November 11, 2021
Superintendent's Monthly Update to the Board of Education
State Teacher of the Year, James Young- As you know the Missouri State Teacher of the Year is our own James Young, a district alum and music educator from Johnson-Wabash. We’ve had the opportunity to see Mr. Young honored by DESE at the State Teacher of the Year banquet and by MSBA at the annual conference. Mr. Young has shared inspiring speeches at both events. His success story is tied to his family’s roots in this community and a love of learning that was instilled at home. We’re excited for Mr. Young and the many opportunities he will have this year.
School Resource Officer Is Certified School Safety Specialist- I’m pleased to report that Florissant SRO Dustin Owen recently completed the School Safety Academy and is a certified School Safety Specialist. As part of his training which goes beyond the state requirements, Officer Owen participated in 20 hours of professional learning that included a high level look at Multi-Tiered Systems of Support, Emergency Operations and Planning, Human Trafficking, Cyberbullying, Cybersecurity, Trauma-Informed and Mental Health Resources, General Aspects of Behavioral Risk Assessment and other topics. In addition, Academy participants pledge to compete continuing education and training each year.
Strategic Plan Update- I’d like to present an update on the strategic plan process from our partners at Insight Education Group. We launched an initial survey to receive feedback from all of our stakeholders. At this time we have received over 1000 responses from our stakeholders. We still have many students, families, staff and community members who we would love to hear from. If you’ve completed the survey please share it with your network of family and friends in the district, so we can hear from them. The deadline to submit your survey is this Friday, November 12. You can find a link to the survey on our website. The steering committee has met three times and is finalizing proposed core values, mission and vision statements to present to the Board for review and approval in January or February.
Addressing Fighting and Safety- As you know we have had ongoing discussions regarding fighting and school safety. We distributed a video to serve notice to students and families that we are not going to tolerate students fighting in our schools and creating an unsafe environment. Over the past month I’ve met with students and parents regarding fighting, consequences for fighting, and supports that we’ll provide either at the Restoration and Wellness Center or in a virtual setting, so that our students can learn in a setting that is safe for all. We want all of our students in school and learning, and I’m confident with the support of our families and the additional supports and interventions we’re putting in place that we’re on the right track.
Unleashing Potential- Unleashing Potential applied for and received the 21st Century Community Learning grant that will provide after school services for students at Berkeley and Griffith beginning in November and Robinwood and Combs beginning in January (pending state licensure) through June, 2026. More information will be available soon at those buildings and on our website under After Care Services.
Harris Stowe University Presidential Bus Tour- The Harris Stowe University Presidential Bus Tour made stops at our three high schools that currently have seniors. Our students heard a great presentation from students and officials from Harris Stowe University. President Collins Smith shared the opportunities HSSU offers students to get a good education and graduate with little to no debt.
Missouri Legislator Retreat- Recently I had the opportunity with Mr. Melendez to participate in the Hunt Institute Legislative Forum in Jefferson City. We sat down with a group of legislators from across the state and shared the challenges and successes we have experienced during the pandemic. This was a great opportunity to have a great discussion and help legislators from other parts of the state understand our specific context in a way that doesn’t happen until folks sit down together.
PBIS Conference- Last summer Dr. Jamison and I recorded an interview with our PBIS partners from Mizzou. That interview was used to kickoff the annual PBIS conference during the last week of October. We’ve attended this conference in Chicago in the past along with other educators from across the nation, and while this year’s conference was virtual it was still a great opportunity to share about the good work we’re doing around Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports.
MSBA and NABSE Presentations- Last week at the Missouri School Board Association conference, I had the opportunity to tell about our journey toward becoming an anti-racist District. This was a great opportunity to engage with board members and administrators from other districts who may be early in their journey to understanding equity and anti-racism. I’m looking forward to sharing the positive stories of the work we’re doing in Ferguson-Florissant with other educational leaders at the National Alliance of Black School Educators conference later this week. I know we don’t have all the answers yet, but this work is inspiring others to take action in their own districts and communities.
View the Superintendent Monthly Update to the Board: