Superintendent's Update

September 2021

Dear ESD Families and Staff,

We are so happy to be back in school! We are hopeful that this will be another year of quality in-person learning for Ellensburg students. Making connections through extra-curricular activities is also a high priority for ESD.


News

  • Boundary Survey and Committee
  • COVID Response: Zoom with Dr. Mark Larson
  • Transportation Parent Portal
  • No Cost Student Meals
  • ESD Early Learning Center


Celebrations

  • Summer School
  • Summer Institute
  • Camp Morgan
  • Our Community

Boundary Survey and Committee

In 2022-2023, Ellensburg School District plans to open Ida Nason Aronica as its own school, with all Lincoln students returning to their newly renovated school. In order to provide streamlined and effective transportation, ESD will establish attendance zones for each of the four elementary schools. After compiling multiple sources of data, potential boundaries for the four elementary schools have been created with support from the District's transportation consultants, Education Logistics (Edulog). This information was shared with parents and staff in the June 10th Superintendent's Update https://www.smore.com/qncw8-esd-update.


The role of the Attendance Zones Committee could include:


• Reviewing the drafted boundaries that have been created and providing feedback to the District regarding these boundaries;

• Collaborating to create protocols that would be in place for the 2022-2023 school year.

This collaboration could also include discussing and developing strategies that address questions like:

o Would there be options for parents to choose a school outside of their attendance zone?

o What would the transition from the current system to attendance zones look like?

o What other challenges may arise, and what type of potential solutions could be developed?


If you would like to be a member of the Attendance Zone Committee, please complete this survey.

COVID Response: Zoom with Dr. Mark Larson

ESD will be hosting an informational night for ESD parents with Kittitas County Public Health Officer Dr. Mark Larson on September 30 at 7 p.m. (by Zoom). Dr. Larson will provide an update related to COVID in Kittitas County and answer questions submitted through chat. We are grateful to Dr. Larson for his tireless support and information during this unprecedented time. We hope you can join us!

Transportation Parent Portal

The Parent Portal mobile app by Education Logistics (Edulog) allows school districts to share planned and actual school transportation information with parents and caregivers. This app also provides the latest information on the planned time and location of the student’s school bus stop. Parent Portal can even show the position of the school bus and give an alert as the bus nears the bus stop.


There are step-by-step info graphics on the Transportation website.

All Students Eat at No Cost

All students in ESD can eat breakfast and lunch at no cost this year through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Seamless Summer Option (SSO).


SSO is one of the Child Nutrition Programs funded by the United States Department of Agriculture. In Washington State, the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) Child Nutrition Services (CNS) administers the program.


We are asking families who qualify for free and reduced lunch prices to please fill out the application as they normally would. These applications help identify needs, and provide other resources to students and families.

ESD Early Learning Center

We are excited to announce the Fall opening of our new ESD Early Learning Center. We are thrilled to provide an inclusionary preschool experience for children ages three and four, who reside within Kittitas County. Our lead teachers Cathy Idler and Effany Martinson are highly qualified, certificated teachers who are passionate about growing our youngest learners. For more information please click here, or reach out to Juli Hamilton, ESD Director of Early Learning and Elementary Success, at juli.hamilton@esd401.org.

Summer School 2021

Many Ellensburg teachers and paraprofessionals spent July 26-August 10 in the classrooms of Morgan and Valley View helping middle and elementary students improve math and English skills and engage in various projects like gardening. About 250 students participated in this important summer learning opportunity. This year at the high school, 53 students earned a total of 49 credits that will move them closer to graduation!

Summer Institute

Great happens here in ESD! This summer, several teachers chose to engage in continuous learning at Morgan Middle School. Twenty course sessions were offered in August ranging from approaches to math and literacy, to courses designed to help teachers understand youth mental health issues, and the best practices for behavior interventions.


There were 211 sign-ups for the sessions, with some teachers attending multiple sessions. As a result of these courses, eight special projects have been approved to move forward for research and study, with 33 teachers participating in those ongoing projects. We are delighted that we were able to offer this opportunity for teachers to grow and learn, while being compensated for their time. It was great to be able to use funds from the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER II Fund) to support our Summer Institute this year.


We appreciate our teachers and the hard work they do to make sure every student is prepared for school and beyond.

Camp Morgan

Morgan Middle School demonstrated excellence again this year with their hosting of Camp Morgan. Established in 2000, Camp Morgan has been held annually over four half-days in mid-August. This program is instructional but also fun with activities like “open your locker” races. For more than two decades, Morgan students have been a little less nervous and a lot more excited thanks to the promotion of this event. Kudos to the MMS staff and their dedication to our students.

Our Community

Even with a great staff, we would be lost without the steadfast support of our community. We appreciate our partnerships with families and community organizations. We are grateful to our local voters for supporting a bond to bring much needed schools to our community. Establishing the new Mt. Stuart, finishing Ida Nason Aronica, and remodeling Lincoln are all projects that serve as a testament to our community's dedication to the education of Ellensburg’s children.


We are committed to listening and working to meet the needs of all ESD students and their families. We are happy to welcome Diana Wilson as our new Family Liaison who will continue to strengthen connections with our community.


Additionally, I had the honor of meeting retired Mt. Stuart teachers at the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on August 26. It was a pleasure to meet June Fischer (2nd grade, 1966-1992), Ginger Jensen (1st grade, 1967-1992), and Ann King (Resource Room, grades 3-5, 1983-2001). Hearing their stories was inspirational, and it was also a nice reminder of the legacy of caring and quality education that flows through the history of this town.

Finally, I would like to thank everyone for a great beginning to the school year. We will continue to work with Kittitas County Public Health to ensure that we mitigate risks to keep students safely in school. Thank you for your patience, partnership, and passion for doing our best for our students.


Warmly,


Jinger Haberer

Superintendent Ellensburg School District