Fife Public Schools

June 2019 eNewsletter

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A Message from Superintendent Alfano

Dear Community Members,

It’s hard to believe that we are wrapping up another school year! The 2018-2019 school year was another amazing year in Fife Public Schools with many things to celebrate.

Our students across the district are performing at higher and higher levels, our teachers and support staff are meeting our students’ needs and leading them into deep levels of engagement in the work they design, and our administrators are collaborating like we have never seen. The result is an educational experience that we can all be proud of!

The team and individual sports at FHS have never finished a year with so many state level awards as they did in 2018-2019. From a state champion diver in the fall to placing in the top eight in football, volleyball, boys’ basketball, baseball, soccer and golf, our student athletes represented our district well in all sports and activities.

At CJH, we are seeing record highs in the number of ninth grade students who are finishing their first year of “high school” with more credits than ever before. Did you know one of the most important and research-based indicators of high school graduation is the number of credits one earns as a freshman? Simply put, this means the fewer students who fail a class in ninth grade, the more students who graduate on time three years later. At CJH, the staff and students have worked hard the last few years on this statistic, and we are pleased to celebrate more ninth graders entering FHS next fall than ever before with all of their credits earned!

If you have a student at SLMS or entering sixth grade next fall, you are well aware of the plan to replace the school in the next 15 months. In fact, our official groundbreaking ceremony was held this past week and demolition of the gym building will start in early July. There will be no access to SLM this summer. The SLMS office will be housed at the district office until August, and when school begins in September, there will be a lot of temporary access points while construction is ongoing. I am proud of the job that Principal Beddes and Assistant Principal Galwas have done in communicating the changes you will see while construction is happening. Additionally, if you do have questions about SLMS, or any of our capital projects, please visit our website at

In our K-5 schools, I am so proud of the deep and consistent collaboration that our building administrators are modeling for their staff and students! Whether your children attend Discovery, Endeavour or Hedden, we are building an educational experience that is similar at each of the schools. From academic access to activities and parent supports, our elementary students are in schools that are caring, kind, proactive and engaging!

From the district office, I am very proud of the work being done to support our building staff and the students they engage with everyday. This work starts with our board of directors and the vision they set for our district. The team of Kimberly Yee, Cheryl Reid-Simons, Iesha Kidd, Chelsea Bjorkman and Jennifer Mayhew are truly advocates for our community, our students, our staff, and our traditions! Because of their leadership, our team of district administrators have the capacity to support our teachers and students like never before!

Thank you for sharing your students with us each and every day. Or, if you are a teacher or support staff, thank you for your dedication to our students and Fife Public Schools! I wish everyone a safe, happy and relaxing summer. Be on the lookout for communication coming soon with updates on all of our construction projects from our current bond program!

Kevin Alfano


Construction Updates - Jeff Nelson, Executive Director of TLI

Our construction work is well underway across the district! SLMS hosted its official Groundbreaking Ceremony on Wednesday, June 19. It was a fun event. Thank you to all able to attend! Our Elementary Educational Specs Team has wrapped up its work. We established four goals for the elementary project:

  1. A place for children, families, and community connections.
  2. A focus on child-centered learning for life.
  3. An opportunity for play for every child.
  4. And a safe place to be a child.

Special thanks to the members of this committee for all of the early morning meetings. The STEAM project at FHS has also concluded its Ed Specs work! We visited 3 different schools and programs early in June to help guide our thinking and design. We’re working to find a balance in the new STEAM center for classrooms, fabrication space, labs, collaboration areas, and studios. It’s been a fun challenge!

At Discovery Primary School and Columbia Junior High School, as part of the safety and security component of our bond work, will be having entrances reworked this summer to achieve safer, more controlled vestibules. Please be aware that you may be redirected as you enter each school over the summer months!

Finally, you will see lots of work at SLMS this summer. To support that work, the SLMS campus will be closed from July 1 - August 19. The SLMS leadership team will work out of the district office, 5802 20th Street East - Fife. Please direct all business and requests there. Their phone number remains the same and available - (253) 517-1300.

Have a wonderful summer!

June 19 SLMS Groundbreaking Ceremony Highlights

15th Annual Fife School District Art Show A Great Success!

A well-attended 15th Annual Fife School District Art Show was once again held on Thursday evening, May 23 at Columbia Junior High. This event provides an opportunity for families, students, district staff and the greater community to experience a wide variety of student created art from across all grade levels .

Since 2005, the team of Fife School District art teachers have showcased their students' creations at this event. The first Fife School District Art Show evolved from an idea that CJH Art Teacher Melissa Brownell brought to the team. For the first several years, the group transformed the CJH library into a gallery. However, after a few years they recognized the growing number of attendees was exceeding the space's capacity, and they moved the show into the CJH commons.

The event has transformed over the years. Since its inception, a collaborative art making station has been added - which you can see the results of some of these group masterpieces at the Fife District Office - "Viewers' Choice Awards" have been given to acknowledge exemplary use of the art elements and principals, and music programs from across our district have showcased their talent at this event.

The Annual Fife School District Art Show also marks the unveiling of the collaborative banners that hang high from the ceiling outside of the CJH Performing Arts Center. These student created paintings incorporate a theme as well as include a nod to someone or something of relevance in art history. With the assistance and appreciation of the District Maintenance Department, each of the schools' banners are hung to be enjoyed for the next year.

While the event has evolved and grown, the fact that this event is an annual celebration of all facets of student art from grades K-12 has remained the same. The creations are purposely displayed so the viewer can't help but experience the range and continuum of our young artists' developmental levels and progression as a result of the collective efforts and mentoring of our talented district art teachers.

Senior Walk Inspires Young Learners

For the fourth consecutive year, 266 graduating seniors from Fife High School participated in an annual tradition - The Senior Walk. Inspired by a viral video of a similar event held in a small Texas town, the graduating class is loaded onto buses and taken to our three elementary schools for a ceremonial walk.

At each school, the graduates were initially greeted by the building principal, who in turn took them through cheering staff and student-lined hallways. Not only does this event give many of our graduates the opportunity to see former teachers who helped and inspired them along their educational journey - it also helps our elementary students see a vision of themselves as a future graduate.

This event is one part of a full day for our seniors, starting with the Senior Breakfast, the Senior Walk, an End of the Year Assembly, and finally the Spring Fling in the afternoon. On Tuesday evening, June 18, the Class of 2019 gathered together at the ShoWare Center for one last time and walked across the stage - ready to begin the next exciting chapter of their lives. Best of Luck to the Class of 2019!

Retiree Spotlight

The Fife School District would like to recognize those individuals retiring at the close of the 2018-2019 academic year. Each of these individuals has contributed to making the Fife School District the special place it is - to both learn and work - and will be greatly missed.