An update from the school district superintendent

– Submitted by San Juan Island School District Superintendent Danna Diaz

Would you believe we are nearing the end of 2015? Only one more month to go and 2016 is here. Where did the time go?

In February, San Juan Island School District will recommend a Capital and Technology Levy to the voters. What I would like for you to know is that the capital and technology committees have been working for more than six months to review the needs of our district. Both committees assessed inventory and reviewed facility needs, including interviewing principals and staff to establish current district needs in facilities and technology.

What the two committees determined is that while we can celebrate our recent accomplishments in these areas, we also must plan for the future. Our students and teachers require an environment that fosters a great education and our community must maintain a strong public school system. The first project on the list of capital improvements is the remodeling of the Turnbull Gym locker room. Also included are the design of a STEM wing in the elementary school, middle school multi-room wall repair and food service improvements in both the elementary and high school. Technology improvements will include a computer replacement schedule for all the campuses, interactive projectors, and professional development in instructional technology for staff. Tech support and ongoing costs associated with instructional programs are included in this levy request. Technology advances every day and education must be responsive to these advances. Our teachers must stay up-to-date with the skills and tools that will ensure our students have the knowledge necessary to compete in the workplace.

The district has been intentional and detailed in this process and continues to work hard to ensure transparency. Our committees have included community representatives, school board directors, teachers and administrative staff. Most importantly, we have a capital and technology implementation plan to ensure our students and teachers have an environment and the tools necessary for teaching and learning!! We are excited about the possibilities!

I ask that you engage in conversations with your family, neighbors and friends to support our students and teachers. We will need your engagement in February.

I tell people every day, I am blessed to live, work and learn in one of the most beautiful places in the state of Washington. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve. If you have any questions, or to view a list of the capital and technology improvements requested through this levy, see our website www.sjisd.wednet.edu or contact me at 370-7905, or email me at dannadiaz@sjisd.wednet.edu. Thank you for your continued support.