New year’s note from school superintendent | Guest column

Submitted by Kari McVeigh

San Juan Island School District superintendent

As the San Juan Island School District enters into the year 2020, we are excited to share a new and actionable district strategic plan. Four Strategic Planning teams (mixed teams of staff, parents and community members) met throughout the fall to look at current and desired perceptions of our district; to create cultural belief statements to guide school community members’ behaviors; and, finally, to select two district goals that will inspire the work of staff for three to five years to come.

San Juan Island School District Goals:

• Within three to five years, the San Juan Island School District will reduce achievement gaps by engaging students; families; staff ;and the school community to identify barriers and develop solutions.

• Within the next five years, the San Juan Island School District will create college and career pathways through a robust science, technology, engineering, arts and math program by expanding career technical vocational opportunities and the arts.

Over the next few months, the district will be creating action plans for each goal with both timelines for activities to accomplish the goal and timelines for reporting our progress to you. This is a great direction to be going, for sure.

This school year marks the end of our current cycle of projects for the 2016 Capital and Technology levy. We remain ever grateful to our most generous community for ensuring that our facilities are up to date and safe and that our technology is current, providing each of our students with the necessary skills to compete in current and future endeavors. We kept our levy driven fiscal promises to you as we created safer entrances in our school with key fob systems at the middle and high schools and new entry security at the elementary school. We enhanced safety through renovations of fire suppression systems at the middle school and elementary, and alarms at the high school. We increased energy conservation through the installation of LED lighting and improved our award-winning food service program through kitchen upgrades. We remodeled the high school library, the elementary science room and portions of the science, technology, engineering and math building. We repaired the high school roof, remodeled the Turnbull Gym locker-room and purchased an outdoor reader board at the corner of Guard Street and Blair Avenue. With the technology funding, we purchased close to 1,700 devices for student use, replaced all staff devices with new mobile laptops and school projectors and purchased e-subscriptions for students and staff. We updated and reconfigured our network infrastructure to provide faster, more secure computing across the district. Again, we thank you so much for supporting our efforts to maintain the safest and most up to date facilities and technology systems for our school community.

There will be a Capital and Technology Levy election on Feb. 11 to replace the current levy funding. Please remember to vote!

Before we left for winter break, our board of directors announced that Fred Woods (current high school principal) is the final candidate for Superintendent to begin July 1. The board plans to appoint him to that position at the regularly scheduled board of directors meeting on Jan. 29. Woods has been my superintendent intern this school year and I am confident he will serve the district well as superintendent for many years to come. He is truly an outstanding administrator and the district and community are so fortunate to have his talent and skill at the helm. Until he takes over on July 1, I will continue to serve as your superintendent and mentor Woods in his new role. And, of course, we will be looking for his replacement as the high school principal.

Thank you for all of your ongoing support, helping us to ensure that our students continue to learn and thrive.