I’m Kaaren, and I’m new to Stand for Children. This September is the first in over 20 years that I’m not starting the year as a school principal. Although I’m missing the kids right now, I’ve transitioned from being a high school principal to doing work that I know will positively impact students across the state.
My new position is Director of the Center for High School Success at Stand for Children Washington, which was officially launched on August 1st. We’re partnering with 10 school districts this year, and our mission is to support them in increasing their number of ninth-graders who pass all of their classes.
The research has shown that students who are on-track to pass all of their classes by the end of freshman year are four times more likely to graduate. This is more than a compelling statistic; it's a game changer. And I believe that our work to support educators will make a real difference.
Last month, I went to Yakima twice with the Stand team to take our partner districts through two days of training (at no cost to the districts). We translated cutting-edge 9th Grade On-Track and adolescent development research into actionable, high-impact 9th Grade Success practices that they’ve taken home to their schools.
During our second training I met Andre, an Assistant Principal in Spokane who was skeptical about attending. Then, after our first day of meeting, he told me: “I believe that this was the missing piece for us. If we had more trainings like this, I think we could make full strides in moving education to where it needs to be.”
When we support educators, we’re supporting kids. I look forward to keeping you up-to-date on our growing partnerships with teachers this year, and it’s thanks to your support that we’re able to make it happen. Thank you for standing with us.