Spotlight on Student Learning

  • Drawing of a Spotlight with text: Spotlight on Student Learning

    March 23, 2023: Overview of Panorama Student Survey Administrations

    The San Mateo Union High School District administers surveys (in English and Spanish) annually to all students, staff and families using the survey platform, Panorama. The purpose of these surveys is to garner feedback about key issues related to district/school culture and climate and to assess, among our students, key social-emotional health metrics. Administrators from Mills and Burlingame High Schools reported on survey response rates; and broad findings from the survey results including noteworthy positive feedback and areas for improvement. Learn more about our Panorama survey results by viewing the presentation shared by staff with the Board on March 23.   

    March 9, 2023: Classified Professional Learning

    On January 30 and 31, SMUHSD classified staff attended professional development at the San Mateo Performing Arts Center facilitated by the World Trust organization. The intended purpose of the two-day event was to train all staff in hopes of ensuring that structural racism will not be prevalent in the district’s policies, practices, and procedures and to promote and work toward the vision that all students and staff will coexist and function in a safe, inclusive, and equitable environment. World Trust provided pre-reading that included a look back at governmental acts and laws that created injustices, both intentionally or unintentionally.

    The first day of professional development began with a screening and discussion of the film “Cracking the Codes: The System of Racial Inequity.” The afternoon included a discussion of the roots of social justice: framing and analysis of systems and structures. 

    Day two included a conversation on addressing unconscious bias and strategic questioning: a  strategy for learning and change. To learn more read the presentation staff shared with the Board on Classified Professional Learning. 

    February 23, 2023: Certificated Professional Learning 

    On January 30 and 31, SMUHSD certificated staff engaged in in-person professional development after two years of Zoom or hybrid professional learning events. On January 30 all teachers and site administrators gathered at Capuchino High School, and on January 31, they gathered for  professional learning with their school site teams.

    The goal of the professional learning event was to continue our Antiracist School and Community Transformation Journey by re-engaging with our “why” as educators, and reimagine what it means to provide all students with equitable access to quality education.

    The January 30 PD day, opened with a welcome message from Randall Booker. This was followed by Joe Truss and Shane Safir providing an overview of our Antiracist School Transformation Journey from 2021-2022, building connections and through lines to our professional learning in 2022-2023. A teacher KIVA panel was hosted by Truss and Safir, with teachers from Mills, Capuchino, Peninsula, and Hillsdale High School, speaking about the ways in which professional learning has impacted their classroom practices. Following the welcome and opening, participants had the option of choosing from twelve, 90 minute workshops connected to our Antiracist School and Community Transformation work. The content in each workshop is connected to our Equity Board Policy and Administrative Regulations

    Each site built out an agenda for the January 31 professional development connected to our Antiracist School and Community Transformation Journey to their specific context and student learning needs. Highlights from our site PD included: site-based teacher panels around engaging and creating relationships with students, student work analysis through the lens of Antiracist teaching and Ethnic Studies tenets, student presentations and student panels, deeper learning on Restorative Justice Practices, aligning graduate profiles to antiracist practices. Additionally, several of our sites took this opportunity to begin their WASC (Western Association for Schools and Colleges) self-study process in preparation for next year’s accreditation visits, and thoughtfully incorporated themes from our Antiracist School and Community Transformation work through the process.

    February 9, 2023: Instructional Leadership Initiative

    At its February 9 meeting, the Board heard an update on the District’s Instructional Leadership Initiative.To support a culture of Instructional Leadership and to ensure an unwavering focus on the classroom instruction, pedagogy and culture within our classrooms, the Instruction Department, which includes the Instructional Leadership Team has initiated a multi-pronged approach to shift toward a culture of Instructional Leadership. 

    The first phase began earlier this fall with the Instructional Leadership Team (ILT). This team was created this year (Fall of 2022) to examine the intent and impact of instructional practices across the District and to reimagine these practices when and where they do not match our goals. 

    The three goals of this team (below) are aligned to our goal of creating a culture focused on Instructional Leadership. 

    1. Provide professional learning during the time set-aside during the District 

    professional learning. 

    2. Visit classrooms to uncover the amazing work underway across the District. 

    3. Create an instructional framework by integrating existing models available and integrating what we learn through our exploration in classrooms in SMUHSD.

    The next phase will include all school administrators to visit all schools, or conduct instructional rounds across the District. The purpose of these visits is to develop a baseline of the instructional practices in our District as well as identifying systemic patterns that show up in our classrooms. Learn more by reading the full report and watching the presentation

    January 26: 1st Semester Highlights 

    At its January 26 meeting, the Board heard a report on 1st Semester Highlights. While the list doesn’t include all District accomplishments since the start of the school year, it does serve as a snapshot of some of the highlights made possible through hard work and collaboration with students, their families, our educators and community partners. Read the full list of accomplishments; view the slide deck or watch the presentation to learn more.  

    January 12: Capuchino Pre-IB Math 3 Pilot Course

    At the January 12 Board Meeting staff from Capuchino High School shared a Spotlight on Student Learning on the school's Pre-IB Math 3 Pilot Course. During the 2020 - 2021 school year, the math teachers at Capuchino discussed how they could create a more equitable and effective math program for their students upon returning to in-person instruction.

    As an International Baccalaureate (IB) school, Capuchino had long discussed the idea of moving toward an integrated math curriculum to be in line with the international norm. At the Board meeting staff shared the rationale for this new math pathway along with a new set of instructional practices.

    Learn more by reading the full report and watching the recording of the presentation.

    November 17: Instructional Leadership Initiative

    At its November 17 meeting, the Board heard a report from Superintendent Booker on an Instructional Leadership Initiative aimed at disrupting predictable student outcomes (as disaggregated by race, gender and/or socio-economic status) in the following (but not limited to) areas:

    • Graduation Rates
    • CAASPP Performance
    • EL Proficiency Progress
    • Discipline
    • UC A-G Eligibility
    • Attendance
    • Panorama Survey Data

    By establishing a culture of “Instructional Leaders” among our Principals and Assistant Principals we will prioritize best-practice classroom instruction strategies that specifically target the needs/issues that are driving our predictable student performance outcome trends. The initiative outlines: expectation, time, training and accountability measures to make this possible. Read the full report or watch the presentation to learn more. 

    October 13: Student Discipline and Attendance

    At its October 13 meeting, staff shared a Spotlight on Student Learning on student discipline and attendance data. The report highlighted successes, areas for growth, surprises and plans for looking ahead including the impact the COVID-19 pandemic had in these areas. Staff also shared information on behavioral supports that aid in student success. Read the full report or watch the presentation


    September 29: CAASPP, CAST and Students on Track for Graduation

    At their September 29 meeting the Board heard a Spotlight on Student Learning highlighting academic progress on the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP test); the California Science Test (CAST); and data around students who are on track for graduation. The report included successes, areas for growth and current strategies to intervene or improve student results. Watch the report