Dream big for kids | GUEST OPINION

Several years ago a phrase was coined that it takes a village to raise a child. That short group of words is more important today than ever before. I have, and continue to believe that every child deserves the best education that we can offer. However, many of our children come to school tired and hungry or sick and in need of basic health care. Many students within our own community are homeless or do not have a safe environment in which to live.

How can we expect these children to be successful in the classroom when academic performance is the last thought on their minds? Schools and community partners must work together to improve the quality of life for these children before they truly can succeed. It is about each of us taking an active role in changing the culture of Marysville. We can and we must seek out and develop programs to assist our neediest of children if we are to become a community of one.

Our public schools provide an incredible amount of social and academic services for our children, but we cannot do this alone. Public schools are the cultural center of every community and research continues to prove that students achieve at greater success when the community is engaged in the conversations around improving performance.

In January of 2013, your Board of Directors developed a long-range plan to listen and engage our community in the future development for Marysville Schools. We began with over 30 community meetings seeking input and feedback on the characteristics needed in a new superintendent. Using what we learned from community leaders, parents, staff and most importantly, students, the board embarked upon a journey to find a person that met the needs and wishes of the Marysville/Tulalip communities. We invited over 40 individuals to interview and evaluate our final candidates using standards developed from the input received. We are most pleased with the outcome and believe that Marysville schools are fortunate to have found a new superintendent that can build upon the strengths of our district and improve the quality of education for all students.

However, we have just begun what we believe to be a long lasting engagement with our community.  Superintendent Dr. Berg and board members continue to conduct “Coffee and Conversations” throughout our neighborhoods to hear your thoughts about Marysville schools. We would like to hear from you so if you have an opportunity to attend one, please do so.

To help the board develop and plan for the future of your Marysville schools, we will be conducting a community engagement event entitled “Dream Big for Kids.” At this event, our goal is to gather feedback on what you would like the Marysville School District to look like 10 to 15 years from now. Our hope is to develop a strategic vision that will meet the needs of our community today, tomorrow and in the future. We would be most honored if you would join us on Saturday, March 29 for this very important day.  Let’s partner together for the future of our children. For more information about the Superintendent’s Coffee and Conversation visits or the Dream Big for Kids event, please contact the Marysville School District superintendent’s office at 360-653-0800.

Chris Nation serves as Vice President for the Marysville School District Board of Directors. Chris is also Vice President for the Washington State School Directors Association.  Chris can be reached via email at chris_nation@msvl.k12.wa.us or by calling 360-653-0800.


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