Opinion

Parents: Be informed, get involved | Note from Superintendent

Sally McLean, interim superintendent of Federal Way Public Schools. - Courtesy Federal Way Public Schools
Sally McLean, interim superintendent of Federal Way Public Schools.
— image credit: Courtesy Federal Way Public Schools

Welcome to the 2014-2015 school year!

I want to share my commitment to your student and to all students for their individual success today and tomorrow, so they can develop into contributing, successful members of this community.

Learning is a rewarding journey. It is a path that begins with crayons and stories shared and blossoms into a love of literature, history, mathematics, science, technology and the arts.

Learners seek a nurturing environment that encourages questions and exploration, learning and growth. Our job is to instill within every student the desire and wisdom to make learning an integral component of life.

Across our district, programs are in place to prepare our students for whatever path they want to pursue after high school. We pioneered the Academic Acceleration Program four years ago, successfully increasing enrollment and passage rates in rigorous courses.

We were also among the first districts in the nation to implement College Readiness Day. On one day in October, all high school students in the district participate in college preparation activities.

As part of this, all high school seniors are registered to take the SAT, at district expense, during the normal school day. This helps students overcome obstacles — weekend jobs, lack of transportation — that might prevent them from taking the SAT at the traditional weekend times.

These are just two examples of the tremendous, groundbreaking work taking place across this district, and why I am proud to lead this district.

Parents, I ask that you partner with us in providing your child the skills necessary to acquire knowledge, independence and empowerment.

Each of our contributions is important in the development and education of a child; in the classroom, in the community and in the home. Your child seeks encouragement, support and guidance. They look to you to model the qualities required for them to succeed.

Here are three simple tips I can offer you, with thanks to our Family and Community Partnership Office:

• Be informed. Bookmark our website, www.fwps.org, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Watch for our app, coming soon, to make it even easier to get the information you need and want most.

• Be prepared. Make connections with your child’s school through other parents, teachers, the principal and family liaison or Parent and Community Partnership Office.

• Be involved. Let your child know that his or her education is important, and that you will be there every step of the way. Go to student-led conferences and school events. Talk together nightly about what they are learning and doing at school.

Community members, the education and nurturing of a child require everyone’s hard work and commitment. The work is not easy but it is the most important work anyone can do.

Each of us plays a unique role in helping every child define the person they are today and the person they will become tomorrow. I ask that you consider volunteering in our schools or mentoring a child.

The Federal Way AmeriCorps Program and Communities in Schools will help you find your niche.

Public education has long been the foundation of our nation and an investment we all make for the benefit and welfare of generations to follow.

The Federal Way community has a strong history of investment in our kids. If you are reading this column you were most likely the recipient of this gift.

This is the investment society makes in each of us in its desire to strengthen and unite the whole.

I look forward to the continued success of the children in this community — the greater Federal Way community’s future.

Sally McLean is the interim superintendent of Federal Way Public Schools.

 

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