Superintendent's Advisory Council on Instruction (SACI): Thursday October 14, 2021, 7 p.m.

Handout: Agenda. Presentations will be available on the SACI website.

Welcome-Mrs. Vanessa Olson, Chair, SACI. First in-person meeting in 21 months.

Superintendent's Welcome Message-Dr. LaTanya McDade, Superintendent of Schools. Launching Thriving Futures: Energize, Educate, an Engage. Working on a new 4-year strategic plan. She plans to come talk to us about it again at future meetings, and she hopes to have the strategic plan finalized before winter break. Vision: Every student will graduate on-time with the knowledge, skills, and habits of mind necessary to create a thriving future for themselves and their community. Mission to serve, prepare, and commit. Core values: equity, inclusivity, innovation, integrity, resiliency, and well-being. PWCS just ranked 10th most diverse county in the country, and most diverse in the state. Strategic commitments: learning and achievement for all, positive climate and culture, family and community engagement, and organizational coherence. Engagement: want partners, not just participants. Organizational coherence includes systemic structures for strong continuous improvement. Make sure our priorities drive our investments. Need to all be guided by the same north star. There are working groups in place working to figure out how to implement these goals. There will be several iterations of input and feedback before the plan is finalized. There will be measurable goals based on how we want to get there. Next time Dr. McDade is here will be more of a working session where we help her work on the plan. The unfinished learning plan is part of the strategic plan, not just an add-on. Funding for the unfinished learning plan will last two years, so some programs within that will not be sustainable in the long term due to available funding.

Mr. Kenneth Bassett, Director of Student Learning. Mr. Bassett is the facilitator for this committee. His assistant Beth will be passing around seating sign-in sheets so they can contact trace if necessary. We will adapt to change as necessary. Ms. Olson already presented the annual report to Dr. McDade.

Launching Thriving Futures: Recovery, Acceleration, and Re-Engagement.

Unfinished Learning Plan: Academics-Ms. Rita Everett Goss, Associate Superintendent for Teaching and Learning; Mr. Kenneth Bassett, Director of Student Learning. PWCS has developed a plan for acceleration, recovery, and re-engagement through providing comprehensive academic, social-emotional, and mental health supports in schools. The unfinished learning plan uses research-based strategies such as accelerated learning, high-quality curriculum, high dosage tutoring extended/expanded learning time, and updated unit guides which include necessary prerequisite knowledge and skills that have been identified as priority unfinished learning. The pandemic brought unprecedented school closures, educational burdens on families, human isolation, economic challenges, mental health, and other implications. One silver lining is we now have an implemented learning management system (Canvas). The American Recovery Plan Act (ARPA) funding will be used for additional human resources to support academics and mental health. Core values: best instructional practices that will result in academic achievement for all. If you want to map where you are going, you have to know where you are. In spring we started trying to determine the impacts on learning since March 2020 and identified priority areas. Key plan commitments: focus on the instructional core; equitable access to rigorous, high quality, culturally relevant curriculum; and acceleration of learning through high-dosage tutoring, needed interventions, and extended/expanded learning; high quality, just in time professional learning; social emotional support services; and re-engagement of families. Equitable resource allocation to prioritize resources allocation based on greatest need. For the first time, we were able to send consistent, systematic language arts materials across all grades in all schools. It is a great equalizer. Priority indicators include: percent of economically disadvantaged students, percent of students with disabilities, percent of English learners, mobility rate for students, turnover rate for professional educators, COVID-19 case rate by school and zip code, percent of students chronically absent, student academic performance, and early literacy achievement. Tiered support approach includes universal supports everyone gets, focused for schools where data indicates higher need, and prioritized support for schools needing more intensive support. Organizational coherence will get us all rowing in the same direction. The work can be overwhelming-take it one bite at a time: professional learning, implementation, and monitoring. .

