Letter to the community from SJISD Superintendent

Dear Students, Parents and Community Members,

I know that the teachers’ strike caused many concerns. I am relieved to start school and be back focused on teaching and learning. I am a former teacher and building principal, and children are my top priority.

The Board and I have bargained and negotiated with the teachers’ union in good faith and we feel the settlement provides for a fair contract. Under my recommendation, the Board of Directors approved the agreement at a special board meeting, Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017.

School Finance is complex and confusing at the best of times, and our difficulty was compounded by uncertainty from Olympia. The Board and I think it is important to make every effort to help our community understand how the District collects, budgets, and spends your tax dollars. To that end, Board of Directors will hold a special budget workshop for everyone Wednesday, September 13 at 5:00 pm at the high school library. This will be structured as a public hearing as this will allow audience members to have a dialog with the Board and the presenters.

We apologize for the missed day Friday, September 1st, and we appreciate all the support our community gave to our fine teachers. The decisions we make this year and next spring will create the kind of school experience our students will enjoy. Our greatest resource is the people who work in the District and the many people who live here and care about our schools. We can craft an exemplary path forward. It may not be easy, but if we stay focused on our mutual commitment to our students, we can achieve it. Thus, I am asking for everyone's help in this healing and planning process.

If you would like to meet in person, hold a house meeting with a group, or have a cup of coffee, don’t hesitate to contact me. I am available to listen and learn. You may contact me via email at [email protected] or by phone at 360.370.7905. Thank you for your support.

Respectfully,

Danna Diaz, PhD

Superintendent of Schools

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