Message from Principal Hedlund

Dr. Phyllis HedlundPrincipal Newsletters

Dear families,

Happy summer! It was a lot of fun to have so many of you with us on the playground over the last week — a taste of things to come. We are excited to welcome you all back next year.

The LSAT will be meeting in July to finalize our Comprehensive School Plan, but we have been discussing and planning strategy since March.

Here is an overview of what we have planned for SY 2021-22 organized by the domains of the Comprehensive School Plan:

Shared Leadership — We have created a number of teacher leader roles to support the accomplishment of our objectives. We will have two Family Engagement leads to support outreach, recruitment, and participation in school initiatives: Ms. Holt and Ms. Hagan. Ms. Zepeda and Ms. Montgomery will serve as mentors to teachers new to Shepherd. Dr. Rowe, our new special educator, will be our equity lead, and she will work with staff and families using the Courageous Conversations framework to extend what we began before the pandemic. She will also work closely with Ms. Mack to bring IB into Action with an emphasis on equity and social justice for students. Ms. Murali will serve as the lead on programming of clubs and staff committees, and Ms. Blake will serve as 504 Coordinator. Teachers will continue to share practices with one another at staff meetings using our Strategy Spotlight format, and they will have greater roles in leading professional development at our school.

Culture of Achievement — Our biggest news is the four-day training for instructional staff on Responsive Classroom. We are excited to learn together and work to establish norms and expectations for student success. Coaches will visit Shepherd twice next year to offer feedback on our implementation of Responsive Classroom. Ms. Browne, Dr. Brown and Ms. Mack are working to integrate executive function skills, such as time management, goal-setting and self-advocacy, into our morning meeting lessons to address student, staff and family data around preparedness.

Engagement — We want to continue doing what we are doing with communication but streamline it across all grades and teachers so you know what day to expect news from Shepherd. We are excited to launch Courageous Conversations with families. In addition, in both Culture of Achievement and Engagement, we will be developing strategies to support students’ transition back to school full-time and in-person.

Academics — We saw strong results from our tutoring program and will continue to work with our students most in need of support in the summer and throughout next school year. Our Teacher Leaders for Innovation (TLIs), Ms. Weng and Ms. Romero, will serve as interventionists for half of the school day and will provide targeted support as well. Both TLIs will attend Relay training this summer to support teachers as thought partners as they examine student work and fine tune instruction to best serve all learners. We are excited about that work, and I have already completed training as has Mr. Phillips, our new AP. All staff will receive training through Relay next school year. Our focus is to personalize instruction to get every Mustang exactly where they need to be, supporting and extending their learning.

That is a little of what is in store for next year. We will hit the ground running after we rest, relax, restore and rejuvenate, and I hope you all have time for those four Rs too. It has been a long haul and a mad dash, an endless period of time that passed in a blink of an eye, but we are on the other side and are looking forward to watching your children grow and thrive. Have a wonderful summer, and I will keep you informed of any developments as they arise. We are working on beautifying the building this summer as well.

Love to you and yours, and thank you for all of your support this year,

Phyllis