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    Superintendent’s Update
    2016-17 Redwood Middle School Task Force
    March 23, 2017 

    Dear Parents/Guardians, Staff, Students and Community Friends, 

    The 2016-17 Redwood Task Force continues to make excellent progress as we look at four key areas and opportunities to enhance our middle school program: 

    Student and Community Wellness                 Electives and Student Choice

    Climate, Culture & Safety                               School Schedule


    Phase 3 Research Ongoing -- The Task Force will meet three times this month and is working hard to refine collected research, explore model programs and form recommendations. Our timeline remains on track to present Phase 4 emerging ideas for Board discussion on April 20, followed by a period of community review and comment. Then, RTF recommendations will be re-presented for potential Board action on May 11.

    Research highlights this month included the following video conferencing or site visits: 

    ●     Challenge Success (Stanford) -- During a live video conference and Q&A session with Denise Pope and Jon Kleiman of Challenge Success at Stanford, the RTF group was able to learn more about this student learner-centered program and ask questions specific to our Task Force focus. The discussion was informative and reminded us of the importance of offering choice and honoring multiple definitions of success in our schools. 

    We are currently evaluating the possibility of sending a few of our teacher leaders and one of the counselors to a one-day professional development workshop hosted by Challenge Success in July as a way to learn more about program offerings.  Participants would bring back insights in the Fall for further consideration.

     ●     Miller Middle School (Cupertino) -- Several members of the Electives and Student Choice team attended an elective information night at Miller, where they were able to learn about all of the electives offered there and chat with elective teachers and students about what works well. 

    ●     Crocker Middle School (Hillsborough) -- Three Task Force members and one of the RTF facilitators visited and spoke with Dr. Jamie Adams, the principal of Crocker Middle School. Topics included student choice, elective opportunities and their school’s transition to a new schedule in the fall of 2017. Dr. Adams shared with the group the idea of a “flex period” that will be implemented this fall as part of a new schedule change. RTF members learned information on dedicated student homework time, the amount of elective options and length of class periods throughout the school day.

     ●     Blach Middle School (Los Altos) -- Several RTF members will visit Blach Middle School on March 28 to learn more about offerings in Los Altos. 

    Warm regards,                                                                       

     Nancy Johnson, Superintendent                                            Barbara Neal, Principal