• December 10, 2020

    Posted by Hanna Fields on 12/10/2020 6:30:00 PM

    Hello Nine Mile, today is Thursday, December 10th and this is Brian Talbott. 

     

    I hope this message finds you in a good place, mentally, emotionally, and physically.  By now, I am sure that you have heard about the rise of positive Covid cases in our local community and throughout the region. Within our schools, we have had members of our Nine Mile Family who have tested positive.  With that comes the quarantine of the individual as well as those who were deemed to have been within the close contact.  That being said, I am happy to report that as of today, we have had only one verified transmission within our schools. I invite you to take a look at the district’s Covid Dashboard to follow the numbers in our schools by visiting the front page of the district website.  As information becomes available, the dashboard is updated.    

     

    Last week, the (CDC) Center for Disease Control came out with new guidelines relative to returning to work and/or school.  Both Spokane Regional Health and Tri-County Health have recently updated their guidance.  As a school district, we are still muddling through these new rules and the guidance so that we have a better understanding of those impacts. Since reopening on October 19th, our schools have been able to maintain safe learning environments for our students and staff members. We will continue to work with our local health departments to determine next steps in combination with the changes that the CDC has recommended. I can assure you that we will keep you apprised as to where we land as a district.  In the interim, please know that our objectives are to remain safe and to keep our schoolhouse doors open. 

     

    As we approach the last week of school prior to the scheduled winter break, I wish to extend my gratitude for the grit and determination that has been shown by our students, staff, and families during this rugged time. Thank you all for sticking in there; I am inspired by the way in which you have rallied.  Together we have, and we will continue to do hard things.  Stay Strong, Stay Healthy, and Stay 9 Mile Proud.  

    Comments (-1)
  • November 24th

    Posted by Hanna Fields on 11/25/2020

    Hello Nine Mile, this is Brian Talbott and today is November 24, 2020

    As we enter into this holiday weekend, I wish to first say that I am appreciative and thankful to be a part of this great district and community.  Collectively we have endured much during the last nine months...professionally and personally.  I am hopeful that the coming year will provide us with a better future.  In the meantime, I appreciate all of you who make the Nine Mile Falls community so darn amazing. 

    At last week’s Board meeting I shared that we will not be recognizing snow days as we move forward into the winter.  In lieu of an actual snow day, we will pivot to a virtual school day.  While this is our current approach, I do need to state that this, like everything else in this current world, can potentially change. 

    We have scheduled a Special Board meeting for Tuesday, December 1st to be held at 6:00 PM via zoom.  The intent of this meeting will include seeking Board approval on a resolution regarding the upcoming district levy; said levy will be on the February 2021 ballot.  Additionally, we will provide an update on our region’s COVID situation.  At this current point, we plan that all four schools will operate on the hybrid schedule starting Monday, November 30th following this Thanksgiving weekend.   

    As a friend and neighbor, I ask that you take every precaution necessary to keep you and your loved ones safe during this holiday weekend.  Our local medical facilities are burdened and officials are concerned about what our gatherings together may bring. Our desire to keep our schools open is riding on our collective ability to make the best decisions possible for our families and one another. 

     

    Those of you who know me understand that I enjoy filling my house with family and friends. This year’s Thanksgiving will only include my bride and our three children sitting at the family table. I look forward to a brighter tomorrow when we can expand and share these moments with our broader family and friends.  

     

    Despite this pandemic, there is much to appreciate as we prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving! Most of all I am thankful for my supportive and loving family at home, followed by my Nine Mile Falls family. Thank you for being such a critical part of 9 Mile Proud.  Our best to all of you.  

     

    Comments (-1)
  • November 5th

    Posted by Hanna Fields on 11/6/2020

    Hello Nine Mile, today is November 5th and this is Brian Talbott.  

     

    It is hard to believe that we are already in November and that there are only five days left in the first quarter. We have now been in the current hybrid model for three weeks now. I can’t begin to express how proud I am of our students, staff, and community for making our return to face-to-face instruction successful and promising. 

