Update on San Juan School District | Guest Column

As 2017 comes to a close, I am excited to share some of the amazing things happening in our district. The implementation of the Balanced Literacy program at the elementary school is in full swing, the Turnbull Gym locker room remodel is complete and we have started our budget reduction process. The San Juan Island Public School Foundation had a successful Phone-a-Thon and we are all looking forward to the SJPSF-sponsored Knowledge Bowl in the New Year.

At our last board meeting, we welcomed two new board members; Sarah Werling Sandwith and Barbara Bevens. We also said farewell to Director Brent Snow. Brent served eight years on the school board and he will be missed. Please help me welcome Sarah and Barbara.

Did you know about San Juan Islanders’ Tech Academy? Do you have a need to build your business, learn about desktop publishing and web development, or simply increase your IT Skills? We have a wonderful free eLearning opportunity for you. Please check our website for more details, www.sjisd.wednet.edu/SJITA.

Our partnerships continue to grow. San Juan County Health and Community Services is meeting with early learning providers in our community and we continue to collaborate with our local private schools, Head Start and our mental health partners.

Our most recent collaboration is with the Friday Harbor Film Festival and Soroptimists International of Friday Harbor. We will be showing the newly released documentary, “Dolores,” Monday, Jan. 29 at 1 p.m. for students and 7 p.m. for the community at San Juan Community Theatre.

According to National Public Radio, Dolores Huerta is a living civil rights icon. She has spent most of her life as a political activist, fighting for better working conditions for farmworkers and she is a firm believer in the power of political organizing to effect change. And yet, her role in the farmworkers movement has long been overshadowed by that of Cesar Chavez, her longtime collaborator and co-founder of what became the United Farm Workers of America union.

Thanks to the dedication of our teachers, staff, partners, and volunteers we have made progress toward our district mission: promote excellence, engaging every student, every day, through superior instruction, high expectations, and academic content that is both challenging and individually relevant, and our district goals: teaching and learning, district climate and early learning.

As I am writing this letter, I received notice that SJISD Athletic Director Rod Turnbull has been recognized as the District One Athletic Director of the Year. Please congratulate Rod when you see him in town or at one of our athletic events.

One more thing, don’t forget to “like” our Facebook page and download the district app, it will allow us to better communicate with you digitally. www.sjisd.wednet.edu/SJISDapp

Let me know if you have any questions. You may contact me by email at dannadiaz@sjisd.wednet.edu or by phone at 360-370-7905. Thank you for your continued support.