Superintendent's Update

April Edition

Note From the Superintendent

Dear ESD staff and parents,

Along with an ESD parent, teacher and Board members, I recently had an opportunity to advocate for increased funding for education with our legislators and the WA State Superintendent in Olympia. All these offcials listened intently to the reality of ESD’s budget challenges. These challenges include our local levy funds going from collecting approximately $7 million dollars to $4 million dollars starting the 2019-2020 school year. It also looks as though the approval of a state health insurance program or SEBB will pass successfully through both the House and Senate. This initiative will cost ESD an additional one-half to one million dollars from our general budget.

Special education is also significantly under-funded. A bright spot is that legislators thought that there would be a slight increase in funding from the state for special education. We would appreciate any help you could give in contacting our local legislators and asking for them to support increased funding for schools, special education and full funding for SEBB. Some talking points are included in the hand-out below which was created by school districts represented within our region.

ESD Celebrations

We have done much this year to support and increase school safety within Ellensburg School District. In addition to implementing regular Table Topic Exercises (where school crisis teams dialogue about how they would respond to different emergency situations), we have also trained multiple staff members in the Salem-Keizer Threat Assessment process. Implementing this threat assessment process empowers trained staff across the district to use a credible and consistent approach to working with students who may be at risk of hurting themselves or others. Many staff members have also participated in the Gap or active-shooter training, and we have significantly increased the number of staff who are equipped with radios for communication. In addition, we have implemented many upgrades to our surveillance systems and installed the Mobile app for the use of STOPiT on all chrome books for grades 6-12. STOPiT is an important way for students and parents to anonymously submit concerns that they may have concerning student or staff safety. A special thank you to Neil Musser, ESD Safety Coordinator, and various community partners for their support in writing and our receiving over $300,000 dollars in grant funds to support our safety efforts here in ESD.

Excellence in Ellensburg Night May 16, Morgan Middle School

In order to celebrate and promote our new Board Ends, we would like to use our end of the year celebration to highlight the great work that certified staff, classified/protech staff, parents and community members have accomplished this year, related to the new Board Ends (link to Board Ends is listed below). This celebration will build on the strengths of the Leaders of Learning event and transition the system to an Excellence in Ellensburg Celebration, with a focus on the BOE Ends and related teamwork. Please mark your calendar for May 16th for a formal celebration in the Morgan Middle School theater from 6:30 to 7:30 pm. During this ceremony, we will be recognizing all the personnel, parents and community members who were nominated, as well as, the recipients of the various awards. Additionally, we will be honoring the ESD retirees for the 2018-2019 school year. Please join us after this celebration for cake and refreshments in the atrium of MMS.

Please click here to submit your nominations for these important awards. All nominations must be submitted by April 19th.

ESD Updates: Need your Feedback

We are in the process of updating our ESD website. Effective communication is an important BOE END skill for students. It is also a critical way of connecting ESD to the community and providing vital information to our students and parents. Please take time to give us your input concerning our website by using this Survey We are hoping to have a new and improved version of the ESD website up and running by the start of the 2019-2020 school year. Kudos to Tiffany Price, EHS Computer Science Teacher, and Mike Welch, IT Director, for their leadership with this project.

ESD DESIGN TEAM OPEN HOUSE April 9th 6pm to 8pm at Morgan Middle School

The ESD Design Team Committee is made up of parents, teachers, classified and central office staff and students. We have been meeting regularly to brainstorm, discuss and identify priorities for the construction of one new elementary school, a new Mt. Stuart and the renovation of Lincoln Elementary. Providing multiple opportunities for natural lighting, developing “maker-space” type areas that inspire student creativity and creating useful outdoor education areas are just some of the ideas that are important to our ESD Design Committee. We invite you to attend our Community Open House on April 9th from 6 pm to 8 pm at MMS, so that you can see what we have been working on. We would also like your feedback on what is important to you regarding our new bond projects.

Ellensburg is an amazing place, and we look forward to deepening our partnership with our parents and community.


Jinger Haberer, Superintendent