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2019-20 Priority Areas of Focus

At the September 10, 2019 Board of Education Meeting, Shaker Heights Schools Superintendent Dr. David Glasner shared the District’s Priority Areas of Focus for the 2019-20 school year. 

These two priority areas of focus are:

  • Black student excellence

  • School culture and climate

These two areas have been identified through multiple data points and they align with our recently adopted equity policy, and with our District core values and mission statement.

In regards to black student excellence, our goal is to increase the percentage of black students who excel in school and who meet or exceed grade-level standards in literacy and math, particularly in grades 2, 4, 6, 8 and 9. We have identified these grades because they are pivotal periods in a student’s educational journey and because they stretch across all buildings and grade levels. We plan to measure our success in this area through a variety of metrics, including through MAP math and reading scores, state test scores, percentage of students enrolled in advanced courses, such as 8th grade Algebra 1 or Geometry and co- and extracurricular club participation.

In regards to school climate and culture, our goal is to create, through social and emotional learning curriculum and positive behavior supports, positive learning environments in our schools and to reduce the number of serious discipline events by at least 10 percent as compared to the 2018-2019 school year. Our success with this goal will be measured by student survey data, Instructional Rounds trend data, referral and suspension data and co- and extracurricular club participation.

To help achieve our goals, the District has identified five broad areas for change. These five change areas are: 

  1. Instruction, curriculum and assessment in classrooms

  2. Relationship building

  3. Investing in our staff and faculty

  4. Teaching & Learning teams

  5. Intentional continuous improvement processes

We believe that as we continue to improve and refine our practices in these five domains, we will see measurable gains related to our priority areas of focus. 

There are many examples of specific action steps that can help ensure positive outcomes in these five areas. The District’s i3 initiative, for instance, is an example of how we are expanding the integration of technology in the classroom in order to provide rigorous learning experiences and targeted instruction for all students. The implementation of Caring School Community in grades K-8 is another example of how we can build consistent social and emotional learning practices across buildings and grade levels.

The District will share periodic updates to the school community as we progress toward these goals.