Skagit County Trends Newsletter


Phil Brockman Photo

Q: As superintendent of the Sedro-Woolley school district, you undoubtedly face many potential priorities. What are your top three for this school year?
A: Safety of our students and staff is always our highest priority. Four years ago, our school community supported the Sedro-Woolley School District with a Safety and Technology Capital Levy. We will be completing our safety upgrades in all of our schools and will be at one to one computing in all of our schools by the end of this school year.

Student Academic growth is our business. It is our moral imperative to ensure that all of our students are academically achieving and meeting standards. We continue to expand programs and services to meet our student needs, and to address opportunity and achievement gaps. We must provide equity, access, and opportunity to all students.

Stewardship of our resources. We are responsible to allocate resources to maximize student learning. We have had full day kindergarten for the past four years, and we have added teachers to lower class size. In addition, we have added art and music in our elementary schools, and are emphasizing STEM throughout the district.

Q: Can you tell us how data is used to inform the district's decision-making?
A: We use data to inform most decisions. Especially how we allocate resources. Principals and teachers use data to inform academic decisions and planning. The district office uses data in support of our schools academic programs and services. The district also uses data for budget planning,

facilities improvement, and future enrollment growth…what, why, and how. This is a key element to our goal of stewardship and ensuring responsible allocation of resources.

Q: To what degree do Skagit County Trends help this process?
A: Skagit trends is a great resource. An example is the "people" indicator, which has given us information about demographics such as average household size and population growth rates, to assist us in planning for the future.

Q: Beyond any education-specific indicators on the Trends site, can you give us a couple that jump out at you?
A: As I mentioned previously, the "People" indicator jumps out, but also "health" and "public safety." We have a great relationship with our local first responders and have been working very closely with them this past year on emergency planning. I cannot speak highly enough about our partnership with them in the planning and providing of safe schools for our children.

Q: You've now been in the community for over four years. Have you noticed any shift in the use of data in the County's public discourse or in decision-making?
A: Absolutely! I am a member of the Public Health Trust and our dialogue revolves around data and how data is used to inform decision-making. Whether it's addressing the opioid epidemic or early learning, the conversations that are being had are resulting in taking action. I personally appreciate using data to take the next steps in providing for the well-being of Skagit County residents. This is a great place to live, work, and play.