Superintendent's CornerMarch 2019
The snow has thawed and we are back to our normal schedule. Thank you for your flexibility during our winter weather event. It’s never an easy decision to close our schools, but we always act in the best interest and safety of our students and staff members. As this issue of Lake Schools is going to press, we are working to determine snow make up days and possible waiver days. We thank you for your continued patience, as calendar changes are complex with many important considerations.
Your School Board and I are keeping a close eye on this year’s legislative session. We will remain in contact with our local legislators to ensure they understand how recent changes to school funding have impacted our district, and to urge them to continue to support K-12 education through full funding. You can read more about school funding in the article on the front page of this issue.
As we begin the second semester of the school year, staff members are preparing students for annual state testing. Beginning in third-grade, students will once again take the Smarter Balanced Assessment. Students in third- through eighth-grades and 11th-grade will take the Smarter Balanced Assessment in English/Language Arts (reading and writing) and in math. Additionally, students in fifth-, eighth- and 11th-grades will take the Washington Comprehensive Assessment of Science. These assessments are important tools to measure academic success. However, we know that student achievement means much more than an assessment score. We are committed to continuing to provide high quality instruction that meets the needs of all students.
Over the past several months we have been learning more about Social Emotional Learning, or SEL. This is the process in which people understand and manage emotions, set and achieve goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships and make responsible decisions. We have an SEL Committee made up of district and school administrators, teachers and support staff who are working to develop a plan to integrate SEL into our every day work with students. SEL has been an important topic of professional learning time for educators as well, because it helps to increase student achievement and to lessen the opportunity gap for students. SEL supports our learning and understanding of poverty and the work we are doing to make our schools more equitable for all students.
Kindergarten enrollment for the 2019-20 school year is open. To learn more, visit our district website or call your local elementary school. We are so excited to welcome the graduating class of 2032 to Lake Stevens Schools!Warm regards,
Amy Beth Cook, Ed.D.