What a great beginning of the 2012-13 academic year. We have recruited the best and brightest to complement our already outstanding Administrative Council. We have new principals at Hamilton and San Jose Middle, new assistant principals at Hamilton, San Jose Middle, San Marin High and Novato High. Additionally, we have hired almost 50 new teachers over the summer to join our staff.
Last week, a team of 40 administrators met at the Cisco facility in San Jose on Thursday to work first hand with educational consultants all over the country (via video conferencing) to discuss the future of integrated technology in Novato Unified.
We learned about the latest U.S. and worldwide education and technology trends, we talked about thinking differently for the next generation learning, looked at first hand examples of blended learning, flipped classrooms, and the use of technology in formative assessments. This team experienced some virtual fieldtrips they can take back to their school sites for students, and discussed the myriad of uses for distance learning. The power of video conferencing in the classroom can merge classrooms all over the world, giving our students an international experience. We believe as educators it is time to lean forward and meet our students and families where they are in the field of integrated technology. Very exciting times!
On Friday the same team met here in town at Inn Marin for a full-day workshop. Our focus this year is student achievement, technology and wellness. We spent the entire day visioning implementation strategies for closing the achievement gap, meeting the needs of all students, integrating technology in the classroom, and spreading the notion of wellness and nutrition throughout the community.
Today all staff returned to work! We had breakfast and a Welcome Back, and State of the Union presentation by yours truly. We have so much staff collegiality and enthusiasm as we prepare to greet 8000 students Wednesday morning. We are grateful for the supportive community, and look forward to a productive school year!
— Dr. Shalee Cunningham, Superintendent