4:30 PM HS Wrestling @ North Beach
7:00 PM HS GIRLS BASKETBALL @ ILWACO
8:50 AM Late Arrival - Jr/Sr High
10:00 AM Late Arrival - Elementary
11:45 AM - 1:00 PM GSA Club Meeting JH and HS Lunches
12:15 PM - 12:45 PM Drama Club MTG HS Lunch
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM Drivers Ed Class (make up session)
10:00 AM HS Wrestling @ Ilwaco
North Beach School District is committed to fostering an environment that will educate, nurture, motivate and graduate critical thinkers, who are respectful leaders, skillful communicators, and contributing members of the local and global community.
A Passion for Transforming Education: Superintendent Kelly Participates in National Conversation
When North Beach School District’s school board hired Superintendent Andrew Kelly in July, they were looking for an administrator who could unite the staff and community behind efforts to transform the district. Just 5-1/2 months into his tenure with the district, Superintendent Kelly has initiated multiple programs and initiatives that focus on supporting each of our students in achieving at high levels – and at the same time has generated positive energy in the community.Outside of the North Beach community, Superintendent Kelly is a respected participant in the national conversation about improving educational outcomes for all students.
A member of the National Superintendent's Roundtable, he was featured in a recent newsletter that focused on best practices in school and district improvement. Kelly attended the national convening in October and participated in a panel with other thought leaders on the best way to initiate and sustain positive change at the district level.
Reflecting on his activity on the national stage, Kelly explained, "I've always had a passion for making an impact in the lives of the kids I serve. The Roundtable is an advocacy organization that helps advance public school initiatives and best practices across the country. I was honored to be invited to participate and share what I've learned during my career that makes a difference for kids."
"All kids deserve to have a high-quality education served by excellent teachers, administrators and support staff. All educators deserve the support of a leader who knows how difficult their job is and is willing to put supports and structures in place to allow them to do their jobs well."
Read the coverage from the National Superintendent’s Roundtable newsletter. (Pages 1 and 4.)
Superintendent Kelly Reports on First Five-and-a-Half Months' Work
The North Beach School District Board of Directors heard a mid-year "check in" from Superintendent Andrew Kelly at their regular board meeting the evening of January 15. The presentation, called Making Waves in North Beach, gave an overview of Superintendent Kelly's work the past 5.5 months to align district initiatives with board, district and superintendent goals.
The presentation is part of the the North Beach process for evaluating the superintendent. The PowerPoint can be viewed here.
How We Decide to Close or Delay Schools Due to Weather
Dear North Beach School District Families:
For each of my 49 years, I’ve been blessed to live in the Western United States. I’m accustomed to inclement weather; torrential rain, freezing conditions, icy roads, snow, power outages and road closures due to flooding or downed trees. During the winter months, the odds are high that we’ll need to adjust our school day or bus routes.
At the same time, we need to conduct school as scheduled if we can safely do so! Frequent interruptions in our school schedule interfere with precious instructional time, and inconvenience parents who must work regardless.
Let me tell you a little about the process of how we decide whether to close or delay schools. Before we make such a decision, we consult with numerous staff members, other school districts and Grays Harbor road crews who are actively monitoring conditions throughout our district.
Our school district covers significant geographic area and the conditions can vary widely based on weather patterns, freezing levels, wind, etc. Deciding to delay or cancel school is a balancing act and many factors go into our decision. Here are a few:
- Can we ensure that buses will be able to navigate roads safely?
- Will students be safe waiting for buses, driving or walking to school?
- What are the predicted weather conditions later in the school day so we can also ensure students a safe return home?
- Is there current or projected flooding that may block access to roads, schools or homes?
- If we start school late, (one or two-hour late start), will conditions substantially improve?
- Will we have heat and lights in our schools?
School closure/delay decisions will be made between 5:30 and 6 a.m. in order to notify bus drivers and other staff, as well as parents. It’s not unusual for weather to change dramatically after that decision has been made, but once we’ve decided to hold school, it’s important to stick to the decision instead of making a last-minute change that can leave our scholars waiting for a bus or home alone.
Once we do make the decision to close or delay schools, we use multiple methods to get the word out to parents, students and staff. We use electronic means to notify news media outlets and we add a post to our district Facebook and web page. If you “like” and “follow” our page, you should see these notices in your feed. You can always click over to our Facebook page (@northbeachschooldistrict) to check.
Finally, we always send an automated message by phone and email. This is why, if you have changes in phone numbers or email addresses during the school year, it’s vitally important that you your student’s school office; this will help us get these messages to you dependably.
If we prepare carefully and consider all possibilities, we can ensure the safety and well-being of each of our scholars and the staff who serve them during extreme weather conditions. Having served as a school administrator for 25 years, I have experienced school closures/delays that were “spot on” and I’ve experienced some that missed the mark. Please know I will do my best and provide me a little grace if I miss the mark!
Thank you for trusting us with your most precious commodity -- our scholars.
