Earlier this week, the MBUSD Board of Trustees held a workshop to discuss and obtain input on our Board Goals. One of the many reasons I love serving the MBUSD community is that although our test scores are extraordinary, we are not satisfied. The Board’s goals make it very clear that we are committed to continuous improvement. Our students deserve that. We have undertaken amazing work in the area of teaching writing, and our technology initiatives have gained national attention. But it is hard work. I take my hat off to our amazing teachers who continue to inspire me with all they do.
How do we sustain continued growth district-wide and in each of our schools? I am a big believer in professional development for all MBUSD educators. For my part, I feel very fortunate that last year, MBUSD was invited to join a prestigious and small group of high performing school districts called the 21st Century Consortium. These districts, spread across the western United States, share our commitment to continuous improvement and have created a structure through which we can learn from each other. Representatives from the member districts feel that they can learn from MBUSD, and I will tell you, we have already gleaned a great deal from the other districts in the Consortium.
The seven districts participating include Manhattan Beach, Palo Alto (Palo Alto, CA), Highland Park (Dallas, TX), Eanes (Austin, TX), Westside (Omaha, NE), New Trier (Winnetka, IL), and Edina, (Edina, MN). I am proud to work with these districts committed to being national leaders in education.
Each district takes a turn hosting a fall and spring meeting. In each meeting we study successes in the host district, then discuss and explore issues such as:
• College readiness for all students
• Brain research and its impact on teaching and learning
• Drug and alcohol misuse in adolescents
• The role of technology in education
• Developing master plans for district facilities
• Common survey data from our graduates
• Best practices for Education Foundations
• Professional development strategies and best practices
For the last part of this week, I have been in Austin, Texas, with Carolyn Seaton, our Executive Director of Ed Services, and Dr. Ben Dale, our high school principal. Their counterparts are here as well and they are meeting to collaborate and share best practices.
Each of us will return to MBUSD equipped with new ideas for implementing our Board Goals. I invite you to join me for our October 16 Board meeting during which I will share the highlights of the information we learned.