Welcome to the 2016-2017 school year. While it seems strange to talk about 2017, it is even stranger to think of these kindergarteners as the Class of 2029! Can any of us even imagine what it will be like? Therein lies the challenge for us – educate every child for a world that doesn’t even exist. Every child in the Renton Schools needs to be equipped with the skills and knowledge to navigate a world that continues to change faster than any of us could have imagined.
To meet that goal you will be witnessing a staff that is committed to “EVERY child, EVERY day, in EVERY classroom.” In all honesty, public schools have always been organized around a concept of every child gaining from the system what they can. That is no longer good enough. We can no longer accept losses along the way. Our society cannot afford ill-equipped, ill-educated citizens. We cannot accept results that fulfill pipeline-to-prison, homeless, or economically incapable legacies.
What does all of this mean to our schools? It means we make a commitment to you that we will provide the very best education we know how to deliver. Great teachers and great staff throughout the school district have been readying the schools and getting ready themselves to meet the needs of each student.
It also means that Renton schools will see change. Throughout the district are staff who are eager to use their skills and their imaginations to succeed in new ways and at new levels. We are tackling problems that demand better answers. Schools suspensions work against us and they are clearly inequitable; absences and truancy waste our resources; textbooks that are older than all of the kids in the schools cannot be tolerated; outdated, expensive-to-replace, technology frustrates staff and children alike; issues of gender identity, racism, bullying, intolerance and violence are as evident in our school society as they are in society at-large. None of these issues, or dozens like them, are easy to resolve – but you will be a part of our school community as we address them. Ultimately, we strive to provide every child a terrific experience in which he/she knows success. It is upon that success that they will build the world of 2029.
I am honored to be a part of this wonderful work that is underway in Renton Schools for another year. This is truly a great staff, and the children of Renton are fortunate to receive the professional gifts this staff provides.
Dr. Art Jarvis