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    Juneau's Journal May 31
    Posted on 05/31/2019

    School Board approves new K-12 science materials!

    This week several memorable events took place. First, Garfield’s Girls Softball team won the State Class 3A Championship. They are the first Seattle Public Schools softball team to win top honors. Their story is one of hard work, focus, and perseverance. Up until two seasons ago, the team had never been to a state championship, and this year they brought home the trophy. It is so inspiring to see young women at the top of their game – proving to themselves and our entire community that anything is possible and within reach. Congratulations to Coach Ken Simpson and the entire Garfield team. We are so proud of you! Go Bulldogs!

    On Wednesday, the school board also made history by approving rigorous and educator recommended K-12 science materials for all students in the district. The board addressed a decades long issue by approving the new materials, which will replace outdated science curricula that were adopted 24 years ago for elementary, 17 years ago at grades 6-8, and 20 years ago for only one 9-12 science course.

    I want to personally thank the 90 members that participated on the adoption committees, which included: students, teachers, principals, scientists, engineers, and university professors. Every student in Seattle will benefit because of your dedication, commitment to equity, and passion for K-12 science education.

    And today, for the second year in a row, district staff, families, and students kicked off the upcoming LGBTQ Pride Month by raising the pride and transgender pride flags at the central office. I am so proud to lead a district that lives out its values every day of inclusion and acceptance. I am looking forward to next month’s Pride Parade and hope to see you there with Seattle Public Schools and our students. I will be marching proudly with our big yellow bus. Read more about the district participation in the Seattle Pride Parade.

    One of my personal goals was to visit all 102 schools before the end of the school year, and I am getting close to doing it! This last week I visited four remarkable schools.

    Jane Addams Middle School

    Superintendent Juneau talks with students in the school hallAt Jane Addams Middle School I met with Principal Montgomery and some student journalists. The student journalists were tough! They asked me thoughtful questions about opportunity gaps and segregation they perceive in highly capable programs. Principal Montgomery shared that the school’s Race and Equity Team has been holding Q&A sessions with students. This learning is shared back with the entire staff and is helping the school center their work on the needs of young people.

    Wedgwood Elementary

    Superintendent Juneau and Principal Liu pose for a photo with students
    At Wedgwood Elementary in the northeast region of the city, my tour guides were Samantha, Maria, Kienan, and Persephone. I was impressed with the school’s approach to collaboration and student-centered solutions. At recess I observed some young students working with the playground supervisor about tag rules – collaborating to address some ongoing issues. Principal Liu, focused on making Wedgwood a safe and welcoming school, has been holding affinity groups during student lunch. The groups are a place the students can find deep community and connection. So far there are groups for Latinx and African American students. Students shared with me that they really like these groups and they are very popular.

    View Ridge Elementary

    Superintendent Juneau poses for a photo with two students“One big happy family” is how Ellery and Emil, my student tour guides, described View Ridge Elementary. And I would have to agree with their assessment. I got to meet first grade students who launched the Be Kind Initiative. They planted an assortment of plants around the school, delivered flowers to neighbors, and hand out kindness chains when they catch someone being kind. I also got to sit in on a student council meeting. They were in deep conversation about the upcoming coin drive and where to give the money. It was awesome to listen in on the thoughtful, passionate conversation about giving. Thank you to Principal Roos for inviting me to your school. Your students shared that the school adults seem to “dedicate themselves to the school.” This sentiment is a testament to the great staff at View Ridge.

    Laurelhurst Elementary

    Superintendent Juneau talks with a student in a classroomI loved meeting with Principal Snyder. He is a first-year principal, but not a first timer at Laurelhurst Elementary; he attended Laurelhurst as a student! There are many Seattle school leaders who come back to the district to give back – he is one of them. This year, Laurelhurst is focused on building relationships and community and I witnessed that commitment throughout the building. I also got to check in with a student reading about spiders. I learned a lot from her! It's also great to see students engaged in reading. I am excited about our reading campaign this next year, and getting every student to be a strong, super reader.

    Denise Juneau

    Corny joke of the week: My friend recently said to me: "What rhymes with orange?" and I said: "No it doesn't."