Tuesday, April 7, 2020, 5:40 p.m.Posted by Kathy Graham on 4/7/2020 5:40:00 PM
Hello Friends! It is approximately 5:40 PM on Tuesday, April 7th, and this is Brian.
I apologize for the later message this evening; we have been in Zoom meetings for the better part of the day.
Before I jump into the rest of this message, I want you to know that I am so very humbled by your collective care as to the message I sent out yesterday afternoon. Like you, I had held on to every bit of hope that we would be able to return to our traditional setting of education. I don’t do Facebook, but I have plenty of folks around me who keep me informed as to the concerns and happenings in Nine Mile. Thank you so very much for your grace and compassion. I love our Nine Mile Falls School District and community.
Now that I have had an opportunity to let the news and difficulty of yesterday sink into my skin, I have pulled up my big boy pants, knowing that we are going to figure this out together. While we have been hearing a lot of new information, we are trying to navigate the impacts and expectations on our district, students, and staff. I want to make sure that we are moving in a forward and appropriate direction as we cannot afford to backtrack due to hastiness. We will continue to be thoughtful in this process of the new educational opportunities. With the assistance of our entire staff and community partners, I am looking forward to solving problems and overcoming obstacles so that we can best reach our kids and their needs.
Lastly, I want to share that we will continue to provide our meal bags every weekday as has been determined by the state. This is good news, as I know many people are relying on and needing this support. Additionally, packets will be delivered tomorrow as has been done the last two Wednesdays.
I hope that you and yours have a great night. I am, and will forever be, 9 Mile Proud.
Monday, April 6, 2020, 4:00 p.m.Posted by Kathy Graham on 4/6/2020 4:00:00 PM
Today is Monday, April 6th, and it is approximately 4:00 PM.
It is with a heavy educator’s heart that I share with you that just moments ago, Governor Inslee made the decision to close in-person education for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year. While there is still much for us to understand, what I want you to know is that we are committed to finishing the school year just like we started it...with you.
Please know that we will gather as much information as possible, and it will be communicated with you. I promise that we will work quickly and diligently to find the answers to your questions. As a community, you have been amazing in allowing us to figure out our next steps. Thank you...we are with you in your desire to truly understand this.
The loss of time with all of you has weighed heavily on the hearts of the entire staff of the Nine Mile Falls School District. I will profess this...we are not going anywhere...we are here for you. To the Class of 2020...you are special, and this is your year. We will not allow you to go on your way without celebrating your accomplishments. While you deserve a far better outcome, I promise that we will figure this out with you and your families. We were here when you started, and we will be here when you finish.
I may not like the news of the day, but I am grateful that I am here, in this district, where we are all 9 Mile Proud.
Friday, April 3, 2020, 3:45 p.m.Posted by Kathy Graham on 4/3/2020 3:45:00 PM
April 3, 2020 , 3:45 p.m.
Hello Nine Mile! This is Brian Talbott
As we end this third week of closure, I wish that I could provide you with some definitive information as to what the next few weeks will look like regarding those things that are out of our control.
As you are likely aware, last night Governor Inslee extended the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” proclamation through May, 4th. At this time, Washington State’s public-school districts have not been instructed by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) to extend our school closure. We can only speculate as to what this actually means for the pre-established April 27th return to school. However, Governor Inslee has scheduled another press release for early next week. I anticipate that we will learn more at that time, as I have been informed that K-12 public education will be a major factor of that particular press release.
In the meantime, students keep up with your learning opportunities as though we were all still together, please! My wife knows that I am a big fan of Dr. Seuss...thus, she texted me a meme with the following:
We will teach you in a room...we will teach you now on zoom...we will teach you in your house...we will teach you with a mouse...we will teach you here and there...we will teach you, because we care...please do your very best...and try not to worry about the rest.
Students, on behalf of all things 9 Mile Proud...we love you, and miss you. Keep strong, keep healthy, and keep on learning.
Thursday, April 2, 2020, 3:45 p.m.Posted by Kathy Graham on 4/2/2020 3:45:00 PM
A sunny afternoon hello to you Nine Mile!
It is approximately 3:45 PM on Thursday, April 2nd.
