First day of school a success

Dear Washougal families and community members,

Today I spent the day in classrooms and I saw wonderful teachers teaching wonderful students! I am energized and inspired to begin the work of leading the Washougal School District toward the future. Together, we can ensure high academic achievement for all of our students, ensure that each child is valued, and verify that our students are prepared to become successful citizens.

Though I have only been a part of the Washougal School District for a short time, I have quickly become aware that Washougal is a place that cares deeply about children and the well-being of the community as a whole.

As you know, I joined our school district in the middle of employee bargaining with our teachers association. Although I did not anticipate that my first two months as your school superintendent would include a teacher strike, this situation allowed me to quickly get to know our community and to understand the values of commitment, respect, and fairness that define Washougal. I respect our teachers’ strong advocacy for children and their passion for the work they perform for the district. We are all excited that we have reached an agreement that recognizes the caliber of our outstanding teaching staff, provides a regionally-competitive salary, and one that is financially sustainable over time for our taxpayers.

I am eager to move forward and focus on the future of our students.  Together, we can build strong relationships, develop authentic partnerships, and exceed our own expectations for success.  I look forward to meeting many of you in person as I am out in the community and in schools.

As we roll up our sleeves to get to work this fall, we have several exciting opportunities ahead of us:

  • A new strategic vision: The district will start a conversation about the future vision and mission for the district through a strategic visioning process.
  • Welcoming new staff: We have 37 new teachers this year and I’m excited both to welcome to Washougal, and to see the new ideas and approaches they bring to our shared work educating Washougal’s students.
  • Academic enrichment: Our revised Wednesday early release schedule brings enhanced academic programs for our K-5 students with certified art teachers, library/media teachers, and additional physical education time.
  • Enhanced STEM: New Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) opportunities for middle school students are expanding, with a new Medical Detectives and Flight & Space courses.
  • More college credit opportunities for students at WHS: Expanded dual credit courses at WHS will offer both high school and college credits for enrolled students.
  • Expanded career pathways: I’m excited about a new Health Sciences pathway for WHS students who are exploring future careers in the medical profession.
  • Continued community partnerships: The district will continue several programs and services that help connect students with community resources and engage students in community partnerships and service work, including Stuff the Bus, art projects, and the opportunity to earn a varsity letter in service work.
  • Positive behaviors: Hathaway students will build positive relationships with bus drivers using the PBIS framework, which teaches safe, respectful and responsible rules and bus ridership.
  • Community support for CTE: Business leaders, please consider attending an event focused on connecting community business leaders with our Career and Technical Education programs on October 25, sponsored by Waddell and Reed, with food served by the WHS Culinary Program.

I think it’s going to be a great year and I can’t wait to dive into this work with our staff and students!

Sincerely,

Dr. Mary Templeton, Superintendent

Washougal School District

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