Prior to Winter Break in mid-December, North Thurston Public Schools served around 900 students in-person. Superintendent Debra Clemens expects that number to increase gradually at the start of the new year and students return from Winter Break.
“Over the next few weeks, I expect the number of students served in-person will increase gradually as we continue to identify students who are in the greatest need of additional support as well as begin to serve our youngest learners on-site,” said Clemens.
New and more tech
With remote learning continuing, the district recently purchased 2,500 noise-cancelling headphones for students with the help of two recent grants from the North Thurston Education Foundation and the United Way of Thurston County.
Community access to Wi-Fi has also been expanded to Chinook, Komachin, and Nisqually Middle Schools in an effort to provide safe and filtered external wi-fi connections for those communities to access.
As remote learning continues, the district is continuing to offer free meals to all students ages 1-18. The North Thurston food service staff have been serving free meals to students since the first day of school closure in March 2020, serving 675,000 meals since then.
Free meals are available either daily or in weekly meal kits and can be picked up at the schools (times vary) or at the weekly drop-off locations during a specific window of time. For more information on how to access these free meals: https://www.nthurston.k12.wa.us/remotemeals
This year, the district will also put into effect their newly adopted Equity Resolution. This adoption will further expand the district’s equity work and is the reason behind the “mandated age-appropriate Ethnic Studies K-12 for all classrooms to be given throughout the entire school year” (Section E of the resolution).
Planning for sports to resume
In addition, Timberline High School has seen work begin on their field conversion, changing the previous grass field to artificial turf, updating the track surface, and upgrading the field lighting. The plans show completion of Timberline’s field conversion to be done by March of this year.
River Ridge High School and Komachin Middle School are also expecting similar updates for their respective school modernization projects. Construction on Komachin is planned for later this year, and the following year for River Ridge.
Construction at Horizons Elementary
Horizons Elementary School is also expecting a bit of a modernization project, as well. Construction of the new roof and secure entrance is projected to be completed by fall of this year. A design team has recently been selected to start planning and further updates on construction and completion will be announced as the date gets closer.
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