To the Editor:
With the first two weeks of school behind us, we are excited about what we hope will be a year of positive and productive learning, creativity, and imagination for students. Many thanks to all Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) staff for getting us open and running, and to our families for your enduring partnership.
As our focus this year returns in full to co-creating optimal learning environments and experiences for students, we look forward to refining direction and building momentum with our staff and community in a number of areas
This past June, the Board of Education approved our initial Strategic Plan. The plan lays out three primary areas of focus:
- Strong Foundational Program for All Students
- Systems and Structures for Student Support
- Resources, Talent Management, and Communications.
We will be providing more information about the Strategic Plan next month.
For now, we want our AUSD community know that this year we are choosing strategic priorities within those focus areas and the larger plan that will allow us to first put significant effort and exploration into system-wide concerns. These concerns include:
- Comprehensively reviewing our District policies on grading in support of more equitable outcomes and positive learning experiences for all students.
- Fully assessing and re-evaluating our core curriculum and programming for TK-12.
- Reevaluating bell schedules across the district to improve students’ access to support and to facilitate increased collaboration between teachers.
- Transparently analyzing the district budget in support of the long-term financial and operational health of our district. This may include adjusting and better aligning expenditures with our strategy and goals and exploring ways to more competitively compensate the staff we will need to retain and recruit to meet our goals for students.
You can see how your school’s plans are being developed in relation to the Strategic Plan via your school’s School Plan for Student Achievement (SPSA). The goal of an SPSA, which is created annually and submitted to the California Department of Education, is to coordinate school services and outline how federal and state funds will be used to improve students’ academic outcomes via research-based instructional strategies.
Each school’s current SPSA is available under the “Our School” drop-down menu on the school’s home page. We encourage all families and staff to review their school’s 2022-23 SPSA to gain a deeper understanding of both the challenges and plans for improvement at their site.
Last year, our video community updates went out weekly to ensure a consistent set of district-wide public health updates during the many peaks and valleys of the pandemic. This year, as we move our focus back to teaching and learning, we plan to send the video updates less frequently and point them toward academic and operational developments in AUSD.
Another change: We will be sending our newsletters, which contain updates and information of interest to the entire AUSD community every other week, rather than every week. Those updates will still include information about COVID-19 cases, testing, and vaccination opportunities. Urgent COVID-19 information will be sent via special alerts, and our COVID-19 case rates will still be updated several times a week on our COVID-19 dashboard. We will also remain in regular communication with state and county public health agencies to ensure our protocols remain aligned with public health guidance.
As we shift away from that high volume of district-level updates, we ask that the community stay tuned to the regular communications sent out by school site principals—communications that we know will be most specific and relevant to students, staff, and families at individual schools.
I look forward to a positive school year and to our continued work together as a community on behalf of students.
Editorials and Letters to the Editor
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