• 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 

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  • 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.   

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  • 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.  

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  • 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

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  • 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.   

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  • 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.

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  • 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

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  • Friday, August 7, 2020

    Posted by Kathy Graham on 8/7/2020 5:30:00 PM

    Good afternoon Nine Mile.  Today is Friday, August 7th, and this is Brian Talbott

    I want to start this off with a quick note of gratitude to this amazing community.  This morning was spent with the administrative team as we continue to work through our fall start-up.  When I got back to the office and stepped up onto the sidewalk, I was greeted by some joyful chalk art that included thoughtful and inspirational drawings and messages.  To our friends, big and little, thank you so much for taking the time to spread love and cheer.

    Throughout the last week and a half, we have been meeting with many agencies and individuals from the state, as well as within Stevens and Spokane counties.  The vexing question as to whether or not to return to face-to-face education this fall dominates each and every discussion.  In my twenty-eight-year career in education, this question has been, by far, the most complex issue that I have ever dealt with.

    I have heard from many of you throughout the summer as you have provided us with your thoughts and hopes for the coming year. While I had hoped to provide you with a decision by the end of this day, I am unable to do so.  We still have some additional information to gather and factors to consider prior to providing your Nine Mile Falls School Board with a recommendation. 

    My promise to you is this...whether you like or dislike the recommendation that I will have ready early next week, I will share it with you.  In the meantime, I thank you for your continued patience and understanding as we navigate the safety and health of all and the education of our children.  During this difficult summer, I have been able to find comfort in our community and continue to be 9 Mile Proud...that my friends, will always be enough.   

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  • Thursday, July 30, 2020

    Posted by Kathy Graham on 7/30/2020 5:30:00 PM

    Hello Nine Mile Families. 
    Today is July 30, and it has been a bit since my last message...I continue to miss you all. 

    We are currently working with our employee groups, administration, and Board to finalize our plans for the opening of the 2020-2021 school year.  Our goal is, and continues to be, that we will have face-to-face educational opportunities when the year is launched.  That being said, the start of this start is going to look vastly different than any previous year.  

    While I can understand that many of you are frustrated with not knowing exactly what that will look like, we have been intentional in not putting something out that may very well be changed for us in the next couple of weeks.  Between county and state health officials, there are varying perspectives and guidance regarding recommendations.  It is anticipated that State health officials will put out more information tomorrow or early next week.

    Although we have multiple plans moving forward, please understand that this information has not been set in stone at this date.  Additionally, these plans are not necessarily one or the other...we could very well utilize a blended model that includes portions of each. 

    A face to face education model is our top priority.  However, if we can’t return to school five days a week we have developed another plan that involves a blended model. A blended model would offer in-person instruction two or three days a week and provide remote online learning the remaining two to three days a week. 

    If COVID restricts face-to-face instruction, the Nine Mile Falls School District has developed a learning system that is vastly improved from what was experienced when we went to remote learning in March of the 2019/20 school year. This remote learning plan is called Continuous Learning 2.0.

    While we hope to be able to have a say in how our educational delivery will unfold, we must adhere to the laws, directives, and mandates from governmental agencies above us. The Nine Mile Falls School District will continue to focus on our students, staff, families and community as a whole.  

    In the coming days, we will be sending out another survey to parents and guardians in hopes of getting more up to date information from you.  In advance of receiving that survey, I thank you for working with us as we navigate through these most perplexing scenarios.  Despite the challenges that remain, I am both 9 Mile Proud and grateful to be here with all of you.     

    Brian

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  • Wednesday, July 15, 2020

    Posted by Kathy Graham on 7/15/2020 5:15:00 PM

    Good Evening Nine Mile; today is July 15th.  

    As we move forward through the summer, and to protect the Nine Mile Falls School District as a whole, please be sure to enter any of our buildings through the front door.  If medically able, we are asking that you please wear a mask when entering one of our buildings. The district takes the safety and health of our students, staff and community very seriously. Your assistance in helping us stay healthy is commended.  Our greatest hope, and utmost priority, is to return and recover to a normal educational experience...your assistance in attaining this primary goal is most appreciated.  

    Okay, and now for the true purpose of today’s announcement.  As promised last week, this message is being shared to remind you of the worldwide release of Lakeside’s Class of 2020 graduation ceremony.  Those of you who were on site for the event back on June 12th, and others who live-streamed it, will remember that there were no speeches from students or staff. Tomorrow night’s showing will include all of those pieces that had been recorded prior to graduation.  During the premier, you will not be able to fast forward, as the event will run from beginning to end.  However, after tomorrow night, you will be able to go back and watch your favorite parts over and over again until the end of time.  The video will begin at 7:00 PM on Thursday, July 16th.  I hope that you enjoy the ceremony as much as we did...it was certainly unique and unforgettable.  We are so very 9 Mile Proud of our graduates, families, and community for making this event a success!   

    Brian Talbott

    Lakeside High School Graduation Class of 2020

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