November 2021
Message From Ed...
Ed Hatzenbeler, Orting School District Superintendent
Hello, Orting School District Families.

Your MISSION, should you choose to accept it… (Cue cheesy music.)

As many of you know, we have been working since July to help capture the voice of the community, staff and students about the future direction of the district. We asked questions on where people would like to see the district go as well as help reflect on our strengths and growth areas from their point of view.

I had the pleasure of sharing a draft of a new strategic plan with our Board of Directors in our last board meeting which was our best attempt to summarize stakeholder feedback and condense that in a way that can help us move forward.

In summarizing the feedback, I shared with our Board that improving academics and personalizing learning for students stood out as the top priority of what they would like Orting to be known for. Student success, community involvement/engagement and maintaining a safe, inclusive learning environment resonated strongly as well. I previously shared with you some of our noted strengths, but a knowledgeable, caring and supportive staff surfaced as our highest strength. Community, individualized student support, leadership and communication surfaced close behind.

In thinking about how best to blend these ideas with a vision of moving forward, I shared the following draft of a mission statement with our Board.

I hope this captures the essence of what our stakeholders were feeling about who we are and where we should go as a system.

Working in partnership with parents/guardians and our community, the Orting School District will engage and develop the unique interests and talents of each of our learners as they apply their learning in creative and inventive ways. Through high expectations and relevant opportunities to learn and grow in a caring, supportive environment, we will ensure each of our children feels connected, inspired and empowered to create a better present and future!

How might we do this? Our students had some incredible insights in this area. What if we created schools where each of our students:

  • Feel valued, cared for and a deep sense of belonging
  • Know their voice, ideas and interests are utilized and valued
  • Develop a belief that they can make a difference'
  • Experience high levels of support in having barriers removed to meet high expectations

Would you like your own child to attend schools in a system that looked and sounded like this?

Do these ideas help capture who you know us to be and what we value?

We are going to work on putting together the ideas shared in a new and creative way.

Our Board values collaboration and your input is important. If you think we are on the right track, if you see anything missing or have any questions, please let me know.

I promise that we will take all of your feedback to heart. 

Superintendent Cabinet Monthly Update
Debi Christensen
Executive Director for Human Resources

  • We are hiring! Do you know someone looking for a job?

We have a variety of openings, including:
  • Elementary and high school teacher
  • Part-time accounts payable specialist
  • Playground and crosswalk monitor 
  • Coaching
  • Substitute opportunities

  • Since the school year started, we have filled the following positions: 
  • 2 teachers
  • 1 school nurse
  • 10 monitors
  • 7 paraeducators 
  • 3 nutrition services positions
  • 1 custodian

  • Human Resources sends an exit interview form to staff who resign. Candid feedback helps us analyze our employee turnover and reinforce our retention efforts. Once the responses are received, they are reviewed by the Executive Director for Human Resources and discussed with Superintendent Hatzenbeler.
Aaron Lee
Executive Director for Equity & Student Outcomes
Student Voices

  • Met with Orting High School Students and they shared their life's ambitions and barriers in their path to reach life goals and aspirations.

  • Meeting weekly with Orting Middle School's BIPOC Club and Orting High School's Culture Club to hear their conversations and perspective about their experience as a student in Orting School District.

Why is this important?
Every time a student is given the opportunity to make meaning and connect the “things of the world” to what they think, believe and know to be true brings them one step closer to discovering their own personal “why.” There is no better expression of our “collective summit” than to empower students to develop their own agency. 
Steve Rabb
Executive Director for Teaching, Learning and Technology
  • Our 4th through 12th grade students just wrapped up SBA Testing. Families will have their test results sent to them via mail in Feb. 2022.
Chris Willis
Executive Director for Student Support Services
On Monday, Nov. 8, Orting School District (OSD) rolled out a new COVID-19 testing program for students exposed by COVID-19 in school, developed by the Washington State Department of Health, Test to Stay. 

The District's Test-to-Stay Team, Ashley Nielsen and Diana Bumagat, tested 52 students who are now able to stay in school in lieu of a 14-day quarantine. 
What's Happening in our Classrooms
At Orting Middle School, Emily Martin's 7th Grade ELA students had a chance to bring aspects of their culture, identity, and family (of their choosing) into the classroom and practice thinking like authors about their own experiences.
Students learned: 

  • What identity is, and how culture, ethnicity, experiences, people, and other factors helped shape it
  • How to revise drafts for clarity, details, and dialogue
  • How to write about their memories and experiences in ways that others can visualize and understand
At Orting High School, Renee Romo's Sports Medicine 1 Class started to learn how to tape ankles, using their brand new taping stations in the process. Also, students learned about the benefits of taping and the proper steps.
Giving Back to the Community
Between Nov. 8 and 19, Orting Middle School's (OMS) Community Service Club, advised by sixth grade teacher, Caroline Wright, held its annual school food drive to support the Orting Food Bank this holiday season. 

With the help of OMS classrooms, the club shattered its 1,000-food item goal, collecting over 2,100 items! 

The reward? OMS Principal and Assistant Principal Kevin Collins and Earle McWright will receive a pie in their faces!

Huge thanks to everyone involved!

Club Members - Nina Walrath, Cammie Sabin, Caley Jenkins, Anastasia Bandley, Abby Myers, Kaitlyn Moan, Kyra Krueger, Sareena Yim, Yoselin Moreno, and Keira Reid
Ptarmigan Ridge Elementary School's Leadership Club also hosted a food drive throughout November. 

With a goal to collect 1,500 food items, the Mountaineers shattered it, racking in nearly 7,000 food items!!

Last week, the PTR Leadership team, Orting Middle School and OHS students and leaders, Superintendent Hatzenbeler and district leaders unloaded and dropped off the food at the Orting Food Bank.

A volunteer said the donation should feed over 300 families for a month!

Huge thanks to our students, families and you all for your help!
Ask a Cabinet Member!
This section allows you to ask a Superintendent Cabinet Member a question.

Topics include:  

  • Updates on their goals
  • What they're doing for our students, 
  • What to expect in the upcoming months

Also, it's an opportunity for you to learn more about what they do for Orting School District and our students. 
Want to ask a Cabinet Member a Question?
Orting Kudos!!
Students Recognizing Students
Josephine Cool and Malaki McCullough - Ptarmigan Ridge Elementary School
1st Grade Students

"Josephine is smart and good at math!"

-From Malaki, to Josephine
Social Media throughout November
Orting High School Veterans Day Video
Check out this amazing video put together by the OHS Video Production Team for Veterans Day!
Upcoming Events
  • Thursday, Dec. 2, 6 - 7:30 p.m. - Orting School District Board Work Session at the OSD Central Office - New Board Directors JoAnn Tracy and Rick Slaughter to be sworn in

  • Thursday, Dec. 16, 6 - 7:30 p.m. - Orting School District Board of Directors Meeting

  • Saturday, Dec. 18, 9 a.m. - Noon - Gift pick-up for local families needing holiday assistance at the Haven Teen Center

  • Saturday, Dec. 18, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. - Meal pick-up for local families needing holiday help at the Orting Food Bank
District Headlines
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