We will continue to work to improve every aspect of our school district to ensure that our kids get the very best education and care possible.
Andrew E. Kelly, Superintendent
North Beach Middle/High School Principal Focuses On Removing Barriers
Cynthia Valdez, principal of North Beach Junior/Senior High School, knows what it’s like to be a student in a system that doesn’t entirely know how to serve you; in a school that goes through the motions, but doesn’t implement from the heart.
She recalls, as a Kindergarten student, being taken out of class for language testing. “A very tall man took me to a small room, asked me questions in English, and then asked more questions (the same questions, she now knows) in Spanish. Because I didn’t understand Spanish, I started to cry,” she recalls.
State law requires schools to conduct this testing yearly to determine bilingual students’ English and Spanish fluency, although schools have different ways of identifying students for the testing. She was tested every year until sixth grade despite her parents’ repeated efforts to tell the school she spoke English, and despite never speaking a word of Spanish in class. While her family does have Hispanic roots that stretch back through her Valdez grandparents to 1694 New Mexico, she was raised by two English-speaking parents. She believes the only reason she was tested was her last name.
One of her passions as a result of this experience is ensuring students are known, not stereotyped. She doesn't want any student to experience any kind of stereotyping in her school, or elsewhere. When stereotyping occurs, associated expectations about students’ abilities often place an added barrier to their success. “Those additional, imposed barriers then keep many kids from receiving any kind of rigor in instruction, or reaching high levels of academic achievement,” Ms. Valdez emphasizes.
When she reached high school, she decided to study Spanish, and it came easily to her. Somewhere around that time she also saw the movie, Anna and the King of Siam, and she felt the calling to become a teacher. These were the first steps in becoming a recognized state and national leader in bilingual education.
Ms. Valdez earned a Bachelor of Arts, followed by a Masters of Education from Eastern Washington University. She began her teaching career in Pasco, earned a continuing principal's certificate and, in 26 years in education, has taught or been an administrator in several districts before joining North Beach School District.
Early in her teaching career, she began serving on committees with OSPI, and has helped develop best practices and regulations. She currently serves on the state’s Dual Language Task Force supporting the Washington State Superintendent of Public Instruction.
Ms. Valdez has always loved the coast and, in visits to Ocean Shores, often found herself wanting to live and work in the area. When the opportunity to take the helm of NBMS/HS came up, she applied. “I’ve been sitting behind a desk for 16 years, and I realized it’s time to put my money where my mouth was,” she said. She’s excited to bring her best strategies to the district’s secondary school, which serves 299 students.
For example, she has implemented several OCDE Project GLAD® strategies at the school. Project GLAD® was developed to enable teachers to more effectively instruct non-English speakers, but the strategies are effective for English-speaking students, too. Ms. Valdez has been honored as the National OCDE Project GLAD® Trainer of the Year, so watch for more innovations in instruction at the school.
Ms. Valdez has two children. Her 23 year old son, Glenn, works for Schweitzer Engineering Labs in Pullman and graduated from WSU in Electrical Engineering, Math, and Computer Science. His hard work has just earned him his first patent. Natalie, her 15-year old daughter, has just finished up her AP coursework from first semester in her previous school and will become student number 300 in the district’s secondary school.
Among Ms. Valdez’s top goals for the school is to restore trust and relationships between administration, staff, students and parents. She’s also exploring ways to expand academic options in the school, both in types of classes and levels of rigor. Students are currently being surveyed for their top choices, after which Ms. Valdez expects to announce some new offerings.
A Life-Long Learner Leads Pacific Beach ElementaryLynette Reime loves to tell newcomers and visitors about her school, saying, “Pacific Beach is the best kept secret on the coast. It’s warm, wonderful and family oriented.” She knows of what she speaks.Ms. Reime has served as Pacific Beach Elementary School’s principal for the past dozen years, and taught at the school for five years prior to that.She came to the peninsula by way of Alaska, where, she says, she held every job you could find in a school except custodian. In addition to holding a para-educator position and later teaching 2nd through 6thgrades in Ketchikan, she served on the Ketchikan School Board and the State Board of Education.She raised her children in Alaska as well, but she herself grew up in South Dakota. A farm girl, she had an increasingly rare educational experience as a child, attending a one-room school house. She loved learning, especially science, and continued on to earn a Masters in Education at South Dakota State after completing her undergraduate degree at the University of Alaska.She has always been involved in civic activities, beginning with her own high school years. She campaigned with the March of Dimes and participated in 4H, both of which helped her gain confidence and learn life skills.Asked what advice she’d like to give parents, it’s simple: be good listener to their children, every day. That can be a challenge, she understands. “But I encourage you to be present for them,” she emphasizes.Ms. Reime feels the enthusiasm and positive changes happening at the district level is re-energizing those at the school level, as well. “I’m thrilled the emphasis is on students and their achievement,” she says.She welcomes parents and community volunteers to take the time to come get to know PBES and its staff and students better. “Helping our children reach their full potential requires teamwork. We love to have all hands on deck!”