Susan Wilkins - Lake Washington School Board - District 5
Goals for the Lake Washington School District School Board
  • Focus on academics especially the math curriculum for all elementary school students.
  • Move high school start times to 8:45 - 9:00 AM and elementary start times to 8:00 - 8:30 AM.
  • Identify students who are falling behind and initiate early intervention and evaluation for Special Education programs.
  • Follow the money and figure out how the district spends millions of dollars received from taxpayers, the state and the federal government.
  • Provide a livable wage for classified staff including secretaries, instructional assistants, para-educators and preschool teachers by offering competitive pay and full-time employment.

Math Programs

Our elementary teachers must be proficient at teaching many subjects to their students including reading, writing, spelling, math and science. They have many subjects to teach during the school day and do an excellent job.  As a board member, my goal is to enhance...

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Follow the Money

Where does all the money go in the Lake Washington School District?  The annual budget is approved by the Board every August (Form F-195) and monthly summaries of spending can be found on the OSPI website, but it is impossible to figure out how money is being spent.

As a board member, I will require the superintendent to publish the monthly expense summary with the school board minutes.

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Bonds vs. Levies

Should the Legislature change Washington State's Constitution and reduce the 60% voter approval required for passage of school bond measures to a 50% simple majority?

Our current school board members, the superintendent and the Lake Washington School District PTSA have endorsed a recommendation that the Legislature amend the Washington State Constitution that currently requires 60% voter approval to pass a bond measure and reduce the approval requirement to a 50% simple majority.

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School Start Times

Scientific studies have shown that high school students do better when their schools start later. Recognizing that students need more time to sleep, the Seattle School District began studying how to implement later start times in 2014. They hired consultants to study how to implement the school schedule changes and to write an environmental impact statement.

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Bullying

The recent report of bullying within the Lake Washington School District brings back memories of events that occurred when my children were in elementary school. In one instance, the bullying was severe enough and the principal's response so inadequate that we removed our child from the school where he was enrolled in Quest and transferred him back to our home school.

The District's bullying policy, available on the district's website, is vague and difficult to use.

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Bus Transportation

School bus transportation in the Lake Washington School District has been inadequate and incompetent for years and we all know it! How many times have students and parents come before the school board and complained that the buses are late, overcrowded or don't come at all. How many times have the television news stations done stories on our dysfunctional bus transportation system? And every time the board and superintendent do nothing to address the ongoing problems and valid complaints.

The Transportation Director claims that they can't find enough bus drivers - a lame excuse for not figuring out how to fix the department's poor planning and mismanagement issues.

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Special Education

Parents send their children to school with expectations that the schools will know how to provide a great education and that their children will learn to the best of their abilities. For many families, students learn quickly by following the teachers' instructions and lessons in all areas being taught.

During the school year, some students start to fall behind for a variety of reasons including failing to pay attention or missed class time because of illness.

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Overcrowding

The Lake Washington School District has built 28 new schools since 1998 with over $1 BILLION in bond and levy funds approved by voters.  With so many new schools, how can the district have an overcrowding crisis? What went wrong in the Facilities Planning Department over the past 20 years?

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Enrollment Forecasts

The District's enrollment forecasts have consistently underestimated the number of new students that will be arriving.  The result has been overcrowding that has reached a crisis level.

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Staff Compensation

The high cost of living for teachers and staff is an issue that must be addressed by the Lake Washington School District.

The Lake Washington School District increased the minimum teacher salary to $65,000 (including benefits) as a result of the McCleary Plan that provided additional funds to all districts across the state. Teachers who have been with the District for 15+ years receive $100,000 in total compensation.

 

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