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Baldwin Park Unified Bolsters Support to Raise Student Success in 2017-18

BALDWIN PARK – Baldwin Park Unified will redouble its focus on academic success in 2017-18, restructuring leadership and coaching teams at 13 elementary and four middle/junior high schools to bolster support for teachers.

“Student achievement is our number one focus,” Superintendent Dr. Froilan N. Mendoza said. “Our primary goal is to ensure all of our students have the tools they need to take on the challenges of high school, college and careers.”

Nine new elementary school assistant principals and 17 curriculum, technology and intervention (CTI) coaches will replace and augment the efforts of the District’s former team of 17 resource teachers, who handled a mix of classroom support and select administrative tasks. Several former resource teachers, who had their administration credentials, were promoted to assistant principal posts. Some classroom teachers known for their innovative approaches became CTI coaches.

The assistant principals will free elementary school principals to take a stronger role in overseeing instructional quality. The District’s five largest elementary schools will each get their own assistant principal; four assistant principals will split their time among the remaining eight elementary campuses.

The CTI coaches will focus on improving student outcomes at elementary and middle schools. They will help teachers review student performance data and tailor lessons to specific needs, advise on ways to integrate technology into lessons and help implement a new English language arts/English language development curriculum, aligned with California Standards. Their efforts will include expanding opportunities for small-group instruction for struggling students.

Baldwin Park Unified administrators made the shift in June as part of the District’s 2017-20 Local Control and Accountability Plan. Officials hired candidates for both jobs during two daylong marathon interviewing sessions. To include school leadership, the District live-streamed the interviews so teams of principals and teachers from each campus could participate – with 70 staff members on hand for the CTI interviews.

“A key element we looked for in our CTI team candidates was innovative thinking about how to connect with our kids,” said Dr. Randy Gray, assistant superintendent of human resources. “We can already see the excitement they have for the challenge. They’re really fired up about it.”

In addition to the staffing changes, Baldwin Park Unified will use an online English language arts and math intervention program called i-Ready that will help teachers and coaches assess student challenges. Also, many of the new CTI coaches were trained during the 2016-17 school year on classroom technology strategies, positioning them strongly to help teachers incorporate digital tools into their instructional plans.