Message from the Superintendent

October 2016

DMUSD Students Continue to Soar on State Testing!

DMUSD students scored in the top 1% among the 1,000 districts in the state on the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP)!  We are extremely pleased by the outstanding accomplishments reflected in our students’ performance!  These strong academic achievements are the result of much hard work, skillful expertise in the classroom, and steadfast determination by students and their teachers.  In DMUSD, we continue to be focused on clearly articulated goals, smart plans of action, and purposeful investment in our people via powerful professional learning.  The smart work done by all garners high levels of performance throughout!

Making our way to “WOW!”

As a district, we embrace the significant impact of a high quality education on a child’s success. We have quality teaching and learning occurring every day in our classrooms, and as this school year unfolds, we will continue to take significant steps to our next levels of “WOW!” We know we must be responsive to our students’ needs and the changing world.

What do we need to know and be able to do to be prepared for the future?  That question should stir up much discussion in any profession.  Much planning and decision-making in our district is in direct response to tackling that question. Historically, schools have been good at promoting the acquisition of information. The Agricultural and Industrial Ages of the past have had a profound impact on education for decades, but we have now moved into a Global Knowledge/Information Age. The focus now has to expand to include knowledge ingenuity, creativity, and breakthrough thinking.

“We are too often faced with the prospect of preparing our students for the future – constrained by a mentality and infrastructure that emerged from another time.”

                                                                                            Gary Marx, Author
                                                                                            21 Trends for the 21st Century

In DMUSD, we are committed to pursuing excellence in every way.  We are committed to the most effective methodologies for teaching and learning reading, writing, mathematics, and other disciplines. And we believe our students need to be able to think and learn across disciplines, connect multiple ideas, create new knowledge, and engage in powerful thinking.  Now that is “WOW!”

How do we put great ideas into motion?  

We have a deliberate, strong planning process that guides our work. Each year, Strategic Planning Stakeholders and the DMUSD Governance Team evaluate the District’s long-range priority objectives and annual priority actions.  Below is a quick look at the District’s main priority actions for 2016-2017.  These actions guide this year’s important work!

Below is an abbreviated, synthesized list of DMUSD priority actions.  To see the entire DMUSD Strategic Plan, click here.

Core Strategy

2016-2017 District Priority Actions

Educational Program

·   Continue to optimize instructional practices through effective use of curriculum and assessments aligned to current California State Standards including ELA/literacy, Mathematics, English Language Development and Next Generation Science Standards to meet the instructional needs of all learners.

·   Provide parent education events to increase exposure and understanding related to the California standards.

·   Research, design, and implement a model for fee-based after school second language instruction.

·   Increase alignment between Early Childhood Development, After School Program and the K-6 instructional program and across all sites.

Technology

·   Utilize best practices to increase the effective use of powerful technology as an instructional tool for teachers and positively impacting the learning for every child.

·   Develop digital citizenship curriculum in partnership with Commonsense Media to be used across the district with all students.

Professional Learning

·   Develop 2016-17professional learning calendar which provides job-specific essential learning for all district employees.

Facility Optimization

·  Review and update the Facilities Master Plan to address facilities needs and capacity projections, ensuring environments support the needs of 21st century teaching and learning and are optimized for energy efficiency.

·  Work with local police department regarding the use of best practices for safety and security on the school campuses.  

Funding

·   Maintain a fiscally sound reserve balance for a community funded school district (Basic Aid) and a continued commitment to proactive fiscal planning.

·   Develop a budget that will support the priorities of the strategic plan and Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP).

Communication

·   Continue to develop DMUSD and STEAM+ “brands.”

·   Increase two-way communication with community using a variety of media.

External Relations

·   Develop new partnerships with Higher Education.

·   Seek out partnerships with STEAM+ focus and explore opportunities for collaboration with neighboring districts.

Student Safety and Well-being

·   Continue to research and incorporate best practices for promoting students’ health and safety, including drug and alcohol awareness, nutrition, and social emotional well-being. 

As a district, we are proud of our work and the impressive accomplishments of our students and staff.

Please follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/DMUSD_Supt.

Sincerely,

Holly McClurg, Ph.D.

Superintendent
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