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Monday, August 18, 2014

Tam District Back-to-School News

As long as I can remember, the "back-to-school" season has been one of my favorite times of year.  As a student, I recall the excitement of seeing my friends again after our summer adventures as well as the comfort of returning to the familiar routine of the school year.  I have been an educator for many years, but I still enjoy reconnecting with my colleagues who have spent the summer reading, traveling, and learning, as well as seeing our new and returning students who bring their energy and enthusiasm back to our campuses.  This is also a special time of year for those of us who are parents.  We live the anxiety and joy of the new school year through our own children and their experiences.
At the Tamalpais Union High School District, we are committed to ensuring that all students and staff have a smooth transition from the relaxation of summer to the demands of the school year.  Many efforts are in place at the school sites to assist our new 9th graders, transfer students, and our returning students.  No doubt, if you are a parent, you have already received multiple communications from your child's high school.
At the district office, the entire month of August is a very busy time.  All administrators returned to work on August 1, and many teachers are participating in a variety of professional development activities throughout the month.  This year's highlights include:
  • At the district office, we welcomed Kim Stiffler, former Tam assistant principal and Redwood teacher, to the new position of Senior Director of Curriculum and Instruction.  Kim will be responsible for all the day-to-day work with our site administrators and Teacher Leaders to develop curriculum and continuously improve instruction.  Click here to see a full list of administrators in the Educational Services department and their responsibilities.
  • Our increase in student enrollment and a few retirements have allowed us to hire 26 new teachers for 14-15.  All new teachers participate in a rigorous two-year orientation and training program.
  • We hired five new assistant principals!  Click here to see contact information for all administrators.
  • About 50 TUHSD teachers participated in optional professional development workshops, which were also open to all feeder school teachers.  For a full list of the workshops, click here.
  • About 70 TUHSD teachers continued their work as a part of the Instructional Technology Teacher Collaborative (ITTC), a professional development program for experienced teachers.  For a description of the ITTC program, click here.
  • New Teacher Leaders participated in "boot camp" so that they understand the strategic priorities of the district and are ready to facilitate curriculum and instruction initiatives with their colleagues.  For a full list of Teacher Leaders, click here.
  • Teacher Leaders and administrators continue to work together to discuss priorities for the 14-15 school year, which include enhancements to academic and behavioral interventions for students and the use of data to guide instruction for teachers.
Part of what makes TUHSD a great place to learn is the willingness of so many of our teachers to take leadership positions and to pursue their own professional growth.  The sheer number of teachers who elect to be here in early August is truly a testament to the dedication of our staff.
On behalf of the entire administrative team and the Board of Trustees, thank you for your interest and commitment to our district.  We are looking forward to yet another great year where we continue to ensure that each and every student learns and grows every day.

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