Click on the Career Exploration and it will say "Add Response". You will have the ability to create and edit or delete and rerecord as needed. To participate in this project, simply go to this link and follow the directives provided:
- Update last week from Kristi Hutchins, HS Counseling Secretary:
"I am very proud of our students who volunteered spur of the moment to shovel walkways and or driveways after Wednesday's (January 5) snowfall. We got the list from City Hall, and 4 groups of students (11 total) were out in the community for 1-3 hours helping 21 city residents.
One of the residents called the school, stating how thankful he was for the help, 'those kids saved my life!!'
EVERY single student returned saying they enjoyed it and would do it again."
TEA and PSE Updates
- Congratulations! Tonasket School District has been awarded a Helping Hands for Youth: Unfinished Learning & Learning Recovery from the Community Foundation of North Central Washington in the amount of $15,000.00.
- Congratulations to the Tiger Wrestling Team for winning the Apple Pie Tournament held this past weekend.