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Shoreline Unified Regular Board Meeting
January 19th 2017
6:00PM @West Marin
A Message from Superintendent Bob Raines
The Holidays are upon us, and the New Year is just around the corner. The end of the year is always a good time to reflect on our accomplishments, and to consider how we can build upon them in the new year.
The teachers and staff of Shoreline have been very busy this past school year, improving the instruction that we bring to all of our students. We are always working to expand our practices, of course, but the last few months have been chock full of hard work for everyone.
We have adopted new mathematics programs in grades kindergarten through eight. With the new California State Standards, our teachers have worked hard to identify the best way we can develop our instruction to prepare our students for the challenges that await them in their futures.
In the elementary grades (kindergarten through fifth grade), the Board adopted, at the teachers’ recommendation, Investigations in Number, Data and Space. This program places a strong emphasis on students’ thinking and problem solving. While there is rigorous instruction in mathematical skills, this program goes further to expect children to use those skills to solve problems, to be able to talk about how they use their skills, and to talk with others about different ways to solve problems. This is a far cry from the way that I learned math in elementary school, but the world is a far different place, too.
For grades six through eight, our Board adopted College Preparatory Math (or CPM), which is the same program used at Tomales High School. Like Investigations, CPM expects children to go far beyond merely mastering mathematical skills. Students learn to use their skills efficiently and creatively. Additionally, recognizing that the workplace is far different that it was years ago, children also must develop the skills necessary to collaborate to solve complex mathematical problems based in the real world. While the work is more challenging, to be sure, our students and teachers in all grades are reporting that they are enjoying the challenge.
Another large undertaking is our work with two grants that are inspiring us to look at how we teach. The first, the PK-3 Grant through the Marin Community Foundation, began with a focus on our early education, and has begun to affect all grade levels, kindergarten through eighth grade. At both Tomales Elementary and West Marin School, teachers are collecting data on their students’ performance and contrasting those results with their efforts to teach in research proven ways. The other grant, through The Marin Project-Based Learning Collaborative, brings middle and high school teachers together to develop and implement rigorous instructional units that help students learn and apply essential mathematics and science skills. Teachers from Tomales High School, Tomales Elementary School, and West Marin Elementary School attended summer workshops and continue to meet with the intention of developing new skills for themselves and their students.
Not to be forgotten, we have begun our search for a new principal for Tomales Elementary and Bodega Bay Schools. In addition to contacting every district in Marin, Sonoma, and Napa counties, we have posted the job on national and state-wide education websites. The position will be open until the end of January, and we plan to appoint an exceptional educational leader to the position at the March Board meeting.
So, you can see that we have been busy, working hard for the benefit of our students. We’re off to a well-deserved winter break, beginning on December 23rd, and planning to be back, hard at work, on January 9th. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday.