Port Susan Middle School

Student & Family Update 03/27/2022

Congratulations, Mr. Austin!

This week, the district office staff joined us to celebrate Mr. Dave Austin with Certificated Teacher of the Month recognition. I want to point out a few comments from the nomination that really made an impact on my thoughts as we continue to work with our students.

The beautiful part of all of this is watching Mr. Austin's example transform the other kid's attitudes at school.

The great thing about a teacher that practices inclusion is it is contagious.

Modeling a mindset of acceptance and respectful inclusion to every kid he comes in contact with. Because it's a magical thing to be a part of and deserves to be celebrated.

I appreciate all parents, students, and our staff for your continued support, communication, and holding one another to a high level of respect. We are in this together and will continue to model respect and acceptance. Creating a structured environment with consistency and accountability will allow our students to grow as learners. Thank you!

Definition of HQTL

At PSMS, high quality teaching and learning means that we are a community of learners including both students and staff. Teachers provide routine and structures along with the belief that ALL students have the ability to learn.

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6th Grade Band Concert

I was so surprised by the progress our 6th grade band students have made this school year. Amazing job by Mr. Bletscher and Mr. Carey for putting this together. It was definitely the best 6th grade concert that I have seen. The students and parents should be so proud and it was a fun night. This next week, we will have the 7th & 8th grade concert on Tuesday @ 7p.m.!

High School Registration (8th Grade Students)

Message from Ross Short:

Good Evening,

Today (Friday the Stanwood High School Counselors and I met with the 8th Graders at both Stanwood and Port Susan Middle Schools to show them how to register for classes for next year. You can view the video of the presentation/ instructions here.

I encourage you to have your student pull up their course requests and show you what they entered into the system. Students have until March 30th to submit their course requests for next year. If they have submitted their requests and would like to make a change, please send me an email and I will unlock it for them. If you have any issues or questions, please let me know.

This week, the High School Counselors and I met with the 8th Graders at Port Susan and Stanwood Middle Schools to talk about high school graduation requirements, course registration, and goal setting. You can view a copy of the presentation we shared with them by clicking here.

On Friday, the counselors and I were at each middle school during advisory to assist the students in putting in their course requests for next year and working through their course planner. Between now and Friday we are asking them to:

1. Review the Graduation Requirements and Stanwood High School Registration Website .

2. Review the Stanwood High School Course Catalog

3. Think about their future plans and review the requirements & recommendations

4. Develop a list of courses for next year and alternates that we will input on Friday.

A couple of the key resources we shared with them and asked them to review in the coming days were:

Stanwood High School Registration Website--This website includes a wealth of information about graduation requirements, course selection, and more.

Stanwood High School Course Catalog

Graduation Requirements Hand Out (They received a hard copy of this document. It includes a scheduling worksheet for them to use. The worksheet will not be turned in)

List of CTE Courses Open to Freshman

List of All Courses Open to Freshman

A tool that I am very excited about showing you and your students is our new Pathways Guide. The goal of this document is to help students align their post secondary goal with courses offered in the Stanwood-Camano School District. You can find this information by Clicking Here. Here is a Video on how to use the tool: https://youtu.be/tFpe7a7tE4c A complete copy of the guide book is available here.

Our goal is to wrap up course registration by March 30, so we can begin planning our schedule for next year. If you have any questions, please let me know. I am looking forward to working with you and your students.

Conferences/Early Release Day

If you'd like to meet with a teacher or go over progress with your advisory, we have conference time slots available. Please reach out to teachers to get this set up as needed.

Reminder that we will have 1/2 days this upcoming week on Wednesday (NO LATE START), Thursday, & Friday. April 4th through 8th is NO SCHOOL for Spring Break.

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Power Hour/Student Support

Power Hour this week will be TUESDAY ONLY with Mrs. Harrington. We will start up again after spring break and offer it Monday through Thursday. We have added a day of support for Power Hour this round. Thank you to those that have made this happen for our students as well as parents for their support in transporting students. It has been a success!

**Schedule below will begin AFTER SPRING BREAK.

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Spring Sports Information (7th & 8th Grade)

Spring is just around the corner, and so is spring sports. Starting April 12th, we will have Boys Soccer and Track/Field (Boys & Girls) for 7th & 8th grade students. Practice will be at Port Susan Middle School from 2:30-4pm. If you need paper-copies of the sign up, you can ask in the office. Otherwise, the online sign-up is found here. You can also find the sign-up link on your Grade-level Google Classroom.
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*5 days left to order Knights Gear!

