In August 20216, The Pajaro Valley Unified School District (PVUSD) hired a new superintendent of schools. Last week at the Aptos Chamber of Commerce meeting, the new superintendent, Dr. Michelle Rodriguez, reported on her first 100 days in the job. With her permission, the audio of her presentation was recorded and is available here to listen to or download.
At the outset of the 100 days, the plan was to “Listen, Learn, and Lead.” Indeed, during her first 100 days, she participated in 106 “learning sessions.” She detailed four top priorities for these first 100 days:
- Build a Relationship with the Entire District as One Team
- Listen to Multiple Perspectives of All Stakeholders
- Lead through Shared Purpose and Vision
- Celebrate Early Accomplishments
If that sounds a bit nebulous, listen to the audio recording below and get a feel for the direction she intends to take the district:
Listen to the Presentation
Download audio file…
In her presentation to the Chamber, Dr. Rodriguez signaled that the Aptos schools will receive more attention than perhaps they have had in the past. She pledged to treat all schools in the system individually, with no one-size-fits-all philosophy. She also noted that both the incoming President and Vice President of the PVUSD Board of Trustees hail from Aptos.
Dr. Rodriguez stated that the district intends to focus on “the whole child,” having added social-emotional counselors and infused Visual and Performing Arts back at the schools. She is looking forward to all schools once again having robust art and music education. To set the district on a firmer financial footing, she is looking to hire a full-time grant writer with a goal of raising millions of additional dollars per year. Given the fact that 78% of PVUSD students live in poverty, it is likely there’s ample grant money to be found.
Dr. Rodriguez appears to offer a very hands-on approach. She is very active on Twitter, and from her feed, she does appear very much to be in the trenches and not locked up in an ivory tower. She has a commitment to openness: for example, all PVUSD board meetings are now streamed live and archived on the Internet.
Fantastic collaborative visit at WCSA filled w/students effectively using technology coupled w/collaboration to meet learning intentions pic.twitter.com/BTC8xNWjyR
— Michelle Rodriguez (@mlrod32) December 13, 2016
So far, the new Superintendent appears to be off to a good start. But it’s early days yet, and many Aptos parents, teachers, and students will be looking forward to concrete and visible improvements in our local elementary, junior, and high schools. If you have questions, comments, or suggestions, please reach out to the Superintendent directly at 831-786-2135 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
See also: Santa Cruz Sentinel article