Originally Published: September 4, 2017 6 a.m.
It is hard to believe that we are already one month into the 2017-18 school year! As always, this time of year always brings with it renewed hope and optimism. With almost 5,800 students walking through our doors almost a month ago, our enrollment and excitement, continues to increase.
Last year, we once again celebrated Bradshaw Mountain High School’s recognition on the U.S. News and World Report’s ranking of Best High Schools and Newsweek’s list of High Schools Beating the Odds. We celebrated several category winners at the Yavapai County Education Foundation’s Teacher of the Year banquet, including the overall winner, Ms. Jessica Marks. We sent another group of students to the Barrett Summer Scholars Program at Arizona State University. Coyote Springs teacher Brittany Kominska was accepted into NASA’s educator ambassador program. The LegoGeckoBots Robotics team from Granville Elementary School, represented HUSD in the state finals. And, Emily Gabaldon was named Arizona Art Educator of the Year.
So where do we go in the 2017-18 school year?
The Humboldt Unified School District has been fortunate to partner with organizations and school districts that understand that the ability to imagine and generate new ideas and to implement them through collaboration, is the most important competitive advantage that we have. We are constantly looking for partners as we move forward with creative, diverse and innovative thinking.
Last year, Coyote Springs Elementary School and Bradshaw Mountain Middle School participated in problem-based, writing performance tasks through their involvement with EdLeader21. EdLeader21 is a national network of school and district leaders focused on integrating the 4Cs (critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity) into education. Students analyzed multiple documents related to real-world community issues and were asked to prepare a policy recommendation based on the information. Their writing was then assessed by teachers from across the country. More importantly, our teachers were able to assess student work from around the country and collaborate with teachers from high performing districts from states like Colorado, California, Virginia, New York, and Illinois. This year, we will be expanding this performance task into seven of our schools.
In addition, several of our schools have joined the TED-Ed Clubs program. TED is where Technology, Entertainment and Design converge with independently run TEDx events help share ideas in communities around the world. In TED-Ed Clubs, students work together to discuss and celebrate creative ideas. Ultimately, by supporting each other, students will have the opportunity to discover, explore and present their own big ideas in the form of short, TED-style talks. Throughout the year, TED-Ed Clubs will meet each other on video calls to share and build on each other’s ideas. By joining over 3,000 other clubs in 115 countries, our students will have access to a global network of passionate students with ideas worth sharing.
As we look ahead to the 2017-18 school year, we will look to build off of our past successes. Our focus will continue to be providing a comprehensive, world-class education for all students. We are looking forward to transforming the educational experiences for your children to meet the needs of the 21st.
Dan Streeter is superintendent of Humboldt Unified School District.