Our PTO is putting together another Knights gear order. See link below:


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Reminder...SBA Testing

SBA Testing this Spring

  • Test approximate length:

    • ELA PT (100-180 min) *May 2nd - 6th

    • Math CAT (40-60 min) *May 2nd - 6th

    • ELA CAT (40-60 min) *May 9th - 13th

    • Math PT (40-90 min) *May 9th - 13th

    • Science (120 min) *May 16th - 20th

    • Make up testing

      • Science by June 3rd

      • ELA/Math June 10th

  • We will keep regular bell schedule
  • Testing will be completed through content classroom during regular instruction time. Limit testing to 3 weeks in length and then allow 3 weeks for make up/completion as needed.

Week of March 28th through April 1st


Regular Schedule

Advisory - Lesson

Varsity Basketball vs Centennial


Regular Schedule

Advisory - Homework Support

Varsity Basketball @ SMS

7th/8th Grade Band Concert


*NO Late Start - 1/2 day schedule


1/2 day schedule

Varsity Wrestling @ Cavelero


1/2 day schedule

April 4th through April 8th *Spring Break/No School

Hope you had a wonderful weekend!

Cherae Almanza, Principal calmanza@stanwood.wednet.edu

Crysty Auckland, Assistant Principal/Athletic Director cauckland@stanwood.wednet.edu

Teacher Emails

Dave Austin (6-8 Fitness & 6 Leadership) daustin@stanwood.wednet.edu

Jonathan Bletscher (6-8 Band) jbletscher@stanwood.wednet.edu

Joan Campbell (6-7 Math) jcampbell@stanwood.wednet.edu

Garry Carlson (6-7 Math) gcarlson@stanwood.wednet.edu

Charlene Franck (7 ELA & 6-8 Art) CFranck@stanwood.wednet.edu

Grace Gale (6 Science & 6-8 STEM/Robotics) GGale@stanwood.wednet.edu

Chelsea Hanson (6-8 ELA/Humanities) CHanson@stanwood.wednet.edu

Nate Hanson (6-8 Computers/Digital Effects) nhanson@stanwood.wednet.edu

Audrie Harrington (6/7 ELA & 7/8 Leadership) aharrington@stanwood.wednet.edu

Deborah Hepper (6/7 Social Studies/History) DHepper@stanwood.wednet.edu

Seth Hills (6/8 History) shills@stanwood.wednet.edu

Lori Johnson (6-8 Assist) ljohnson@stanwood.wednet.edu

Wade Johnson (7/8 Science) wjohnson@stanwood.wednet.edu

Rebecca Klein (6/7 Science) rklein@stanwood.wednet.edu

Meghan Lawrence (6-8 PBS) mlawrence@stanwood.wednet.edu

Ellianna Martin (6-8 Math) emartin@stanwood.wednet.edu>,

Daniel Mccrumb (6 Math/Science & 7/8 Outdoor Ed) DMccrumb@stanwood.wednet.edu

Sarah Oldow (6 ELA/Social Studies) soldow@stanwood.wednet.edu

Catherine Perry (6-8 EL) cperry@stanwood.wednet.edu

Tracy Riley (6-8 ELA) TRiley@stanwood.wednet.edu

Kelcie Rocha (7/8 Math) krocha@stanwood.wednet.edu

Brad Rochon (7/8 Science) brochon@stanwood.wednet.edu

Connie Schmidt (6-8 Health) cschmidt@stanwood.wednet.edu

Sheri Schroeder (8 History/ELA) sleeschroeder@stanwood.wednet.edu

Kym Shoemaker (7/8 Math) kshoemaker@stanwood.wednet.edu

Crystal Titus (6-8 Fitness) ctitus@stanwood.wednet.edu

Kayte White (8 ELA & 6 Cultures) kwhite@stanwood.wednet.edu

Julia Zurcher (7 History & 7/8 Home Ec) jzurcher@stanwood.wednet.edu

Office Support

Jayde Piggot (6 Counselor) jpiggott@stanwood.wednet.edu

Keli Niegemann (7/8 Counselor) kniegemann@stanwood.wednet.edu

Emily Bowne (School Psychologist) ebowne@stanwood.wednet.edu

Kandyce Hansen (Speech Language Pathologist) khansen@stanwood.wednet.edu

Sara Harlan (Librarian) sharlan@stanwood.wednet.edu

District Information


Learn more detailed information about the proposed levy at https://www.stanwood.wednet.edu/levy

This proposed local replacement levy would fund critical facility and technology needs not funded by the state.

50% is to be used for long-term facility needs and 50% is to be used to upgrade the technology used for student learning and staff/personnel computers at all schools.

This is not a new tax. This is a replacement of an expiring levy and will not raise taxes currently being paid if it is approved. We are committed to keeping the rates as stable as possible. The estimated tax rate per $1,000 of the assessed property value is $0.27 for each year of this proposed levy. If approved on April 26, 2022, the total local school tax rate is expected to drop in 2023 and is anticipated to decrease over the next four years. If property values go up, the amount collected ($0.27) is reduced.

If the levy fails a second time, the district may not place it on the ballot again until 2023. Planned capital projects would be delayed and the district would not be able to adequately maintain and upgrade its technology for student learning.

The District cannot wait until November to resubmit the levy for approval. When voters renew levy funding, the amount is approved by calendar years, January through December. However, public school district budgets are written by the school year which starts each September 1, running 12 months to August 31 of the following year. Public school budget planning begins in the spring for the next school year. To do so, school leaders must know how many dollars are available.

Does the increase in home prices in our community affect what taxpayers will pay with this measure?

No. Property tax assessments may fluctuate, but the district only collects the total amount approved by voters. When property values rise, rates go down.

The levy funds technology devices and supports learning for students and staff.

Thanks to voter support in 2018, all of Stanwood-Camano’s 4,500 students had access to a Chromebook computer to use during online learning throughout the pandemic. When the 2019 levy expires at the end of 2022, this levy will replace it to keep devices updated, supported, and properly maintained.

The proposed replacement levy will continue funding the purchase of computers, online curriculum, and technical support for students and their teachers. Specifically,

  • 25% of staff devices will be renewed each year (about 100 devices per year)

  • 25% of student Chromebooks will be renewed each year (about 1100 devices per year)

  • Out of date Chromebooks are returned for credit to purchase repair and replacement parts for current Chromebooks (screen repair, power cords, etc.)

  • Purchasing internet hotspots for families and district internet and filtering software

  • Learning applications/online learning supports (IXL, Robotics Software, Renaissance, assistive technology, Read and Write, Read Naturally, typing programs and more)

  • Communications tools such as School Messenger and S’more (school newsletters)

  • Security camera maintenance and licensing

  • Servers with backup power supplies during power outages (this allows us to maintain some phones and WiFi at schools when the power goes out)

Funding from the current levy has provided:

  • Expansion and update of student computing devices in the classroom and for home use by students.

  • Annual maintenance fees associated with online applications, subscriptions, and software licenses.

  • Renewal of about 25% of staff computers per year, about 100 devices.

  • Renewal of 25% of student Chromebooks per year, about 1,100 devices.

  • Maintenance and upgrades of the district WiFi network and filtering

  • Learning applications

  • Personnel, including four technology department staff and Technology Teacher on Special Assignment

  • Security, including camera installation and maintenance and access control licensing

  • Server upgrades

Capital Projects

The levy provides funding for prioritized facility improvements

Older systems such as boilers, roofs, fire sprinkler systems, public address systems, bleachers, security fencing, and sidewalks are at or near the end of their useful life. The proposed levy would fund:

  • New roof at Cedarhome Elementary;

  • New boilers at Cedarhome and Elger Bay;

  • Replacement fire sprinkler lines at Utsalady and Elger Bay Elementary Schools;

  • Portable maintenance at Port Susan, including new roofs, paint and siding repair;

  • Upgraded public address systems at Stanwood Middle and Stanwood Elementary Schools; and

  • Various projects to improve student safety, such as fencing, sidewalks, and bleacher replacements.

Funds from the current levy have provided:

  • Replacement of fire alarm systems at Cedarhome, Twin City, and Stanwood Elementary;

  • Playground safety improvements at Cedarhome, Elger Bay, and Utsalady Elementary;

  • Renovation and roof replacement for the facility that houses the Stanwood High School Transition Program; and

  • Window replacements for Stanwood Middle School (to occur in Summer 2023 using 2019-2020 levy funds).

Election date

In the April 26, 2022 election, Stanwood-Camano’s Capital Projects and Technology levy requires a simple majority, or 50% + 1 of the votes cast, to pass.

How can I vote?

Please register to vote through the Washington Secretary of State election website if you haven’t already done so. The April 26, 2022, special election is an all-mail election. Registered voters who live in the Stanwood-Camano School District boundary will receive their ballot around April 8, 2022. Ballots must be postmarked by Tuesday, April 26, 2022. No postage is required to return your ballot. There is a secure ballot drop box near the Stanwood Library at 9701 271st St NW and at the Island County Administration Building at 121 N East Camano Drive on Camano Island. The dropbox is open until 8 p.m. on Election Night.

Our community has a long history of supporting our schools and local control of educational programs. We are committed to openness and transparency. Please call 360-629-1200 or send an email to scsdinfo@stanwood.wednet.edu with any questions you may have about this proposal.

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The Stanwood-Camano School District does not discriminate in employment, 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. Inquiries regarding compliance and/or grievance procedures may be directed to the District's Title IX/Affirmative Action Officer and Civil Rights Compliance Coordinator, Maurene Stanton (mstanton@stanwood.wednet.edu), or the Section 504/American Disabilities Act Coordinator, Robert Hascall (rhascall@stanwood.wednet.edu) Stanwood-Camano School District, 26920 Pioneer Hwy, Stanwood, WA 98292. Telephone: (360) 629-1200.