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,
Four weeks ago we were plunged into a new way of learning, working, and communicating. To some degree we may be mourning life as we lived it before March 16, 2020. Life at times seems surreal. As learners we are defining new routines and systems which serve to bring a sense of normalcy. For our students they are figuring out distance learning with MUSD EducatEveryWhere. There are challenges for them, and for us.
Parents have shared gratitude for the time and effort our teachers, principals, and team members have invested in assuring every student has what they need to engage in distance learning. They have also expressed how difficult this transition is as they try to navigate the roles of parent and teacher. While it is often easier for youth to quickly adapt, that isn’t always the case for those of us with more years of life behind us.
Anxiety and worry are common feelings, and while the graphic What Can I Do if I’m Feeling Worried? is designed to help our students navigate these feelings, it is helpful for us to use ourselves. Naming emotions allows us to feel them and then move on. Getting outside provides us with time to notice the world beyond ourselves. Being present and consciously using our senses rejuvenates us. This 2-min. video offers insight on How to Clear Your Head. Our emotional well-being is essential to our physical and spiritual health, and our ability to think creatively.
Every advancement starts with the power of creativity. Creativity inspires joy and passion in what we do. Thriving in this new state of being is fueled by our sense of purpose. “What do you want to be when you grow up?” a question that can cause anxiety or spur imagination. It’s not really a question of what we want to be, it is a question of how we want to be, a question about purpose. Sheltering in place offers us opportunity to talk about purpose with our teens, and more so, it offers us a chance to think about our own purpose.
As I listened to a report about the Dear Stranger letter writing project in Oregon, I was inspired. What if WE exchanged letters or emails with one another to build our MUSD community? How much better could we come to know our neighbors? I invite you to join me in participating in the Dear Milpitas Parent & Community Letters Initiative.
The world has had historic eras where humanity has made great gains. The Fourth Industrial Revolution that was softly disrupting many aspects of work, has been accelerated in this time of sheltering in place. The sudden halt to the busyness of life allows us time to fully realize the importance of community.
I have been committed to Milpitas Unified since 1989, and in these 30 years I've had the honor of working with our team in creating, refining and building successful programs and practices. I take pride in knowing that I had a part in hiring a great number of our district’s current employees who have contributed to our academic and community success, and many of whom are our MUSD graduates. Forever learning is a way of life in MUSD, affording us the ability to be the first in many aspects of education.
MUSD is an exceptional district where innovation is nurtured by a community of learners willing to take risks that will propel us in our quest to be the best in the nation. Since becoming Superintendent in 2016, WE as a community have established five Strategic Goals that have resulted in more personalized pathways for learners such as dual enrollment, the Mattos Learning Community model, MHS 9th grade transition program, Bio-tech, Cal Hills PLTW engineering & robotics, and elementary school Project Based Learning teams. We have garnered over $20.6 million in federal, state, and local grants, and established partnerships to further students’ learning experiences such as: Manufacturing Day with the City of Milpitas and Chamber of Commerce; NextFlex and Evergreen Community College; KLA, GirlStart and Facing History; Silicon Valley Education Foundation; South Bay Consortium for Adult Education; and our Milpitas service groups – Lions, Rotary, and Kiwanis. Our students, clubs, team members, and schools have won awards such as the MHS Thespian Award in Edinburgh, Milpitas Science Olympiad, Speech & Debate, two CA State Football Championships, WBA Grand Champion Band Finalist, Rose and Curtner Elementary CA Distinguished Schools, Cal Hills CA Model Continuation School, Rancho Blue Ribbon and National Schools to Watch awards, and the CA School Boards Golden Bell Award for our Love 4 Literacy program.
I look forward to the fruition of the seeds of evolution that have begun, WE have so much more to accomplish in meeting our Strategic Goals. These are a few of our projects we are working on this year: a middle college high school; Stanford Model for Virtual Design Construction Engineering; implementation of the K12 Computer Science standards; a new ethnic studies pathway with Facing History and Ourselves; more internships through our bond work, the City, and business partners; and furthering our Love 4 Literacy work.
How we hold the cultures, histories, and experiences of our students and team members in our work enables us to make greater strides in achieving success. WE have made a commitment to deepening Cultural Sustainability in MUSD through accountability, professional learning, community discussions, restorative practices, inclusion, and ethnic celebrations. Establishing a community of learners is not easy, and through perseverance, trust, and our commitment to one another WE are building a Culture of WE.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr is recognized for his "I Have a Dream" speech, which has inspired people for decades; however, his impact is deeper than the singular message of a dream. Dr King's mission calls for people to right the inequities and injustices that he spoke about in the 1950s and 60s that persist today.
This weekend at the 91st Birthday Commemoration, “Reclaiming the Real Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.” held in the San Jose library named for Dr. King, people representing different races, ethnicities, religions, genders, and cultures gave voice to Dr King's vision. Through excerpts of his speeches such as “The Other America,” one recognizes the perils of ignorance, prejudice, and insensitivity that results in oppression. The suppression of one's identity depletes the capacity to realize what is possible. People are so much more than how they are defined by others.
The “SJ Womxn's March” held on the same day as the MLK community gathering is an example of Dr. King's mission in motion. 10,000 people marched through downtown SJ calling attention to the rights realize one’s potential. Female leaders spoke about the need for action, from solving the problems of climate change to elevating the history and cultures of students.
Many of our MUSD students, teachers, administrators, board and community members marched and were present to hear Karrington Kenney, one of our Milpitas High School student leaders, speak to the audience. Miss. Kenney called for an education that integrates the triumphs, contributions, and history of our students of African ancestry. When we know from where we come it empowers and liberates us.
History and cultural knowledge provides people with opportunities to seek understanding, to empathize with one another's struggles, and to value each individual. In MUSD on January 24th, every employee will gather together to learn about bias and to commit to ongoing learning that develops cultural sustainability in our instruction, interactions, and connections within our school community. We are embracing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s vision so, as he says, we will not continue to “fail to hear that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met.” Within MUSD a Culture of We is one where every learner’s historical, cultural, and personal perspective is cultivated and celebrated.