Looking ahead to the new year, planning for the future of schools

  • Wednesday, January 9, 2019 1:49pm
  • Opinion

By Flip Herndon

Interim Superintendent

As the daylight gets shorter and the temperatures drop, Tukwila Schools are continuing to work diligently in supporting all of our students before they are off for winter break (Dec. 24 to Jan. 4, 2019).

December also is usually a time to reflect on all that has been accomplished during 2018 — we have much to be proud of and plenty of lessons learned and areas where we can improve and get better. The beginning of 2019 is when many school districts start planning for the following year. Much of that planning takes months of analysis, research and discussion. Tukwila is no different.

On the capital side, you will begin to see progress onsite at Foster High School. We will also be preparing for the work to be done at Showalter Middle School and the elementary schools. Once we have more information, you will be able to read about it and see pictures of progress on our website as well as attend any public meetings we have scheduled. We appreciate your support of Tukwila School District.

On the fiscal and policy side, January begins the legislative session down in Olympia. There are always discussions and possible funding or changes in the law that can impact school districts. Tukwila is a special place and we want to make sure we have as much support as possible from our legislative partners. We are communicating with our elected officials to make sure we are being clear about how we believe Tukwila is positively or negatively impacted by any changes in legislation. Even though we are smaller than our neighboring school districts, our students are no less deserving and we want to make sure our voice is heard. I have every belief that our legislators will take the time to listen to our concerns and support our best interests. I look forward to working with the school board and legislators to achieve the best outcomes possible for the children of Tukwila.

Lastly, we will begin planning for the 2019-2020 school year. This is a process that includes schools, human resources, budgeting, teaching and learning, transportation, etc. Essentially, all departments start working on how best to plan for the following school year and how our coordinated efforts will best serve our students. We have challenges for sure, but I am confident that through discussion and coordination, we can work to best allocate resources that take into account Tukwila’s diverse student population and continue to close persistent student achievement gaps.

Thank you for everything you have done to support Tukwila in 2018 and I look forward to continuing that positive momentum into 2019.

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