Friday, February 18, 2011

More than 500 School Leaders Convene to Help English Learners

On Feb. 9, more than 500 school leaders from 29 San Diego County school districts met at the San Diego Convention Center to hear and discuss ways to improve teaching and learning of English Learners.

The Superintendents’ and Principals’ Forum was organized by the County Superintendents’ Achievement Gap Task Force, which is chaired by Supt. Bill Kowba. The forum provided in-depth presentations on five distinct but successful approaches to improving student achievement. They were:

--- Focused Leadership to Accelerate the Learning of English Learners, which featured a team from Edison Elementary School in San Diego Unified. Edison Principal Tavga Bustani led the presentation, assisted by Heather Harris, Holly Sanderlin and Laura Garduno of the Edison staff.

--- Using Mobile Technology to Support English Use and Development, featured staff from the Escondido Union School District. Presenters included Kathy Shirley, Director of Technology and Media, Central School Principal Fabiola Elias, and teacher Brad Pascoe.

--- School-wide Focus on Improving Instructional Practices, featuring Lee Romero and Vic Mitrovich, Principal and Vice Principal respectively of Montgomery High in the Sweetwater Union High School District.

--- Using Data Driven Collaboration to Raise Subgroup Achievement, which featured San Diego Unified's Kearny School of Digital Media and Design Principal Cheryl Hibbeln and Lead Teacher Matt DeFord.

--- Introduction to Instructional Rounds, with County Office of Education staffers Debbie Beldock, Todd Langager and Charmaine Lawson. Beldock, a long-time administrator in San Diego Unified before moving to the county office, is the lead staff member for the Achievement Gap Task Force and coordinated the Forum.

For more information on each of the sessions, including handouts, go to the Superintendents’ Achievement Gap Task Force website at