It’s November, can you believe it? With the holidays fast approaching, we are on a roll. Let me give you the rundown.
First, thank you to everyone involved in making our learning environment stronger and more student-centered. Basically, that is every single staff member and family member. We cannot do our work without you. Let’s keep it up. Working together makes us more unified and stronger, and what is strong is hard to break down. Thank you!
Next up, D428 staff are currently being asked to complete a survey that takes 11-15 minutes. The purpose of the survey is to hear back about our school and district-level culture and climate. We want to make sure we are using the voice of our staff to continue to improve. I know it sometimes seems easier to say, ‘I think everything is ok so I won’t answer,’ but we need to hear that as well. Voice is important, so if you have not done so, please take a few minutes to complete it.
I have to say, with our student expectations set in the handbook and at the school level, the implementation of the Code of Conduct, and the additional supports at the district and school levels, we are seeing some differences this year. We will be sharing data soon (at the State of the District presentation). I am excited about this data.
However, we still see some high needs at a few of our schools. We have heard from and visited the schools and the team is working on a plan to further support these schools in particular. I want to make it clear that no school is left alone to deal and work through the issues they face. Because we are dealing with students, we need to be sure to support them where they need It most. These particular schools know we are working on it.
Do we still have things to work on? Absolutely. And I appreciate that you reach out to me directly about your concerns and please continue to keep these lines of communication open. Understanding your needs, frustrations and issues makes it easier for us to target supports or adjustments.
On that note, I want to thank Kathleen Sipes, one of our teachers at Brooks elementary, for reminding us about how we celebrate our students’ diversity and cultural celebrations. She reminded me that I had stated we would be working on it, and we are. We have a committee that Billy Hueramo and Mary Lynn Buckner lead to lay out what these events look like and define how they align with learning. If you are interested in being a part of this committee, reach out to them.
Speaking of which, we have committees, lots of them. And, as much as I appreciate those already on them, we could always use more and different voices (staff and parents). Please get involved, it will make us stronger together. Some committees are:
- Finance and Facilities (FFAC)
- Social Justice Team
- Parent & Student Handbook
- School Calendar
- Strategic Planning
- And plenty of others
I encourage all of you to continue to be strong advocates for your students, school and district. No one person can lead the district to greatness, it is everyone’s work. Please consider joining and continue reaching out. Let your school leaders know when you have questions or concerns, but also celebrate the great work.
Thank you for all you do, and let the holidays begin!
Minerva Garcia-Sanchez, Ed.D.
DeKalb CUSD 428 Superintendent