New buildings help district serve more students | Mukilteo Schools
Last updated 10/4/2017 at Noon
When we went to the voters in February 2014 with a construction bond proposal, we said that building a new elementary school and a new kindergarten center would help us meet the demand of growing enrollment and give us enough classrooms to provide all kindergarteners in the school district with all-day sessions. That promise was fulfilled this fall.
The first element in living up to that promise came a year ago with the completion of Lake Stickney Elementary, the 12th elementary school in our system. With the opening of school a month ago came the completion of several other projects that were a part of that bond proposal almost four years ago. We opened a new kitchen and multipurpose room at Discovery Elementary and a beautiful new building at Olympic View Middle School that contains a gymnasium, music facilities and classrooms. We also added another new school: Pathfinder Kindergarten Center.
With the opening of Pathfinder, we can now offer all-day kindergarten for all of the 1,100 children of that age living within the school district. About 500 of those kindergarteners attend Pathfinder while the rest attend classes at their neighborhood schools.
With the transition to all-day kindergarten, we have also implemented a process called WaKIDS to provide a better connection between the school and the families of kindergarten students, as well as a way to assess each child’s developing skills. Through WaKIDS, the first three days of the school year were set aside so parents could meet individually with their child’s teacher, talk freely about their child’s strengths and needs, and establish a relationship so they can work together to help the student be successful in school.
As for Pathfinder itself, the new school provides a wonderful environment for children who are 5 and 6 years old. In fact, the building was designed with their needs in mind. For example, though it is a large school, it has been divided into four smaller units so that it doesn’t seem as overwhelming for the young children while increasing their sense of belonging. As a result, the students don’t eat lunch in a big crowded cafeteria with all the other students. They instead have meals in smaller eating areas within each of the four groups of classrooms.
The building features other amenities for young children, as well. The floors are heated to make it more comfortable for the many activities where the students are seated on the floor. The school features a variety of play and movement spaces and has adopted a bug theme to make it more appealing to small children and their curiosity. The four groups within the building are known as bumblebees, grasshoppers, ladybugs and caterpillars.
You’ll get a chance to see the new school for yourself and learn more about all-day kindergarten when the Pathfinder Kindergarten Center holds an open house for the public from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, October 28. The school is located at 11401 Beverly Park Road in Everett, right behind Fairmount Elementary. Please mark the event on your calendar and plan to attend. I’m certain that you’ll be impressed.