Cheney School District

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Messages from Superintendent Roettger

Parents, Guardians, and Community Members,

 

In order to meet the day to day needs of our schools and district operations, it is critical that we are able to fill openings for full time and substitute positions (both certificated and classified).  Currently, we have several regular employment opportunities available and we are seeking applicants for a variety of substitute positions as well (teachers, secretaries, para-educators, custodial, nutrition services, and transportation).

   

Please visit our website at www.cheneysd.org and click on the employment tab under quick links or click on the following link to view employment opportunities https://www.cheneysd.org/apps/pages/employmentWe also ask that you consider sharing our employment opportunities with individuals you believe would be a good fit in an educational setting. In addition, if you have questions related to employment opportunities within the district, please reach out to our Human Resources department at 509-559-4509 or contact our substitute coordinator at 509-559-4542.

 

Thank you for your continued support of our schools and district!

 

Have a great week!

Rob Roettger, Superintendent

Parents, Guardians, and Community Members,

 

I sincerely hope the first three weeks of the new school year have gone extremely well for each and every one of our students and families.  There is definitely a sense of excitement on each of our campuses as our students have returned to school this fall!

 

Throughout the 20-21 school year our school district and families faced a myriad of changes due to shifting circumstances associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.  As we begin this school year COVID-19 continues to impact our region, thus, many people are wondering if we will once again face changes to our learning model, including potential closures.  Today I’d like to provide an update related to this topic and alleviate concerns that school closures are being planned or are imminent. 

 

Similar to last spring, school districts will continue to work closely with regional health districts to analyze local health situations that could potentially impact school operations.  Thus, Cheney Public Schools will continue to work closely with SRHD and monitor circumstances within our school district and across the region in order to ensure a safe learning environment for our students.  To date, meetings with SRHD have focused on keeping students safely in school and there have not been discussions about specific metrics or guidance to close schools or districts.  In addition, there have not been any indications from OSPI, DOH, or the Governor’s office that there are plans for statewide school closures.   

 

As a school district our obvious goal is to keep our schools safely open and not to have to pause in person learning or utilize alternative learning models.  While this is the case, in order to be prepared for a variety of circumstances our central office team has discussed possible contingency plans IF classroom or school closures become necessary.  For example, one situation that could impact our ability to support in person learning would be an inability to provide adequate staffing within a department or school due to COVID cases, quarantine situations, or staff absences.  Thus, in preparation for situations that could impact our ability to operate our schools we have taken steps to ensure students have access to appropriate technology, and have surveyed secondary students to identify possible connectivity issues.  Teachers are also working to ensure GOOGLE classrooms are set up.  While we have considered options to address a possible pause to in person learning (whether within a classroom or school) a closure of any kind is NOT being planned.  Rather, we are preparing for a multitude of possibilities and hoping we do not have to utilize any of the contingency plans that have been discussed.  

 

Unfortunately, COVID-19 continues to impact our community and county and within the first three weeks of the school year positive COVID-19 cases have been identified within many of our schools.  The overwhelming majority of these cases can be traced to activities outside of the school system and are only identified when an individual becomes ill at school or is involved in a testing protocol.  As we know, an important aspect of keeping our schools safely open for in person instruction is ensuring we are ALL following the health and safety guidance that has been in place for many months.  This includes hand washing, wearing a face covering, distancing, and staying home when we are sick or are a close contact to someone with COVID-19.  Throughout the past year and a half, we have proven that consistent implementation of these mitigation strategies works and that we can safely keep our schools open.  As always, if you have specific health related questions, please reach out to your child’s school nurse, or a health care provider.  

 

It is safe to say that we are all weary of the pandemic and the stress and hardship that we have faced as individuals, families, and collectively as a community.  Although we continue to face challenges associated with COVID-19, I urge everyone (myself included) to find joy in every day and to look for those opportunities to encourage our children, a family member, a co-worker, or even a complete stranger.  Our ability to focus on the many positive things occurring in our lives and schools and supporting one another is critical, especially during this time. 

 

Thank you for your support of our school district.  We are very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with such amazing children and families within the community we serve.

 

As always, please call my office at 509-559-4502 or email me at rroettger@cheneysd.org if you have questions about any aspect of our school system.  

 

US/WE/TOGETHER

Rob Roettger, Superintendent

Parents, Guardians, and Community Members,

 

I truly hope the 2021-2022 school year is off to a great start for each of our students and their families.  It has been very exciting to see students back in our schools and in classrooms, at recess, playing in the band, and enjoying athletics.  In fact, I often find myself smiling (albeit sometimes behind a mask) when I’m driving by or stopping in at one of our schools!

