Welcome to my new blog! I often have thoughts to share that don’t fit within the confines of a Facebook post or a tweet, so I’m going to give a blog a go. I don’t have plans to post on a regular schedule at this time, so I will try to remember┬áto share on Facebook and Twitter when new posts are available. I hope y’all find what I share to be helpful and informative!

B … R … E … A … T … H … E

First, please take a deep breath through your nose. Hold for a bit. Now exhale slowly through your mouth. Repeat as needed.

A survey we released yesterday has disrupted the space-time continuum so to restore the order of the universe I thought an update may be helpful. As you will see in the survey results thus far, below, our parents and our teachers (the two largest groups to respond so far) are worlds apart on their preferences for finding additional time for teachers. If this pattern continues as additional responses come in, and I expect it will based on the number of responses received so far, I will not be bringing a recommendation to the Board in May to make any changes to our schedule next year or the year after. Instead, we will develop and implement a larger stakeholder engagement process to help all interested parties better understand the situation we are in and to have further two-way communication about that and potential solutions (those already presented and others that may arise during the engagement process).

So, if this has been a stressful moment for you, please know that we do listen carefully to your feedback and adjust course as needed. Everything will be okay. Namaste.

(In the following graphs, red represents “dislike” and green represents “like” with darker shades indicating stronger preferences.)

Hours and minutes and seconds, oh my!

Opening a new building and re-zoning the district provided me an opportunity to take a closer look at several issues across the district, including start and end times for each school level, work hours for staff, and the difference in the amount of time individual teachers spend providing instruction versus time allocated to planning.  Each school level has different State requirements for the length of the school day and I believe that CSD can create fair expectations for students in regards to instructional time and for staff in regards to planning time. Continue reading

Courageous Conversation Protocol in Action (or not…)

If you are not familiar with the Courageous Conversation work we are doing in the District, you may want to read more about it at https://courageousconversation.com before continuing with this post. I will reference things from this framework that may not make sense without some background knowledge.

Yesterday afternoon the District received a letter from the Beacon Hill Black Alliance for Human Rights regarding concerns they had about some events at the middle school. Representatives of the group shared their letter with us very soon after the events occurred, really as quickly as one could reasonably anticipate, and the timing happened to be on a Board meeting night. They attended the Board meeting and shared their letter verbally during public comment. Continue reading

Transformational Change

The Board and administrative team have had opportunities recently to work with an expert on how organizations tackle transformational change. We have all found it quite helpful, especially because it put words to some of the things we were experiencing as we undertake a major transformational change–elimination of race-based gaps in discipline, participation, and achievement. While the information we’ve learned is quite extensive, this post is going to focus on some of the big pieces. Continue reading