The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Lou Marzeles

School district focuses on meals, preparing seniors


March 25, 2020

Seniors in high school may be a bit nervous these days. They’re making plans for their future, but the biggest uncertainty right now is their immediate future—when will they graduate?

Dr. Ellen Perconti, superintendent of the Goldendale School District, says the school’s administration shares seniors’ concern, that and the fate of the district’s school year since Gov. Jay Inslee ordered schools closed for a time. “The way things are moving, I honestly don’t know,” she says. “We are really paying attention to our seniors, making sure that they will be able to graduate. We’re communicating where they are in their course progress and making sure that they’re able to graduate, making sure they have what they need. We’re still holding with our current graduation day.”

Perconti adds the rapid pace of events these days makes everything a moving target. “Right now what OSPI [Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction] has told us is that we don’t have to have school past June 19,” she states. “So assuming we came back on [April] 27, we would extend our school districts days six days past when we thought we would be done.” The district’s original announcement of closing indicated it would be closed until the end of April, though Perconti adds that estimate grows increasingly unsure.

In the meantime, Perconti says the district has been focused on delivering meals to students. “We started our food service delivery [Monday], and we’re delivering to anybody, to age 18; we’re not checking IDs or anything, we’re just delivering food. We delivered close to a thousand meals, 500 breakfast, 500 lunches yesterday. We’re struggling with getting food in, so I’m working on those delivery processes, but we’ve got a great team pulling together to get the food out. This week we’re doing it Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, then we’ll reassess as we get towards the end of the week and figure out what food we have to deliver the following week.”

Teachers and staff, meanwhile, are mostly working at home these days, still supported by state education funds that are still coming in. “We have questions about some of our other funding sources,” Perconti says, “but the state of Washington has said they will continue to provide funds for our staff. So as long as that maintains, we continue to have our staff, even though they’re doing work differently.”

Just like the rest of the country—working hard, staying put, pulling together.


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