A busy summer before a busy school year

By Marci Larsen, Superintendent | Sep 11, 2013

The new school year is underway. School buses are back on the streets, students are back in the classroom, and many school district employees are back from summer vacations.

But, that doesn’t mean our buildings have been empty and all of our employees have been home during the past few months. The fact is, summer is a busy time around here.

We take pride in utilizing our school facilities efficiently, and that means using the summer months for programs that enhance education for a large number of students.

The summer also is the time of year when many construction projects take place and when school buildings get a fresh coat of paint or new carpeting.

More than 1,700 students took advantage of a variety of summer programs this year. Summer School, for example, provided a range of exciting opportunities.

A total of 439 students attended our elementary Summer School program, where they got the chance to take enrichment classes in art, science and technology and also worked on their reading and math skills.

Meanwhile, another 178 students attended a summer learning program called Expanding Horizons, which was held at Horizon Elementary. There, students worked on reading, writing, listening and speaking skills using science.

The ECEAP preschool program also had summer classes; there were summer sessions for students who are learning to speak English, and an extended school year for certain special education students.

Middle school and high school students also attended Summer School. The middle schoolers worked on math skills and took classes designed to enhance their reading ability and expand their vocabulary, while high school students took English and math classes or web-based classes to help them recover credits in a wide range of subject areas.

The Sno-Isle Tech Skills Center also offered summer classes in several career and technical education programs.

Three of our schools also were busy places in helping the community. Through the summer food service program, a total of 13,441 breakfasts and 22,584 lunches were served to children during the summer months.

While all of that was going on, our maintenance crews worked long and hard to repair facilities and get the buildings ready for another school year.

Repairs were made to the exteriors at Discovery Elementary and at ACES and Mariner high schools, covered walkways were repaired at Olympic View Middle School, and the parking lot pavement was refurbished at Picnic Point, Challenger and Olivia Park elementary schools as well as at Mariner.

Floor coverings were replaced at Kamiak and Mariner high schools and at Odyssey Elementary, and the playgrounds were improved at three elementary schools.

Water and lighting conservation improvements also were installed at several buildings and repairs were made to systems such as emergency generators, backflow preventers, fire alarms and sprinkler systems, wheelchair lifts, coolers, freezers, gutters, boilers, and so on.

In total, 797 different work orders were completed during the summer.

Quite often when I meet people and tell them that I work for the school district, they will comment that it must be nice to have the summers off.

I’m sure that the staff members who do all the things I just mentioned, as well as most of those who work with me in the central office, hear that as well.

And, they probably do as I do: just smile and think to themselves, “Yes, that would be nice ... if it were true.”

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