For the first time in many years, our district will welcome over 20,000 students into our 32 schools. Over 1,500 of those students will be kindergarteners beginning their 13-year K-12 educational journey. While it has been gratifying to see enrollment growing again in recent years after more than a decade of stagnation and decline, that growth remains uneven. Schools in the north end of the district, in particular, have and will continue to account for much of the growth we're experiencing.
Early this fall, the school board will decide on a recommendation from our Capital Bond Planning Task Force-a group of parent, community and staff representatives-for a $177.5 million bond measure. If approved by voters in February, this measure would finish the final phase of Woodinville High School, construct a fourth comprehensive high school in the north end of the district to address enrollment growth and enable grade reconfiguration, continue our building modernization program to replace important systems such as worn out roofs, floors and heating systems at over a dozen schools, and expand our technology infrastructure to meet 21st century learning demands. This bond measure will have a wide ranging impact on our school district for decades to come. Over the course of this year, we will be sharing more information with our community to enable voters to cast an informed vote on this critical measure.For me, next Tuesday will mark the 42nd "first day" of school as a student, teacher or administrator. Despite that number of school starts, personal experience says that I will not sleep well on Monday night with anticipation of the new year dominating my thoughts. And I know I won't be alone. The first day of school remains a magical day for many. An entirely new year of possibility and potential awaits. It is my sincere wish that come next June 18th, we will all look back on the 2013-14 school year as one of our best years ever!