January 28, 2013
Dear Parents and Community Members of the Palouse School District,
First, I would like to share that the board of directors has given me permission to announce that Mr. Tim Coles has been selected to serve the remainder of this school year as the Interim Principal of Palouse. Mr. Coles, as you may know, has been a long time teacher, coach, and athletic director for the Palouse School District. Mr. Coles was selected following the interviews and the community Meet and Greet that occurred lastThursday. I look forward to working with Mr. Coles in his new role where one of his top priorities is assisting me in school and district wide efforts to improve communication with parents and other stakeholders.
As reported to you through the Friday letter dated January 18th, the school district is undertaking efforts to not only better secure the school building during the school day, but to also improve the overall culture of safety throughout the entire school. In addition to locking doors, the school district is also working with students in their classes regarding making positive choices. Early in elementary school, students participate in the Second Step program. This program, designed to aid students in developing appropriate and positive socials kills, works a lot with teaching students of all ages on how to handle bullies, confrontation, as well as making healthy choices when it comes to issues of drugs, alcohol, and other societal pressures students deal with as they get older.
Efforts are beginning in our high school of continuing the education of the importance of making those healthy choices. Partnering with local law enforcement and other local organizations to ensure a safe environment exists, and to show support for our students are of paramount importance. All high schools deal with drug and alcohol issues, peer pressure situations, and other social issues that come naturally with having a large group of students in one place for extended periods of time. The close proximity of Palouse to two college campuses provides our students with exceptional academic opportunities, but also can lead to other, more negative,social situations. I encourage you to discuss these issues with your child(ren), and as you learn of issues the school can partner with you on, please let us know. By working together we can create the greatest environment possible for every student of the Garfield-Palouse School Districts.
The Palouse School District is partnering with the local police department in not only having increased patrols driving by the school, but we have invited the officers to walk the hallways with our students. Beginning this week it will be common to see a local officer walking hallways, visiting with students, and simply having a positive presence in our school. Their presence does much to discourage questionable behaviors and helps to develop a positive rapport with students of all ages.
The Palouse School District looks forward to further partnerships with community organizations for mentoring, tutoring, awareness, and service opportunities. If you are aware of, or apart of such an organization that would be willing to partner with the school, please let me know. I look forward to those conversations. Have a great week.