APRIL 8: Update from Superintendent Curt Guaglianone

Dear Parents:  

I want to thank you for your patience, endurance, and flexibility as we continue down this pandemic pathway that none of us have ever traveled before.  My parents, who are both in their late 80s, say it is similar to World War II, when the world changed in their young lives. Family was different, school changed, and the whole mood and structure of their lives were upended—similar to today 75 years later. 

Here are a few updates that I thought you may want to know:

School Closure for the Remainder of this School Year.  Yesterday afternoon, Washington State Governor Jay Inslee announced in a press conference that schools throughout Washington will remain closed for the remainder of this school year and will not reopen until next school year.  That means that we will not return to face-to-face instruction, but a blended model will be implemented—which means a combination of paper and online learning for students Kindergarten through 12th grade.  If you have not heard from your child’s teacher by Wednesday, April 15, 2020, please contact Harrah Vice Principal Mrs. Widener at (509) 848-5739 or White Swan/Mt. Adams School Principal Mrs. Smith at (509) 874-8695

Teachers Miss Your Students.  Every day I hear stories about teachers talking with other teachers or with building administration about how much they miss and are concerned about their students.  Please feel free to contact any of your teachers or building principals. You may find their email addresses on the web or follow this format: use the teacher’s first initial followed by the last name with no dot or space

Graduation Ceremonies for This Year’s Senior Students.  The Governor has not made a determination about graduation yet.  There is still about two months prior to most graduation ceremonies in the state, and based on epidemiological reports and guidance from health advisors, Governor Inslee will make that call when we get closer to June.  In the meantime, it is important that the seniors stay focused on the work necessary to complete his or her graduation requirements. Mrs. Smith and her team will keep families posted about graduation ceremonial plans. We will have something for seniors, we simply are not able to know when, where, or how at this time.  

Meals will Continue.  The District plans to continue meal delivery to families through the end of the school year (June 19, 2020) and that will include daily deliveries of lunch and breakfast for the next day.  If you have not been receiving meals, need additional meals for other children in the home, or need to reduce or discontinue meals for any reason, please call Denise Byers in the Transportation Department at (509) 874-8610.

Instruction for Students.  As mentioned above, the District will provide a “blended’ model of instruction.  Due to the fact that some children are not able to participate in online learning, paper lessons will be delivered to that child by US Mail.    Some may need a device. Others may need internet and still others may need additional accommodation. Please be in contact with your teacher and/or building principal and let us know what your needs are in order for us to provide the best service that we are able.  I do ask for your patience. This is new for your child, it is new for you as parents, and it is new for the teacher, most of whom were not trained or prepared to be online educators or teachers at a distance. If you have a Harrah student who needs assistance, please call 509-848-5739.  If you have a White Swan/Mt. Adams School student who needs assistance, please call 509-874-8695.

Best wishes to you and your families.  I urge you to stay isolated and wash your hands often.  Below are the guidelines that we are encouraging all of our families to follow.

APRIL 3: Update from Superintendent Curt Guaglianone
Message to Families this Week
The District sent a Robo call to students and families to be on the lookout. “Your teacher plans to call you at home to see how you are doing. The Caller Identification may say "Unknown Caller." If you know someone who has changed their number or has not been contacted, please call 509-848-5739 for elementary updates or
509-874-8695 for High/Middle updates. We would really like to stay in touch.”

Donated Food Plans have been Updated
Currently, we still have food that was donated from Northwest Harvest to MASD. Beginning Tuesday, March 31, the District had 10# food bags and bottled water available for pick up from each kitchen. This will go on, for DAILY pick up, as long as supplies last. Breakfast/Lunch will continue to be provided during Spring Break, April 6-10.

Senior Instruction has begun
Teachers are calling senior students with a few reminders:
  • Courses are beginning on April 6.
    • Community service hours are due to Ms. Owen by April 13. They can email her a picture of hours earned at her school email.
  • Special accommodations provided for seniors who do not have internet access.
    • Students that need a chrome book can pick one up on Friday, April 3 from 11-1 p.m. in the high school office.
  • Students are only being required at this time to begin classes required for graduation.
  • Mrs. Smith’s focus is on seniors who are on track to graduate
Use of video conferencing
Video conferencing via Zoom or other methods is to be carefully regulated by teachers and parents. The District will not likely use video conferencing for the most part, but if it is necessary, then the following procedures apply. If procedure is violated, please contact the school immediately.
Video Meeting Guidance – Important guidelines when using video conferencing for staff-to-student communication:
  1. There must be at least two students participating in a Zoom meeting with a staff member.
  2. When only one student is available to participate in a Zoom meeting with a staff member, an adult at home must be in the video with the student.
  3. At no time should a staff member and student be 1:1 during a Zoom meeting.
Phase I and Phase II Planning by Buildings Related to Instruction
Phase I and Phase II instructional plans for both campuses in the District have been developed. Please keep in mind that these plans are fluid. As regulations change, as schemers learn new ways to breach Zoom meetings, as the State Superintendent or Governor loosen or tighten regulations, the District will adjust as necessary. That said, thank you all so much for your flexibility as the building leaders use all of their best and latest knowledge to provide guidance to teachers and instruction to students during this time, which will begin as early as April for some grade levels and implemented over the next two weeks for other grade levels. 
MARCH 27: Update from Superintendent Curt Guaglianone

Meals for Students

Meal delivery and pickup options have not been interrupted by the "shelter in place" directive by the Governor.   Mt. Adams has a team of dedicated food service professionals who are preparing meals for students.  Meal service is available for pickup and delivery and will continue without disruption until further notice.  If you have questions or are not receiving meals, call (509)-874-8610 or come to either campus between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m., Monday – Friday. 

