Have a Great Summer!Posted by Leighangela Brady on 6/7/2019 5:00:00 PM
School is out for summer!
Students return on Monday, July 22, 2019. We look forward to seeing you all next month.
State of the District 2019Posted by Leighangela Brady on 5/27/2019 8:00:00 AM
This month I completed my final State of the District presentation for 2019, and I am extremely proud of our District's achievements. For the past three years, we have been focusing on four main themes: building a strong vision, challenging the status quo, becoming a more sustainable district, and bolstering engagement of our students, staff, families, and our National City community.
Our vision is built on the foundation of a strong mission statement developed through an inclusive strategic planning process. Our promise is to provide our students with a world-class education, in a safe and nurturing environment, and prepare them to compete in a global society. This promise led to our refreshed vision of exceptionally prepared learners; innovative and compassionate world citizens. Last year we kicked off our vision work with our #BeExceptional campaign, promoting high expectations for all.
This year we focused on innovation and compassion by looking at our past practices, and refreshing our focus to align to our evolving world around us. We have been challenging the status quo by piloting updated classroom furniture options and trying out several variations of flexible learning spaces. Approximately 20% of our classrooms have updated interactive white boards, with a full District roll-out scheduled for this summer/fall. New furniture is being ordered for our school libraries, and a full classroom furniture refresh is on the horizon.
In addition, we are committed to developing social and emotional skills of our students. Teachers are committed to building Positive Behaviors and Intervention Supports (PBIS) in classrooms, and our site-based counselors provide weekly Sanford Harmony lessons to all students. This work led to seven of our schools receiving the Silver PBIS award from the state and three schools received the Bronze award.
Our green efforts are also picking up speed. Student pilots are in the forefront of rolling out best practices across the District. This school year, we have eliminated plastic straws and replaced the traditional spork packet with utensil and napkin dispensers. Increased recycle efforts are underway at several schools, additional school gardens are being built, and food waste audits are being conducted. A green team has been established, and student councils are electing green commissioners.
Lastly, we believe that meaningful engagement of all stakeholders is critical to the work we do. Thank you to our staff, parents, and community partners that contribute to our amazing District. What is happening in #NSDnow is truly remarkable, and I am proud to be a part of it.
Inspiring InnovationPosted by Leighangela Brady on 10/16/2018 7:00:00 PM
Thanks to the forward vision and financial support of the San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE), I was able to participate in an "Innovation Tech Tour" with superintendent colleagues from across San Diego county.
The trip was led by Dr. Paul Gothold, County Superintendent of Schools, and his innovation team– Chief Innovation Officer, Dr. Patrick Gittisriboongul, and Executive Director of Innovation Dr. Erin English. In this two-day whirlwind tour, we were able to travel to San Francisco to visit and learn from innovative industry models, analyze implications for educational change, and begin to identify next steps for our own Districts.
On day one, we visited Forward, a proactive health care company that personalizes health care goals and helps create an individual proactive health care plan for each customer. Using a subscription based model, this service collects and tracks your health data and progress over time. Whether you want to lose weight, sleep better, or increase your energy levels, access to dedicated doctors and coaches provide the attention necessary to stay on track and achieve desired results.
At Lyft and a Google, we experienced innovative spaces and results-driven work. Hungry? Head on over to one of the company's micro-cafeterias and grab a meal or snack... free of charge. Having trouble figuring something out? Take a break and clear your mind in the company gym or game room. Need a change of scenery? Be inspired by comfortable nooks and flexible seating options.
We ended the day at Salesforce. Despite the fact that I still don't know exactly what Salesforce does, I did learn that their company is growing at an exponential rate. Grossing $10.4 billion last year, this big data company helps organizations learn about and engage with their customers in meaningful ways.
So what implications do these innovative business models have on our current educational practices? That was our focus for day two. Our first stop was to iLab in the San Francisco Unified School District. This unique professional development center serves as the innovation research and development hub for the District. Teachers and teams can pitch ideas to receive funding to explore innovative solutions to current challenges. Regular meetings, individualized coaching, and District support set the conditions that foster innovation.
The second part of day two was spent observing and brainstorming at the Alt School. Alt School is a private small lab school funded by tech executives. Alt School cultivates innovative learning practices in a small setting in an effort to hone ideas for scalability in public schools. At Alt School, students can work on a personalized learning plan at their own pace on a common platform. They learn how to manage deadlines, collaborate with others, and practice self-accountability. Student learning is presented as challenges or tasks, and teachers operate as project managers.
Needless to say, my head was swimming with ideas by the end of the two days. I am looking forward to sharing this learning with our #NSDnow team, and determining the next steps for our District.
Thank you SDCOE for this inspiring opportunity.
