Aberdeen School District

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  • Final Weekly Update 6-22-17

    Posted by Tom Opstad at 6/22/2017

    Weekly Update 
    June 22, 2017 

    Thank you Aberdeen! 

    The last week of school included the Moving Up Assembly at Miller Junior High School, the Aberdeen High School Band welcoming students to the hig school on the last day, cleaning out lockers and parents making the final student pick-up of the 2016-17 school year.   The last few weeks are always very busy and I would like to thank all our staff, students and parents for a great finish to the 2016-17 year.

    We are finishing up the budget over the next week and Elyssa Louderback will be presenting that to the school board in July.  This is something that will need a revision once school starts in the fall since the Legislature will not finish in time for us to get everything we need to meet our budgeting deadlines. 

    Students in all our schools are benefiting from the AVID program.  Over the past year, AVID has been introduced at the elementary level with students focusing on the skills needed to find success in the workplace, college, trade schools, the military, and life.  Thank you to all who have helped make this program so successful for our students.

    Alan Gozart, with Harbor Architects, is coordinating construction meetings with the various contractors and district staff to make sure the roof replacement at Stewart Field goes smoothly.  This will take place throughout the summer, as several events are taking place that will require coordination. 

    Thank you for the seven fabulous years I have had working with you in the Aberdeen School District.  I have learned much from everyone I have met over the years and will always be grateful for the support from our community.  It has truly been a pleasure working with all the different community groups, staff and administrators, and parents of our students.

    Have a great weekend, fabulous summer and outstanding 2017-18 school year.  I feel blessed for having known all of you and will carry the memories of my time here with me forever. 

    Thank you, Tom 

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  • 2017 Aberdeen High School Commencement - Stewart Field

    Posted by Tom Opstad at 6/10/2017

    AHS Commencement - 2017 Update!

    The Commencement Excercises for Aberdeen High School Seniors took place on Friday evening at Stewart Field.  While it started and ended with filtered sunshine, in between it poured!!!  However, it was fun to see a double rainbow toward the end of the ceremony.

    Overall, the students showed great spirit and all had smiles in the end.  Best wishes and congratulations to all Aberdeen High School and Harbor High School seniors as they head off to new adventures.




    (AHS 2017 Top Scholars)

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  • Weekly Update 6-9-17

    Posted by Tom Opstad at 6/9/2017

    Weekly Update

    June 9, 2017


    Every day this week has been packed with activities, especially at the high school level.  The Aberdeen Music Boosters Annual Awards Ceremony was held on Monday evening in the AHS Auditorium.  Orchestra, choir and band students were recognized along with individual scholarship winners in several categories.   


    Tuesday after the board meeting, the final AHS Band concert of the year was held in the Auditorium.  This is always a great evening with a guest conductor who won the bid during the band’s annual fundraising campaign.  Previous guest conductors have included former high school principal, Rocky Rocquin and co-conductors, teachers Joe and Allison Fagerstedt.  Guest conductors this year included four graduated band students.  Mr. Patterson was honored prior to the finale by the senior band members with a number of useful items.



    Wednesday evening was the Senior Awards Night in the AHS Auditorium.  It was well attended with over $160,000 worth of local scholarship presented to our seniors.  It is great to see our students being recognized for outstanding scholarship, community service, and leadership.  It was also fun to see so many of our seniors receive numerous awards and scholarships.  Our seniors are attending universities and programs all over the country.  From BYU to Harvard, WSU to UW, as well as several other Washington, Oregon and California colleges, our students represent Aberdeen very well as they pursue their post high school educational opportunities across the country.  We should be very proud of all the programs in our district.



    Both portables have been delivered to the district.  One at AJ West and the other at Stevens Elementary.  This will provide relief and get the district through the next several years as our “bubble” class of 296 third grade students moves through the elementary grades.  The nice thing this year is that both portables will be set up well before the start of school on August 30.  The site at Stevens Elementary also includes additional parking for staff at that end of the building.  We will be looking at using some of the fill that was removed for the foundation to level out the fields around Stevens Elementary.



