Tuesday, April 4, 2017

This is what it's all about!!!!!

What an AMAZING day!! Today was a day for the record books!! It has left me feeling  #Proud #Energized #Motivated and #Encouraged. I am PROUD to be working with #innovative, #motivating, and #strong educators. I am ENERGIZED by the positive activities that are happening with students and staff. I am MOTIVATED to employ new strategies to "lead like a pirate." I am ENCOURAGED that the efforts that so many people are putting in day in and day out are starting to pay off.

My day began at Armijo High School where a team from the County Office of Education had begun their visitation to analyze the contents of their Gold Ribbon application. The County Office has the task of determining if the practices highlighted and outlined in the application are in fact taking place at the site. The time I spent there in the morning definitely showed that the Collaborative Coaching Process they highlighted is not only in effect on the campus, but is proactively changing the culture. Teachers shared how they are supporting one another and feeling safe to take risks with new ideas. The team spent the day visiting classrooms and speaking to staff, students, and parents. At the afternoon share out the County team shared that they were happy to announce they were giving their stamp of approval to send the application to the state level. They commented that they were so impressed with what they saw on the campus and what they gained from speaking with the students. It is a telling moment when senior students are able to verbalize that they are aware of the differences in how their teachers are teaching now compared to when they were freshman and sophomores. The students shared they are engaged much more in class since their teachers are having them talk instead of the teacher just talking, and they appreciate that their teachers are learning and trying new ways of teaching. Armijo's Collaborative Coaching Process was referred to as "exemplary."

My next stop was at the PSA where they are in day three of a four day WASC visit. I participated in a similar process as earlier in the morning, but this time the WASC visiting committee is working on validating the items described and outlined in the school's WASC report. The visiting committee will have their findings shared out tomorrow afternoon. The feedback so far is that they have seen a plethora of evidence to support what is written in the WASC report. The committee members we spoke to were thoroughly impressed with the structure, culture, and collaboration occurring at the PSA. They commented that this is the first time they have a seen a school that is a public school employing such a unique structure. I am confident that the share out tomorrow afternoon will be very, very positive. I must also add that the PSA had a Gold Ribbon site validation last week and the County is moving the PSA application to the state level!

Midway through the day I was humbled as a I partook in the ceremony at Matt Garcia Career and College Academy. Today is Victim's Memorial Day which is part of Crime Victim's Rights Week. The Matt Garcia Foundation in collaboration with the District Attorney's office, City Council, Fairfield PD, Solano County Sheriff, and many other community groups unveiled a statue and provided words of wisdom to the youth of our community. The ceremony bells were symbolic of #resilience, #strength, and #justice.

While I was at these three sites, there was so much going on at all of our other campuses across the district. I am so happy I get a glimpse through my "window" of Twitter without even being there. Over at Cordelia Hills, Principal Trotter was infusing innovation at his staff meeting by incorporating Flipgrid into collaborative conversations. Across town at Fairfield High, Assistant Principal Balthazor was infusing innovation at her staff meeting by incorporating Breakout Edu with the staff. These site admin are taking risks and modeling engagement they want to see in their classrooms.

This was a GREAT day in FSUSD. I am super excited to close out my night by starting to read my newest book, "Lead Like a Pirate." Tomorrow I will be part of a group of admin and teachers that will begin planning the VERY FIRST #Edcamp for FSUSD!

Continue to be innovativecreative, and a model of excellence!!

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