FADSS Enewsletter

Message from FADSS CEO Bill Montford
I hope that you are finding this recently launched, twice-monthly FADSS Enewsletter a valuable communications tool and information resource. As we continue to refine the content, we welcome your feedback as well as news and information submissions. Please feel free to share your comments/ideas/suggestions with FADSS via this link.
Legislative Session
The legislative session is moving right along and we continue to work diligently to stay on top of all the issues. With the budget still an unknown at this point, I know there is a great deal of uncertainty, angst and frustration. It is difficult and beyond challenging to plan and allocate funding for the next school year without knowing what your exact budget allocation will be. FADSS staff and leadership continue to monitor the budget process and are hopeful that decisions will be forthcoming soon.
FADSS Regional Meetings
The first of FADSS three regional meetings was held in Bay County on April 12th, bringing together 16 superintendents from across the Panhandle, with seven superintendents bringing a member of their leadership team to participate. There were robust discussions, sharing of best practices, and most importantly an opportunity to connect with each other.

Everyone who attended the Bay County Regional Meeting voiced that the time investment to participate in the regional meeting was well worth the benefit they received. In fact, several noted that they plan to make the time to attend the other two regional meetings because they gained so much from discussions with their colleagues.

And the award for “Superintendent that drove the furthest to attend” goes to Baker County Superintendent Sherrie Raulerson who drove eight hours round trip to participate! She also said she plans to attend both of the upcoming regional meetings because of the valuable networking and professional development she gained at the first regional meeting.

I want to thank Bay County Schools Superintendent Bill Husfelt for hosting the first FADSS Regional Meeting, and also President-Elect Citrus County Schools Superintendent Sam Himmel for filling in for President Mike Grego and running the meeting in his stead!

I strongly encourage every superintendent to consider attending one or both of the two remaining in-person FADSS Regional Meetings:
Northeast | NEFEC | Mid-Central Florida – Marion County
Monday, April 26 from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. ET

Lower-Central Florida | Heartland | South Florida – Osceola County
Monday, May 10 from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. ET

These smaller gatherings are designed to allow us to meet in a safe, socially distanced manner, and in most cases will make it possible for attendees to return home the same day. Registration information was sent out on Monday, April 19. If you did not receive it or have any questions, please contact Renae Wallace.

I look forward to seeing each of you soon at one of the FADSS Regional Meetings!

Duval County Schools Superintendent Diana Greene Joins Chiefs for Change
Chiefs for Change announced four chiefs have joined the bipartisan network of state and district education leaders including FADSS’ very own Dr. Diana Greene.
There are currently 43 Chiefs for Change members across the US and Florida now boasts four Chiefs for Change. Dr. Greene joins her colleagues:

  • Dr. Robert Runcie, Superintendent of Broward County Public Schools
  • Dr. Barbara Jenkins, Superintendent of Orange County Public Schools
  • Dr. Donald Fennoy, Superintendent of The School District of Palm Beach County
“We are pleased to welcome these distinguished educators into our community of leaders,” said Chiefs for Change Board Chair and San Antonio Independent School District Superintendent Pedro Martinez. "Covid-19 has taken a tremendous toll on children and families, but these leaders, like others in our network, have persevered with a deep commitment to the communities they serve. The chiefs are helping to ensure that students emerge from the pandemic with the support they need to succeed in the classroom and beyond.”

