Dear Community Members,
Amy Beth Cook, Superintendent
Welcome to 2015! I hope that you had a restful holiday and a Happy New Year. December was a wonderfully busy month in our district filled with musical concerts, student performances holiday celebrations, and as always, exceptional instruction!
During this season of giving I’m proud to report that our students and staff once again raised an astonishing amount of food and monetary donations for local organizations during their holiday food drives. The lesson our students learn through giving to others is an important one that we hope continues throughout their school careers and adult life. I am grateful to our staff members who organize and support these endeavors, and in doing so, provide a model for our students of compassion and caring for others.
On Dec. 6, we held the 28th annual Dickens Fair. More than 1,400 visitors took advantage of the handmade crafts and delighted in our student’s performances. This is a wonderful event that brings so many in our community together each year.
School safety continues to be a number one priority in our district, and received a great deal of attention after the tragic events at Marysville-Pilchuck High School last October. In the fall issue of Lake Schools we shared information about our implementation of the ALICE emergency response protocol. Under the guidance of our School Resource Officers and our new School Safety, Security and Health Specialist, all of our schools have completed their first drills. We will continue practicing for a variety of scenarios to ensure that our students and staff are prepared, informed and have the needed resources to be able to properly respond in emergency situations.
As part of our Foundation for Excellence, we are continuing to expand student use of technology and are removing barriers to allow for greater use of educational resources. In order for this to be successful, we have to partner with parents to teach students how to be responsible digital citizens and to avoid digital distractions. I’m proud of the steps we have taken thus far, and I appreciate the work of our Information Technology and Teaching and Learning Departments to ensure our students thrive in the ever-changing digital world.
January is School Board Appreciation Month and I am especially thankful for our board of directors who selflessly serve our students and community. I’m happy to share with you that out of 295 school districts in the state, our board was one of 17 to earn a Board of Distinction award from the Washington State School Directors’ Association. This is the second year in a row that our board received this great honor, and they are very deserving.
As we enter the 2015 Legislative Session, the school board and I will closely follow education funding and other education related issues. We will continue to be in close contact with our legislators and will strongly communicate the need to fully fund public education and to minimize additional cuts to education.
I have been spending a great deal of time in our schools interacting with students and staff members and observing teaching and learning in action.
We have remarkable students and staff members, and a highly engaged community, and as always, I am honored to be your Superintendent. I welcome your thoughts and ideas as we embark on the second half of the school year.