Positively Pasco: Issue #165
March 7, 2022
Thank You, Voters!
We are pleased to announce that our replacement levy passed with a 54.59% approval. The passing of this levy replacement will support educational programs, student learning, extracurricular programs, and staffing in our schools to ensure all students will learn, grow, and succeed. Thank you, voters, for investing in our students, staff, and community.
Changes to Statewide School Mask Requirements
On Monday, February 28, Governor Inslee announced the state requirement for indoor masks will lift after 11:59 p.m. on March 11. This change is in alignment with announcements this morning by Oregon and California.
This means that beginning Saturday, March 12, masks will become optional in our school buildings. Staff and students will have the choice to wear a mask at school, with the expectation that others’ choices will be respected.
Until March 12, masks will continue to be required for all students, staff, and visitors in all Pasco School District buildings and on buses.
We know you likely have many questions about this announcement, and we anticipate receiving additional information from public health officials around March 7. We will continue communicating with you as we learn about changes to the guidance for our district and prepare for this transition.
Important Date Updates for Remainder of School Year
Due to the weather related cancellation of school on January 5 and 6, 2022, the following changes have been made to the Pasco School District 2021-2022 calendar.
Trimester 2 end date moved from March 10 to March 14, 2022
Trimester Break Day moved from March 11 to March 15, 2022
Trimester 3 Start Day moved from March 14 to March 16, 2022
Secondary school’s early release day, currently scheduled for March 16, was moved to April 20. This means that March 16 is now a regular school day for students and April 20 is now an early release day for students in Pasco middle schools and high schools.
Last day of school moved from June 13 to June 15, 2022
Save the Date for High School Graduations
Graduation for our high school seniors is quickly approaching and we want to make sure you have the correct date, time, and location marked on your calendar. All of the dates and locations can also be found on the PSD event calendar. Students and parents can find information regarding ordering caps and gowns on the PSD website.
- Delta High School: Thursday, June 9 at 7 pm, Three Rivers Convention Center (7016 W Grandridge Blvd, Kennewick, WA 99336)
- New Horizons High School: Friday, June 10 at 6 pm, Columbia Basin College Gjerde Center (2600 N 20th Ave, Pasco, WA 99301)
- Chiawana High School: Saturday, June 11 at 10 am, Edgar Brown Stadium (801 N 18th Ave, Pasco, WA 99301)
- Pasco High School: Saturday, June 11 at 6 pm, Edgar Brown Stadium (801 N 18th Ave, Pasco, WA 99301)
Matt Potter Receives Coach of the Year Award
“This is a much-deserved honor for Coach Potter and his coaching staff,” said Gregg Huisingh, Pasco High School’s Athletic Director. “Matt’s attention to detail and high expectations for his athletes academically and athletically are exemplary. He genuinely cares about every aspect of his athletes and stays in contact with many of his previous players, which tells you about the impact he has on them. He is also quick to draw attention to the rest of his staff when given credit for any successes. This recognition is well deserved."
John Nelson Named Regional Outstanding Music Educator of the Year
Congratulations to John Nelson, Ray Reynolds Middle School music teacher, who was named the 2022 Regional Outstanding Music Educator of the Year for the Columbia Basin Region by the Washington Music Educators Association (WMEA).
Congratulations to Our North Star Award Winners
Congratulations to our North Star Winners at Delta High School! Delta's office team, consisting of Araceli Rojas, Kelli Mitchel-Burns, Corina Schirmer, Heather Hoppe, Lisa Muir, Mike Johnson, and Tania Guaman-Covert, were nominated for going above and beyond for their students. In addition, John Keaney was nominated for being an amazing teacher. Superintendent Michelle Whitney presented the winners with awards to acknowledge them for shining brightly in their profession and putting students first!
Chiawana Students Book About Anxiety Goes Viral
Mrs. Johnson, Chiawana High School teacher, has gone viral on TikTok after sharing a book on anxiety created by one of her health class students, Amara Daniel. (with Amara's permission:)
"Amara excels at artistic project options, so as soon as she could use her skills to bring awareness around anxiety, she grabbed hold of it," said Mrs. Johnson. "Being an experienced poet, she sat down with her rhyming dictionary and brainstormed all of the ways she could express her feelings and experiences around her personal journey with anxiety. She never imagined that her unique approach to this subject would speak to so many people, let alone have her project be a source of comfort and inspiration to those who struggle with this issue."
The district is currently looking into ways to get Amara's book published so it can be shared with children in our community and beyond.
Thank you, Amara, for being willing to share your voice and bring awareness to an important issue.
Miss Tri-Cities Outstanding Teen Delivers CALMing Kits to PSD Students
Kaiya Bates, Miss Tri-Cities Outstanding Teen 2022 and Chiawana student, visited Chess Elementary, where she delivered 22 Regulation/"CALM" ing Kits for their classrooms. Kaiya's goal is to provide enough kits, which contain a two-minute sand timer, breathing spheres, fidget toolbox, and a storage crate, to all Pasco School District schools which teachers can use with students who feel anxious or need to refocus. Thank you, Kaiya, for supporting a great cause and Pasco school!
Genie Hernandez #1 Wildcat
Genie Hernandez, a third-grader at Twain Elementary, was recognized during lunch, Friday, Feb. 11, for her hard work raising over $1k to support her school. Over the holidays, Twain held a Holiday Christmas auction fundraiser, and students could help by collecting items for auction baskets. Genie collected money from businesses and created raffle baskets, which generated over $1k in donations. Way to support your school, Genie! We are proud of you.
Soup with the Superintendent
Superintendent Michelle Whitney invites you to join her for an informal discussion about Pasco Schools over a light lunch.
When: March 25, 2022
Where: PSD Administration Building, 1215 W. Lewis St, Pasco
Seal of Biliteracy
Attention parents of high school seniors! PSD is pleased to offer the Washington State Seal of Biliteracy to formally recognize 12th-grade students who have attained a high level of proficiency in speaking, reading, and writing in one or more world languages in addition to English. Pasco High School and Chiawana High School will be offering the STAMP exam to current 12th-grade students who have met their ELA testing and credit requirements.
When: March 13 & May 11
Conferences - Early Release (K-8)