Joel Aune, government director for the Washington Affiliation of College Directors (who, coincidentally, was a principal at Berney Elementary a few years in the past), shared the next assertion with me just lately: The “shine” seems to be again at our faculties. And whereas our custodians and upkeep workers have been working feverishly deep cleansing our services over the summer time in preparation for pupil and workers return, the “shine” he was referring to was not the freshly waxed flooring, however fairly the joy, enthusiasm and “glow” that had traditionally surrounded the beginning of each college yr.

The pandemic’s influence on our college students, households and college during the last two years, the following controversies over masks and vaccines and the ideological divisiveness that appears to pervade each nook of our nation have been not like we now have ever skilled. Little question these compounding points have dimmed the annual start-of-year “shine” over our nation’s faculties lately — a essential aspect that at all times helped to energise and launch college campuses each fall.

Whereas COVID nonetheless lingers, and a few conflicts have but to be constructively resolved, I consider Joel is true; the shine is again at our faculties! Having spent appreciable time throughout our campuses partaking with our devoted workers, assembly new households as they enthusiastically register their youngsters, watching keen coaches and athletes put together for the autumn season and collaborating in quite a few pre-service college trainings this summer time, the power and pleasure that has been sidelined the previous few years has appeared to return in full pressure.

We’ve got a lot to have a good time as a college district and neighborhood. I’m so proud to report that each one of our bond initiatives stay on time and on finances, because of over 50 native contractors and distributors who’ve partnered with us, in addition to the stewardship from our citizen-led Bond Oversight Committee. I can’t wait to point out off our newly-renovated services and historic degree of enhancements at our neighborhood open home celebrations to be held this fall.

Because of our devoted and gifted workers, we now have secured thousands and thousands in state and federal grants that may assist enhance entry to state-of-the-art know-how, present higher studying alternatives for our college students with disabilities, supply excellent after-school enrichment experiences and procure bus fleet and different facility enhancements that may cut back emissions and long run utility prices.

Moreover, we’re launching a free teletherapy psychological well being service that will probably be accessible to college students and their dad and mom come September. We’ve got additionally stuffed a essential neighborhood want by offering early studying alternatives to dozens of scholars at our Middle for Kids and Households to assist guarantee all valley’s youngsters enter college kindergarten-ready. And we now have employed extremely gifted workers (a few of them former WWPS graduates who’re returning to our neighborhood) and invested in essential security enhancements throughout our college websites.

Whereas we all know that a lot works stays as we assist guarantee all college students rise to the tutorial, behavioral and technical expertise crucial to attain our imaginative and prescient, there’s a degree of pleasure, power and optimism that I haven’t felt in a few years. It’s exhausting to place my finger on precisely what it’s, however the “shine” is certainly again at our Walla Walla Public Faculties.