About this site

I was a Governing Board Member of the San Carlos School District, elected November 2007 and again in November 2011. This site was originally used for the purpose of communicating with school district constituents, however now it is used for surfacing ideas and expressing opinions on various subjects in education, politics, business, or otherwise.

Please note that any opinion express here is purely personal and does not necessarily reflect the position or opinion of anyone else or any organization with which I am, or have been, associated.

I will not accept anonymous comments, and all persons who post comments must have a valid e-mail address. Note that I reserve the right to edit, reject, or delete posts based on spelling, grammar, readability, or my judgment of what is appropriate discourse.

 

August 2012
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Welcome Back to School

Teachers and other staff are already back in school, and Monday students return for the 2012-2013 year. Last night, the school board had it’s first meeting of the season, and there are so many things going on in the school district. Here’s a brief overview:

  • Enrollment: our enrollment continues to grow — as of now, we are at 3,346 students in the district. Although that’s in line with our projections, it’s still 500 more students than when I started on the board five years ago! And we’re expecting another 600 or so over the next six years. This just speaks both to how attractive San Carlos is for young families and how crucial it is that we pass Measure H!
  • Measure H – we heard from the leaders of the campaign committee. Many parents have stepped up to volunteer, and I thank them in advance for all of the hard work they will put in. They will be raising money, running phone banks, doing precinct walks, putting up lawn signs, and organizing events. Their web site will be up shortly!
  • Strategic Planning – Both the school board and the administration separately had strategic planning retreats over the summer talking about the future of teaching and learning and San Carlos and specifically how we implement 21st Century Learning. A lot of input came from the community meetings we had last year, and the next step is that the teaching and classified staff will have a similar session next month. Then, likely in October, we’ll all get back together, compare notes, and start the process for drafting the strategic plan. There will also be more community meetings to get feedback, and our goal will be to have something adopted by the Spring. (Also note that the district has a renewed push on more and stronger professional development for all staff, particularly as it relates to 21st Century Learning. There were many sessions over the summer, and they will continue throughout the year.)
  • Facilities Master planning – related to our overall strategic plan, our admin team is working on a facilities master plan which will help guide the prioritization of potential construction and maintenance projects over many years. Although the plan will take some time, there will be enough work done before the election to give folks a good idea of the prioritization of projects that would be funded by Measure H.
  • Sustainability policy – the board discussed and was in agreement that we should adopt a sustainability policy to address issues such as energy and water use, sustainable buildings, conservation, transportation, efficiency, etc. This will be particularly relevant as we contemplate new construction if the bond measure were to pass, and it will also allow us to be eligible for some sources of state and federal funding to support such projects. The next step is that out policy sub-committee of the board will draft a policy for review by the full board.
  • Partnership with city: the school district is working with the City of San Carlos to have the city take over management of the middle school after-school athletics program. This looks like a promising partnership that will allow for more effective administration of those program and our facilities.
  • RDA Settlement — although it is not final yet, the San Mateo Daily Journal reported today that the school district and city are close to settling on payments owed from the recent judge’s ruling around the San Carlos Redevelopment Agency. I’ll keep everyone informed as this progresses, but it is very positive for the school district!

As some of you know, I started writing columns for EdSource Today, and the response and conversations have been great. I think I have been addressing some fairly meaty topics and ones which may get folks thinking differently about perspectives on public education. Here’s a summary of my columns to date:

Please send me any ideas for other topics to cover!

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