Superintendent Bahr Newsletter

June Weekly Report

Jumping into the last 7 days of school 2020

Greetings families, staff, and greater community of Eatonville,

The end is on sight for the 2019-2020 school year. There are many questions about next year and next week. This bulletin is long and filled with many items. The intent of this communication is to get as much information into your hands before the end of school, so I apologize in advance. Just scroll to the section that is most relevant for you.

The #1 Question

The #1 question on most minds and for many of you who have contacted me directly.

What does the Fall 2020 look like for Eatonville?

I want to unequivocally tell you that we are planning for an in-person face to face start for the school year. Schools are crucial for families to have some semblance of normal and for parents to return to work, however, our plans must align with CDC and DOH recommendations for the September opening.

This will be difficult and sensitive planning, but our administrators, and staff are committed to realizing this plan. We ask that you lean into our surveys and help us at a time that we all need each other more than ever. This will remain our focus over the summer until (and unless) we are told that this is impossible.

We know that childcare is an issue for our families. Childcare is of utmost importance and a major factor in our efforts to work towards a five (5) days a week model within the guidelines given. We will have DRAFT models later in June with the understanding that things will evolve and change over the summer based on research and requirements.

As the local Eatonville Superintendent and the current President of WASA for Washington State (for 3 more weeks), I will tirelessly advocate for children and families to have schools support equity and access for all families to live and thrive in this pandemic environment. You all matter deeply and we are here to support you as much as we can.

We Can Do Hard Things!

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OSPI Reopening Work Group

The following plans are listed on the OSPI Reopening Work Group. I have been deeply involved at many levels advocating for equity, access, and social emotional supports for all of our children. At the same time, we must ensure safe and healthy facilities for staff and students.

Our operations and technology staff are working around the clock to understand the issues and to solve them for the fall. Listed below are some thoughts regarding opening schools.

We also recognize that the health and wellness for our children is a shared value for all of us in Eatonville. We must also be prepared in the event of a severe spread scenario as determined by our local Department of Health officials which would necessitate us to close schools and resume distance learning with accommodations as appropriate (e.g., students with disabilities, high risk students and families).

Listed below are some thoughts regarding opening schools as shared with the RSWG on June 2. (Kinetic West)


  • What are the key public health indicators of readiness to reopen?
  • How can our reopening plan best account for geographic variation in threat level?

Theme around this question in the research:

No “perfect answer” given balance of overlapping health risks, economic risks, and learning loss

  • International community in stages of reopening cite learning loss and economic risks (Israel, Denmark)
  • In some countries, timing has been dynamic based on case spikes after or near reopening (Singapore, S. Korea)
  • Almost all are allowing for regional variability given local governance and case density
  • Some states considering summer in-person reopening to combat learning loss and trial approaches (OR., TX.)


  • How do we reopen in an equitable way?
  • Which grade levels should we serve first?
  • Which demographic groups or student needs should be prioritized?


  • How are we maximizing student learning in this environment?
  • How do we ensure health and safety of students, families, teachers and other personnel?
  • How do we support our students’ SEL needs as well as their families and our communities?
  • What are the operational considerations of the reopening process?

Research shows there is not “one best” way to reopen schools. Countries who have reopened have used a range of strategies customized to the local public health, policy, political, and regional context.

Some examples are:

Many countries focusing on two components of social distancing:

  • Distance between individuals
  • Reducing the number of face-to-face contacts each individual has Physical distancing practices including lining up outside of school in the morning, desks spread apart (Denmark), use of plastic partitions (Taiwan), hallways organized for one-way traffic (Germany), and use of outdoor space (Scotland) Self-contained student groupings to minimize contact (Denmark)

  • In secondary, teachers rotate rather than students who remain in homeroom classroom
  • Increased cleaning protocols and frequent handwashing (multiple countries)
  • Use of masks for teachers and/or students (multiple countries)
  • Open windows (Germany) or no use of air circulation systems (China) Restricting building access to essential staff only – curbside drop off and no parents or volunteers (multiple countries)
  • Frequent testing and health screening to identify sick students and teachers – temperature checks upon school entry (China, Japan) or use of monitoring bracelets (China – pilot stage) Strict quarantine protocols for students/staff exhibiting symptoms Use of tracking app to understand student risk level. Students must show that they are “green” before being admitted to school (China, South Korea) Monitoring public health data in partnership with local public health officials

Communicating new health and safety protocols to students, families, and staff important to ease fears of returning.

  • In Korea, students participated in online classes in hygiene, health and safety one week before school
  • In China, families were first given video and instructions on health and safety and had to sign off that they were comfortable returning to school. The school staggered start days one grade level at a time, did 90-minute training on safety first day back, and next day came back for full day of school.
  • Using visuals (video and images) was identified by interviewees as being very important to show students and families what to expect. Sample welcome back video. Required staff demonstration of health and safety protocols in action signed off on by public health officials (China)

The Difficult but Doable

As you can see there are many complex parts to the planning. I hope that you send prayers and positive intentions to us as we navigate this for your children to innovate and create an amazing school experience although it will look strange and new at first.

As a Google Reference District and a winner of the following awards throughout the years, we can do the hard work for the success of our district and our students.

