WATTSHAPPENING SUPERINTENDENT'S UPDATE WITH DR. CALVIN J. WATTS JANUARY 2021 Dear KSD Community, Happy New Year, and welcome back! I trust that you were able to unplug, rest, relax, and rejuvenate during our winter vacation. While I know that was the case for so many, I also empathize with those amongst us who may not have shared this same experience. This first week of the new year, our entire KSD Community has continued to experience 2021 together, including some impactful moments that can change our perspective. In fact, moments like what occurred in our nation's capital on January 6, can change the public consciousness. We, the people, determine whether that change is for the common good or for something far worse. We have come to witness several extraordinary moments over the past year, so much so that even the year itself, #2020, has been transformed into a trope of negativity. Today, I take no comfort in the fact we are still learning how to live out the true meaning of this country's creed-We hold these truths to be self-evident that all are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness! In these times, I am reminded of our commitment to one another as colleagues and community members, and the importance of taking care of each other and ofour entire organization. As parents, caregivers, and educators, we are called to lead ourselves so that others would choose to follow. Leading with passion, compassion, empathy, and love toward our fellow brothers and sisters should become the standard. As recent events in our nation's capital unfolded, we were able to witness the strengths and weaknesses of our democracy. We witnessed what we know about the human condition-that hurt" people hurt people. And healed" people heal people. I firmly believe that leadership is about the constant healing of others, the healing of our organization so that those who are charged with teaching may do just that, and those who are charged with learning may also do just that. The beautiful irony of education as an institution is that adults must be prepared to learn as often as they lead, and students must be prepared to lead as often as they learn. When we do this well, we will not always get it right. Most importantly, when we do this well, we will gain greater empathy for one another. The more empathy we gain towards one another, the harder it becomes to hurt, and the easier it becomes to heal. Speaking of healing, our Board and staff met for a work session earlier this week as we plan to engage in a thoughtful and transformative partnership with Kingmakers of Oakland. Leaders within the Kingmakers of Oakland organization often refer to organization's culture as an "ecosystem." To further extend the analogy, they refer to continuous improvement work as healing the fish while clearing the toxicity from the waters in which they live." While we have included representatives from each employee group in these empathy and equity conversations with Kingmakers, we have also committed to including student voice as often as possible. That is not to say that our students are the fish in our ecosystem that need healing. In fact, students are often doing the most healing when you invite them to the table and help clear the water's toxicity. That has been our experience on this journey with Kingmakers, and it continues to be my experience in KSD. 1-31 National Mentoring JAN Month Leading with empathy is not easy. For those who have engaged in this work, you realize the effort it takes to get out of your own way of thinking and to truly listen to what is being said while withholding judgment or interpretation. 1-31 School Board JAN Appreciation Month We have much work to do this school year. As we stay focused on the future, the hope and promise that lives within each and every student, we must also continue learning from our past. I am grateful to move forward together with the passionate, compassionate, empathetic students, families, staff, and community leaders in KSD from the living room to the classroom to the boardroom. 13 KSD Virtual Board JAN Meeting 18 Martin Luther King Jr. JAN Day, No School In partnership and service, 27 KSD Virtual Board JAN Meeting 29 Teacher Workshop JAN Day, No School Dr. Calvin J. Watts Kent School District KENT SCH OOL DISTRICT EQUITY - EXCELLENCE - COMMUNITY UPCOMING EVENTS
Final Boundary Study Report to be Presented at January 13 Board Meeting You are invited to view the Final Boundary Report Online, Attend the January 13 Board Work Session and Public Hearing Boundary studies and the boundary change process are very complex and involve multiple variables. In August 2020, the Kent School Board of Directors commissioned MGT Consulting Group to evaluate school attendance boundaries and develop a final report to present to the Board based on their data analysis, community engagement, and study review process. Communicating with Kent School District (KSD) families, staff, and the community has been a priority for KSD and MGT Consulting throughout this process. After each community feedback meeting, the boundary consultants received emails and comments regarding the proposed scenarios. The MGT Consulting and KSD Leadership teams met multiple times to review and analyze all feedback and review boundary study data. Modifications based on feedback were made to the interim report and used to help develop the final recommendation to the Board. - - .. Final changes in the boundary proposal will be presented to the Board at a virtual work session on January 13, 2021, at 5:30 p.m. During the January 13 regular board meeting, a public hearing regarding the proposed boundary changes is open to the public; the meeting begins at 7:00 p.m. The KSD Board will take action on the proposal on January 27, 2021, at the regular board meeting. School Board Recognition Month School Board Recognition Month is celebrated in January to recognize elected community members who dedicate their time to serve on the school board. Board members represent certain boundaries or areas within the school district and help make important decisions that impact our students. THANK YOU- As trustees for the community's schools, the Kent School Board of Directors is responsible and accountable for vision, structure, advocacy, and accountability. Board meetings and board work sessions are held each month for our elected officials to discuss and vote on policies and procedures that guide the education our students receive and the financial longevity of our district. BO RD The tasks that come with being a school board member can be many, but our elected officials sacrifice time away from their lives and families to help make a positive difference in our community. Their commitment to service and public education affects the future lives of our children and our community. And for that, we say thank you! Please join me in celebrating and honoring our board members this month. Apply to Serve as District 1 Director The Kent School Board is seeking candidates for the vacant board position representing District 1. The successful candidate will be appointed by the Board to serve until the next regularly scheduled school board election. This is not a paid position. Online applications are being accepted until 5:00 p.m. on January 14, 2021.
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