Opinion

MICHELLE REID | The Olympic Spirit

As we have watched the many inspiring performances at the recent Olympic Games in Socchi, I can’t help but note the similarity to a quality educational experience. The time and commitment necessary for the Olympic athletes to achieve success is significant. So to, the effort required to successfully work through education to a fulfilling career is also significant.

The support team necessary to produce Olympic gold must be well-trained, collaborative and focused on a goal that together they are able to attain. Likewise, our school district staff team embodies such a winning team and supports students of all ages and abilities in the most important of journeys; that of preparing for a career and life in general.

The pursuit of excellence does not have a great margin of error. So too, research tells us that by 2020, 68 percent of the available jobs in Washington state will require a post-secondary degree of some type. Given this information, our focused target is to have South Kitsap School District students, all of them — no exceptions, ready for this reality.

Our goal is to minimally have eighty percent of our graduates able to effectively enter post-secondary education by 2020. This includes technical schools, two year colleges, four year colleges and universities, the military, etc. The standard for college and career ready is no longer different. With the second largest technical skills employer in the northwest in our backyard, the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard (PSNS), it is a great opportunity for us to collaborate for student success.

Having recently met with the leadership from PSNS, it is clear that a first collaborative step in support of student success is to raise the level of rigor in our mathematics instructional program. Given that mathematics determines eighty-four percent of our current career choices, raising our expectations formath attainment is necessary. We are working hard to address these new challenges and requirements.

Just as snow and ice conditions created adjustments in Olympic strategies, so to we must continue to be nimble in response to the changing workplace demands so that our graduates will prevail and our community will be stronger for their efforts. We continue to build on the winning traditions of this great district and community and thank you for your continued support of this challenging work.

Michelle Reid is superintendent of the South Kitsap School District.

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