Eatonville School Board of Directors

  • 3X Board of Distinction Awards

Eatonville Elementary School

  • OSPI STEM Lighthouse School 2017
  • Arts Impact Grant
  • Innovative Schools OSPI Designation
  • Computer Science Grant OPSI Awardee
  • 2 X School of Distinction Award Winner
  • United States Department of Education Green Ribbon School Award 2018

Weyerhaeuser Elementary School

  • Matt Pedersen, Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics & Science Teaching
  • OSPI STEM Lighthouse School 2015
  • NSTA recognized teacher leaders in science and math
  • Wildcat Woods - Outdoor environmental project-based learning lab
  • Computer Science Grant OPSI Awardee
  • United States Department of Education Green Ribbon School Award 2018

Columbia Crest A-STEM Academy

  • United States Department of Education Green Ribbon School Award 2016
  • Innovative Schools OSPI Designation
  • OSPI STEM Lighthouse School 2014
  • Computer Science Grant OPSI Awardee
  • College Bound Gold Star award. 2018
  • Washington Green School, Bronze Level 2016

Eatonville Middle School

  • OSPI STEM Lighthouse Grant 2019-2020 SY
  • Innovative Schools OSPI Designation 2019
  • Washington Green School, Bronze Level 2016
  • Computer Science Grant OPSI Awardee
  • Certified AVID School
  • College Bound Gold Star award 2017 & 2018

Eatonville High School

  • OSPI High Achiever Designation 2015
  • 2016 College Board Honor Roll National Award
  • AP Honor Roll Recipient
  • Computer Science Grant Awardee
  • AVID Classes 9th-10th grade levels
  • 2018 Graduation rate of 95.7%

Eatonville School District has been designated as a Google Reference District and supports

unique innovative programs through the GRITS program at Kjelstad Farm and Mount Rainier

Parent Partnership (MRPP)-(Homeschool program)


We are encouraged and excited to provide the following at a very uncertain time; COVID-planning is an opportunity to reinforce Washington's educational values:

  • Ground decision-making in vision to ensure equity, increase student learning, and close opportunity gaps
  • Eatonville School District can be leader in providing equitable opportunity to students furthest from educational justice
  • Concrete actions to prioritize support for those disproportionately affected absent from many state plans
  • Health and Safety is a paramount concern but it’s not a burden OSPI and districts should bear alone
  • Governor’s office, DOH, County Health officials are critical partners in providing Public Health requirements and guidance


Now is the time for our statewide “moonshot” on technology in education.

  • We will be working with the public and private sector on a universal device and connectivity strategy. We have seen the disparity that arises when we must institute remote learning.
  • We are in the process of ordering devices to get closer to a 1:1 ratio for children and access.

Remote Alternative

We recognize that some of our families and staff will be high risk and wish to have a remote alternative until increased medical solutions have been developed. We will be able to provide remote options as we have had these options in place for several years in some cases.

See link below for this information if you know this is a need for your family for Fall 2020.

Mt. Rainier Parent Partnership

Kindergarten to 5th grade

Eatonville Online Academy

6th to 12th grade

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Senior Car Parade

It is a reverse serpentine. Heading down Mashell towards Key Bank. Left at that intersection towards the light. Turn left at the light and head down Washington out of town.
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Mental Health News

When trees drop their leaves allowing for expansive views, they reliably transition again into leafy green sources of shade in the sunnier months. Transitioning from one season, or phase of life, to another not only defines...

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Washington State Phase Plans

Click the link to view what each phase in the WA State Plan entails.

Safe Start Washington

Phased Reopening County-By-County

Plan for Collecting and Dropping Off Student Items

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Chromebook Return Plan

Chromebook Return Plan

Families who have a Chromebook checked out will need to check-in the device and charger at Eatonville Elementary School at 209 Lynch Creek Rd E, Eatonville, WA 98328. Please note the device must be returned to this location, not your child’s home school due to cataloging purposes. Device return will follow the same schedule as the supply return.

  • Last names A-I: Wednesday, June 10th from 10:00a.m. - 3:00p.m.

  • Last names J-R: Thursday, June 11th from 10:00a.m. - 3:00p.m.

  • Last names S-Z: Friday, June 12th from 10:00a.m. - 3:00p.m.


Eatonville Elementary 209 Lynch Creek Rd E, Eatonville, WA 98328

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Medication pickup on June 5

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The Next 7 Days of School


Dear Eatonville community,

I am aware that many of us are deeply impacted by the events of the world, particularly around the topic of race and recent traumas here in North America.

My wish for us at this time is to hold yourselves and each other tenderly as we heal and learn a way forward that honors all lives. My heart is truly broken and convicted that we must become better as a nation at all levels. As both of my professional organizations stand for justice, I stand for equity, access, and embrace all who advocate for safe and healthy communities everywhere.

AASA - The School Superintendents Association

WASA - Washington Association of School Administrators

WSSDA - Washington State School Director's Association

As we look to the Fall, we continue to have Equity and Diversity as our key values.

  • Equity: We believe that children need each of us to act as their advocate. All children can succeed in their pursuits: college, workforce, community engagement.
  • Diversity: We believe that all children of differing cultures and backgrounds must have the same opportunities and will be supported by the community to become their most successful adults.

I remain resolute in my belief that public schools, while far from perfect, remain the preeminent vehicle for driving the kind of change necessary to transform the lives of all children and young people for the better. Public schools are the bulwark of our democracy, the backbone of our communities, and our greatest source of hope for a better future.

Leading this effort in Eatonville schools is an honor and a moral imperative like no other.

Humbly, we must remain Eatonville Strong for All!

Thinking of you all,
Please stay safe and healthy

Visit the Pierce County Health Dept. website

For information directly from the health department.