Following the journey of grads, finances | Our schools

Spring has finally arrived in the Northwest, and that means graduations are around the corner.

This year, the Kent School District will see more than 1,600 young adults walk across the stage to receive their diplomas, and walk straight into their futures.

Our primary goal is to prepare all students to be college and career ready, with a knowledge of the many options before them and the confidence to face the challenges along life’s journey.

Of course, our school district as a whole is also on a journey. In my past notes to you, we have explored the rich diversity of our school district, and the 150-year-long march to equity and quality services that this community has provided. We are on a continuous financial journey as well. Another goal is to focus our best efforts to maximize the resources available to provide the best possible educational experience for each and every student.

In my last message, I wrote about the spending and hiring freeze necessitated by lower than anticipated revenues and escalating costs. Since implementing these cost-saving measures, we have experienced significant reductions in both our operational and personnel expenditures. In fact, after the first two weeks of May, operational expenditures are below $1.3 million from the same period last year. This is a big step in the right direction and our efforts are making a difference. If we stay true to this path, we can anticipate being on a more solid financial footing in the future.

Speaking of the future, in my next message I will be highlighting some of the incredible young people as they take part in our upcoming graduations and prepare for greeting life’s challenges with a smile and a determination to make things better.

I look forward to keeping you updated on all things KSD.

Calvin Watts is superintendent of the Kent School District.