Homework for the Tukwila community | Superintendent Nancy Coogan

  • Tuesday, April 18, 2017 9:00am
  • Opinion

Superintendent Nancy Coogan

Happy spring! We certainly are feeling the transition from winter to spring, as we move between umbrellas and sunglasses many times throughout the day. In schools, just like in nature, this is a period of blossoming and anticipation. Young minds are well acclimated to the patterns of the school year, and they now have the confidence to take knowledge to the next level by applying it to real-world problems with critical thinking. Of course, they are also looking toward that magical day of June 21, when summer break begins.

Between now and then, we have a lot of work to do. As our classrooms are busy with state assessments, final projects and core learning, I have a challenge for you, too. That’s right, it’s homework time for the Tukwila community. You will be graded mainly on participation, but style and creativity is also appreciated. Here’s your syllabus:

1. State of the District and Community Celebration

Due date: May 11. Please join me as I provide a high-level overview of the progress we are making in schools, our most pressing challenges and our top priorities for the coming year. I will also talk about the “refreshed” Strategic Plan, which will include information about technology goals and educational strategies (based on much community input via meetings and surveys). The event is at 5:30 p.m. at Foster High School, with the presentation at 6 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center. We will have community groups with resources, a potluck with food and drinks and — best of all —student performers and entertainers. This is our chance to collectively learn about local education and celebrate our incredible community.

2. Leaders at the Library

Due date: June 3. This is the ongoing forum I host with Tukwila Mayor Allan Ekberg. We are excited that the next event will be in the new Foster library, at the corner of Tukwila International Boulevard and South 144th Street. Please come from 10 a.m. to noon to talk about construction projects or anything else that is on your mind. We want to hear from you.

3. Bond video updates

Due date: Weekly and bi-weekly. We have a lot of information about our bond projects online, and that will increase as we get rolling with actual construction beginning this summer. To make it easy for you to stay up-to-date, we are introducing short videos featuring project leaders talking about construction highlights after each full-day planning meeting with architects. You can find these videos and all the other bond-project information under the announcement section on our homepage, tukwilaschools.org.

4. Teach computer science, keep your day job

Due date: mid-April. Are you a computer scientist or software engineer? Please consider volunteering next school year to help Foster High School expand its Advanced Placement Computer Science offerings. The courses will be held during first period to accommodate professionals’ regular jobs. All training will be provided, and professionals will work alongside the skilled classroom teacher. Interested? Learn more and apply online at tealsk12.org/volunteers. Questions? Contact Patrick O’Steen, patrick@tealsk12.org.

Thank you for your ownership and interest in the Tukwila School District. Your involvement not only contributes to the direction and priorities of local schools, but adult engagement has a significant positive impact on student achievement. What you do makes a difference, and I welcome and encourage your involvement every day.

Tukwila School Superintendent Nancy Coogan can be reached at 206-901-8006 or at ncoogan@tukwila.wednet.edu.

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