    Thursday Harbor High School held commencement in the Hopkins building gynmaisum.  This is always a well-attended event and this year was no exception.  Hundreds of family members and friends gathered to honor our Harbor High seniors.  Congratulations!



    This Friday, June 9, is the Aberdeen High School graduation at Stewart Field.  Students held a final practice this morning under cloudy skies and are hoping for a break in the weather tonight when the gates open at 5:00 p.m.  The ceremony will begin at 6:00 p.m.  Best wishes for a fabulous evening.


    Next Friday is the Miller Junior High Moving Up Assembly.  This is always well attended and a great way for students to make the transition from Miller to the high school.  The assembly begins at 10:00 a.m. in the Miller JH gymnasium. 


    All the base-bid documents for the roof replacement at Steward Field have been signed and purchase orders sent out to Rognlin’s, Inc. and Musco Field Lighting (through KCDA purchasing).  Rognlin’s is planning to begin work shortly after graduation on Friday, June 9, in order to try and complete the project in time for fall sports.


    The Weatherwax High School Crest was recreated by senior, Hannah Palmer, as her senior project.  Her mentor was Mrs. Molly Houk, one of our high school art teachers.  Mrs. Houk created this same project in 2001 as her senior project.  Unforunately, it was destroyed in the fire in 2002.  Thank you to Hannah and Mrs. Houk for bringing this back to Aberdeen High School.



    Thank you again for your support of our students and programs from Preschool through high school.  We have an outstanding educational system in Aberdeen that will continue to graduate students who will make a positive difference in our world. 


    Sincerely, Tom

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  • Weekly Update 6-2-17

    Posted by Tom Opstad at 6/2/2017

    Weekly Update
    June 2, 2017

    We are now entering the final few weeks of the school year.  It is amazing we are finishing up the 2016-17 school year and planning for the 2017-18 year at the same time.  There are a number of district activities at all our schools that will be taking place over the next two weeks.  High school graduation at Harbor High is Thursday, June 8, in the Hopkin’s gymnasium.  Aberdeen High graduation is the next day, Friday, June 9, at Stewart Field.  Both start at 6:00 p.m.  For other activities, please check your school calendar.

    Congratulations to seniors Braden Castleberry-Taylor, Trace Christensen, Haley Farrer, Haley Fleming, Erik Hanson, Bailey Harper, Jacob Jamieson, Grant Larson, Jake Metke and Taylor Nichols for being recognized for their service and commitment to their school and community at the 26th Annual Silver and Gold Banquet Wednesday evening at the Rotary Log Pavilion.  The Aberdeen seniors, along with seniors from Hoquiam, were able to hear from the two guest speakers, Jill Smith and Franzine Potts, as well as hear why they were nominated for this recognition.  Congratulations to all the students and their families.

    Our food service manager, Jaime Matisons, is continuing to work on the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) program to provide free breakfast and lunch to every student in the Aberdeen School District beginning with the 2017-18 school year.  Our goal is to have final OSPI approval before the end of this school year so we can provide information to families early in August - one way or another.

    I want to give you a brief update on the budgetary process for our school district.  We are required by statute to have our budget prepared and available for the public review by July 10.  This year it may be a “best guess” budget since many of the budget formulas may not be available if substantial changes are approved by the Legislature.  Major changes may require a reprogramming of many of the OSPI software programs we use to derive revenues and input our expenditures.  Stay tuned for ongoing updates throughout the summer.

    Congratulations to the students in the Professional Medical Careers class who earned their Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) license and were recognized at the Pinning Ceremony the Thursday prior to Memorial Day.  These students passed both a written and skills test to earn this designation. 

    At their 7:00 a.m. special board meeting, the Aberdeen School Board of Directors voted to award the bid to replace the roof at Stewart Field to Rognlin's Inc.  Hopefully work will begin shortly after the graduation ceremonies are held at the field on Friday, June 9.

    The portable at AJ West was delivered yesterday and the one for Stevens will be delivered next week.  It should provide needed classroom space for a number of years to come as our largest class moves through the elementary school grades.  That class is our current third grade at 296 students.  For perspective, our current Kindergarten and first grade classes are at 245 students each.  Both portables will be set, inspected and ready for classroom materials by the end of June.

