Kent School District February 2023
Highest Graduation Rate in Recent History
Class of 2022: 89%

Over the last 10 years, graduation rates in Kent School District have been trending upward. From 78.7% in 2012-13 to 89% in 2021-22, which is the highest rate in recent Kent School District history. This is an increase from 86.2% in 2020-21. This rate is especially notable due to learning disruptions associated with the pandemic in the past few years and is well above the Washington State average of 82.3%.
We credit this upward trend to our incredible students and outstanding team of educators and support staff working alongside our community toward a common goal – student achievement. It is our belief that each student deserves to attend safe, inclusive, and welcoming schools that are anti-racist and supportive of their development. It is our duty to provide students a comprehensive education that prepares them for higher education or meaningful employment and lifelong success.
To that end, we have worked closely with our Board of Directors to identify priority goals with key indicators and metrics. This collaborative approach to goal setting is essential to continue seeing our graduation rate increase and keeping student achievement and well-being at the center of our work.
This year, each school board member is championing one of our goals. This alignment is necessary to sustain long-term focus as we are successfully preparing all students for their futures.

Goal Enrichment Champions
Removing Barriers to Success

We know it is vital to remove barriers to support every student on their educational path. Research indicates the health and well-being of the whole child is an indicator of student success.
Physical Health: To support better health for students, Kent School District joined multi-district litigation against electronic cigarette maker JUUL for intentionally selling unhealthy products that interfere with student outcomes. I am pleased to report we are part of a nationwide settlement of $1.7 billion. Kent School District’s settlement, still to be determined, will fund drug and tobacco awareness programs.
Mental Health: Student social emotional wellness and mental health has been and will continue to be our focus. Recently, Kent School District filed an Amicus Brief with the U.S. Supreme Court to remove immunity against internet distributors of harmful, defamatory, and erroneous content.

Furthermore, Kent School District has filed suit against TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, SnapChat, and YouTube demanding these companies should be responsible for costs associated with harm to youth caused by social media companies.
Additionally, the School Board approved over a million dollars in contracts with local mental health agencies in May 2022. The state does not support school districts with specific funds to provide mental health services to students. Funding is through grants, state and federal categorical funds, and/or
local levy dollars.  
School Visits
Martin Sortun
Recently, I was fortunate to attend Martin Sortun's Festival of Cultures. Students, families, and staff came together to celebrate diversity. Families were able to share their cultures and heritage by doing a presentation, sharing traditional clothing, or performing a song or dance. It was a pleasure to watch our students and families sharing their cultures. These types of events support one of our priorities, which is creating a culture of belonging.
Kent Elementary

Director Hamada joined me at Kent Elementary where we were greeted by multiple students as we walked to the entrance. Thank you to these students for providing a warm welcome! We were guided by sixth-grade student ambassadors to see dual language classrooms, and a sixth-grade classroom focusing on numeracy instruction.
2023 Bond Conversation Meeting

I was pleased to attend the 2023 Bond Conversation at Kent-Meridian High School. I thoroughly enjoyed the discourse between KSD community members and KSD staff. I was able to see how it helped our community members to gain a deeper understanding of the Bond and, if voter approved, its effect on their students, schools, and families. If you have an opportunity, I strongly encourage you to attend one of the upcoming conversations.

The next meeting is February 9, at Northwood MS Library from 6:00-7:30 pm.
New Bleachers at French Field

We recently replaced the bleachers at French Field. The grandstands have an improved look and feel. Kudos to our Capital Planning Team for completing this work to support our students, families, staff, and community.
Boundary Notification Letters Mailed to Families

Thank you to our incredible Printing Services Team for printing and mailing each student in the district a letter informing them of their assigned attendance boundary school for the 2023-24 school year.

This was one of the largest printing and mailing projects completed by this team.
Be in the Know
Middle School Transition

Last October, the Board of Directors approved a new middle school model that includes sixth, seventh, and eighth grades. Our team has been working hard to prepare for this transition to a new middle school model.

The team has put together a webpage with information and resources to support our students and families with this transition. I understand the impacts this transition will have on our families and students. So, please hear me when I say, we will try to make this transition as smooth as possible. 
  • Earlier this fall, 4,472 elementary students and 1,126 current seventh- grade students were surveyed on a variety of topics relating to middle school including transition activities, athletics/activities, elective classes, and general questions.
  • Families of current fifth- and sixth-grade students were recently surveyed on a variety of topics including transition activities and structure of middle school.
  • Subcommittees on specific subjects are in the final stages of developing plans that will be shared with all stakeholders. These subcommittees include Athletics and Activities, Transition to Middle (both students and families), Electives, Middle School Registration, and special programs (Dual Language and Highly Capable).