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  • 2019-2020 Nooksack Valley School District Calendar is now available! CLICK HERE to view


    Note from Superintendent Mark Johnson on Bond Passage

    February 22, 2019 

    Hello Nooksack Valley! I wanted to take a moment to express my sincere appreciation for supporting our recent bond election.  As we started this school year my “word” for the year was “gratitude”. I wanted to make sure I was taking the time to recognize and appreciate the many blessings in life, both big and small, and not simply “move on to the next thing” (as is my tendency).

    This bond passage is a BIG thing, and I am so very grateful to our community. Our Pioneer Country is a community that has always overwhelmingly supported our children, this time in the form of voting “yes” in order to provide necessary facilities. My gratitude is equally overwhelming!

    A special thanks go to our facilities committee who spent about one year analyzing the needs, determining potential solutions and corresponding costs, and making final recommendations to our school board.  Scott Mitchell and Jennifer Lautenbach served as co-chairs for the campaign, both working tirelessly to ensure we reached the 60% “yes” requirement for bond approval.

    My commitment to all of you is to steward every single dollar to ensure we get the very best value we can.  You all deserve that, as do our children.

    With Great Gratitude,


    Note to Community on Snow Days 

    February 2019

    Hello Nooksack Valley.  I wanted to take a moment and talk with you about our recent days cancelled because of weather and road conditions.  First, know that student and staff safety is our number one priority in making these decisions.  Second, know also that the final decisions rest solely with me as the superintendent.  Here are other factors that come into play during these times;

    1. Our district is very large geographically. One part of our district can have roads that are bare and wet, while another can have large snow drifts. Many times, the state route that goes through our district is very passable, but our side roads and foothills are not.  This is why it is critical for us to actually drive and get our eyes on road conditions throughout the district, which is always done in conjunction with these decisions.
    2. Wind chill is considered. At times, we have the wind chill factor that can be dangerous to children, particularly if they are not properly clothed while waiting for the bus.  Again, we strongly encourage parents to attend to this as needed.
    3. Weather can change quickly. We, in rare instances, have found it necessary to send students home early from school.  This poses many problems, not the least of which is getting them to a home that has someone there, with so many working parents.
    4. When to decide is also an issue. It seems that the “trend” is for districts to make the call the day before. At times this is very easy.   For example, a few years ago we knew by noon the day before that our roads would not be safe to travel on.  Here, I want you to know that we have discussed the fact that typically, the best time to make such decisions is early in the morning.  This is not always ideal for parents in terms of arranging for daycare, etc.  So, there is a balance.  We are asking for some level of patience, however, during this decision making process.
    5. Daylight matters. At times, it is best for us to announce a two hour “late start” the afternoon/evening before.  This allows everyone some time in the morning, and to get some daylight.  This also allows us to assess the weather in the morning, which could bring a change to a full school closure if needed.
    6. Weather forecasts are very important. In fact, they have become increasingly more accurate over the years.  We rely on several as decisions are made.
    7. Other factors include: having young high school students driving to school in unfamiliar conditions (although we also expect that parents are using their judgement here), whether staff living in other parts of the county can get to Nooksack Valley safely, and other considerations.

    In the final analysis, these are not easy decisions to make, but we always try to error on the side of safety.  Most of time, I think we get it right.  Not always.  

    Thanks for your patience,

    Mark Johnson

    Superintendent of Schools

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