As we begin a new calendar year it is a great time to reflect on the start of the 2017-2018 school year and share our plans for the second half. I am pleased with our student’s hard work and that of our staff members, too. Great things are happening in classrooms and I love seeing the successes of our students.
Wapato Public Schools continues to make student achievement a priority as we work to have our students graduate and ready to be competitive in the global economy. We have concluded our fall parent-teacher conferences with an exceptional turnout and our fall benchmark assessments to measure the progress our students made this fall. Kindergarten and middle school language arts had some exceptional data points. Staff from throughout the District use the data to assess their work and plan for interventions to address areas of need. The fall after school intervention program at the elementary schools was a success and we so appreciate parents who see the need and access this program. Thank you for this support. Fall athletics went well and students did exceptionally well on their eligibility. Overall, it was a great start to the school year.
As the second half of the school year gets underway our winter sports teams are diligently working to be State competitors. With last year’s wrestling team returning three State medalists, the anticipation that we will have a 1st place State winner is exciting. We have a number of upcoming events planned for our community who always attends and supports our work. The 61st Annual Bean Feed is on February 2nd, the Cultural Unity Fair takes place March 29th, and the Magic of Reading Family Night & BBQ is on May 8th. The District is working on updating its District Improvement Goals that prioritize our work. Staff across the District are preparing for the opening of Simcoe Elementary School. I am so excited and proud to see the completion of this additional elementary! We are on budget and on time for the building to be completed in late March. The landscaping will follow sometime in the late spring and summer. This is the first step in our long-term goal to update our elementary schools. In the coming years, we will need to build a new Camas and a new Satus Elementary School. We believe quality and updated facilities are an essential part of increasing student achievement. The other impact of building new schools is the infusion of resources into our local economy. As builders, carpenters, and masons enter our community to provide their expertise, these professionals spend money in our community at latte stands, stores, and gas stations. I believe this benefits our local businesses and our community while building our community quality facilities. Finally, we have an Educational Programs and Operations Replacement Levy that will be on the February 2018 ballot. The community effort to pass the replacement levy is being led by JoAnne Estes and Tony Hernandez. These two community members are co-chairing the Wapato Citizens for Better Schools Committee. The levy, along with levy equalization, account for more than 10% of the District’s annual operating budget. This replacement levy will be on the February 13, 2018 ballot.
As you can see, our entire Wapato Schools family is busy with all the work and activities that are happening. I so appreciate the support of our voters, taxpayers, patrons, parents, and elders. I believe Wapato Public Schools is successful because of each and every one of you! We have AWESOME students and working together we will continue our high graduation rate at Wapato High School, students with scholarships, and graduates who are college and career ready.Thank you for your support of our work, and Go Wolf Pack!