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Welcome to the Superintendent’s BlogDr. Sara Johnson

As part of my efforts to continue the focus on communications, community engagement, and transparency, I’m thrilled to launch this blog for Sumner School District stakeholders. In this area of the website, I will discuss a variety of timely issues and provide information that I hope will be helpful to Sumner staff, parents, students, and community members. To suggest topics, please email me at I look forward to hearing from you and connecting with the community.

From My Heart to Yours,

Dr. Sara Johnson, Ed.D.

September 2, 2015
Students deserve a great education and this year we will be emphasizing the importance of attendance, student engagement, and graduation. What’s the first step to success? Regular attendance!

Succeeding in school is something every child deserves. The research is clear; missing as few as 10 days of school in one year is an indicator of a student heading toward academic trouble – and an increased rate of dropping out. Across the country, as many as 7.5 million students miss nearly a month of school every year—and absences correlate with the struggle to succeed - at every grade level. The good news is positive attendance patterns are easy to establish. Here are a few practical tips to help support regular attendance:

  • Make sure your children keep a regular bedtime and establish a morning routine
  • Lay out clothes and pack backpacks the night before
  • Ensure your children go to school every day unless they are truly sick
  • Avoid scheduling vacations or doctor’s appointments when school is in session.
  • Talk to teachers and counselors for advice if your children feel anxious about going to school.
  • Develop back up plans for getting to school if something comes up. Call on a family member, neighbor, or another parent to take your child to school.

School attendance patterns can be “reset” at the beginning of each year! We commit to supporting children by making school meaningful and engaging. We sincerely appreciate your partnership in making this year the best year yet for kids. Let us know how we can best support you and your children so that they can show up for school on time every day. The starting line is just a few days away and our staff is eager to invest in your child’s success.

August 5, 2015
The proposed Sumner School District 2015-16 budget has been thoughtfully developed in accordance with the Sumner School District’s goals, and funds have been targeted to enhance excellent instruction across the district, emphasizing increased student outcomes. As we continue to grow, we redouble our focus on intensifying the delivery of relevant, solid programs, with an emphasis not only on academics, but also character and citizenship skills. The 2015-16 school budget reflects our commitment to prepare all students for a productive life and multiple opportunities after high school.

The district is pleased to be experiencing a growth trend. We estimate serving 9,086 students in 2015-16, more than an 817 student increase over the past three years. As we continue to grow, especially on the south side of the district, we are keenly aware of the importance to plan, prepare, and budget wisely. What is new in the 2015-16 Staffing and Budget?

  • Continued focus on lower class size for Kindergarten through 2nd grade
  • Increase in certified staff to serve our growing population
  • Teacher Mentor Program for new Elementary, Middle, and High School Teachers
  • Support and growth for Elhi Hill & Academy of Hope programs to provide opportunities of success for students with specific needs
  • Development and delivery of intervention services to ensure achievement for students who need extra support to reach success
  • Increased and more highly trained Health Services staff
  • Additional Custodial Staff to serve the increase in student enrollment
  • After school transportation to provide more time and opportunities for high school students to attain 24 credit hours in high school
  • Targeted professional development for staff in critical areas (based on data)
  • Preparation, alignment, and adoption of District Literacy Curriculum K-12
  • Staffing to enhance student and adult leadership skills and connections with community

As superintendent, I consider it one of my most important roles to present a budget that supports quality experiences for all students and ensures excellent instruction for every child, every day, in every classroom, from grades K – 12. Our student achievement remains above state average and we are on the verge of getting even better. Excellent staff makes a great difference in students’ achievement and we have outstanding teachers, administrators, and support staff. The proposed 2015-16 budget will support instructional initiatives so that we can continue to trend upwards as a district, while being fiscally sound and responsible in providing outstanding service and education.







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