Office of the Superintendent
October 2017: First 100 days
Leaders are often measured by what they’ve accomplished their first 100 days in office. October marks the completion of my first three months on the job and I’d like to share some of the work we’ve done to move Fremont Unified forward. The District is often categorized into three distinct areas: Business Services, Human Resources, and Instructional Services. Each division has tackled major projects and initiatives since this summer and I’d like to highlight a few.
The Business Services Department has been working around the clock planning and executing the first of the Middle School Conversions with Walters and Horner transitioning to a 6-8th grade model by 2019-20, and Thornton, Centerville, and Hopkins on their heels over the next five years. We also have several potential relocations in the coming years of existing schools such as: Glankler Early Learning Center migrating to the former Timothy Rix site; the three Spanish Dual Immersion programs unifying at the former Marshall Elementary; and potentially a co-location of Robertson High School on the Fremont Adult School campus. There were two ribbon cuttings last month for 8-classroom buildings at Brookvale and Patterson and we look forward to 18 new classrooms opening at American High in January 2018. Finally, we are thrilled to announce that the first new elementary school in 25 years to open in South Fremont was recently named Lila Bringhurst Elementary and is slated for student occupancy in time for the 2019-20 school year.
Our Human Resources Department are the unsung heroes of the District. They process thousands of applications, screen candidates, provide orientations to new employees, and ensure that the quality of staff is kept at a high level. Can you believe that just this summer they screened over 1400 applications and offered contracts to over 250 teachers? Even amidst one of the greatest teacher shortages in decades, we started the year with fewer than a dozen open teaching positions--our lowest number yet! And that’s just what they do on a regular basis--on top of that, they are partnering with the Fremont Unified District Teachers Association to revamp the teacher evaluation system, recruiting and growing potential administrators within our ranks, and modernizing HR services for the 21st century. Their first ever Health Benefits Fair drew many employees last month as well.
You may have heard the term “PLC” or Professional Learning Communities echoing around the District for the past three years. It is a way of thinking about student learning based on four essential questions, and a process to work together to find the best ways to reach and engage our children. Even though participating on a PLC team is voluntary in FUSD, I’m very proud to announce that over 91% of our teachers have chosen to spend 26 extra hours this year working together with the goal of improving instruction. In addition to our PLCs, the Instructional Services Department is also launching new trainings on gender inclusiveness and cultural responsiveness. Those are fancy terms to say that we want ALL students to feel safe, respected, and ready to learn. By providing our staff the tools to address our students’ variety of needs, we anticipate improved attendance, connectedness, and ultimately, student achievement across the board.
As you’ve heard me say time and again that as Superintendent, I cannot take individual credit for the great work in the District--it doesn’t only take a village, but a small city, to keep us at the forefront of educational innovation in the Bay Area. But I will say that you have my ongoing commitment to leading the leaders, developing and sharing the District’s goals and vision, and communicating our progress to the community. Fremont’s stamp on the world is only going to get bigger!
Kim Wallace, Ed.D
Fremont Unified School District