Dear Mercer Island schools supporters,
We have nearly completed the first month of the 2014-15 school year, and we are well on our way to another successful year of classroom experiences for our students.
I am happy to announce that four of our young scholars from Mercer Island High School have been named National Merit Semifinalists and 19 more have been named National Merit Commended students. The high school also jumped to the 159th position in the Newsweek
rankings of best high schools in America and the class of 2014 received the best composite ACT scores in at least five years.
It takes an entire community to create an educational system this special. Our mission begins when students enter our elementary schools and continues through middle and high school until students are prepared for college and their careers.
The generous donations from the Mercer Island community to the Schools Foundation are essential to funding classroom teachers, an elementary art specialist, instructional coaches for elementary, middle and high school teachers and the enrichment programs that make success at this level possible. My most heartfelt appreciation goes to supporters of the Schools Foundation, the PTAs and the many Boosters who help ensure our schools are the best regionally and nationally.
Through the Phone-a-Thon, Bridge-the-Gap campaign and many PTA and Booster events, the Mercer Island School District received more than $1.6 million to fund teachers and targeted programs, such as the new K-2 reading program, to help our schools meet the diverse needs, intellectual drive and curiosity of our students.
Last year our elementary schools had some classrooms with as many as 30 students. This year, there is only one elementary class with 28 students and that class is one classroom in the highly capable program. We average about 23 students per classroom at the elementary level. That does not happen without the support of our community and the Schools Foundation.
This year the Mercer Island Schools Foundation Phone-a-Thon will take place on Nov. 3 and 4. I know this community will continue to answer the call to make our public schools even stronger and to provide the support and programs our children deserve.
Gary Plano, Ed. D.