An #NSDnow RenaissancePosted by Leighangela Brady on 9/30/2018 8:00:00 PM
Our vision in the National School District is to produce Exceptionally prepared learners; innovative and compassionate world citizens.
Last year we began work on this vision by focusing on all learners with our #BeExceptional campaign. From students to adults, we believe that we are all learners striving to be better tomorrow than we are today.
This year, we have shifted from ‘BE’ to ‘RE’, and are focused on the innovative and compassionate components of our vision statement. Our ‘RE’ theme was inspired by the Italian Renaissance. The origins of the term renaissance comes from a French word meaning ‘rebirth.’ Some would say that the word renaissance means a rebirth to liberty, realizing the power of self-determination, recognizing the beauty of the outer world through art, liberating reason in science, and restoring culture. All of these things happened during the renaissance period.
To better understand how this relates to innovation and compassion, our leadership team is reading The Medici Effect by Frans Johansson. The Medici’s were bankers in Florence who funded creators from a wide range of disciplines; scientists, poets, philosophers, painters, architects, and sculptors. Through their generous financing, the Medici family attracted people to Florence from all over Europe, breaking down barriers between disciplines, causing an intersection of ideas and creating an epicenter of creativity. These intersections sparked one of the most innovative eras in history… The Renaissance.
As for compassion, it too often sparks innovation. Compassion is understanding that we are all different, and caring about others as individuals. When you feel compassion, you have a desire to take action. In #NSDnow we are focused on fostering compassion through the development of Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS), including Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS). Counselors have been hired at all sites, and we will soon begin rolling out the Sanford Harmony Social Emotional Learning Program.
The Renaissance thrived by connecting the past, present, and future. In later years, the word "renaissance" has received an even more extended significance, the "revival of learning." And that is what we have in #NSDnow, a revival of learning; an #NSDnow Renaissance.
Water FountainsPosted by Leighangela Brady on 8/5/2018 7:45:00 AM
In 2017, NSD was required to test up to five drinking water locations at each site for lead. We then addressed any areas of concern found.
The standard for lead in drinking water dictates that 15 parts per billion of lead or higher is unsafe. Even though less lead is not considered a health hazard, we believe zero lead should be the NSD standard for our drinking sources.
As a result, NSD made the decision to remove all classroom bubblers District-Wide (excluding preschool classes). Each site now has two hydration stations (with lead filters), and several other fountains near bathrooms and on the playgrounds. Since safety is our priority, we are committed to installing a lead filter solution on all exterior drinking fountains this year.
Removing classroom bubblers will make it possible to annually test all drinking fountains across the district so that staff, students and parents may feel secure that all drinking water in NSD is always safe. Testing for this year has already been completed, and results will be available a few weeks from now.
Interior sinks and faucets will remain in use for the purpose of washing hands, cleaning up art projects, etc. However, these will not be tested for lead contamination.
We understand this will cause a change in culture. All outside fountains and hydration stations have bubblers and do not require a water bottle to use. However, students with refillable water bottles can also refill bottles for use in the classroom.
We ask that staff encourage students to drink water during their break periods, and that teachers build in routines to use the fountains when students use the restrooms.
We hope this helps to further explain the reasoning behind the decision to remove the classroom bubblers. We’ll continue to do what we can to help support the transition to these new routines.
First Day Letter to FamiliesPosted by Leighangela Brady on 7/23/2018 7:00:00 PM
We are excited to welcome you back to another school year in National School District. If you are new to us, we thank you for choosing to enroll your children in our schools.
Our vision in the National School District is to promote exceptionally prepared learners; innovative and compassionate world citizens. We believe that everyone in our District is a learner, and we strive to always be better tomorrow than we are today.
Our Board and staff value the diversity in our community, and encourage all parents and guardians to engage in activities at your school sites and throughout the District. Ask your principal about opportunities such as the Parent Teacher Association (PTA), English Learner Advisory Committee (ELAC), and School Site Council (SSC). We also invite you to stop by our Board meetings anytime. Regular meetings of the Board are open to the public, and are normally held at 6:00 p.m. on the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month at the District Office.
We have built our new website with you in mind. Visit www.nsd.us where you will find improved navigation that is optimized for both mobile and desktop devices. We’ve also improved the structure of our content and ensured that our site is ADA compliant. Be sure to check the website for updates and announcements, our Superintendent’s blog, and information about our Board.
Frequent communication with your child’s teachers and administrators will help us send a powerful message to your children that we are working together to support their learning. Stay connected through email correspondence and School Messenger. Find flyers regarding school and District events by signing up for our Peachjar system. Connect with us on Twitter @NationalSD/#NSDnow for up to date news and to follow our learning, progress, and accomplishments.
