This was a busy summer that included construction and facility planning, the implementation of new technology, preparation for state-funded full-day kindergarten and reviewing student data.
Construction & Facilities
There are many exciting things happening in our buildings and with new construction in the district.
On June 23 we celebrated the official groundbreaking of the new P-5 Campus, which includes the new Early Learning Center and the new elementary school. Site work on the campus, which is located off of Lake Drive and Soper Hill Road—not to be confused with the project on the corner of Highways 9 and 92—is underway and construction is expected to start later this fall.
This fall two new committees will be formed—one to create a recommendation to the Board of Directors for the district’s new boundaries; the other to create recommendations for the naming of the Early Learning Center and the new elementary school. Both committees will be made up of staff, parents and community members. Information on how to participate in these committees will be shared soon. The new boundaries will go into effect once the new elementary school opens in the 2017-18 school year.
Lake Stevens High School
We are working on a visioning process for the modernization and expansion of Lake Stevens High School (LSHS). This summer a team from LSHS visited area high schools to see what is possible and what could be done at our high school. This will better inform the Design Advisory Committee as they move forward. The visioning process will seek feedback from staff, students, families and the community as we move towards design of the school. Construction at LSHS is anticipated to begin in the summer of 2018.
New kindergarten classrooms
Two permanent kindergarten classrooms will be constructed at each of our elementary schools using funds we received from the K-3 Class Size Reduction Grant from the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. Design plans have been submitted to the City of Lake Stevens. Design of the new classrooms will align with the current look and feel of the existing school. We don’t anticipate beginning these projects for at least a year, as we don’t want to further impact already crowded schools with construction.
We have completed the final year of our Foundation for Excellence. Over the course of the last three years we have moved from limited access to technology tools and the Internet to all staff and students having access when and where they need it. We have increased bandwidth to meet instructional needs, built a robust wireless network and employed software tools to ensure it runs smoothly. As you know, technology is also used for assessment and the analysis of data to understand how students are learning and how we can better meet their needs.
This school year, all secondary students will have their own Chromebook for use at school and at home. Every student in grades two to five will have their own Chromebook for use in the classroom. I want to thank our IT staff members for their work and efforts to get us where we are today. I also appreciate the flexibility and enthusiasm of our staff members as we explore the myriad options of this powerful educational tool.
As we set goals for the next three years of the Foundation for Excellence, technology strategies will be strategically embedded in each goal.
State-Funded Full-Day Kindergarten
This year we have state-funded full-day kindergarten in all of our elementary schools. The first three days of the school year are Kindergarten Family Connection Days where teachers meet individually with families to welcome them and begin to build a relationship to help children be successful in school. Teachers will use the Washington Kindergarten Inventory of Developing Skills (WaKIDS) to build these important family connections, complete whole-child assessments and collaborate with other early learning professionals.
The first day of kindergarten is Monday, Sept. 12. We are excited to welcome the Class of 2029 to our schools!
I look forward to the upcoming school year, and thank you for choosing to share your child with our district.