Update from San Juan Island School District Superintendent

Dear Friday Harbor community,

When driving by the high school campus during the last few weeks you may have observed a flurry of construction projects underway. These projects include:

• A new high school parking lot

• A middle school roof

• A new art room in the STEM building

• Updates to Griffin Bay School

• An updated fire suppression system in the middle school

These are just a few of the many essential capital projects we have undertaken over the last three years. We will continue with more work over the course of the year such as the high school physical science room which is slated to be modernized during the holiday break.

All of these projects are the result of this community’s gracious vote in support of the capital and technology levy. Thank you for supporting our schools.

The activity you see outside is matched by the hustle and bustle inside. Students have returned to sports practices. Parents are meeting with office personnel and teachers about schedules. Specific training for various employees is underway. And many teachers are back in their classrooms organizing and planning for that first day.

Although the first day for students will be Thursday, August 31st, all employees return to work on Monday, August 28th for an introduction to new staff and a full day of training. It is so enjoyable to reconnect with friends and colleagues after a summer vacation.

The truth is, however, what we enjoy most about the job is when the students enter the hallways and classrooms. Seeing the smiling faces eager to start anew is invigorating and rewarding to all involved in this profession.

Our students inspire us to always improve whether it be by updating facilities, by improving course offerings, or by determining what we can do to meet the needs of the ever-changing modern child.

I have reported in the past that the pandemic had an impact on students and the learning process. Students did return to full-time school with some deficits. However, we recognized growth over the course of last year. Students are learning how to be successful students again, but there is still work to do.

I can assure you that San Juan Island School District has a great staff to serve all the needs of our community’s children. It is important to consider what the school district puts in place to make sure the learning environment is just right for each child. Bus drivers, counselors, our school nurse,therapists, food service, office personnel, business management, paraeducators, teachers, custodians, tech support, substitutes, and administrators are all part of a team of close to 150 employees who make the magic happen. All these parts work together to ensure that each day your child is offered the best.

This large team works in unison toward our vision of graduating students who step into the so-called “real” world and can see before them that their future is limitless. The excellent education they receive here sets the stage for whatever they may want to experience.

In February 2024, we will be asking you to renew the capital and technology levy. The specifics for this levy will be sent out to you later this fall. This levy is part of our vision for the future; the development of a student who can see that he or she has a limitless future means we must continue to hire great staff and maintain updated facilities with modern technology.

So here we go. The great San Juan County Fair is behind us, the hallways will soon be filled with smiling faces, and Friday night lights are just around the corner. Isn’t it a great feeling? We have a great community. And as your fellow community member, I can say you have a lot to be proud of in your schools.

Fred Woods


San Juan Island School District