Education Insider

Anacortes School District News & Events - 12/3/21

Welcome to our new bi-monthly e-newsletter! This will go out every other Friday, and include a link to the Community Bulletin Board.
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Planning for the future

The purpose of this newsletter is to highlight essential work that brings our District’s vision and mission to life and update you on significant happenings.

Almost five years ago, a committee of staff, students, and community members developed a strategic plan for the Anacortes School District, which included the following vision and mission statement:

Vision: Anacortes students rise to their fullest potential, embrace the future, and make a difference.

Mission: We inspire every student every day with quality instruction that promotes creativity, growth, character, individual strengths and a lifelong love of learning.

Today, our vision and mission have not changed. We continue to set the conditions necessary for our students to rise to their highest potential, preparing them not only to excel as they cross the graduation line but also to thrive in life, college, and careers beyond high school.

This past spring, the school board and district team enhanced the 2017 Strategic Plan’s goals by turning them into a coordinated, measurable, and systemic action plan template. These revisions create a bridge connecting the expiring Strategic Plan to a future Strategic Plan - one that will capture our action plans over the next five years.

As you review the current plan, please note the first two columns are goals and key performance outcomes (KPOs) set by our board of directors. The last two columns are the actions we will revise each year and the key performance indicators (KPIs) we will identify to monitor the steps necessary to get us closer to reaching our five-year outcomes (KPOs).

Over these next five years, our staff will engage in iterative processes, revising our action plans to provide every student every day with quality instruction that promotes creativity, growth, character, individual strengths and a lifelong love of learning. Additionally, the Superintendent’s Advisory Council, a representative community group, meets with me quarterly to share feedback and provide input into future action planning. We also continue to engage our community in real-time via various committees, such as the current process for updating curriculum and programs.

We are proud to serve you and your students - creating the conditions for our community to thrive and for our students to rise to their fullest potential, embrace the future, and make a difference.

Thank you for your continued partnership.



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The Anacortes School Board approved two resolutions on November 18, 2021, placing two ballot measures before voters for the February 8, 2022 election.

  • Both measures are replacement levies, taking the place of expiring levies approved by voters in 2018.

  • The two combined, estimated rate of $1.28 per $1,000 valuation is 32 cents lower than previously approved rates in 2018.

  • Both levies fund services for students that are not provided by Washington State.

More information can be found on our website:

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Our COVID dashboard of positive cases reported among our staff and students is posted here:

COVID Coordinator: We are currently hiring for a COVID coordinator. This person will be responsible for maintaining ASD’s overarching response to the COVID-19 pandemic, developing plans and protocols that balance staff and student health and safety and access to academics and safety programs that will ensure consistent and equitable services throughout the District. More information is on our HR website:

Thank you for continuing to follow health and safety protocols.

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Community Engagement for Curriculum and Programs

This webpage provides information and transparency on district work and stakeholder engagement on curriculum and program development and decisions. Throughout the 2021-2022 school year, the district is hosting committees to support stakeholder engagement in the decision-making process. The district has already convened the Math Pathways, Advanced Course, and the Next Generation Science Standards Committee after the break and New Year the district will be hosting this Middle School Challenge Cluster Committee. If you are interested in learning about the committee work and updates on the stakeholder engagement in these committees check out this webpage.

Questions? Contact Becky Clifford, or (360) 503-1214


Our teachers and administrators have been working to assess student learning since fall. They use data to help identify intervention and acceleration strategies as needed. The state is continuing to process the SBA test data, and we should have results in January.

Questions? Contact Brandon Lagerquist, or (360) 503-1208

Critical Thinking: Going beyond the basics

At his famous trial, the philosopher Socrates is credited with saying, “The unexamined life is not worth living.”

Anacortes High School history teacher Jessica Pullen couldn’t agree more. In her 20 plus years as an educator, teaching critical thinking has just become an organic, intrinsic part of her classes.

Pullen says she never wants to push her own perspective. Rather, much like in a Socratic method, she’s there to help students see lots of perspectives. “At the end of the day, I’m not here to provide answers or decipher everything for my students. I’m here to help them ask questions, flush out their own understanding of the world,” she said.

Mt. Erie fifth grade teacher Sheena Saleh concurs. She wants her students to have a growth mindset to encourage their openness. Both Pullen and Saleh say their teaching must go beyond memorization of dates, facts and plots. For students to think critically, they must be able to apply that knowledge and ask important questions about implications... (to continue reading, check out the latest issue of the Anacortes Pride)

Mental health crucial to schools opening

Amidst the masked smiles, fist bumps, deep warmth and gratitude, and let’s face it, a flurry of students on the first day of school, there was an unseen, but crucial, element, to the fall opening--a focus on mental health. “Social-emotional learning (SEL) and academics go hand in hand. You can’t have one without the other,” Assistant Superintendent Dr. Becky Clifford said. “We’re not prioritizing one over the other; we’re looking to support the whole child to make our students college, career and life ready.’ (to continue reading, check out the latest issue of the Anacortes Pride.)
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Expanded Public Hours at Rice Field

We recently expanded the public hours at Rice Field. The field will be open to the public:

Monday-Friday, 5:30-7:30 a.m. and 5-8 p.m.

Please observe all posted rules. Groups with approved reservations have priority. All other use is first come, first served. Restrooms are not open during these times.

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We continue to recruit for paras, subs in all positions, and coaches. We are also going to hire permanent subs that will be able to rotate buildings and positions, and fill in as needed. Please refer to our HR page for openings:
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  • Thursday, Dec 16 - School Board Meetings
  • Friday, Dec 17 - K-5 Half Day (Students only)
  • Dec 20 - 31: Winter Break (District Office closed/ No tech support)
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Click the link below to find items submitted for our community bulletin board: