The World Economic Forum cited in its October 2020 report that Emotional Intelligence is one of the top 15 job skills our future graduates must develop by 2025 in order to succeed in the future of work. Emotional Intelligence skills competencies, according to the report, include, “Awareness of the wider world, of history and of social justice issues that result from historical inequalities.”
While the 4th Industrial Revolution has accelerated how we work, learn and live, these last 15 months have spotlighted the need for human connection at a deeper level of consciousness. Violence against people based on their religion, ethnicity, race, gender, age, and more elevates the need for us to recognize the gifts and strengths of one another’s diversity. The month of May offered recognition opportunities such as Cinco de Mayo, Jewish American Heritage Month, Mental Health Awareness Month, National Older Americans Month, and Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. Many of our students experienced virtual celebrations where they learned through story and other activities about our MUSD family members who are of Asian, Pacific Islander, or Desi descent.
MUSD’s Strategic Goal #1, Build a Culture of We, is about diversity, equity, and inclusion in our policies, practices, and especially, in our relationships with one another. Striving for this goal requires a commitment to learning about others, and ourselves, which is why we have established a Culture of We Equity Team this year to accelerate our growth.
Every month there are dedications to remind us of the beauty within the diversity that makes up our human family. As we move forward through the pandemic and to new ways of living, let us keep focused on the awareness we have gained in the last 15 months. The dignity of each person and their culture, history, ethnicity, race, gender, age, religion-- all that makes up who each of us is, that is precious. On May 31, Memorial Day, we honor those who have given their lives for our own, they fought for who WE are as a nation.
Dedicated to the WE in all of us,
Virtual working, teaching, learning, and living is challenging. Struggles do beget innovation, and from that we’ve created exceptional learning experiences for our students in MUSD EducatEveryWhere. Technology has allowed us to stay connected with each other from anywhere in Milpitas, the USA, and the world. We are in our students’ homes, and their parents and caregivers are in our classrooms. Yet, a screen between us hinders the organic connection that ties us closer in community.
In the last five days 1,805 of our learners stepped onto campus to be in person with the 966 MUSD team members who have invested so much of their lives to support our students, their families, and each other. The time we have together is precious, both in person and on screen. Masks can’t hide the smiles in our eyes and the excitement in our students’ voices. However, feelings of trepidation may not be so apparent. Wonderings of how we will maintain the quality of learning for both those in person and online creep into conversations about how version 3.0 of MUSD EducatEveryWhere is progressing. Ingenuity in how to maximize the time for both groups of students also emerges.
As Esmeralda Santiago points out “How can you know what you’re capable of if you don’t embrace the unknown?” The year with COVID19 has been fraught with unknowns… we didn’t know exactly how we would build our online learning classrooms, how we could support our students with special needs including social emotional welfare, or how we would be able to provide learning experiences in music, PE, or art virtually. With this opportunity for expanded in-person learning we have new unknowns to work through, and we will do it just as we’ve done before, together.
At the forefront of our partnership is knowing we depend on each other to uphold our compact for safety and security. We will continue to maintain the more stringent precautions of 6 foot social distancing, twice monthly COVID19 testing for on campus students, and staying home if a student has travelled more than 150 miles out of Santa Clara County. Meeting strategic goal #1, build a Culture of We, requires a commitment to persevere through the unknowns together.
Committed to Our Community of Learners,
Human connection is that magical space that elicits creativity and brilliance. Sharing our celebrations, customs, and histories deepens our relationships and strengthens our Culture of We. February highlights opportunities for shared experiences such as Lunar New Year, Valentine’s, Presidents Day, and Black History Month. We are keenly focused on who we are as individuals in relation to our collective histories and stories to a greater extent than we have been in the past. The power of nearly instantaneous communication allows us to experience each other’s struggles and joy.
We are living the 4th Industrial Revolution in this pandemic, we see that in our online learning and remote working environments. As with each of the last three industrial revolutions where machinery facilitated easier and faster ways of doing things, so too does the 4IR. Data analytics and artificial intelligence is evident in the pop-up messages in our browsers. These and other 4IR elements such as robotics and machine learning give rise to the 5th Industrial Revolution, which some have likened to a renaissance. 5IR is humanity, it is how humanity uses these technologies for purposes that enhance life.
The five pillars of the 5IR are; 4IR service to humanity; Connection of business to purpose; UN Global Goals 2030; and Empowerment of women and girls. Leadership, social influence, emotional intelligence, and inclusion are skills that our students will need for their careers in 2025 and beyond. “Culture and people specialists” is an emerging field in the future world of work. The United Nations Goals 2030 incorporates 17 goal areas necessary for a human focused future. Two of those goals are designing Quality Education that is equitable and inclusive, and the other is Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions that provide “justice for all.”
Our purpose speaks to us through our students, and our humanity is what our learners embody. MUSD proudly recognizes the human centered ingenuity that our learners demonstrate in their endeavors and conversations as illustrated in this month’s edition ofMUSD School LIFE.
