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Response Plan for Springbrook Elementary

In Kent School District, we have established four strategic goals. One of our goals is to create organizational systems that reinforce equity and excellence by providing safe, secure, and productive environments for each of our 25,400 students. Through an independent and thorough investigation that stemmed from an incident at Springbrook Elementary on December 14, 2018, we have determined that we failed to provide such an environment for one of our students. As a result of the findings of this investigation, Ms. Ashlie Short will not be returning to Springbrook Elementary. She has been provided a termination letter that includes all appeal rights afforded to a certificated employee in the State of Washington.

"Over the last few months we have maintained our care, concern, and commitment to each and every KSD student. However, we could not compromise the integrity of the investigation by addressing the incident or speculating what the outcomes might be," explained Superintendent, Dr. Calvin J. Watts, "and though my spoken words were few during the investigation, my ability to empathize with this student and identify with this family was neither limited, nor restricted in any way."

As a school district, we continue to critically review the strategies that are being used in our schools. By examining each through a safety and equity lens we intend to more positively impact our school environments and prevent similar incidents from happening again. We have also identified and have begun working toward short­ and long-term goals that will enable us to create safe, secure, and productive environments for each and every student in Kent School District now and into the future.

Our immediate next steps include retaining Mr. Michael V. Williams as interim principal at Springbrook Elementary until a permanent principal is hired. By the end of this school year, staff at Springbrook Elementary and KSD Leadership Team members will receive additional training on:

  • School Safety Procedures and Protocols from KSD Safety Services Team
  • Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) Review from KSD Student Family Support Services Team
  • Parent Communication: Using Social Media Responsibly from KSD Communications and Public Affairs Team
  • Leading for Racial Equity from Puget Sound Educational Service District

In Kent School District, we believe effective classrooms are welcoming to all students, have caring teachers, exhibit joy in learning, and demonstrate all students working to their potential. Our community will see evidence of our core values as we continuously improve organizational systems designed to ensure equity and excellence for every child. We will move forward in this spirit, and we are confident that our district will be better.