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Sunnyside Opening Day 2018
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By Steven Holmes
JULY 26, 2018 / MODIFIED AUG 7, 2018 08:32 AM

Dear Sunnyside Learning Community,

Arizona experienced a watershed year for public education in 2018.

The collective impact of teachers, parents, students and community members advocating for the needs of our public schools was inspiring and reassuring. This historical display of civic engagement was reminiscent of the activism demonstrated 50 years ago across our country, when many people felt disillusioned with the status quo. What I have learned from the great leaders of that era is that our common passion for righteousness as people is what ultimately unites us in our continued journey to shape the progress of our great nation.

It is because of this passion that we continue to fight for what is right for our children in our public school systems. As educators, we know that our work is not just about student development, but about human progress.

To this end, we convened a panel of industry leaders, students, teachers and community members and asked them to help us envision what the future holds for our students. This inquiry formed the basis for the next iteration of our Graduate Profile, and our vision statement: Every Child, College, Career and Community Ready. More importantly, this work set the tone for how our District will innovate in the area of student agency by measuring holistic competencies of learning that help tell a broader story about the wonderful students that we serve. Therefore, it is important to stay the course as a District. We will continue to support agency through our formative assessment work and through building better systems for collaboration. Although our roadmap for improvement is a complex one, it is my goal this year to bring greater clarity to our theory for change so that all educators in our ecosystem better understand how to to move the needle for student learning.

The pivotal question: ‘What is the learning?’ will continue to drive our discussions as we dive deeper in thinking about our impact on performance. Be prepared to grow and learn together as colleagues, as we strive to get better at getting better. Like the social justice work of the men and women 50 years ago, our work at Sunnyside in 2018 will be led by brave thinkers who see our students and our system not for what it is, but for what it can be.

Thank you for joining us on this journey,

Steve Holmes

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