Message from Mary – May 28, 2021  

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Message from Mary – May 28, 2021

In Schools –

WHS Drama Back on Stage– WOHOO!!! Washougal Drama Department returns to the stage for their first in-person production on over a year!  Under the talented direction of Kelly Gregersen, this troupe is performing the original show, That’s Emma! tonight and tomorrow @ 7:00 pm in the high school auditorium.  The play is based on the Jane Austin novel Emma. I have my ticket for tonight and can’t wait to see our talented and dedicated thespians perform in-person! Here is a promotional clip created by our very own Marcus Bennett. Yay for another sign that things are getting back to “normal”!

Culinary Food Truck Wars– DELICIOUS!!  The Culinary students (under the direction of Chef Hitchens) served up a delightful sampling of their cooking and business skills at this year’s Cooking final.  The baking and pastry team also had their turn and I was able to “claim” the last cream puff!  This was the highlight of my week (although there may have been some of you who thought having a fire truck parked in the DO parking lot was a sure winner…) and although the food was scrumptious, the conversation with our optimistic and energetic students was the best part…and I didn’t even have to use any of my “play money”  to “pay” for the conversations about their successes this year, their hopes for next year, and their excitement about the culinary program.  Yay for our kids and their positive attitudes!

In the Community –

Spanish-Speaking Parent Outreach Shines- The weather cooperated and the community came together to provide an opportunity to serve and “see” our Spanish-speaking families.  The event was well-attended and many of our school and community leaders came out to be part of this fun time to make connections and build relationships.  We had free meals, translation assistance, help with filling out forms, information about services in our community, Dual-Language Program info, and fellowship.  Our families told us after the event that they truly feel supported and are excited about their children’s future in our schools.  Yay for the community truly partnering with us to support our families!

In the District Office –

School Board Site Visit to WLA:  The School Board completed their “rounds” of site visits today by spending several hours with our newest school program, Washougal Learning Academy.  Special thanks to Principal Jason Foster and his super-star staff for their excellent work to bring this program to fruition.  Today I saw children using a baking lesson to learn about math, chemistry, reading, and creativity.  I saw children learning about ecology by hiking through our parks and wet lands.  I saw students receiving customized support to meet grade-level standards and excel past standards.  I saw children expressing their creativity via writing short stories.  I saw parents happy with how they are partnering with schools to assist with the education for their children.   Assistant Superintendent, Renae McMurray envisioned this program to provide a flexible and family-friendly learning option for our Washougal students and that is exactly what we saw today!  This is a great example of our Equity work: Providing exactly what each child needs to reach his/her potential!

Inspiration this week The inspiration of the week goes to our School Board of Directors for their courage and commitment to ALL of our students!   The last school board meeting was “quite exciting” and provided the opportunity for our School Board to communicate their strong support for the work of our District as we insist on equitable opportunities for ALL of our students.  Board Member, Jim Cooper, captured it well when he stated:  “To all the members of the community who oppose our equity policy, I have the following to say:  If you believe the district policy should not provide equal opportunities for every child, regardless of family income or structure, language, race, religion, etc., or the district policy should not welcome and respect every child or if you think every district teacher and staff member should not be engaged in helping to create such an equitable educational environment then we will have to agree to disagree.” Well, dang!  Could not have said it better myself.  Thank you, School Board!

As we move into Memorial Day weekend, I want to take a moment to honor those who have served our country and have fallen.  Memorial Day reminds us of our brave men and women who have died while serving in the U.S. Military.  We are grateful for our brave heroes and this wonderful country that they died to protect!!

I hope you have an enjoyable three-day weekend with your loved ones and friends.

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