The President’s Message: Interview with Al Galvez, MUSD Board President
By Frédéric M. Martin, MUSD Community Engagement Consultant
Welcome to the first edition of the We Believe Newspaper, designed to keep you informed on your school district’s goals, achievements, news and announcements. The board of trustees is excited to find an additional way to communicate with the community and looks forward to reviewing your feedback. The ambitious goals we put in motion a few years ago are now coming into focus, with the completion and opening of the Virginia Lee Rose elementary school, and the recent start of construction work on the Matilda Torres high school, scheduled to open in August 2020.
Also noteworthy are the recently completed and ongoing retrofit constructions in both existing high schools and most of all the other district’s school sites, further demonstrating that our Madera community is starting to reap the many benefits of its substantial investments into the MUSD educational facilities, teachers, staff and, of course, our students, the children of Madera.
MUSD is no longer satisfied with the mere implementation of basic requirements, but rather aims to exceed, on all fronts, beyond the challenges that face our school district, by formulating far reaching goals, drive for excellence, fix and improve processes, and start reaping the positive gains from those decisions.
The board is working on all cylinders and the school district is seeking to institute best practices throughout the school district. This translates into striving for higher quality teaching and learning, more efficiency, raising expectations, and working toward exceeding our stated goals with quantifiable results. To that end, we are already able to report on marked improvements in higher graduation rates, reduced truancy, better communication and increased engagement with the community. A perfect example of improvement was shared at the recent We Believe conference, in early March, during which we were all informed that Sierra Vista Elementary has a 16-point increase in math, which represents the highest increase out of 38 schools across the State of California with similar enrollment numbers and demographic make-ups. 100% of Pershing Elementary re-designated English learners in 3rd grade, met or exceeded the ELA standard and 95% of them met or exceeded the math standard. And there are more achievements to celebrate: King Middle School had a 16-point increase in ELA, which represents the highest increase out of 32 schools with similar profiles across the state of California.
We are lucky to have a leader like Superintendent Todd Lile, whose drive for excellence is already exhibiting concrete and visible results throughout the Madera Unified School District. Fluent in Spanish, Todd Lile’s leadership is further enhanced through his ability to communicate and engage with more members of our community. The board of trustees feels a real sense of improved quality, fluidity in processes and communications within the schools’ staffs, and within its own inner workings. Having said that, we are not going to rest on our laurels, as we drive and witness a fundamental shift from merely fixing problems, to striving for excellence, efficiency, engagement and decidedly delivering on the promise of becoming the best school district in the state.