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An Important Message From the Superintendent – May 16, 2018

Dear Team KSD,

It has come to my attention that tomorrow, local news media will be covering a complaint against me signed by a group of 22 parents, staff and community members under the name "27KSD4Change" that was submitted to our school board. In addition, KAEOP and KAP have joined KEA in delivering a "vote of no confidence" in me as your superintendent to the school board, from their members. While this may seem unusual for me to address, there is nothing usual about what is taking place in pockets of our district.

I support and appreciate our students, teachers, staff, parents, and community members who participate in the civic process to engage with our school board. I encourage our community to continue to collaborate with our district, to move forward together to support our students to be successful. I support our nine employee groups, including our eight labor partners. I accept the responsibilities, vision and mission I have been charged with by our school board and I continue to work in partnership with our board on behalf of our district. I remain committed to the fundamental purpose of Kent School District, which is successfully preparing all students for their futures.

As superintendent, it is my role to ensure that each and every student, all 27,896, are receiving access to high quality academic, social, and applied learning, and are ready to excel in college, careers, and in life. In our district, we have over 18,000 families who speak 138 languages. In the seven municipalities within our boundaries, we have more than 158,000 residents; we partner with more than 600 businesses, and community- and faith-based organizations. So, while I do not take the complaints and concerns of our community members lightly, I also know that the measure of our success as a school district is not in how well I am liked as a person, as that is not our core business.

Our work, our core business of teaching and learning, with an emphasis on learning, is what drives me each and every day. The measure of our success as a school district, and my success as the leader of our district, is rooted in the individual academic and social-emotional growth of our students and our collective work in reaching the goals laid out in the strategic plan as authorized by our school board. Our operational challenges since I have arrived, while immense, are not insurmountable. Together we are making positive progress to restore our district's fiscal solvency and each day we are improving our overall effectiveness and efficiency system-wide.

I cannot do this work alone. As we work together, both internally and externally, to develop a culture of mutual respect, I remain committed to each and every student in Kent School District. It is an honor to serve alongside each of you who are teaching and supporting those who teach in our district. Thank you for your commitment to our fundamental purpose of successfully preparing all students for their futures.

Kind Regards,

Dr. Calvin J. Watts

Superintendent