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Superintendent's Update - March 25, 2022

Superintendent's Update - March 25, 2022


The agenda calendar should always be seen as tentative until formally posted the Friday before each meeting. The calendar can be found HERE.


Before we adopt new curriculum and materials, we pilot things first. That is a common process and allows us to get a taste of something before making a decision. What is often overlooked is the effort that it takes to actually do the pilots. Teachers who are involved need to already have a grasp of whatever we are currently using first. They also need to attend quick trainings for the pilot programs before teaching their students at the same time they are personally learning something completely new. As I have visited our pilot teachers over the last month, I try to begin every conversation with a thank you. It is hard work on their parts. Change is difficult enough without adding transitions and additional preparation. Thank you to all of the teachers who take on these responsibilities!


Algebra teachers participated in a full day workshop facilitated by Silicon Valley Math Initiative (SVMI) focused on building mathematically powerful students and mapping out an agreed upon cohesive sequence of instructional units. The driving question that launched the day asked teachers to consider how they teach for equity and engagement while maintaining rigor. After spending some time exploring the five standards of mathematically powerful classrooms (a theory of action based on research), revisiting the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework, and reviewing some tools for supporting unfinished learning, teachers thoughtfully worked together to determine the big ideas students need to learn and be able to apply upon completion of the course.


At Barron Park and Walter Hays, PAUSD's instructional leaders weave early literacy and social and emotional learning together through a monthly read-aloud to their students during classroom visits. Reading aloud helps develop relationships between the children and the Principals. During the time spent together, leaders learn more about their students as they engage in discussions about the book, which fosters a shared understanding across the school community.

Literacy Poster at a classroom wall

At Barron Park, interactive bulletin boards in the Multi-Purpose Room address the five PAUSD priority goals: Early Literacy, Equity, Healthy Attendance, Mental Health, and Service to Others.

Principal Argumedo's inspiration for selecting books that complement the five focus goals for classroom read-aloud is "Creating a community working together towards achieving early literacy and wellness." Dr. Argumedo's books encourage conversation about topics that students are curious about, including celebrating our differences, making friends, not being afraid to inquire about others, self-advocacy, different family traditions, taking care of yourself and others.

Principal Mary Bussmann selects and reads books that focus on one of the nine Walter Hays Core Values as the theme for that month's read-aloud.

Principal Bussmann shares, "Through reading books in each classroom monthly, I get to know the children and hear what they are thinking and experiencing about our core values. Each book increases opportunities for students to realize creative ways they can demonstrate the core values in their own lives, showing respect for themselves and others. It also enables me to develop important relationships with the students, reinforcing their sense of belonging and inclusion, which contributes to building a strong community."


Food establishments in Santa Clara County are mandated by state law to employ at least one person certified in food safety. Food service staff tests twice per year with ServSafe and the National Restaurant Association to accomplish the necessary training and testing for certification.

We are proud to announce at our March 11 Staff Development Day nine staff members successfully completed their training and gained or renewed their certification. Congratulations to all!