Message from the Superintendent: Pahto’s Promise 2015

Our Message – The Mount Adams School District (MASD) serves almost 1,000 students; over half identify as Native American and many are members of the Yakama Nation. Pahto, or Mount Adams in English, symbolizes strength in spite of adversity, and represents our hopes for the future. For many years, the staff has invested hard work and expressed genuine concern for the students and families they serve. This year, we have made profound changes in the operation of our schools so we can provide improved instruction to and outcomes for our students. These changes are based on current research and are endorsed by the federal and state education agencies.
  1. Our goal is to keep students in school and raise the graduation rate. In the fall of 2014, the Superintendent nullified the procedure that excluded students from school as a consequence for chronic truancy. Schools on both the secondary and elementary campus have explored and/or instituted programs to teach positive behavior to students and provide them with social and emotional support. Efforts will increase next year as our proficiency in this area grows and we develop and use proactive strategies that teach academic and social behaviors.

  2. Our goal is to connect students with real world opportunities. Partnerships with 3rd party partners are a key source of support for our students as they develop the academic, social, and emotional skills to be College and Career Ready. Current partners include the Yakama Nation, Heritage University, Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences, and the Edge Foundation. STEM opportunities receive particular attention.

  3. Our goal is to increase community connections. Connecting with the community means increasing outreach to all stakeholders, like bringing families and community members into the schools for curricular and social events. Holding important meetings outside of the school buildings to target families who traditionally do not participate in school meetings is another strategy this year. We used community opinion data collected in our fall Community Needs Assessments to motivate and inform planning and improvement decisions for this school year as well as next year.

  4. Our goal is to increase academic achievement for students. In the fall of 2014, the MASD increased the instructional time in all its school buildings by 225 minutes each week. Next year, White Swan High School will use a schedule, a trimester system, which will provide immediate internal opportunities for all students to retrieve credits and stay and on-track for graduation. In addition, we will operate Cougar Fast Tracks, a program within the high school designed to provide targeted assistance for students who need greater flexibility in their schedule and individualization in their educational plan.
If you have questions about this information, please contact Henry Strom, Superintendent, at


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