By Lorie Chamberland, Ed.D., Superintendent, Live Oak School District
As I reflect on the past 100 days as the District’s new superintendent, highlights include:
- The Welcome Back Breakfast where district administrators prepared and served over 200 teachers and support staff.
- The first day of school seeing principals and teachers throughout Live Oak welcoming students and their families to a year of exciting new learning opportunities and new friendships to be formed.
- Teachers strengthening their teaching strategies through professional learning, instructional coaching and peer collaboration.
- Teachers and administrators participating in classroom visits throughout the district to observe students engaged in collaborative work in all subject areas as they develop their higher order thinking skills.
- The continuing trend of district-wide growth in state assessments in Language Arts and Mathematics.
- Students enjoying Art, Music and Physical Education programs at the elementary and middle school levels.
- Families and community members engaged at schools through Green Acres Fall Festival.
- Live Oak’s Celebration of the Unity of Cultures.
- Del Mar’s STOKE OUT! A holiday giving event in partnership with SC Hope Church.
- Shoreline’s Winter Concert with students from beginning to advanced band and featuring 9 students selected to the Central Coast Honor Band and the many Live Oak Education Foundation’s family-oriented fundraising events.
During these past 100 days, we have also been planning for the future as we develop a new district vision, mission and core values; plan for a new Dual Language Immersion Program; and fully implement the Next Generation Science Standards.
Planning a New District Vision, Mission and Core Values
Our current mission and goals, developed in 2013, set the direction to help the Live Oak School District earn the honor of being named a CA Exemplary District last year. Since we continue to grow and evolve as a school district, this fall, our school board decided it was time to reflect on our vision for the future and refine our mission and core values.
We began this process by gaining input from over 100 stakeholders through focus groups with parents at every school site, as well as teachers, support staff and administrators district-wide.
These common themes arose from both our school board members and focus groups: We are student-centered (supporting high achievement through a growth mindset); focused on the whole child; collaborative to ensure student success; passionate about diversity; and strive to achieve equitable outcomes for all students.
In January, stakeholder representatives met for a visioning retreat. The outcome of this day was a new district vision, mission and core values, which our board will finalize this month and which will then guide our district planning and budget process within three goal areas: I- Image, Outreach and Family Engagement; II-Academic Achievement through 21st Century Learning Skills (critical thinking, communication, collaboration, creativity and global citizenship); and III. Social-Emotional and Physical Wellness.
Dual Language Immersion Program to Begin in 2020-21 School Year
One of our core values, identified by the focus groups and the board, is diversity. Our district stakeholders defined it as a powerful catalyst to enhance connections, enrich lives and expand learning opportunities.
Sparked by parents’ desire for their children to learn two languages and provide an enriching and challenging educational opportunity, we formed a committee to begin the work of planning a new English/Spanish Dual Immersion Program.
The program goal is for students to have the bilingual skills and cross-cultural competencies needed to succeed in our multicultural society and global economy. We are preparing to launch the first Dual Immersion class in the fall of 2020 at Live Oak School for incoming kindergarten students.
Next Generation Science Standards
Science taps into students’ innate curiosity about the world around them. When students are regularly engaged in high quality science instruction in the classroom, exploring scientific phenomenon with their peers to understand the world around them, it empowers them to think like scientists.
This year, we continue to move forward in ensuring that all of our students leave Live Oak schools scientifically literate.
We have created a district-wide vision for science, adopted and purchased the new FOSS Next Generation Science curriculum and all Kindergarten through fifth grade teachers, as well as middle school science teachers, are participating in professional development in science.
But what is more important, is that we are seeing students’ curiosity sparked as they engage in hands-on science — experimenting to test their ideas, making observations, asking questions and explaining their thinking.
For additional information on Live Oak School District www.losd.ca