    We are also expanding parking at Stevens by adding a graveled parking lot next to the new portable at the end of the building nearest the City baseball fields.  Parking has always been a challenge at Stevens and adding this space should help a little.

    For onging district updates, please check out the district homepage at www.asd5.org.  

    Have a great weekend.

    Thank you, Tom

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  • Weekly Update 5-25-17

    Posted by Tom Opstad at 5/25/2017

    Weekly Update
    May 25, 2017

    Best wishes to the SkillsUSA team as they continue to prepare for their trip to Nationals! The Cowboy Barbeque was held last evening in the Commons at Aberdeen High School. These students will have a great time as they travel to Louisville, Kentucky, for the national competition in their respective fields.  Thank you to the parents and communty member who prepared and served the dinner.  Also, thank you to the AHS Culinary Arts students who prepared and served the desserts.

    For more on our Skills Center 2017-18 school year and 2017 summer offerings, please check out the following webpage with registration and contact information for the Twin Harbors, a Branch Skills Center programs - http://www.asd5.org/Domain/527.

    We are building our budget for 2017-18 using enrollment numbers similar to this year. As noted at the school board meeting on Tuesday, our enrollment this year has remained steady throughout this school year. It is a good sign that we are maintaining enrollment throughout the ten months it is counted for apportionment.

    We are calculating our staffing numbers to be very close to this year in the budgeting process since we have no information from the Legislature on the funding model for K-12 at this time. We are also finished filling most of our open positions and our HR Director, Mr. Sawin, has a goal to complete all the hiring by the end of the school year.

    The Legislature ended the first special session and moved into a second special session on the same day, Tuesday, May 23. My hope is that they will finish in time to complete a budget (or at least get a strong start) before July 1.

    Congratulations to Judy Holliday who was recognized with the Student Achievement Leadership Award and Grays Harbor College representatives JEB Thornton, Laurie Clary, and Erin Dilley-Linton from the new Bachelor of Applied Science in Teacher Education (BAS-TE) program at Grays Harbor College who were recognized for their ongoing work at last evening's WASA 113 Regional Recognition Dinner in Tumwater. This was a fun event that highlights a number of community agencies, individuals or groups who are actively involved in educational endeavors.


    Tonight is the Pinning Ceremony for the Skills Center Medical Careers class in the AHS Auditorium beginning at 6:30 p.m. All of the students who took the skills exam passed and are receiving their certification and pins this evening. It will be a fun way to begin the Memorial Day Weekend.

    Have a great weekend and enjoy the sunny, warm weather predicted over the next week! 



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  • Weekly Update 5-19-17

    Posted by Tom Opstad at 5/19/2017 6:00:00 AM

    Weekly Update
    May 19, 2017

    Congratulations to Jacob Jaimeson who was selected as the Aberdeen Rotary Student of the Month for May.  Jacob is the final student of the month recognized by the Aberdeen Rotary Club.  Each student selected as an opportunity to be awarded a scholarship by the club at the annual awards ceremony at Aberdeen High School on June 7, 2017 beginning at 6:00 p.m.

    The district discipline committee is working on developing a comprehensive plan for the 2017-18 school year that will provide consistency among all schools.  This includes the use of PBIS, similar language and expectations among buildings, and regular building and district review of policies and practices.  Thank you to all committee members for your ongoing work.

    As you know, this is the filing week for all open elected positions in the county.  We have several staff members who are active on other boards or commissions throughout the county.  Thank you to everyone who is serving in another civic role.

    Senior boards at Aberdeen High School are taking place on Thursday and Friday this week.  It is a great time for the seniors to share their experiences at AHS as well as their goals for the future.  I was able to sit in on the boards Thursday morning and found it extremely enjoyable to hear from our seniors as they prepare for the next stage in their life.

    Congratulations to the young ladies on our girl’s golf team, who are the District Champions.  Best wishes to those going on to the state tournament.  We also have several track athletes who will be participating in the District Championships at Columbia River High School in Vancouver, WA.

