Dr. Lisa Stevenson's Updates

September 12-16

Culture, Communication, Collaboration

Good afternoon!

  • As a disclaimer, I wanted to share that I love taking pictures of students, teachers, etc. during my work and love sharing them. I think it helps all of you visualize who we are and what we do. I also am a passionate Twitter learner/tweeter and find articles and/or images that speak to me in the work that we are doing in MCSD and my personal work as one of your servant leaders. I am hopeful that you read them and share if appropriate with others to promote continuous learning for all.
  • Cabinet meeting was busy as usual with lots of planning and discussion related to the September 12th board meeting, discussing PEP P.E. grant issues, sharing evaluation documents and timelines for certified and classified staff, and discussing the roll out of the staff and community survey to gain feedback in anticipation of the strategic plan process. I'm excited to get our baseline data about our culture and use that to forge ahead in our strategic planning work.
  • Shauna, Pam, and I had another long, but productive meeting. They spent an hour or so going over the basics to communicate the TLC plan for Marshalltown and what has been done and still needs some attention with Dr. Schutte and me. We also worked through lots of logistics related to upcoming PD including the Differentiated Accountability trainings, PRESS literacy intervention training, Iowa ASCD training for leadership for TLC, Project Lead the Way conference, Reading Recovery conference at UNI, Reading Corps training, etc. We also discussed and planned for the upcoming K-12 music and art presentations to the school board. Our big goal that we are taking some time on is sketching out a webpage on the MCSD webpage that encompasses all of our curriculum, instruction, and assessment for the public to know and learn about.
  • It was great to see the high school officers share all about Homecoming at the Board meeting as well as the downtown project done by an MHS art teacher. I'm looking forward to getting the SIAC committee and Bilingual Advisory committee up and running, too, this year per the board conversation at the meeting.
  • Program meeting was full of conversations about the ELP professional learning and how our central office staff and directors can support each building. We also finalized a survey to communicate to all staff after they complete Module 1 (Sept 21) as well as a survey to gain input on sessions for our all-day PD on November 14th.
  • Preschool is a main concern for me this year as I know we have lots of room for growth in this area which will help with community concerns as well as increase the readiness of our kindergarten students. Emily Banks and I are working on a collaborative community meeting for November 30th with all private preschools in MCSD, all public school teachers, our AEA support, and the state DE contact. Our goal is to have 100% of our incoming kindergarten students attending a high quality, SWVPP classroom either public or private.
  • Rachel and I were able to finalize some plans for our migrant monies to be used to support educational services for K-12 students who need math and reading support. She will communicate the budget amounts and applications with principals next week. This is truly a strong culture point for MCSD as we have worked diligently to spend our migrant funds wisely here in past years.
  • ELP PD for module 1 was happening at each of our 10 sites. I was able to join in at Miller and saw Lacie and Paula working with Pat and Dave to lead the group on the "shifts" in the new standards as well as introductory communication about how the new standards will impact lesson planning and student achievement in each content area as well as in language acquisition.
  • MLT is our collaborative Math Leadership Team that represents K-6 math at this time. They met to hear all about the Envisions 2.0 math program that is a 2016 copyright that we currently use in its 2008 model. We are going to pilot this program or another program called Go Math this year. I will keep you abreast of this group's work as it will require communication including board notification and a substantial curriculum purchase in the spring.
  • I didn't make it to my Thursday afternoon school visits as I attended the Not In Our Town community meeting at the library and needed to finish my Module 2 for ELP. I was excited to see the library for the first time as well as meet the editor of the Times Republican, the police chief, etc. This group is very collaborative and passionate about making Marshalltown and MCSD a welcoming place for ALL including students and community members.
  • The parade was great! I loved seeing the band, dance team, sports teams, and even MMS, LIS, and Hoglan students! I hope that we can get a float in next year with Central Office folks and/or school board members! Start buying candy now :) Culture building, right?
  • I am in the process of setting up the SIAC (six meetings) and Bilingual Advisory Committee quarterly for this year. I am looking forward to learning and collaborating with the district members, board members, and community members.
  • The AEA offers monthly face-to-face meetings in Cedar Falls for all district assistant superintendents/curriculum directors. It was a packed 4+ hours of communicating with DE and AEA staff about differentiated accountability visits for intensive sites like Marshalltown for PK-6, career technical education updates regarding career planning, academies, etc. , and also updates about new science standards, updating of social studies standards, roll out of Smarter Balanced assessment for next year, to name a few. It is a great way for me to get connected with others in my role and make sure we are meeting deadlines locally.


I will continue to focus on how we can improve our communication, our collaboration, and our culture in all that I do. I know that getting these "3 Cs" in sync is key to our success as an organization.

Have a great week!

Dr. Stevenson

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