If your children received the weekly Bite2Go bag prior to our school closure, they are still eligible to receive them. In addition to the daily lunch and breakfast bags, Bite2Go bags will also be delivered tomorrow via our busses. As a reminder, breakfast and lunches will continue to be delivered throughout next week, which was previously calendared to be Spring Break.
I truly cannot express my deepest and sincerest of gratitude to our kitchen staff, meal baggers, bus drivers, teachers, custodians, secretaries, administrators, school board members, and all other categories that I may have unintentionally missed. I encourage you to reach out to any and all of our great people and thank them for being the committed, dedicated, and caring heartbeat that makes this district so incredibly awesome.
I have been attending many online meetings locally, regionally, as well as statewide. During an afternoon zoom meeting yesterday, I heard the term “new normal” multiple times from several people. As a husband, father, friend, neighbor, and perhaps most importantly, as an educator, I refuse to accept that there is anything normal about our current situation.
While we must acknowledge these circumstances, adhere to the expectations of social distancing, and make necessary educational adjustments, there is nothing normal about this experience...for any of us. Eventually, we will get back to what life was like prior to this COVID-19 event. While I knew it before, what has certainly been emphasized in my personal and professional walk is just how darn Nine Mile Proud I am.
April 1, 2020, 4:15 p.m.Posted by Kathy Graham on 4/1/2020 4:15:00 PM
Hello and good afternoon Nine Mile. It is approximately 4:15 PM, and today is April 1st.
Tomorrow we will be providing lunches via our bus routes as scheduled; however, we will only be providing the Grab and Go Meals at Lake Spokane Elementary and Nine Mile Falls Elementary.
Today’s educational packet delivery went much smoother than the first-round last week. As a reminder, if your child did not receive his/her packet, those can be picked up in front of his/her respective schools anytime. If your Lakeside High School student needs a packet, please contact the high school directly.
As if there wasn’t enough to consider, I am asking that you please take the time to fill out your household Census. I filled mine out in a matter of minutes online. Why am I asking you to participate? The Census impacts the federal funds that communities receive for special education, classroom technology, teacher training, after-school programs, school lunch assistance, and much, much more. I thank you in advance for doing your part.
On this April Fool’s Day, I want you to know that I care about each of you...and, because of you, I am 9 Mile Proud...that is no joke. Be well, be happy, and be safe.
Monday, March 30, 2020, 3:40 p.m.Posted by Kathy Graham on 3/30/2020 3:40:00 PM
Hello Nine Mile...It is approximately 3:40 PM on Monday, March 30th, and this is your afternoon time with Talbott.
As we enter into week three of our school closure, I want you to know that each of us is struggling in our own personal and professional ways...we miss our kids, and we miss working with our colleagues. As difficult as it is to do from afar, please know that our hearts are with every meal, educational packet, online learning opportunity, and each message delivered.
At this point, we have every intention of continuing our big, yellow food factory delivery each week day. This includes next week, which was scheduled to be our districtwide Spring Break. However, beginning this coming Thursday, April 2, we will reduce our grab-and-go pick up locations to Lake Spokane Elementary and Nine Mile Falls Elementary for all students ages 0-18. We will no longer be providing this service at either Lakeside Middle or Lakeside High School. The reason for this is to maximize efficiency for personnel, as we are beginning to stretch thin on our ability to serve in an effective manner.
Admittedly, there was a great deal of confusion last week during our educational packet delivery. We are now limiting the delivery to Wednesdays only. If your child does not receive a packet via the bus, you will be able to pick up his or her packet at the front of his/her respective building. High school packets will not be delivered via the bus. If your student attends Lakeside High School and is in need of an educational packet, please contact the high school directly.
This entire process has been extremely challenging for all involved...you included. As always, we thank you for your continued patience, understanding, and for being 9 Mile Proud!
March, 27, 2020, 3:15 p.m.Posted by Kathy Graham on 3/27/2020 3:15:00 PM
Hello Nine Mile! Today is March 27th, it is almost 3:15 PM,
and this is Talbott time!
We have just ended our second full week of school closure. Since last Wednesday we have delivered over 4,000 meals via our yellow, food factories and school site grab-and-go locations. We have also begun our initial deployment of Google Classroom and Educational Enrichment packets this week. Please remember that those packets will be delivered and available at your child's school every Wednesday during the closure.
