Sept. 18, 2018

Dear Battle Ground Public Schools staff, families, and community,

The last three weeks have been difficult for our school district. Everyone—our students and families, teachers and classified staff and community members—has been impacted in some way by negotiations.

The difficulty was not ours alone. The legislature changed how schools are funded, causing inequities across the state, and these inequities caused a great deal of misunderstanding in communities as to what resources each district has available for increases to compensation.

For Battle Ground, the process was especially difficult. We are very sorry for the impact that the process had on our students, who perhaps were the most affected.

Now that a new contract is in place, the best course of action that we can take is to come together, move forward, and heal. Nothing less than our students’ and community’s futures are at stake, and the effort that we put into working together today will make a difference in the education that the students receive tomorrow. We are fortunate to have passionate and driven teachers and staff who care for the well-being and education of our children.

As a district, what better lesson can we teach than one that demonstrates how important it is to put disagreements behind us and work toward a common goal that benefits our community as a whole. We are excited for everyone in the district to focus on our core educational mission of empowering all students to reach their highest potential.

All of us can work toward that by respecting our differences, collaborating, communicating, and caring for each other; and we, as a board, intend to lead by example. As elected officials and leaders of the district, we do our best to represent and uphold the values of our community. One of our board goals is to cultivate an open, positive, respectful and professional environment. We strive to do that every day, not just with our words, but through our actions as well.

The board wishes to thank Superintendent Mark Ross and express our support for his leadership. We are fortunate to have a superintendent who cares about students, staff and community and devotes his time and energy to ensuring that Battle Ground staff know that they are valued, that students are provided with every opportunity to succeed, and that the district is aligned with community values. Superintendent Ross is a compassionate leader who respects our teachers and staff, is always looking out for the best interest of our students, and is fiscally responsible to our community.

Please join us in moving beyond the issues of the past to see what is important—our students—and show them that they are worth every effort to work together and move ahead.

That is what we, as adults, can do for our students: come together for their success.

Respectfully,
Battle Ground Public Schools Board of Directors

Ken Root, President
Monty Anderson, Vice President
Troy McCoy, Director
Mavis Nickels, Director
Tina Lambert, Director

Board of Directors

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