District Core Values
Strong organizations define core values that guide decision-making at every level of the system. These core values were developed based on an analysis of the themes that emerged from our many interviews and discussions with stakeholders. While they certainly do not capture all of our values, they highlight the core values that are most essential at this point in time—all aimed at ensuring every student graduates from the MMSD college, career and community ready.
Clear and Sustained Focus:
To be successful, we must be absolutely focused on a clear set of priorities aimed at measurable goals. We must zero in on the most effective strategies, implement them well and sustain our work over time. It will take urgency, determination and tenacity. It will also take courage. A clear, sustained focus, supported by research and data, will lead our district to success.
Great Teaching and Leadership Matter:
Great teaching matters most. While we believe certain students need additional services to be successful—students with disabilities, English Language Learners, and Talented and Gifted students, for example—we believe that great teaching should not be defined differently for different groups of students. Great teaching, when well-defined and supported, benefits all students and should serve as the foundation for our success. Great teaching cannot happen consistently without a great principal at the helm.
Inverting the Power Pyramid:
If great teaching and leadership matter most, we must focus all of our efforts on the development of thriving school environments in which school staff can do their best work. The work of our system happens in schools and central office exists to serve schools. Central office must serve the needs of students, teachers, principals and schools and be accountable for the quality of that service.
Continuous Improvement Aimed at Results:
We must become a collaborative learning organization that analyzes data, uses research and reviews our progress in a culture of trust and proactive problem-solving at all levels. Through this process of continuous improvement, we will be able to recognize where we are successful and where we need to improve, collaboratively identify the root causes for our successes and challenges and identify clear next steps.
Culture of Excellence:
If we expect the very best from our students and ourselves, then our students and their families benefit. We must work together toward a shared vision of excellence, precision and integrity in all that we do—in our discussions about children, our actions and our outcomes. Our students and their families deserve nothing less.