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Principal's Message


Click here for the January 2018 Blue Jay Bulletin.

Principal's Message for January 2018

January 1, 2018


Dear Monte Vista Parents and Families,


           Our Monte Vista staff works “smart”. We realize in order to do something well we have to spend strategic, focused professional development (PD) time after school and during certain chunks of the school day learning, applying, observing, and reflecting on our new “learnings”. I wanted to take this opportunity to explain where our staff journeyed in the first half of the school year and where we’re going in the second half!

         In August-December of 2017, we had two foci of practice—one that was instructional and one related to classroom management & school culture (we call PBIS, Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports). The Instructional Focus of Practice question was, “How can we analyze and apply the Benchmark (curriculum) writing program's methods and structures to foster student investment and improve writing quality according to grade level standards and expectations?” The PBIS Focus of Practice was, “How would applying best language practices and discourse from the book Choice Words in our classrooms positively affect classroom culture and student learning?”

         Teachers learned, applied in the classroom, and then presented to one another their experiences and progress with using the methods and structures of the Benchmark writing program. Students were able to experience the writing process multiple times across different writing genres with writing topics that were uniquely connected to real world events and literature from their reading curriculum. In addition, our teachers read and discussed chapters from Choice Words, and applied their take-aways in their classroom management and discourse with students and reported back to one another their progress. Students were able to experience classroom discourse that helped notice and name in positive and productive ways behaviors and choices that formed their identities as capable and promising readers, writers, mathematicians, scientists, and citizens. The instructional coach and I every two weeks observed and gave feedback about teacher progress as teachers responded proactively. Teachers were given release time to engage in instructional rounds, to observe one another using these foci of practice in the classrooms and debrief and reflect on it. They also looked at student data related to our foci of practice to see its effect on student learning and culture.

       From January-May 2018, we are going to study two new foci of practice related to Science instruction and working more effectively with at-risk behavior students (see left column announcements for details). We will continue to bring the foci of practice to life and polish it for the betterment of our blue jays! Please be their cheerleaders in this learning journey!


With Highest Regards,


Joseph Ashby, Ed.D.

Principal, Monte Vista Elementary
Monterey Peninsula Unified School District







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