Posted: April 24, 2017

We’ve been doing the HOPE & JOY project for a couple of years now. It’s amazing to me how each week I’m not really sure what we will be sharing and then there it is – the HOPE & JOY presents itself. It’s one of the things I enjoy most about the week.

This has been a challenging weekend to find HOPE & JOY. I’ve thought a lot about it. It certainly presented itself during the week. It was on the faces of students and staff. I saw it in the way a team rallied around a family that lost their shelter. I certainly saw it on the smiles of our students at Unified Soccer Saturday in Kelso. But losing a student when we were all hoping so hard for him to return to us weighs heavily.

I’ve spent most of my weekend just trying to make sense of the world, thinking about how we might do better. I know you all put your heart and soul into our work of serving students, and yet we still lose these, amazingly wonderful kids. I’m so tired of losing kids.

As you start your week I want each of us to think about what we can do differently—individually and collectively. How do we truly see and serve each student? The challenge isn’t meant to be critical of us and all we do and have done for our students. Our challenge is about building a school district that doesn’t lose anyone. It will take all of our collective talent and experience to do that. It will take courage to think differently about how we might serve. We’ve been working towards this goal, and the journey is long. As we meet with colleagues, let’s talk about what it might take to be a school district that doesn’t ever lose a student. Share your ideas with each other and your leadership teams. HOPE comes from our collective work towards this goal.

Our thoughts are with Cole’s family and friends and the CHS community.

Jeff