    TCF Architects will also be present to share the final Study & Survey and explain some of the projects the district may want to consider as part of a bond in the future.  The main focus of a bond would be the construction of a new Stevens Elementary School.

    Tuesday was Senior Signing Day at Aberdeen High School.  Students who plan to attend technical schools, 2 or 4 year colleges, enter the military or other educational training were all recognized at an assembly in Sam Benn Gym.  This was a great opportunity for seniors to share what their plans are after high school and sign the commitment certificate indicating their goal.  Below are just a few of the pictures of the event that will become an annual tradition at the high school.

    Our annual district recognition of retiree’s will take place on Tuesday, June 6, 2017, in the Aberdeen High School Commons.  This is a great tradition in our district where the administrators share a few words about each retiree in their building or department.  It begins at 4:00 p.m. and concludes just before the board meeting at 5:00 p.m.

    Graduation cermonies are just around the corner.   If you would like to attend, they are as follows.  June 8, Harbor High Graduation in the Harbor High Gym beginning at 6:00 p.m. and Aberdeen High School Graduation at Stewart Field on Friday, June 9 beginning at 6:00 p.m.

    Have a great weeknd and enjoy the predicted great weather that is heading our way for the next few days.

    Thanks again, Tom

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  • Weekly Update 5-12-17

    Posted by Tom Opstad at 5/12/2017

    Weekly Update

    May 12, 2017


    The annual school district exit conference was held on Monday, May 8, to review the financial and program audit of the Aberdeen School District.  It was great to have a clean audit with no findings or management letters.  This is always a great way to end the audit cycle and the school year.  The team from the Office of the State Auditor also had very positive comments about our district team and the support they provided to their onsite staff.  We are now in the process of planning to next year’s audit since they always audit one year in arears.  The annual financial and program audit was very successful and highlighted many of our strengths as a district.  We have strong leadership in our district that helps keep programs on track and updated with the latest state and federal requirements.   Thank you to all the staff who were involved in preparing materials for this years audit.


    The Miller Junior High School track team hosted a meet against Tumwater on Thursday afternoon.  The event had over 150 student athletes participating during a cloudy, partly sunny and sometimes rainy day.  Many of the events were close contests with runner stretching for the finish line.  



    National Senior Signing Day will be held at Aberdeen High School on Tuesday, May 16, in the Commons during the advisory period (approximately 10:00 a.m.).  This is the first event of this type we have had in our district and hopefully will continue in the future.  Here is a link to the flyer that is posted on the district website calendar.


    Our boys’ soccer team is playing extremely well and heading into the state playoffs Tuesday evening at Stewart Field.  Aberdeen played a tough District 4 Championship game against Columbia River at the Kiggins Bowl in Vancouver last night, losing 0-1.  They have an opportunity to go deep into the state playoffs with a win on Tuesday evening.  Go Bobcats!  Here is a link to the WIAA bracket.


    This week was Teacher Appreciation Week with Tuesday being Teacher Appreciation Day.  It is always nice to recognize our teaching staff and I shared the Governor’s resolution that was read at the May 2 board meeting with all certificated teachers.  Many of the building principals also recognized their teachers on Tuesday.


    The Stevens Honor Choir, under the direction of Mr. Erik Peterson, sang a number of songs for the Aberdeen Rotary Club at their noon meeting on Wednesday.  Songs included a number of very recognizable tunes, including songs from Abba and the Beach Boys!  Great job.


    We are working on many of our iGrant state and federal End of Year (EOY) reports.  Most are due by the end of July with some extending into the next school year.  Two reports that have earlier deadlines include the Rural and Low Income EOY report and the Indistar district report.  Both are due May 30.  


    Just a quick reminder that our school board meeting changed from Tuesday, May 16, to Tuesday, May 23.  TCF Architecture will be here to meet with the Stevens community planning committee in the morning and then with the board at 5:00 p.m.  It will be good to have a work plan in place with a tentative timeline prior to the change in superintendents beginning on July 1. 


