Dear White Salmon Staff and Families,

I’m writing to share an important announcement about a delay to the start of school at WPSIS by a few days due to ongoing asbestos abatement.

As many of you know, our school was impacted by a flood last spring. Since then the district has been working closely with the Washington Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) , the state agency responsible for safe and healthy working conditions, our insurance carrier, and local contractors to ensure the asbestos, that was discovered in the school’s flooring, is safely abated. During this time, the building has been closed and inaccessible to all staff.

Unfortunately, the project has experienced a series of delays. This means that in order for us to ensure a safe school environment for students and staff, we will need to delay the start of school at WPSIS by three (3) days. The first day of school for WPSIS students will officially be on Tuesday, September 5, 2023. We will work with the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) to determine the requirement for making up these days of instruction and let families know as soon as possible.

The schedule change only impacts WPSIS students (5th and 6th graders). All students in our other schools across the district will start school as planned on Wednesday, August 30.

I understand this schedule change will create challenges for families, and for that I apologize. The district will have staff available to care for students that cannot stay home during this delay. Those students may come to school (buses will be available) and check in at the main office at Henkle Middle School.  Please notify the front office at 509-493-4028 if your family will need this accommodation. 

It is critical that we do all we can to protect everyone’s health and safety by properly abating the area. I apologize for this inconvenience. Thank you for your patience and understanding. 


Rich Polkinghorn

Superintendent, White Salmon Valley School District