May has arrived and with it, the celebration season in California public education. Calendars are full of events to honor students, teachers, staff, families and community for the work they have done this year. San Juan is once again proud to see our students being recognized for their achievements in many ways.
A team from Mira Loma High School has just returned from Washington D.C. as the 2013 National Science Bowl champions – the third time since 2009. Our AVID Senior Celebration recognized a record 100 percent of participating students applying for and being accepted to college. Del Campo High School’s Decamhian yearbook was awarded a prestigious Pacemaker award, for the 17th time, while Casa Roble’s Rampages brought home a Gold Crown from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association, a Pacemaker and Best In Show at the JEA/NSPA national convention. Andrew Carnegie Middle School, Mira Loma High School and Rio Americano High School were named California Distinguished Schools. The list goes on and on. . .
May also brings recognition of staff. May 8th is National School Nurse Day and California’s Day of the Teacher, recognizing two groups of professionals who work the closest to our students, and May 19-25 is Classified School Employee Week. It is important that we take these opportunities to celebrate the hard work of our staff and the important work of teaching and learning.
However, in San Juan simply recognizing our staff is not enough. We must always be looking for how we can improve our work and make it more effective. Through our community-developed strategic plan we are getting smarter about how to build school communities that meet the needs of every student. One of the ways we’re doing that is to create greater autonomy for our school staff. At their May 14th meeting, the Board of Education will discuss the latest thinking around our study of researcher Patrick Dolan’s work to decentralize decision making, increase autonomy, encourage innovation and build lasting systems that support student achievement.
I have shared in a number of my messages and when I speak, my disappointment in what seems to be the popular fad right now in our nation of tearing down public education and public school employees. As we look to implement our strategic plan by moving authority closer to students it is imperative that we reject the polarizing voices we find on the national stage and focus on the needs of our students and our community. This is our time to come together, celebrate the great achievements we have and recognize the challenges we must address.
Thank you for being a part of San Juan Unified. Please share your celebrations and your challenges with me on Twitter (@GlynnSJ) or via e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Everyone a learner! Everyone a leader!