Community Letter

February 11, 2022

Words Have Power

Hello LISD Families,

We have been working on empathy and compassion this week with the help of one of our LIPTSA Board members, Stephanie Cariker. Secondary students participated in an advisory assembly and activity about the power of words. We kicked it off with a video that you can watch ( The K-5 teachers are selecting age appropriate activities to define empathy and compassion and discuss the value and power of these two emotions/actions when interacting with peers.

Our aim is to cultivate a school environment where students have healthy and authentic relationships with peers…friendships that are characterized by both kindness and truth.

All our best to you and your family,

Mary and Martha

Powerful Words from our Secondary Students

Big picture

Menu For Week Ending February 18

Big picture

Culinary Arts

Big picture
This week in culinary class, the focus was international desserts!
Big picture

Growing in Garden Class

Garden Enrichment started some TP Mushroom Kits last week. Each class inoculated a roll of toilet paper with oyster mushroom spawn and are standing by to watch the mycelium grow and then fruit. In a few weeks, they will be able to harvest and taste their mushrooms!

Sustainable Agriculture Practices (SAP)

Big picture
This week, SAP dug holes around campus to diagram soil profiles.

News From the Third Grade

3rd Grade is wrapping up a months-long study of Coast Salish People, with a documentary film about cedar longhouses. After learning about salmon and cedar resources, each of four teams built cedar forest dioramas back in Oct and Nov.

Learning about indigenous village life inspired interest in longhouses, so we studied Coast Salish architecture, designed and erected pole building models in a traditional NW style in December.

For the last five weeks, we've learned about Coast Salish daily life, through creation stories, art images from the Vancouver Museum of Anthropology, research, reading and video. It was natural to create models of artifacts from daily life to help us better connect to Coast Salish people and the sacred ways our neighbors have lived since time immemorial. These pictures were behind the scenes, on Feb 9, the day before we took a field trip to visit the Tulalip Nation and the Hibulb Center.

See backstage and lighting, with script readers and pointers directing the audience to specific features of longhouse life. While kids take full control of their production, voicing and content, Mr. B is the director and camera operator. Films will be screened at the 2022 STEM Fair, as the 3rd grade social science entry.

Also on display will be our beautiful longhouse village and cedar dioramas.

Mr. B

Interview with Camille Steckler

Big picture

Spotlight on a Member of the Graduating Class of 2022

What clubs/athletics/extracurriculars have you been involved in? I have tried most sports throughout high school, I've been an ASB rep for 2 years, and I studied in Thailand during the 2021 school year.

What is one positive memory from your time here that you’ll carry with you forever? Our rock climbing intensive

What is the best piece of advice you have received from a teacher? Take charge of your own future!

Finish this sentence: “I cannot live without…….” the outdoors...I like hiking and backpacking.

What is one piece of advice for incoming high school students? Try to turn things in on time.

What is the most meaningful assignment ever given to you by a teacher? Personal narrative essays...a college essay and one from 10th grade English. I like this writing style because it allows me to tell a personal story.

What’s the most important quality in a friendship? Why? Trust. From trust, you can build and form other meaningful qualities.

In 10 years, I will be…: Graduated with a bachelor's degree and possibly a master's. Maybe a part of the Peace Corps or applying my degree to a meaningful career.

Who/what do you find inspiring? I am inspired by art.

What are your plans after high school? Attend college and possibly get a degree in some combination of studio arts, psychology, and environmental sciences.

Congrats Alison!

Big picture

Welcome to Third Grade

I moved from Bellingham to Lopez Island in the summer of 2018 and have been working as a paraeducator at Lopez School ever since. During the pandemic, I decided to complete a lifelong dream and recently graduated from WGU with my Masters in Elementary Education. I am now a certified teacher and am overjoyed to have been given the opportunity to teach the 3rd grade class for the rest of the year! I am excited to build deeper relationships with students and families, contribute positivity and a growth mindset, and of course have as much fun as possible. Some of my favorite pastimes are kayaking, hiking, biking, skiing, snowshoeing, gardening, cooking, and spending time with my wife, Tanya, and our gang of animals at home.


Welcome Ali Nicol

As many of you know, Amy Studzienko is taking a leave of absence after mid-winter break. Amy's leave replacement for all four of her classes (Introduction to Health Science Careers, 10th Grade English, Sustainable Agriculture Practices, and Culinary Arts), will be Ali Nicol...pending school board approval of course. We will feature an article on Ali in next week's newsletter.
Big picture
High spring sports will start February 28th. If your student is interested in joining golf (grades 8-12), middle school track, or high school track, please sign up on the sheets outside of Coach Berg's office. Middle school track practice will start after spring break on April 11.

From the Nurse's Corner

Big picture
Nurse Karen would like to remind everyone that if your student is feeling ill, please keep them home until symptoms are gone for 24 hours. If they have had COVID symptoms, please make an appointment with Karen for a test to return. Appointments should go through Nurse Hattman's email

From the Superintendent

This week, I was mildly chastised by a parent for inaccuracies in our COVID dashboard information. After meeting with that parent, I immediately sought clarification and confirmation of the numbers we are reporting. Our information was correct based on the tests we have conducted and the confirmation of positive cases of COVID-19.

The discrepancy, if any, seems to be among students who are being kept home because they are sick but who the school has not been able to test for confirmation of a case of COVID-19. For us to provide accurate information regarding the level of active COVID infections among students and staff, we must have the opportunity to confirm the cases via appropriate testing protocols. If your child has symptoms that may be related to COVID-19, please contact Nurse Hattman at to arrange for testing.

In addition, our investigation of previous cases has typically shown an infection transmission source from outside the school community. As we watch the changes to mask mandates across the country, our experience has shown that in-school transmission is rare when students are properly wearing their masks and social distancing to the extent possible. The one area where there is a concern is during lunch, particularly with secondary students. We must eliminate this virus in our population before mask mandates are removed. Please talk to your children and ask them to make sure they are only taking their masks off to eat during lunch and when they are eating, they should be properly socially distanced (6 feet with masks off) from their classmates and friends.

As I said last week, I believe we are nearing the end of this pandemic but we are not there yet. To get there, we must keep our guard up for just a little bit longer. Thank you.

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.