I want to take this opportunity to welcome our students back to school and send a special greeting to those of you who might be new to the Woodburn School District. We are excited that you chose our public schools to further your education.

Woodburn schools are unique in that they have rigorous academic programs and offer students the opportunity to graduate fluent in Spanish or Russian in addition to English. Our dual language program is sought after, attracting more 150 students from neighboring school districts who recognize the importance of being able to compete — and communicate — in a global economy. We also offer the prestigious International Baccalaureate diploma and competitive Advanced Placement courses.

Why do we offer such challenging programs? The answer is simple: Education matters.

For our returning students, I want you to know that what you do with your life — what you become, and your ability to make a difference in the lives of others — is dependent on the time and energy you spend learning. Education opens a multitude of doors, a fact that is hard to imagine when you feel frustrated with an assignment, or overwhelmed with homework. But persevere and know that we are here to support you every step of the way. Ask for help when you need it, be accountable for your actions, and make the right decisions that will support your educational goals. Also, recognize and be thankful for the investment that our community is making in your future.

For our parents and guardians, thank you for bringing us your children to educate. We recognize the great trust and responsibility that you have placed in us. We ask that you be involved in your child’s education through our public schools, and work with us to make this the best experience possible for them. Talk with us about their progress, and learn how you can help further their goals.

For our teachers and classified staff, we want to thank you for your commitment and dedication to our students.

Everyone involved with the Woodburn School District has the opportunity to interact with our students and add value to their lives. Your regular contributions make this a positive learning environment.

We also want to thank our community and taxpayers. Your investment in public education is fundamental to a child’s personal growth and development. Your support of their education (whether you have children in school or not) helps define who they will be later in life and how they will care for others and the world around them. Because this is an investment for you, we are accountable to you for the results and are good stewards of your tax dollars.

Everything mentioned above are ways that we support our students to achieve academically. Another example is to make sure that our students have the physical space and tools they need to learn. As part of our Strategic Plan, the Woodburn School District will ask voters to consider a bond to add classroom space, technology improvements and complete some deferred maintenance projects. It is possible that this bond will be “revenue neutral,” which means no new taxes. This could happen because an existing bond passed in 1995 is retiring.

We will have community meetings to discuss this exciting concept later this fall. In the meantime, welcome back to school! We look forward to uniting with our partners in education because the work we do matters.

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