High schools on the March 10 school board agenda

UPDATE: The high school WASC plans will be on the regular agenda for the March 10 school board meeting. This is a golden opportunity to participate in a discussion of our high schools' long range plan for improvements in teaching, counseling, the achievement gap, and social and emotional well-being. (For more details, including what WASC stands for, see my previous blog post). The WASC plans were on the February 24 consent agenda, meaning that they would not be discussed -- but I pulled the item from the consent agenda for consideration during the regular agenda. The Superintendent requested that we delay discussing the plans until March 10 to allow for some of the many administrators, teachers, parents, and students who helped create the plans to come to the meeting. I was happy to agree, as having a broad and informative conversation about the WASC plans is precisely the point of pulling them from the consent agenda.

It's difficult to overstate the importance of the WASC plans. They represent an enormous amount of thought and work in our high school communities. The quality of work they represent is extremely high. The board and the community need to understand the thinking and debate behind the plans, in order to provide feedback and support. This is particularly important during a period of substantial change, as both high schools -- but especially Gunn -- are taking on some long-standing challenges. These challenges include closing the achievement gap and aligning practices in areas like homework, counseling, schedules, grading, and curriculum to the health and learning needs of students.

I'm looking forward to a discussion on March 10 that forthrightly addresses these issues and more, and that leads to more clarity and common understanding between the board and school communities in the months and years ahead.

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