Tonasket Schools formulate strategic plan

TONASKET – Using the results of an online survey, as well as feedback from numerous community meetings, the Tonasket School Board engaged in a two-day strategic planning session last week to help crystallize its mission, vision and district-wide goals.

While the work isn’t yet complete, the moderated sessions started with culling the survey results, breaking them down into related areas and focusing them into specific goals that plans could be developed around.

Survey information included the community’s perceptions of strengths and needed areas of improvement in the district, as well as seeking suggestions for they kinds of things that would enhance Tonasket students’ education.

Some of the areas cited as needing improvement included:

  •  Communication, especially between the board and the community;
  •  Replacing the Alternative/Outreach School building;
  •  Adding classroom space to alleviate overcrowding;
  •  Focusing more on teaching and learning;
  •  Adding opportunities for advanced learning.

Areas cited as strengths included:

  •  Dedicated staff;
  •  Availability of technology;
  •  Openness to new types of learning;
  •  Parent engagement;
  •  Diversity.

Some of the desires for expanding opportunities included:

  • Career preparation
  • Technology training in non-Apple technologies;
  • More community engagement;
  • Career exposure and exploration;
  • Community engagement.

(Complete data from the online portion of the survey can be found at

During the work sessions, district goals coalesced into six primary categories: teaching and learning; stewardship; district climate; college, career and life readiness; addressing poverty and diversity issues; and engagement with parents and the community.

Language in all of those areas will be finalized during the next several months. Thereafter, once the goals are prioritized, the plan is for Superintendent Paul Turner to formulate and present plans to the board for each individual district goal that could be put into effect over the next year or so.

Regular meetings

At the Monday, August 11, regular meeting the board approved its North Central ESD contract with Dave Arp, Executive Director of Administrative Services and Finance.

Approved personnel changes at the July 28 included the resignations of Middle School teacher (and varsity basketball coach) Tim Cork and Preschool teacher Lauri Davisson; and the hiring of Patricia Dagnon (3rd grade teacher).

Approved for hire at the Aug. 11 meeting were Middle School Title 1 paraeducator/ASB coordinator Teanna Wilson; High School art teacher Kevin Anderson; and Tyler Thrasher as High School assistant football coach.

The board also approved its budget for the 2014-15 school year at its July 28 meeting.

The Tonasket School Board next meets on Monday, Aug. 25, at 7:30 p.m.