I read once that people long for professional work that is ‘real and meaningful.’ Well, the work we do, every day, at Manzanita Public Charter School, certainly meets that goal. I work alongside a group of people who submerge themselves into the tasks at hand: educating and shaping the intellect and hearts of our scholars. There is a certain ‘connectedness’ within our staff that is different and special. Truly, in educational circles, the work can be ‘too real’ sometimes. We just have to look in our scholar’s eyes to know this. But HOPE manifests itself in the growth we experience when we positively redirect the life of so many individuals. When we choose to become teachers and leaders of positive influence and impact, we see the people we work with as more than just members of a work group. We see each student and each colleague as a person with a heart and soul just like ours.
And when we see HEART, we are poised for greatness.
The 2018-19 school year will see continued efforts in the area of facilities improvements and social-emotional support systems. We will be reaching out to our community stakeholders (parents, governing board members, school site council, businesses, VAFB, etc..) for continued support in these areas. In addition to these improvement goals, Manzanita will be adding one incredibly important area of focus:
Manzanita commits to ensuring high levels of learning for ALL scholars.
What does that mean? And…more importantly…how do we make sure we keep this promise?
It starts with aligning our master schedule to include a guarantee that students receive extra time and support to learn beyond daily classroom instruction during a period of the school day specifically designed for extra support. It means all grade level teachers must agree upon the most important skills, concepts, and dispositions every student must learn (we call them essential standards AND essential behavioral guidelines). It also means that we monitor and analyze student learning results (frequently) to determine which students are struggling to learn and which students have demonstrated proficiency and need to be ‘stretched further.’ Finally, it means that our professional learning communities must be carefully guided and given time to share best practices with each other while reviewing common assessments and practices. These common assessments and practices will be the foundation for joint analysis of evidence of student learning…thereby giving teachers the road map for continuous classroom improvement.
It begins and ends with the BELIEF that ALL STUDENTS can and will learn in our classrooms.
As a servant leader, it will be my great privilege and honor to guide and inspire our school team toward a deeper understanding that the fundamental structure and engine that drives the work of all great schools is the collaborative team. We have the HEART already in place at Manzanita: it’s time for us to strengthen our ‘collective capacity.”
It continues to be a meaningful and exciting journey. Thank you for trusting us with the most precious of all gifts…our children.