Board hears latest on student engagement

Printer-friendly version

Superintendent Dana Monogue and other administrative leaders updated the Board of Education at its regular meeting on Monday, Nov. 18 on strategies being used to support all students and families at the middle and high school level.

Director of Student Services Barb Buffington, Director of Secondary Education Laura Love, Director of Equity and Student Achievement Percy Brown Jr., MHS interim principal Peg Shoemaker, CSCS principal Jill Gurtner, Glacier Creek principal Ken Metz also attended and shared information. Kromrey principal Dom Ricks had planned to attend, but was held up at customs on his way back from Mexico.

Monogue noted this will become a quarterly presentation to the Board with the next update in February and another following in May. 

"We also recognize that we have work to do when it comes to increasing the level of respect that we see in our schools -- respect between and among students and respect between students and adults,'' she said. "This conversation will likely be the first of many in coming months because these issues and opportunities for positive change are complex. There are few easy fixes here, but we are optimistic about many of the things we will be sharing.''  

Deputy Superintendent Sherri Cyra noted professional development in prior years has been optional. It included six Equity Institutes for staff and other adults in the District, coffee talks, book studies Hidden Curriculum courses and more. 

The goal starting this year was to provide mandatory professional development to all staff during MCPASD's six PD days. The day starts with a session at the PAC and a professional speaker addressing a topic, such as racial literacy, culturally responsive practices and implicit bias. That is followed by small groups of 15-20 discussing what was shared. 

Shoemaker reviewed efforts to engage students, including more dialogue among affinity groups and the MHS Student Senate and staff. The middle and high schools have also partnered with the Anti-Defamation League on programming, materials, awareness and reporting practices. There are also talks with the We Are Many: United Against Hate organization to provide school-wide student presentations.

Gurtner shared the many practices implemented at CSCS over the past few years to increase student engagement and noted the lessons learned there are being shared with other schools in the District.

The Board also was reminded about the Stay Safe, Speak Up! online reporting system the District implemented a few years ago. MCPASD is also looking at ways to improve its reporting systems.

Campus support positions have recently been added at MHS and Kromrey. The District will also be bringing back the Partnership for Student Support and Success, which was made up of students, staff, parents and community leaders and met from 2016-18, starting in January. The plan is for the group to meet five times with meetings externally facilitated by the Peloton Group. 

Finally, administrators noted there has been a complete review of protocols and procedures, with a focus on a District-wide enforcement of the Code of Conduct; individual student supports grounded in high expectations, high accountability and high support; and 100 percent of students in class 100 percent of the time.