Did you know we are in the midst of the 4th industrial revolution (4IR)? I’ve been delving into learning more as it fascinates me. The first two revolutions evolved over time with the development of mass production lines and factories, making adaptation and lifestyle changes gradual. In our generation we are experiencing the overlap of both the third and fourth industry disruptors. Where manufacturing became automatic and “just in time” in the 1990s, it is quickly becoming autonomous and real time with machine learning and data analytics. Computers are more than a repository of information, they are a pocket sized utility that facilitates communication, applied learning, and creativity.
Since its founding in the 1830s, the factory design of education has remained relatively unchanged until now. Creativity, innovation, global interconnectedness, interpersonal skills, and applied technology are the skill areas our students need for their career paths and in general, to be participants in their communities (World Econ. Forum Schools of the Future). The factory model can’t maximize learning experiences that will enable students to gain these 4IR skills.
Creativity and innovation are essential in preparing for the future of work, more so, they are pivotal in our ability to thrive in our present life circumstances. All of our learners (students, teachers, classified team members, school leaders, and parents) have demonstrated ingenuity. Our students have designed remarkable strategies such as MyRootsAreRich and GirlGenius to connect with others across the community. Our educators have developed practices that support their students with social emotional learning. Our parents have created networks and partnerships with our teachers and paraprofessionals. MUSD EducatEveryWhere embodies these new ways of learning in our virtual community. We continue to expand our capacity as we discover what is possible together in this new frontier. Together We are designing the future in MUSD.
January 24, 2020 was an exceptional staff in-service day as it was the first time every MUSD team member assembled together for a day of reflection and inquiry in conversation about the multifaceted aspects of Strategic Goal #1, Build a Culture of We. We established three commitments that day:
1. Be an Upstander
2. Learn about and recognize our own biases
3. Be culturally inclusive so our students see themselves in what they learn
Earnest dedication to furthering what it means to live a Culture of We in MUSD illuminated the outlook for a year of promise. That promise is being realized in the way we have come together in spite of the disruption of nearly every aspect of how we live our lives. Our MUSD milestones are indicators of this: Continuity of learning since March 16th; Digital devices and WiFi provided for every student; Early Childhood Development Centers in operation since June; Black Lives Matter Community March; 260 person COVID19 Task Force work; Phase 2 of MUSD EducatEveryWhere with Learning Labs, Learning Pods, educators and community partnerships for in-person student support; Parent/Guardian/Staff support networks; City School COVID19 Partnership; Milpitas Alliance Partners for Future Ready Learners launch; Student produced Board Resolutions recognizing different cultures and needs; Milpitas Safety First Campaign; and more.
November 2, 2020 established our second all team Culture of We Sustainability learning day where our 3 commitments were explored more deeply resulting in equity work around policies and practices that hinder learner opportunities. Safety and security are upheld when we, as upstanders, identify actions, words or practices that erode the learning environment. Physical and emotional safety are vulnerable with COVID19, and they are paramount in our ability to launch Phase 3 of MUSD EducatEveryWhere.
Our teachers, classified team members, principals, district leaders, board trustees, our students and their families -- all who are a part of our WE, have sacrificed and invested an astounding amount of time to develop meaningful learning experiences for all. WE want to see each other in person for instruction at all levels, and we can by assuring conditions are safe to do so. It takes steady progress, understanding, and continued communication to develop trust that every one of us is committed to doing our part. Wear a mask, wash your hands, and watch your distance, together WE make possible reality.
On November 4, watch for surveys from your school or department, these will inform our planning for Phase 3, scheduled to begin mid-January 2021.
198 days and counting since March 16, 2020, the day that launched us into a duality of virtual working, learning, and living. At times it may feel stifling and exhausting, and we keep moving. Figuring out how to adapt and reshape what we do so that we are thriving might seem to be a monumental challenge, but together we are innovating. The reality is without a sense of optimism and an understanding of the strength within us, our momentum is restrained. How might we realize our joy within growing pains individually and collectively? Creativity.
Creativity relieves stress, allows for problem solving, ingenuity, and BEING present. Take time to CREATE. Our Milpitas High School student leaders designed an initiative titled “Embraced as Individuals, Together as Trojans.” Following their lead students have participated in this photo contest, produced this BLM video, and are striving for deepening inclusivity and interconnectedness. Rose teachers invented their own version of a monthly album featuring student art, wellness, and “The Adventures of Flat Rose Teacher.” Our high school learners continue to inspire with their service projects such as the Cal Hills Relay for Life next month at Great America, and STEMgirls Virtual Career Fair.
MUSD EducatEveryWhere includes our diverse experiences, cultures, and talents interwoven for learning together. Sharing those experiences through movement, art, song, and story develops our sense of self-actualization. We have more than potential, we have collective power to evolve together, our Culture of We is on the move!
Welcome MUSD Students, Parents, Guardians, and Families!
