Belmont-Redwood Shores is an outstanding community and school district. We have excellent schools thanks to a professional staff that is committed to improvement, an incredibly supportive community, and a Board of Trustees that focuses on the success of all students. We have a number of exciting initiatives taking place. Specifically, we are implementing our strategic plan, planning facilities expansion, continuously improving our educational program, and engaging parents in their child’s learning.
In 2014-15, a Strategic Planning Committee comprised of 26 District stakeholders distilled staff and community input to recommend student-focused strategic planning goals to the Board. That plan contains four strategic directions for the District:
1.Instill a Mindset for Learning
2.Create a Collaborative Culture of Learning
3.Sustain a Learning Environment that Promotes a Capacity for Innovation
4.Foster Responsible Global Citizenship
From 2015 to 2019, the District is pursuing these strategic directions. In 2015-16, we are focusing on a mindset for learning, based upon Stanford Professor Carol Dweck’s book Mindset. In 2016-18, we expect to implement classroom practices that teach both collaboration and innovation. More information and resources can be found on our strategic plan webpage.
Facilities Expansion/Bond Measure
Over the last 10 years, our district enrollment has grown by 70% (from 2,400 to 4,080 students). We are projected to continue growing. In November 2014, the Belmont-Redwood Shores community approved Measure I, which authorized $48 million in bonds for facilities expansion and improvements in the school district. In spring 2015, the District sold $38 million of those bonds. The first round of expansion took place in the spring and summer of 2015:
- two new classrooms at Redwood Shores Elementary,
- eight new classrooms at Ralston Middle School, and
- eight new classrooms at Nesbit to allow for Nesbit to grow to a TK-8th grade school.
All three projects were completed on time and under budget, at a cost of approximately $17.5 million. Next, the District is planning to expand the facilities at Cipriani and Sandpiper ahead of the 2017-18 school year. Cipriani is the most impacted school neighborhood in the District (as defined by the difference in enrollment capacity vs. demand), and Sandpiper will expand to allow for elementary enrollment growth in Redwood Shores and to provide a middle grades option in the Shores as a K-8 school. I encourage you to keep up with our efforts in this area via the facilities expansion webpage.
Our educational program is the heart of our work. California has adopted more rigorous and internationally benchmarked academic standards in English, Math, and Science. We are implementing new materials aligned to the new English and Math standards, and we are introducing materials to teach social-emotional skills.
Updated Curricular Materials
- Lucy Calkins’ Units of Study for Teaching Reading and Units of Study for Teaching Writing, published by Heinemann. More information about the Reading and Writing Workshop approach to English/Language Arts instruction can be found from the Reading and Writing Project at Teachers College Columbia University.
- Math Expressions at the elementary grades, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
- Connected Mathematics Project 3, published by Pearson. This textbook series comes from the Connected Mathematics Project at Michigan State University.
Support for Social-Emotional Learning
- Second Step SEL Program: Skills for Social and Academic Success, which is produced by the non-profit Committee for Children.
Parent involvement is critical to our success as a District. We are continuing to build on our communication with parents via improvements to our website, email updates, and in-person meetings. We rely heavily on our District’s educational foundation School-Force (see http://schoolforce.org/) to fund curriculum enrichment. Our school site Parent Teacher Associations (PTA) host school-specific events, organize volunteer support, and promote a welcoming school community. I strongly encourage parents to donate to School-Force, volunteer via their school’s PTA, and engage in dialogue with us at periodic events like “coffee with the principal” and our districtwide PTA parent education panels. These donations and collaborative efforts help to provide the quality education that our students need to be competitive in high school, college, and beyond.
Thank you for visiting our website! We welcome your feedback. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any suggestions or questions you may have.
Michael Milliken, Ph.D.