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    Juneau's Journal June 21
    Posted on 06/21/2019

    Wrapping up the school year

    The end of the school year is almost here, and I am so proud of what we have all accomplished together.

    We started this school year strong by adding 126 new classrooms in 55 schools and opening two new elementary schools -- Roxhill and Loyal Heights Elementary schools.

    Working closely with our Seattle Education Association partners, we negotiated a 10.5 percent raise for all SEA members. I am proud of this commitment to a fair, living wage and keeping Seattle competitive with neighboring districts. Our educators are the heart of this organization and why so many of our students are thriving.

    Photo of SEA members in the central office auditorium

    A photo of a community group at one of the listen and learn eventsIn the fall, I led a comprehensive Listen and Learn Tour – working to build a longer table. I met with community IN community. From a Pan-African gathering, to businesses, to partners, to our families and students at El Centro De La Raza, I engaged with over 4,000 people online and in person to learn about their hopes and dreams for students and the district. This learning helped shape my understanding of Seattle and future plans.

    In February, the two district levies, Educational Programs and Operations (EP&O) and BEXV, passed with overwhelming voter approval. This support allowed us to address some of the budget shortfall due to the state’s new K-12 funding formula and will help us build great learning spaces for students. We won’t give up on the fight for full K-12 funding. I personally commit to advocating in Olympia, specifically for special education support. Read more about the 2019-20 budget for our district.

    A photo of the board meeting with science adoption teamWe also adopted new K-12 science curricula. This adoption will replace decades-old materials and textbooks and make sure every student has access to high-quality learning materials. Thank you to our staff, educators, students, partners, and families for helping get this done. We couldn’t have done it without you. Pictured here is the science adoption team members after the board’s historic vote.

     

    Members of the student group pose for a photoThe district also launched the first Superintendent’s Student Advisory Board, centering our work on those who know best – our high school youth. This group of leaders is helping me tackle big issues like building a culturally responsive workforce, dress code policy, and revisions to health education. They will stay on with me for another year, and I look forward to witnessing the fruits of their wisdom and good work.

    One of the most significant accomplishments was the approval of a new, five-year strategic plan. Our new strategic plan reflects what I heard during my Listen and Learn tour and a shared commitment to racial equity and justice. Unlike prior plans, this one embodies the word "strategic." While our ongoing work to provide excellence to all of our students will continue, this plan has clarity about what we're going to accomplish for underserved students and families. It is laser focused on students of color – those furthest away from educational justice, beginning with African American males. I look forward to sharing next year’s key initiatives in next week’s journal.

    And most recently, we celebrated with over 3,500 graduates of Seattle Public Schools! I had the honor of attending the Interagency graduation and accepting the class of 2019 at Nathan Hale High School. Nathan Hale’s entire commencement was student designed and led. Our community’s future is bright. Our students have been well prepared, they are fierce, and they are brave. We are in good hands. Read more about our incredible graduates.

    As the school year wraps up, I am so thankful for the continued commitment and hard work of our families, communities, staff, and students. I’m excited to continue improving our district with you and building on our successes.

    Denise Juneau

    Corny joke of the week: Where do sharks go on summer vacation? Finland!