Dear Clarkston Community Schools Families,
In my 25 years with Clarkston Community Schools, our district has worked to differentiate our instruction and give students the resources they need to be successful. Instructional models (specifically in elementary math and literacy) are customized to each student’s own unique learning path and supported by classroom teachers and other resources as needed. Now, we are looking to use the information and data we have to bring a laser focus to targeting resources to specific student needs across the district.
At Monday’s Board of Education meeting, Assistant Superintendent of Instructional Services Nancy Mahoney introduced a five-year district initiative focused on providing equitable academic opportunities and outcomes for all students in Clarkston. (See this article about the difference between “equity” and “equality.”) This ensures all of our resources are maximized and that each and every student will see additional supports and opportunities.
Clarkston’s equity plan was put into development over a year ago as part of the district’s Strategic Plan but was paused due to COVID. In the Fall of 2021, we will begin implementing this necessary step toward achieving high levels of performance and consistency at all schools in our district.
The district’s equity plan centers on raising the achievement bar for all students by addressing the following areas:
- Multiple measures of achievement for all students
- Post-COVID support for all students
- Social-emotional structures for all students
- Achievement gaps associated with special populations (including but not limited to socioeconomically disadvantaged students, English language learners, students of color, special education students, and students needing extra help).
- Evaluation of opportunity gaps
- Deployment of resources and supports based on need
- Programming and staffing
- Staff professional learning
Clarkston Community Schools will hire or reallocate 32 educators across the district to serve as literacy coaches, math coaches, literacy interventionists, math interventionists, and social-emotional interventionists. Additional aides and guest teachers will also be hired to provide classroom support. Small class sizes will be maintained and additional interventions and experiential learning opportunities will be incorporated for all students. The district is investing an additional $2.6 million dollars per year over five years to implement this plan.
At the Board meeting, Mrs. Mahoney outlined two- and five-year goals for the district, as well as the prioritization of schools where needs are greater. (Watch Mrs. Mahoney’s presentation or view the slide deck to see data that supports this approach.) While we have identified the greatest needs at North Sashabaw Elementary, Andersonville Elementary, and Pine Knob Elementary, significant additional resources and efforts will support all elementary and secondary schools.
I am eager to bring to bear this worthwhile investment to better support the needs of every learner in Clarkston. By decreasing the achievement gap at the elementary level, we will effectively raise the bar for all students and, over time, see a greater level of collective success when students come together at the secondary level.
I look forward to sharing more as we move forward.
Dr. Shawn Ryan
Superintendent of Schools
About Clarkston Community Schools: Clarkston is a highly regarded school district with an enrollment of nearly 7,100 students. We have seven elementary schools (K-5), one middle school serving grades 6-7, one junior high for grades 8-9, and Clarkston High School, which serves students in grades 10-12. We also have a virtual academy, an Early Childhood Center serving children ages 3-5, and an alternative high school/community education facility. Clarkston Community Schools students are well-prepared for a future that excites them, and believe that they can achieve their dreams. The mission of Clarkston Community Schools is to create a learning environment where students, staff, and families are challenged, healthy, engaged, safe, and supported.
Read more Clarkston Community Schools News at www.clarkston.k12.mi.us/news.
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