Resolution 2020Posted by Leighangela Brady on 1/17/2020 11:45:00 AM
As far back as the 1970’s, schools and districts have been identifying persistent disparities of achievement among student subgroups. Fifty years later, achievement gaps still exist, and include contributors to this disparity described as an opportunity gap. Opportunity gaps examine factors that contribute to lower aspirations and attainment.
They say hindsight is 2020, yet one of the greatest inhibitors to progress is the statement, “This is the way we have always done it.” We tend to do things out of habit, however the only way to truly grow and improve is to look forward, and New Year’s is a perfect time to make meaningful changes.
“We have the opportunity to be intentional about our tomorrows and release the binds of past patterns, preconceived ideas, destructive inhibitions, and limited perspectives. Through imagining the possible, questioning the status quo, building on strengths, and connecting to others in meaningful ways we can envision, embrace, and enliven our own futures and release our own limitless potential.”
- Dr. Alan Daly, Associate Professor of Education, University of California, San Diego (UCSD)
In National School District, we strive to open doors for our students and provide the greatest opportunities possible. As we enter a new decade, we resolve to learn from our past in order to create intentional tomorrows for our students. Only committing to statements like, “What can we do better?” can we truly dream big, challenge the status quo, and ensure success for all students.
School Safety EffortsPosted by Leighangela Brady on 10/6/2019 2:30:00 PM
In National School District, safety is a top priority. Therefore, we believe that it is important to continually keep our families updated on our efforts to ensure the safety of our schools. This letter is intended as an overview of our ongoing efforts; however, we recognize that our work in this area is never done.
As such, we have safety plans in place at each school, and provide continual training to our staff so that they are best prepared for what to do in case of an emergency. California requires all public schools to have a Comprehensive School Safety Plan. These are updated in collaboration with National City Police and Fire Departments. A summary is available to the public at each site. We encourage you to reach out to your site principal about opportunities to learn about plans specific to your children’s school.
As parents and community members, I understand your concern for school safety, and want to share some additional safety measures the District has put into place:
- The District has a unique relationship with the National City Police Department, which has assigned school resource officers who have a presence at all our schools campuses. These law-enforcement professionals make regular appearances at our schools and are on-call for immediate assistance.
- All of our campuses are secured. Guests can only enter via the front office and must sign in and obtain a visitor’s pass to be allowed access to classrooms or other areas of the school. In addition, our campuses use a visitor management system to allow the office staff to better identify unwanted visitors.
- The District uses School Messenger, as well as Twitter to communicate accurate and official information quickly and efficiently.
- Schools conduct monthly drills to practice what to do in case of an emergency, so that first responders will be able to quickly reach the scene of a critical incident.
- Staff have received ongoing training opportunities focused on various safety scenarios and protocols.
The District also has implemented the Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS) system that uses positive approaches to encourage good behavior. We strongly believe that setting clear expectations and creating an inclusive, respectful school culture leads to student success. In addition, the District has counselor and psychologist support available at all school sites.
Finally, we have the benefit of having parents, students, and staff on our campuses, and we ask that you report any unusual or suspicious activity to your site principal. As accurate information is critical to the speed of every investigation, we ask all community members please refrain from circulating unofficial information on social media. Please talk to your children to remind them that they can also report anything suspicious. We want everyone on our campuses to be empowered to speak up about anything that looks out of place.
The National School District continues to focus on protecting the well-being and safety of our students and staff. We appreciate your support in these efforts.
Global Goals for NSDPosted by Leighangela Brady on 8/1/2019 6:20:00 PM
In National School District WE are World Citizens and WE are on a mission to contribute to the World’s Sustainable Development Goals for 2030. WE want to partner with YOU!
Learn more about SDGs here: https://tinyurl.com/SDGs4NSDnow
Email your idea for a potential partnership here: Superintendent@nsd.us
Welcome Back 2019-20!Posted by Leighangela Brady on 7/19/2019 6:00:00 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 volunteer and 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.
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. For more information please visit our website at www.nsd.us. Our website is optimized for both mobile and desktop devices. 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 at www.peachjar.com. Connect with us on Twitter @NationalSD/#NSDnow for up to date news and to follow our learning, progress, and accomplishments.
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 National. Si son nuevos a nuestro Distrito, le agradecemos por elegir inscribir a sus hijos en nuestras escuelas.
Nuestra visión en el Distrito escolar National 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 siempre para ser mejor mañana, de lo que somos hoy.
Nuestra 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 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 cualquiera de las juntas de la mesa directiva. Las juntas 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.
Nuestra esperanza es capacitar a los padres para ser nuestros socios. Tenga confianza que National es un Distrito acogedor y no solicita ni mantiene ningún registro que especifique el estado de ciudadanía de ningún estudiante, miembro o sus familias. Nuestra mesa directiva ha tomado un paso más allá al actualizar y adoptar todas las politicas con la orientación del Fiscal General para proteger y salvaguardar los derechos de todas nuestras familias. Para obtener más información, visite nuestro sitio web enwww.nsd.us.Nuestro sitio web está optimizado para ambos, dispositivos móviles y de escritorio.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/a nos ayudará a enviar un poderoso mensaje a sus hijos que estamos trabajando juntos para apoyar su aprendizaje. Manténgase conectado a través 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.
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
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.
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!