Dear Parents and Friends of North Mason Schools,
The North Mason School District’s mission is “To Educate, Empower, Inspire, and Prepare All Students.” The mission comes from our district’s strategic plan, developed with the participation of over one hundred community members and many staff. While the mission is simple to remember, it is an enormously difficult task. Our stated goal is for all students to meet or exceed high academic standards by acquiring the knowledge and skills essential for success on state and national assessments, in post-secondary education, the world of work, and citizenship. As a dynamic organization, we are constantly revisiting this statement to consider whether it continues to make sense, needs revision or change. We work to ensure our efforts continue to target success for all students.
In response to our community’s vision, we are working to improve student performance in core subjects while protecting our liberal arts values of educating “the whole child.” We are finding ways to increase services to students and families while being conservative stewards of taxpayer money. Staff members are helping students master a more rigorous set of basic skills while they become independent, complex thinkers able to keep up with a dynamic world. In North Mason, we have many positive efforts already in place or underway. More improvement is necessary. This will not be easy but we are up to the task.
Guaranteed and Viable Curriculum. A “guaranteed” curriculum is one in which the Board-adopted instructional program is faithfully delivered in every classroom across the district. While teachers need great flexibility in HOW to instruct and respond to the needs of their students, there must be great consistency in WHAT is taught and learned. A “viable” curriculum is one in which there is actually time available to teach everything well enough for students to master the material. Many studies have shown that, in order to teach everything in our state standards and in all of our textbooks, we would need 10 hours a day for 220 school days. For this reason, we are developing clear standards for what is absolutely essential, making certain we have allocated enough time to teach and learn it.
Highly Effective Instructional Practices in Every Classroom Every Day: We are building the supports and providing the materials and training to make certain that every child receives excellent instruction in every classroom, every day. In strong partnership with the North Mason Education Association (teachers’ union), we are developing a much stronger accountability and evaluation system, with expectations for teaching that are higher, and clearer, than ever before. As obvious as it seems, we must focus on the fact that high levels of student learning are the direct result of excellence in teaching.
Collaboration that Improves Student Learning: Research is showing us that the most effective and fastest way to improve student learning is by having teachers work together, in highly structured ways, to develop lessons, develop common assessments, analyze student results, and plan together for constant improvement. Professional Learning Communities, relentlessly focusing on improving student outcomes, is a key to our improvement.
Whole Child Student Supports: We accept the moral obligation to research and implement social, emotional and academic supports that are most vital in mitigating the factors that place students at risk of failure. Good classroom instruction alone cannot fully compensate for the barriers to learning that many children bring to school. Our job is to find the right strategies and the right approaches that assure learning.
Leadership that Improves Staff and Student Success: Every evaluation of effective schools demonstrates the clear importance of effective leadership. This is true at the school level and at the district level. Research shows us that there is a specific set of responsibilities of leaders that lead to improved student learning, and our leadership practices must be aligned with this knowledge.
Support Systems Promote Student Success and Community Pride. We are committed to continuing to earn our reputation as a good steward of community and district resources, and in using our funds wisely to have facilities that meet student and community needs. We further commit that our schools will operate, always, in ways that build community pride.
The North Mason School District is committed to high levels of success for every student. Each school has a focused, detailed School Success Plan to improve student learning and family engagement. Teachers are engaged in Professional Learning Communities to focus on improving student results, and responding effectively when students struggle. Our curriculum teams are building greater focus and accountability into our programs. We are collecting, analyzing and using achievement data in new and powerful ways. We are on the move!
With our community, we are working to make sure our facilities are good places to learn. With families, we watch over student health and nutrition and make sure students arrive at school ready to learn and deliver them safely home. With the community supported local school levy, we offer enriched education for our highest performers, our struggling students, our athletes, our artists, and our performers. For any of us to succeed, all of us must be successful.
Together, we will provide exceptional opportunities for our students, building a successful future for each and every one. I am excited to work with you as we become THE place to live, learn, and work.
Thank you for your support, guidance, and shared commitment to our community and our kids.
Dana Rosenbach, Superintendent
We hope you find this website to be a valuable resource for just about everything you need to know about our district. The site includes information on district-wide topics, school websites, teacher websites, downloadable forms, news updates, photo galleries, district-wide calendar and much more. We hope you enjoy our website and encourage comments and suggestions. Please forward them to NMSD Webmaster.