Welcome Letter from Superintendent, Dr. Hattrick


September 2, 2022

The Rainier School District is excited to welcome our students back for what is going to be a great school year!  As we transition from a focus on COVID-related issues during the past two years, our primary focus this year has shifted.  Of course, we will continue to monitor case rates as is required by the Oregon Department of Education, but one of our best strategies as we return to school is for staff and students to stay home when they are ill which will help keep others safe and healthy.   

This summer our school board spent considerable time together to evaluate our priorities and we all committed to focus on our mission and pillars that were developed through a collaborative process a few years ago.  Rainier is a spirited learning community that is student-centered, safe, academically-focused, and dedicated to preparing every student for a successful life.  To learn more about our areas of focus (referred to as our pillars), please go to rainier.k12.or.us/about.  

As I reflect on my past two years at Rainier School District, I am confident that with this great community’s support, we will be able to provide our students a normal school year.  As we do this, there is no better time to get back to basics with a focus on student academic achievement and character education that will support their transition to adulthood.  Our students will have access to a brand-new English curriculum in grades K-12 and an improved assessment system that will provide teachers the information they need to address learning losses.  Opportunities for tutoring and interventions will support our goal to ensure all students grow academically this year.

The past few years have also shown our students great division within our state, anger around mandates, and people living, working, and learning under stressful circumstances.  This year we hope to have greater collaboration with our students, families, and community.  With the support of our community and families we will be able to keep the focus on student learning and character development.  We are excited to be initiating a new “student of the month” program that will recognize/reward students for positive behaviors that we may not have seen in the past few years.  One trait will be identified every month where students can be nominated by peers or community members to recognize their achievement in the identified trait.  Our Business Advisory Group will select award recipients each month.  If you know of a business who would like to serve on the advisory council and celebrate with us, please contact the Rainier School District office.

There are other great things happening this year at Rainier School District.  Facilities improvements have been in the works this summer.  Additionally, improvements to sports facilities, restrooms, lighting, and the provision of swim lessons for students in grades k-6 during the school day will all enhance the programs at RSD.  This year we will also be doing long-range planning for our facilities, strategic planning, and school improvement work.  We will have opportunities to participate in a variety of committees, volunteer opportunities, and activities.  We hope you will join upcoming open houses, meeting nights, committees, and student athletic and activities as a means to continue to engage and collaborate with your child’s school.

It’s a great year to be a Columbian!  School starts on Wednesday, September 7 at 8:00AM (with the exception of prek-2 who have a modified schedule).  Please take some time to ensure your child is ready for the first day of school and visit our website where you can find resources you may need.  Also, please take some time to talk to your child about high academic expectations and positive, respectful behaviors.  The parent student handbook will be available at our open houses, online, and in your child’s class.  Reading it with your child is a great way to ensure they have the most successful year they have ever had!  

Welcome to the 2022-2023 school year!  

Your partner in Education,

Dr. Joseph Hattrick

Click here to download a PDF version of this letter.