Panther Lake

Elementary School

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Principal's Message

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

    To our families, scholars, and staff- THANK YOU!
    This year has truly been one of the most complex school years on record. We have thoroughly appreciated your partnership and support throughout the year and could not have reached the milestones and successes we did with you. I want to personally extend a thank you to our incredible staff who worked tirelessly every day to guide our scholars and support high levels of learning and growth. I would also like to thank our families and our community for the hours of dedication to help enrich our school and your scholar’s learning experience, build a sense of community amidst a pandemic and from a distance, and supporting our staff with compassionate understanding and communication. Thank you for trusting us with your scholar(s) and your continued partnership as we prepare for a full in-person return in the fall.

    As I reflect on the school year, I am encouraged by the countless positives we all experienced together at Panther Lake. We welcomed new families into our school and began cultivating powerful community, even from a distance! The level of community and family support this year has truly inspired us to continue with this momentum and begin planning for more intentional opportunities for parent/community partnerships and programming designed for our individual scholars based on the critical feedback and insight from our PAWS with the Principal- Family listening/partnership sessions. We watched our scholars begin advocating for their own learning through Scholar Advisory and have implemented their voice in our school-improvement efforts for the next school year. We are excited to share that we are celebrating the growth our scholars demonstrated at Panther Lake Elementary as test scores rose and scholar voice became a staple in every classroom: Hybrid and remote.

    Our proud Panther scholars taught us all important lessons this year:
    * You are never too old or too cool for a brain break from screen time!
    * Successful learning is more than a test score! Growth is growth!
    * Scholar voice matters!

    Fall Re-Opening: Using guidance from OSPI and the Department of Health, we are planning for a safe return that prioritizes learning.  In accordance with Gov. Inslee and OSPI direction, we will be opening the year with full face to face instruction.  Please stay tuned for more information to come in the coming weeks.

    Health and Safety and Re-Opening:  Our scholars’ health and safety are priority. As we prepare for our face to face fall re-opening, our district is hard at work developing health and safety protocols which include social distancing guidelines, arranging schedules that minimize high traffic contact, considering bus transportation and engaging in deep cleaning protocols to minimize the spread of germs. As part of ensuring a safe learning environment, all scholars and staff will be required to wear face masks. Please take the time this summer to both reinforce and practice the wearing of face masks.  FWPS will continue to place health and safety as a priority as we look forward to welcoming our scholars back on September 1st. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

    If your family is new to FWPS or Panther Lake and you need more information, please do not hesitate to reach out to me directly. As the proud principal of Panther Lake Elementary, I remain committed to serving our families, scholars, and staff and we are excited to welcome you to our Panther Family!

    We truly look forward to hearing about all the fun and exciting experiences your families enjoyed over the summer and wish you all a restful, safe, and healthy summer.
    Stay cool out there- It is going to be a warm PNW summer! And don’t forget- ALWAYS WEAR YOUR SUNGLASSES/SHADES- Because the future is bright at Panther Lake Elementary!

    We are in this together, Panthers!

    In partnership,
    Tabatha Ritch
    Principal
    tritch@fwps.org


  • 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, compliance@fwps.org
    Title IX Compliance Coordinator, Dan Dizon, titleix@fwps.org
    504 Compliance Coordinator, Dr. Jennifer Westover, 504@fwps.org

    ADA Compliance Coordinator, Janet Hodson, ADA@fwps.org

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