Pat Russell, middle school principal at Mount Vernon Christian, jumped right into remote learning along with his students in March.  Get reconnected with some middle school humor as Pat shows his students how it’s done on Remote Principal-ing – Day 2. 

Day 7 – “Remote Learning 101” is a fun for all demonstration of the far too many remote options in Pat’s house.  And there is the not-to-be-missed classic Day 11 – “April Fools” with Pat singing and playing guitar to the song he wrote “I Wanna Be Back in School”.  



By Remote Principal-ing – Day 26 , which was also Minecraft Wednesday, Pat enthusiastically shows off ideas for the redesigned Mount Vernon Christian school campus of the future that he built inside of Minecraft…complete with an Olympic-worthy stadium complex!



Minecraft Wednesday Remote Principal-ing Day 26

By Day 43 – “Major News” at the end of a long few months, students can relate to their principal’s enthusiasm for basketball and fishing as summer break is just around the bend.


No doubt Principal Russell made the most of northwest weather this summer outdoors with his family, but he was also working hard with fellow WFIS leaders to prepare for reopening schools in the fall.


Mount Vernon Christian School reopened fully with their traditional 8 period schedule from 8:25-3:15 for grades K-12 on September 1st, and preschool began the Wednesday after Labor Day (as usual).  They did a few early dismissal (1/2 days) in October but for the most part the schedule of the day has been the same.

“How we move and maneuver around campus/recess/PE/music has completely changed. We have teachers moving between classrooms and have students staying put in the same seat for a few periods at a time. Prior to leaving a classroom for PE/Music, they clean the seats, desks, and common items (pencil sharpener).” – Pat Russell

Principal Pat Russell reflects on the last few months being back in school below:

In-person schooling during this pandemic is not for the faint of heart.
We are using almost every inch of our building as classrooms. With doors and windows open for air movement, students are now allowed to wear their hoods and stocking caps inside.  Teachers are covering internally due to a lack of subs.  Principals are teaching and covering classes on a daily basis.
All that to say, our kids and our families are happy and excited to be back in the classroom. We have navigated 55 days with only 1 positive case resulting in 13 students and 1 teacher being quarantined. For that, we feel very much blessed.
You can see the kids smile through their mask. You can feel the camaraderie of in-person learning in each classroom. You can hear their jokes and their laughter, their serious questions and their confusion.  Although one of the most difficult teaching environments I have ever been a part of, the alternative is not desired by our families or staff…schools are simply not designed to be empty.