Community Letter

March 11,2022

The War in Ukraine

Dear LISD Families,

It is always so difficult to strike the right balance between staying informed about current events and feeling real anxiety about what we see in the news. This is hard for adults to manage much of the time, and it’s doubly hard as a parent to figure out how to talk to children about something as serious as war. As children age, mature, and learn more about history, geography, and politics, we make adaptations to the way we talk to them about what has happened and is currently happening in our world. Now more than ever, students have more access to media and other information on-line. It’s almost impossible to protect them from frightening and confusing current events, but parents can:

  • Monitor what their children and teens are watching and reading.

  • Encourage them to think critically about their news sources.

  • Ask questions about what they know and what they are curious to learn.

  • Help them activate empathy and compassion.

  • Listen to how they feel.

The war in Ukraine can be one of those tough subjects to discuss at home, and OSPI has curated a set of resources and tools to help both teachers and parents: Talking to Students about Russia's War on Ukraine.

Teachers and parents are our heros!

All our best to you and your family,

Mary and Martha

Lunch Menu Week Ending March 18, 2022

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Delicious Luncheon: Prepared by Our Very Own John Shaw & Crew

The San Juan County Agricultural Summit hosted by WSU was on Lopez this year. Chef John Shaw prepared a delicious lunch for attendees. Proceeds from the lunch service will go towards the purchase of a freeze dryer for the L.I.F.E. Garden & Cafeteria program. Freeze dryers preserve the nutritional value of the food and help avoid issues like freezer burn. If you'd like to make a donation towards this purchase, please send contributions to LISD, 86 School Road, Lopez Island, WA 98261 and make a note it's for "LIFE Program".
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From School Counselor, Jeanna Carter

I am pleased to announce that Lopez Island School District has partnered with Compass Health in Friday Harbor to be able to offer Telehealth medical therapy sessions during school hours for LISD students experiencing emotional issues that need therapeutic services.

Parents/guardians please let me, Dr. Martin or Ms. Fordham know if you would like services for your child.

Secondary students 13 years and older, please let me or Dr. Martin know if you would like therapy sessions.

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Stem Night

We'll be having our Annual STEM Fair next Tuesday March 15th. The Fair will be held in our school's multi-purpose room from 5pm-7pm in an open house format. The STEM fair will include Mr. Behnke's Marine Biology class projects, 5th grade individual projects, a 3rd grade social studies presentation, and our Robotics Club.

Come and see all the amazing things kids are passionate about in the realm of science!

Hope to see you there.

News From the Lopez Island Family Resource Center

Lopez Island Family Resource Center and La Cima are proud to present a special leadership series for Lopez Latinx youth Grades 9-12: La Cima Lopez. Many of the middle school and high school Latinx kids participated last year and it was truly amazing!

This year’s series is focused on Lopez Island. We’re also pleased to provide a special weekend in April that includes a private boat charter and tour of Yellow Island with returning La Cima leader Brenda Ocha, Youth Programs Director at the Equity Institute.

People might question, Why bilingual Latinx leadership?

Strong students create strong schools. The primary goal of La Cima Leadership is to graduate our states' Latinx population. La Cima's bilingual environment helps Latinx students develop self-identity, a sense of empowerment and leadership skills to better serve their schools and communities.

Registration is HERE

You can contact me with questions at

Thank you!


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Woodshop's Shed Building Project

Here are some great photos of our woodshop students helping build sheds for our community.

Interview with Travis Arnott

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Spotlight on a Member of the 2022 Graduating Class

What clubs/athletics/extracurriculars have you been involved in? I played basketball in middle school and high school, so 6 years I think. I also show beef and hogs in 4-H.

What is one positive memory from your time here that you’ll carry with you forever? Going to the basketball state competition in Spokane in 2020 (right before COVID) was pretty entertaining. It was really fun to be with our coaches, and the whole team got along great.

Finish this sentence: “I cannot live without…….”: Agriculture…because without farmers and without food, everyone will starve! I’m mostly into raising animals and I also grow hay and grain for my animals.

What is the most creative excuse you have ever used to get out of school work? I’ve always just been honest. I just say, “I’m going duck hunting for two weeks,” or “I’m pulling pigs and calves.”

What is one piece of advice you have for incoming high school students? “If you really want to finish school, just get your credits, figure out what you need to do to graduate, and get it done.”

What’s the most important quality in a friendship? Why? “Honesty. Good friends have your back and don’t talk about you behind your back. I don’t like drama and I’m not into the whole partying crowd. I do my own thing.”

