Welcome to the 2019/20 school year. All of us in the Stanwood Camano School District are looking forward to greeting students back to school on Wednesday, Sept. 4. A big thank you goes to all staff for preparing schools and classrooms for the new school year.
Instructional staff have attended workshops and training sessions to sharpen their knowledge and skills to ensure the best possible learning experiences for all children. Our maintenance and custodial staff have worked countless hours preparing facilities and school grounds to make sure our schools are safe for staff and students. Office personnel are greeting new families, registering students and making sure that we are ready for all of our students to begin the school year.
Over the past two years, the district gathered feedback from over 550 community members to develop the Stanwood-Camano School District “Collective Commitment.” This feedback was used to identify priorities in our school district, to be the foundation of our Strategic Plan and to be the filter through which district decisions are made. Four areas were identified as priorities: Instructional Core, Engagement, Safety and Resources; all are centered on ensuring that our students are well-rounded, educated, life-ready, productive citizens. Here are the highlights:
Teaching and Learning
I am proud of our staff and students. Our teachers, principals and paraeducators are continuing to provide our students with a high quality education, which has helped us to perform above state averages. Several of our schools have been recognized by the state for improved academic performance.
This is the second year of implementing Math Expressions for grades K-5. Also, we are piloting EnVision in grades 6-12 mathematics and implementing Amplify in our K-5 science program.
Over the summer we have held professional development opportunities for our staff in Guided Language Acquisition Design, mathematics, science, Center for Educational Leadership Evaluation framework, technology, special education AIMSweb, and the new discipline laws. This work affirms our commitment to the instructional core.
School Safety and Security
The safety of our students and staff continues to be a priority. Last spring, the school district hired a safety coordinator to conduct a safety audit of the school district; over 70 staff members were interviewed. Audit results were presented at the Aug. 6 board meeting. A plan of action is being developed based upon the recommendations.
To oversee this process and implement our plan, the school district hired Mark Carter to serve as director of Student Services and Safety. This fall, we will create a District Safety Task Force made up of parents, community members, emergency responders and staff to assist the district in the developing the plan. Items identified in the audit included training, steps for responding uniformly to emergencies, communication protocols, and development of resources in the community. School-based teams will review and update their school plans.
(Facilities and Technology)
You may have driven past the Stanwood High School construction site over the course of the summer. This project is evidence that our community has entrusted us with the resources to provide our students with the best possible learning environments.
The capital bond measure (approved in 2017) is funding the replacement of Stanwood High School, Lincoln Hill High School, Lincoln Academy, Saratoga School (Church Creek Campus), the maintenance and technology facilities and all of the sports-related fields/facilities. I am happy to report that all capital projects are on budget and on schedule.
Cornerstone Construction is the contractor for Stanwood High School and the field/facility improvements. Installation of footings, foundations, floor slabs and structural steel members on the high school site have been completed. Workers have begun installing steel stud framing and duct work.
The new high school is expected to be completed in November 2020. The stadium is being updated, including the installation of a new all-season turf field, complete renovation and expansion of the field house and minor bleacher improvements. All stadium improvements are expected to be completed in September.
Colacurcio Brothers is overseeing the work on Church Creek Campus and the Maintenance and Technology Center.
At Church Creek, they have installed site utilities and storm drainage systems. Construction of building footings, foundation walls and under-slab utilities is underway. This project is expected to be completed by this time next year for students attending Lincoln Hill, Saratoga and Lincoln Academy to begin the 2020-21 school year.
The district maintenance staff have been busy relocating equipment and supplies to the Stanwood Middle School site (old maintenance storage area) in anticipation of remodeling and expansion of the existing facilities located by the stadium. The old facility will become the new Maintenance and Technology Center. The abatement process has begun, and this project is expected to be completed in April 2020.
In 2013, voters approved a Facilities and Technology Levy and renewed that levy (at a reduced amount) in 2018. These funds are used for facility improvements and district-wide technology updates.
The projects listed below and funded by the Facilities and Technology Levy have started or were completed this summer:
• Twin City Elementary parking lot paving
• Stanwood Middle School seismic updates
• Fire alarm system improvements (Stanwood, Twin City and Cedarhome elementaries)
• Playgrounds (Cedarhome, Elger Bay and Utsalady elementaries) to be completed summer 2020.
Other Capital Project news
New project manager, Vicki Cargile, was hired this summer. Vicki will supervise the levy projects and the construction of the Maintenance and Technology Center, while Liz Jamieson, director of Capital Projects, will continue as project manager for the construction of Stanwood High School, Church Creek Campus and field/facility improvements.
The technology department was busy with several projects this summer.
• Video surveillance equipment was installed at Stanwood Elementary School.
• Interactive projectors were installed in several new classrooms.
• Student accounts were set up to work with Clever, software that allows students to use one login with most accounts that they access.
• Work continued on stabilizing the filtering environment.
This fall, we will continue to add Chromebooks to reach the goal of providing one for every student. This will increase the opportunity for teachers and students to integrate technology with teaching and learning.
Updated information regarding all upcoming capital projects is available on our website, Stanwood.wednet.edu.
On Feb. 11, 2020, we will ask our community to renew our Educational Programs and Operations Replacement Levy. This is not a new tax.
Funds from the levy would be used to support Stanwood-Camano School District programs and operations not funded by the state of Washington. This measure will be a four-year levy to be collected through 2024. Our staff will be making presentations about the need for the levy throughout our school community beginning this September.
All of this wonderful progress would not be possible without the support and involvement of our community, amazing volunteers, parents, staff and students. We are truly, “One community dedicated to the success of each student.” This is an exciting time to be a part of the Stanwood-Camano School District!
Enjoy the last days of your summer vacation. I look forward to seeing you throughout the school year. It is my sincere hope that this year will be a fantastic experience for every student and family.