A message from Superintendent Carlton D. Jenkins, Ph.D.
Dear Board Members,
This week, which marks the seventh week of our 4th Quarter, has been eventful. Throughout this week, our district has continued to uplift the voices of our students, staff, families, and community members as we work to refine our policies and practices. We are certain our efforts to hear their voices will amplify our strategy of “putting the community into the schools and the schools into the community” as we work to eliminate disparities and accelerate learning for all students.
In order to incorporate the voices of our stakeholders into the fabric of district decision-making, we have worked to create spaces where their thoughts can influence our planning in its infancy. One tangible example of such a space was last Saturday’s Big Ideas Pitch Competition where 14 out of 337 proposals for utilizing our ESSER II monies were chosen for funding in the 2021-2022 school year. While these 14 proposals will help to enhance our district’s ability to address needs relative to academic acceleration and social-emotional learning, we are also looking forward to gaining valuable insights from the proposals which were not accepted for immediate funding. Our community is filled with knowledgeable and innovative people, and our district must rise to the challenge of utilizing their ideas and insights to refine our work.
In addition to the Big Ideas Campaign, we continue to create and utilize myriad spaces to hear the voices within our community. While visiting schools throughout our district during instruction walkthroughs, I have had the opportunity to encounter outstanding ideas and unique perspectives from our students and staff. During meetings with various community advisory groups, ideas which might help to shape our resources and practices are often shared by families and community members. Throughout these, and other meetings, our community and district staff are engaging in valuable dialogue about ways MMSD can reach its unlimited potential. We firmly believe these dialogues, which embody our core values of belonging, creativity, and focus, can help fuel our sustained transformation during our journey from “Good to Great.”
Thanks for your continued support and partnership. We look forward to engaging in robust dialogue at this weekend’s Board of Education Retreat, as well as providing you with more updates on our district’s progress next week.
Carlton D. Jenkins, Ph.D.