February 2022
Message From Ed...
Ed Hatzenbeler, Orting School District Superintendent
Hello, Orting School District (OSD) Families and Community Members. 

Who would have predicted what we have endured over the last couple of years?

The pandemic was one of the most difficult periods I have gone through as a parent and educator, leading to shutdowns that had a tremendous impact on my children and many of you.

Our governor’s recent announcement regarding mask requirements is a huge step toward normalcy in our lives before COVID-19. At first, I felt anxious because I was unsure about Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department's (TPCHD) stance on the announcement, as local health departments retain the ultimate authority concerning mandates. Last summer, schools had the same mask requirements as hospitals and nursing homes. However, last week, TPCHD released a statement that says they will follow the governor's decision, lifting mask requirements for all Pierce County school districts Monday, Mar. 21.

I know we have staff and students in our district that are at high risk of COVID-19 exposure and feeling unsure about the upcoming changes. We will continue to provide face coverings for those wanting to wear them after the updated mask requirements come into effect. Next month, we will see updated COVID-19 guidance from the Washington State Department of Health. We will communicate to you and our families if any changes occur with the safety and health of our students and staff in mind.

We also have staff and students who feel like this cannot come soon enough, which is completely understandable. The governor’s announcement gave me hope that we can return to normal. I am deeply troubled with how the pandemic affected our mental health and the normalcy of our lives. However, the light is at the end of the tunnel with just under a month to go. In the mean time, we must continue to adhere to the guidelines set forth by our local health officials.

Please, feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions or concerns.

Best Regards, 

Check out our New Look!
Orting School District's (OSD) new look and vision reflects our commitment to putting our students first, ensuring they have equitable opportunities in and out of the classroom, and providing them an inclusive, safe environment to learn and succeed. 

Read more here.
Superintendent Cabinet Monthly Update
Debi Christensen
Executive Director for Human Resources
On Tuesday, Mar. 22, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., the Washington School Personnel Association (WSPA) will host the Washington Educators Career Fair at the Tacoma Dome. 

OSD Administrators and Human Resources will be there with information about next year's certificated (e.g., teacher) job openings in the district. Also, it will be a great opportunity to learn more about our work culture, professional development, mentor program, and more. 

If you are interested or know someone who wants to work with us, we encourage you to check out our current job openings between now and the job fair. If you see a position that interests you, bring your resume to the fair, and come chat with us! 

For more info on the job fair, click here.

Also, one way to get involved in the district is through coaching. It's a great way to interact with students and become a role model for them. We currently have multiple jobs open for an assistant coach at Orting Middle and High School. Spring sports are in session and go through May.

OSD Coaching Opportunities (as of Feb. 25,2022)

If you have questions, contact the human Resources or athletics office.
Aaron Lee
Executive Director for Equity & Student Outcomes
The Orting High School (OHS) Culture Club and Orting Middle School Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) Club plan to host a Cultural Celebration Night for the community on Thursday, Apr.14, 2022. 

If you would like more information on this event or want to participate, contact OHS Spanish Teacher and Culture Club Advisor Mauricio Portillo at portillom@orting.wednet.edu or me.
Steve Rabb
Executive Director for Teaching, Learning & Technology
From GVC to GVO - The focus of our department's mission on establishing a guaranteed and viable curriculum (GVC) across the district is emphasizing student outcomes as a primary instructional driver over current and potential adopted curriculum. Our work is to increase the capacity and empower teachers to decide which elements work best for our curriculum, leading to the best-expected student outcomes. 

This switch to guaranteed and viable (student) outcomes (GVO) over curriculum will help our educators turn the corner on our student achievement.
Chris Willis
Executive Director for Student Support Services
We have partnered with local and neighboring city officials and school districts to start planning for our annual lahar drill at the end of April. 

If you've never heard of the lahar drill, it's when we prepare students who attend school nearby Mount Rainier for a natural disaster. Orting is located between the Carbon and Puyallup rivers, making this area the most vulnerable in the case of lahar activity from Mount Rainier. 

Stay tuned for more info in the next couple of months. 
2022 Levy Update
On Friday, Feb. 18, our four-year EP&O levy officially passed with a 55 percent Yes vote, replacing the current two-year EP&O levy expiring at the end of the year. 

Our community's local levy dollars will continue to help fully fund our extracurricular activities, transportation, special education, and more for our students.  

To read Superintendent Hatzenbeler's thank you message to voters after election night (Feb. 8), click here
What's Happening in our Classrooms
At Ptarmigan Ridge Elementary (PTR) Ms. Pillow's fourth-grade class learned how rocks are formed and the three rock types: igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic. 
During this summative assessment, students created the rock cycle (as seen in pictures) and each rock type and labeled the process in which each rock is formed.

The rock cycle helps scientists and engineers locate the Earth's energy sources and building materials, such as marble and granite. 
Success Outside the Classroom
Earlier this month, the Orting Primary School (OPS) Student Council hosted a two-week food drive, where they encouraged classrooms to help donate non-perishable food items for the Orting Food Bank. 
They collected over 1,900 pounds of food, which is over DOUBLE the amount they gathered in their previous food drive two years ago! 