     

    Students...this part is for you.  I am asking that you please push hard, finish strong, and stay the course as there are a limited number of days before the quarter ends and your grades are recorded in the grade book!! Thank you Nine Mile for being such great partners in our educational process...it truly does take a village.  


    As many of you now know, Referendum 90, which was an attempt to remove the sexual education bill that the legislature passed last session appears to have been approved by the statewide voter populace. Please know that the Nine Mile Falls School District will continue to do what is best for our students while recognizing the law and adhering to what is important and reflective of our community’s comforts and beliefs.  There is room for us to maneuver; I can assure you that we will do just that.  

     

    Currently, spirit week is occurring at the High School and much spirit there has been. You may have seen some of our student-athletes out around the community conditioning. This has been allowed by the governing powers and we are thankful our students have been able to get outdoors, get their bodies moving, and enjoy the amazing fall weather. We continue to find ways to build community and connection while providing a solid educational experience for our students during such a strange time.

     

    Lastly, I wanted to provide a reminder that there will be no school on Wednesday, November 11th in observance of Veterans’ Day, formally known as Armistice Day.  We are ever grateful to the men and women who have served, are serving, and to those who will serve.  Regardless of our political affiliations, we are proud and to be protected by these brave and courageous individuals.  Thank you for your commitment and dedication to us and the United States of America.   

     

    There is no better place to live, work or raise a family than Nine Mile Falls; I am and will forever be 9MileProud.

      

    Comments (-1)
  • October 26th

    Posted by Hanna Fields on 10/26/2020 6:30:00 PM

    Hello 9 Mile, today is Monday, October 26th and this is Brian Talbott.  

    Last week began our hybrid face-to-face, instructional model. Today marks the second week and the reports from students and staff have been positive as we are all enjoying being back in the classroom. The quarter ends in two short weeks. Please be sure to continue supporting your students as we place the final marks on the first quarter.

    During my visits to the buildings and classrooms throughout the district, I have been so very impressed and appreciative of students and staff to socially distance, maintain the wearing of masks, and generally look out for the well-being of one another.  The ability for us to remain open is dependent upon the compliance of these required mandates to minimize Covid related impacts. The district continues to partner with Spokane and Tri-County Health Department to ensure the safety of students and staff. 

    There are many great things happening within our district. Two, Nine Mile Falls School District student leaders have partnered with Generation Alive and are on the Compassion 2020 Council. The Compassion 2020 project is challenging you to 20 acts of kindness in 20 days. For more information be sure to check out the district's Facebook and Instagram page. 

    It is also time for the annual Coats 4 Kids campaign. If you have coats you would like to donate you are welcome to drop them off at the District Office. There will also be collection boxes at Rosauers, The Watering Can, Suncrest Landscape and, Jeret and Joe’s Automotive. I want to thank each and every one of you for making this a continued success!

    Lastly, as we near November 3rd, I remind you and ask you to vote.  Your voice is needed and necessary at the local, statewide, and national levels.  

    It continues to be a  privilege to reach out to you. As the seasons change we, as an entire school district, remain here for you. 

    As always, I am 9 Mile Proud 

    Comments (-1)
  • Tuesday, October 13th

    Posted by Hanna Fields on 10/13/2020 5:30:00 PM

    Hello Nine Mile, today is Tuesday, October 13th and this is Brian Talbott.

    As we continue our approach to our Hybrid start for students in grades P – 12, I want to remind you that there will be four zoom meetings to share information and to answer questions.  At 6:00 o’clock this evening there will be a zoom for Lakeside Middle School followed by another zoom for Nine Mile Falls Elementary School at 7:00 PM.  On Wednesday, tomorrow, there will be a zoom for Lakeside High School beginning at 6:00 PM.  We will finish our reopening zooms on Thursday, October 15th with a Lake Spokane Elementary zoom that will also begin at 6:00 PM.

