January 2018Dear Community Members,
Welcome to 2018! I hope you had a restful holiday and a Happy New Year.
Just before Winter Break we had the incredible opportunity to welcome our three- and four-year-old students and their families as they toured the new Early Learning Center. The students’ joy was palpable as they explored their new facility. Students began classes at the new school on Jan. 8. The building, which was designed for the special academic and physical needs of our preschoolers, was part of the 2016 school construction bond. Stevens Creek Elementary School, a second project from the same bond, will welcome students at the start of the 2018-19 school year.
January is School Board Appreciation Month and I want to thank our board of directors for their leadership and dedication to our district and community. Board members are volunteers who selflessly give of themselves to make our district the excellent place that it is.
Around Jan. 26, registered voters in our community will receive ballots to vote in a special election on Feb. 13. Lake Stevens School District has two replacement levies on the ballot—a replacement Educational Programs and Operations Levy and a replacement Technology Levy. The current levies, which voters approved in 2014, expire this year. These replacement levies will provide funding for our schools through 2022. These are not new taxes. Detailed information about these measures, and how they support our students, is available on our "Bonds & Levies" page.
In an effort to communicate facts about the levies, and to ensure that our community understood the need for this funding, I gave more than 25 presentations to district staff members, parents, community members and business owners to provide information and answer questions. After giving these presentations, I was reminded how honored I am to serve in such a caring community.
Please remember to return your completed ballot by Tuesday, Feb. 13.
In the last issue of Lake Schools I explained how we are working to gain a deeper understanding of poverty and how it impacts our students. We have almost finished working with each school’s staff members on poverty simulations during their Friday professional learning time. During the simulation, participants take on the role of an individual living in a low-income family. They have the task of providing basic necessities and shelter on a limited budget while interacting with various agencies and organizations. This exercise has fostered important conversations and introspection from our staff members. I’m thankful for their continued willingness to make our schools more equitable for all of our students.
As always, I welcome any questions you have about our schools. Please feel free to contact me at 425-335-1500.
Amy Beth Cook, Ed. D