District Headlines and Features

  • Six years in a row FWPS School Board earns Board of Distinction recognition 

    Posted by Whitney Chiang on 10/28/2021 4:00:00 PM

    For the sixth year in a row, Federal Way Public Schools (FWPS) Board of Directors has been recognized as a Board of Distinction. This year, FWPS is one of 34 school districts who received the award. There are 295 school boards across Washington state that may choose to apply for the distinction. 

    The FWPS Board of Directors were recognized for “exemplary evidence of ongoing professional development, addressing opportunity gaps, and practicing governance that reflects the Washington School Board Standards,” according to Washington State School Directors’ Association (WSSDA) who granted the award. 

     “It’s been an honor to receive the Board of Distinction for six years in a row. As a board, we are committed to the success of each and every scholar in Federal Way Public Schools,” said FWPS Board President Geoffery McAnalloy. “We continue to see growth and success, even with the impacts of the pandemic - high graduation rates, increased student voice and family engagement, and more early learning opportunities. As a Board, we’ll continue our policy work to keep a focus on equity, continuous improvement, and each scholar graduating with the academic knowledge and 21st century skills ready to succeed as a responsible citizen.” 

    Former FWPS Superintendent Dr. Tammy Campbell, shared, “The strength of the governance team in Federal Way Public Schools has been their consistent focus on leading for equity and excellence – they prioritized this work which allowed our scholars to thrive.”

    “We are 100% committed to the success of each and every scholar in the district,” said Superintendent Dr. Dani Pfeifer. “This award is well-deserved and highlights hard work and dedication of our staff and the sponsorship of the FWPS Board of Directors. I’m fortunate to work alongside this group of individuals who are wholly focused on our scholars.” 

    National research shows a correlation between highly successful school board actions and student outcomes. The Board of Distinction application is a rigorous process that provides evidence of the board of directors’ work in partnership with the superintendent and how their actions helped their school districts close opportunity gaps. 

    FWPS’ Board of Directors’ application demonstrated clear data of how they positively impacted student success in three key areas:

    • how the board engaged in professional development to support the success of the school district,
    • how the board supported closing opportunity gaps,
    • and how the board of directors ensured district information and decisions were clearly communicated across the community.

    Multiple outcomes were shown for addressing the opportunity gap and supporting the success of FWPS scholars:

    • growth among multiple racial groups in scholars entering kindergarten ready in all 6 domains, according to WAKids data;
    • increase in FAFSA and WASFA completion rates, currently 20 percent higher than the state average;
    • more favorable outcomes reported by scholars in engagement, school safety, supportive learning environments, and teacher student relationships between Fall 2019 and Spring 2021;
    • and scholars of all races have increased taking dual credit and advanced courses; FWPS outperforms the RoadMap region in this area.

    The FWPS Board of Directors will be honored with other Board of Distinction award winners on November 19, 2021 at the WSSDA Annual Conference. At that time, the association will also announce 2021 Boards of the Year winners.

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  • Academic tutoring available for all scholars in grades 4-12

    Posted by Kylin Oliphant on 10/13/2021

    Federal Way Public Schools is proud to announce the launch of Tutor.com, an online tutoring support for all scholars in grades 4-12. Tutor.com provides one-on-one tutoring in over 200 subject areas and is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Scholars can access this supportive resource through Launchpad to Learning to receive math and reading support, SAT/PSAT prep, stress support, and much more from their tutor.

    Scholars can use text or voice-to-text to work with their tutors. We encourage students and families to use this resource for one-on-one homework support to stay on track academically.

    To get started, scholars can access Tutor.com through Launchpad to Learning.

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  • FWPS scholars will explore college and career opportunities during annual DiscoverU week

    Posted by Kylin Oliphant on 10/8/2021

    Federal Way, Wash. ­– Federal Way Public Schools scholars in grades PreK through 12 will participate in an annual week of college and career exploration activities, called DiscoverU Week, from Oct. 11-15.

    Scholars will engage in activities that help them explore their career pathways with the help of local industry professionals and their teachers. They will also learn about the education and skills needed to reach their career goals.

    This year’s themes are:

    • Discover Local Jobs (Monday)
    • Lead your Community (Tuesday)
    • Classroom to Career (Wednesday)
    • College Gear Day (Thursday)
    • Flash Forward Friday (Friday)

    School and community partners will lead career and college exploration activities, from educators sharing their own education or career paths to representatives from colleges, trade schools, and other organizations discussing career opportunities in our region.

    This week of college and career exploration is in direct support of district strategic plan Goal 5, Persistence to Graduation: High School Graduation through Successful Transitions. FWPS is committed to ensuring every scholar will successfully navigate the critical transitions in their schooling, and graduate from high school ready for college, career, and postsecondary experiences.

    On Wednesday, Oct. 27 from 6-8 pm, the district will also hold its annual Life After High School Virtual College and Career Fair where middle and high school scholars can continue learning about postsecondary college and career options. The fair will provide opportunities to explore life after high school options including college, apprenticeship programs, military academies, technical schools, and careers. There will also be financial aid information and support available for students and families to encourage FAFSA and WASFA application completion.

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  • Virtual Ribbon Cutting Celebration marks completion of Mirror Lake Elementary School

    Posted by Kylin Oliphant on 10/8/2021

     

    Federal Way, Wash. We’re excited to celebrate the completion of the brand-new Mirror Lake Elementary School, which welcomed scholars this fall! This school is the third of eight schools to be rebuilt thanks to voter approval of the phase 2 school construction bond in November 2017, and we’re so grateful for the new opportunities the building will bring to our scholars.

    Yesterday, on October 7, 2021, at 3 p.m., we premiered the virtual Ribbon Cutting Celebration for Mirror Lake Elementary to debut the incredible building to Federal Way Public Schools scholars, families, voters, and community members. The video is available at www.fwps.org/RibbonCutting.

    One of the bond’s aims was to relieve overcrowding at the elementary level, and these new schools allow for more room for scholars to learn, as well as a more modern learning environment. Highlights of the new schools include:

    • Learning Resource Center and Discovery Lab
      This space provides scholars access to resources, including books and computers, as well as creating a space for small groups and hands-on learning outside the classroom.

    • School Identity
      The school has its unique identity incorporated into the design, with artwork on the walls highlighting facts about the school’s mascot.

    • Secure Entry Vestibule
      The new school includes enhanced security features, including a secure and welcoming entry, which connects to the main office, cameras, and fencing.

    The school has been serving scholars since the district-wide return to in-person learning on September 1st, 2021. One scholar shared about their new school, “What I love about our new school is how nice it looks. It feels fresh and clean and makes you feel calm.” Another scholar said, “I like that’s nice and big with lots of room.”

    For more information about school construction projects in Federal Way Public Schools, please visit www.fwps.org/bond or call 253-945-2663.

     

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    Contact: Whitney Chiang, Chief of Communications and Strategy, w: 253-945-2262; c: 253-442-4009; e: wchiang@fwps.org

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