The school board celebrates musicians and supports the expansion of the Assisted Learning program

The Edmonds School District Board of Directors at its January 24 meeting commended the student musicians, heard progress on the Alderwood Middle School improvement plan and heard recommendations for expanding the district’s educational assistance programs.

The board honors six Edmonds School District musicians.

Six students were awarded certificates for selection as All-Northwest and All-State musicians. They are:
Glenn O’Brien, Lynnwood High School – All-NW Band, Trombone
Gabriel Espitia, Mountlake Terrace High School – All Northwest Jazz Choir, drums
Audrey Chen, Edmonds Woodway High School, All-State Orchestra, Cello
Sophia McCann, Lynnwood High School – All Northwest Orchestra, violin
Ryan Fann, Lynnwood High School – All-NW Jazz Choir, Tenor 2
Pierce McCann, Lynnwood High School – All-State Orchestra, Viola

In addition, six students from Alderwood Middle School spoke about their experiences with AVID (Advancement via Individual Selection). The program teaches students techniques and strategies for overcoming challenges they face in their education, such as breaking down tougher concepts and working together.

Olga Arimenko, a student at Alderwood Middle School, talks about the impact of AVID in her life

“AVID has not only helped me prepare for my academic future, but it has also helped me understand who I am as a student and as a colleague,” said Olga Arimenko, a Year 7 student from Alderwood Middle School. “I learned the strategies that work for me and I use those I learned from Avid during tests, in classes, and outside of school as well.”

Alderwood Middle School officials continued their presentation by discussing the school’s chosen goal of improving students’ sense of belonging. The school chose participation as its goal because the data indicated that the students did not feel connected to the school community.

View Alderwood Preparatory School

Principal Kristi Vari said that a sense of belonging is not only important for the students’ education, but also for their mental and emotional health. She added that the school is working with its faculty to improve teacher-student relations.

Alderwood Middle Assistant Manager David Friedel spoke about the training of staff who have been given to recognize signs of suicide and implement social and emotional learning. He also noted the success of CBITS (Cognitive Behavioral Trauma Intervention in Schools), a program that connects children who have experienced similar traumas.

In other business, the board heard a proposal to expand educational assistance programs. The proposed expansion is intended to assist students who have been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Board members applauded the program’s focus on student success and health and supported its expansion.

Deborah Kilgore speaking to students at Alderwood Middle School

The school board also approved pending language changes to district policies. A report on the district budget indicated that everything was on track with expectations and no action was needed. School Board Vice President Deborah Kilgore has received a letter of appreciation for her five years of service on the Board.

Finally, the board has informed the public that the search for the supervisor position is going well and that when the finalists have been narrowed down, audience members will be welcomed to a community forum on Tuesday, February 7 at the Mountlake Terrace High School Playhouse from 6:30-8:30 p.m. You can find out More on the supervisor search process here.

Written by Jasmine Contreras Lewis

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