Thursday, September 18, 2014

Millennium: the little charter that's producing videos

Students with the Millennium Charter High, a school tasked with providing hands-on learning for students, it's debuting its very first documentary.

It's called "Del Monte Express, The Little Train That Did," and it's the first of a 10-part series titled “People and Places."

For the first episode, students and teachers together researched, wrote the script and with the help of the Monterey County Office of Education Media Center for Art, Education & Technology produced it.

A live screening will be held Friday at 7 p.m. in the Black Box Theater at the Millennium Charter High School at 901 Blanco Circle in Salinas. It will also be aired on Comcast 26, LPTV Channel 38, and Charter Channels 17, 19 and 21. The screening will be preceded by a refreshment hour at 6 p.m.

“This first episode of People and Places will not only entertain and inform, it will show our viewers the caliber of work Millennium Charter High School students produce. We are thrilled to have this premier and are looking forward to our next episode, “Old Man Rivers,” which is already in pre-production,” said Principal Peter Gray.

You can watch a one-minute promotional trailer of the documentary here.

Top Monterey County education officials gathered in Hartnell

And they were not talking about the WalletHub study.

Officials from the Salinas Union High, Salinas City Elementary, Alisal Union, Monterey Peninsula Unified, and likely other district that I failed to notice gathered Tuesday at Hartnell to hear about existing partnerships and programs going on at the college.

They heard about the CSIT-3 program, designed to give students a bachelor's degree in three years. Read all about it here.  They heard about the NASA partnership now bringing STEM education to some schools in the Salinas Valley. Read all about it here. They heard about Hartnell's health professions partnership.

And they seemed to get a lot out of it.

"We all thought the summit was excellent," said in an email Monterey Peninsula Unified Trustee Debra Gramespacher. "The college administration has a well organized program to deliver career technology degrees to its students. I am especially impressed with the condensed 3 year Computer Science degree, the equivalent of a 4 year college degree, which is awarded in partnership with CSUMB."

Ask the MPUSD superintendent

If you missed the latest (the second?) installment of "Ask the Superintendent," the electronic newsletter of the Monterey Peninsula Unified School District, I highly recommend it. You can find it here.

I like the tidbits about the food services department -- the largest restaurant in Monterey. I'd never thought about it that way. Pretty impressive, if you think about it. 

I also enjoyed the superintendent's video message. This is really a good way to give the public a look to what's going on behind the scenes, directly from the horse's mouth as it were. So the auditors are in town, huh? I can't wait to see their report. 

The fuzzy feeling and PK's willingness to become a transparent figure makes me doubt the results of a recent report by the The Brookings Institution. The report concludes that superintendents, while quite visible, appear to make no difference in student achievement. Superintendents stay on the job for a short period of time (we already knew that) but student achievement does not appear to improve the longer they stay on. If you want to take a look at the report, here it is.

Now, what the report does say is that "in the end, it is the system that promotes or hinders student achievement." And it is the system that both PK and Board President Jon Hill have been saying need to be changed.

Let's see how that goes.