Provided to The Dispatch
Dear students, families, staff and community members:
Wow! Where do I begin?
It has been a busy summer for our maintenance and facilities department getting ready for our students and staff members to return. We now have a remodeled portable at Weyerhaeuser Elementary and a relocated portable behind Eatonville Elementary and Middle Schools to meet the needs of our students.
As part of our efforts to ensure student safety and security, we are pleased to announce all five buildings have had new exterior cameras, keyless entry systems, remote entry and intercom systems installed.
Please know all exterior doors will be locked at all times. Employees will have a badge or an app on their cell phone to grant them access to the building.
For parents or guests entering:
• When arriving at the front entrance to the school, there will be a button to push.
• The secretary will be alerted that we have a visitor.
• That visitor will be seen on the camera system.
• The visitor will, at that time, communicate their needs using the speaker located near the button.
• The secretary will answer the visitor’s questions or remotely unlock the door for entry.
• Unrecognized visitors will be asked to show identification as a safety measure.
• The visitor will hear a tone that will indicate the door is unlocked. Visitors should look for signage that specifies which door to pull open.
August has also been a busy month for our staff members who have dedicated tremendous time and effort to prepare for the return of our nearly 2,000 students. This includes professional development opportunities that will benefit all students.
Aug. 29 was a busy day for all 262 staff members who gathered to reconnect, to hear a motivational speech from our Eatonville School Board Chair, Paulette Gilliardi, to welcome the newest members of our Eatonville team, to honor our teacher of the year and to receive training on how to respond to an active shooter on campus.
I am happy to announce that, while we will miss those who have left Eatonville School District, we have hired great employees to take their place. Each new staff member was welcomed to our team and three were given the opportunity to enter TwinStar Credit Union’s Cash Grab Machine, each receiving a $100 Visa gift card to buy items for their classroom or program. Be sure and check out our newsletter which features each new hire.
Congratulations to Dr. Tira Hancock from Eatonville High School who was selected from many nominations to receive the prestigious Teacher of the Year award presented by the Ohop Grange! She received a resounding applause from her colleagues for her many years of service to students, to staff members and to the Eatonville community.
Chief LaLiberte and Officer Justman from our Eatonville Police Department teamed up with the Pierce County Department of Emergency Services to train our entire staff on how to respond to an active shooter on campus. We join other school districts around the nation who have received similar training in an effort to ensure the safety and security of all students.
We have new bus drivers to replace retirees, however, we are still facing a shortage. The first days will be a challenge.We continue to advertise and give bonuses to attract and recruit new hires. Please share our need for drivers with others.
I am going to continue with a similar school board meeting schedule of having work study sessions on the second Wednesday of each month and the school board meetings on the fourth Wednesday of each month. Everyone is welcome to attend.
In closing, it is an honor to serve the Eatonville School District. After spending the past three days with our 262 staff members, I can honestly say that I am impressed by their dedication and commitment to all students. Please join me in thanking them. Eatonville Strong!