Community Letter

April 1, 2021

Happy Spring Break

Dear LISD Families,

SBAC (Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium) season is almost upon us. Our students will begin taking the test when we return from spring break. Students in 5th, 8th, and 11th grades will take science test. Students in 3rd-8th grades and also 10th grade will take the math and ELA tests. One of the Washington state graduation requirements is to pass the math and ELA SBAC.

The SBAC assesses Washington state standards including higher level thinking, communication, reasoning, problem solving, and the application of knowledge and skills in real world situations. SBAC scores help us understand if students, both individually and collectively, are on track in the mastery of grade level standards as well as college and career readiness. We use SBAC results in addition to other assessments and assignments to evaluate the effectiveness of both curriculum and instruction. Data driven decision making means triangulating different sources of data to get a clear picture of where we are excelling and where help is needed.

Test refusals penalize schools and districts because students who do not test are counted among the students who are not mastering standards. This is reflected in our accountability index, and schools and districts who fall below a 95% participation rate on state tests jeopardize eligibility for state and federal awards and recognitions.

We will soon be posting more detailed information about SBAC testing on the school website, so stay tuned for that. If you have specific questions, please contact our assessment coordinator, Kathy Booth (

We hope all our staff and students have a fun and rejuvenating spring break! See y'all on April 11.

All our best,

Mary and Martha

Menu: Week Ending April 15

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An Interview with Fig McClerren

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Spotlight on a Member of the 2022 Graduating Class

What clubs/athletics/extracurriculars have you been involved in? I’ve been in MPPACT, orchestra, GSA, and volleyball at school. I’ve also performed with Community Shakespeare for about ten years, and I’m the head night baker at Holly B’s. I’ve worked there for 4 years.

What is one positive memory from your time here that you’ll carry with you forever? We used to play capture the flag in the big field…the whole school and barefoot! It was so much fun. I have loved field trips. I got to go to Olympia and see the capitol building, but the swimming trips to the Fidalgo pool were probably my favorite.

What is the best piece of advice you have received from a teacher? Doing something is better than doing nothing. If you can get something done and turned in, the teachers can work with you. A zero is a LOT worse than 60%!

Finish this sentence: “I cannot live without…….”: The pockets of time where I get to exist freely as a human being. In our society, we prioritize success. We are living in the imagination of white colonizers who had ultimate control of our society and still do. Trying to be perfect is so mechanical. What’s the most beneficial thing for us really?

What is the most creative excuse you have ever used to get out of school work? There have been times when I’ve said I need to go home…and then I do actually end up being sick. I’m really pretty honest with teachers. The shift of living on my own makes me feel more solid in owning my own truth. When I have time and energy, I do extra work to give myself room for mistakes and falling behind.

What is one piece of advice you have for incoming high school students? You are enough, no matter what grades you get.

What is the most meaningful assignment ever given to you by a teacher? In 10th grade, Ms. S. gave us this assignment to live without a privilege for one month. Some people chose a bed or sleeping inside. I went without any financial support from my parents. I tracked all my expenses and I didn’t use any of their money except having to go to the doctor once. I lived on a Costco box of ramen and lots of quesadillas.

What’s the most important quality in a friendship? Why? I would say that trust and honesty are an important foundation for a friendship. Then you know that they are on your side, which makes it possible to confront each other about important things that need to be said. Confrontation can be an act of love. Communication is also key.

In 10 years, I will be…: I will be getting up to my usual mischief. I don’t have an end goal plan. I hope I take time to enjoy the little things and the little moments that make life brighter. I want to remain passionate about my current aspirations, whatever those are. What we want to do is constantly changing in life. I want to prioritize my own happiness. Instead of trying to achieve the most dopamine, try to add more contentment and peace.

Who/what do you find inspiring? I’m inspired by people in life who I’ve met who have broken out of the status quo and pushed beyond that to see what’s possible when you don’t follow the path that is already laid out for you.

What song summarizes your feelings about graduating from high school? Vienna by Billy Joel. It reminds me to slow down and that I'm okay.

What are your plans after high school? I’m taking a gap year to focus on saving up my money to buy a bus so I can convert it and live in it. The most important thing to me is travel and seeing the world.

From our Counselor, Jeanna Carter

Washington State Rural School's Virtual Fair

Hello High School students & Parents/Families,

We would like to bring to your attention this great opportunity. On Apr 28, there will be a Washington State Rural School Virtual Fair. This event is NOT a zoom call but a special virtual college fair that uses advanced technology to replicate an in-person event.

