The 2013-14 school year is here! There are so many exciting things happening in our school district – not the least of which is the new high school building project that is underway. The plan is for students to walk through the doors in September 2015. Our community is providing a great environment for learning through the passage of the building bond – thank you all for that!
In addition, the 2013-14 state budget doubled eligibility for state funded full-time kindergarten. This increase will support full-time kindergarten at Sand Hill Elementary School. Although Belfair Elementary was not funded by the state, Superintendent Peterson decided that equity demanded we use local funds to support full-time kindergarten at Belfair. It is because of very strong and conservative fiscal management over the last several years that we are in the position to do this.
The principals and kindergarten teachers at Belfair and Sand Hill started the planning in the spring for this possibility. They have identified the rooms, hired additional kindergarten teachers, ordered all of the needed supplies and materials, and have designed a great experience for the students.
The North Mason School District Transportation Department headed by Tom Culliton, Director of Transportation, is a highlight for our district. Bus drivers are the first adults outside of the home to see our students in the morning, and often the last adult to see them at the end of the school day. Their professional staff is dedicated to helping students arrive at school safely, ready to learn and grow. The big yellow buses were part of the school supply drive just recently, parked at QFC and Safeway, with drivers in attendance accepting donations to fill backpacks for students who otherwise may not have been able to prepare for school. 263 backpacks were filled by the beginning of school. Our transportation department steps up to help students in many ways, always with a friendly “good morning” and a heartfelt “have a good day” as their riders leave at the end of the school day. They are extremely valuable to the education of our students.
“Back to school” has many different meanings to everyone. It is the last year for senior students who are looking forward to life beyond high school and the first year for kindergarten students looking forward to school life. The mission of North Mason School District, together with our community, is to educate, empower, and inspire all students. Our administration and staff are working diligently to provide a successful experience for all students.