Mark Ross

The first day of school is always an exciting time for students, parents and staff. 

For a superintendent, there is a tremendous amount of satisfaction — and relief — knowing that we were able to get everything ready for our students to walk through our doors on that first day.

It truly takes a village, or at least the work of some very dedicated individuals, to get our schools cleaned, supplied and at times repaired so that our buildings are ready to go on day one. In addition, much of our August is spent getting our administrators and teachers prepared to meet the needs of all 13,000 of our students.

From installing new gutters to sanding and painting gym floors, our maintenance crew completed more than $1.5 million in repairs and upgrades to 13 of our 19 buildings over the course of a very short summer. You can see a list of all of the projects that were completed at

While our maintenance department was working on these improvements, our custodial teams were cleaning floors, windows and furniture to prepare for the new year. The district budgeted more than $10 million in total for 2018-2019 to maintain and preserve our physical assets and to provide clean, safe and secure learning environments.

As work was happening in and around the schools by our maintenance and facility teams, other staff were busy preparing materials to go into the hands of our students and teachers to use for the year ahead. Our busy warehouse team disbursed more than 100,500 inventory stock items to various buildings. 

In what was our largest curriculum adoption year in Battle Ground history, the warehouse processed student and teacher texts for 281 K-5 math classes (approximately 5,450 students) and math materials for a new sixth- through eighth-grade curriculum as well for about 3,250 students. In addition, the warehouse processed more than 3,200 novels for our new high school English curriculum.

In our ongoing effort to provide our students and staff with 21st century technology, the warehouse and our technology department also processed and delivered to our schools 3,300 Chromebooks and various other computers for our career tech classes.

Of course, new curriculum and technology require additional teacher training, so our Teaching and Learning Department provided 14 different sessions and several hours of professional development for our teachers and administrators on the new curriculum adoptions. Time and effort also went into refining our goals for teacher training on late start days and ensuring these opportunities fully engage our professional learning communities. 

With the beginning of a new school year, I would ask as you drive around our district in the mornings and afternoons to be aware of buses that need to stop at all railroad crossings, and of our students who are walking to school. Student safety is our No. 1 priority, as I know it is for you.

Lastly, I would like to invite you to visit our schools during some of the many community and family events that we host throughout the year. You will see that our buildings are well taken care of and that our staff have a genuine desire to help all of our students succeed. We know that as parents you have entrusted us to care for and educate your children. We take this responsibility very seriously and are proud to be able to partner with you to help them reach their highest potential. 

Have a great school year!

Mark Ross is the superintendent of Battle Ground Public Schools.

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