Dear Seattle Public Schools Families:
Welcome to the 2019-20 school year! Each new school year offers so many possibilities and opportunities for students; new classes and teachers, reconnecting with friends, and finding wonder, success, and joy in learning. As a lifelong educator, I still get butterflies on the first day of school, anticipating all the great things to come.
Thousands of staff have been preparing for your child’s arrival and a great start to the school year. From ordering books and desks for new school buildings, to practicing bus routes, to learning about the new science curriculum, our dedicated staff have been busy.
This is my second year as superintendent of Seattle Public Schools. Last year I spent time with families, students, district staff, and community supporters, learning about our city’s hopes and dreams for our district. We engaged in conversations about racial and educational justice, system challenges, and what needs to change for the district to realize its vision of every student graduating ready for college, a career, and community participation. These conversations led to the development of our district’s new five-year strategic plan, Seattle Excellence.
This next year is an exciting one. Together, we will be focused on implementing Seattle Excellence. Unlike prior plans, Seattle Excellence, embodies the word strategic and is unapologetically focused on students of color, those furthest away from educational justice. This doesn’t mean great work won’t continue for all students. What it does mean is that educators will be mindful and intentional about creating the right learning conditions for students that we are underserving, beginning with African American boys and young males.
By changing our systems and practices to better support African American males, educational outcomes will improve for every student in Seattle Public Schools. Across the district we will be laser focused on three goals for the school year: 3rd grade reading, building a culturally responsive workforce, and creating safe, welcoming learning environments for our students and their families. From the bus stop to the board room these three goals will guide all our efforts. And these goals can’t be accomplished without dramatically improving our district services, this will be the core focus of the central office.
I know firsthand the transformational power of a great education and have seen the positive difference it makes for individual students, families, and entire communities. I am committed to making sure your child gets an excellent education in Seattle. An education that prepares them to realize their future dreams, whatever they may be.
Stay connected with me on Twitter @SeattleSupt for Seattle Excellence updates and to learn about all of the great work happening in our classrooms. It’s going to be a great year! Thank you for the privilege of serving you, your family, student, and Seattle Public Schools.