The Latest from Camas School District
Board Highlights (just the facts)
Equity in Action: Acknowledgment of Our Indigenous People
We acknowledge that the geographical region of Camas is located on the ancestral and territorial lands of the Chinook and Cowlitz People and that the Chinook are still fighting to be a federally recognized tribe on their own land.
Assistant Superintendent Lisa Greseth began the board meeting with this land acknowledgment and shared with the board some of the ways we, as a system, are working to better understand the places and spaces we inhabit.
"Acknowledgment is a simple, powerful way of showing respect and a step toward correcting the stories and practices that erase Indigenous people’s history and culture and toward inviting and honoring the truth."
~ U.S. Department of Arts and Culture
Greseth also shared a video produced by staff at Liberty Middle School, linked above, as a way in which they honored Native American Heritage Month in November.
Superintendent Jeff Snell presented an update to our reopening plan which the Board adopted in August. They reviewed current COVID, academic, social-emotional, student/staff health, research, and mitigation indicators and adopted an update to the reopening plan. The update sets a timeline for creating in-person learning experiences for all grade levels through small groups of 10 or fewer students. The Board shared their desire to give each student the option of small groups while recognizing the challenges of bringing that to scale.
Board member Tracey Malone commented, "We have seen success in kindergarten, so I really would like to push for the youngest learners, K-2 or K-3, moving back in small groups." She also advocated for all students to be considered high need since 80% of our students have not been in school for eight months.
“We need to give students the option to come into school for in-person learning experiences.” Stated Snell.
The Board gave staff the flexibility to imagine what these small groups can look like, building on the success of special services, kindergarten, and all of the other small group experiences this fall. We will be creative in figuring out ways to get students in safely and support them in making connections and building community. It’s going to look different and that’s ok. You can read the update at Camas School District Reopening Plan - December 2020 Update.
Update on Learning
Five weeks into small-group, in-person instruction for kindergarteners, Director of Elementary Education Doug Hood gave the board an update on how parents and staff are feeling about the experience. He indicated parents had an overwhelming appreciation for our staff as well as the ability to choose in-person or remote instruction--77% of kindergarten families opted for in-person instruction. Staff members appreciate the enhanced relationships they have with students and the support from paraprofessionals.
Assistant Superintendent Dr. Charlene Williams shared with the Board information regarding secondary students including the status of student grades, attendance, and social-emotional learning. She also provided academic outcome data for the middle and high school levels highlighting the students farthest from educational justice.
Would you like to see more? Agendas, supporting documents, and minutes are always posted here.
Mill Town Pride
A saying that is often overstated is “words can’t express.” Yet, there are few words that can capture our admiration of and appreciation for our nursing staff. Camas School District nurses are some of the fiercest advocates for student safety and wellness. Our team quickly pivoted in order to provide assistance to students in unique and unprecedented ways. Now, they have the added layer of supporting nearly 1,000 employees as we navigate the ever-changing climate this pandemic has created. This includes helping to ensure the proper distribution and use of PPE, attestation protocols, contact tracing support, and more. These notifications are coming at all hours of the day and night, including weekends. The team cheerfully and with sincere care for our staff respond to multiple emails and phone calls and provide much-needed assurances.
All of this while helping students with pre-existing conditions and the usual illnesses this season brings.
Thank you to this amazing team for showing up every day to provide services in our schools. We see your consistent sacrifice and want to pause and recognize you for your tremendous contributions.
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