    The purpose of these specific zoom reentry meetings is to provide information and to answer questions that have already been submitted and, if time, to continue to answer questions as we near the hybrid opening on Monday, October 19th

    Additionally, there are videos for each building on each specific school’s site that provides a precursor to what processes and procedures are in place to protect students and staff.  I am wanting to remind each of you that masks are and will be required for every person in the building as will the self-attestation forms indicating daily health. COVID cases in our region have climbed in the last couple of weeks.  We need to do everything preventatively possible to open on Monday and remain open for in-person instruction.  I am asking that you each do your part to help in this endeavor.

    Lastly, if your child requires an emergency health care plan and/or medication order you must submit current documentation prior to their attendance.  Your child will be turned away if this is not done prior to their arrival.  This too is a requirement and we ask that you assist us for the health and safety of your children.  

    I am 9 Mile Proud and excited to see more of our kids return to school on Monday.   

    Comments (-1)
  • September 30, 2020

    Posted by Hanna Fields on 9/30/2020 7:00:00 PM

    Hello Nine Mile, this is Brian Talbott and today is the 30th…the last day of September.  

    Admittedly, it has been quite a while since I have reached out to you.  First, I hope that you can understand that there are many moving parts; I cannot merely pull a string and make a quick adjustment.  Secondly, I do not wish to provide false hopes or benign information.  At the same time, I want you to know that we are and will continue to think about all of you during this amazingly, strange time.  

    While there are other things that I need to share with you, I do not want to muddle this important message.  A Special Board Meeting has been scheduled for Monday, October 5th at 6:00 PM.  Our regularly scheduled meeting will not be held until the 21st and the recommendation to restart schools needs to be addressed prior to that time.  The single agenda item on October 5th is that I will be recommending the approval of all students P-12 hybrid model beginning Monday, October 19th.  Students will attend school either Monday and Tuesday or Thursday and Friday.  There will be more information coming from your child’s respective schools. Although our initial plan indicated the return of our youngest learners first; we recognize and realize the need to see all of our students.  

    This is our stepping off of the curb moment.  We will require all of the necessary health protocols.  Thus, daily attestations, face masks, social distancing will be enforced.  Our goal is to reopen and stay open.  There will be no leniency in regards to the mandated requirements and I ask that you all adhere to them regardless of personal opinion.  Our kids being, and staying, in school will remain as our objective.

    I will communicate through School Messenger more often as we move forward with the October 19th start date.  I am appreciative of your patience and understanding as we struggle through the state and health department’s requirements and mandates.  We will get through this… I am 9Mile Proud.  

    Comments (-1)
  • September 15, 2020

    Posted by Angela Spencer on 9/15/2020 7:00:00 PM

    During our conferences last week we were able to collect important data on students who lack reliable internet access.  Since that time, we have been working with our transportation partner, Durham School Services, to establish bussing for these students.

    We are happy to report that Durham has contacted all of the middle school and high school students who need transportation so that they can come to the schools and access the internet.  Durham will begin transporting to the middle school and high school tomorrow, Wednesday September 16th.  These students will be on the middle school and high school campus from approximately 8:20 until 11:30.   

    If you have a middle school or high school student that is in need of internet access and have not been contacted by Durham regarding transportation to the middle school or high school, please call your student’s school.

    We also wanted our parents and students to know that we will be following the department of health requirements on the busses and within the schools.  Students will be required to wear masks and sit in assigned seats on the bus and at school as per state law.  We must maintain this protocol of assigned seating on the bus and while in the school in order to maximize the safety of everyone and reduce the potential spread of Covid 19. 

    We are currently working with our transportation department for those elementary students in need of internet access.  We will be contacting families soon and provide additional information when it is available.

    Finally, we are requiring all students to have filled out a Nine Mile Falls School District Attestation Form each and every day they will be on the bus or in a school building.  If your child does not have a form, they can be found on the main page of our website, busses, food services, and at each school.  Students must have this filled out, signed and ready to deliver to their respective school prior to entering the building.  Students in grade 6 through 12 are able to self attest to their health.  Students younger than 6th grade must have a parent attest to their health.  Younger students who do not provide an attestation form will be admitted after they have been screened and signed off by a staff member.  Your cooperation and support of this requirement is extremely appreciated.

