A message from Superintendent Carlton D. Jenkins, Ph.D.
Dear Board Members,
This week, which marks the first week of our second quarter, has certainly been eventful. As we begin this quarter, we are reminded about our progress in facing the pandemics of COVID-19 and social/racial injustice, as we lean forward together with excellence, equity, humanity, and intentionality.
Excellence continues to be exemplified by the voices and actions of our students, staff, and families. We continue to witness powerful student advocacy about addressing violence, as well as empathetic staff members who are expertly providing encouragement and support. In addition, the manner in which our students, staff, and families have adhered to our COVID-19 mitigation protocols has resulted in the impact of cases remaining limited and our schools remaining open. Moreover, over 82 percent of our staff have already provided evidence of vaccination, a rate which exceeds the county, state, and nation.
Equity and humanity often go hand in hand. Together, our staff are working hard to exemplify these pillars as we strive to make all our learning spaces into places where every student and staff member can thrive. As we support the great work in social-emotional learning, which is occurring in our buildings, we are seeing many examples of our staff co-creating and refining our practices to ensure we are providing our diverse students with what they need. Research on student engagement and efficacy suggests their efforts will result in positive residuals in life outcomes.
Intentionality is evidenced by students, staff, families, and community members interrogating our data, policies, and practices to improve our district’s capacity to accelerate learning for all students, address the disparities often faced by members of historically excluded groups, and provide needed social-emotional and mental health supports. This can take the form of school-based leadership teams refining instructional and behavior support plans in response to their review of end-of-quarter data. It can also take the form of an orchestra teacher preparing learners at different stages in their musical journeys for seasonal showcases where they blend their talents to play classical and contemporary masterpieces. Finally, intentionality can take the form of board members asking important clarifying questions during work group meetings and patiently listening to thoughtful responses from our staff.
As we embrace the opportunities and challenges of the second quarter of our school year, I would like to thank you for your continued support and partnership. We look forward to providing you with more updates on our district’s progress next week.
Carlton D. Jenkins, Ph.D.