Lastly, we encourage you to volunteer. Our hope is to empower parents to be our partners. Have confidence that NSD is a welcoming District and does not request or maintain any records that specify the citizenship status of any students or members or their families. Our Board has even gone a step further by updating and adopting all policies with guidance from the Attorney General to protect and safeguard the rights of all of our families.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to your principal or the Office of the Superintendent. Thank you for allowing us to provide your children with a world-class education.
Dr. Leighangela Brady
Estamos emocionados de darle la bienvenida a un año más en el Distrito Escolar Nacional. Si son nuevos a nuestro distrito, le agradecemos por elegir en inscribir a sus hijos en nuestras escuelas.
Nuestra visión en el distrito escolar nacional es promover a nuestros estudiantes en ser preparados excepcionalmente; ser ciudadanos del mundo innovadores y compasivos. Creemos que todos en nuestro distrito somos aprendices, y nos esforzamos para siempre ser mejor mañana de lo que somos hoy.
Nuestro mesa directiva y personal valoran la diversidad en nuestra comunidad y alientan a todos los padres y tutores a participar en actividades en sus escuelas y en todo el Distrito. Favor de preguntar a su director/a acerca de oportunidades tales como la Asociación de Padres y Maestros, el Comité Asesor de Estudiantes de Inglés y el Consejo Escolar. También lo invitamos a que visite las juntas de la mesa directiva en cualquier momento. Las juntas regularmente están abiertas al público, y normalmente se llevan a cabo a las 6:00 p.m. el segundo y cuarto miércoles de cada mes en la oficina del distrito.
Hemos creado nuestro nuevo sitio web pensando en usted. Visite www.nsd.us donde encontrará navegación mejorada que está optimizada para ambos, dispositivos móviles y de escritorio. También hemos mejorado la estructura de nuestro contenido y nos aseguramos de que nuestra página siga las normas legales sobre Estadounidenses con Discapacidades (ADA). Asegúrese de revisar el sitio web en busca de actualizaciones y anuncios, el blog de nuestra Superintendente e información sobre la mesa directiva.
La comunicación frecuente con los maestros y administradores de su hijo nos ayudará a enviar un poderoso mensaje a sus hijos que estamos trabajando juntos para apoyar su aprendizaje. Manténgase conectado a través de correspondencia por correo electrónico y School Messenger. Encuentre volantes con respecto a eventos de la escuela y del Distrito inscribiéndose en nuestro sistema Peachjar. Conéctese con nosotros en Twitter @NationalSD / #NSDnow para recibir noticias actualizadas y seguir nuestro aprendizaje, progreso y logros.
Por último, le recomendamos ser voluntario en la escuela de su hijo/a. Nuestra esperanza es empoderar a los padres para que sean nuestros socios. Tenga confianza de que NSD es un Distrito acogedor y no solicita ni mantiene ningún registro que especifique el estado de ciudadanía de ningún alumno o miembro de sus familias. Nuestra mesa directiva ha ido un paso más allá al actualizar y adoptar todas las pólizas con la orientación del Fiscal General para proteger y salvaguardar los derechos de todas nuestras familias.
Si tiene alguna pregunta, no dude en comunicarse con su director/a o la Oficina de la Superintendente. Gracias por permitirnos brindar a sus hijos una educación de alto nivel.
Dra. Leighangela Brady
Welcome Back 2018Posted by Leighangela Brady on 7/14/2018 6:30:00 PM
Welcome back to a new school year, and to our new website! Here you will find simplified navigation and up-to-date information about the exceptional things happening in the National School District.
Last year our theme was to Be Exceptional- to be better tomorrow than were are today, to hold high expectations for ourselves and others, and to strive for continuous improvement in all that we do. Our District vision: Exceptionally prepared learners; innovative and compassionate world citizens, was the genesis of our be exceptional theme.
This year, we will be focusing on the second part of our vision: innovative and compassionate world citizens. Being innovative, means executing an idea to a specific challenge which achieves value for the students, staff, and families. Compassion is understanding that we are all different, and caring about others as individuals.
When we look at others as unique individuals, each bringing something different to the table, we celebrate the diversity among us. Knowing that diversity drives innovation, we will strive to identify opportunities to leverage this diversity and use it to realize our vision.
Follow this blog for more about this year's theme, and to track our accomplishments throughout the year.
To our students, I promise that we will strive every day to provide you a world-class education. You are the reason we wake up every day, and the purpose behind what drives our work.
To our parents, I pledge to ensure your children receive the best education possible. Thank you for your trust and confidence in us to ensure your children grow up with the ability to contribute to our National City community and beyond.
To our community partners, I commit to reach out and learn how we can prepare our students to be your future employees, business owners, and civic leaders.
To our staff, I vow to roll up my sleeves and support your efforts in any way possible. You are the backbone of what we do.
To the world, I'll guarantee to you that the students of National School District will be ready to amaze you!