Community Letter

September 24, 2021

Feeling A Sense of Belonging

Hello LISD Families,

As we round out our third week of school, we hope that students are feeling a sense of belonging among their peers and within our school community. There are times when we must encourage our students to intentionally create belongingness. Here are three ways to support your child in creating belongingness for themselves and their peers:

  • Embrace Groups - Sit with different people at lunch, join clubs, or invite someone new to join your group.

  • Be Your Authentic Self - Be empathic, demonstrate compassion for others, and be more curious and less judgmental.

  • Signal Acceptance - Find ways to demonstrate to others that you accept them for who they are.

Belonging is a necessary ingredient for mental well being and it is critical to the health of our community.

Our very best to you and your family,

Mary and Martha

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Message from our Superintendent, Ed Murray (also posted on school website)


This message is long overdue, but I am happy that I have finally reached a point where I have a moment to consider a general message to the community. First, I must acknowledge the members of the School Board and the broader community for allowing me the opportunity to serve the Lopez Island and Decatur Island communities as the new superintendent of the Lopez Island School District (LISD). I know the process and the decisions were not easy. I am grateful that the community entrusted me with such a tremendous responsibility.

I am also grateful for the opportunity to live in such a beautiful place with a supportive and friendly community. Finding a place to live was challenging. My wife, Joey, and I (along with our four-legged daughter, Riley) spent two and a half months in a hotel before finally closing on our new home on Lopez Island. We are still settling into the new house and adjusting to an exceptional style of living.

Despite the new living arrangements, my focus is on the recent work on our campuses each day. The new school year has begun, and our students and staff have returned to a full-time face-to-face educational environment. Despite mask mandates and other safety protocols still in place, everyone seems to have adapted well to a modest return to normalcy. Athletics, Homecoming dances, and other extracurricular activities are all on the agenda for the new year.

As a new superintendent, many of the elements of the new school year (e.g., budgets, staffing, etc.) were already in place when I took the helm on July 1, 2021. I intend to be a good steward of those plans while keeping a watchful eye out for opportunities to improve efficiency and effectiveness.

An area where I can have an immediate impact is communications. I want to increase our social media presence, create a more robust website with regular updates, enhance existing platforms, and explore other ways of sharing information with the community.

Because of COVID-19, we have not conducted the usual meet-and-greet sessions with the new superintendent. Still, I have become acquainted with people through meetings, in the market, in restaurants, on the ferry, and other ways. I invite you to introduce yourself if you see me in the school's halls or on the streets of Lopez Island. If I may be of service to your work in the community, please let me know. I am sure we have many common interests and concerns.

I look forward to working on behalf of our students, staff, and the broader community for many years. I am committed to service and solutions in my work. In the weeks and months ahead, and with your help, we will clarify and enhance the mission and vision of LISD.

Thank you,

Ed Murray


Website Link to Messages from Superintendent Murray.

Next Week's Menu

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Great Islands Clean-Up is tomorrow, Saturday, September 25 from 9:00-2:00

To join community members in this county-side event where volunteers collect litter from public beaches and roadways, meeting between 9:00 and 11:00 behind the Public Works, next to the dump. Bags, grabbers, safety vests, and gloves will be provided.

Ice Cream Social Today!

The LIPTSA will be offering free ice cream at the upcoming soccer game on Friday!

What: FREE Ice Cream Social sponsored by the LIPTSA
Where: At the Lobos soccer game @ the school soccer field
When: Friday the 24th, 3:00pm until - game ends

Come support our Lobo soccer players and enjoy some FREE ice cream and socializing on behalf of the Lopez Island PTSA. The Boosters will be there too!

Smarter Balanced Assessment

The Washington State Smarter Balanced (SBAC) testing for all 4th-9th graders, 11th graders, and 12th graders will begin the week of October 4th. This fall test takes the place of last year's spring test, which was postponed by the state due to the COVID 19 pandemic. The Fall assessments will be shorter and not take as many days as previous tests. Details will follow as the testing dates are closer. LISD students will also take the SBAC in the spring of 2022

Here are some helpful strategies for your student to feel rested and ready for test day:

  • Mark your calendar for the weeks of October 4th and 11th.
  • Make sure your child gets enough sleep before the test.
  • Provide a nutritious and filling breakfast. Remember, breakfast is offered at school.
  • Unless your child rides the bus, please ensure that they arrive at school on time during the testing weeks so they start each day feeling cool, calm and collected.

Home Games Next Week

  • Monday 9/27 High School Volleyball 1:45 Orcas Island
  • Tuesday 9/28 High School Soccer 9/28 4:30 Friday Harbor
  • Wednesday 9/29 Middle School Volleyball 9/29 2:15 Allen Middle School
  • Friday 10/1 HOMECOMING High School Soccer and Volleyball 2:15 Cedar Park

Come on out to cheer for our athletes. Go Lobos!

And the fans say...

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The homecoming dance is October 2nd following a fun filled spirit week and pep rally planned by ASB

Japan Trip

The Japanese Connections program is offering applications to 10th, 11th, and 12th grade students. This program, which takes Lopez and Orcas students to Japan for 2 weeks in April, is organized by Patricia Burleson and largely funded through a grant from the Freeman Foundation. Applications are due September 27th. If interested please contact Lopez Island school teachers, Joe Behnke or Jaimie Terada.

From the art studio...

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From Becca Hamilton's 5th Grade Class

5th grade has started learning the "11 Steps to Success" in archery. These students are the first to go through the NASP program at Lopez Island School. We will be starting archery range practice in the next few weeks so keep an eye out for skillful archers shooting at targets in a carefully constructed archery range under the covered area. A special thanks goes out to Denny Jardine for creatively setting up a functional and safe archery range; Sara Jones for ordering all the equipment; LIEF for funding a portion the equipment and PTSA for funding a portion of the equipment! The archery program currently includes all 5th grade students. An archery club will be offered to 5th-8th grade students in the Spring!

5th grade has also been reflecting and learning about personal identity and cultural heritage in coordination with our LISD Character Trait of "Belonging". We are diving deeply into a book of poems called "Call Me Guero" by David Bowles and learning about what it means to be a "border kid" (someone who shares 2 cultures) as well as studying the geography of the United States' border with Mexico. Seeing things through a window and seeing something as a reflection of self like a mirror has been a topic of conversation.

Lopez Island School District

Ed Murray, Superintendent

Martha Martin, Secondary Principal

Mary Fordham, Elementary Principal

The Lopez Island School District does not discriminate in any 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. The following employee(s) has been designated to handle questions and complaints of alleged discrimination: Civil Rights Compliance Coordinator, Ed Murray –; Title IX Coordinator, HR Specialist, Renee Koplan –; Section 504, Mary Fordham –; OR contact by phone, 360-468-2202, OR mail to 86 School Rd, Lopez Island, WA 98261.