Tonasket School District

Weekly Update ~ 5/17/2019

"Focused on Learning and Linking Learning to Life"

One School

One Team

One Purpose - Student Success


Capital Project Update

At the May 7th board meeting, representatives were there from McDonald-Miller to present solutions to our HVAC project. The school board also prioritized the main projects:

  1. Energy Efficiency (HVAC System)

  2. Safety/Security Upgrades - start ASAP

  3. High School Shop Expansion for Vocational Education Program

  4. Elementary School Roof

Powerful Teaching and Learning

  • Martha Wisdom received the 2019 Washington State Classified Employee of the Year Award held in Olympia on Thursday. Congratulations Martha! What an honor for you and for the school district!
    Martha gave the credit for her award to the incredible team she works with. Also, she was nominated by Tyler Graves who wrote a beautiful nomination letter that was read during the award ceremony.
  • I enjoyed visiting with the certificated staff during the Teacher Appreciation BBQ held last Wednesday. I want to personally express my appreciation for the work you do to help all of our students learn and grow to high levels!

  • At the WASA regional awards in Wenatchee on Thursday, I was honored to be awarded the 2019 Student Achievement Leadership Award for the great work all of you have done over the past few years. The award is in recognition of the work we are doing in math and ELA adoption, principal coaching, the work of our Fellows, and the work of our Migrant/Bilingual/LEP programs.

  • Last year, Chelsea Freeman and other Choice High School students and staff researched and visited Big Picture Learning (BPL) programs around the state of Washington. Chelsea Freeman then presented information on what was learned so far about BPLs to the Tonasket School District Board of directors, asking for their support to begin transitioning Choice High School from an ALE program to a BPL program. Since the start of the 2018-19 school year, CHS students and staff have been piloting the BPL program. On May 9, I attended a State Board of Education meeting in Wenatchee where CHS students zoomed in and presented a brief overview of the credit-based waiver application. The waiver allows CHS to be flexible and innovative while being held accountable for high standards. On May 9, the SBE approved the CHS waiver. Congratulations to Chelsea, CHS staff and students for your work and effort to achieve the goal of becoming recognized as a Big Picture Learning program.

  • Starting next school year we will have two new separate schools in our district: Tonasket Choice High School and Tonasket Outreach School. Currently, all of the student data (assessment, graduation, attendance, etc.) is included in the student data for the traditional schools so this will allow us to see program level data more effectively.

  • Holly Haugan has been holding SPED seminars for staff and recently completed the fifth session. The seminars are short, bi-weekly presentations on topics related to the education of students with disabilities, including information about specific disabilities, instructional strategies, accommodation and modification strategies, legal and ethical issues involved in special education, and working with disability-based behavior in the classroom. Staff can attend classes or watch recordings online. Teachers can earn TPEP clock hours by registering through the ESD.

  • I am excited to share that our HS principal, Brian Ellis, has requested to move to our open CTE teaching position. Brian has extensive experience in teaching agriculture focused classes and will be a great addition to our program. The HS principal position has been advertised and the schedule for hiring is as follows:

  • May 15 Job is advertised (for 3 weeks)

    June 5 Job Closes

    May 20 at 3:30 PM Steve to meet with HS, CHS, Outreach staff
    • Review timeline

    • Discuss interview process

    • Discuss interview questions for group interview

    May 28 at 3:30 PM Interview Committee meet together to:

    • Review application screening criteria

    • Review interview questions (on Google Docs)

    May/June Ongoing Steve McCullough to do reference checks

    Interview Committee to review and score completed applications

    June 5 Position closes

    June 5 at 3:30 PM Interview Committee meet to select candidates to interview

    June 10 Interviews


  • NCESD (North Central Educational Service District) is going to work with 4-5 local districts to coordinate our RFQ (request for quotes) for our food service contract. We currently partner with Chartwells for this service and our hope is to generate more competition from other vendors if we work together.
  • This year the legislature passed a new health care plan for all school district employees called SEBB (School Employees Benefits Board Program). Two key changes in our healthcare system are:
      1. All K-12 school employees in WA will be on the same health care system.

      2. Employees who work at least 630 hours a year are eligible for the health care.

        The following link will take you to a FAQ for more specifics:

District Culture and Climate

I encourage you to watch the following TED talk by Galen Emanuele. He speaks about how to be a better human being and is well worth your time watching the video. I heard him speak at the superintendent conference last week.

Parent and Community Engagement

Congratulations to Debby Green for being awarded the North Central Educational Service District Friend of Children Award for 2019. Debby has coordinated the ES book fair for the past 19 years. The funds that she has raised over the years has enabled the ES to purchase SmartBoards for classroom, curriculum and teaching resources for teachers, and provided new books at no cost for ES students. Her efforts have also benefited local preschools. This prestigious award reflects the long-standing commitments to children and dedication to education demonstrated by deserving recipients. Debby was honored at a dinner at the Confluence Technology Center in Wenatchee on Thursday, May 9. We are honored and so pleased to have Debby provide this service to our district for so many years. She tells us that she has one more year of doing the book fair and then she will be done. You will also see Debby in other various capacities around the district. She helped with our enrollment finger scanning and also substitutes regularly as secretary and paraeducator. Thank you Debby!

TEA and PSE Updates

TEA and PSE negotiations are scheduled to begin the end of May and the first of June. The school board will be reviewing District negotiating direction at their May meeting during the executive session.

Staff Updates

At Tuesday’s board meeting, the board approved the following personnel items:

  • Resignations:
    Debra Hurst – 5th Grade Teacher
    Amanda Chase – HS ELA Teacher
    Anna Seltzer – MS Science/Elective Teacher
  • Hiring:
    Sasha Dart – K-12 Life Skills Teacher

Staff transfers for next year:

  • Jayden Hawkins - HS PE
  • Robin Brown - HS Social Studies
  • April Cole - 6th Grade Science/Elective
  • Scott Olson - 5th Grade
  • Jackie Glidden - (2 blocks History)
  • Shelby Scott - MS LA/History


May enrollment is 1,074.08.

What Every Employee Needs to Know - Reminders

Big picture