Superintendent's Corner: Positive Start Focused on Success

By Brian Wharton 
Posted 9/6/22

The 2022-2023 school year is off to a great start. In the district, we are focusing less on “back to normal” notions, and more on rising up to new and greater opportunities. In the days …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Superintendent's Corner: Positive Start Focused on Success

Posted

The 2022-2023 school year is off to a great start. In the district, we are focusing less on “back to normal” notions, and more on rising up to new and greater opportunities. In the days leading up to the first day of school, we saw many powerful signs that give us energy for the upcoming year.

First, we saw massive turnouts at all back to school events. We have missed these opportunities for several years now and it was so good to see students, parents and staff greeting each other, smiling and setting a positive course for the days ahead. The trend of strong parent participation began showing last spring and has continued into the new school year.

Next, we are seeing record turnouts by students for athletics and activities. Students from middle to high school are seeking to be a part of teams and organizations in numbers far exceeding those of just three years ago. This, too, is a trend from last spring. We know that students who are connected to clubs and sports tend to perform at higher levels in the classroom. At our last school board meeting, we were proud to announce that our high school FFA chapter is the largest in the United States. Amazing.

We have also noticed a strong increase in donations of food, school supplies, clothing and hygiene products for families in need. Our family resource pantries are well stocked due to the generosity of our community. Last school year demonstrated a significant increase in need with record numbers of students experiencing homelessness and an increase in the number of families eligible for free or reduced-price meals at school. Our community outreach team will be working extremely hard to connect resources with families.



Lastly, our board has set forth a simple and positive set of goals for the school year. We will be tightly focused on student achievement — both high proficiency and high growth. We know our students will have to work hard, but will fill in any learning gaps from our pandemic experiences. We are also placing high emphasis on building a strong sense of belonging for our students, staff and families. High achievement and growth can only happen when students know they are connected, supported and respected at schools.

I hope that everyone in our community will connect with our schools in some way. Please access our district and school websites for information about school events, athletic contests or our many programs that provide community service. We will definitely welcome our students back to school, but we welcome the community as well. 

•••

Brian Wharton is the superintendent for Yelm Community Schools.

Comments

No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here