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    Juneau's Journal Feb. 1
    Posted on 02/01/2019
    Photo of John Stanford

    Black History Month

    Every February, the nation honors Black History Month by recognizing the countless contributions, achievements, and rich traditions of African Americans throughout history and today.

    The building that I enter each day for work is named after John Stanford, the late Seattle Public Schools superintendent and former United States general who, when he began his leadership role in 1995, became the district’s first African American superintendent.

    Remembered by many for his striking leadership and character, Stanford is one of many black visionaries who have left a lasting legacy on not just this city, but this nation.

    In schools throughout the district this month, students and educators will be paying tribute to the generations of African Americans and their contributions to the economic, cultural, and political development of this country.

    It is our duty to ensure that the work happening in February continues throughout the rest of the year, and it is my commitment to ensure that each and every student graduates prepared for life success, which is why I feel strongly about the focus of the draft 2019 Strategic Plan.

    Next week (Feb. 4 - 8) is also national Black Lives Matter at School Week. Thank you again to Seattle Education Association (SEA), our educators, SEA’s Center for Racial Equity, and the district’s ethnic studies work group for their thoughtful planning and preparation.

    Photo of Superintendent Juneau with members of Haida Heritage FoundationOn Mon., Jan. 28, I was welcomed by members of the Haida Heritage Foundation at Graham Hill Elementary School for the final strategic plan community meeting. I want to thank everyone who participated in strengthening and refining the draft 2019 Strategic Plan. Hundreds of staff, students, parents, and partners provided feedback in-person or online.

    The Strategic Plan Steering Committee will review the suggestions provided, adjust, and present the plan to the School Board for approval in March.

    Superintendent Juneau with studentThe highlight of my week is visiting schools. Each Thursday I spend time in classrooms with educators, school leaders, and students. I am on track to visit all 102 schools by May.

    This week’s highlight was to Mrs. Kramer’s kindergarten classroom at Alki Elementary School. Students were excited to share their data books with me, detailing their progress in math and literacy. Students shared the numbers or letters they knew at the beginning of the year and what they know this month. They were so excited and proud of their progress. It was awesome to see such student-centered learning, where even our youngest learners are engaged in their own academic growth.

    Denise Juneau

    Corny joke of the week: Those who think that one couldn’t make a difference have never spent a night with a mosquito! (Spotted in Ms. Scranton’s multi-arts room at Alki Elementary)