Superintendent's Corner: Preparing for a Full Reopening in the Fall


On June 16, we sent our students off to their summer break and hopefully great family time.

We have truly enjoyed having most of our students back for in-person learning these last few months. It genuinely feels like we are just now getting to know them in person.

When the 2021-22 school year starts up next September, things will look very different than our experiences from the past 16 months.

First, we will return to our regular schedules and students will be on campuses five days per week again. Our students and families will see the return of traditional activities and sports, along with positive interactions with peers and staff.

Another significant aspect of school ending for the summer on June 16 is that we immediately launched into a flurry of projects, all to be completed before students return.

On June 17, our staff from Southworth Elementary School moved into the old Yelm Middle School so construction can start on the new elementary. At the same time, our Yelm Middle School staff moved into the new building which will be completed this summer.

We will have full occupancy in August, but we will begin moving in right away.

Our field turf projects at Ridgeline and Yelm High School will be completed in August just in time for fall sports to resume.

HVAC projects at Mill Pond, Prairie and Fort Stevens will be completed in time for the opening of those schools.

Safety projects at McKenna and Lackamas began the day after school let out and will be completed this summer.

Even with the ambitious construction schedule, we will also have a robust lineup of educational activities this summer.

We are excited to have STEMKAMP this August, a new opportunity for students in grades 3-8. STEMKAMP is a highly interactive and fun program designed to get students engaged in science, math and technology activities.

Yelm High School started hosting summer school opportunities in June.

We will also be running extended school year and recovery services programs for students who need specialized services throughout the summer.

It may appear that school will be out for the summer.

However, we will be incredibly active getting ready for school to reopen fully in the fall.

We will also be creating open house events at the new Yelm Middle School in September so that the community can experience that wonderful new learning facility.


Brian Wharton is the superintendent for Yelm Community Schools.


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