On Thursday, July 11, the Snoqualmie Valley School District presented its first phase of implementing the “Curriculum Pathways and Benchmarks Policy 2423” to the school board, and it was greeted with wide applause.
It’s an excellent step toward assisting students (and parents) with making informed choices about the ideal course map for students in grades 6 to 12, giving the best chance for achieving post-high school goals.
Imagine taking a family road trip from Snoqualmie to Florida. Picture embarking without maps or a GPS. You would probably make some wrong turns, and would need to stop to ask for directions. Your trip may take longer, cost more, and require re-routing—making it impossible to arrive on-time. A map would have made the journey easier and faster than doing it on-the-fly, turn-by-turn – resulting in course corrections and false starts.
This is precisely what the Snoqualmie Valley School Board’s policy 2423 tackles, stating “the District shall implement curriculum pathways for 6th through 12th grade in, but not limited to, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, English and World Languages…”. It goes onto read, “These curriculum pathways shall be widely communicated by the District to staff, parents and students.”
We like the clear communication. We like information. We like choices upfront, and early.
Thank you to the school board members who brought this policy to the forefront and debated for its approval. The Board, however, split with a 4-1 vote in September, while approving this policy.
Why would a school board director vote against this policy—we wondered?
Director Marci Busby, currently up for re-election, was the only dissenting vote. (At a September meeting), she said, regarding the process, “I think it’s wrong ...There’s just a lot of questions. There’s just so many things in the air.”
Director Dan Popp responded, “Do we want to encourage students to [have] a post-secondary education [plan]? Do we want to improve their ability to gain admission into whatever school they choose? My answer to that question is – yes.”
Director Busby replied, “I just think it’s premature. What is the rush?” Director Carolyn Simpson answered, “We have eager learners that can benefit today. This policy is like a flashlight that can help point the way for them.”
Director Scott Hodgins (also up for re-election) said, “This is a tool that helps. It is not uncommon. Most districts have this... Parents just didn't know what the pathways were. This policy will make pathways clear to students and parents so they can make choices." Director Geoff Doy agreed.
Current candidate for School Board, Stephen Kangas, also spoke out in September on behalf of “many” community members who had contacted him about the policy. He said 100% were in full support of it.
Had the other directors voted against policy 2423, Snoqualmie Valley families today would not have the Student Pathways framework presented July 11 and developed by SVSD’s Assistant Superintendent, Mr. Don McConkey.
Our support for the upcoming School Board election will be for candidates who support clear student pathways and communications to parents, because kids don’t have do-over’s in school. There is no more time to wait because parents, like us, need this information now.
Stephanie and Todd Hager, Snoqualmie
Doug and Becky McLaughlin
Jeannie and Dan Saimo
David and Anna Sotelo
Doug and Lisa Copeland
Mark and Bridget Norah
Eric and Natalie Bronson
Ellis and Lisa Lewis
Concerned Snoqualmie parents
as well as Gerald Bopp (Teacher at Mount Si High School).
and Brian Copeland of Boston, Mass.