District Administration June 2020 - 4

LeadershipInsights
5 steps for building stronger schools
after COVID-19

Helping students achieve brighter futures in a radically transformed world
By David Miyashiro

C

OVID-19 has completely disrupted the lives of our
students, teachers and communities. But here's the
thing: Most of us recognize that the education system
has been in need of disruption for years.
We need to see this crisis as our chance to do more than
return to the status quo ante. Let us seize this opportunity to
reorient ourselves to the real challenge: helping our children
achieve brighter futures in a radically transformed world.

When this is all over, we are going
to learn what our students love most
about school, and it's not going to be the
content. It's going to be the people who
take a deep, abiding interest in them.

Acting on our mission statement
At Cajon Valley Union School District in California, our
mission statement-"Happy Kids, Healthy Relationships,
On A Path To Gainful Employment"-responds to today's
challenges. Now more than ever, we seek to support the happiness of our kids with learning that helps them build healthy
relationships with their peers and teachers, and to deeply understand their personal strengths, interests and learning styles.
When this takes place, kids actually like coming to school,
whether it's physical or online.
Here are five ways we have been acting on our mission:
1. Getting our kids fed and connected: Along with setting up food distribution centers at all of our Title I schools,
we made sure kids brought home their devices (we're 1-to-1)
and ensured they had access to reliable internet. We did this
so they could do schoolwork, but most important, so one of
their teachers could work with them via video chat every day.
2. Rethinking academic delivery through a model of
support: Since the online shift, we have used an elementary
school model for all grades, with one primary teacher consis-

tently guiding a small group of students. Expecting middle
and high school students to interact for 30 minutes with five
to seven different teachers every day doesn't work online. In
fact, it barely works in person.
3. Focusing on relationships and human connection
over content delivery: We leveraged the quick transition online to fully realize our goal of moving to a support-first learning model. Reading, math and other content areas moved to
online programs, enabling teachers to focus on relationships
first and content second. In this model, students have someone they can reach out to immediately for support, which is
critical when their world is upside down.
4. Personalizing academics: Because of their closer relationships with individual students, teachers can identify
specific challenges, expand the online offerings for a few students at a time, and customize content playlists to deepen the
academic experience.
5. Building self-knowledge to develop persistence: For
years, our district has been piloting a World of Work curriculum that builds students' self-awareness through self-assessment tools and encourages exploration of academic and career
pathways. The engagement that ensues is important, given the
growing risk of absenteeism when school moves online. Our
students are in a great position to persist because they understand school success directly impacts future opportunities.
In this time of crisis, but also in our future "new normal,"
the role of educators is not to be deliverers of content, but
champions of human development. When this is all over, we
are going to learn what our students love most about school-
and it's not going to be the content. It's going to be the people
who take a deep, abiding interest in them. And once they
have that connection, students can begin to build their pathways to the future, ready to engage the challenges that will
most surely await them there. DA

ABOUT DAVID MIYASHIRO:
David Miyashiro is superintendent of the Cajon Valley
Union School District in California. The district has achieved
systemwide success with blended and personalized learning,
and all teachers and students have 24/7 access to their own
district-issued laptop, internet connectivity, and a digital ecosystem of robust resources and creativity tools. Miyashiro was
named 2016 Superintendent of the Year by the Association of
California School Administrators Region 18.

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District Administration June 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of District Administration June 2020

District Administration June 2020 - Cover1
District Administration June 2020 - Cover2
District Administration June 2020 - 1
District Administration June 2020 - 2
District Administration June 2020 - 3
District Administration June 2020 - 4
District Administration June 2020 - 5
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