Unfinished Learning Plan: Social Emotional Learning-Ms. Denise Huebner, Associate Superintendent for Special Education and Student Services; Ms. Rebecca Schlatter, Director of Student Services. In order for the students to be able to be doing well, we have to make sure our adults are doing well, too. Social and emotional learning (SEL) is an integral part of education and human development-the process through which people acquire and apply the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to develop healthy identities, manage emotions, and achieve persona and collective goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain supportive relationships, and make responsible and caring decisions. The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) has more information. Example SEL lessons for K-5 can address the importance of empathy in social interactions; grades 6-8 can help understand normal emotions and problematic emotions; and grades 9-12 understand how to navigate peer relationships and maintain healthy boundaries. Created an SEL index to identify schools who many need additional SEL support. Some data included student perception data from questions in the caring and safety domains from the 2019-20 divisionwide survey. SEL tiers will include universal, focused, and prioritized, much as the academic support. Universal support includes more SEL coach funding, online access to learning library, access to at-risk student index in DART. Focused schools get additional coach funding, staff incentive/engagement programs, and healing-centered engagement direct support. Prioritized schools get even more resources. Healing-Centered Engagement Specialists are school-based mental health professionals trained in health-centered engagement concepts and a thought leader in understanding trauma and its impact on student learning. The pandemic has added another childhood traumatic experience for so many students. They need additional support. An SEL Coach serves as a resource for administrators to support staff wellness initiatives, and work with teachers to identify areas where we can infuse SEL. Online backpacks give resources and tools for staff, administrators, and school-based mental health professionals, including lessons, activities, needs assessments, self-care suggestions, and links to support services. Were able to reach out and do needs assessments across the division, including from students and families. School social workers were able to reach out very quickly to families that need basic needs support. Also making sure to support central support staff and administrators. Support the bus drivers, too. To implement SEL in PWCS, prioritize, take care of the adults, and take care of the students. Dr. McDade has helped prioritize, with the strategic plan and funding commitments. For adults, focus on mental health and wellness, and invest in building caring and positive school cultures. For students, pay attention to emotional wellness, and infuse SEL across all grades and subjects every day. The state has just implemented SEL standards.


  • Will changes in priorities be reflected in the capital improvement plan? Yes, as part of organizational coherence. We will be focusing on equity; Dr. McDade does not have details yet, and will be doing a deep dive with the capital improvement team. There are complex needs. We will do a needs assessment and will re-prioritize as needed.
  • Academic support based on school size (one per 500 students)-if a school falls under 500 students, they will still get funding for a full TA position. All schools are being encouraged to be creative with ways to get help-the current employment market makes direct hiring full time people challenging.
  • Early childhood development and socialization has definitely been impacted by the pandemic. All incoming students are evaluated, and there are more resources available because the division acknowledges the increased need.
  • There are students who aced their classes last year but didn't learn much and bombed their SOLs. Even if students don't hit many priority indicators, the universal supports will help them as well and allow staff to help identify students who need support. The full range of students need support, even those who won't generally hit priority indicators. Scale is a bit easier now-we can innovate our way out of some problems. Everyone has devices, so it's easier to give everyone access to programs. We are helping teachers with instructional pacing. The county is helping teachers figure out what kids may have missed or foundation pieces that are not firm enough and how to make sure those are included in this year's instructional plans. Some of the academic interventions are already available. There are lots of virtual tutoring resources, but in-person resources are more challenging to figure out. This tutoring will often be happening to help make sure students have the foundation in place BEFORE they reach where this is built on in curriculum; this is different from classic tutoring that kicks in once a student has fallen behind. We are ramping up services now, including helping schools learn how they can use these funds, and how to deal with the current hiring challenges.
  • Parents are still struggling with the online tools. There was a lot of support last year, but a lot of parents are feeling overwhelmed this year. Another town hall on the resources may help. The Parent Learning Series can help. Please encourage everyone to read The Scoop. There is a lot of information in there which will tell parents what resources are available. Ms. Goss will be looking into offering more parent sessions. There are recordings of last year's sessions, and support on the PWCS website under the Instructional Technology department. Dr. McDade will make sure the offerings are better advertised.
  • We are working on the issues, and while we have a plan, the proof will be in the implementation, which will be hard. Recovery is not going to be instant. It will take time. Hiring right now is really hard and causing a lot of challenges. Thank you for participating in the dialog.

Orientation for Members-Mrs. Vanessa Olson, Chair, SACI; Mr. Kenneth Bassett, Director of Student Learning. This and all presentations from tonight will be online on the SACI site. The Council helps make sure good information is getting out there, rather than the questionable information floating around. Looking for someone willing to take on Middle School Vice Chair position. SACI - "sack-ee", referred to as "the Council". You are here to represent your school's interests, not necessarily your own. Staff can help you find the correct place to go for personal concerns. This council is not here to make policy. We are here to offer advice and suggestion. We are informational, not confrontational. This Council provides the opportunity for administration to get direct feedback and ideas from parents on school division programs. Listen and be respectful. Every school should be represented every month. If the primary can't make it, please call on the alternate. Typically we meet second Thursday. Sometimes we have to meet an alternate date due to school planned closures. Meetings may be held via Zoom as needed. If schools or after school meetings are canceled due to weather, so is the Council meeting.

Meeting format: introductions, old business, new business, announcements, presentation with Q&A, workshop. Member responsibilities include being a member of your school's advisory council. Bring questions and feedback from your school. The Best Practices Conference brings in Advisory Council and PTO representatives. In person or Zoom will be determined on a month-by-month basis.

Adjourned 9:05pm. Next Meeting will be November 18, 2021.