January 16th, 2022
Martin Luther King Jr. Day
As a kid growing up in the 1960s, my parents subscribed to Life and Look magazines. I loved to read as a child and would pour over the magazines each week we received them. I read about the Vietnam War, the anti-war protests, the hippy movement, Woodstock and much more. I also watched a lot of news with my parents. I don't know why I was so intrigued with issues of that era at such a young age.
It was through reading and watching the news that I learned about Martin Luther King Jr. and his work in the civil rights movement. His work began long before I learned about his efforts for equality in our nation. His 1963 "I Have A Dream" speech is still powerful today. Even though his life ended on April 4th, 1968 his work continues to this day.
Isn't perseverance our Character Strong trait this month? Dr. King showed tremendous perseverance while facing danger and unrest to the point of losing his life. Tomorrow we pause to honor Dr. King and his legacy. Thank you Martin Luther King Jr.
Nurse Cale Peterson
Cale works extremely well with our students. His friendly disposition goes a long way in keeping students calm when hurt or testing for COVID. Thank you Cale for your continued work and dedication to our students, staff and families. We appreciate it!
Dr. Rumbaugh's Friday Family Message, 1-14-22
I want to begin this week’s message by expressing my appreciation. I appreciate your patience as we adjust to managing COVID-19 under new requirements. As a school district, we feel a tremendous responsibility to ensure that our students and staff are safe and that the conditions for learning are in place for every student.
As COVID-19 evolves and school requirements evolve, the first few days of implementation can be an adjustment. In addition, I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the heroic efforts of our school nurses and health room assistants. This group of heroes work an incredible amount of hours under significant stress. Our health services staff care deeply about your child’s safety, the safety of our staff and regularly take on extra work and additional hours to ensure everyone’s needs are met. If you have the opportunity, please thank our health services staff for their work and sacrifice.
I recently read from a colleague that the school superintendent “works to create the conditions for students to thrive, for educators to teach, for leaders to lead and for parents to feel connected to their students' schools.” As I read this it made me ponder on the concept of “creating conditions.” How can we create the conditions for success when so many things all around us are constantly changing? After some thought, I settled on three ways we can “create conditions” in our homes, in our work and, certainly for me, in schools.
First, kindness. Though this may seem cliche, the effort it takes to pause, consider other’s perspectives and limitations, and respond in a way that engenders support, care and integrity can be difficult. By practicing kindness, we strengthen our ability to be supportive to others and honest in our feedback.
Second, collaboration. When we sit in shared spaces and discuss challenging issues we grow in our capacity to see varying perspectives and find common ground. Sometimes collaboration may include sitting in on a community meeting, it may be a one-on-one conversation or could be in the form of an email. Regardless of the mode, sharing differing perspectives in respectful and constructive ways is healthy and welcomed.
Finally, patience. Several years ago, I sat in a large gathering at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The event was focused on school improvement and how school districts can improve their practices and outcomes for students in an efficient manner. The speaker, a seasoned superintendent, reiterated that change takes time, and for school districts that can be a five to seven year journey. So how do we start? How can we possibly wait five to seven years for change? The answer is knowing the power of our, seemingly small, daily actions.
Change starts with understanding and committing to our shared agreements in our strategic plan and aligning the small things we do to that time. Those small changes “create the conditions” for larger changes over time. This requires patience. I am yet to find an educator that does not feel a sense of urgency for the students they serve along with a desire to be their best and improve their practice day by day. As we embark on a journey together to do our very best for our students, I would ask that we all lean into the need for patience during this journey.
We have updated requirements for COVID infection rates in groups/cohorts. These new requirements align with the guidance sent out to families and staff Sunday, January 9. When 10% of a group of students (classroom, cohort, team, etc.) tests positive for COVID-19 that group would be a “clustering of cases” and would require that:
Individuals in this group or cohort that test positive for COVID-19 must isolate for 5 full days. Upon return to school, they must have a negative test (PCR or rapid antigen).
Individuals in this group or cohort that test negative (or have no COVID symptoms) may either:
Participate in the Test to Stay Program and remain in school
Elect to isolate for 5 full days. Upon return to school, they must have a negative test (PCR or rapid antigen).
Generally speaking, a group or cohort in an elementary setting is defined as a classroom cohort. A group or cohort in a secondary setting is defined as a grade level (all students in grade 6, for example). These situations are investigated by the building nurse in discussion with our greater district COVID team. Often the health district is consulted as well to determine next steps for specific populations.
Replacement Levy ballots to be mailed in the coming week
The Stanwood-Camano School District is proposing a four-year replacement Capital Projects and Technology Levy on the February 8, 2022 ballot to replace an expiring levy.
The Capital Projects and Technology (Cap/Tech) levy covers two areas:
Facility improvements and updates that are beyond a general repair or regular maintenance but fall short of bond-level funding needs.
Instructional technology and related staffing, professional development and technology infrastructure.
Approximately 50 percent of the funds is expected to be used for long-term facility needs, and 50 percent to upgrade technology used for student learning at all schools.
Please remember to vote by February 8. Snohomish and Island Counties conduct all elections through mail-in ballots. Ballots must be postmarked (mailing is free) or placed in a ballot drop site by 8 p.m. on Tuesday, February 8, 2022. Ballot drop boxes are located near the Stanwood Library, 9701 271st St. NW and on Camano Island at 121 N. East Camano Drive.
Deborah Rumbaugh, Ed.D.