Community invited to schools event

Oak Harbor Pubic Schools is hosting a public event in an effort to be more transparent.

Oak Harbor Pubic Schools is hosting an event to share with the community the priorities, achievements and challenges of the district in an effort to be more transparent.

State of the Schools will take place Jan. 11 at Oak Harbor High School. Doors open at 4:30 p.m and the program begins at 5 p.m. There will be presentations from school staff, as well as student performances.

Superintendent Michelle Kuss-Cybula and Communications Officer Sarah Foy began working for the district last summer and discovered that there “were a lot of questions about what really happens in our school,” Kuss-Cybula said.

The district has not hosted an informational public event like this for many years. Kuss-Cybula wants to celebrate the work of staff and students and promote school programs, while sharing how the district is funded, where the funding goes and what the district’s priorities are.

“People invest in us and when they invest in us, they have a right to understand where our funding is going,” she said.

District staff will discuss and answer questions about the $121 million dollar school bond measure that is set for the Feb. 14 ballot.

“There’s a lot of misunderstanding about the funding sources and what schools can and can’t do,” Kuss-Cybula said.

She said parents were largely shut out of schools during the pandemic, but now she wants the community to be more involved in the district’s strategic planning and funding decisions.

Data on the district and students will be shared. In addition to presentations by school staff, there will be informational tables for each school in the district where people can go to get questions answered.

Kuss-Cybula wants to make sure district decisions don’t only reflect what school staff want but that community needs are also taken into account.

“You can’t ask people what they want without telling people what you’re doing first,” she said.

Parents and the community at large are encouraged to attend. An RSVP link is available on the district’s Facebook page,