FADSS Enewsletter
Message from FADSS CEO Bill Montford
Ongoing Dialogue with Local Delegation a Top Priority
 
With committee meetings well underway for the 2022 Legislative Session, I cannot stress enough the importance of maintaining a regular, ongoing dialogue with your local delegation. Committees are discussing priority issues and key legislation has begun moving through the process. Keeping your local delegation informed of the issues to ensure they fully understand the challenges facing public education is crucial.

While FADSS staff continues to keep diligent watch over filed bills and committee presentations, hearing your needs and concerns first-hand and the impact to your local community is invaluable to providing legislators with the proper context and understanding of the issues they will decide upon. As you communicate with legislators, please keep FADSS apprised of any information or feedback you receive. The better FADSS is informed, the more effectively we can advocate on your behalf.

The actions of the Legislature are critical to our success in providing a safe, high-quality learning environment that promotes the welfare of students, staff, and the community. Unity, teamwork and communication among all 67 superintendents is fundamental to our success in confronting the myriad challenges before us. 
 
Yours in Education,
 
Bill Montford
ICYMI: Past Superintendent Spotlights
In lieu of a new Superintendent Spotlight, we are revisiting the past eight "Superintendent Spotlights" in case you missed one....
because there is great wisdom and insight in each one. Happy reading!
Inaugural Superintendent Spotlight: March 12, 2021
Superintendent Spotlight: April 9, 2021
Superintendent Spotlight: May 7, 2021
Superintendent Spotlight: May 21, 2021
Superintendent Spotlight: July 16, 2021
Superintendent Spotlight: August 20, 2021
Superintendent Spotlight: September 3, 2021
Math vision and student success:
What districts are learning through Impact Florida
Math materials adoption is happening fast in districts around the state.
 
With a condensed timeline for selection this year, many district curriculum leaders may be tempted to just speed through the process for adoption: forming a selection team, revising a well-used rubric, engaging the community, involving the board, and reviewing sample materials.
 
But in Impact Florida’s new Math Materials Cadre, math leaders from eight Florida districts are learning about the value of starting with the big picture for math instruction, and letting the process follow that vision.
 
During a recent convening with participating districts, leaders learned the importance of creating a shared vision statement to serve as a north star for the entire materials selection process. For example, they evaluated this math vision statement and compared it to the vision for math instruction in their district:
 
In [district], we strive to build mathematically proficient students prepared to meet the demands of college and career and apply mathematics in the real world. In our classrooms:
  • Students do the thinking. They engage in productive struggle and work to persevere through real-world problems. Students see themselves as problem- finders and problem-solvers and have multiple opportunities to grow as mathematicians.
  • Students do the bulk of the work (both thinking and talking) and actively participate in mathematics conversations. As a result, students know how to think and communicate like a mathematician, taking risks and challenging misconceptions.
  • Students learn the hows and whys of math and are engaged in deep learning that builds on what they already know, and how that applies to the world around them.
Districts recognized quickly that a strong instructional vision was crucial, and that it needed to be clear, aspirational and student-focused.
 
As one participant put it: "A vision statement is ESSENTIAL to ensure all stakeholders are able to accurately make decisions about mathematics materials and are understanding of what decisions have been made.”
 
Impact Florida’s Math Materials Cadre includes Brevard, Collier, Highlands, Hillsborough, Marion, Miami-Dade, Pasco and Osceola School Districts. The cadre brings together education leaders from these districts to participate in a series of individual and shared learning opportunities and convenings to take a closer look at how high-quality instructional materials can be a lever for equity and achievement.
 
It builds on Impact Florida’s work last year on ELA materials adoption. The work of that cadre resulted in a free, online module for district leaders and their teams, which is now available to help districts during the math materials adoption process: The Path to High-Quality Materials Selection in Florida Schools. You can learn more about articulating a vision for great instruction in this section of the online module.
 
Impact Florida works with education leaders in school districts across Florida to strengthen instruction through the Five Conditions that Support Great Teaching. Learn more at www.impactfl.org or on Twitter at @ImpactFla.
Carvalho Makes Florida 500 List
Miami-Dade County Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho was recently recognized by Florida Trend as one of the Florida 500 in the education category. This group represents Florida's most influential business leaders.

Congratulations Superintendent Carvalho!

News You Can Use ...
Opinion: Younger students were among those most hurt during the pandemic
Research tells us which groups will need the most attention when school is back in session

Source: Nathan Storey and Qiyang Zhang  | HechingerReport.org | October 4, 2021

Overall, according to our calculations, mathematics skills have suffered the most, though students across all grades experienced setbacks in both reading and math. On average, students lost 0.13 more years of math skills than reading skills, roughly another 1.5 months of learning.


What Do We Need for Useful Political Conversations?
Respect can pave the way for bridging the political divide in the United States.

Source:  Alison Cashin, Rick Weissbourd | Greater Good Magazine | August 16, 2021
 
Our 2020 research brief on bridging America’s political divide points to respect as key to boosting people’s willingness to engage in dialogue with their political opponents.
The brief is based on a preliminary online survey of about 1,440 people in the U.S. in early July 2020, at the height of both the coronavirus pandemic and election-related anxiety. While our survey respondents tended to find their previous conversations about politics unconstructive overall, a large majority (80%) of them said they would be “happy” to engage in these conversations in the future if the conditions were right—specifically, if they can be assured that others will listen to them respectfully.

Be sure to follow FADSS on Twitter [@PublicSchoolSup] and tag FADSS in your district tweets so we can share the great stories and happenings in Florida public schools across our state!
FADSS 2021 - 2022 Annual Business Partners
Florida Association of District School Superintendents
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Tallahassee, FL 32301
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