By Dr. Ralph Pruitt

Health and safety is a high priority for Skamania School. Here is a brief outline of some of the current projects and programs.

General health

Water: We are taking precautions to address elevated lead levels in our water including daily flushing, more testing, pipe replacements, and exploring permanent fixes. More information is available in the letter and public notices that are included in this mailing. This information will be updated in the near future on our webpage.

Download the Washington State Department of Health Lead Sample Collection Report

Head lice: This is a good time of year to check for head lice. Erin recently did a schoolwide check to prevent it from spreading.

Emergency preparations

We have taken the following precautions related to emergency preparations:

New phone system: We have a new phone system that includes an ‘all-call’ feature so that we can contact the entire school at one time in an emergency.

Lockdown procedures: We are updating our lockdown procedures with the help of the police and fire department.

Evacuation drills: We practice evacuation and emergency drills regularly.

Internet safety and filter

The school’s internet filter had not been updated in years. Therefore, we recently purchased a new upgrade to the system to ensure internet safety. This new program will prevent students from accessing inappropriate sites.

Food services and health

We are addressing health and wellness by taking the following actions:

Wellness policy: We are updating our wellness plan to ensure that we are following our policy.

Kitchen upgrades: We received a State and Federal grant to upgrade kitchen equipment that will pay for new cafeteria tables, a proofing oven, range, and a reach-in cooler.

Kitchen/food service review: Later this spring our food services will be reviewed by the State to ensure that we are meeting compliance standards.

Emotional and physical health

We have made a special effort to address anti-bullying efforts, including the following:

Positive behavior model: We are updating our behavior/discipline model by examining our behavior expectations, how we address positive and negative consequences, and what we do to teach appropriate behavior. We are also looking at how we communicate with parents when students make poor choices through an improved referral system.

Anti-bullying: Susie Strom, BS, CPP, Prevention Services Coordinator from Skamania County Sheriff’s Office Sheriff’s office completed an anti-bullying program earlier in the year.

Teaching kindness: February was kindness month. Students were recognized for showing kindness to others. On ‘Way to Go Wednesday’ they also produced videos highlighting examples of showing kindness.

Kindness activity: Skamania County Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault will be conducting some fun activities to promote kindness.

Physical fitness

This trimester, in PE classes, we will be focusing on four components of fitness: Cardiorespiratory Endurance, Muscular Strength, Muscular Endurance, and Flexibility. We measure each of these components on a regular basis, and look for improvement as students set goals for themselves. Our goal this trimester is for at least 85% of our students to meet the minimum standard for cardiorespiratory endurance, measured by the Pacer Test in grades 5-8. Having good cardiorespiratory endurance is vital to living a healthy and active life! Ask your child about their Target Heart Rate, and how they can tell you if they are exercising at a rate that is good exercise for their heart. Encourage your child to find fun ways to be active for at least 30 minutes each day.