FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 8, 2016
Congressional leaders join San Diego Unified to recruit the next generation of great principals
SAN DIEGO – Recruiting strong principals for every school has been a key focus for San Diego Unified School Superintendent Cindy Marten, a former principal and classroom teacher. Marten and San Diego Unified are getting some high-level support for their principal recruitment efforts thanks to former School Board member and current Member of the House of Representatives, Susan Davis.
Congresswoman Davis and Superintendent Marten hosted a roundtable discussion of strategies to attract and retain great principals today at Franklin Elementary School in the Kensington neighborhood. Those taking part in the conversation included U.S. Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colorado), area principals and San Diego Unified recruiters. The group also toured a classroom at the school to see how new technology is vital in preparing our students for success in college and career.
“We work constantly to recruit and retain the nation’s finest principals in every one of our schools, because we know there is no substitute for a strong, inspirational leader on every campus,” said Supt. Marten. “We deeply appreciate the energy and attention our congressional leaders are bringing to this vital issue.”
Both Representatives Davis and Polis have supported funding for the School Leader Recruitment and Support Program, which offered $16 million in grants for principal support. They also recently co-authored legislation with Senators Al Franken (D-Minnesota) and Michael Bennet (D-Colorado) to set up a competitive grant program to fund leadership and data-usage training, as well as a one-year residency and two-year follow up programs for principals.
"An inspirational principal at the helm can make an enormous difference in a school’s direction," said Rep. Davis. "It's critical that we have policies in place to support principals, as well as recruit and train future generations of school leaders with the ability to inspire academic success."
Another proposal by Congresswoman Davis would allow forgiveness of student loans for principals working in schools with 30 percent or more of their students qualified for federal free and reduced-priced lunch.
The roundtable conversation included such topics as determining a quality principal preparation program, the value of mentoring first- and second-year principals, discovering how the curriculum can instruct principals how to be better school leaders and coaches to their teachers, as well as creating a positive environment to encourage teacher retention.
Use of technology in school operations was also seen as key, with discussions ranging from training and encouraging staff to better use the tools available, to how principals can use technology tools to improve outreach to parents.
Located in the Kensington and City Heights neighborhoods of San Diego, Franklin Elementary School has been educating generations since 1929. Its current program is focused on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) education.
San Diego Unified serves more than 130,000 students in pre-school through grade 12 and is the second largest district in California. The student population is extremely diverse, representing more than 15 ethnic groups and more than 60 languages and dialects.
The San Diego Unified School District is one of the top large urban school districts in the United States. Measures include its top scores on state and national tests, its leadership in areas such as technology, curriculum, neighborhood and specialty schools, career-technical education and food services. Its graduates include Hall of Fame sports stars, along with some of the nation's top scientists, writers, artists and leaders.
Discover more about the San Diego Unified School District at its website, www.sandiegounified.org .
CONTACT: Linda Zintz, Communications Director, 619-725-5578 (office) or 619-847-6637 (cell)
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