WE are thrilled for what’s ahead for our students in 2020-21! This will be an exceptional year, and while there will be new problems to solve, there will be even greater opportunities for creativity, ingenuity, and possibility. In MUSD EducatEveryWhere WE are a community dedicated to doing our best for all learners. We look forward to seeing you in our back to school virtual classrooms and town halls!
If you have any questions or need help, please do connect with us, WE are here for You.
MUSD EducatEveryWhere Spring 2020: 3 days preparation prior to our launch into MUSD EducatEveryWhere; 59 days of distance learning and teaching; 95% average engagement per week; weekly average of 277 unengaged learners; no learner without a chromebook or laptop; and some learners with unreliable WiFi.
How do we improve those data points and reinvent MUSD EducatEveryWhere v.2.0? Listening, collaboration, iteration, and partnership with our students and their parents and guardians fuels our drive to achieve our MUSD Strategic Goals, even in this new paradigm of teaching and learning.
We are social beings, and that is how we learn best, and while it is difficult to do so virtually, we are doing it. We are learning how to leverage technology in a way that has engaged us in community conversations at an exceptional frequency and in some respects more personably than ever before. We held 62 cloud meetings from March through August where participants shared and discussed the pains, obstacles and triumphs that our learners faced, not just the youthful ones, but parents, teachers, paraprofessionals, principals -- all learners. We are experiencing authentic engagement and partnership, and we can’t provide the best possible education for our students without each other.
In her book, Turning to One Another, author Margaret Wheatley remarks, “Change always starts with confusion: cherished interpretations must dissolve to make way for the new.” The unknowns around COVID19 create confusion, anxiety and questioning about how to best educate our students. Our students have led the way for creatively solving problems through common purpose and at a distance. #SAMP, Maskify, Robotix, Girl Genius, Azen Seagulls, Coronacovery, and My Roots are Rich, are all virtual non-profits enriching lives through real impact, and all are founded by MUSD students. 260 MUSD team members, parents, guardians, community members, and students form our COVID19 Task Force with 14 subcommittees focused on all aspects of developing MUSD EducatEveryWhere v. 2.0.
MUSD is phasing in 2020-21 with the first day of school on August 13th. All will be teaching and learning from a distance until conditions are safe for us to move into Phase II. Phase II will provide in-person support opportunities for small groups of students with targeted needs such as special education, English language development, homeless and foster youth, and those who are struggling or vulnerable. When Santa Clara County has not been on the California State Watchlist for more than 14 days, we will assess and move into phase III with larger groups of students receiving in-person support (for more details, please see our Special Board COVID19 Task Force Report on August 3, 2020 at 6:00pm). This is MUSD, where a Culture of We propels us forward and strengthens who we are as a community.
Good afternoon MUSD Families and Team Members,
Our lives have changed since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Virtual learning/working, sheltering at home, social distancing, and wearing face coverings are now part of our daily routines as we continue to do our part to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Our Milpitas Unified School District community has stood strong in the face of the unknown and demonstrated an unbridled willingness to help our most vulnerable families by tapping every available resource. Collaboratively we are developing the next iteration of MUSD EducatEveryWhere to ensure safety for all as we phase in the 2020-21 school year.
The ever-evolving COVID-19 factor calls us to remain flexible in our planning. Since April we have garnered invaluable input from countless staff and community members through surveys (6,811 responses overall), video chats, community presentations, board meetings, and our COVID19 Task Force Subcommittees. We are planning for two pathways as we phase in 2020-21 on August 13th with MUSD EducatEveryWhere v2.0:
In both cases the goal is to transition to in-person learning 100% of the time for our learners. We recognize that distance learning has been intrinsically effective for some learners, and we plan to provide this as an optional program for secondary students post-COVID19.
At our June 23 Board of Education Meeting, we announced that all MUSD students will begin the year in 100% distance learning for the first month of the 2020-21 school year. From there, and based on the latest guidelines provided by the Santa Clara County Public Health Department (PHD), we will implement a phased-in, hybrid approach to allow staff and students back on campus for in-person learning. Our MUSD Advisory Task Force mapped out EducatEveryWhere v.2.0 class schedules for elementary, middle and high school, and presented those at our June 9 Board meeting. All decisions we make are in compliance with the guiding principles set forth in the California Department of Education Guidebook (CDE) and theSanta Clara County Office of Education Guidebook (SCCOE).
The first day of school for the 2020-21 school year has not changed, school starts August 13 with all learners in distance learning for the first month. When in-person instruction is appropriate, we have a phased-in hybrid plan to minimize risk for students and staff, with consideration of scientific research regarding the spread of COVID-19. This includes:
As Santa Clara County officials stated in a special press conference on June 30, it is our actions as a community that will influence our ability to provide full-day in-person learning experiences. WE can’t wait to welcome back all of our learners!
Take care, be safe, and know our Culture of We keeps us moving forward together,