This week is National Teacher Appreciation Week!  It feels totally strange to have this celebration with all schools in the state closed through the end of the school year. However, it also feels totally wonderful to see all the work that our teachers are doing to make sure that the students in Skamania School continue learning. One of the most rewarding parts of this experience is the way our school community and the larger community have come together in support of our efforts.

Even though the school is closed, the teamwork of education continues. Our office is open and staffed Monday through Thursday until 2 p.m. in the afternoon. We have five staff members (one of whom lives in Glenwood and drives one hour each direction) who prepare breakfast and lunch Monday through Thursday for all students in the district. Although parents can pick up food at the school, we also have a van that delivers to our bus stops so that parents/students can stay at home and stay safe.

Our teachers have been learning new ways of teaching and providing learning materials to the students. We send a printed learning packet for each student with the meals on Thursdays for the following week. Teachers are also developing on-line education materials which are posted on our website for easy access. Additionally, teachers are maintaining frequent contact with all their students.

The support from the larger community has been unbelievable. Donate baked goods are daily added to the student meals to show students that their neighbors care for them. We have had neighbors volunteer their time and another neighbor donated their stimulus check to support the food program. Thankfully, many are interested in how the school is doing.

The school district board wishes to extend our heartfelt thanks for the support and teamwork from all of our staff. We wish to express how much we deeply appreciate our teachers for all the work they have done over the years but most especially during the past two months that we have been closed.

Without your dedication and the extra effort that you have expended it would be a truly difficult situation.

Thank you,
Skamania School District Board of Directors

This letter was published in the Skamania County Pioneer Letters to the editor on May 6, 2020.