Dr. Redinger's Open Letters

Superintendent Dr. Shelley Redinger

Updates, messages and thoughts from Dr. Shelley Redinger To THE RSD COMMUNITY on the important work going on in RSD schools.

March 7, 2022

Monday, March 14 is a milestone for our community.

It will be the first day that face coverings will not be required in our schools and facilities since we began bringing students back into classrooms in the fall of 2020.

Folks in our community have mixed feelings about this moment. Many are elated they will be able to see the smiles of their friends, teachers and co-workers. Many others are concerned about the potential risk COVID-19 poses for themselves and their loved ones.

I want to assure everyone the district will respect each individual’s choice whether to wear a mask. Our schools will continue to follow the guidance and requirements set by state and local public health officials. Currently, the Washington Board of Health’s Technical Advisory Group recently recommended against making the vaccine a requirement for students. School and district staff will still be required to either be vaccinated against COVID-19 or request an exemption for medical or religious reasons.

While we will remain vigilant in making our schools safe places for learning, I am eager to see our district continue efforts around continuous improvement and ensuring student achievement. We are starting our effort to develop a strategic plan that will inform how we serve students and identify successes and challenges. Staff continue to look at ways to engage and support students, from providing courses that challenge and prepare them for their futures to bringing new resources into schools to address mental health needs.

Beloved student activities such as the recent high school art show by Educational Service District 123 (ESD 123) and the upcoming regional Salmon Summit at Columbia Park in Kennewick and our own RSD Field Day celebrating our students with disabilities are back in-person this spring, providing even more excitement and normalcy for kids, families and staff.

Because of our supportive community, we are positioned to move past the pandemic to focus on our paramount mission – student learning. Thank you to everyone who has stepped up to support our schools and brought us to this moment. Please stay involved and, as always, please reach out and share your thoughts.

Shelley

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