In the fall of 2014 the Raymond School Board began a process of collecting student, staff and community input regarding our schools' programs and goals. A series of meetings were held with 12 different groups from various perspectives (business leaders, high school students, community members, elementary staff, etc.) to identify:

  • District strengths: identifying perceived successes.
  • District weaknesses: identifying perceived challenges.
  • District opportunities: possible improvements toward future success.
  • District threats: externalities which could affect district operations. • District purpose: “We are preparing our students for ________?”
  • District goals to address the defined purpose. 
  • District strategies to support defined goals.
  • Responses were then distilled and captured in a series of matrices, and then sorted by frequency. These were then used to build a comprehensive description of the district's current status and a comprehensive prescription of how to reach the identified goals.

The six areas of focus identified by the board are:

  • Powerful Teaching and Learning
  • College- and Career Readiness
  • Healthy District Culture
  • Parent and Community Engagement
  • Effective Early Learning
  • Honorable Stewardship

Details of the strategies that will be used to focus on these desired outcomes can be found at RSD Strategic Plan. The board approved the plan at their meeting held on 23 April.


Raymond Elementary News


When working with students on a day-to-day basis, I always try to put myself in their shoes and think back to what it was like when I was a rambunctious 5 th grader. (My young(ish) age allows us to have many similarities.) I loved video games, TV, music, sports, outdoors, and my friends. While some pieces always stay the same, I am amazed at the myriad of changes over the last 20 years. I am learning that each generation may keep similar core concepts, but students evolve in relation to societal and technological changes.

When I was in 5 th grade, portable technology was in its infancy. CD’s allowed us to no longer have to rewind to the “sweet spot” to find the beginning of a song. We could listen to music with our Discman, but it wouldn’t fit in a pocket and had to be carried it like a full cup of hot coffee or the music would skip. We still used cassettes to record songs from the radio, but it took anticipation and quick reactions… fitting 5 songs on a cassette and not cutting into another song was better than a jigsaw puzzle.

Texting was brand new, but of course, we didn’t have phones and our parents didn’t understand them. Email was still the hot new thing. I remember talking my mom into a certain phone because it was the first one to come with Snake and Tetris. I constantly dropped calls, which was usual, and my parents regretted getting rid of the “bag phones.” The days of ICQ (instant messaging) and Napster (downloading music) were still science fiction to me.

Looking back, it seemed like everything took patience and effort. If I lost track of time on Sunday morning, I missed the cartoons. Anyone who had a regular Nintendo remembers spending 5 minutes trying to get a game to work. School was easy for me because I was used to deliberate thinking and problem solving. Socially, I would have been in trouble if my thoughts and words were shared as they are now with social media.

These days, students are able to get instant gratification with downloading games or streaming music. Students can tune in to their portable entertainment any place, any time. It is easy for parents to not engage with a kid who is quietly playing on a tablet or phone. Looking back, I am happy my dad would not allow me to wear my headphones in the truck so we could talk about the day, play 21 questions, and “would you rather.” He would always point to things outside and ask me why I thought things were the way they are.

Now, I find myself thinking about my “to do” list while my daughter is tuned in to her iPad. While we all need a break and some quiet time, I learned how important it is to instill curiosity so kids learn in all four seasons, all their life. It is hard to have grit and perseverance in today’s on-demand society. Now, video games with mind-blowing graphics and high-definitions TV’s are everywhere. Today’s students receive much more stimuli than their predecessors, making it tougher to be interested and focused in a classroom.

Kids are growing up in a different world and with the exponential growth in technology, change will continue. The only way we can prepare our kids for a future we can’t see is to give them the foundations of success. If someone has curiosity, grit, and character, they will be able to take on any challenge and be successful. We have to let them see the importance of their choice in real life as well as social media. This will change kids from just being consumers or technology to creators with technology. 

