Dear Bonsall School Community,

The last couple weeks of Teacher Appreciation Week and Classified Employee Appreciation Week has prompted many of you to show your support for the people that are most responsible for the great schools in Bonsall.   We are very grateful for your support for the hard work that goes into “Academic Excellence and Support for All Students”.  Having worked with thousands of educators and classified personnel in my career, I can assure that the Bonsall School Community has many of the best I have known or worked with. I am continually grateful and amazed at their quality.

It’s that time of year again when testing is upon us.  Never before has standardized testing had such high stakes for school communities; not only has accountability for student learning increased for schools but high test scores can also attract a high performing school community and even impact real estate value.  Yet, we all can sense that the current model of assessment needs improvement.  Simple testing of memorized knowledge doesn’t always translate into the real world where knowledge must be applied.  The Common Core Standards being implemented, and the assessments for them will be a welcome change in this direction. The creativity, communication, critical thinking, collaboration, and global competence that will be needed for our students to compete in a global economy are moving into our curriculum and instruction and we look forward to this shift.

Along those lines, I would love to share this TED Talk link from Sir Ken Robinson.  It is a short, humorous, but reflective talk on education in the United States.

http://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_how_to_escape_education_s_death_valley.html

I am so grateful for a school community that supports the whole child.  As Bonsall begins the last four weeks of the school year, this time can be hectic, but we all need to keep our focus on the continuous improvement of student learning.  That doesn’t only mean academics; students must learn how to develop their talents, social skills, how to work in teams, and how to manage their behavior.  Be on the lookout for parent and teacher surveys in the next few weeks so we can look at what’s working, what’s not, and ideas to improve our student learning.

Some good news is, for the first time in five years, the Governor’s Revised Budget isn’t cutting funds to schools again.   The Governor presented a May revise of next year’s budget that should improve school funding, particularly for professional development to prepare for the Common Core Standards, and technology.  Just how much comes to Bonsall schools is still being worked out by the legislature, but at least we don’t have to worry about more cuts.

Gratefully,

Justin Cunningham Ed D

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