Superintendent's Message - November 19, 2018

jeverett Sat, 11/17/2018 - 5:18pm
jeverett's picture

Greetings Meridian Students, Families and Community!
 

92.5% of Meridian High School Seniors graduated on time in 2018. This rate is the highest rate on record for MHS. The graduation rate can be attributed to many factors that have supported the hard work of the 2018 graduates. Graduation is where we experience our students leaving our K-12 system. It is the culmination of several years of hard work at each level - elementary, middle school, and high school. For anyone who has witnessed our graduation ceremonies, it is always special to see just how many of our Meridian students attended district schools since kindergarten. This outstanding graduation rate is the result of tremendous work throughout our students' educational careers. Congratulations to all of our high school staff, but also to our parents, other district staff, and community who have been supportive of our students at every opportunity. Please see the posted announcement, linked here. Congratulations!

 

Washington Association of School Directors Annual Conference

For most of this past week I was attending the Washington State School Board Director Association (WSSDA) annual conference at the Spokane Convention Center with three of our board members: Marty Gray, Brian Evans, and Craig Mitchell. This is the main opportunity for our board of directors to receive professional development about pertinent and impactful educational issues. We have been attending sessions to provide background and understanding for several different issues facing school districts today: education finance, school and district culture, elections, advocacy, teacher and student engagement, legislative priorities, student safety, student voice, school safety, equity, student wellness, professional development, communication, data and reducing barriers.

It's a great thing for our school board members to be able to attend and participate in conversations with other school board members and to learn more about the trends impacting the overall educational community. Networking is a valuable practice as we gauge what it is we will be doing to promote and support our strategic plan goals of increasing student achievement, closing achievement and opportunity gaps, quality hiring and promotion of excellent professional development to our teachers and principals. As volunteers in their positions on the board, they often have to leave their families, jobs and other commitments. They must often take vacation days or make some other such arrangements to attend this conference. All of our board members are strong advocates for public education and lifelong learning.

It is interesting to note there are 1,477 school directors in Washington - and they represent the largest collective group of elected officials in our state. We are fortunate and appreciate the passion for Meridian School District our board shares. Thank you board directors Marty Gray, Brian Evans, Craig Wasilewski, Craig Mitchell, and Beav Elenbaas for your dedication and support!

 

What Will You Achieve?

The theme of the Washington State School Directors Association (WSSDA) conference was 'Embrace Your Influence" as the primary focus and largest contingent of individuals attending the conference were board directors. Many superintendents accompany their board members, as well. It is not always clear for board directors how they can best connect and support the schools in their districts. The premise of the theme was to challenge board directors to use their roles to help motivate and encourage lifelong learning. Public education not only has the power to be an equalizer, it is also a springboard to greater goals and increased understanding of one's capacity to learn and grow. All of the adults in our system have the power to inspire. We are all wired to be relational and to connect. Our aim is to increase our students' belief in themselves and expand their own horizons.

Our children are our most important asset, bar none. We appreciate the trust and support we feel for your willingness to allow us the honor of serving your children. When we consider what that means for helping all of our students it's important everyone understands we mean ALL students, regardless of income level or cultural background. It means we are going to be intentional about supports and opportunities to focus on what is going well and how we can improve for each student. It is engaging to ask, "What will you achieve?" and consider how our students can apply what they have learned at each level they experience as they move through our district to prepare for their next level of life. I encourage you to talk with your children about what they will achieve. Sometimes having the conversation is enough to broaden their perspectives!

School Board Meeting

The next regularly scheduled school board meeting is at 7:00 pm on Wednesday, November 28, 2018. Board meetings are held in the Professional Development/Board Room at MHS. All staff members are invited and welcome to attend School Board meetings. Meeting agendas and minutes can be accessed via a link from the District website or at http://www.boarddocs.com/wa/msdwa/Board.nsf/Public