Many of you might recall a letter that was sent last Spring to all staff and families in the District (click here if you want to see the letter). It mentioned some of the challenges that exist in our community due in part to an increasingly narrow definition of success and the intensity of expectations that are seemingly more common and ever-present in high-performing school districts. Our school district decided to partner with Challenge Success, an organization based out of Stanford University, to help us better coordinate efforts already underway and provide new resources and trainings for strategies that we plan to explore. As part of this partnership with Challenge Success, all of our students in grades 6 through 12 completed the Stanford Adolescent Experience Survey last April, which covers topics such as stress, homework, sleep, parental expectations, academic goals and integrity, and extracurricular commitments.
The survey results provide a data set of close to 3,000 current A-B students and offer a starting point for wrestling with some complicated topics. The district’s leadership teams spent the summer analyzing the results and planning opportunities for staff and families to also engage with the data this Fall. As part of these efforts, Dr. Brand’s office will share messages with families across the district that include recommended readings, some results from the student survey, and timely reminders about upcoming community programs and workshops. This month, that information is coming in the form of a short newsletter focused on the importance and value of what Dr. Denise Pope of Challenge Success calls “PDF:” Playtime, Downtime, and Family time.
In addition to the district-wide communications to keep you all informed about our Challenge Success work, I will use this blog and my weekly communications to staff at the high school to share resources and updates as we partner together in expanding our notion of "success" for our high school students.
Have a wonderful weekend!