Speaker seeks to unify school district | SierraSun.com

Speaker seeks to unify school district

Jason Shueh
Sierra Sun

On the front lines of public education where ideas and policies clash and crash on a daily basis, one Southern California principal is looking for unity.

On Wednesday, Mike Mattos, a former principal of Pioneer Middle School in Tustin, Calif., will instruct Tahoe Truckee Unified School District staff how to turn schools into a unified environment with a focus on learning, also known as a and#8220;Professional Learning Community.and#8221;

Mattos, who’s been named Orange County Middle School Administrator of the Year by the Association of California School Administrators, led his former middle school to be the No. 1 ranked middle school in Orange County and top 1 percent ranked school statewide.

While Mattos’ techniques and evidence-based concepts might be new to some, Steve Jennings, TTUSD Superintendent, said his concepts and goals will not be a dramatic shift from the district’s current policies or programs.

and#8220;We really are on our educational path,and#8221; Jennings said. and#8220;So, he’s not going to change our direction so much as show us how to get there.and#8221;

Jennings said Mattos has instructed teachers and staff in the past when he’s visited the Placer County area; however, unlike previous occasions, Mattos will be able to instruct the entire district, devoting time to group workshops and a district-wide lecture on Wednesday and#8212; scheduled to be a special half day specifically for the instruction.

His trend setting concepts describe how and when schools should intervene with struggling students and how to measure the students’ response after intervention takes place.

and#8220;It’s kind of like using a medical model where doctor gives you a test to diagnose the problem and then, after looking at the results, gives you a prescription to fix it,and#8221; Jennings said.

He explained other aspects of the Mattos’ teachings involve early diagnosis for struggling students and intervention dealing not only with a child’s academic progress but also with their emotional progress.