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Changes abound for students in Everett Public Schools

 

February 1, 2019



February includes two important school related timelines and opportunities for you to weigh in on critical school issues. 1.) Who will be the district’s next superintendent 2.) Where will high school students attend school starting September 2020?

Who will be the next superintendent of Everett Public Schools? Share your thoughts early in the search and hiring process – now through Feb. 10.

After 10 of the most fulfilling years of my professional career, I am retiring as superintendent. The board of directors is now in the process of hiring a search firm to help find a new superintendent to begin work on July 1.

The board is also using an online engagement tool called Thoughtexchange to gather what YOU think in two key areas of the search: 1.) What are the skills and qualities a new superintendent must have to be successful, and 2.) What are the district’s strengths and challenges a new superintendent must know about to be successful?

The Thoughtexchange (http://bit.ly/SupSearchTE) tool will remain open until Sunday evening, Feb. 10.

The genius of this process is its interactive nature – it’s a virtual conversation. You enter your thoughts, AND you see the thoughts and comments of others. You then rank comments you and others make with virtual “stars” – much like you do when reviewing and rating products online. Others see your comments; however your comments are anonymous. Your identity is not connected to the comments.

You can go back to the link multiple times to see how the conversation is going and to rank comments that have rolled in since you last logged on. The conversation is available in multiple languages, so our district’s diverse patrons are included in the discussion. It is both web and phone friendly.

At the end of this early step in the hiring process, the board and the consultant will have a ranked list of all you and others have said are important qualities for a superintendent to have and a ranked list of all you and others say are the district’s strengths and challenges.

These are invaluable nuggets of information the board and search firm need to make this incredibly important choice for students’ futures. I encourage you to follow the links above and share your perspectives between now and Feb. 10.

If you have questions about the process or how to use Thoughtexchange, call 425-385-4040.

Where will high school students attend when school starts in September 2020?

In July, the school board tasked a committee to research and propose solutions to overcrowding at Jackson High School. For the last seven months the committee has met, has held public discussions and sifted and sorted possible solutions.

In January, the committee published high school boundary revision concepts on the district website (http://bit.ly/EPSBoundaryRevMaps). In a nutshell, the proposed boundary revisions move some students from Jackson High to Cascade High and some from Cascade High to Everett High.

The boundary revision concepts are the central topics for public discussions scheduled in early February.

· Wednesday, Feb. 6, 6-7:30 p.m. at Gateway Middle School

· Thursday, Feb. 7, 6-7:30 p.m. at Cascade High School

If neither of those meeting dates or times work for you, you can also leave your thoughts about the proposals online (http://bit.ly/EPSBoundaryOnlineComments) until Tuesday, Feb. 26.

The committee welcomes your thoughts helping form recommendations it will make to me by March 31. I am then responsible for reviewing and incorporating the committee recommendations into a final recommendation the board will consider approving this spring.

Finalizing new high school boundaries by this spring gives families and school communities a year to adjust and make plans for the first day of school in 2020.

School district leadership and school boundaries – each is a weighty and extremely important topic. Both of these processes end with decisions having long-lasting impacts for students, staff, families and communities. I encourage you to take advantage of opportunities designed to gather your perspectives and insights.

Both processes depend upon volunteers willing to immerse themselves in the work. I thank the High School Growth Mitigation Committee volunteers who have spent countless hours working toward sound solutions.

I also thank the Everett Public Schools Board of Directors who are elected volunteers. Among the countless governance decisions they make on behalf of our communities’ children, they have begun the work to find a new district leader to carry on and build upon the work and learning happening in our schools.

 

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