There’s excitement in the air over at Milpitas High School (MHS).
The start of the 2019-2020 school year has brought forth the promise of many new things. And Francis Rojas is intent upon seeing all of it to fruition, as he begins his third year as Principal of MHS.
One of the biggest things he’s looking forward to is aligning staff, students, and families to focus on implementing AVID school-wide.
"AVID is an instructional program that’s nationally known and research-based with a lot of proven results to get students college and career ready,” said Francis. "The strategies ensure rigor. The way we define rigor is the level at which students are experiencing the learning. When it’s more student-centered, they’re invested in the learning as opposed to more teacher-centered…”
At MHS, they did visits and observations to classrooms last year, and noticed that teachers were already using certain instructional strategies in class. However, there wasn’t a common language to discuss these strategies and get on the same page with the entire school. Going AVID school-wide will provide them with the form and language to talk and collaborate.
This year, MHS has welcomed 17 new teachers onto campus.
"The teachers we’ve brought in this year are top quality. We’re really excited to have them onboard,” said Francis. "We’ve established a new teacher academy for all new teachers, as well as veteran teachers who are new to the site…That will help us delve into teacher culture and ensure the teachers we’ve hired this year don’t fall through the cracks. This will happen monthly throughout the year.”
Beyond that, Francis hopes that MHS can continue to be a place that provides career pathways to students and prepares them for future success.
“The Milpitas community is alive. It's bursting with industry and innovation,” said Francis. "I’ve gone twice to Manufacturing Day, which was organized by the City’s Economic Development Department...and to have 50 of our students able to visit corporations here in our own community, and see things I haven't seen before, in my entire life, it’s amazing. We will continue building partnerships with those companies like KLA-Tencor and NextFlex. The Culture of We expands beyond the school district. We’re providing partnerships to allow students to experience the real world and practice what they’re learning, before they leave high school.”