Superintendent's Message

September 29, 2016 

Dear Mercer Island Schools families, staff and friends,

We are off to a smooth start to our 75th anniversary school year. Northwood Elementary and the new addition at Islander Middle School successfully opened, and we expect to be within budget when we close out the projects.

Supt. Gary Plano Please join us from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, October 1 for a dedication and open house for the new commons, gymnasiums and classroom wing at IMS.

We opened the year with 4,346 students, 26 more than projected and about 100 more than at the end of last year. Our district continues to grow in both numbers and diversity. Increases exist in most of the federally designated race categories of minority populations.

At our elementary schools, the new Spanish language program is off to an excellent start.

Thank you to our families for your patience as we introduced new elementary and high school bus routes this year. We have continued to adjust our schedules in the first month of school and encourage families to use the new e-Link for transportation information. With the addition of a fourth elementary school, we have been able to greatly shorten many of our bus routes. 

Welcome Event for New Families October 5 

To those who are new to the district, we are glad to have you join us, and we welcome you to our school communities!

We will be holding a community event for families new to Mercer Island schools on Wednesday, October 5, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Northwood Elementary in the Commons. A light pizza dinner will be provided, and we hope you come and learn more about us and get introduced to many of our community-based organizations that will be present.

Stop Arm Cameras installed on selected buses protecting our students 

Selected school buses in Mercer Island now feature a stop arm safety camera. When the stop arm is deployed, the camera automatically detects a vehicle illegally passing the stop arm in either direction and captures video of the violation and still images of a vehicle's license plate. The violation video and license plate images are reviewed by the Mercer Island Police for approval prior to a citation being issued. The MIPD has now issued nine citations to date, which carries a $394 fine.

Nominations now open for Pathfinder Awards

Nominations are now open for the 2017 Pathfinder Awards, celebrating alumni of Mercer Island High School whose achievements, strength of character, and citizenship inspire and challenge today's youth.

The inaugural 2016 Pathfinder Awards honored four outstanding graduates. These men and women have contributed to society in meaningful ways through their service, leadership, and creativity in our communities.

MIHS alumni have impacted the world in a variety of fields, including arts and athletics; business; education; entertainment; law; medicine; the military; philanthropy and volunteerism; politics and public service; religion; scholarship and science.

To nominate a remarkable graduate of MIHS, the form is HERE. Nominations may be submitted online through January 15, 2017.

Connect with us daily on social media

If you haven't already done so, please keep in touch with us daily on Facebook at, follow us on Twitter @mercerislandsd and look for our posts and events on Nextdoor Mercer Island

Gary Plano, Ed. D.