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Eight years in a row FWPS School Board earns Board of Distinction recognition

Eight years in a row FWPS School Board earns Board of Distinction recognition

District is one of 34 to receive the honor this year.

For the eighth 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 their “exceptional leadership and commitment to student success according to Washington State School Directors’ Association (WSSDA) who granted the prestigious recognition award. “They have approached this goal through various strategies, including extensive strategic planning, data-driven analysis to understand student performance, and creating an environment conducive to the success of both students and staff.”

"The entire board and superintendent partnership is unwavering in their dedication to the achievement of all 21,000+ scholars within Federal Way Public Schools," stated Superintendent Dr. Dani Pfeiffer. "This accolade is a testament to the effort of our staff, and most importantly the support from the FWPS Board of Directors. I eagerly anticipate our ongoing collaborative efforts to ensure that our scholars have a voice, a dream, and a BRIGHT future.”

WSSDA Director of Leadership Development Tricia Lubach noted that our “school board has shown a clear focus on assessing their students’ outcomes and exploring ways to enhance their leadership” and praised our school board for focusing "their attention on closing opportunity gaps for students within their districts and committing to consistent communication with their communities.” 

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 set and communicate high expectations for student learning with clear goals and plans for meeting those expectations by: Adopting a collaboratively developed district plan focused on learning and achievement outcomes for all students.

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

  • Continued implementation of Multi-Tiered Systems of Support, focusing on scholar academic achievement, behavior, and social-emotional wellbeing;
  • Strengthened core instruction through professional development on key indicators from our instructional framework specifically focusing on student engagement in rigorous learning;
  • Adoption of a standards-aligned, culturally responsive curriculum for K-2 ELA, US History, Dual Language SLA, and SEL for grades 6-12;
  • Expanded the first 30 days of school curriculum focusing on creating a sense of belonging, establishing a positive culture, and developing safe learning environments for all scholars; 
  • Increased equitable access to rigorous opportunities including implementing Project Lead the Way STEM units in all 2nd grade classrooms, expanding STEM course work in grades 6-12, and expanding our First Lego League opportunities in grades K-8;
  • Continued expanding early learning by increasing the number of full-day ECEAP slots, increasing the number of Transition to Kindergarten classes, and our partnership with Bezos Academy;
  • Eliminated disproportionality in identification of diverse scholars for highly capable services, achieved the highest number to date of scholars who graduated with the Seal of Biliteracy, and more.

The FWPS Board of Directors will be honored with other Board of Distinction award winners on November 18, 2023, at the WSSDA Annual Conference. At that time, the association will also announce 2023 Boards of the Year winners.