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March 2019

Greeting Families and Community Members,

 
Our District's mission is to provide every student with a safe, equitable, restorative culture and community, the opportunity to realize their full potential, access to an excellent 21st century education, and the skills and knowledge to pursue lifelong learning. We are truly fortunate to have amazing administrators, teachers and staff who are dedicated to this mission and work tirelessly to support our students. Teachers and staff at each of our schools are working together to address the needs of students. Each site has a leadership team (comprised of teachers, staff, and administrators) that works together to plan professional development, address student and staff safety needs, plan parent engagement activities, and support struggling students. Each of our schools has a different focus area. These are as follows:
 
Rodeo Hills Elementary - Rodeo Hills has spent this year implementing the Leader In Me program. Leader in Me (LiM) is an evidence-based, comprehensive school improvement model—developed in partnership with educators—that empowers students with the leadership and life-skills they need to thrive in the 21st century. Leader in Me is based on a theory of change known as the See-Do-Get cycle. When you change the way you See things, it influences what you Do and the results you Get. The Leader in Me experience begins with a whole new paradigm for education. Educators rediscover their passion through Leader in Me as it redirects their focus back to a deeper understanding of student achievement. Leader in Me provides Rodeo Hills with a model and process that addresses common challenges that are unique to students during the elementary years. Parents, educators, and school administrators are concerned with their child’s physical, mental, social, and economic well-being, all of which are factors that can contribute to or hinder academic success. Teachers, staff, and administrators at Leader in Me Schools are empowered to provide support in all of these areas by creating a learning environment that addresses whole-child education with five (5) Core Paradigms. These paradigms influence the behavior of staff, students, and their families. These paradigms are: Everyone can be a leader, Everyone has genius, Change starts with me, Educators empower students to lead their own learning, and Develop the whole person. We can already see that the Leader in Me program is making a difference with our students. Students are more engaged, suspensions and office referrals are down, and students are able to learn and be successful in school. The entire community of adults at Rodeo Hills has done an excellent job implementing this program and is committed to the success of our students.
 
Carquinez Middle School - The CMS leadership team (comprised of teachers, staff, and administrators) has been focusing their energy and effort at improving the way students relate to one another at school. Specifically, teachers have been working with students to reduce and eliminate acts of bullying and sexual harassment. Over the last month, teachers have been working on making better use of the daily advisory period by delivering lessons that help students recognize inappropriate behavior and how to enlist the support of adults with issues as they arise. The leadership team at CMS has also been working on their responses to student misconduct and ways to make the school safer and more positive. This includes awards assemblies and the use of ROARS, a system to reinforce and reward students for appropriate behavior in school. Finally, teachers and staff are participating in training that helps them teach students to treat each other with kindness and respect.

John Swett High School - The teachers, staff, and administrators at John Swett High School have been working all year to implement the AVID program in classrooms.  Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) is a program that changes lives by helping schools shift to a more equitable, student-centered approach. Teachers receive professional development, a suite of resources, and ongoing support to ensure a lasting impact on student achievement through increased engagement in learning. AVID's professional learning benefits both beginning and experienced educators. Here, educators re-evaluate their beliefs and expectations around student potential and learn and practice activities that transform classrooms and instruction. Trainings cover all core content areas and all grade levels in topics such as Culturally Relevant Teaching, Academic Language and Literacy, and Digital Teaching and Learning. AVID offers a variety of classroom activities, lesson plans, professional learning videos, and timely articles that are relevant to JSHS students. These tools help educators implement and refine instructional practices. They also help educators provide the key academic and social supports students need to thrive. AVID programming has a proven positive impact on student achievement and is making a difference at John Swett High School.
  
What is most impressive about all of these programs is the effort and commitment on the part of teachers, staff, and administrators. Our employees work incredibly hard to ensure that our schools are a positive and productive place for all of our students. They are amazing! I am available by cell phone at (925) 639-7408 or by email at cmiller@jsusd.org. If you ever have a problem or concern, please feel free to reach out to me personally and I will respond.