Educational Support (Current)

The teachers and administrators of our district miss our students.  Currently, located on the MASD Website, a tab that says "Resources" or "Teaching and Learning" and a second tab that says "Parent Resources" will lead a parent or student to a number of online resources available for enrichment.  I hope you take advantage of the free resources that many of these educational companies are making available to students and families.

Educational Support (Coming Soon!)

All MASD staff are adhering to the "shelter in place" directive and are determining the best way to provide educational support for our students.  Teachers and staff will return to duty soon and will begin providing educational support for students, in a way that is much different for the students and for the teacher.  Our education professionals are planning, designing, and creating ways to deliver educational support to help students maintain academic knowledge and to make sure that skills that were developed by students in the first two thirds of the year are not lost during this time away from school.  You should hear from the school and/or individual teachers shortly after Spring Break that will provide guidance as to how you can access the materials provided by your children's teachers.

Shelter in Place

As you may be aware the Governor of Washington has declared a "shelter in place" directive for the State.  Mt. Adams School District is required to adhere to this directive and has completely closed services at each of the school buildings until April 13, 2020.  Please call Denise Byers (509-874-8610) for questions about meals and (509) 874-2611 for general questions. Someone will return you call in a timely manner.

covid19 information
MARCH 18: From Superintendent Curt Guaglianone:

School meals are now available to students.  Today, we had drive-through lunches available for students at both the Harrah school campus as well as the White Swan school campus.  Tomorrow, Thursday, March 19, 2020, delivery of lunches to homes will begin. The District attempted to call every home to either affirm that a meal is desired or to opt out.  If you have not received a phone call and would like to opt in or opt out, please call the Admin Office at 509-874-2611, or Denise Byers at (509) 874-8610.

The District will provide updated communication to families using the District Web Page, Facebook, and occasionally using Robo-call phone communication.   I was told that a parent asked a question via a post on Facebook and did not receive an answer from the District. Facebook is a tool that most people have and use within District boundaries.  The District will use Facebook to push out messages to the community but it will not be used to conduct a conversation or as a comment/question and answer forum. If a parent or community member has a question, feel free to call either the Harrah Elementary School office or the White Swan High/Middle School office with your questions and a building administrator will answer or return your call as soon as he or she is able.  

Mt. Adams School District is concerned about establishing and maintaining equitable systems of education for all students.  Since District services would not be equitable amongst all students, which is a state mandate as well as the right thing to do, the District has decided to treat this time similar to summer break in terms of instruction.  Full instructional services will resume as soon as schools are allowed to be in session.  In the interim, teachers are participating in professional development, and students are encouraged to engage in their own learning supported by parents, older siblings, and other relatives.  There are resources for all students on the web and suggestions for online resources are always available on the MASD District Website.

MARCH 17:  Plan Ahead:
Graduation for White Swan High School is anticipated to be June 12, 2020.
Last Day of School for all students is anticipated to be June 19, 2020.
Instructional Support for Students:
Mt. Adams is concerned about establishing and maintaining equitable systems of education for all students. Since district services would be too difficult to apply equitably amongst all students, which is a state mandate as well as the right thing to do, the District has decided to treat this time similar to summer break in terms of instruction. Full instructional services will resume as soon as schools are allowed to be in session. In the interim, teachers are participating in professional development, and students are encouraged to engage in their own learning supported by parents, older siblings, and other relatives. Below are a set of resources that parents and students might find helpful.
MARCH 16: The Mt. Adams School District will be providing meals for students beginning Thursday, March 19. 
A sack meal containing lunch and breakfast will be delivered to each student in the household during the hours of 11 - 1:00 p.m. A marked district vehicle will deliver the meals. Students must be present to receive the meal. Pickup locations will be at the White Swan or Harrah Elementary kitchens during the hours of 11 - 1:00 p.m. for students who walk. 
Meals will be provided Monday - Friday, with the exception of spring break, April 6-10, until further notice. 
If you need lunch/breakfast on Wednesday, March 18, meals will be available for pick up at each school location during the hours of 11-1:00 p.m.
MARCH 15: Effective Monday, March 16th, all classes are canceled for students until further notice.  Essential personnel are to report to work, which include custodial, grounds, maintenance, clerical and admin office staff.  More information will be announced after 3:00 pm on 3/16.  

MARCH 13: From Superintendent Curt Guaglianone:

Based on the announcement from Governor Inslee, Mt. Adams School District will be on regular early release on Monday. Beginning Tuesday, March 17 through Friday, April 24 schools will be closed.

District administration and staff are working on plans to offer student academic support and meals.
There will be no school or related activities effective Tuesday March 17, 2020. Updates will be provided as information becomes available.
Thank you for your patience and flexibility as we work through this challenging time.

MARCH 12: From Superintendent Curt Guaglianone:

To date, 16 public schools, three school districts, and 24 private schools and higher institutions have closed in Washington State.  As the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, continues to alter lives, primarily west of the Cascades, it can be easy to believe that we are immune to a virus that has yet to have yielded a confirmed case in Yakima County.  Nevertheless, unsettling times call for preparation and proactivity.

At this time, after careful consideration and counsel with other area superintendents, we will take the following proactive measures in Mt. Adams School District to protect students, employees, and the community (effective dates: March 13 – April 12, 2020):

  • Limit non-essential employee and student travel outside of Yakima County
  • Suspend facility use for large group events, activities, and tournaments that bring in participants from outside Yakima County - Dana Jarnecke will coordinate with Athletic Directors and Principals.
I have conferred with nearby school district Superintendents, several who are putting similar measures in place.  The Yakima County Health Department shared that they are in support of these measures. Please realize that additional decisions will occur as the COVID-19 situation evolves. I appreciate your flexibility, patience, and understanding. We care deeply about all students, families, and staff and will continue to share information and decisions as promptly as possible.