SJI School District Update | Guest Column

By Danna Diaz, PhD

San Juan Island School District Superintendent

This semester, we have been busy planning for the next academic year. The school board adopted new literacy instructional materials for the elementary school and new Spanish instructional materials for the high school. Our secondary math teachers are researching the best instructional materials while our science teachers are aligning their work with the Next Generation Science Standards. We are working hard toward our strategic goals of powerful teaching and learning, district climate and early learning. It is an exciting time in our district.

School Board Chair Ralph Hahn and I have presented to several community organizations to provide an update on our strategic plan, district focus and legislative education funding system. We presented to seniors at the Mullis Center, Soroptimists International of Friday Harbor, Rotary Club of Friday Harbor, San Juan Masons, Kiwanis Club of Friday Harbor, San Juan Lions Club, and the San Juan Island Chamber of Commerce. Board Director John Kurtz, Facility Manager Garrett Holmes and Business Manager Jose Domenech were present at our last speaking engagement at the Chamber of Commerce to ensure business owners were updated on our capital projects. Thank you to everyone who attended these meetings and for your continued support. We appreciate you! Many of our community members have been concerned about the political climate regarding immigrant families. Our state is a sanctuary state, our county is a sanctuary county and our schools are a place of safety and education for all. In Plyler V. Doe, June 1982, a landmark decision by the U. S. Supreme Court held that constitutionally, states cannot deny students a free public education due to their immigration status.

Our schools will continue to be safe, positive learning environments that promote student learning and development, not discrimination and fear. Our schools are places where students learn fundamentals and have the opportunity to explore college and career pathways. I am extremely proud to announce that May 8-12 is Teacher Appreciation Week. Our teachers work exceptionally hard toward our vision of ensuring that our students will graduate prepared for life’s challenges as productive citizens who are happy, healthy and compassionate. For questions, call me at 370-7905 or