Friday Update

New Building: The staff and students at Harrah Elementary made a very smooth transition to the new building on January 4th following a snow day. Due to snow days, two hour delays and a switch to virtual learning, we've only had two full-days of instruction in the new building. With that being said, drop-off and pick-up are going well and the staff and students are moving around the building like they've always been here. I think this speaks volumes to the staff's flexibility and preparedness! Thanks to Mr. McCracken and the team for your excellent service to students!

Pivot: On Tuesday, January 11, it was announced that we would be pivoting to a virtual learning model. Mrs. Widener and Mr. McCracken met with each team of teachers before the end of the day on January 11th and notified them of the change. Mr. McCracken reports, “Mrs. Widener and I were proud of the staff's reception of this less-than-ideal news. They took it in stride and proceeded to dust off their schedules from our first COVID experience.” Although we don't have exact numbers, early reports demonstrate a high number of students engaging with teachers in their virtual platforms! 

Pivot spreads throughout the Valley:  The day of our first virtual learning I received a call from Wapato School District Superintendent.  He wanted to know the in-and outs of why, how, who we notified etc. of pivoting to virtual learning.  The next day, he announced the move and today’s paper noted that Yakima School District and Toppenish will also be completely remote starting next week.  These moves are not because schools are not a safe place… I think they are one of the most controlled and safest places for students to be.  Unfortunately, the new COVID variant is more rampant and a threat in day-to-day life.

Please consider getting students vaccinated as soon as they are eligible and remember to keep hands washed, masks on, and stay socially distanced when in public places.

Plans to return from virtual learning:  On Thursday of next week, administrators will meet to discuss the return to in person learning.  The goal is to do what is best for students!  Bus drivers should be ready to return, but if we have too many staff or students out with COVID, we may decide to remain virtual for another couple of weeks until Omicron subsides, as predicted by the health district.  The District will keep the community informed of our decision as soon as we are able.

A report from a parent to Principal Tenney: “I have seen a huge improvement on the Facebook page for sports! That is amazing! I love all the photos being shared. Thank you for working hard to bring pride and morale back for the kids. Our district needs people like you who are proactive and problem solvers like yourself. I also greatly appreciate the quick responses from Mr. Muller.

Thanks to Principal Tenney and Athletic Director/Vice Principal Mr. Muller for presenting your Cougar Pride!  Thank you as well to all of our parents and staff for helping us keep students safe and engaged in learning and life.  I would like to give a special shout out to parents like the one quoted above who take the time to let our MASD team know that you appreciate their hard work and dedication to our children.