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The Future of North River School District

North River is an exceptionally tight knit community with a population that is changing and growing over time. One thing that hasn’t changed is that meeting the needs of the children of our community is ALWAYS a top priority- but as the population changes, so do the methods needed to continue to provide equity in education.


Trauma Team


Additional Elective Programs


Birth to 3 Program


Dual Language Immersion
Teacher Assisting a Student
01. Trauma Team

The word trauma may conjure images of physical harm, but for kids, trauma can come from many sources: divorce, physical/emotional/sexual abuse, financial struggles in a family, and the list goes on.


Often, schools are the first line of defense for recognizing these issues and helping find solutions.

We want to specially train all staff to identify problems and have designated staff members who help problem solve. This could include: educational success plans, connecting families with resources, career planning and college readiness and so on.


For more information, please click the icon for the PowerPoint slide from the 12/14 School Board Meeting. 

For additional information, check out this resource 

02. Additional Electives

We want to help stop the flow of community kids to outside districts. One of the contributing factors is the availability of electives. We want to add Home Economics, a music program and continue to add to our current offerings, like psychology. 


For more information, please click the icon for the PowerPoint slide from the 12/14 School Board Meeting. 

For additional information, check out this resource.

Music Class
Moms and Babies
03. Birth to 3 Program

A birth to 3 program is NOT daycare or free child care for some members of the community. Birth to 3 programs are a way for school districts to be part of a child's development during the most important years of growth. Think about the monumental changes that happen from bringing a baby home from the hospital to their first words and steps to pre-school. 

Children develop faster in the first 3 years than any other time in their lives. If the district doesn't have contact with kids until they are entering kindergarten, a valuable window of opportunity for growth and intervention has been lost. For information of the first 3 years, click here

What COULD a birth to 3 program look like and include?

  • Periodic home visits to offer resources for the most vulnerable in our community (teen parents, single parents, those facing poverty/homelessness, second language learners)

  • Offering "Mommy and Me" classes for developmental skills and community connectedness

  • Early diagnosis and intervention for learning delays and disabilities (these types of interventions can save the district money in the long run by minimizing the need for specialized services, such as a 1:1)

  • Eventually, the district may move to create/support an on or off site birth to 3 facility/program that caters to ALL North River community members and aligns with the curriculum and vision of the district. 


For more information, please click the icon for the PowerPoint slide from the 12/14 School Board Meeting. 

For additional information about birth to 3 programs from the state of Washington, check out this resource 

04. Dual Language Program

At times, our valley may feel insulated from the rest of the world, but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't be preparing our children to be global citizens. Whereas most countries start teaching kids a second (or third or even fourth language) at a very early age, the United States is lagging behind. We often wait until high school to offer a foreign language and by then most young people struggle to truly become fluent in another language. 

Why start in elementary school? 

  • Starting in early elementary school takes advantage of a developmental time where kids are more adept at acquiring language. An optimal time to learn languages is prior to age twelve. Research on brain development in recent decades supports this claim, with wide discussion in the popular media. Our brains are wired to produce all sounds, but if we don't learn to make certain sounds, we can lose that ability.

Why an 80/20 spilt between the languages? 

  • Research shows that an 80/20 split results in better language acquisition. Of course, this number is going to be fluid. Depending on the teacher, content and student needs, this number will fluctuate some. 

Why Spanish?

  • In the 2021-2022 school year, 26% of students will come from homes where Spanish is the primary language.

  • Spanish is also the second most commonly spoken language in the United States and in the world (more people speak Spanish worldwide than English).

  • The Spanish language has a lot of overlap with English and uses the same alphabet

Benefits of Learning a Second Language?

  • Research shows students in dual language programs routinely perform better on reading, listening and English language testing. While scores in content areas (math, science, social studies) are comparable to peers not in dual language programs. Students are also better at problem solving and communicating

  • Students who are non-native English speakers acquire English more proficiently in a dual language classroom

  • Increased levels of tolerance and acceptance of others

  • More job opportunities

For more information, please click the icon for the PowerPoint slide from the 12/14 School Board Meeting. 

Chalkboard with Different Languages

Funding and Planning the Future

Funding for all programs comes from balancing the district budget. Districts balance funds in multiple ways, including but not limited to:

  • Reorganizing staff- moving/condensing/streamlining positions for more efficiency 

  • Make sure the school is running as sustainably as possible

  • Reduction in Force (RIF) 

  • Grants

Planning and hiring will be collaborative. All staffing and hiring decisions is the responsibility of a hiring committee. 


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