MISD Superintendent to Present 90-Day Review

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ISD Midland Superintendent Angelica Ramsey will report on her first 90 days as school district CEO at Tuesday’s meeting at Bowie Fine Arts Academy.

The report is titled “The Work So Far and The Work Ahead” and includes five themes drawn from the reflections of stakeholders she met in meetings with over 2,000 people, including over 40 groups, plus of 600 parents, civic, philanthropic and religious leaders, business leaders and community members. It also lists 144 meetings with Midland ISD staff.

Stakeholder engagement completes the first of three stages for Ramsey after arriving in Midland. The second step is listed as data analysis and collective responsibility. Its report shows that data is collected and existing plans reviewed during this step and that their effectiveness and alignment with priorities will be assessed. The end date for this stage is July 2021.

The final step is the completion of a strategic plan, which will include short, medium and long term goals, statements of commitment and actions to improve student outcomes for all students. This stage should start in August and end in October.

This report focuses on five “themes” created as a result of its “stakeholder reflections”. They are:


  • Develop authentic relationships with the community;
  • Advance academics, especially literacy;
  • Meet the needs of diverse learners;
  • Create a highly efficient district service center;
  • Become a successful organization.

Reports on each topic include strengths, opportunities, weaknesses and challenges.

For example, under ‘developing authentic relationships with the community’, weaknesses listed include ‘rebuilding trust in the community’ and ‘rebuilding trust and communication between the district service center (formerly the central office) and campuses. “.

Strengths include “willingness and desire for staff and community members to collaborate internally and externally” and “improving communication channels”.

Opportunities include: “Stakeholders are hungry for cohesive opportunities to provide feedback and inform decision making. “

The challenges include “there is a feeling that too much attention is being paid to the strongest voices in the community and that media attention is often incomplete or harmful”.

“Work is already underway to address each of the five themes that emerged from the reflections of stakeholders,” the report says. “We are making new contacts with local nonprofits and reorganizing the district service center. As the pieces begin to fall into place, work will begin in earnest on actionable plans and strategies to advance academics, meet the needs of diverse learners, and become a high performing organization. “

Stakeholder reflections

Themes

1.Develop authentic relationships with the community

Strengths

Dedicated staff and community.
Willingness and desire for staff and community members to collaborate internally and externally.
Improvements in communication channels.

Opportunities

Continue to build on and build on the work of the Midland ISD communications team.

Leverage established community partners and Midland’s philanthropic community.

Stakeholders crave consistent opportunities to provide feedback and inform decision making.

Weaknesses

Restore trust in the community.

Restore trust and communication between the district service center and campuses.

Need for transparency in all areas of district and decision making.

Not enough genuine stakeholder engagement and relationship building between the district service center and the community.

Challenges

Parents, especially new parents, lack the resources and opportunities to participate and support their students’ learning experiences.

There is a feeling that too much attention is paid to the strongest voices in the community and that media representation is often incomplete or harmful.

In general, there is a pervasive feeling that the community does not trust the district service center. Rebuilding this relationship will take time, effort and energy.

2. Advancing academics

Strengths

The district has strong high school leaders who collaborate frequently and share best practices.

Staff said professional development, such as Solution Tree, and API implementation has had an impact.

Staff indicated that the Elevate internal university conference was a great professional development opportunity.

Opportunities

Leverage academic auditing to drive organizational change at the district service center.

Teachers and leaders want to use APIs as an opportunity to drive educational change at the campus level.

Community members, teachers, staff and district leaders are eager to develop a comprehensive approach to serving the most at-risk students in the district.

Weaknesses

New teachers lack support and mentorship opportunities.

Need for continuous and high quality professional development for all teachers, principals and staff of district service centers.

Teachers need more training to understand TEKS and subject matter content.

Higher expectations and rigor are needed at all levels.

Challenges

The district does not have a space dedicated to professional development.

The lack of consistency in the implementation of the program is an obstacle to progress.

Difficulty implementing high quality distance learning via MOA.

Incorporate relevant social and emotional learning materials into the classroom.

3. Meet the needs of diverse learners

Strengths

The district, especially student services, has gone above and beyond to support all students by creating a Family Support Center that provides food and support to families in difficulty.

The operations team has been highlighted for responding quickly to the technological needs of students and campuses, given the impact of COVID-19.

Stakeholders reported that there had been considerable growth in collaboration across the district, particularly to support special education and English learners.

Stakeholders highlighted that the district’s approach to providing more high-quality options, especially STEM options, benefits the community.

Opportunities

Continue to build on the district’s efforts to increase the number of high-quality school options.

Leverage the recommendations of the technology audit to continue to meet the changing needs of learners.

Continue to increase support and collaboration for special education and English language learners.

Weaknesses

Security problems due to lack of investment in infrastructure (parking, lighting, ADA).

Gaps in restorative and trauma-informed practices to support students.

Lack of informed response response strategies (RTIs) and processes.

Challenges

Shortage of counselors to meet the mental health needs of staff and students.

Lack of diverse representation in the Gifted and Talented program.

Incorporate culturally appropriate education and diversity, equity and inclusion (DCI) measures throughout the district.

4. Create a highly efficient district service center

Strengths

During the pandemic, the district service center worked closely to cope with the crisis and meet the needs of families.

Improved collaboration between the departments of the district service center.

“Everyone on deck” mindset of staff supporting each other and getting involved.

The staff at MISD have a genuine love for children.

Opportunities

Prioritize the reorganization of the district service center.

The new communications department is making positive progress.

Hopefully more voices are included in the decision making process.

Weaknesses

General comments

Lack of coherent vision and structure for district-wide success.
Need for accountability at all district levels.
Gaps in communication between the district service center and campuses.
Global implementation fatigue; going too fast in too many directions.

Department comments

The structure of the academic team does not meet the needs of the students.
Human resources processes are not transparent to school leaders; thus, school leaders are not clear on expectations and deadlines.
A more in-depth review of the procurement process to help better facilitate purchasing for campuses and the district service center.
A need for more support from Finance to provide guidance on budget processes.

Challémage

Desire for a streamlined District Service Center, but need more staff to provide full support (HR / Finance / Academic).

Need for accountability at all district levels.

Difficulty balancing the right amount of autonomy gained for campuses.

5. Become a successful organization

Strengths

Strong operational leadership in transportation, CNS, technology and maintenance crew.

Successful delivery of 1: 1 devices and hotspots to support remote learning.

Competitive salaries and benefits.

Regional resources and support 18.

Opportunities

Higher salaries for teachers and support staff have resulted in better recruitment and retention.

Create and document more robust systems and processes that meet the needs of the district.

Weaknesses

Lack of solid training and professional development opportunities for staff.

Lack of consistent written protocols.

Logistical challenges related to navigation in the purchasing and supply processes.

Need short and long term facilities solution to deal with overpopulation and expected growth.

Challenges

The community is divided on the value of moving forward with a new bond effort.

Increase alignment between budget and district priorities.

Maintain a strong recruitment pipeline to avoid staff shortages.

Provide better and more nutritious breakfasts for students and staff.

Source: MISD

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