Parent & Community Engagement: Our education funding system is based around local control. Community stakeholders should be key partners in district decision making and have a say in priorities regarding programs, services and budgets. We can do more to reach out and actively engage our parents and community stakeholders. Parents are their children’s first teachers, and our district needs to partner with them to build student success in school and beyond. Good two-way communication is a part of the strategy to ensure authentic engagement.
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion: Every student in our district is equally important. It’s important for us to look at our district’s practices and policies to ensure they are anti-racist and inclusive. We need representation for a wide range of stakeholders to make the best decisions for the students in our community. We need to embrace the assets that the diversity of our community offers. When we say all are welcome or included, we need to mean all students from all backgrounds, life circumstances and abilities. The onus is on our school district to do intentional outreach to ensure all groups are included.
Student and staff physical and social-emotional well being
Student and staff safety, including mental and physical wellness must be a key factor in ongoing decisions about educational delivery. Students and staff can do their best in a safe and welcoming environment.
School climate: Positive school climate is a key factor in a well-run school site. Kids and parents need to feel valued, safe and welcome. A good relationship between administrators, staff, students and parents helps ensure student success and wellbeing. Awareness of ACES- adverse childhood experiences and trauma and appropriate interventions are vitally important to protect our students.
School Safety: However school looks in the 20-21 school year, the safety of all students must be the number one priority. Covid-19 virus safety and the changes to our schools as a result, in addition to the existing safety concerns such as gun violence, bullying, and toxic stress, are all impacting our students. The mental and emotional health issues that can arise from isolation, lack of routines and fear of Covid-19 infection is putting a strain on both our students and staff. As a community (in consultation with our Public Health Department and CA Department of Education guidance) we must work together to find the safest path forward. Students and parents need to be aware of the school safety plans and have a voice in ensuring these plans meet the needs of the school community.
Achievement gap: This issue has existed since I was first a parent in DJUSD. With the focus of supplemental and concentration LCFF funds on student groups who need more support, we should be seeing more progress in this area. Even if the number of students in these groups appear to be low percentages- each of those kids that make up the numbers deserves the opportunity to access their educational potential.
Provide multiple pathways to student success- Our Davis students need a variety of educational options to provide them the greatest opportunities for success in life beyond DJUSD. This means we need to provide CTE- Career Technical Education, A-G college preparatory course work, project based learning and the ability to explore many subjects that they find engaging and meaningful. The skills our students need are now called 21st century skills by the California Department of Education, this Framework describes the skills, knowledge, and expertise students must master to succeed in work and life. It's a blend of content knowledge specific skills, expertise and literacies. The essential skills for success in today’s world include the following:
- Learning and Innovation Skills (The Four C’s: Critical thinking, Communication, Collaboration, and Creativity)
- Life and Career Skills
- Information, Media, and Technological Skills
Transparency: policy and budget decision making needs to be transparent to our community. This requires frequent and specific communication that is easy for parents and caregivers to understand. For budget decisions, the community should be well informed of what resources our district has and how they are being allocated. Input on community priorities should be developed with as wide a stakeholder group as possible.