Friday Update

Golden Apple Award: Mrs. Lindsey Chanthavisay and her team have started a Golden Apple Award for the staff at Harrah Elementary. Staff are nominated by colleagues and the Golden Apple is then passed on to another staff member. Each time the apple is passed, the staff member receives words of encouragement. Mr. McCracken would like to thank Lindsey for this extra effort to make Harrah Elementary a place where people want to be and are recognized for their excellent service to students and others! 


Miss Washington to go live at Harrah: The Harrah ASB crew will have an opportunity to interview Maddie Louder, Miss Washington on an upcoming podcast episode. Mr. McCracken is in communication with Ms. Louder and will conduct a zoom interview with our students during an upcoming podcast.  Mr. McCracken is hoping to iron out the logistics to make the interview a reality in the near future. 


Homecoming at White Swan High School – Mrs. Tenney reports that the Associated Student Body Officers have begun planning Homecoming 2021 activities which will include a masked dance.  We have had discussions about keeping everyone safe during the event and deputizing the ASB Officers as deputy administrators to enforce masking and social distancing.  Principal Tenney and I believe that students have a very high desire to remain in school and to have the opportunity to participate in traditional and fun high school activities that they will be safe, responsible, and respectful during this event.  Mrs. Tenney has made it very clear to students if they do not self-regulate and are unsafe, that the event will be shut down and students will be sent home.  In addition, if students demonstrate that they can handle this event in a safe and responsible manner it will open the opportunity to have other events, like the prom, later in the year.  Go Cougars!


Middle School sports start next week – This has been a long haul, waiting for middle school sports to return.  They are finally and we look forward to the opportunities these sporting activities will provide for our students and community.  Thank you Mr. Newhouse for making this happen and for helping us all stay safe – Go Chargers!


Contact Tracing, Parent Notification, and COVID-19 Protocols – Mrs. Tenney reports that the White Swan Campus has improved all aspects of COVID-19 procedures and the same is happing at the Harrah.  Once someone building administration that they either have COVID or has been in close contact, all systems go into place.  Teachers are notified, transportation is informed, video surveillance may be accessed, and any other close contact is notified.  Those with symptoms or a positive test are sent home immediately, those with close contact (following CDC guidelines) are notified and depending on the situation those impacted are sent home to quarantine for the appropriate amount of time, they receive a commendation to be tested, and then other actions move into place; virtual learning is activated and meal arrangements are made for students.  If there are ever any questions related to COVID protocols from community members, parents, or staff, please contact the Mrs. Widener at the Harrah Campus or Mr. Newhouse at the White Swan Campus.  Together we will get through this as safe as possible.


National Association of Federally Impacted Schools (NAFIS) is this week:  I am writing this Friday Update while MASD School Board Chairman, Mr. Larry Garcia and I are on a plane on our way to Washington D.C. to advocate for and to remind Congress of the importance of Impact Aid.  As you may know, I am the President of the Washington State Impact Aid Association and I strongly believe in the importance of this support for Districts like MASD because we are located on Federally Impact Lands. This designation is out of our control, and it has a very notable impact on all of our students, thus, we must advocate strongly and vigilantly for our students and community to seek continued funding and support for full reimbursement of the local tax dollars that our students and District does not receive.


Federal Impact Aid is designed to assist United States local school districts that have lost property tax revenue due to the presence of tax-exempt Federal property, or that have experienced increased expenditures due to the enrollment of federally connected children, including children living on Indian lands. The Lanham Act (1940) provided for a rudimentary form of Impact Aid as payments in lieu of taxes for districts with military bases within their boundaries. In 1941, Congress amended the Lanham Act, expanding Impact Aid to include funding for the construction of public schools. In 1950, Congress enacted two laws, P.L. 815 and P.L. 874, that began the grant program in its present form.  The Impact Aid statute is now Title VII of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA)), and the program's regulations can be found in Title 34 of the Code of Federal Regulations, section 222. Total funding for this program has exceeded $1 billion since 2002.  The State of Washington receives over $50 million dollars annually in Impact Aid and MASD receives about $2.4 million annually.