Message from Mary — September 25, 2020
In Schools –
Kids Back in Small Groups: This week we were able to bring back small groups of students to our buildings. Our Special Education Department facilitated the arrival of our students and our staff was ready to welcome back our students for this limited, in-person opportunity. I was at Cape Horn-Skye and CCMS on Thursday and as I walked into the building, my ears were immediately drawn to the lunch room by a familiar sound…. the sound of children laughing and talking!! Oh my, it was great to hear! As our students finished lunch and headed for the bus, I was able to check-in with each about how the day went as they filed past me in their socially-distanced pathway. I heard, “great…pretty good…good day….I’m tired…I had to get up early….that was a good lunch”. Yay to the first steps to getting our children back with us!
In the Community –
Spanish-Speaking Family Night Invitation: 5-7 PM on Tuesday, September 29, 2020 Hamllik Park, 4285 Addy Street. We’re doing an outdoor, socially distanced support opportunity for our Spanish Speaking families. We will have tech support, nutrition services, our Family Resource Coordinators, and translators to answer any questions from families who come. We hope to turn this into a satellite location where we “bring the services to the people” when they need them, on a recurring basis. Administrative intern Jason Foster is leading this group and marshalling resources, including making arrangements for a conference room the outreach group can use once the weather turns colder. Stop by next week to support this great work!
Nurturing Classroom Environments Webinar Invitation: WAE and WSD are co hosting a great webinar for our community on Wednesday, September 30 from 6-7:30. Presenter Ben Ibale, WAE Equity and Civil Rights Coordinator, will talk about the great work we are doing together to improve outcomes for all of our students. I am excited to partner with WAE on this important topic, and know that all of us, working tougher, can engage in thoughtful, deliberate, and concrete action that disrupts systems that perpetuate institutional biases and oppressive practices.
If you would like to register, please use the following link: http://www.washougal.k12.wa.us/equity/
In the District Office –
Safety First: The Student Services Department has identified Lisa Bennett as our COVID safety coordinator for the district. Lisa brings a wealth of knowledge and experience working with systems of accentuality for safety. Lisa has been consulting with each building principal to make sure that their buildings have all of the safety protocols in place and that training is prepared and organized. She has assisted us with preparing our isolation rooms, creating socially-distanced hallways/classrooms, coordinated safety checks for all staff and students in buildings, advised on the appropriate PPE needed for each staff member and student, and has made sure we have signage clearly visible that directs staff and students on hygiene, social-distancing, and chortling. We are very thankful to have such a valuable resource in our district as we opened our schools this week for limited in-person small group instruction. Lisa’s efforts are verifying that we have all safety protocols in place for the hybrid return of students & staff and are supporting principals with implementing our building safety plans with fidelity.
Inspiration this week: The inspiration of the week goes to those of us who are taking the time to brighten the lives of others with gestures of appreciation and support. Just this week, one of our principals purchased “special” cookies for the team from a fancy new bakery in Vancouver…just because she values the teammates and wanted to make sure each person had something special as we are all dealing with difficluty and complexity. This same principal also inspired me this week by ordering a “support bouquet” of flowers for one of her colleagues who was having a stressful day. And one of our staff sent me a thoughtful card, just letting me know that she values the work we are doing and hopes my day is great. These small gestures are what makes us a strong and connected community. I am already planning on what I can do this coming week to “brighten” a staff member’s day!