Summer reader receives award, parents express concerns over Madrona graffiti

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Two parents approached the Edmonds School Board during its Tuesday night meeting to express concerns over how the district handled a recent incident of racist graffiti on the Madrona K-8 campus.

Mckenzie Unwin of Edmonds, who has a first-grader at Maplewood K-8 School, felt the incident should have been better communicated to families. Principal Lynda Fischer sent an email out to Madrona families the day after the incident. Some parents learned about the incident from their children before that email was sent.

“I want to make sure no other kids are asking their parents, was this about me?” Unwin told the school board, adding that since the graffiti was removed before police could investigate, the perpetrators may never be punished.

“They’re not going to learn that this is not okay, that this is unacceptable,” she said.

Karin Butler of Edmonds, who has two children at Madrona, echoed Unwin’s concerns.

“As a family of color, I just wanted to share we didn’t feel supported,” Butler said. “I just hope there’s a real clear path to what should be done in the future.”

Near the end of the meeting, School Board President Susan Phillips thanked the two parents for coming and sharing their concerns with the board.

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Fifth-grader Michael Boakye-Ansah (right) shakes Superintendent Kris McDuffy’s hand before meeting members of the school board.

Following public comments, the School Board celebrated students who read over 20 hours during three months of summer, between June 7 and Sept. 7. Each of the 31 kindergarten through sixth-grade students who accomplished this goal received medals. The top three schools overall (Cedar Valley, Oak Heights and Brier Elementary) received banners for their schools.

Fifth-grader Michael Boakye-Ansah, who attends Sherwood Elementary School, attended the School Board meeting to receive his medal and meet the board.

After Boakye-Ansah received his recognition, the school board heard a presentation about last year’s graduation rates. Last year, 83.4 percent of students graduated on-time, which is the highest percentage of on-time graduating seniors ever recorded. In 2008, the first year in which the graduation rate was recorded, that number was just 75.4 percent.

Meanwhile, 87.3 percent of fifth-year seniors graduated, also the highest number in its category. Students who graduate in more than five years are not counted in graduation rates, even though they graduated.

Going school by school, more than 91 percent of seniors graduated from Meadowdale and Mountlake Terrace high schools, while 88.1 percent of Edmonds-Woodway seniors and 84.9 percent of Lynnwood seniors graduated on-time.

The E-learning Academy has a graduation rate of 23.5 percent. However, that number only includes students who attend E-learning full-time. Approximately one in five students at other schools in the district are enrolled in at least one E-learning class. When they graduate, it counts for their primary school instead of E-learning.

For a full breakdown of graduation rates by school, click here.

Also during Tuesday night’s meeting:

  • The Board heard a monthly financial report. Click here to see that presentation.
  • The Board heard a year-end financial report. Click here to see that presentation.
  • The Board approved a public works contract for pavement rehabilitation at Beverly Elementary, College Place Elementary and College Place Middle School.

–Story and photo by Natalie Covate

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