Written by Marie Matz:
Education Day began at the Elks Club with the State of Schools presentation from the District. Patrick Sweeney, the NVUSD Superintendent, gave a report and shared success stories on the four academic goals of NVUSD.
- Goal #1: Increase rates of college and career readiness
- Goal #2: Provide equitable access and opportunities to all
- Goal #3: Expand access to 21st century skills
- Goal #4: Develop educational programs that support healthy lifestyles
We then had a chance to observe a class at Redwood Middle School and I chose 7th grade math. It was fascinating to see inquiry-based learning in action. The strategy works by giving the students a real-world problem and allowing them to ask questions in order to come to a conclusion – rather than teaching the content first. The classroom was full of activity and students seemed very engaged.
In the afternoon, we met the new Director of Food Services, Brandy Dreibelbis. She told us about the positive changes she’s made to school meals in 2018. Some of the new things include: fresh fruit and vegetables at lunch every day, local 1% milk at all schools, a vegetarian option every day, salad bars at all schools, homemade granola and many main course dishes being made from scratch. Unfortunately, out of the 8,868 NVUSD students that qualify for free or reduced lunch, only 20% of them are eating the meals (so shocking!).
After lunch, we had the opportunity to visit one Career Technical Education (CTE) class at Vintage High School. CTE pathways allow students to explore their interests and hopefully find a potential career path simultaneously. I observed a multimedia production class where most of the students were busy designing video games.
Growing up, my mom was always involved in education, but having attended high school in Ireland, it was great to be exposed to the American secondary school system.