In 10 years, I will be…: I’d like to be doing some farming, logging, welding, and operating equipment. I worked with my grandpa on the family farm until he passed away about a year and a half ago, and I’ll stay here for a while to do that. I may move sometime to Idaho or Montana…or maybe Oregon or eastern Washington. It depends on where I find property that I like.

Who/what do you find inspiring? Hard work and what you’ve built for yourself on your own.

What are your plans after high school? I’m going to stay here working for dad and Matt Willis, farming. By fall I also plan to have my CDL.

News From LIPTSA

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Golf 2022

Ladies : Abril V., Ana-Sophia R., Hannah R., Kimber E., Lily S., Lolo M., Mirabella V., Mellissa V., Phoebe M., Valentina R., Scarlett R.

Men: Ananda V., Anthony V., Brandon K., Deston D. Even S., Henry R., Isaac G., Isaiah W., Kyle K., Levi M., Phoenix L., Simon R., Uli V., Zachary S.

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Spring Sports Updates

We have 25 students signed up for golf! Their first match is on Tuesday, March 22 on Orcas Island.

15 students are participating in high school track. Their first meet is Wednesday, March 16 at LaConner.

Youth Sports

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From the Nurse's Corner

The masks are no longer mandated in school or on buses starting Monday 2/14. Masks will still be worn in the health room for extended visits needing more than 5 minutes (none needed if a child just needs a band aid, etc.). The health room staff will always have their masks on.

It will be more important than ever to not come to school if you are sick. Colds and the flu are still lurking about, so wash your hands often and cover your mouth when coughing. If you have a fever, please stay home for 24 hours after the fever is gone without the use of a fever reducer.

Have a great weekend and stay healthy!!

Karen Hattman, R.N.

Need to Know!

Spring Conferences are coming up. Please take note that elementary students will be dismissed at 2:00 all week Monday, March 28 - Friday, April 1. Secondary conferences will be on Wednesday, March 30 from 2:15-7:00 pm. Students will be dismissed at 2:00 on that day. Secondary families can sign up through Qmlativ (just like fall conferences) beginning March 14 at 8:00 a.m. Sign up early; the times will fill quickly. Parents/guardians will have the opportunity to select in-person or virtual for each 10-minute conference with 5 minutes passing time.

We hope this will provide a chance for you to meet with your student’s teachers in a structured way to discuss academic progress, and families that cannot schedule on this day can contact their teachers to meet at another time.

From the Elementary Office

Transportation changes in the elementary school are becoming increasingly difficult at the end of the day. The elementary office would really appreciate if all changes were made before noon (unless it is an emergency) and playdates made the night before. If you do need to change after-school transportation for your child, please put your request in an email or a hand written note to the office. We need the request in writing.

From the Superintendent

Next week will be a new experience for many as we begin to see the smiling faces of our students, our colleagues, and members of the community once again. I am sure everyone is hopeful as we remove our masks and anticipate new horizons in the wake of the COVID pandemic. Still, I understand some are exhilarated by the changes, while others have a heightened sense of trepidation.

I want to reassure everyone that we will continue to make the health and safety of our students and staff a priority as we begin this transition from a pandemic to an endemic COVID-19 environment. Those who choose to continue wearing masks will be supported in that decision. I, myself, will likely continue wearing a mask when I am in surroundings that are unfamiliar or around people who I do not know.

I want to thank everyone who has completed the Community Engagement Survey for our strategic planning process. If you have not completed the survey, it is still open. The survey is one piece of data we are collecting. On March 15 – 16, 2022, LISD will be hosting focus groups to gather additional input to help inform the future direction of the school district. We still have some slots available, and we would love to have you join us. If you are interested in being part of these in-person focus groups, please email me at Later in March, our steering committee will begin the review of all the data collected, and our strategic plan will start to take shape.

The months ahead will be busy with strategic planning, graduation, budgeting, planning for the end of the school year and the beginning of the next school year, and other activities. I look forward to working with the community, staff, and students to begin our journey to the future. We have three (3) weeks of hard work before spring break; let’s make the most of the time we have together.

*Spring forward one hour on Sunday, March 13 for Daylight Saving Time starting at 2:00am.

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, Summer Hagge –; Section 504, Mary Fordham –; OR contact by phone, 360-468-2202, OR mail to 86 School Rd, Lopez Island, WA 98261.