    Thanks again for working together for the benefit of all our students.  Have a wonderful weekend and check you child's school calendar on the website for upcoming activities and events.  Remember, next week is filing week for the November election.


    Sincerely, Tom

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  • Weekly Update 5-5-17

    Posted by Tom Opstad at 5/5/2017

    Weekly Update

    May 5, 2017


    This week we followed up from discussion at the May 2, 2017 board meeting with Alan Gozart of Harbor Architects to get the bid notices finalized for the roofing work at Stewart Field.   Notices will be sent out for publication on Monday, May 8.  We are also setting up a district webpage that will provide ongoing updates for the public on the process at Stewart Field with both a narrative and pictures showing progress over the summer.


    Administrators at Aberdeen High School held an 8th grade student/parent information night on Monday, May 1, 2017 in the AHS Commons.  This was a great opportunity for students to tour the school and for parents to learn more about the programs available for their student throughout the four years of high school.  The overview and program changes from a semester to a trimester schedule was also shared with those in attendance.


    Company 10, the company with the overall high score from the Aberdeen Rotary Business Week, attended the Aberdeen Rotary meeting on Wednesday to share their experiences with members.  It was a very informative presentation with explanations of the program from the district Career and Technical Education (CTE) Director, Lynn Green, along with an overview by several of Company 10 students.


    During the Thursday evening CTE Advisory Dinner that was catered by the Culinary program students, advisory members were given tours of the many programs offered at AHS in both the regional Skills Center and CTE programs.  I would like to take classes in our automotive program in order to work on the 2016 Corvette that was a donation to the program from General Motors in recognition of Jonathan Ball's second year as the SkillsUSA National Champion in Automotive Service Technology.



    Over 45 school teams in grades 5-8 competed in the regional Math Olympiad held at Aberdeen High School on Saturday, April 29.  Thank you to all the staff who volunteered to put on an outstanding event for these students.


    The Aberdeen FFA is continuing the Plant Sale today and tomorrow at the greenhouse located on H Street, just west of the high school.  Hours on Friday are from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.  


    In terms of enrollment, we have been much more stable this year with the trend holding steady over the final few months of the school year.  This is a benefit to our overall budget that is based on the district-wide Annual Average Full Time Equivalent (AAFTE) student count. 


    State Smarter-Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) testing is taking place between now and the first of June in all our schools.  The SBAC is given to all students in grades 3-8 and grades 10 and 11.  Makeups for students who missed the assessment or who need to take a section over are also given in the spring.  The District MAP, Measures of Academic Progress, assessment takes place after the SBAC this spring as well.  This assessment provides a historical perspective of student academic growth over time and is helpful for setting goals with students each fall.


    TCF Architects will be attending the May 23, board meeting to share the final Study and Survey data report.  This report is required by OSPI prior to any building improvements or construction where we would be asking for state matching funds.  Matching funds are not a true indication of how much state funding we would receive since it is based on a fairly complicated state formula.  I have asked our regional OSPI representative, Scott Black, to attend one of the board meetings in June to explain the process and share with the school board how state construction dollars are allocated.  TCF will also review the initial design concepts for a new Stevens Elementary School with the school board.


    Have a great weekend as we enter into some warmer weather next week.  Hopefully the high school athletes will be able to make up some of the contests that were cancelled due to our very rainy spring.


    Thanks again,



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  • Weekly Update 4-28-17

    Posted by Tom Opstad at 4/28/2017

    Weekly Update

    April 28, 2017


    This week at our ESD 113 superintendent’s meeting, we had an overview of the state budget proposals along with some expectations of the changes that may take place in federal funding for Title II, Part A (professional development) and Title IV, Part B (21st Century after school program).  Those two programs are initially slated to be eliminated by 2020 in the current budget proposal.  For our district, that would mean a loss of approximately $160,000 in Title II funds and $510,000 in 21st Century funds.  As we all know, many changes take place during the House and Senate negotiations on the budget.  We willl need to wait and see what ends up in the final document - both at the state and federal level.