Awesome work, Cougars!
Earlier this month, the Orting Middle School (OMS) Community Service Club hosted a fundraiser for their associated student body (ASB), selling 50 cent Valentine's Day Grams to students and staff. The grams included a lollipop and a space for a special message for the person receiving the gram.

The club sold over 300 grams, which will help support the school's extracurricular activities such as band and after-school clubs. 

Great job, Falcons!
Black History in our Schools
At Orting Middle School, Science Teacher and BIPOC Club Advisor Mr. Scaife put together a two-day advisory session for Black History Month for all students. The lesson showed many African Americans who contributed to our country, beyond slavery and the 1960s & 1970s Civil Rights Movement.

Mr. Scaife said, "When I ask students to name famous Black people, they will only say Dr. King and/or athletes. Learning about the contributions of people of color helps them see a larger and more accurate picture of our country and world."
In Mrs. Wombwell's second-grade class at Orting Primary School (OPS), they kicked off Black History Month learning about civil aviator Bessie Coleman, the first African and Native American woman in the early 1920s to hold a pilot license and was well known for her air shows.

Coleman toured the country barnstorming, parachute jumping, and giving lectures to raise money for an African American flying school. Throughout her career, she only performed at shows if the crowd was desegregated and permitted to enter the same gates.
At Orting High School (OHS), Mrs. Mayfield's world history class students learned about the impact of imperialism in Africa and the events in Congo.

Also, students researched the Haitian Revolution—the only successful slave revolt in world history, resulting in former slaves taking control of the country and government.
Cardinals Wrestling Body Slams the Competition
For the first time since 2012, the OHS Boys Wrestling Team brought back a state title to Orting, racking up six individual first place championships.

OHS Boys Wrestling 2022 WIAA 2A State Champions
  • AJ Salguero, 106-pound weight class 
  • Quintin Harding, 113-pound weight class
  • Apollo Cruz, 120-pound weight class
  • Bryan Dickerson, 126-pound weight class
  • Owen Cline, 138-pound weight class
  • Dalton Reed, 182-pound weight class

This is the first wrestling state title for OHS since moving to the WIAA 2A Class. 
For more, check out this article from the News Tribune (subscription required).
Also, WIAA awarded the Lady Cardinals Wrestling Team the top classroom honor as the 2022 Academic State Champions.

2022 Lady Cardinals Wrestling Roster
  • Emma Bowers
  • Brooklyn Garretson
  • Madelyn Garretson
  • Brooklyn Jones
  • JoJo McDaniel
  • Paris Piccolo
  • Alexis Wombwell

According to the WIAA website, teams with the highest GPA average for their activities and classification are recognized as academic state champions. 
The Lady Cardinals' team GPA average was 3.59.

Want to know about more accolades the program earned this season? Check out the District Headlines section in this issue!
Orting Kudos!!
Ptarmigan Ridge Elementary
Ashlyn Wanzer, 3rd Grade (Left)
Suki McCarthy, 3rd Grade (Right)

"I'm thanking Ashlyn for being a great friend."

Orting Primary School (OPS)
Jaxson and Jeremiah Lamb, 2nd Grade

Laura Towers, OPS Monitor

"Jaxson and Jeremiah were on their way into the cafeteria when they found some money on the ground. They turned it in immediately. Their honesty is admirable!"
Upcoming Events & Important Dates
  • Friday, Mar. 3, 6 p.m. - OSD Board of Directors Work Session at Orting Primary School

  • Monday, Mar. 14 - Kindergarten Registration Opens for the 2022-23 School Year and Virtual Parent Night for Incoming 2022-23 OHS Freshmen from 6:30 - 8 p.m.

  • Thursday, Mar. 17, 6 p.m. - OSD Board of Directors Regular Meeting at Central Office

  • Friday, Mar. 18 - No School; Non-Work Day for Certificated and Classified Staff (excluding year-round/260 employees) 

  • Monday, Mar. 21, 6 to 7 p.m. - Virtual Future OMS Falcons Night for Incoming 2022-23 6th Grade Students
District Headlines
Jody Coleman wins 2022 Washington St. 2A Coach of the Year

Coleman says he feels very blessed with the award and prouder than ever of the young competitors, especially with everything they've endured over the past two years.

Read more
OHS's FFA Club Competes for State Title in K-6 Classrooms

The OHS FFA Program entered the Washington FFA Association (WAFFA) F.A.R.M. for Kids Competition, a statewide event judging chapters on their agricultural education presentation for elementary-level students.

Read more
Want to read more stories across the district?
How did we do providing you information regarding the 2022 levy (e.g., levy info, listen and learn sessions)? We'd like to see your constructive criticism and opinion in this confidential survey which should take no more than five minutes to complete. 

Your feedback will help us continue to enhance district communications for you, our staff, local families and community members. 

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