New school year brings changes to Tukwila School District | Commentary – Judith Berry

The school district is up and running, and we are excited that our scholars are ready for a successful year. Our facilities are ready with polished floors, fresh paint and cut grass. Walk-in freezers are stocked with goodies for breakfast, lunch and after-school snacks. Buses have been checked for safety, and 10 of the 19 buses are brand new to transport our scholars to and from school. Teachers are rested and have designed colorful bulletin boards to welcome our scholars. Administrators have ensured instructional resources reach all classrooms. District office professionals are processing allocated dollars for department and school accounts. Yes, we are ready to serve.

What is new this year? As of August, I have taken the helm as interim superintendent of the school district. We have hired 13 new teachers who are excited to facilitate learning for all scholars. T.C. Wallace joined the district in June as the executive director of human resources. He comes to us from Nashville, Tenn. Gayle Wilson, who worked for the district previously, became director of special education. Megan McGroarty is new to the district and principal at Foster High School. Teodora Bordeanu, formerly Cascade View Elementary’s assistant principal, is now the school’s principal, taking over for Jeff Baker, who became the district’s director of data and technology.

In relationship to new curriculum and instruction, Tukwila School District has a new online school, called Tukwila Online School. Two school districts in Washington host statewide online educational programs, and we are committed to serving scholars in a 24/7 format. The program is tuition-free and open to students in sixth- through 12th-grade. Our self-paced courses provide an excellent opportunity for students with challenges attending a traditional full-time school. This program provides an option to stay in school and earn a high school diploma. The program is an excellent option for home-schooled students to earn credits. Tukwila Online School has a complete high school curriculum with more than 90 high school electives, including advanced placement (AP) classes. It has a complete middle school curriculum with several elective courses. Learn more about the program by calling 1-888-730-1101 or view offerings at redcomet.org/tukwila.

The Tukwila School District has installed SmartLabs in each of the elementary and middle schools. They are engaging programs where students explore STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and media arts through applied technology and project-based learning. The programs are fully-integrated learning environments where everything from the furniture and technology to curriculum and assessment work together to support hands-on, minds-on learning. The labs are places where personalized learning and intrinsic motivation engage students of all ages, interests and abilities. And in every one, students are creating remarkable projects that motivate them to inquire, explain, tackle new problems and celebrate their solutions.

As you can see, the Tukwila School District is indeed ready to serve scholars and families by providing access to contemporary curriculum and instruction that promotes academic excellence to ensure scholars are college and career ready. Please feel free to stop by any of our schools and give us a try. Enrollment is still going on for our traditional and online programs.

Interim Tukwila School Superintendent Judith Berry can be reached at 206-901-8037 or at berryj@tukwila.wednet.edu.