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Welcome Back Letter From Superintendent Ames

Superintendent's Welcome Back Message

I am excited to welcome everyone back for the start of the 2019-20 school year and hope you had an enjoyable summer. A special welcome to the families who are new to the Medical Lake School District. We are happy to serve you and your child beginning the first day of school, Wednesday, August 28, 2019.
We thank those who participated in the Center for Educational Effectiveness Survey to measure the Educational Effectiveness of our schools and district. We had 1,400 responses combined with students, parents and staff. Overall the results are very positive, however, we recognized the need to increase parent involvement and to teach and celebrate cultural diversity. The district will use the results to develop our five year strategic plan and schools will use it for their 2019-20 school improvement planning.

Due to community support and the passing of the six year capital levy, we have been able to begin updates to our facilities this summer. The high school received new flooring in the cafeteria, additional security cameras have been installed in all our buildings, along with a small cosmetic upgrade to the technology building. We will continue to make effective use of our capital funds and thank you for approving the levy in February of 2017.
We are excited to hire 23 new staff members to our district! We welcome 15 teachers, 4 paraeducators, and 4 coaches to our instructional and extra-curricular staff. Additionally, across the district we hired replacements for the Hallett Elementary Principal, payroll/benefits administrator, transportation director and added a new human resources position. We are very pleased to add this talented group to our Medical Lake Team.
We begin the second and final phase of our Chromebook roll-out made possible through a grant from the Department of Defense. This will allow all of our kindergarten through 12th grade students access to a Chromebook. The high school tested it out last year with great success, this year the middle school and both elementaries will be able to do the same. We are thrilled to continue the implementation of one on one devices for all of our students.
Some exciting shifts we have made with this implementation include adopting new English/Language Arts materials for grades 6-12 that support blended digital learning for all students through interactive and multimedia learning opportunities. In grades K-5 we increased our support of math through Zearn, a computer-based program that aligns with our math curriculum, so teachers can work with students in small groups and target specific needs. Our focus is on identifying our student needs and then finding the right tools to address those needs, digital or otherwise.
As always we look forward to continuing our robust extra-curricular activities for 2019-20. Please feel free to join us for events throughout the year. They are posted online as well as on our reader boards throughout the district. It is exciting to see the number of students who participate in activities.
We encourage you to follow us on Facebook, Medical Lake School District, for the latest information and the monthly Superintendent’s message. In closing, thank you for your tremendous support of our schools!
Tim Ames