Welcome Back to School!
The Sausalito Marin City School District schools welcomed the children of Sausalito and Marin City back to school in late August. Bayside-Martin Luther King Jr. Academy opened school with 126 students, ranging from transitional kindergarten through eighth grade. Additionally, the district’s charter school, Willow Creek Academy, opened school with 405 students, in grades kindergarten through eighth grade. The Sausalito Marin City communities are serving over 500 students through our public education system!
Over the summer several of our local partners came together to provide an array of programs for the children of Marin City. The District contributed to The Hannah Project to provide Freedom School at Bayside MLK for the seventh year running. The Hannah Project worked in collaboration with Play Marin, the Marin City Library, Bridge the Gap College Prep and Sound Waves Music. Together our partners filled the Bayside MLK campus with 135 children ranging in age from first grade through eighth grade for five weeks of the summer. At Willow Creek Academy, our charter school served lower grade students with opportunities to strengthen literacy skills.
Panther PRIDE at Bayside-Martin Luther King Jr. Academy
At Bayside MLK, the focus for the school year is on culture and climate and enhanced instruction. School climate speaks to creating positive relationships and engagement throughout the school campus and beyond. Bayside MLK students are demonstrating PRIDE - Pride, Respect, Integrity, Determination and Excellence! Throughout campus, large yellow and black posters reinforce the message of pride in all things.
Community School Development
Bayside MLK is a Community School. Community Schools are uniquely designed to serve their communities. The District’s Local Control and Accountability Plan names Community School as one of its four goals and at Bayside MLK, the Community Advisory Committee is charged with furthering the development of the Community School. In the coming months, the Community School development process will provide greater alignment between our community partners and our individual learning plans for students. These learning plans will be designed to encompass everything from academics and cultural relevancy to social and emotional supports for students and families.
Added Focus on Culture and Climate
Through Prevention and Early Intervention funding provided by the County of Marin, the school district is grateful to collaborate with Seneca Family of Agencies. Through this partnership the school has additional staff who provides support for students, staff and families by creating a shared vision for school climate and cultural proficiency. Through this partnership, the school is creating comprehensive positive behavior intervention and supports that provide clear and consistent expectations for conduct and behavior. These systems of support are designed to enable our students to build upon a strong sense of pride in themselves, their school, their community and their culture.
Added Focus on Supports for Families
Through Prevention and Early Intervention funding provided by the County of Marin, the school district is collaborating with Performing Stars/Phoenix Project. This partnership provides additional staff support and community collaboration to develop a shared vision for services that includes cultural competence by building the capacity of caregivers, administrators and teachers to respond to the social-emotional needs of their students through trainings, participation in coordination of services, and linkage to resources.
Added Focus on Instruction
The school is also receiving funding from the Marin Community Foundation through a countywide P3 grant designed to address the achievement and opportunity gap, but also to ensure a successful pathway to college and other postsecondary opportunities. Key elements of the P3 grant include: shared vision, climate/cultural proficiency, high quality teaching and learning, instructional alignment, family engagement, and extended learning opportunities. Bayside MLK is receiving an instructional coach to increase high quality teaching and learning and instructional alignment from class to class and grade to grade. Our commitment is to enhancing student engagement and improving student learning across the board through evidence-based instructional strategies and data-driven instruction.
School Library Enhancements
Through a partnership with the Marin County Library through the Marin City Library, the school’s library has received a fresh new look with culturally relevant library books and materials. [MORE COMING FROM LIBRARIAN]
Visual and Performing Arts Education
In June, the Sausalito Marin City School Board approved a Strategic Arts Education Five Year Plan for BMLK students. The Arts Education Plan was developed through a collaboration with the Center for Excellence, a non-profit organization dedicated to serving the students of Bayside MLK through the arts. The Strategic Arts Education Five Year Plan aligns with the district’s Local Control and Accountability Plan by laying out goals, strategies, and budgetary targets for providing BMLK students with arts education and tools intended to also spark excellence in the other core academic areas and, ultimately, instill a passion that will motivate students through high school and beyond. For the 2018-19 school year, music and visual arts are maintained the same level as the previous year, while the first year of the restoration plan is slated for the 2019-20 school year.
Bayside-Martin Luther King Jr. Academy and Willow Creek Academy
Recognizing that schools are strengthened when they work together to share best practices, Bayside-Martin Luther King Jr. and Willow Creek Academies are seeking ways to collaborate. Beginning on June 27th, and again on August 15th, a small group of school leaders met, for the first of what will become regular meetings, to share and learn how we can better meet the needs of our respective student populations, recognizing the need to place particular focus on our students with the highest needs.
Through these initial collaborations, our schools set the framework to work together, including an agreement to establish a baseline of our respective student data: who are our kids and what their needs are; what the respective baseline for school operations is, and lastly, we’re examining the respective schools’ priorities.
As an extension to the work of this small group, the school Principals are committed to working together towards collaborating on the successes and challenges of each school in an effort to strengthen each school’s outcomes. To date, our schools are sharing restorative justice practices and teacher collaborations around shared professional development opportunities.
Finally, we agreed to provide updates on our work together to our respective school communities. We see these joint meetings as one of many important steps to making public education in Sausalito and Marin City the best it can be for years to come. Both schools appreciate the support of our respective and collective communities.
School District Consolidation Feasibility Study
Over the past eighteen months, a committee representing the Sausalito Marin City School District, the Mill Valley School District, the Marin County Office of Education and the Willow Creek Academy Charter School met to discuss and review the preliminary data related to a consolidation feasibility study between the Mill Valley School District and the Sausalito Marin City School District. The preliminary findings were presented at the respective board meetings of both districts and the county office of education during the month of September. The recommendation by the consulting firm, Capitol Public Finance Group, was for both districts to pursue opportunities for collaboration and to revisit the feasibility of a merger between the districts if collaborations are effective.
School Trustee Election
The Sausalito Marin City School District School Board consists of five trustees who are elected at large. On November 6, 2018, voters will elect three trustees. Seven candidates will appear on the November ballot. To learn more about the candidates the Sausalito Women’s Club will host a candidate’s night at Bayside-Martin Luther King Jr. Academy at 200 Phillips Drive in Marin City, from 7:00pm to 8:00pm.
In closing, it is my privilege to serve as the District’s Interim Superintendent. As I work alongside and in support of our children, families and community partners, I am grateful to both live in and serve the communities of Sausalito and Marin City.