 

Prior to the pandemic our school district experienced steady enrollment growth for several years in a row.  Last year, with the uncertainty of the school year, enrollment was down slightly from pre-pandemic levels.  During our first official count of the 2021-2022 school year we had an overall K-12 enrollment of 4,996 FTE which is an increase from last spring.  Currently, most grade levels within our system have roughly 400 students with the largest class having an enrollment of 442 students (9th grade). 

 

As we continue to work through the many challenges associated with the pandemic, I request your assistance in supporting the implementation of health and safety protocols that can help keep our students safe and on campus.  One mitigation strategy that is extremely important is having students stay home when they are sick or when they have been a close contact to a positive or potential COVID case.  Following this protocol, along with wearing masks, keeping our distance, and washing hands frequently, whether in school or out in the community, can keep others from becoming sick and/or from being involved in quarantine situations.  If you have questions about a possible health situation involving your child, please reach out to your students building nurse or health aide.  By following health and safety mitigation strategies, and staying home when we are sick, we can help manage the spread of COVID-19 within our community and allow us more time to focus our attention on student learning. 

 

As I have shared in previous messages, transportation has presented some challenges for our school district.  We started the year with 48 daily bus routes and 44 drivers (currently 47 routes and 44 drivers).  This meant that several members of our transportation department who have other duties (but maintain appropriate CDL/Endorsement) have been driving routes daily.  Our entire department has been working extremely hard to meet the day to day and extra-curricular routing needs of our schools and I am very proud of their dedication to our students and district.  We continue to seek additional drivers so if you or someone you know would like to become a bus driver for the district (starting wage of $19.36 per hour, paid training, and full benefits for regular route drivers) please contact our transportation department at 509-559-4523. 

 

In closing, thank you for your patience and support as we navigate the complexity of the start of a new school year. As always, please reach out to me at 509-559-4502 or rroettger@cheneysd.org if you have questions I can help address. 

 

Rob Roettger, Superintendent

Parents, Guardians, and Community Members,

 

It is with great excitement that we welcome our students and staff back to our campuses for the 2021-2022 school year!  Our entire staff is looking forward to the first day of the new school year on Wednesday, September 1st!

 

As we begin the school year we will be following updated health and safety guidance from the state including universal masking for all staff, students, and school visitors regardless of vaccination status.  In addition, we will continue implementing all other mitigation strategies including hygiene and cleaning protocols, increased ventilation, and ask that parents keep children home when sick or when they have been a close contact to a positive COVID case outside of school.  Although we still have many health and safety measures in place, there are several changes from last spring.  Students will not be required to wear masks outdoors and at recess and we do not have a daily attestation form for parents to complete.  In addition, the distancing requirement has eased from 6’ to 3’ which provides more of a typical classroom experience for students.  If you have specific questions related to the latest health and safety protocols, please contact your child’s school or reach out to our district office at 509-559-4502. 

 

As a reminder, our district has implemented a staggered start and end school schedule to allow our buses to run multiple routes due to a shortage of bus drivers.  Below are the Monday through Thursday schedules and Friday will start one hour later in support of our PLC work. 

 

¡ Betz, Snowdon, Sunset, and Windsor elementary schools -- 7:50 a.m. to 2:20 p.m.  

¡ Salnave Elementary -- 8:35 a.m. to 3:05 p.m. 

¡ Home Works -- 8:30 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. 

¡ Cheney and Westwood Middle Schools and Cheney High School 8:55 a.m. to 3:35 p.m.

¡ Three Springs HS - 9:15 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. 

 

Currently, we continue to seek additional drivers to support the bussing needs of our school district.  If you know of individuals interested in becoming bus drivers, please have them contact our transportation department at 509-559-4523.   Transportation staff will be reaching out to notify each family that is utilizing the bussing system of their specific pickup/drop off times and location in the next few days. Also, they will do their best to work through new bus registrations as they continue to come in.  Please note that adding new registrations may take up to a week due to the complexity of altering routes.      

 

The past seventeen months of the pandemic have brought many challenges to our school district and community.  I am very proud of the way we have all come together in support of children.  While not everything has been perfect, we have done some amazing work because of the dedicated and caring staff we have in Cheney Public schools and the outstanding support we receive from our families and community. 

 

In closing, I am honored to serve as superintendent of Cheney Public Schools.  Thank you for your support of our children, schools, and entire system!  As always, if you have questions about any aspect of our work, please call your child’s school or reach out to me personally at 509-559-4502 or at rroettger@cheneysd.org.

  

Robert Roettger, Superintendent