A message from Superintendent Carlton D. Jenkins, Ph.D.
Dear Board Members,
This week, which marks the first week of our 4th Quarter, has certainly been eventful. On Wednesday, our district held the first meeting of the Superintendent’s Advisory Committee on Restorative Justice. Much research explores the need for developing new ways to engage and accelerate learners if we are serious about disrupting the school-to-prison pipeline in pursuit of excellence for all students. We are excited about bringing together students, staff, parents, and community partners to create new ways of working which will transform our learning spaces into more nurturing centers of educational enrichment.
Throughout this week, we have had rich conversations about refining our approaches to ensuring all students graduate ready for college, careers, and the community. During Monday’s Instruction Work Group meeting, district staff engaged in a rich dialogue with the board about instructional and curricular strategies which spanned topics such as phasing in the reopening of schools, revisiting earned and standalone honors, and developing virtual learning programming. Each of these topics has implications for our district’s efforts to address disparities and narrow the gap between excellence and non-excellence.
Throughout this school year, our community, state, and nation has continued wrestling with the pandemics of COVID-19 and racial injustice. As such, we have continued working collaboratively with myriad student, staff, family, and community stakeholders. During this week, district leaders have engaged in strategic conversations with students, parents, health experts, non-profit leaders, elected officials, and others in an effort to elevate varied voices in our decision making. We firmly believe taking a collaborative approach, which includes engaging often marginalized voices, will assist our efforts to ameliorate disparities which historically have impacted our Black, LatinX, Hmong, low socioeconomic, ELL, LGBTQ, and Special Education students and communities. True excellence must be inclusive, and our strivings for human decency demand us to find new ways to engage all students and families.
Thanks 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.