May 7, 2019
Dear Chimacum Community:
Have you ever considered school board service? If so, for the open seats of Chimacum’s board the filing period is one week long and begins Monday. All interested in securing a four year term on the school board must file next week. For more information on how to file see https://www.co.jefferson.wa.us/1266/Elections. You can also access the district website to learn more about school board elections here: www.csd49.org
Have you been following the Legislative Session which just ended on April 28? The debate about school funding continues. While some (in many cases larger) districts saw an increase in their funding, by increasing their ability to raise more revenue from the local levy the Chimacum funding did not change in any substantial way. This is due to the vast changes to school funding formulas in 2017. We did see a slight uptick in Special Education funding, which begins to move in the right direction.
Over the last few weeks we have had a committee of staff and community members present a series of solutions to the challenges the district is facing with enrollment. This school year enrollment has remained steady and I am optimistic that more families will see the absolute value in a Chimacum education. We have so many exciting things happening in the school district.
Just look at this list of community support for our students:
The American Association of University Women (AAUW) gathering volunteers for Kindergarten Literacy and 3rd grade mathematics; the family of Chimacum High School Class of 1953 valedictorian Robert Roe who have supported STEM in our district; WSU and 4H working together to apply for a competitive 21st Century Learning Grant which, if awarded, will provide exciting after school programming for our students; East Jefferson County Rotary Club under the direction of President-Elect Paul Wyncoop donating the construction of an outdoor pavilion on our main campus; a recently awarded Garden Grant for over $100,000 which goes to support wellness activities on both campuses, a grant which would not have been possible without the tremendous support of the Community Wellness Project.
I would also like to recognize Boeing Blue Bills and the Peninsula Support Organization for their ongoing technical and financial support for STEM activities. The Robotics Fair on April 16, organized by Chimacum Elementary School, is an example of great things happening in our schools. The STEM list of donors includes:
- Port Ludlow Associates
- Shine Micro
- Windermere Real Estate
- Coldwell Banker Real Estate
- John L. Scott Real Estate
- Coast Seafoods
- Circle and Square
Please join me in thanking these organizations for their ongoing support of Chimacum Schools.
Don’t forget the commencement of the Class of 2019 which will be held at 1 pm on June 8.
Let me know if you have any questions,
Message from Superintendent Rick Thompson
Dear Chimacum Community:
The class of 2019 graduation is only a few weeks away. My wife and I received our first graduation announcement recently in the mail. Such an exciting time for students their families. I look forward to seeing you at Commencement on June 8.
I hope you had a chance to see or hear about Chimacum’s first Robotics Competition held Saturday, April 13. It was well organized by fifth grade teachers with a special shout out to Maddie Webb who put in lots of time to make this event a success. Parents, community, students and other competitors came together for an important experience. I cannot say thank you enough to all who were dedicated to make this happen.
Have you ever thought about serving on your local school board? Our website has the most recent information about how to run. Note: you must file by May 17 to be on the ballot. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you would like to learn more or have any questions.
Shout out to our community members who helped the district receive a state grant for school gardens in the amount of nearly $100,000. This investment will add to our ability to have school gardens, as well as produce for our school lunch program. The best news: The grant will apply to the main campus and Primary School campus.
Another shout out to community members Mark Bauserman, Jack Randall, and Ginny Munger. They are volunteering their time to help the district plan for natural and man-made disasters. We will continue to prioritize emergency preparedness in the future. Great strides have been made in gathering emergency supplies and in staff training.
Beginning this fall, the new grade level configuration will be: K-2, Preschool, and Head Start at Chimacum Creek Primary; grades 3-6 will be located in the newly refurbished classrooms in the current middle school building, and grades 7-12 will be located on the high school campus.
Expect to see a wide variety of capital projects this summer, thanks to your generous 2018 Capital and Technology levy investment. We are nearing a 1:1 student to computer ratio across the district. New technology has been ordered for Chimacum Creek Primary School. These improvements have been made using your levy investments.
Finally, please join me in thanking our staff and community volunteers who grappled with a number of enrollment solutions. Committee members are Shelby Smith, Jenny Vervynck, Melinda Miller, Courtney Mosher, Tamara Meredith, Sarah Martin and Alan Hinds. Their work will serve the district well both now and in the future.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me with questions.
February 28, 2019
Dear Chimacum Community:
Do you know what STEM stands for? Have you seen this word used on T.V. or heard the acronym on the radio?
STEM stands for:
Some places add the Arts and call it STEAM. These words have become popular in school district around the United States and abroad.
I think there are two reasons for the popularity of STEM. One is that these subjects naturally interest and engage students. Many STEM units are project-based with applied, real life experiences. The second reason is the job market. There are literally thousands of STEM-related jobs in our state that are not filled, and many of them do not require a four year college degree. With the changing nature of the economy (digital, information age, robotics, etc.) employees are needing to fill newly created or newly revised jobs.
So what are we doing in Chimacum Schools to focus on STEM? For one thing, we invest in K-5 science kits. These kits help our youngest students learn science by doing science. Second, we are beginning to invest in robotics. Our fifth grade teachers recently took our students to a regional competition in Kitsap County. Third, our teachers are participating in high level professional development on the topic of STEM. Fourth, our district is part of a regional collaboration with www.westsoundstem.org as well as www.washingtonstem.org.
Interested? Want to volunteer or contribute? Please join our Community Advisory STEM team. We have a wonderful group of volunteers who provide direction, secure grants, find donors, and otherwise help us promote SETM in all of our schools. A small gift, a referral, an article to share – this is what we are up to in support of Chimacum kids.
Please let me know if you are interested by contact me at email@example.com or (360) 302-5896.
January 8, 2019
Happy New Year!
On December 12, 2018 the Chimacum School Board approved a grade reconfiguration plan. The plan calls for maintaining the K-2 school site at Chimacum Creek Primary School, adding 6th grade to the current Elementary 3-5 model, and consolidating secondary operations into a new 7-12 model. The reconfiguration is the outcome of work completed by a facilities committee, and to respond to declining enrollment. Put simply: we needed to reduce our facility footprint while being more efficient with how we group our students. This winter and spring we will work hard to sure school safety is improved, to create the best possible learning climate, and to develop attractive educational programs at all levels. Please let me know if you would like to tour the facilities or if you have any questions about the new grade plan.
November 6, 2018
Five Things You Need to Know about Chimacum Facilities and Grade Configurations
Dear Parents and Community Members:
Over the last several months the school board and I have discussed the condition of our facilities, the costs to repair them, and how to use the spaces both efficiently and economically. Our overall goal is to align the best spaces the public owns with the enrollment in each program and in each grade. Here are the things you need to know:
- Safety and security are the highest priority. For each student in each classroom, we will configure all programs in such a way to keep students safe.
- I will present a final configuration plan to the board on December 12, 2018. For over six months, staff have reviewed pros and cons of different scenarios. I have asked Principal’s David Carthum and Jason Lynch to convene a committee to look at the issues in depth before recommending the best solution(s).
- The overall goal is to use the best spaces in the district. Last year, a report was created using a wide range of professionals who rated each building condition and created a roadmap for repairs. Our clear aim is to house students in the best spaces.
- Operations need to align with enrollment. The district owns and maintains over 200,000 square feet of public space. The plan will reflect enrollment in each grade, for now and in the future. The enrollment decline will likely result in less square feet being heated, repaired, and maintained.
- The District invites you to see for yourself the ages, conditions, and configuration of space. Two tours have been set:
- November 14, 4:00-6:00 PM
- November 27, 6:00-8:00 PM
If these times don’t work, just let us know and we will schedule other times. As your Superintendent, I am also happy to talk with you about concerns you might have. Just let me know. You may reach me at (360) 302-5896 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for listening!
October 22, 2018
What are we doing to keep our students safe?
This is the most important question for our school community! Today I want to give you an update in light of all the violence we have seen across the country.
