What a year! Seniors are graduated and end of the year activities are winding down. I want to thank students, staff and parents for their hard work educating the students of LR. I want to take a moment to reflect on this past year and give some direction for next school year.
During this past year, it has been apparent that an escalation of student behavior, lack of staff professional development and better communication are the nucleus of difficulties that need to be addressed at Grand Coulee Dam SD. Last week administration met with Union representatives to review results of a survey taken by classified staff. Although the survey was not initiated by the district, the results support decisions and direction that has already been in the planning process for next year. I would like to give an overview.
First, in March the School Board adopted a “Strategic Plan” that will give the district direction for the next few years. Goal 2 of this plan deals with a Safe and Secure Learning environment. Administration has been working around this goal developing a plan for implementation in the fall.
In order to have affective training and professional development we needed to establish time to train. In March the School Board adopted a 17/18 school calendar that identifies seven (7) half days for staff training. The current calendar allows one hour training every other Monday which was ineffective.
Second, training and focus throughout the year will be addressing student behavior. Ultimately our goal is for ALL students to be successful in school. Therefore, our focus must be on the “whole child” and our mind set must shift from disciplining students to changing their behavior. Positive Behavior Interventions (PBIS) has been the approach used for a number of years in this district. Although the structure of PBIS has been proven to be affective, we have not kept up on ongoing training. Beginning this summer, Bus drivers and two teams from the building (1 ES, 1 MS/HS) will be going to PBIS training.
The level of truancies has escalated over the years and was very evident this year. A “Truancy Board” was established at the MS/HS level last fall with implementation beginning this spring. Having to meet with the Truancy Board has greatly reduced the need to file truancy petitions (Becca Court) with the county courts. Implementation of a Truancy board at the ES level will be a focus for the fall.
Two other trainings that are being scheduled deal with “Right Response” (how do you interact with a student if needed) and “Restorative Justice” (how and what tools can we give students to correct their behaviors after they have acted up).
Finally, working collaboratively and good communication are a must. This past year new laws were implemented that put a limit on school suspensions. Understanding the implementation of this law was not well articulated and misunderstandings of discipline occurred. This will be addressed at the beginning of school in the fall.
Over the years, classified staff were often less involved in important trainings. If we are to work as a team to benefit students, it will be imperative that ALL staff (Certified and Classified) are properly trained. Therefore, early release trainings that are specific to working with students will be mandatory for both certified and classified staff.
During a time of budget constraints, it is difficult to support initiatives with proper resources. I’m currently looking at ways to support these initiatives with appropriate time and resources.
Lake Roosevelt students deserve the best we can give them. It will be important that we all come together in order to improve their educational opportunities.
Have a GREAT summer break; see everyone in the fall!
Please Help Us Help Others
The Lake Roosevelt Class of 2022 has many students who have suffered traumatic loss. Out of that loss, they are working hard to raise money to prevent starvation and loss in Somalia, where 6 million people face the possibility of starvation this spring. World powers aren't funding food sufficiently, and tens of millions of dollars are needed. If you are able to help, please stop by the school or send a check to:
Lake Roosevelt Junior Senior High,
505 Crest Drive, Coulee Dam, WA, 99116.
PLEASE write "Help the Hurt" in the note line.
The students have established a goal of $6,000.00. Thank you!!!
THE FUNDS THAT ARE RAISED THROUGH THIS FUNDRAISER ARE NOT BEING RAISED FOR OUR ASB, THESE FUNDS ARE PRIVATE NON-ASSOCIATED STUDENT BODY FUNDS AND WILL BE HELD IN TRUST BY THE DISTRICT UNTIL THE 7TH GRADE REQUESTS DISBURSEMENT OF THE FUNDS TO BE SENT TO SOMALIA. THESE FUNDS ARE BEING SENT TO MERCY CORPS
For Your Information:
A recent Netflix series 13 Reasons Why Has suicide prevention experts raising concerns about the potential risks posed by the sensationalized treatment of youth suicide. Many teenagers are binge watching this series without adult guidance and support. While many youth are resilient and capable of differentiating between a TV drama and real life, engaging in thoughful conversations with them about the show is vital.*
Please reference the following resource for talking points and guidance in having a conversation with your student about the show and its many concerning topics.
*excerpted from: National Association of School Psychologists. (2017). 13 Reasons Why Netflix series: Considerations for educators [handout]. Bethesda, MD: Author.
We are proud to offer the parents or guardians of our students free access* to ParentU!
Grand Coulee Dam School District is offering free access* to the ParentU website provided by the North Central ESD. ParentU offers parents free 15-20 minute lessons regarding the most popular devices, websites, and apps used by today's students. Lessons explain the various devices and apps, the risks of using mobile devices, students' digital foot prints and the risk of sharing too much personal information; as well as covering cyberbullying and sexting. Each lesson has ample examples of the mobile apps and computer screenshots of the websites discussed.
*Please contact your student's teacher to receive the free password to access the lessons through GCDSD's license.