This Year’s Focus Areas
This Year’s Focus Areas
Superintendent Scuderi details programmatic and operational areas of focus for 2022-23.
Appreciations all around for the start of the school year and for our many staff members and students who worked through the intense temperatures of last week’s heat wave.
As our focus shifts back to the longer term programmatic and operational goals of the district, we are preparing ourselves for a number of focused conversations, analysis, and collaborative planning to improve the experience of our students and families in our schools, as detailed below.
How we grade student work and student progress is an area we have prioritized in terms of our work this year. Joe Feldman’s book Grading for Equity provides a good entrance into a conversation I believe our community, staff and stakeholders alike should have around grades and grading policies. We have an obligation as a community of educators and stakeholders to at the very least re-examine and reflect on our inherited grading structures, many of which, as Feldman says, date back to the industrial revolution. Refining our approach, and related discussions, will require us to engage thoughtfully with a broad cross section of our stakeholder groups to share practices and revise policies that are more consistent, equitable, and supportive for all students. It is a complicated conversation but one I believe we can and need to have.
Elsewhere this year we want to look at elementary school schedules and see what can be universalized in those schedules moving forward to ensure consistent opportunities for students to get extra support when needed without pulling them away from their foundational general education. Consistent schedules will also ensure that we are allocating sufficient time to implement critical curriculum in the weekly and daily time amounts those programs require. The exploration of more common schedules should also support finding increased collaboration time between teachers, who generally make the best planning and problem-solving partners for one another.
On the operations end we have inverted our public discussions on budget and resource allocations. Rather than waiting until spring to make these decisions, we are adding resource questions and discussions with our Board to our meetings this fall. This will help us consistently align our resource and funding allocations with our strategic goals and priorities and continue to work toward the multi-year financial health of our school district.
Thank you as always for your partnership in this work on behalf of Alameda’s students, and we look forward to engaging with you all on these priorities as the year progresses.
Scuderi is the AUSD Superintendent. This column was originally posted on the AUSD website.