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Superintendent's Message

Rick Thompson

February 28, 2019

Superintendent’s Message

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 rick_thompson@csd49.org or (360) 302-5896.


Rick Thompson





January 8, 2019

Superintendent’s Message

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.

Thank you,

Rick Thompson



(360) 302-5896



November 6, 2018

Superintendent’s Message

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:

  1. 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.


  1. 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).


  1. 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.


  1. 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.


  1. 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 rick_thompson@csd49.org.

Thanks for listening!


Rick Thompson




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 rick_thompson@csd49.org.



Rick Thompson





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!



Rick Thompson



(360) 302-5896



September 20, 2018

Hello Chimacum!

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 rick_thompson@csd49.org.



Rick Thompson



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