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Thank You For an Amazing School Year from Supt. Nielsen

Thank You For an Amazing School Year from Supt. Nielsen

Dear South Washington County Schools Families,


It’s here; the bittersweet end to the school year. It’s bittersweet because our students have made strong bonds with friends, teachers and staff and summer means there’s a pause on those connections and relationships. Students will quickly forget about science tests, math quizzes and book reports in exchange for summertime fun.

For many students, summer means trips to the pool or lake, running through sprinklers, a camping or fishing trip, hanging out with friends, summer jobs, sleeping in, and other fun activities and adventures.

For families, summertime means a change in pace and routines.. Summer brings an enjoyment of being outside, eating ice cream or a Freezee, riding bikes, hanging out, watching a baseball game and of course, swatting at gnats or mosquitos. My hope for your family is that you have the chance to slow down and make the time to connect with each other. I hear so often about how time flies and it is true. Be present and make time to be together!

To our families who have a graduating senior, thank you for supporting your student and their schools throughout the years. We are very proud of the accomplishments of our 1,500 graduating seniors. We wish them the very best as they move forward as an alumni of SoWashCo Schools. 

Summer is full of fun learning opportunities. As educators, we ask our families to continue to partner with us in making literacy skills a priority. This includes opportunities for students to engage in conversations, to listen to books that are read to them, to read books independently, and finally, to spend time writing. Keep it fun and focused on the things that interest them. 

We have a lot of important work coming next school year. You will see our renewed focus on literacy. While literacy has been a major part of learning, SoWashCo Schools is putting an even  bigger emphasis on it. Part of that work will include implementing the READ Act, passed by the state legislature in 2023, This Act requires staff to have specific training in teaching literacy skills, with the outcome of students being at grade level proficiency each year.

As you review the  2024-25 district calendar, you will notice that students have more days off than we’ve had in the past. We know the strain this can put on families, but these days are needed to properly train staff on the program we will use to fulfill the READ Act requirements and help students succeed. Families who want to learn more about this work will have several opportunities to engage in READ Act Information Nights that will begin infall.

Families and community members will also start seeing construction work begin at several of our schools next school year, thanks to voters' generosity in passing our 2023 bond request. This work allows us to increase security and capacity in some of our fastest-growing schools. We will be continuously updating our construction page as the work ramps up.

We look forward to welcoming students back to school on Sept. 3 for grades 6 and 9 and on Sept. 4 for grades K-5, 7-8 and 10-12. Children only get 18 summers before they become adults in this world. As they say, the days may seem long, but the years are short. Enjoy your summer! 


Julie Nielsen Signature

Julie Nielsen