Superintendent's Message

June 1, 2022

Nine Mile Falls Parents and Community Members:

As the 2021-2022 school year comes to a close, we would like to thank all of you for the support you have provided to our students and staff over the past year. As we begin looking forward to the 2022-2023 school year, I would like to take this opportunity to share a little bit more about some of the work that has been started and finished in the Nine Mile Falls School District.

Earlier this year the Nine Mile Falls School Board launched a ThoughtExchange to start communicating with the community at large about the district. From that feedback, the board has established a goal to “engage our community through active and transparent communication.” Along with this communications goal, and with the results of the second ThoughtExchange, the Board has authorized a Facilities Advisory Committee. This committee is made up of community members that are working over the summer/fall with an architecture firm and a demographer to build and be ready to share a recommended 10-year facilities plan for the Nine Mile Falls School District.

To continue to build on the Board’s overarching goal of improved communication and transparency, we will also be including monthly financial information in this newsletter. You will find two pie charts that show the amount of revenue received by the district along with the expenditures. Please know that this data will always be a full month behind due to how our fiscal information is updated locally and from the state level.

We believe it is also important to note that we have utilized some of the one-time dollars from the federal Elementary and Secondary Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER) to adopt new or update the older curriculum. Since the beginning of the year we have purchased; Biotech, Physical Science, Chemistry, Biology, Anatomy and Physiology, Physics, World History, AP World History, Psychology, Spanish 1,2 &3, Algebra I & II, Geometry, Precalculus, Calculus and a new Novel for Junior English. We are still in the progress of adopting 6-8 Social Studies, 6-8 Math, and are piloting curriculum in other areas. This process follows board policy 2020. We appreciate the community and parent volunteers that are needed on the adoption teams to get this important work accomplished.

Your school district has also utilized these one-time ESSER dollars to purchase hundreds of new desks and bring in new student technology. This summer we will also be utilizing ESSER dollars to add a third portable at Lakeside High School and complete HVAC projects at Nine Mile Falls Elementary and Lake Spokane Elementary.

As summer approaches, I want to wish all of you a very happy and relaxing summer. Thank you for the support you continue to provide to Nine Mile students, staff, and schools. If you have any questions or want to have conversations about our schools, please reach out to me at [email protected].

Jeff Baerwald

May 1, 2022

Nine Mile Falls Parents and Community Members:

In our April newsletter, we requested volunteers from the Nine Mile Falls Community to contact us if they were interested in volunteering to serve on our district’s Facility Advisory Committee. Our amazing community members have answered the call and we have a team of 15-16 community members representing Tum Tum, Suncrest, Seven Mile, and the Charles Road area. This team is made up mostly of current parents along with retired community members.

On Tuesday, April 26, 2022, the Nine Mile Falls School District Board of Directors approved a resolution that gives the Facilities Advisory Committee the authority to develop a 10-year Capital Facilities Plan for our district. The district’s Facilities Advisory Committee is tasked with the following responsibilities:

  • Reviewing student enrollment projections and physical conditions of buildings
  • Reviewing and/or validating existing space and service standards
  • Forecast the need to construct, expand, or modernize our schools
  • Creating a 10-year plan indicating the type of projects needed, cost, and funding sources
  • Conduct public forums and solicit patron input
  • Present findings and make a recommendation to the school board

The goal of the district’s Facility Advisory Committee is to engage the Nine Mile Falls community in transparent communication around the real and perceived needs for our communities' schools and create a 10-year Capital Facilities Plan.

After thoroughly reviewing the first ThoughtExchange, the Nine Mile Falls School Board utilized the key themes to launch their second Exchange. The voice of our community will continue to be a vital aspect of how we continue to improve our district.

The results of our first ThoughtExchange asked for improved communication across the board. In order to begin to build on the theme of improved communication and create better transparency, we will now be including monthly financial information in our newsletter. This month, you will find two pie charts that show the amount of revenue received, along with the expenditures. Please know that this data will always be a full month behind due to how our fiscal information is updated locally and from the state level.

