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Superintendent Julie Nielsen
  • 2023-24
Kristin Vogel

There is nothing more exciting than welcoming students to a new school year. I’m reminded of the feelings of a new beginning – seeing friends, a fresh box of crayons, empty notebooks, a new school planner, course syllabuses and of course, the first-day-of-school outfit.

As I begin my 31st year in public education and my 28th year with South Washington County Schools (SoWashCo Schools), I could not be more proud of the profession that works every day to provide a safe and welcoming space for students to thrive academically, socially and emotionally.

SoWashCo Schools will be welcoming back about 18,800 students starting on Tuesday, Sept. 5. Our enrollment is at its highest point in the history of the district. We are thankful to be in growing communities. If your child rides the bus, please be sure to check Campus Parent Portal this weekend for final busing information, as routing adjustments may have occurred since you received your preliminary information in the mail this week.  

This year we will be implementing our new Strategic Plan that is rooted in five core values: connections, integrity, equity, excellence and innovation. The new mission of SoWashCo Schools is to educate students for success. Please watch for additional information as we move throughout the school year. 

On November 7, we will be asking our community to approve two bond questions related to safety and security, and addressing growth in our district with expansions and renovations of some of our existing sites. We will also be asking our community to approve a new Technology Projects Levy to help fund improvements and maintenance of classroom technology, infrastructure, cybersecurity and cameras in our schools and on our buses. This levy would allow for dedicated funding to support our technology needs, without utilizing general fund dollars.

As the sixth-largest school district in the state, we could not be more excited to begin another year. We ask for your support and help related to safety and security of our schools and buildings. We have established procedures for drop off and pick up of students, for attendance, and when people are visiting our schools. Should you have any questions, please contact your school.

Our schools are spaces where we want students to feel like they belong. Where they are encouraged to express themselves, explore their passions and develop the critical-thinking skills needed to become leaders of tomorrow. We are fortunate to have amazing students and families in our district!

Educating our youth takes all of us. Our staff is ready and waiting for students to return. It is why we exist. Thank you for partnering with us as we kick off a new school year!


Julie Nielsen