As some teachers at Clayton Valley High are leading an effort to convert the campus to a charter school, others in the district are asking: “Why?”
A look at the recently posted notes from a strategic planning meeting held at the school might shed some insights into what some believe is now lacking on campus.
Here’s an excerpt of suggested additions to the draft strategic plan, along with concerns, brought up by those who attended the May 2 strategic planning meetings:
1. Academic Excellence and Learning:
Additions and changes — Interactive teaching; Retain teachers and teach facilitation skills; Consistently decrease the drop-out rate; Allow high-performing students to attend district schools of choice — reward high performers; Contrast student math and science readiness to global landscape (China, India); Include language about relevancy and responsiveness; Address inequity between schools (Under-performing and high-performing schools both need support and autonomy. The needs of a school community are unique to that site.); Add more hands-on teaching, relating academics to real life skills.
Concerns: Increase staff effectiveness to student needs; Respect the children; Train staff on smoothing their responses to students (stop yelling at the kids).
2. Supportive Family and Community Involvement:
Additions and changes: Advocate for students, parents, and teachers; Instill a spirit of social responsibility.
Concerns: Reduce gang activities in and around the school.
3. Highly Qualified, Effective Staff:
Additions and changes: Main focus should be to provide professional growth (have teachers create personal development plans and then support their goals by partnering with business corporations, nonprofits, community, etc; create supportive environment); Every classrooom should have a highly qualified educator who has the skills and capacity to achieve the district’s mission; Staff needs to feel empowered (I hear them saying they don’t have any input into what they do), they need some autonomy; Negotiate contracts to allow an easier path to support or redesignate underperforming staff.
Concerns: Increase staff effectiveness to student needs; Respect the children; Train staff on smoothing their responses to students (stop yelling at the kids)
4. Respectful, Responsive Service and Communication
No additions, changes or concerns.
5. Optimal Operations and Infrastructure
Additions and changes: Integrate technology as part of the instruction; If district’s problems are unmanageable due to size, is there a way to break the district into small groups, within an overall structure?
This list doesn’t include the goals the group wanted to keep or to remove. To see the complete notes, visit http://www.mdusd.org/Community/Pages/StrategicPlanDates.aspx.
Do you think the proposed charter school should address these issues?