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Superintendent's Message

Rick Thompson

Happy New Year!

  • As we begin the last half of the 2017-18 school year, I am happy to report many important activities taking place in the district.  Last month I was honored to attend a regional meeting with over 1,000 middle school students, including our own seventh graders from CMS in which we spoke live to the International Space Station.  You can see the link here:  NASA posted the downlink on YouTubehttps://youtu.be/Io2pGBlnH_I.  Thanks to middle school  teacher Al Gonzales and the Boeing Blue Bills for making this happen.
  • January is school board recognition month.  At the December meeting I had the privilege of swearing in four new board members who were elected in November.  Chimacum school board members are among less than 1,500 school directors in WA State who manage large school budgets, and otherwise make sure each school district is operating well.  We have five officials who are locally elected.  One of our members, Dr. Jack McKay, is new to the board and we welcome him to public service on the board after a long and distinguished career in education.  Please join me in thanking each board member for their service.  We meet each month on the second and fourth Wednesdays at 6:00 in the Chimacum High School Library.  Board meetings are open to the public and you are encouraged to attend.
  • Legislative Session begins on Monday, January 8.  This is a short session of 60 days and there are many pressing issues in Olympia.  Two of them are work highlighting here.  First, the legislature has some more work to do to make sure school funding is equitable and salaries competitive in our state.  Much work has been done and the Supreme Court has recently ruled that much of the legislature’s work has been completed; however, some final pieces need to be completed before the fall to ensure full compliance with the court.  As many of you know, Chimacum has been a leader in the fight for full funding for K-12 and the fights has lasted for years.  At the end of the month two high school students, board member Martin and I will attend a Legislative Conference in Olympia to meet with our legislators and learn more about what’s ahead.  I also want to note that much work still needs to be done on the Capital Budget, which did not pass in the last session.  Some $4B in capital projects have been delayed.
  • Community Facility Committee.  The six year Capital and Technology Levy which the voters passed in 2012 will expire at the end of 2018.  This levy has paid for vital improvements and repairs to aging facilities and to a wide variety of building systems.  A committee of citizens and staff have been meeting to study enrollment, tour facilities, look at options and discuss needs and costs.  The district has received an in depth and graphic report on all facilities called the MENG report (posted on the district website at www.csd49.org).  We expect a demographic study to take place this Spring, which will provide further analysis about our community and how we can accurately reflect our needs for where and how to  house our students.  The district carries no bond debt, as the last bonds were paid off in 2012.  I will continue to work closely with the committee and report to the board my recommendations on how we should deal with facilities, in what phases, and with what costs.   I am pleased to report that taxpayers have made significant investments in grounds, roofing, heating systems, flooring, and technology.  Security cameras are being installed as well.
  • Attendance and Climate data.  Last summer our board made it clear that in order to make gains with academics, we need to focus on attendance.  Each school is doing a great job in following up on tardy students and on absentees, making timely contact with families.  These joint efforts are designed to make sure students take advantage of their education and attend class as much as they possibly can to enjoy the curriculum.  Parents have reported that each school is making them aware of the priority.  Today I was in the hallway at Chimacum Creek Primary School where I observed a very large attendance measure which records daily rate of attendance for all to see.  We are also working carefully as a K-12 system to design and implement best practices for discipline and climate.  I will be working with several high school parents this semester to hear their concerns about discipline at the 9-12 level.  We continue to partner with Safe and Civil Schools to learn more about how districts improve the climate for all learners.
  • That’s it for now.  It has been my pleasure to work with two families that have made sizable gifts to our schools foundations.  If you would like to talk about a gift please let me know.  Your contribution, large or small can make a huge difference in the lives of our students.



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