Finally, as many of you are aware, the month of May can often be stressful for students as the year winds down and end of the year testing dominates the day. Please continue to encourage your child to get plenty of rest and do not hesitate to reach out to us with any questions, concerns or needs.

Jeff Baerwald

April 1, 2022

Nine Mile Falls Parents and Community Members:

I am excited to share that the Nine Mile Falls School District recently received a grant from the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) to begin a Study and Survey of the Nine Mile Falls School District. The Study and Survey is an overall analysis of the school districts’ buildings/facilities, educational programs and plans, student population projections, capital finance and operating capabilities and identification of needs for new construction, modernization, or replacement of buildings/facilities.

As many of you see as you commute into Spokane, significant work is being accomplished on the old Sundance Golf Course.  This land is slated to be the future home of 475 single family residences.  Although not as voluminous, we are also seeing the construction of new homes within the Stevens County boundaries of our district.  With the growth we are anticipating within our district, the time is now to begin this important work of the Study and Survey.

Per the requirements of these grant funds, the district has publicly advertised the need to hire an architectural firm along with a structural engineer to help guide this process.  As this work begins, we are asking for any staff, parents, and community members that would like to volunteer to serve on a District Facilities Committee to please reach out to Jeff Baerwald at [email protected] or at (509) 340-4303. The purpose of the district's facilities committee is to utilize staff, parents, and community members to help build and establish short and long-term goals around the facility needs of our Nine Mile Falls School District based on the results of the Study and Survey data.

I am appreciative of all of the support that our parents and community have provided over the past two years of the pandemic.  It is truly heartwarming to be among the students and staff in our schools and see the faces of our students engage with each other and the staff that serve them. I wish all of our students and families a happy and safe spring break!   

Jeff Baerwald

March 1, 2022

Nine Mile Parents, Guardians, and Community Members:

It is hard to believe that it is already March and spring is just around the corner.  As many of you already know, the statewide mask mandate will be lifted on March 11, 2022, at 11:59 p.m.  Although many in our community will be excited by the end of the state mask mandate, there will also be those that are apprehensive about taking masks off and will make the personal decision to keep wearing a mask over the next several weeks or months. As this date rapidly approaches, we respectfully ask all in our school community to honor the choice that each individual staff member and student makes regarding their decision to mask or not.

On behalf of the Nine Mile Falls School Board, I wanted to extend a heartfelt thank you to all of the people that participated in the ThoughtExchange last month.  The school board will be using this information to identify themes and determine the next steps, which may include another ThoughtExchange with a new question.  To see the results of the recent ThoughtExchange, please go to our website at to find a PowerPoint that provides a high-level overview of what was shared. 

Throughout this school year, I have been asked by many community members about our district budget and the one-time Federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER) dollars our district has received. As a district, we believe it is important to share with you how these dollars are being utilized to support all aspects associated with the education of our Nine Mile Falls students.  During this current school year we have or will utilize ESSER dollars to: 

Added eleven additional staff members to help support student academic recovery.  
Updated some of our outdated textbooks and curriculum.
Increased the number of student Chromebooks district-wide.  
Purchased new student desks and chairs replacing student furniture that did not allow for adequate distancing.
Update and replace portions of our failing HVAC systems at Lake Spokane Elementary, Nine Mile Falls Elementary, and Lakeside High School (work to be done this summer).
Purchased a third portable to be installed this summer on the Lakeside High School campus to alleviate overcrowding.

With these one-time Federal ESSER dollars, it has been the goal of the Nine Mile Falls School Board to enhance programs and facilities without impacting our local taxpayers. Altogether, the Nine Mile Falls School District will spend approximately $2 million from ESSER funding this year on items designed to enhance the educational experience of our students.

In closing, thank you for your continued support of our students, staff, schools, and district. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me at 509-340-4300 or [email protected] if you have any questions about any aspect of our school district.

Jeff Baerwald