Speaker seeks to unify school district
January 26, 2010
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.
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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.