Please find below a link to the event page as well as more

information on the event. I highly recommend you attend.


When you register, you tell the event smart platform your unique preferences for your dreams. The platform will cross-reference your preferences with all the attending colleges, and will show you your personalized matching score with every single school that is attending the fair...saving you a lot of research time.

Running Start


If you are an academically motivated public high school junior or senior, Running Start may be of interest to you and your family! Registration for fall quarter 2022 starts very soon!

The Running Start program at Skagit Valley College / San Juan Center (SJC) offers high school juniors and seniors the opportunity to take college level courses to earn dual credit toward both your high school diploma and college degree—without paying tuition!

The San Juan Center will host two separate Running Start information nights via ZOOM for interested students and parents on Tuesday, April 5th, 6:00-7:00 PM, and again on Wednesday, April 27, 6:00-7:00 PM.

All who wish to attend please RSVP to SJC Director Randy Martin . Please specify which date you would like to attend. Once your RSVP is received, you will be sent a Zoom meeting invitation in your email. You will need the Zoom invitation information to enter the meeting on the date you choose.

Learn how the Running Start program works; what classes are available; registration and intake process; and how the program may or may not be a fit for you and your family. SVC staff will be available following the session to discuss individual questions.

Social Media Safety Corner

Free Parent, Teacher & Counselor Forum: 25+ Dangers On TikTok, Snapchat, Instagram, Fortnite, Netflix, YouTube & More. Join Josh for a presentation that will teach you the hidden safety features of TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat, Netflix, Discord, Fortnite, Twitch & more! Register here:

When: Save your seat for our next sessions now!

Thursday, April 14, 6 pm Pacific/9 pm Eastern

What: A 45-minute engaging LIVE presentation with Josh Ochs and the team at

What parents/families, educators, and counselors will learn:

  • TikTok's privacy issues and how it impacts your family
  • Snapchat features that help predators locate your student
  • Instagram's hidden accounts some students use
  • How Fortnite can cause anger and anxiety in students
  • Common Netflix addiction issues with students
  • YouTube screen time issues and how to limit screen time

From the Art Studio

There will be student art in the Lopez Island Public Library from some of our middle school and high school students from April 1-30. Please stop by and check out some of our student work.

Here is some of the art that will be displayed.

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Decatur: Message in a Bottle

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A bottle put in the waters from our very own Decatur school 2 months ago was found by a K-3 school on Guemes Island. Both schools are now charting the probable course the bottle took to land on Guemes. The students from Decatur and Gueme have talked on the phone, shared pictures and are now pen pals!
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Thank you LITPSA and Spring Clean-Up Volunteers!

Last Saturday, we had beautiful weather, and a productive work crew helping to clean up around the garden and the school's landscaped beds. We had over 45 hours of volunteer time donated to weed the front bed on center road, weed the kids' gardens, mark the students beds so they are ready for planting, and haul away 5 truck loads of woody branches!

Please extend your thanks to the volunteers for their time and LIPTSA for organizing this event.

Life in the LMC (Library Media Center)

Books are flying off the shelves in the library! The 9th graders have started their exploration of classic novels, while the 6th and 7th graders have begun reading a free choice book in preparation for their oral book reports.

Parents and students are encouraged to return their overdue books. There are many still out from the Covid closure, and they need to be returned. So far this year, 3,133 books have been checked out with 2,793 returned. If you’re wondering about your student’s account, please email

Special thanks to our Lopez Island Library for their willingness to share their collection with our students. When a request is made for a book not in our collection or a second copy is needed, they are more than happy to share.

“Read alouds” in the library continue through the year. Ms. Deirdre just finished reading The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler to the 5th grade. The 4th grade is enjoying Wonder; the 3rd grade, Frindle and the 2nd grade, Because of Winn Dixie. The books are discussed and opinions are shared freely!

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From the Nurse's Station

Our much awaited break is upon us!! Yeah!

The newest variant of COVID named Deltacron (since it is a combination of Delta and Omicron variants) is making the rounds. It is the cause of all the new cases of people who are hospitalized. Since things are loosened up about groups and masks, consider what is safest for you and your family. Distancing and masks can still be used by any one who wishes a bit of increased protection. I would encourage this.

The Health Room can do testing on return, of anyone with symptoms. Testing is 9 to 10:30 Monday, Wednesday or Thursday.

I also wish to thank Mr. Ed Murray for the ABCD Service Award he presented to me during the board meeting last week. It was quite a surprise. Included in the award is a gift certificate to Paper, Scissors on the Rock, one of my favorite stores on Lopez!

