Port Townsend, Chimacum school boards to collaborate

CHIMACUM — The collaboration between Port Townsend and Chimacum schools is about to go deeper than the merger of rivals.

Before the end of the calendar year, school board directors, superintendents and student representatives plan to craft and approve a joint statement of purpose, according to a joint press release issued last week.

They also intend to meet on a periodic basis to refine common interests in supporting students’ academic and emotional development, exploring authentic learning options such as place-based and career and technical education offerings, recruiting and retaining qualified educators and staff, and “uplifting all students and families regardless of background or beliefs.”

“I can think of no better way to start a leadership career as a superintendent than to be in the extraordinary collaborative relationship with Dr. (Linda) Rosenbury, the Port Townsend School Board, and my Chimacum community, said Chimacum Superintendent Scott Mauk.

“The work that our school boards are doing together is transformational and is a model for collaboration among school boards anywhere,” he said.

Said Rosenbury: “More than ever before, our students and families need us to work together. Jefferson County has strong leaders, both in the schools and throughout the community, who are dedicated to opportunities for every child. I’m excited to take collective action for the future.”

The two schools combined their football teams with the new nickname of East Jefferson Rivals in late August.

On Oct. 14, a dozen Port Townsend and Chimacum schools’ representatives met at a working dinner for four hours at Chimacum to take their partnership to the next level, according to a press release.

The districts are building upon collaboration in a transportation co-op, and in coordinating locally sourced foods for meal programs.

The meeting was facilitated by Doug Nathan, a consultant specializing in supporting leadership teams to drive positive change, and was underwritten by a grant from Jefferson Community Foundation.

Representatives from the two districts continue to meet with counterparts in Brinnon and Quilcene to improve communication and collaboration, according to the press release.

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