Superintendent's Update: August 28, 2019

All Staff Kickoff Event

On Monday afternoon, we invited all staff to the new Central Kitsap High School gymnasium for our school year kickoff. Our goal was an inspiring and student-centric celebration to set the tone for the upcoming school year.

The CK High School band greeted staff as they arrived and helped establish a fun and festive atmosphere. A vocal ensemble from Olympic High School performed one of the most beautiful versions of the national anthem I’ve ever heard, and we welcomed student speakers from CK High School and Klahowya Secondary School. We also recognized and honored schools and departments for their highlights from last year.

After that, I took some time to share a little about myself and communicate our vision and priorities. I noted that many districts across the country have identified the importance of knowing every student by name, strength and need—and I asked our staff to make that their charge, too. At its core, this effort is about relationships. It’s about honoring our students’ unique talents, interests, and abilities. And it’s about equity and finding the right ways to support each student. I firmly believe that knowing every student by name, strength and need will help us reach our goals.

Finally, I introduced a young student from Silver Ridge who read us one of her favorite books. She stole the show and earned a standing ovation.

It was a terrific event, and we are especially grateful for the support of Skanska, our Capital Projects department, and the team of staff that coordinated transportation and parking. We are definitely starting the year off right!

August Summit Days

This week is an especially busy one for our staff. The schedule includes numerous professional learning opportunities, which will help us build a foundation for quality instruction and personalized learning. August Summit Days began today at Olympic High School and will continue tomorrow. I’ve been pleased with what I’ve seen during these trainings. There is a real commitment to encouraging staff leadership, professional collaboration and skill development throughout our district. 

New Washington State Paraeducator Requirements

In 2017, the state passed legislation on employment and training standards for paraeducators. It will be implemented in three phases. The first phase requires all paraeducators to have at least two years of college or pass the ParaPro Assessment by this September. I am happy to report that 60 percent of our roughly 310 paraeducators met the college requirements; the other 40 percent have passed the assessment.

During the next phase, paraeducators must earn a Fundamental Course of Study certificate. Requirements include 28 hours of employer-provided training; this training will be spread out over the next two years. We will use the October conference days to provide the bulk of this year’s training.

I will continue to share information about this effort as we move through the current and future phases of implementation.