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Superintendent's Message 06/02/2023

June 2 2023

Dear Chimacum Families,

These final weeks of school are a lot of fun. Field days and class excursions, barbecues, senior celebrations, and lying on the lawn and staring at the sky are all favorite spring day activities! As we wind down, we are also planning ahead for summer school, filling positions, preparing schedules, and developing our cool programs. 

We are also thinking about our budget for next year.

The district has been on solid financial footing, weathering a 25 year trend of falling enrollment. We are half the size of peak enrollment in 1998, and Jefferson County is the oldest population in the state by median age. Due to skilled fiscal stewardship over this period of demographic change, the district gets high marks from the State Auditor’s Office. We are grateful for the trust of our voters who pass Educational Program and Operations levies to support our programs and Capital Projects levies for building repair, maintenance, and upgrades. 

Careful fiscal management of the additional funding from State and Federal governments in response to the pandemic has allowed us to offset revenue loss from enrollment decline. This allows us to have low class sizes and extra support for the academic and emotional growth of our students. Also, our robust community partnerships help us support our students with vital, place based opportunities and grant resources.

On May 24 Assistant Superintendent Art Clarke presented information about our budget to the School Board. He gave comprehensive reports about capital projects and general budget trends. While we believe we have a stable budget outlook, we anticipate some changes beginning in the 2024-25 school year. 

  • The Federal ESSER (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund) revenues from the 2020 pandemic response will be expended. Those dollars support extra counselors and lower class sizes through next year. That is over six hundred and sixty thousand dollars in revenue loss that will have to be considered in 2024-25.
  • Our local levy collection has remained static while costs for staffing, operations (insurance, utilities, maintenance) have increased at a faster rate than state revenues. State basic education funding does not fully pay for necessary programs such as technology or support staff that makes a building run such as office assistants, custodians, or the school nurse.
  • While the legislature did provide more money for public schools this biennium, increases are still short of fully funding special education, among other basic needs. Chimacum has more special education students than the state pays for, and has students with unique needs that require expenditures far greater than than the per student funding.
  • Our facilities are in better condition than many districts’, but we have identified necessary repairs to roofs, siding, electrical, playgrounds, and HVAC systems that need attention over the next few years. Funding provided by the 2018 Capital levy has allowed the district to respond to unanticipated new requirements for water treatment, air quality, safety, and energy efficiency, while providing remodeled academic spaces, safety improvements, and technology for students and staff.

Declining enrollment and changes to state, federal, and local revenues have required care and persistence to balance Chimacum programs and financial resources. We continue to make adjustments to support innovative and engaging programs and exciting opportunities for students while balancing fiduciary responsibilities.

We hope you will stay engaged in conversations with our school board and me over the next few months so that we have your ideas, input, and priorities. No decisions about the 2024-25 budget have been made. The board remains committed to our strategic plan so that robust and supportive programs for all kids are durable and sustainable. Our dedicated staff is phenomenal, and I continue to be amazed by their spirit and persistence!

Please reach out if you have questions at (360) 302-5896 or by email


Dr. Scott Mauk, Superintendent

First page of the PDF file: 05252023


Dear Chimacum Families,

I hope you have a terrific Memorial Day Weekend! It looks like the weather is shaping up to be nice.

I want to tell you more about our district’s safety plans. Some questions came up after this month’s PTA meeting and I want to address some of those important concerns and questions.

First, there are no “new plans” for emergencies. We have existing plans and practice those during drills. Those plans, like emergency response plans in other districts, evolve over time to meet local needs. We have been updating our plans throughout my time here and have specifically worked closely with EMS and the Sheriff's office this year to ensure we are better prepared for a variety of emergencies. 

We learned a lot about how things didn’t go totally as we had planned on April 12. As I wrote before, one of the contingencies we didn’t practice for in depth was a district-wide emergency. Also, we have had a lot of staff turnover, and our training for communications and reunification has not kept up- I noticed how I counted on institutional knowledge that doesn’t necessarily exist anymore. We have work to do.

Here are some clarifications in response to questions I heard.

Reunification and Communication
Emergency Communications will be centralized out of the district via SMS, voicemail, and email. We will update that communication as needed or as new information comes available. We will coordinate our press communications with EMS and JCSO as we did on April 12. 

Reunification with families is always situation dependent. For example, we may evacuate a campus all together and do reunification at an off-site location. We would not announce this until the time of the incident and not prepublish the reunification sites for security reasons.

We will continue training and preparation of our office staff and substitutes so they can do everything from tracking medications to coordinating reunification. Teachers will have updated class rosters if possible, and we will update their training through drills and professional development.

Lastly, we will update our internal communication protocols with radio training, preplanning with Jeffcom (county dispatcher), and sharing more communications with JCSO and EJFR.

If you have questions don’t hesitate to call or email your principal or me- (360) 302-5896.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Dr. Scott Mauk, Superintendent

Enrolling Now for Transitional Kindergarten

Transitional Kindergarten Flyer

We are seeking children who will turn 5 years of age between September 1, 2023 and August 31, 2024 to apply for our free, full day Pre-K program, Transitional Kindergarten. All children will be considered and priority will be given to those who have not had any prior preschool experience. Questions? Please call (360) 302-5820 or email

Please apply on our online form or download the form and return to:

Chimacum Creek Primary School

313 Ness' Corner Road

Port Hadlock, WA  98339

Your application will be reviewed quickly and you will receive a registration packet if your child is eligible.


2023-24 School Calendar Update


Dear Chimacum Families,

I am excited to let you know about our 23-24 school calendar! After months of calendar committee work, community input, input from all of our labor partners, and cooperation with the Port Townsend School District, the school board has adopted our calendar for the 2023-24 school year.

In sum, our new calendar reflects community, staff, and student input, including concerns about childcare and summer being too long. The two main changes to our annual calendar are:

Thanksgiving break five days- We have very high student absenteeism during the three days prior to Thanksgiving. That impacts staff and students in multiple ways, and affects student learning. In order to capture three instructional days for all kids’ learning, we will have all five days of Thanksgiving break off.

MidWinter Break- We will have an entire week-long break at the Presidents Day weekend. This will be a well-placed pause for everyone during the height of illness season, and give us a chance to work with community partners to offer programs for our students. These may include childcare, credit recovery, and/or experiential learning. Our CSD and PTSD calendar teams were especially excited about this break for the programming possibilities and supporting student learning. 

Our new calendar closely matches Port Townsend’s Calendar. Although each district’s committees independently recommended calendar options, we landed more or less in the same place. These calendars will mean all of East Jefferson is more closely aligned. While these calendars spread out our 180 day school year, they are not “balanced” calendars in the sense that summers are much shorter and there are more breaks throughout the year. Our last day of school is June 27, 2024, with graduation on June 22, 2024.

Linked here is our team’s FAQ on balanced calendars. It answers questions that have come up over the course of the year.


Dr. Scott Mauk, Superintendent

2023-2024 School Calendar