FWPS focused on our big goals to accomplish big things for scholars | Superintendent’s message

Dr. Tammy Campbell

Greetings Federal Way Public Schools parents and families,

The dedicated team of educators and staff members in Federal Way Public Schools — 3,000 strong — is committed to the success of each of our student-scholars.

We know the impact that positive and skilled adults have on young people, and we intend to use the goals in our strategic plan as a guide to continue the improvement of student learning in every classroom at each of our 39 school sites.

Our focus on preparing scholars for the world of work will continue to build on the incredible opportunities we provided to scholars over the summer. Over 540 elementary and secondary school students participated in summer enrichment opportunities.

Scholars learned how to code mini-robots called “Spheros,” developed an invention and marketed it, and gained gardening knowledge, all the while learning mathematics embedded in each of these experiences.

Highlights of the work that will be occurring in each goal area during the 2017-18 school year are:

Goal One: The Early Years

• We will convene preschool providers from around the city to discuss what quality early learning experiences look like and brainstorm how we might strengthen collaboration and community partnerships with the school district.

Goal Two: Whole Child

• We will launch our efforts of requiring our current ninth-graders to commit to at least 24 hours of community service.

• We will continue to have high expectations for scholar attendance at school. If scholars are not in school, they are not learning, and if they are not learning, they are not preparing for their futures.

• I am encouraging parents and community members to sign up for The Mentor and Me program or the mentoring program with Community in Schools. In total, both programs have around 250 mentors, and with 23,500 scholars, this is simply not enough. We need more mentors in our schools.

Goal Three: Active Learners

• We are launching powerful learning initiatives across all schools that will focus on science, technology, engineering, the arts and math (STEAM).

• We will continue to expand opportunities that challenge and provide rigorous learning opportunities for scholars including robotics, chess with the superintendent, coding and engineering clubs, math competitions, speech and debate competitions, vocal and instrumental performances and so much more.

An exciting initiative focused on project-based learning with STEM/STEAM will involve our two K-8 schools, Woodmont and Nautilus, becoming FWPS designated lighthouse schools.

This means that over the next few years, at every grade level, scholars will be deeply involved in project-based learning, which has been proven to increase student engagement and success in school.

Goal Four: Content Area Competence

We will continue to convene groups of teachers in selected content areas to create enhanced curriculum and instructional materials so that each scholar, no matter the school, is learning the content standards in powerful ways.

An important area of focus this year will be continuing our committee work to improve our practices in standards-based grading and reporting.

We are creating parent, scholar and staff handbooks to ensure our practices are consistent across all schools and easily understood by parents.

Goal Five: Persistence to Graduation

Our team will be creating a district-wide course catalog that will outline the courses scholars need to take to truly have a college- and career-ready transcript when they graduate.

• We will continue to closely monitor ninth-graders on track for on-time graduation.

• We will track the number of scholars once they graduate to assess how they persist through college, military, apprenticeship programs and other post-secondary pursuits.

As you can see, we have a comprehensive plan for ensuring your child has an incredible school year. However, we cannot do this work without strong partnerships with families and community and need your help in the following ways:

• Ensure your child is at school every day!

• Teach, reinforce and hold your child accountable for being a positive member of their school community!

• Attend back-to-school nights and receive a new tool we created this past year called “Learning Partnership Guide.” It was designed specifically for parents to tell you what your child is expected to learn in every grade and provide tips on how you can help as a parent/guardian.

• Monitor your child’s grades on ParentVue, and if you haven’t signed up already, it is imperative that you do so. Go to www.fwps.org/onlineenrollment to review the steps needed to ensure your students are registered and ready for the start of the school year. You may also contact your school directly or contact (253) 945-2111.

I want to thank you for entrusting your child to Federal Way Public Schools. We aspire to creating learning environments in which every scholar can reach their dreams!

Tammy Campbell is the superintendent for Federal Way Public Schools.

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