Chris Cady, Principal,  360-942-3415 option 1, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Raymond Junior/Senior High News

When I was doing my student teaching, the principal at the time made a point of telling me to travel. He stressed that whenever possible, I should do whatever it took to get out of Dodge. At the time, I just thought he wanted me to take advantage of my vacations. As rewarding as teaching is, there are times that it is stressful and thankless and we need time to “recharge.” Since then, I’ve come to realize there was a deeper purpose.

After several years of teaching, followed by four years in the Principal's chair, I have a better understanding of what he meant. RHS is a haven for people whose foundations are derived from many cultures from all over the world. He was telling me to seek to understand where our kids and their families come from, why they see the world as they do and how best to blend and serve the needs of everyone in our school.

A great example of this is how we literally look at each other. Many folks see direct eye contact as a way of showing respect and when their gaze is not returned they feel disrespected. Other cultures defer eye contact as a sign of respect. Without having experienced both and understanding where both are coming from, it would be easy to improperly place a label of indifference, obstinate behavior or aggressiveness on someone.

By traveling, or "getting out of Dodge" I have had my mind opened to other cultures and behaviors and have come to understand vacations, no matter how big or small, provide not just a needed break, but also serve as a looking glass into the customs, arts, social institutions and culture of other parts of the nation or world. Both kids and adults benefit by making an effort to see something they haven't seen before, traveling to places that are new and interesting, and opening our minds to new experiences and cultures.

Dave Vetter, Principal, Raymond Junior/Senior High, 360-942-3415 option 2, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Go Gulls!!!

You can update your contact information online here. If you don't have your district login and password, contact Kristi at 942-3415, option 4. Alternatively, you may emailThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Parents, Guardians and Staff Members:

We have been advised that more than one student at Raymond Elementary have had pertussis, sometimes known as whooping cough. The students diagnosed with pertussis were potentially contagious between March 17, 2015 and April 10, 2015. This condition is treatable and the affected students are receiving treatment. The information below will help you ensure that your children are safe.

Pertussis typically causes a persistent cough that may begin with cold-like symptoms. Sometimes a low-grade fever is present. The cough usually occurs in episodes, which may end with gagging or vomiting. Sometimes an episode of coughing is followed by a high-pitched whoop when breathing in. Pertussis can be particularly dangerous for infants under one year of age and can even cause death. Older persons with pertussis can appear to be well between the bursts of coughing. Coughing attacks may continue for four to six weeks or more. Adults and children may catch pertussis, even if they have had all or some of their immunizations (DTaP or Tdap). In older children and adults the symptoms may be only a persistent cough that is worse at night. This illness is often very severe in small infants. Therefore, it is important that you make sure all your children are up to date on their immunizations.

If you or your child were present at the Raymond Elementary on the above dates and have (or have had) an onset of a cough illness between April 6, 2015 and May 1, 2015, please contact your health care provider immediately and show him/her this information. If your child has symptoms and is being treated for pertussis, it is important to keep them home from any school or daycare setting until the first five days of treatment have been completed.

If you have any questions you may call the health department at 360-875-9343 or, if after hours, call the non-emergency dispatch line, 360-875-9397 and ask for the Public Health Nurse on call.

Raymond Elementary      

Raymond Elementary School has a full calendar throughout the rest of the year. After conferences, students will delve into state testing. It is now time for the students to show their “grit” and give it their 100% on the tests. Our staff instills a growth mindset in students, helping them understand they can learn anything if they give it their all. With new standards and testing, many parents have concerns with helping their kids with the “new math.” Here are some tips to increase student success in math:

Covering your bases

  • If math makes your nervous or you feel it has no practical use, try not to pass on your feelings to your child. Share only what is helpful, not harmful.
  • You may want to rely on a peer tutor or older sibling to help. Your child may have a friend doing the same work that can provide help in a structured environment.
  • Begin each math homework session by asking your child to explain what he/she is supposed to do. By the response, you’ll know if she can do the assignment alone or if help is needed.
  • If you’re not around when your child completes his/her work, let your child know you’ll look it over when you get home. Be sure to follow through.
  • Encourage your child to check in with a classmate if they don’t understand or miss an assignment.

