What We Have Accomplished
Despite the many challenges brought on by the pandemic, I am proud to have worked with our community and staff to make great strides for our students and families. I’d like to share some of the major things we’ve been able to accomplish as a team over the past few months:
- We safely opened all our schools and brought back over 190,000 students for in-person instruction while maintaining one of the lowest rates of active COVID-19 cases in the state (0.21%). We did this by working over the summer with local and national medical experts to revamp and significantly improve our district’s safety plan, and by training and supporting our principals and campus staff.
- We developed and launched virtual learning options for over 23,000 students who have compromised immune systems or who have had to quarantine. This has meant that these students have not had to miss out on a moment of instruction.
- We started the school year with more certified teachers in classrooms than even before the pandemic, despite a local and national teacher shortage. We did this by deploying more than 250 central office members with teacher certifications to campuses to ensure that students had access to quality instruction.
- We developed and implemented a student re-engagement plan that has resulted in over 18,000 students enrolling in the district since the first day of school. We knocked on doors, held phone banks, sent mailings, and partnered with community organizations to find and re-engage missing students.
- We have utilized federal COVID relief funds (ESSER) in ways that support student safety, learning, and well-being. This has included expanding tutorials across all schools, investing in additional counselors and wraparound specialists, and providing additional supports to students with the greatest needs.
- We have begun the process of transitioning to a new appraisal system that will provide teachers and principals with more support and opportunities for growth. This will help increase the capacity of our educators and have a direct positive impact on student learning.
- We have enlisted the support of philanthropy and some of the nation’s top experts to help us effectively plan and improve as a school system. These experts are helping us evaluate and improve areas such as curriculum, special education, family engagement, human resources, finance, and more.
- We have assembled one of the nation’s most talented and diverse district executive leadership teams. This will enable us to carry out the work that needs to happen for our students to thrive.