Welcome to the 2018-19 school year. We are looking forward to greeting students back to school on September 4th. Our staff members have been working hard to prepare by attending workshops and training sessions to sharpen their knowledge and skills to ensure the best possible learning experiences for all children. Our maintenance and custodial staff have been busy preparing facilities and school grounds.
There are many improvements that took place over the summer and more will continue throughout the school year, which I would like to highlight.
The new Math Expression Program and materials, adopted for grades K-5, have all arrived. Additionally, the Instructional Materials Committee met and approved four novels for Stanwood High School, which will go to the school board for approval in September.
Over the summer, we have had professional development opportunities for our teachers. On August 7th, a Next Generation Science Standards training was offered in our district through the Northwest Educational Service District #189; K-2 teachers were involved in the training. On August 22nd Kindergarten teachers were involved in the Houghton Mifflin Math training in order to implement the new math materials in this coming year. Training for other grade levels will take place in September. On August 23rd, the leadership team at Stanwood High School was involved in Educator Youth Development training, related to the Agile Mind Math program. This program focuses on the Growth Mindset and is very useful across content areas.
The district has many facility projects in progress this summer. In 2017, voters approved a capital bond measure to replace Stanwood High School, Lincoln Hill High School, Lincoln Academy, Saratoga School Alternative Learning Center (ALC), and the Technology and Maintenance facilities. In addition, funds were also designated for site improvements on the new high school campus. These funds may only be used for these specified capital improvements.
Currently, Taylor’s Excavators, a local firm, is performing the SHS site preparation work; Taylor’s work is expected to be completed in September. The “portable village” was demolished and removed from the site. Storm water detention facilities were installed. A retaining wall on the hillside and cement soil treatments at the location of the building pad have been completed. This early site preparation will allow construction work to occur through the rainy season this winter.
The district has completed the design phase for SHS and ALC and the architect is now focused on bidding and construction documents, which are scheduled for final completion on October 15th. The bidding period for SHS will end on November 30th. There continues to be significant escalation in construction costs in this region of the state due to an unusually high demand for construction contractors, workers, and materials. The Construction Planning Committee and project architect have been working diligently to identify cost reductions. The latest estimate indicates that the project is still within budget, while meeting the key promises included in the bond proposal. Bidding for the ALC is scheduled to begin on April 1, 2019.
In 2013, voters approved a Facilities and Technology Levy and renewed that levy (at a reduced amount) in 2018. These funds may only be used for facility improvements and district-wide technology updates. Below is a list of projects funded by the Facilities and Technology Levy that have been started or completed this summer:
Cedarhome Elementary – Exterior painting; parking lot and play area sealing, striping, and other repairs.
Twin City Elementary – New sidewalk, providing a safe walkway to 72nd Avenue. Exterior repairs, painting, and roofing on portable classrooms. In process: planning for major repairs to parking lot and bus loop as well as bidding for landscape improvements.
Stanwood Elementary – Parking lot and play area sealing, striping, and repairs.
Utsalady Elementary – Interior flooring repairs, continued from last year; parking lot and play area sealing and striping; exterior repairs, painting, and roofing on portable classroom.
Port Susan Middle – New heating and ventilation control system and repairs; parking lot and play area sealing and striping; running track sealing and striping; gym bleacher safety improvements. In process: planning for other athletic field improvements.
Stanwood Middle – New interior carpeting in offices, library, and classrooms; exterior painting; running track sealing and striping; parking lot and play area repairs, sealing and striping; exterior repairs, painting, and roofing on portable classrooms.
The technology department was busy with several projects this summer. The most significant is our transition from the Virtual Desktop Interface computers. We have nearly completed that project by adding a combination of PC’s, Chromebooks, and Chromeboxes. More Chromebooks will be added in September, which will complete the transition. Over the course of the next two school years, we will continue to add Chromebooks to reach the goal of providing a Chromebook for every student. This will provide an increased opportunity for teachers and students to integrate technology with teaching and learning.
Many of our staff were able to access technology related to professional development opportunities over the summer. We continue to be committed to professional development, as it is crucial in helping us maximize the benefits of the added equipment.
Access control systems were installed in our elementary schools that allow us to keep our schools locked during the school day. Visitors will access the schools via a “buzz in” system. We are excited about the added security and safety this provides for our elementary students and staff.
We are also transitioning to a managed website that will provide improved district presence and greater accessibility for our community. This transition should be completed in late fall.
As you may be aware, we are continuing to negotiate with our bargaining groups to ensure that we start school on September 4th. Updates will be provided on our website (www.stanwood.wednet.edu).
Enjoy the last days of your summer vacation and I look forward to seeing you throughout the school year. Thank you for your continued support and commitment to the students and families of the Stanwood-Camano School District. It is my sincere hope that this year will be a fantastic experience for every student and family.
Jean Shumate, Ed.D.