Home is where the math is

  • Explore math in everyday life- counting out forks to set the table, or telling the time when a favorite TV show begins. When kids realize that math is all around them, they begin to relax and see the meaning in their lives.
  • Show how math is more than learning addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Math also teaches us to analyze, reason, and plan. These are useful skills that transfer over to reading and writing as well.
  • Encourage your child to explain their problem-solving process so you can understand his/her reasoning.
  • Expose your child to money in early school years. Collecting coins in a piggy bank and counting them regularly is a great skill. Tthe increasing popularity of credit/debit cards has decreased the number of people practicing this foundational skill.
  • Have your child us an analog and digital watch to learn both methods of telling time.
  • Incorporate games involving numbers and math into play time- from flash cards for learning basic math facts to board games involving money, time, and logic.
  • It’s OK to say that you don’t understand a problem. Seek answers and establish a clear understanding with your child’s teacher about the frequency and amount of homework given. Necessary homework modifications can be made to increase motivation and productivity. 

Contact Info: Chris Cady, 360-942-3415 option 1, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Raymond Junior/Senior High

It’s test season again! Everyday we read and hear about federally and state mandated testing in our schools. Annual tests for every child in reading and math in grades 3 through 8, plus one in high school, have been a centerpiece of federal education law since 2002. Since then many more have been added including Math and Science End of Course tests (EOC) that must be passed in order to graduate. We’ve seen the multitude of acronyms designating different assessments roll through: WASL, MSP, HSPE, ELA CCR, COE, WELPA and many, many more.

Another confusing aspect of all of this testing is how it’s done. There are paper and pencil tests in which students have an actual test booklet that is held under lock and key before and after the test session. There are computer driven tests, some of which even adapt as the student is taking them. There are OSPI-Developed Assessments in Social Studies, The Arts, Health and Fitness and Educational Technology. These were formerly called Classroom Based Assessments (CBAs) which are multi-stepped tasks or projects aligned to specific state standards which target skills and knowledge necessary for engaged, informed citizenship. OSPI-Developed Assessments can be given at any time of the year although they are typically used as a culminating or summative assessment of learning that has occurred during a particular unit.

There is yet another aspect to take into account. The graduation requirements, type of tests as well as the standards and test components are changing year to year. The Class of 2015 must pass the Biology EOC in order to graduate, while the class of 2016 will take the test but it is not a graduation requirement. The target our students are shooting for, and our teachers are teaching to, frequently change.  Keeping abreast of these changes, adapting curriculum and dissecting the differing tests requirements has become a major test component.

Are these assessments worth the time and trouble? Absolutely! These data help districts and schools decide which teaching practices and curricula best support student understanding of the Washington State Learning Standards. They also give families valuable information about how well their child is doing and where additional help might be needed. The new Smarter Balance tests will also be used to help students be placed in the correct college classes without having to take costly remediation classes 

What can you do to help your student successfully navigate this imposing minefield? Well, all the things we’ve talked about for years: Good attendance, parental and student attention to grades, homework and work habits, sleep, and nutrition. Did I mention hydration? Make sure your student goes over any materials from practice tests the instructors may have given them, but DO NOT study all night! Finally, help them get at least 6 hours of sleep before the test (normally 8 hours of sleep a night is recommended but if they are short on time, get at least 6 hours so that they'll be well rested enough to focus during the test).

Testing is an important aspect of education. It helps us know where we are, where our holes are and where we need to improve. Our job is to show what we know.

Contact Info: Dave Vetter, 360-942-3415 option 2, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Go Gulls!!!


You can update your contact information online here. If you don't have your district login and password, contact Kristi at 942-3415, option 4. Alternatively, you may email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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