The Times 

Letter from WSD Superintendent


August 5, 2021

Dear Waitsburg School District Families,

It’s hard to believe that we are a little over a month away from starting the new school year. The first day of school for Waitsburg students is Tuesday, September 7th. With the guidelines for schools and all Washington residents continuing to change, we will need to remain flexible and ready to adjust our plans as we begin the 2021-2022 school year. It is crucial that families continue to watch our website ( and social media accounts for any changes or updates in the weeks leading up to the first day of school. Waitsburg community members can also expect a back-to-school printed newsletter to arrive in their mailboxes in mid-August.

We are counting on beginning the school year with full-time instruction five days per week. Our district will continue to put the health and safety of our students and staff as a top priority. As we prepare for students’ return, there are some continued safety measures that we will need to follow:

Students and staff will maintain at least 3 feet of distance indoors as often as possible, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Washington Department of Health (DOH), and the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI).

Classrooms and restrooms will be disinfected daily and cleaned and sanitized throughout the day. The MPR will be cleaned and sanitized at the end of breakfast and between lunches. It will be disinfected at the end of the elementary lunch period.

Students riding the bus will have available to them hand sanitizer when they board the bus. Weather permitting, the windows to the bus will remain open for better air circulation. Bus drivers will wipe down and disinfect the bus at the end of the morning and afternoon routes.

At the time of this writing (and as always, subject to change), face masks will be required of all students and staff while indoors, regardless of their vaccination status. Students will have the option of wearing a mask outdoors. This is the current requirement from Washington DOH and the Washington State Governor’s office.

Other important updates for Waitsburg students and families include the NEW END TIME for school days this year. The school day will begin at 8:30 a.m. for all students. The release time will be 3:05 p.m. for elementary students and 3:10 p.m. for secondary students (grades 6-12). The doors to each of the buildings will open at 8:00 a.m. Breakfast is from 8:00-8:25 a.m. We will continue using the main entrances to each of the buildings as the main entrances for arrival and dismissal. Parents will be encouraged to walk with or drop off students at the front of the school.

Again, please continue to look for more communication from the Waitsburg School District and your student(s)’ school. I hope each of you enjoy the remainder of the summer, and we look forward to seeing our students back in class on September 7th.


Mark Pickel



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