Dear Community Members,
During this time of Thanksgiving I want to start by thanking you. I am honored to be your superintendent and to serve in such a kind and caring community. Our community is unique in its collaborative and thoughtful support of its schools and citizens. Our reputation for excellence would be impossible without your generous and consistent support. I am also extremely appreciative of our talented, capable and dedicated employees who work tirelessly to support the children in our district. Lastly, I’m continually grateful to our students—they give us a daily reminder of what is important and why we are here.
As a district, we are continuing our learning and understanding of poverty and how we can work to make our schools more equitable for all of our students. Now through January, staff members from each school are participating in a poverty simulation during their Friday professional learning time. This tool was created as a way to help people understand the realities of poverty. 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.
In October elementary and secondary principals presented the progress of their school’s 2016-17 School Improvement Plans (SIPs) to our Board of Directors. They also discussed the goals and strategies included in their 2017-18 SIPs.
These plans mirror our district Foundation for Excellence and directly focus on the work happening in each of our buildings in our five goal areas:
Excellence in Teaching & Learning Technology Empowered Thoughtful Transitions Engaged Community Facilities Improvements
I appreciate the planning, analyzing of data and reflection that went into the creation and implementation of these plans.
Feb. 13 marks an important day for our district. The school board has placed two replacement levy elections on the ballot for your consideration—one is a replacement of the four year Educational Programs and Operations Levy, and the second is a replacement of the four year Capital Technology Levy. Detailed information about these measures, and how they support our students, is available in our November press release.
In an effort to communicate the facts about the levies, I will be giving presentations to our staff members and our parent, civic and community groups to provide information and answer questions. I encourage you to attend one of these presentations to learn more. A schedule of these presentations will be shared on our district website in December, along with detailed information about the two measures.
If you’re not already connected to our schools, I invite you to visit and volunteer. Any time you can give to our students is valuable. Each school has a volunteer coordinator who can match your interests and skills to a specific classroom or project. Many schools have volunteer opportunities that can be completed after school hours. More information is available under the Community tab of this website.
We will start at the Educational Service Center, 12309 22nd St NE, (ESC) at 9:15 a.m. and then board a school bus to visit the ELC and NLMS. We will return to the ESC by 1 p.m. To RSVP, please email us or call 425-335-1502. The tour gives community members the opportunity to visit schools while they are in session seeing teaching and learning in action and to meet school staff. We will host another community tour this spring.
As always, I welcome any questions you have about our schools. Please feel free to contact me at 425-335-1500.
Amy Beth Cook