    The All City Concert last evening was very well attended by parents and friends of the 5th and 6th grade students in band and orchestra.  It was great to see so many students involved in the band and orchestra programs at the elementary level.  In speaking with both Wendy Koski and Karen Meikle, they stated that student numbers have increased steadily over the past 2-3 years.  By my estimate, there were well over 150 students involved in the program and many of the students I spoke with are planning to participate in junior high band or orchestra.  Thank you to both Wendy and Karen for all their preparation of the students and Erik Peterson and Troy George for assisting with the setup and takedown for the concert.


    Alan Gozart from Harbor Architects will be attending the school board meeting on Tuesday to share information on the plans to go out to bid on the roof, lighting and support building at Stewart Field.  This will be a good overview of the project and allow us to determine the next steps once bids are received.  We would like to have as much work as possible completed by fall. 


    The architects from TCF will be presenting the final Study and Survey at the May 16 school board meeting.  They are also planning to share the plans for a new elementary to replace Stevens Elementary.  Moving forward with this project may occur in stages as prices become available and the state “matching funds” are clearly identified.  While we have a good start on the initial planning for the project, it will require continued review, revision and discussion moving forward. 


    Aaron Roiko, our AHS athletic director, is continuing to look at scheduling make up games in baseball and fastpitch.  Many of the games that were rained out will need to be made up in a double-header formation.  Hopefully the weather will improve over the next few weeks to allow all the make-up games to be completed.



    Thanks again and have a fabulous weekend.


    Sincerely,  Tom

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  • Weekly Update 4-21-17

    Posted by Tom Opstad at 4/21/2017

    Weekly Update
    April 21, 2017

    Good afternoon,

    With only two more days before the end of the Legislative regular session, Governor Inslee will announce a special session soon.  We are working on developing a budget with our current data.  This will at least give us an estimate for school board review and then modify once the final compromise budget is adopted.

    Business Week at AHS wraps up today with Stockholder Presentations in the morning and the Trade Show in the afternoon.  This is a fabulous program that involves every junior at the high school.  I was a judge this morning and was very impressed with the three companies I sat in on as I listened to their presentations.  The company that worked in the district office during week was outstanding and a pleasure to host in the ad building.

    Several student groups are headed to Seattle today for WE DAY.  It should be a fantastic experience with several speakers addressing the students in attendance.  WE DAY Seattle includes students from all over the northwest.  Here is a link to some of the speakers and activities that students will see during the event. (https://www.we.org/stories/sneak-peek-of-speakers-and-performers-at-we-day-seattle-2017/).  Students from Robert Gray Elementary School presented their project on saving water bottles by replacing plastic with metal bottles at the school board meeting on Tuesday.  Several of these students were attending the WE DAY event today.

    Best wishes to the high school Mathletes who are headed to the State High School Math Competition at Central Washington University on Saturday.  They are leaving today and will be staying in Ellensburg overnight with the competition lasting all day on Saturday.

    The Regional Math Olympiad for students in grades 5-8 will be held at Aberdeen High School on Saturday, April 29.  It is a very popular event with over 50 teams scheduled for this year.  If you would like to volunteer this year, please contact Judy Holliday at jholliday@asd5.org.

    Last evening was the sixth grade open house and orientation at Miller Junior High.  It was hosted by the AVID students and teachers along with the principal, Lisa Griebel.  Thank you to all involved.

    We have received information from WSSDA regarding the upcoming filing for board elections and they are asking Districts to post on their websites and/or have printed copies available for distribution.  We are planning to upload the flyer on our District homepage early next week. 

    We need the sun to stick around for a few weeks to give our spring athletes a little break from the rain.  While golf, soccer and track hold events in the rain, it is much harder for fastpitch, baseball and tennis to play in a downpour!  Last Saturday we had nice weather for the Grays Harbor Track Meet held at the Miller track.  

    Have a great weekend. Hopefully it will be a pleasant day to work outside on Earth Day, Saturday, April 22, 2017.  A web search of Earth Day provides a great number of websites, here is one I found that is informative and provides a little history of Earth Day. (https://www.epa.gov/earthday)

    Have a great weekend and enjoy this sun!

    Thanks again,


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