Impact Florida Lunch
and Learn Series
impact FLORIDA recently held two online Lunch-and-Learn sessions to share strategies two Florida districts are using to increase participation of students of color and low-income students in advanced mathematics courses, with a particular focus on increasing the number of students taking Algebra I in 8th grade. Both Pasco County Schools and the School District of Indian River County participated in recent Districts for Impact Learning Cadres, and spoke about their commitment to eliminating the inequitable access that exists for students in higher-level mathematics courses.
In Pasco County, Tracy Miller, a Senior Instructional Specialist in PreK-6 Mathematics, spoke about how district practices around assessment had inhibited some students from entering advanced mathematics courses.
“They held back students that would have benefited from that opportunity, and led to underrepresented subgroups,” Miller said. “Many times, the demographics of our students who were in our advanced mathematics courses didn’t represent the demographics of the students in our schools.”
In Pasco, leaders focused on universal screening for 6th graders, using multiple measures beyond FSA scores from course grades to interim assessments to attendance to identify students who may otherwise have fallen through the proverbial cracks. District mathematics leaders then provided a “Second Look” review to school level recommendations to ensure equitable demographic distribution.
“Our biggest message this year was ‘we want to open those mathematics pathways to as many learners as possible’,” Miller said. “It’s better to over recommend students and to have processes in place like monitoring and off-ramps when necessary.”
Rick Mhyre, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction in Indian River County Schools, said in the second Lunch and Learn that his district had similar challenges. In Indian River, officials instituted a stricter formal policy, eliminating teacher recommendations and automatically placing all students with a 3 or higher on their prior FSA into Algebra I. Those actions alone nearly doubled the number of students of color taking 8th grade Algebra, while simultaneously increasing the number of white students in the course by one-third.
“Having the policy we had, where we weren’t even giving everyone that ‘at bat’ wasn’t right,” Mhyre said. “If we’re ever going to achieve equity, we have to have policies that speak to that.”
Recordings of the Pasco County and Indian River County Lunch-and-Learn sessions are available online from Impact Florida. As Impact Florida continues to expand its Lunch-and-Learn offerings, please take a moment to share your thoughts about what topics may be of interest.
In Case You Missed It...
Endeavor launches once again:
Four astronauts from 3 countries now making their way to the International Space Station. 

From Pandemic to Possibility: Now is the Time to Consider Competency-Based Education

The inequities exposed by the pandemic have forced educators to rethink their learning plan. Competency-based learning is helping…

B. Owens and J.Lee  | GettingSmart.com | April 15, 2021

Does It Hurt Children to Measure Pandemic Learning Loss?

Research shows many young children have fallen behind in reading and math.
But some educators are worried about stigmatizing an entire generation.
..."This isn't a lost generation," said Kayla Patrick, a policy analyst at the Education Trust, a national advocacy group focused on low-income students and students of color. “They just need extra support — in many cases, the support they probably needed before the pandemic, like tutoring.”

Dana Goldstein  | NYTimes.com | April 8, 2021
FADSS Business Partner
News | Webinars
FADSS Platinum Partner NWEA Explores the Question:
Is there an early literacy crisis?

Thursday, April 29 | 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. ET | REGISTER HERE

Interrupted learning has worsened a crisis in early literacy, especially for historically marginalized groups. Join early literacy experts Cindy Jiban and Lynne Kulich as they discuss science-backed instructional strategies to close the reading gap and help K–3 readers catch up.
FADSS Platinum Partner Schneider Electric unveils first-of-its-kind
Sustainable Outdoor Learning Environment (SOLE):
a solar-powered, state-of-the-art interactive learning space for boosting STEM education.

Last Session in Renaissance Learning’s
Educational Literacy Summit:

Prioritizing Literacy Acquisition and Growth for Pre-K–3 Learners

April 29 | 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. ET

Lexia Learning Multilingual Learner Webinar Series
Join Lexias Senior Advisor and former Assistant Deputy Secretary at the US Department of Education José A. Viana for a two-part webinar series that will take a deep dive into the multilingual learning experience and provide educators with strategies to help Multilingual Learners quickly develop language and literacy acquisition skills.
Webinar Session 1: Florida’s Multilingual Learners in Our New Now
 Thursday, April 29 | 3:30 p.m. ET | REGISTER HERE

Webinar Session 2: Essential Elements to Accelerate Achievement
for Multilingual Learners
 May 6 | 11:00 a.m. ET | REGISTER HERE  
Thank you to all the
FADSS 2020-2021 Annual Business Partners
Florida Association of District School Superintendents
208 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32301