Breaking Down the Walls

July 28, 2015


The 2014/2015 school year is in the books and the next is fast approaching.   It was another successful year for our District as we continued to move forward with our strategic plan.  We embraced more project based learning, pushed out more of the Common Core and it was also a year to execute new ideas for learning. 

In some cases we tore down the walls…..literally.   

In Brittan Acres, White Oaks and Heather a hole was punched in the wall allowing the flow of students through the two rooms.  In the Brittan Acres classroom there was a combined classroom of 57 students.  Two teachers managed the class.  This set-up allowed for a deeper dive in various subjects and also more targeted learning to challenge each student to their appropriate level. 

I had an opportunity to sit down with Jennifer Heinschel and Kelly Earlywine, teachers at Brittan Acres to discuss how their team teaching worked.  By dividing who was teaching each subject, they were able to each spend more time on their core areas.  For example, Mrs. Heinschel could spend more time prepping and planning math and writing while Mrs. Earlywine could focus on social studies and science.  Each could do a deeper dive on their subjects, and reading instruction responsibilities were shared.  When not teaching the main subject, the other educator could spend time with students to do more individualized learning.  This team teaching approach allowed them to model collaboration for students, encourage them to work within teams, and allowed the educators to create very flexible groupings based on student need.

This innovative approach to teaching was a success and is just one of the many creative ways our school district is approaching learning.  We will continue to look at new ways to educate our children and to provide them with a 21st century learning experience. 

As an example, this year we have a record number of teachers signed up for project based learning training. The 2015-16 school year will bring more opportunities to explore ways to execute on our strategic plan and to provide new learning opportunities for our students.  


 

School Board Election Decision

June 30, 2015

My term on the San Carlos School Board will finish at the end of this year. 

It has been an interesting three and a half years, full of challenges and opportunities.  While it has been a rewarding and enjoyable experience, I have decided not to run for re-election in November.  

There have been many changes in the District since I joined the board, and I believe we have made many positive strides and are now well-positioned to see even more success in the coming years. 

  • As a district we are ...

Continue reading...
 

Agreement with Teachers Approved

October 16, 2014
Last week, the School Board approved an agreement with the San Carlos Teachers Association (SCTA) by a 3-2 vote.  This agreement included a 2% raise, retroactive to 2013 and an increase in health benefits.  This was the result of a lengthy and often divisive negotiation.  I voted in favor of this agreement because I believe it is important to move forward and it is my hope that we can start in a fresh and positive way with SCTA.  

We have many great teachers in our district and I would love to...
Continue reading...
 

A Home for Charter Learning Center.

October 7, 2014

After lengthy debate and discussion, the School Board recently decided to keep the San Carlos Charter Learning Center (SCCLC) at the Tierra Linda Campus.  We further agreed to place the school on the upper portion of the campus.  The proposed 4-5 school (currently known as Dartmouth) will roughly occupy the current (SCCLC) campus.  The SCCLC is tentatively set to open on the upper TL campus for the 2016-17 school year with the 4-5 school to open the following year.   Improvement will also be ...


Continue reading...
 

Land Swap - A Win for San Carlos

March 21, 2014

Earlier this week, the San Carlos School District sent a letter to the City asking that they consider a land swap. I strongly support this idea in principle and believe that it can benefit the school district’s effort to meet our growing enrollment challenge and continue to provide a high quality education for our children. This land swap also brings the benefit to our community of adding sorely needed park and field space on the upper Tierra Linda site.  

We live in a city that supports it...


Continue reading...
 

21st Century Learning in Action

November 24, 2013

In June, the Board approved the District’s strategic plan and vision for our future.   Since that time we have been off and running.  In particular, there is significant emphasis and investment on our professional development.  For example, our teachers are receiving training on the Common Core Standards which are being implemented in California this year.  You can find more information on the standards at www.corestandards.org.  The mission statement for the Common Core Standards Initiativ...


Continue reading...
 

School Lunch and Instructional Minutes

September 17, 2013

Summer is behind us and school is in full swing.    There is always great anticipation and excitement with the start of the school year.   As I reflect on the first couple of weeks of this school year,  I think back to the annual back to school breakfast for teachers, administration and other key staff.   It is quite amazing to sit in Mustang Hall and see it filled with all the people that make this district run and provide an excellent educational experience for our children.   There is quit...


Continue reading...
 

A Vision for the District

August 1, 2013

At the end of the recent school year, the School Board passed our 5 year strategic plan.  This vision for the District represents two years of incredible work from the teachers, parents, district staff and school board.    It is a fantastic step towards creating a 21st century learning environment for our students, and I look forward to working to implement this strategic plan to elevate the overall learning experience for the students of our District.  

So what is in this strategic plan?   F...


Continue reading...
 

School Safety & Security

June 22, 2013


Ensuring that we take the steps to improve safety at our schools is an important one.    For the past several months District staff have been working diligently on a number of security improvements.  Law enforcement has met with each principal, and the School Resource Officer has done security presentations to the community.   A site assessment took place at each campus to determine areas that need improvement.  Work on these improvement is ongoing. 

At a recent Board meeting, the District...


Continue reading...
 

Election Night Success

November 10, 2012

Tuesday was a great night for San Carlos schools!   Once again, the citizens of San Carlos voted to support education in our community with the passage of Measure H.  Statewide voters passed Proposition 30 which ensures critical funding for education.    

Hundreds of parents, students and community members volunteered their time and energy,  phone banking, block walking and reaching out to voters to encourage them to support Measure H.  I want to give a special thanks to the campaign committe...


Continue reading...
 

 

Categories