School board discusses CTE program, student wellbeing study

The Edmonds School District Board met last week to hear updates to the district’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) program, confirm the rest of its student advisors and also conduct regular business, such as approving contracts.

Four recently sworn in student advisors.

Six students were sworn in at the previous school board meeting and an additional four were sworn in at the Oct. 10 meeting. The students will give input to the board throughout the 2023-2024 school year. 

Student invitees came to the meeting for Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

The board also invited three students and one parent with Indigenous heritage as part of a proclamation celebrating Indigenous Peoples’ Day. 

Two student groups had a sample size of three, so results were skewed accordingly.

Director STEM/Career and College Readiness Mark Madison presented on the district’s plans for CTE for the upcoming year. Madison discussed the variety of options that district students can choose from when pursuing technical education as well as the CTE’s self-evaluation process and criteria.

Recent highlights include career outreach events, internship programs and statistics evaluating the positive impact of CTE education on graduation rates. Madison said that a growing number of students are receiving certifications and college credit through dual-enrollment programs. The program intends to continue adding internship and certification opportunities. Another major item for the program was the implementation of a student advisory group, which will allow students to grow their leadership abilities while giving input and making suggestions for the CTE program. 

Executive Director of Student Learning Lisa Gonzalez presented the results of a survey used to evaluate student wellness and social-emotional health. Student participation in the survey dropped significantly when students aged past elementary school, though it was mentioned that this may have been partially because students were not given time to complete the survey in school and had to finish it on their own time. 

Scores for items such as “positive teacher-student relationships” and “sense of belonging” fell as students aged. The study also compared results by race and gender.

Finally, the board approved the annual allotment for the district’s highly capable program and the Washington State School Directors’ Association’s legislative priorities.

It also considered a resolution that would speed up construction on the project to rebuild Oak Heights Elementary School. The proposition would call for a special election in February 2024 that would ask voters to approve the sale of bonds to provide immediate funding instead of collecting the already-approved $90 million levy through 2025-2028.

— By Jasmine Contreras-Lewis

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