Federal Way Public Schools News

March 17, 2023

Hello Staff, Families, and Community,

This week was filled with good news and celebrations! On Wednesday, Federal Way High School was revalidated as an AVID National Demonstration school. Demonstration schools are exemplary models of the AVID College Readiness System, and earning this title requires a rigorous validation process to ensure high levels of implementation throughout the school. This is a well-deserved achievement, and I’m so proud of the scholars and staff who made this possible. Yesterday, we learned Kilo Middle School earned the title of Recognized ASCA Model Program (RAMP) school. RAMP recognizes schools committed to delivering comprehensive, data-informed school counseling programs aligned with the ASCA National Model framework, and Kilo is the very first middle school in Washington state to earn this national title! On top of these two school-wide recognitions, we’ve also heard from many of you about student accomplishments in athletics, arts, and academics that we’ll be celebrating on social media over the next few weeks.

Today, I joined in National Reading Month celebrations by reading Dragons Love Tacos to Sherwood Forest Elementary School first graders. Thank you for inviting me to spend time with you this morning and welcoming me to your school community. Our schools have had so many guest readers at schools this month, and I am happy to be one of them! I also want to give a shout out to all the scholars across the district who have already completed the Reading Marathon Challenge. We’re only two weeks into March, and so many of you have already submitted your completed challenge forms! If you haven’t turned yours in yet, there’s still plenty of time - you have until April 14 to complete the challenge.

On Wednesday, 3 of our sixth grade TAF@Saghalie students presented at the Technology Access Foundation (TAF) annual luncheon! These scholars shared a solution to water runoff using permeable pavement as a way to filter out pollution and protect salmon. It was incredible to see our young scholars demonstrate their learning and problem-solving skills in front of a large crowd of adults. One of our TAF@Saghalie alumni also shared how being exposed to STEM opportunities in high school led to her pursuit of a Computer Science degree at the University of Washington. STEM jobs are in high demand in our region, and we have increased STEM opportunities for scholars across the district, through after school activities, CTE classes, our STEM lighthouse schools, and more. Partnerships like the one we’ve built with TAF are important to help bridge the gap of access to STEM opportunities for our scholars.

Don’t forget, Scholar-Led Conferences are coming up on March 30 and 31. If you haven’t confirmed an appointment yet, reach out to your child’s school to get this on your calendar! SLCs are different from traditional parent/teacher conferences and provide an opportunity for students to share their strengths and next steps for learning. We’d love to see all our families participate, and our goal is that students, parents, and school staff leave their conference on the same page about each student’s individual strengths and areas of focus.

If you have any celebrations you’d like to share, post to social media with #FWPSProud or fill out the form at www.fwps.org/FWPSProud, and we’ll help share the good news!

In Partnership,

Dr. Dani Pfeiffer

Early Release: March 22

This is a friendly reminder that Wednesday, March 22 is an early release day. Schools are let out 90 minutes early in support of staff professional learning and collaboration time. www.fwps.org/EarlyRelease

Education Support Professionals Week March 13-17

This week we are honoring Educational Support Professionals! Join us in celebrating our classified employees, who support our scholars through technical support, maintenance, assisting in the office and much more. Thank you for your efforts to help our scholars succeed. Pictured here are some of our many great education support professionals.
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Preschool Enrollment for the 2023-24 School Year

Will your child be three or four years old by August 31? Consider enrollment in one of our preschool programs!

Learn more on our website at: www.fwps.org/preschool, by phone at 253-945-2379, or email at preschool@fwps.org

Scholar-Led Conferences: March 30 and 31

Parents and guardians, Scholar-Led Conferences are coming up! This time is dedicated to hearing about your child’s academic goals and progress. Schools will contact parents/guardians to schedule the Scholar-Led Conferences.

Due to Scholar Led Conferences, there will be no school on March 30 and 31. Our goal for these conferences is 100% participation from students and families, and we strongly encourage you and your child to attend.

Our families are critical partners in each scholar’s learning. Parents, visit our website for helpful resources: www.fwps.org/SLC.

Throughout the year, be sure to check ParentVue and frequently monitor your child’s progress including attendance, grades, report cards, and schedules at https://grades.fwps.org.

To learn more and explore the support resources around ParentVUE/StudentVUE, please see the following page in FWPS’ Parent Portal:

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Checking off items at Olympic View K-8

The excitement for the new Olympic View K-8 is mounting as more project tasks are being checked off the list. It's almost as if the closer the project nears the finish line, the faster each item is completed!

  • Mechanical equipment is getting ready for start-up
  • The basketball hoops are installed in the gym
  • Cabinets and doors are being installed in classrooms

It's incredible to see this project come together for our scholars, and the building is proof of our communities commitment to ensuring scholars can learn in innovative spaces conducive to the highest level of learning. Thank you to voters who approved the 2017 school construction bond - YOU made possible!

Video: Scholars are building strong reading habits during Reading Month

We’re still celebrating National Reading Month and are excited to share how scholars are engaged in reading.

Battle of the Books preparation is underway. Fourth and fifth-grade scholars at elementary schools across the district have formed teams and are reading a set of 12 books to get ready for the big competition in May.

Learn from a few scholars why they're participating in the event, and why reading is so important. View the video at: www.fwps.org/BattleofTheBooks.

Battle of the Books 2023

STEM Exploration Night Shuttle Bus Routes

As with previous in-person STEM Exploration Nights, FWPS is continuing its commitment to ensuring the fun STEM event is accessible for families by providing dedicated shuttle buses from areas across our district. Parking is limited at Federal Way High School, and bus shuttles are a great option to get to the event.

Find the route list here: www.fwps.org/STEMExpo/Shuttle

All scholars are welcome to ride the shuttle with a parent or guardian. High school scholars can ride the shuttle by themselves by presenting a permission slip signed by their parent or guardian upon boarding the bus.

Learn more about STEM Exploration Night at www.fwps.org/STEMExpio. For questions, email stemexpo@fwps.org.


We’re #FWPSProud of our phenomenal scholars, staff, and community members and love recognizing them during the Good News Announcements at board meetings! Read more about their accomplishments at www.fwps.org/GoodNews!
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Schools Can't Do It Alone

Now more than ever, schools can’t do it alone. Thank you to our incredible partner, Kiwanis Club of Federal Way. We’ve prepared a video to show appreciation for our community partner’s contributions to support our staff, scholars, and families.
Schools Can't Do it Alone March 14 2023

Attend Today! Achieve Tomorrow!

Our FWPS scholars are the world’s future leaders! Attending school regularly helps scholars feel better about school—and themselves. Building this habit early is important so they learn right away that going to school on time, every day is important. Eventually good attendance will be a skill that will help them succeed in high school, college and beyond.

Attendance Fact Snack:

  • Missing 10%, or about 2 days each month over the course of a school year, can affect a student’s academic success, including graduating from high school.
  • Students can still fall behind if they miss just 1 or 2 days every few weeks.
  • Being late to school may lead to poor attendance.
  • Absences and tardiness can affect the whole classroom if the teacher has to slow down learning to help children catch up.

Religious Absences

Did you know that absences for religious or cultural observances may be excused? As we have approaching several religious holidays and observances, if you need to excuse your scholar for religious purposes please be sure to communicate with your scholar’s teacher and/or school staff.

For more information about this or any other attendance related matter please visit www.fwps.org/attendance.
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