Over the two-week fall break in La Mesa-Spring Valley Schools, leaders and teachers from Highlands Elementary and Rolando Elementary Schools headed to Clark County, Nevada to help spread the word about No Excuses University. Founded in 2006 by leaders in the Poway Unified School District, the program is now on hundreds of campuses nationwide. No Excuses University has three core beliefs:
- Every student has the right to be educated in a way that prepares them for college.
- It is the responsibility of educators to create six exceptional systems that makes college a reality. Staff focuses on building a Culture of Universal Achievement, Collaboration, Standards Alignment, Assessment, Data Analysis, and Intervention.
- Conferences and on-site trainings must be rooted in sharing practical strategies and ideas that can be implemented in classrooms the very next day.
During the October conference, Noelle Suffield, Principal at Rolando Elementary, and Jon McEvoy, Principal at Highlands Elementary, helped train other principals and teachers from across the United States. Their session was titled, “Lighten the Load – A Systematic Approach to Standards Alignment.” The training emphasized essential Common Core standards, using efforts of the Professional Learning Community (PLC) to create a curriculum for student success. As Ms. Suffield noted, “Learning to lighten the load by focusing on less is more.”
The Highlands and Rolando teams had a great time learning, planning, and collaborating with hundreds of teachers and administrators from around the country, and were proud of their school leaders for sharing best practices with a national audience.