Tonasket School District

Weekly Update ~ 10/4/2019

"Focused on Learning and Linking Learning to Life"

Be Positive, Be Grateful, Be Involved

“A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.”

~ Christopher Reeve

"October is Disability History Month -- schools find that annually recognizing disability history throughout our entire public educational system, from kindergarten through grade twelve and at our colleges and universities, during the month of October will help to increase awareness and understanding of the contributions that people with disabilities in our state, nation, and the world have made to our society. The legislature further finds that recognizing disability history will increase respect and promote acceptance and inclusion of people with disabilities. The legislature further finds that recognizing disability history will inspire students with disabilities to feel a greater sense of pride, reduce harassment and bullying, and help keep students with disabilities in school."

"Your success and happiness lies within you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.”

~ Helen Keller


Capital Project Update

  • Starting today and throughout the weekend, MacDonald-Miller will be installing the new HVAC equipment, and a crane will be here to move the equipment into place behind the high school. The crane will be operating in the same location as our aerial fiber cable. Okanogan PUD will be taking the cable down for the 4th and 5th, and on Sunday the cable will be put back in place. Regular service will be restored Sunday, and everything should be back to normal on Monday.

  • This week in the ES commons and in a HS classroom there were some overheating issues. MacDonald-MIller has done a good job remotely monitoring the boiler system especially the two zones that were especially warm in this case.

Powerful Teaching and Learning

  • On Sunday and Monday I was at the Rural Alliance conference in Spokane. We discussed a new SEL (social emotional learning) project, rural data on career pathways, Microsoft TEALs (we do this at Tonasket - computer programming taught by Microsoft volunteers and Mrs. McCormick), NE WA Geospatial Environmental Technical Education project teacher training opportunities, preschool opportunities and WA state early learning initiatives, and resources to help with 9th grade engagement (Center for High School Success).

  • The administrative team is continuing with the book study from Dare to Lead. We discussed Rumbling with Vulnerability this week. The district office staff is doing a book study on Daring Greatly. We covered chapter one (Scarcity: Looking Inside our Culture of Never Enough) this week.

  • The middle and high school continues with their book study on Hacking Discipline. I heard there was a great turnout for the first meeting.

  • Bill Eagle (ESD 171 Principal coach and instructional coach) was in the district this week working with staff. He has been a great asset to our Tonasket team!


  • OK Corral is the Okanogan County superintendent's’ monthly meeting. At Thursday’s meeting we discussed early childhood education opportunities, homeless youth resources, CTE update, Time Immemorial Curriculum requirements, and communication with local legislators. We also met with Dennis Rabidou, administrator for Okanogan County Juvenile and Family Services. He shared the success of the Truancy Board process throughout the county in greatly reducing the number of youth sent to detention for truancy issues.

  • On Wednesday evening the school board reviewed their annual self-assessment. The board has committed to continuing with this assessment in future years.

District Culture and Climate

The group working on our culture and climate survey meet again on Wednesday, October 9th from 3-4 PM in the superintendent’s office.

College, Career, Life Readiness

Last week was National GEAR UP Week. Suzette Ellis, GEAR UP Director for Tonasket, provided information on the activities held last week:

“This past week has been National GEAR UP Week. I have had a variety of activities all week to support College and Career Readiness. We had Alex Morrissey in our building on Monday to talk to the entire high school student body about having 'a plan' for their future and that they are in charge of that plan. Alex also did one hour workshops with all of the seniors and juniors.
We played Kahoot during lunch on Monday and all students in the high school were invited to participate. It gave a variety of questions pertaining to college readiness and terminology.

On Tuesday, I took a bus with students to visit both Parker Tech College and Gonzaga University for campus tours and admissions presentations. We also stopped at the visitors center and laser light show at the Grand Coulee Dam. It was a fun experience that allowed us some STEM exploration.

On Thursday we took students to tour the Public Utility District in Okanogan, WorkSource in Omak, and North Valley Hospital in Tonasket. We found out about all the diverse careers available in each of the organizations, along with the needed education or training to perform them. At WorkSource we had a great presentation about interviewing for jobs, filling out job applications and how to produce professional cover letters.

On Friday we headed to Pullman for their Fall Preview Day on Saturday on campus at Washington State University. This week has been a great week of learning, exploring and growing as our kids begin to consider plans after graduation.”


  • Homecoming Week is a special time full of traditions, Pep Rally’s, bonfires, competitions, and parades. Thank you and recognition goes to Anita Asmussen, our staff, students, volunteers, and community who put in so much time and effort to make this week a success.

  • Fall sports season is in full swing and it has been a pleasure watching our teams work hard and play with determination, teamwork, and resilience.

  • Enrollment for October is 1,089.15. We budgeted for 1,055.

What Every Employee Needs to Know - Reminders

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