Friday Update

First People Language Classes a first for Mt. Adams School District – Finally after several years of attempting to offer Sahaptin as a class for credit, we now have the certificated teachers to grant students credit for their new language!  Teacher Brettagne Aleck at the Harrah Campus offers Yakama Language and Culture Classes to all students and she is doing an amazing job engaging students in cultural learning and experiences.  At White Swan High School, Teacher Dora Apodaca is teaching First Peoples' Language, Cultural and Oral Classes, for High School graduation credit.  Thanks to Elese Washines and the Yakama Nation for providing the classes and leadership necessary to allow these teachers to earn their State of Washington certificates.  

Mt. Adams Middle School Associated Student Body - The first meeting of the Middle School ASB officers was held with Mrs. Widener and Mrs. Gasseling. The students discussed the purchase of a new Charger Mascot costume and they want to find a way to buy matching hoodies that display the school logo and their names. They will be working on developing ideas for the students to engage in club-based activities for the end of each quarter. They will also be hosts for the upcoming PK-4 Winter concert. I hope you are able to attend December 14, 2022 at 6:30 in the Harrah Campus Cafetorium.  Ho, Ho, Ho!

Intensive Tutor Grant - Mrs. Jarnecke reports that the District has hired two new members to our intervention team through an Intensive Tutor grant. Areli Leon started this week and is shadowing the Harrah reading interventionist Sarah Hangan and will be supporting grades K-4 reading interventions. The second candidate has not accepted the job officially but we are hoping to have him start in the next few weeks. Our District goal is to have all 4th graders reading at grade level by the end of the year, and that learning actually begins much earlier than that so these new teachers will help bridge that gap!

Amazing Staff Member!  Principal Widener would like to highlight the dedicated work of Ms. Susie Espindola. Susie is a valuable asset to our students and staff as an education assistance and dedicated member of the community. Ms. Widener states, “Ms. Espindola is always willing to do whatever is needed and does it with a smile and a dance. We are all better for having Susie on our team.”

There is Singing in the Air in Harrah!  The Harrah Campus has added a choir class at the middle school during elective time. Mr. Jones has recruited 19 students to participate in Choir and we are looking forward to hearing them perform this coming Spring. Thank you Mr. Jones for this vision of excellence and opportunity for our students and community!

Tonight’s Basketball Game in White Swan - On the White Swan Campus, basketball and wrestling season have begun. Tonight at 7:00 pm our first home basketball game will take place with Dayton Waitsburg. This year our focus has been grading and providing opportunities for all students to work towards graduation! 

Multiple Opportunities for Student Success! Part of the plan has been eligibility and how we can provide multiple opportunities for students to retrieve credits, repair grades, and keep their grades up. Our goal is to provide as many opportunities for students to graduate on time, connect with their learning and enjoy their high school experiences, which includes being active in clubs and sports.

These multiple opportunities include:

  1. Three daily periods of credit retrieval

  2. Two daily periods of credit completion

  3. Wednesday – Multiple periods up to the whole day available for work completion

  4. Afterschool and tutoring available Monday – Thursday

  5. Tutors available during the school day. Tutors are assigned up to 5 students per period to work on completion of assignments

  6. Grade Repair contracts – Students are able to repair their grades throughout the semester by entering into a grade repair contract with a teacher(s). This allows students to turn in late or missing work throughout the semester with no penalties. The contract requires the student to go to the teacher(s) and work with them to build a timeline for turning in work or demonstrating their learning.

  7. Athletes have an additional opportunity to keep their grades up during study table on Wednesday, from 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm. Our athletic eligibility policy also provides students with one week of probation. The coaches are given a list of all students who are on probation so that they are able to repair their grade during the week and then be eligible for grade checks the next Monday.

Safe Routes to School Advisory Meeting - Last night we conducted our first “District Safe Routes to School Advisory” Committee Meeting.  The meeting was led by Ryan Hahn from Strategic School Consultants.  There were about 15 people present including Director Simon, Harrah’s Mayor, our Tribal Liaison, as well as other community and staff members.  The purpose of the committee is to recommend safe routes to, from, and within our school district.  We will provide a timeline for the process that will end in March 2023 and also to answer any questions the members may have.  It was well attended and we had a productive session.  There will be a public forum early in 2023 that will be conducted via Zoom to allow for more community participation.  

The Office of Indian Education (OIE) is providing the below notification.  I recommend that you click on the “fact sheet” link to see a full description of topics covered that may be of interest to the Mt. Adams School District: 

The White House has announced new actions to support Indian Country and Native Communities. This week, President Biden is hosting the second Tribal Nations Summit of his Administration to help foster Nation-to-Nation relationships and provide Tribal leaders with an opportunity to engage directly with senior Administration officials.

As Tribal leaders gather in Washington at the Department of the Interior for the first in-person Summit of this Administration, the President and members of the Cabinet will be announcing a number of new actions that will build on the progress that has already been made, create new opportunities for Tribal consultation and input, and produce lasting changes that will impact the lives of Tribal leaders and their citizens for generations to come.

More information on this effort can be found in President’s Memorandum on Uniform Standards for Tribal Consultation here and a related fact sheet is here.


Please see the next page for the Middle School Sports Schedule.