Tonasket School District

Weekly Update ~ 10/2/2020

"Focused on Learning and Linking Learning to Life"

Be Positive, Be Grateful, Be Involved, Be Flexible


Capital Project Update

Our elementary school front entryway safety and security upgrade is complete. We now have a security window installed in the front office/entryway. This, as well as the extra set of double doors, will streamline the way visitors check-in when they come to the building. In the next couple of weeks, the high school and middle school security entryways will also be finished. Building front office staff will receive training on the access control system then it will be up and running and then staff will receive front door access key cards. This was an important safety concern that needed to be addressed and I’d like to thank the community for their vote and support of this capital project.

Powerful Teaching and Learning

The school board decided at the September 30th board meeting to open with a hybrid model on October 12 for grades 6-12. Even though our cases per 100,000 have gone above 25, the board still believes that it is in the best interest of our community to get students into a face to face learning mode.

Other districts across our state have opened successfully with hybrid models with rates much higher than 25 per 100,000, and I am confident that we can also safely open. We have strong protocols and plans in place to mitigate transmission risk and also have a strong education plan.

This decision also is in line with the opening plans of other regional districts. Thank you for all your efforts in preparation for this hybrid education model!


  • Many things are happening around the district this week in preparation for the returning of students to the schools. Here’s a quick list of some of the great preparations staff are making for those eventful days ahead of us:
    1. Nurse Jill has been putting together health bins for all the classrooms. They will contain basic first aid supplies and thermometers. She has also been working with the Family Health Center (FHC) on donations and was informed they are donating 3000 surgical masks and 1000 KN95 masks. They are going to work on getting thermometers to hand out to families to donate as well.

    2. The maintenance staff have been arranging rooms to ensure students are 6 ft. apart. They’ve also supplied each classroom with cleaning supplies, sanitizer, and other COVID-related PPE.

    3. Staff are training in student screening procedures.

    4. Food service staff have been working to continue adjusting the food serving plans and serving schedule to accommodate the soon to start hybrid program schedule.

    5. The transportation department is adjusting route times and drivers’ schedules from delivering meals and transporting our small group students to a more regular busing schedule.

  • Good news! Current COVID data that came out today for our county and for our local communities (based on zip codes) shows that the Tonasket COVID incident rates have been under the 25 cases per 100,000 since September 5th. We have been under the 75 COVID cases per 100,000 since August 29th.

Parent and Community Engagement

Next Wednesday, October 7 is the October “Supt’s On” community connection virtual meeting. I look forward to these informal conversations with parents and community members. All Tonasket community members, whether parents of students in the district or not are invited to attend. The October 7 meeting will start at 5:00 PM for the English session and 6:30 for the Spanish session. I’ll hold them every first Wednesday of the month.

Creative and Innovative

The definition of innovative is: “featuring new methods; advanced and original.” Our entire hybrid program is creative and innovative. The launch date for the ES is Monday and the following Monday for the MS and HS. It’s exciting, with maybe slight trepidation, to finally begin and put into action what has been in the planning stages for so long. I’d like to thank all district staff for your efforts and positive attitudes in facing the challenges that have been in front of us since last March. Thank you for seeing opportunities in these challenges, and in this case, educational opportunities for our students.

Staff Updates

At the September 30 board meeting, the following personnel items were approved:

  • Resignation:
    Dawn Garton – Special Education Paraeducator
    Clint Duchow – Boys JV Basketball
  • One Year Leave of Absence:
    Wendy Lenton – Paraeducator


Starting Monday, October 5, meals for students not physically attending school in the buildings will no longer be delivered by our bus routes. Information on this was sent out via email and robocall yesterday. Please call your school building office for more information.

What Every Employee Needs to Know Reminders

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