Dear Students, Parents, Staff and Community Members,
I am excited to finally be here and to call Ellensburg my home. I have eagerly looked forward to joining the ESD team and am confident that working together, we will continue to take ESD to the next level of excellence.
In June, we asked staff members to respond to a Thought Exchange Survey that required them to identify strengths, challenges and possible next steps for ESD. We received a strong response, and a special thank you to those staff members who completed this survey. Collaboration and communication were values that were highly rated on the Thought Exchange Survey. Partnering together for the 2018-2019 school year, we will build on the strengths of the professional learning communities and continue to develop a strong sense of collective efficacy across our district. I agree with the thoughts expressed in the survey that we accomplish more as a tight knit community than working in isolation.
After considering feedback from the Thought Exchange Survey, a few areas for possible next steps may include developing:
- Improved organization and regular updates to our ESD website and other communication channels.
- District-wide and community support for social emotional learning and mental health.
- A systemic district-wide approach to increasing attendance rates.
- An effective and systemic district-wide method of collecting and analyzing student data and using this information to regularly monitor students’ progress and increase students’ academic growth and achievement.
Overcrowding was also an area of concern identified in our Thought Exchange Survey. A resolution to address this problem was recently passed by the ESD School Board, and community support of this resolution would give all students in ESD the opportunity to learn within a brick and mortar school community.
Experiential learning is a real passion of mine, and I was impressed by the engaging experience that ESD teacher Megan Rivard recently provided for our students within the outdoor learning lab at Mount Stuart Elementary. Students were inquisitive about the male and female aspects of trees, collected various pine cones, and made mobiles out of these treasures. I look forward to continued visits to our summer school programs at Mount Stuart Elementary, Morgan Middle School and Ellensburg High School.
Great happens here in Ellensburg, and it is a privilege to serve as your superintendent. I hope you are all having a fabulous summer, and I look forward to seeing you in the fall.
Superintendent of Ellensburg School District