To Nehalem Elementary Parents,

It has come to my attention there is some misinformation in the community concerning NCRD’s swim program that provides swim lessons to Nehalem Elementary students.

NCRD and the Neah-Kah-Nie School District have a long history of collaboration to provide swim lessons and other services to youth, this collaboration is as strong as ever!  NCRD provides invaluable services to Nehalem Elementary students and their families.  It is important for the community to understand, the Neah-Kah-Nie School Board and school administration wholeheartedly support NCRD and the unique tradition of NCRD staff teaching students how to swim.

On Thursday, March 17, Kristi Woika, Nehalem Elementary Principal, and I met with Steven Cangelosi, former NCRD General Manager, and current NCRD interim General Manager Barb McCann.  The purpose of the meeting was to share with NCRD changes to next year’s Nehalem Elementary school-wide schedule and to seek NCRD’s input on how to provide Nehalem Elementary students with swim lessons.  The main change to next year’s school-wide schedule is an uninterrupted literacy block.  A literacy block of time will enable teachers to provide the necessary time and resources to best serve students.  An “uninterrupted block of time” does not mean students sit at their seats for 90 minutes.  Quite to the contrary, students work in small or large groups and are actively learning.  The uninterrupted literacy block is a result of District reading scores at grades 3, 4, and 5 that do not meet school administration and Board expectations.  It is obvious changes to the school-wide schedule will impact the time and duration of swim lessons.

At the meeting, we brainstormed many ideas on how best to provide swim lessons to Nehalem Elementary students with a revised schedule.  These brainstormed ideas included providing swim lessons before/after school, during school, on non-student contact days, during late start Wednesdays, during the summer, and many other options.  No decisions were finalized at the meeting.  A draft school-wide schedule was shared and we agreed to collaborate with planning viable options to best serve our mutual needs.  The NKN School District’s financial contribution to the swim program was not in question.

It is true, a contract to provide swim lessons for next year has not been signed.  It will be signed once the specifics of the contract are finalized.

If you have any questions, please contact Kristi Woika, Nehalem Elementary Principal, or me.

Thank you,

Paul Erlebach, Superintendent

Neah-Kah-Nie School District