Have a GREAT spring break!

Karen Hattman R.N.

LISD Board

The LISD Board will be conducting the annual evaluation of the superintendent. Sarah Rabel and Del Guenther will be reaching out to individuals after Spring Break. Their contact information is on the district website, as they welcome participation in this process
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Invitation from Lopez Island School Human Resources

Would you like to be more involved in our school? How about becoming more involved in Lopez Island's community? Making some money? Earning some paid time off or other benefits? We would LOVE to help with that! There are many different opportunities available for you at our school, including:

- Van Driver - Want to get out and see the island? This transportation position drives a wheelchair van (or another vehicle) to transport student(s) with special needs to and from school. This 3.5 hour per day, Monday through Friday.

- Garden/Grounds - If you love reasons to spend time outside, how about getting paid for it as well? This position is for a Grounds person/Gardener averaging 4 hours per day, Monday – Friday thru August 31, 2022.

- Certificated Teacher Substitutes - Did you know that Washington offers an emergency substitute certificate, which does not require a teacher training program? Work days you are available and don't worry about having to take time off for days you aren't!

- ParaEducators and ParaEducator Substitutes - Interested in working with students individually, in small groups, and/or in general classrooms and helping assist teachers in modifying student behavior? You can apply to become a ParaEducator with a regular schedule or else a ParaEducator sub for flexibility!

You can see full postings on our website! Just go to District Info and then to HR and Employment for more details.

Let me know if you are interested in any of these positions! I am at school 11-4 daily and available at 360-468-2202 extension 2303 or to help see if there is a good fit here for you!

Thank you and I look forward to working with you (in whatever capacity),

Summer Hagge

Human Resources Specialist

Office Hours: 11am - 4pm

From the Superintendent

I certainly hope everyone takes a moment to breathe as you enjoy Spring Break next week. When we return on April 11, 2022, we will only have 48 days of school remaining for students (even less for our graduating Seniors). Within that 48-day window, we have a lot to accomplish. We expect to finish the development of our new strategic plan. We have the spring testing cycle to measure our student’s progress in English Language Arts, Mathematics, and Science. Some students will also have Advanced Placement tests, or they may be taking a college entrance exam such as the SAT or ACT. Of course, plans for graduation and other end-of-the-year activities will start to take center stage. Meanwhile, the district office will be focusing on budgeting and planning for the new school year and finding better ways to meet the needs of our diverse student population.

The 2021-2022 school year has been focused on managing our return from the COVID-19 pandemic. While we recognize COVID-19 is still out in the population, we have to turn our attention to new pursuits supporting our students and staff. How can we support learning recovery for our students? What kinds of summer programs do we need to offer to engage students and help them grow? Student engagement is a genuine concern as we strive to improve student attendance and create a system where students are interested, engaged, and want to be in school. The key to this is building a strategy around student interests and providing multiple pathways for students to achieve personal and academic success.

While I understand that change is a process, I also see change as necessary. Our students and we live in rapidly evolving times where the nature and substance of the future are more uncertain than ever. The only way to prepare our students for such a future is in an educational system that is flexible, student-centric, engaging, and dynamic. Student voice and choice in the academic environment are critical to achieving the goals of 21st-century education. Students must recognize that the only way to have a say in their education is through their presence in the school. So, as we approach the end of our strategic planning process and the beginning of our planning for the next school year, this message is a “Call to Action.” Our students need to be in school daily. Students also need to recognize where they are on their learning continuum. If you are behind where you should be, you need to work with us and take advantage of opportunities for additional support. That could be additional support in the classroom, through afterschool programs, or summer programming opportunities. If you are advanced in your knowledge and skills, it is not time to rest on your laurels. You have to continue working and growing, and we have to provide a system that challenges every student to continue pushing forward.

The future is on the horizon, and we are committed to making it a bright and engaging opportunity. Have a wonderful Spring Break!

Lopez Island School District

Ed Murray, Superintendent

Martha Martin, Secondary Principal

Mary Fordham, Elementary Principal

The Lopez Island School District does not discriminate in any programs or activities on the basis of sex, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, veteran or military status, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. The following employee(s) has been designated to handle questions and complaints of alleged discrimination: Civil Rights Compliance Coordinator, Ed Murray –; Title IX Coordinator, HR Specialist, Summer Hagge –; Section 504, Mary Fordham –; OR contact by phone, 360-468-2202, OR mail to 86 School Rd, Lopez Island, WA 98261.