• blackberry   

    Superintendent Update

    September/October 2017

    "If there is one thing that life has taught me, it's not to fear the unscripted but to embrace it." Ernie Johnson

    Blackberry Moments

    This summer I read an excerpt from Ernie Johnson’s book Unscripted. Ernie Johnson is the host of Inside the NBA.  The show airs twice a week during the basketball season.  Ernie acts as the moderator of the show and does a wonderful job trying to balance the huge personalities and erratic nature of former NBA players Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal. 

    In the book he tells the story of a Little League Baseball game for 8 and 9 year olds. He was playing shortstop and his team was leading by two runs late in the game.  The opposing team had two runners on and the batter hit a deep fly ball that bounced over the chain link fence in center field for a ground rule double.  Two runners scored tying the game.  His dad, who was the coach, came out to provide instruction to the team about what to do if the next batter hit the ball.  When the meeting on the mound ended the infielders looked up and saw that their left and center fielders had gone missing.  Perhaps they had jumped the fence to look for the ball.  When the team ran out to find them they could see the ball lying 10 feet beyond the fence, and about 10 feet away from the ball were the left and center fielders picking ripe, juicy blackberries from a bushes growing beyond the field. 

    According to Ernie, the story was told a lot growing up in his family. It became a parable of embracing the unexpected moments and this way of thinking resulted in the title of his book, Unscripted. Ernie says in best:

    “That story has become, in many ways, central to my perspective on work, relaxation—shoot, life. It’s a kind of parable about not being afraid to step away from the game (translated: the job, the meeting, the conference call, the list of e-mails, the seemingly pressing matter at hand) to appreciate the unexpected, unscripted moments.”

    “All that stands in the way is the busyness of life. We’re all so focused on sticking to the script from one day to the next, one meeting to the next, one sales call to the next, that we blow right by the unscripted moments that can profoundly impact not just our lives but also the lives of those with whom we share the planet, the workplace, or a home. If there’s one thing life has taught me, it’s not to fear the unscripted but to embrace it.” (taken from Reader’s Digest)

    This year I hope to be able to look daily at the “Blackberry Moments” that happen each and every day at Trout Lake School and encourage our staff to do the same. In the end, these are teachable moments that are remembered by our students and staff for a lifetime.  I look forward to seeing our students and staff back at school this September.

    Track Update: The school is nearing completion of the new track facility. Surfacing of the track will be done the last week of August and first week of September, and hopefully all the lines will be painted by mid to late September. It has been an eventful summer and I am appreciative to our maintenance/custodial staff along with student workers who have done an incredible job with many extra duties trying to keep the project moving along.  Thanks again to all those who so generously donated for this project! 

    School Funding: At the end of July, our Legislators finally passed a state operating budget. This budget included major changes in how schools will be funded in Washington State.  Now, school funding is determined by the number of students and a staff allocation model. Schools can also run a maintenance and operation levy to help fund elements of basic education that the state has not funded. Starting in the 2018-19 school year, per pupil funding will increase for Trout Lake School, but the district will no longer be funded based on the experience and education of our staff.  In addition, we will be limited to an “enrichment” levy of only a $1.50 per thousand of assessed valuation.  This is a significant reduction of our current levy of about $2.50 per thousand.  As a district, we are very unsure of how this is going to impact our bottom line, but in a preliminary analysis, we believe we may not have as much “flexible” spending to benefit students as we currently have.  This is disappointing!  As we learn more I will do my best to keep you informed. 

    As always, the district will serve all of our students to the best of our ability despite what is happening in the political realm. If you have questions or concerns, never hesitate to contact me.