Panther Lake

Elementary School

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Principal's Message

  • tr Welcome to Panther Lake Elementary, home of the Panthers!

    We hope you are all enjoying your summer while staying safe and healthy.

    My name is Tabatha Ritch and I am extremely honored to be joining the Panther Lake family and serving our staff, scholars, and families as the new Principal. Panther Lake Elementary is home to an incredibly compassionate staff, dedicated to each scholar’s success. I am extremely excited to be joining Panther Lake Elementary, bringing my diverse background in education and a wide array of instructional experience to the school supporting our scholars, families, and community for years to come.  

    At Panther Lake, we are focused on Goal 2: Whole Child and Goal 4: Mastery of All Subjects, of the Federal Way Public Schools Strategic Plan. In support of Goal 2: Whole Child, we utilize Positive Behavior Intervention and Support (PBIS), to foster a safe, responsible, and kind school climate. We believe that every scholar is capable of success: No exceptions, no excuses. In collaboration with the Panther Lake staff and community, we will continue our collective commitment of increasing the self-efficacy of each one of our scholars and equipping them with the skills needed to navigate and advocate for their individual needs as scholars. In support of Goal 4: Mastery of All Subjects, our staff at Panther Lake is committed to high-expectations and high-standards for each of our individual scholars. While instruction will look differently beginning this next school year, we are dedicated to our scholars and will continue to increase their individual cognitive capacity to ensure that each Panther Lake scholar is reaching their fullest potential.

    I am looking forward to partnering with our staff, families, and school community as we navigate the re-opening of our schools. Looking forward to the 2020-2021 school year, our primary focus is the success of our scholars and supporting our families in a safe and healthy learning environment. 

    At Panther Lake Elementary, health and safety are a priority.  As we prepare for our 2021 Re-opening, we are using the guidance from the Department of Health and OSPI.  Our district is hard at work developing health and safety protocols with social distancing guidelines, arranging schedules that minimize contact, considering bus transportation and engaging in deep cleaning protocols to minimize the spread of germs.  As part of ensuring a safe learning environment, students will be required to wear face masks.  Please take the time this fall & winter to both reinforce and practice the wearing of face masks. We will continue to place health and safety as a priority as we look toward to the new year.

    Using guidance from the State and the DOH, we are planning for a safe return that prioritizes learning. What we know is that we will be learning remotely through 2020.  At this time, FWPS is exploring several hybrid models that provides a combination of face to face instruction and remote learning. We have received input from parents and guardians, scholar and staff. The early results reveal the Pre-K-12 two day face-to-face and 3-day remote model is the most desired option.   Please stay tuned for more information to come in the coming months.

    We welcome you to stop by our school office and learn more about us, but please support as in adhering to social distancing guidelines. We have many opportunities for our families and community members to volunteer and connect with our school. Please reach out to me if you have any questions or would like more information about volunteering within our school. Again, welcome to the Panther Lake Family and remember, we are in this together.

    Tabatha Ritch



  • Federal Way Public Schools does not discriminate in any programs or activities on the basis of race, color, national origin or ethnicity, religion, creed, sex or gender, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, age, marital or family status, veteran or military status, disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal. The district provides equal access to the Boy Scouts of America and other designated youth groups.
    If you have questions or complaints regarding alleged discrimination please email one of the coordinators listed below, or call the district office at 253-945-2000 and ask for one of the coordinators listed below.

    Civil Rights Compliance Officer, Dan Dizon,
    Title IX Compliance Coordinator, Dan Dizon,
    504 Compliance Coordinator, Dr. Jennifer Westover,

    ADA Compliance Coordinator, Janet Hodson,