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Principal's Message

  • Phoenix Families and Friends,Mike McCarthy, Principal  
    I feel so very honored and privileged to greet you as the new principal of Sequoyah Middle School. I have been able to meet so many amazing teachers, leaders, and families since being announced as Principal in April. The most impactful meetings however, have been in meeting with several of our scholars. During a student panel discussion in June, I was able to allow student voice to provide a narrative of all things Sequoyah. There is always something incredibly powerful about listening to our beautifully diverse students in order to gain insight, direction and motivation for moving forward towards a common goal. Your scholars I interviewed, representing every facet and face of the school community, were no exception and shared their excitement, their frustration, their hopes and their dreams for a brighter future, both personally and in reflecting on where Sequoyah has been over the last year.
    With your scholar’s input, with your input through surveys and informal discussions, and with the input of our staff, we have been busy assembling an amazing team and an incredible plan to support each and every one of our scholars who truly deserve what our Superintendent has called, “Honoring the Trust…our collective recommitment to bring out the best in every scholar.” We have added a powerful team to support students’ social, emotional and behavioral needs with the addition of Ms. Ida Acton, Dean of Students; Ms. Brianne Ball, Restorative Practice Coordinator and Mr. Mike Conrath, Assistant Principal. We have added many new teachers who demonstrate a commitment to culturally responsive teaching, to loving the work, and to loving kids. A critical area of focus for Sequoyah during the 2016-17 School year will be on Federal Way Public School’s Strategic Plan Goal #2: “Every student scholar will be empowered and prepared to develop personal responsibility in order to be a positive, productive member of society.” We will use many key measures for this success but the chief measure will be in gathering student survey data around the percentage of scholars who feel their school is a safe and welcoming place to learn. Please help us gather pre-survey data by talking with your children throughout the year as we will be doing the same.
    In addition to this powerful goal, we are also committed to the highest of expectations for your scholar academically and have adopted, as a second goal, FWPS Goal #4: Every student scholar will receive equitable opportunity for success, and will meet or exceed standards of performance in all subjects by the end of each grade.” Key measures for success on this goal will be in gathering the percent of scholars meeting and exceeding grade-level standards in core subjects, as measured by state assessments, standards-based report cards and classroom assessments. Again, help us with this by asking your child what they are learning each and every day.
    We have much work to do in both of these areas as just over 40% of students met standard in Reading and just over 30% of students met standard in mathematics while Sequoyah’s incidents of suspension were more than double the incidents in the other four middle schools combined at the end of the 2015-16 school year. Knowing this, we need your continued help and our community’s support. I am committed to this work, our teachers are committed to this work, and to our student-scholars are ready for the challenge.
    I cannot wait to get started as we collectively and collaboratively RISE at Sequoyah! Please say hello during the many back to school events leading up to our fresh start on September 7th. I look forward to our partnership, to hearing about your scholars and to collaborating together to support every child’s dreams for a BRIGHT future.

    Together We Rise!

    Mike McCarthy
    Sequoyah Middle School
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