Board Highlights - April 16, 2019

At its Tuesday meeting, the Board of Trustees learned about the visual arts program at Kent from teacher Michele Montgomery and four of her students. The fifth graders described a lesson and project which integrated plant science and resulted in students creating a flower of their own design with accompanying seed packets. The eighth graders described their creation of printed cloth derived from the Ashanti people of Ghana. Their work included a basic sewing lesson which allowed their cloth panels to be made into wall hangings, and which prepared them for more sewing for their Project Runway collections. Lastly, Ms. Montgomery shared the art she is working on, intricately decorated eggs using a batik-like process of wax application and dyes, a process she learned at her Russian grandmother’s knee when she was preschool-aged. Gorgeous!

Liz Schott gave the Board an overview of the reports available from the district’s second administration of the Youth Truth survey of students, staff and families. Youth Truth allows us to understand the experience of these stakeholder groups in our schools in areas such as culture, relationships, rigor, and engagement. Staff at both schools have worked with 2018 data to examine and respond to student data and presentations to various groups have included snapshots of Youth Truth data pertaining to that group’s work. We plan to expand our use of the data as we increase our own skills at analyzing it. Over 1000 members of our community participated in the survey this year - all students, all staff, and 255 individual family members, a number we would like to see increase in years to come. Public reports are available at https://youthtruthsurvey.org/ . There is an orange login link on the top right of the home page. Login: youthtruth@kentfieldschools.org; password: KSD201920.

Former kik President Marita Daly presented information to the Board on the Brady United Against Gun Violence initiative. The basic tenets of Brady United are: creating a gun safety culture in people’s homes, commit to social-emotional education in the schools, have a plan for responding to school shooters, and ensuring that people know where to report threatening or concerning behavior in our students and neighbors. The District Safety Committee will discuss at its May 22, 2019 meeting what was learned, and the Board representative to that committee will report back at a future Board Meeting if any changes are needed to our Comprehensive Safety Plan. The Safety Committee meetings are held in the District Office Board Room from 9:00-10:00 a.m. and the public is welcome to attend.

The Board discussed the Superintendent Search, which has been disappointing for the lack of response to the Request for Proposals from search firms, and concerning due to the number of searches underway in Marin County. Given the likelihood of having to appoint an Interim Superintendent while a longer search is conducted, the Board asked Liz Schott if she would be willing to stay at least one more year to ensure a less disruptive transition to the District’s next leader. She agreed and is looking forward to the exciting work ahead. Read the School Board’s letter announcing this development.