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September 2017 - Posts
As we begin school, I would like to take the opportunity to share some of my beliefs and commitments that I like to refresh each new year.  I hope you will join me in these ideas as we march into the 2017-2018 school year together.    I believe the education of each student is a responsibility shared by students, families, schools and communities. This belief leads to my commitment to the continued development of our place-based curriculum and Maritime Discovery Schools initiative. This belief is grounded in the idea that students need to be engaged in collaborative and meaningful educational activities in order to build the skills and knowledge needed in the 21st century. I believe we all are guardians of the school district values, mission, vision, and goals.  My commitments are to be fair, truthful, reliable, and respectful while we diligently work to deepen the learning experiences for our students. These deeper experiences take a lot of effort and thought around how we can leverage our place-based ideas, engage our community based on real needs, and assure that rigorous standards and assessments are part of every project.  Further, I would like to share a short list of what students really need. Challenge and rigor Interest and choice A sense of belonging and community A safe environment A teacher who believes they are valuable and capable Support Growth and development intellectually and socially/morally I hope you will join me in these beliefs and commitments. We can all be committed to the student experience. That is, we can understand that our public schools are where our students experience a significant part of their life. Let’s work together to ensure we are centered on creating quality opportunities for students that are rigorous, relevant and connected to our community.   Further, I would like to thank the wonderful Port Townsend community for supporting the school bond to create Salish Coast Elementary.  Many superintendents never have the opportunity to oversee new school construction, and here I am getting to do this in my first two years in this seat.  I am humbled by the opportunity and thankful for all the great people contributing – from our staff, to our school board, to committee members, and our local city, county and agency officials.  This project is truly a big team effort!   This past summer the State legislators approved a state operating budget. Within the budget, there are significant shifts in funding and implications for public school districts and how we receive and account for funding. The changes will be phased in over several years with some starting in the 2017-18 school year. These changes bring a big learning curve to all of us, and we are learning as much as we can as we work closely with the state, the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), our local Educational Service District in Bremerton, and neighboring school districts. Many of the projects that were funded during the 2012 Capital Projects Levy are complete, but we have held on to some of the funds as we are continuing to vision our long-range facility plans at the High School, which includes the Lincoln School Building.  We will carry over funding into the 17-18 school year, and potentially beyond, as we continue work on Salish Coast Elementary.  With these tax dollars, we have been able to focus resources to continue to improve our student learning environments, safety lighting, student and staff safety with updated security cameras, asset preservation at Blue Heron, and significant technology upgrades in all buildings.   If you are still reading….thanks!  I do want to point out that I publish a newsletter as a tool to share information about the district. Please sign up or bookmark this to receive regular updates on our school district. 
Posted by john.polm  On Sep 27, 2017 at 2:26 PM