    As strange as all of this is, I ask for your grace, strength, and resiliency.  We are 9 Mile Proud.    

    Brian Talbott

    Comments (-1)
  • Thursday, September 10, 2020

    Posted by Kathy Graham on 9/10/2020 6:30:00 PM

    Hello 9 Mile...today is September 10th, and this is Brian Talbott.

    Although it has been awhile since I have reached out, you are in my daily thoughts as we move through this strange timeframe.  It has been great for us to see kids and families as you have been coming in for conferences.  

    Last week, the United States Department of Agriculture approved the continuation of a food distribution plan for kids between the ages of zero to 18 through December.  Although we are unable to utilize the same delivery process that we used last spring, we will have food delivery and food pick up stations within the district.  Please follow this link for distribution locations.  Additionally, I will ask that you continue to watch for any changes as we determine whether or not we need more or fewer lunch distribution locations.

    Some of our busses are being used to transport students and thus, at least at this time, we will be using the district's white vans to deliver food.  Although I do not do Facebook myself, I have been told that we sometimes get weirded out about white vans in general.   Our vans are marked with the school district name on the door and magnets indicating Nine Mile Food Service.  

    We recognize that childcare is a concern for some of you. The YMCA Program is set to return to Lake Spokane Elementary! For information follow this link.  You can also call Val from the YMCA at 509-720-5740.  This program has a limited amount of space...be sure to get your request in early.

    School is starting with instruction Monday, September 14th.  The goal of the Nine Mile Falls School District is to educate, challenge, and equip each student to realize their potential. The success of education is to inspire each student to be a life-long learner. This mission has not changed despite the fact that the current delivery has. 

    I continue to be 9 Mile Proud.  I am proud of our administrators and the work that they completed over the summer and continue to pour into this transition. I am proud of our educators and the way in which they are tackling this new arena of delivery.  I am proud of our families and the commitment they have shown in making time to meet with our staff as we gear up for the start. 

    I will forever be proud of our kids and the flexibility and resiliency they show even during times of uncertainty.  I ask that we continue to provide one another with grace as none of this is easy. However, being 9Mile Proud certainly is.   

    Hello 9 Mile...today is September 10th, and this is Brian Talbott.

    Although it has been awhile since I have reached out, you are in my daily thoughts as we move through this strange timeframe.  It has been great for us to see kids and families as you have been coming in for conferences.  

    Last week, the United States Department of Agriculture approved the continuation of a food distribution plan for kids between the ages of zero to 18 through December.  Although we are unable to utilize the same delivery process that we used last spring, we will have food delivery and food pick up stations within the district.  Please see the district website or Facebook page for distribution locations.  Additionally, I will ask that you continue to watch for any changes as we determine whether or not we need more or fewer lunch distribution locations.

    Some of our busses are being used to transport students and thus, at least at this time, we will be using the district's white vans to deliver food.  Although I do not do Facebook myself, I have been told that we sometimes get weirded out about white vans in general.   Our vans are marked with the school district name on the door and magnets indicating Nine Mile Food Service.  

    We recognize that childcare is a concern for some of you. The YMCA Program is set to return to Lake Spokane Elementary! Information about this program can be found on our Facebook page or district website.  You can also call Val from the YMCA at 509-720-5740.  This program has a limited amount of space...be sure to get your request in early.

    School is starting with instruction Monday, September 14th.  The goal of the Nine Mile Falls School District is to educate, challenge, and equip each student to realize their potential. The success of education is to inspire each student to be a life-long learner. This mission has not changed despite the fact that the current delivery has. 

    I continue to be 9 Mile Proud.  I am proud of our administrators and the work that they completed over the summer and continue to pour into this transition. I am proud of our educators and the way in which they are tackling this new arena of delivery.  I am proud of our families and the commitment they have shown in making time to meet with our staff as we gear up for the start. 