Throughout this “new normal” of school closure, we are continuing to learn how to improve our processes, communication and delivery...we will become more efficient in the coming weeks. Please remember that like you, we did not intend to educate your children with them at home. We are able to do our best when we, and they, are in our respective schools.
Each weekday, we have many staff members packing meals to ensure that every child who needs or wants a meal shall get one. Because the meals are being mass produced, we need to caution parents who have children with food allergies. If your child has a food allergy, please be sure to inspect what is being delivered to determine if your child should eat what is being served.
Thank you to our staff and the community at large for supporting our efforts. At this point, we are planning on four more weeks to get through before we can all come back together and enjoy school the way that it was intended. Thank you for your patience and for your perseverance. As we end this week, I hope you will join me in saying, “I am 9 Mile Proud”.
March 26. 2020, 4:00 p.m.Posted by Kathy Graham on 3/26/2020 4:00:00 PM
Hello Nine Mile! Today is Thursday, March 26th, and it is approximately 4:00 PM
Understandably, you are likely growing tired of hearing from your Superintendent on a daily basis...trust me when I say that my family can relate. As much of the guidance changes rapidly, I still feel the need to share at this point. Moving forward, I may be able to minimize the daily dose of me. In the meantime, thank you for your patience and understanding.
Today, I was able to watch five kiddos (I am assuming siblings) of varying heights, likely between the ages of 2 and 10, run down their driveway to pick up their daily meals. It warmed my heart, and I couldn’t help but honk and wave at them. I believe I frightened the youngsters, as they ran faster on their trek back to the house. To whomever you are, my apologies.
If your children received the Bite2Go kits prior to our school closure, they are still eligible to receive them. Bite2Go is scheduled to be delivered tomorrow via our regularly scheduled yellow food factory delivery. If your student attends Lake Spokane Elementary, Lakeside Middle School, or Lakeside High School and you are unable to collect your Bite2Go kit, you may collect it at Lakeside High School between the hours of 7am and 2pm. If your child attends Nine Mile Falls Elementary School, the Bite2Go kit may be picked up at Nine Mile Falls Elementary between the hours of 8 AM and 1 PM, in lieu of the bus delivery.
I hope you are well and healthy...thanks for hanging in there with us. We are 9 Mile Proud!
Wednesday, March 25, 2020, 4:40 p.m.Posted by Kathy Graham on 3/25/2020 4:40:00 PM
Today is Wednesday, March 25th, it is approximately 4:40 PM.
We have now entered the middle of our second week of closure. Those of you who know me well realize that I am a hugger...my struggle is real. That being said, I am doing my part and ask that you continue to do yours in keeping safe, social distancing.
Today the Nine Mile Falls School District delivered Learning Enrichment Opportunities via Google Classroom and packet distribution. Packets will be available again tomorrow through bus routes and/or at your child’s school.
For those of you attempting to access Google Classroom, a tutorial video has been created by Lakeside Middle School teacher, Mr. Kurt Vancil. Thank you, Mr. Vancil!
Our educational delivery will continue to look different as we move forward. The Nine Mile Falls School District is proud to be your educational partner, and we are ready to assist you with any questions or technology problems that you may have. We are a quick email, phone call, or instant message away.
We are 9 Mile Proud, and we are here for you.
March 24, 2020, 4:00Posted by Kathy Graham on 3/24/2020 4:00:00 PM
Today is Tuesday March 24th, 2020, 4:00 p.m.
The Nine Mile Falls School District is excited to be bringing you Educational Enrichment Materials via Google Classroom. The same materials will be available in a paper packet form for any students who do not have internet access at home. Our first delivery of packets will be occurring tomorrow via bus and at the front entrance of our schools.
As a reminder, the District is offering another computer Chromebook checkout opportunity Wednesday, March 25th. We will once again be checking out Chromebooks between the hours of 9 AM and 11 AM at Lakeside High School.
If you have a musical instrument at any of our buildings, please contact the office of the school your student attends and we will do our best to get it back into your hands. We will need to coordinate with our music teachers to make sure that the appropriate instrument is provided to the correct individual.
As always, we thank you for your patience and partnership during our school closure. I am ever proud of our staff and the resiliency of their commitment to students and community. We are 9 Mile Proud!