Submitted by the San Juan Island School District Board and Superintendent
May 7-11 is Professional Educators Appreciation Week. The San Juan Island School District is honored to work with all of the staff every week. This would be a good week to personally recognize someone you know in the district whose hard work every day is the foundation of the district’s success. The district board and superintendent are justifiably proud of the educators and the jobs that they do so well.
Did you know that the Educational Programs and Operations Levy was renewed with a 71 percent vote? This is huge community support as this levy represents 17 percent of the budget. When you consider the state still has not funded basic essential programs like special education, you know that without the local levy, students would not receive the education they deserve and are constitutionally guaranteed. So again, to all citizens, thank you so much for your continued rock-solid support.
The state requires that districts seek out and address areas where school improvement is needed. Superintendent Danna Diaz updated the board on the current status of the annual Educational Effectiveness Survey. Everyone’s opinion counts and the board uses this data to guide policy decisions. The more people participate, the more accurate data will be. The link to the survey is at www.sjisd.wednet.edu from May 7-17.
The district’s professional development committee has decided on next year’s course of study which will sharpen staff skills for dealing with trauma-induced anxiety, acting out, withdrawal from others and other emerging struggles students experience.
At the meeting, the board reviewed capital budget plans including changes to increase safety and security, such as a card-lock system for all schools and remodeling main entry layouts to make buildings safer.
Diaz also shared an action plan for the community’s new hunger coalition. The San Juan Island Food Co-Op, Island Air, Inc., Rotary Club of San Juan Island, San Juan Island Farmer’s Market, the San Juan County Health and Community Services, San Juan Island Family Resource Center and San Juan Island School District have joined forces to support local hungry students and families. The district is planning for early dismissal lunches next year and on weekends the coalition will send weekend food home to make sure that kids have healthy food to eat.
In other news, the secondary math team presented an update on a new proposed math curriculum (Integrated Math I, II, III, which is Algebra1, Geometry and Algebra 2) planned for the high school next year. High school math teachers implemented a pilot program this year and are so excited about how it aligns with the national Common Core Standards that next year that they will also pilot it the middle school. All reports so far indicate that it dovetails nicely to the elementary school math program, as well. The board appreciates the proactive and thorough work by the secondary math team.
The academic calendar for 2018-19 was approved by the board and it’s on the district’s website.
A hiring freeze was enacted to help reduce deficit spending. The board can revoke the hiring freeze at any time.
The main statewide data system for all school reports and input was broken for the better part of a week, resulting in a delay in the budget and enrollment report.
Diaz has been offered another position, out of state, and is considering a move. Since Diaz has not yet submitted her formal resignation to the board, awaiting contract approval in her new district, an exercise in “what if” took place. What if the board is not able to replace the superintendent? What if they hire a part-time superintendent? What if they undertake a hurried search to have someone in place by September? What if they hire an interim superintendent? The board is intent on choosing the right path to the right person. Input from the community is being sought. Contact information is at www.sjisd.wednet.edu, then click on “About” and then “School Board.”