    I will forever be proud of our kids and the flexibility and resiliency they show even during times of uncertainty.  I ask that we continue to provide one another with grace as none of this is easy. However, being 9Mile Proud certainly is.   

    Comments (-1)
  • Tuesday, August 18, 2020

    Posted by Kathy Graham on 8/18/2020 6:30:00 PM

    Hello Nine Mile…today is Tuesday, August 18th, and this is Brian Talbott. 

    I will start with the obvious and share that the last week has been a difficult one for all of us and for all of you.  By now, you may know that my recommendation to begin remotely was approved at last Wednesday’s Special Board Meeting.  I want to thank you and express my sincere gratitude for the way in which you have respectfully shared your opinions, questions, and comments…there have been many.  You are the reason why I am 9 Mile Proud.

    The Board will hold their regularly scheduled meeting tomorrow night, Wednesday, August 19th via Zoom as per the current requirements within the State’s Open Public Meetings Act.  While there are numerous items for the Board to review, discuss and to take “action” upon, one that is looming is that of the district’s calendar.  My recommendation will be to delay the start of the year from August 31st to September 8th.  We anticipate that a decision will be reached so that you, and we, can better plan.    

    Today, Mr. Jeff Baerwald and I created a short video to help better explain where we are in our educational phasing.  

    While we continue to navigate through this crazy maze, we will provide additional information to you with more definitive direction.  I can assure you that we are all very excited to get back together to serve our students and families. 

    9 Mile Proud and grateful for all of you.

    Comments (-1)
  • Monday, August 10, 2020, 6:30 p.m.

    Posted by Kathy Graham on 8/10/2020 6:30:00 PM

    Hello My Nine Mile Families.  Today is Monday, August 10th, and this is Brian Talbott sending you one of the most difficult messages that I have ever written.  

    Last week at this time, I was in a completely different mindset in regards to the reopening of the Nine Mile Falls School District.  On Monday of last week, we received this letter from Dr. Lutz, Spokane County Spokane Health Official strongly recommending a remote start for schools in Spokane County.  On Thursday, we received this letter from Dr. Artzis, Health Official from Stevens County, that also includes his strong recommendation for distance learning for districts in the Tri County region.  

    I am an educator, not a health official.  Despite my strongest desire to bring our students back to school, I cannot in good conscience provide that recommendation to our Board.  Thus, I am recommending that our district begin the year in a remote learning modality.  This decision has been looming and I will share that, for me as a superintendent, this is based solely on public health expertise and recommendations, and not on any political pressures.  Solely, as a parent, I might make a different decision simply off of my son’s comfortability and/or concerns.  I cannot and will not make that decision for you as parents.  On the flip side, I know that many of you wish to have a say in this decision…this is truly a no-win situation.  This is a lose-lose decision, and I am making mine based off of what I believe to be the best loss possible.  

    While I am in this mode of delivering difficult information, I will also share that I will be recommending to the Board a change in the school calendar.  My promise is that the way in which we start 20/21 will not mirror the way in which we ended this past year.  We will provide a better and more robust learning experience for our students.  Thus, and in addition to the parameters of the reopening recommendation to the Board, I am proposing that our school year be adjusted to begin on Tuesday, September 8th rather than on Monday, the 31st of August.  If approved, we will provide you with an updated, school year calendar.  For your planning purposes, I will share that the end of our school year will be around June 17th but more to follow.  This adjustment will allow for our staff members to receive the needed and necessary professional development to adequately provide a quality, remote education.

    We have much work to do and many additional considerations to make.  We will adjust accordingly as we had desperately wished to reopen as normal.  There will be more information coming your way once we have a clear direction.  As I close this message, I recognize that this may not land well for some of you; this is the single most difficult recommendation/decision that I have ever had to make. I avail myself to you and your comments and will work swiftly to answer them as soon as possible.   

    As both a parent and educator, you have my sincerest of care and compassion. I am both Nine Mile Proud and Nine Mile heart broken. 

    August 10, 2020 Parent Reopening Survey

    Comments (-1)