First, we have adopted the ALICE model to protect against active shooters. You can see more information at www.alicetraining.com. We like this model as it provides our staff with tools and strategies designed to protect students and all other people who may be at the school, from human-caused violence. Staff have been training for months. On October 2, 2018 we conducted practice drills at both Chimacum Creek Primary School and on the main campus. This practice was conducted in coordination with three local deputy sheriffs. Second, we have installed video surveillance on both campuses to provide a video recording of events and activities which take place in public spaces. Third, we continue to practice drills designed to respond to a variety of natural disasters such as earthquakes. Fourth, we are teaming up regionally with First Responders and regional experts to help us plan for different scenarios and to gather resources. Fifth, we have posted on our website Safety Reporting, which is an avenue for reporting bullying and safety issues. Anyone can contact the district 24/7 if a safety concern arises. We respond to these reports immediately. Sixth, we employ several excellent counselors who can help families work through issues that may impact learning and mental health. Our highly qualified staff meet student needs every day.
Finally, we can’t do this alone. We have excellent volunteers for fundraising, emergency kits, reviewing our Emergency Operations Plan, and assessing our buildings. The capital levy you passed last August will help with improving more building systems. I regularly report on Emergency Preparedness to the school board.
If you would like more information about the District’s efforts in Emergency Planning, please don’t hesitate to give me a call at (360) 302-5896 or email email@example.com.
October 10, 2018
Recognizing Great Work in Our Schools
If you have not made it a point to attend a board meeting, let me explain to you one thing I really love about our community.
At each meeting, the Board gets to recognize a student, parent, community member, or staff member for their positive contribution to our district’s mission.
So what do we recognize? Really the ground rules are easy – it just needs to be a positive influence on our school district.
Last year, we recognized an elementary student turned in money that didn’t below to him into the office. Another example is recognizing a family that gave a sizeable donation to our computer science program. We give a personalized signed certificate and take a nice picture. Most times we post the picture on our website.
Do you know someone who needs to be recognized? It can be a smaller matter that makes a big difference. You see, the small matters add up. Please let me know of someone you’d like to recognize.
The board meets the second and fourth Wednesday of the month at 6:00 PM in the Chimacum High School Library. Agendas are seen under the Board tab on our website at www.csd49.org.
Thank you for your interest in our district!
September 20, 2018
We had a phenomenal opening to school. At the September 12 board meeting, I gave an update on the first few days of school. Suffice it to say, our staff and students were ready to go.
Speaking of the Board, I’m pleased to announce that Chimacum’s Board of Directors will be co-presenting with the Freeman School District on best practices to govern a school district. The presentation will be in November at the WSSDA Annual Conference of School Directors from all over the state. This is quite an honor!
At the September 26 board meeting, I will provide an overview of how our students in grade 3 through 11 performed compared to their peers. We have a lot of work to do, and I will describe what these steps will be. Three highlights from 2018 testing:
1. Science scores continue to be strong.
2. Grade 3 saw some nice gains.
3. Grade 4 saw some nice gains as well.
The Board’s goal continues to be this: out-perform Washington grade level peers. We need everyone’s help to accomplish this.
Choose Chimacum is the name of the volunteer team, which is convening to recommend enrollment solutions. Our team has grown to nine (9) volunteers! Would you like to join us? We will review some historical data and explore different school programs. Most importantly, we will develop a lot of prioritized solutions for the school board. We also intend to examine the themes in Thought Exchange as part of the process. Please let me contact me if you would like to join the team!
What is new with our public facilities? First, more work was done this summer at Chimacum Middle School. More electric capacity, better fire alarms, carpet, and paint. The 1999 wing of Chimacum Middle School is ready to go. This fall, I will be recommending to the Board how we can configure our K-12 program into the best classroom spaces. My thinking will be presented at the October 24 board meeting.
Finally, a special thanks to the Backpacks for Kids volunteers, to Z. Jack Randall for his tireless efforts on supplying emergency kits, Bob Reasoner and Robert Champang for implementing STEM activities, Jay Gilmour for bringing Dan Evans to our library, to Lee Stampfler for being a county leader in immunizations; to Linda Kostenbader for recognizing Chimacum High School students at Rotary, and finally to Gary Coyan, Reed Aubin, and Greg Reed for their support of the 2018 Farm Tour.
Please let me know how I can of help. You may reach me at (360) 302-5896 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.