Ryan Schramm: Hey everybody, it's Ryan Schramm. Today I'm going to be sitting down with Dr. Brad Baker, principal at Shorecliffs Middle School. If you guys have a student who's attending the middle school or a student who's soon to be here, you guys are going to love this interview. I really enjoyed the experience here.
Ryan Schramm: Principal Baker is going to take us through some of the facilities. He's going to show us some of the labs and the new equipment they have. I'm just so impressed with our San Clemente educators as a whole, and I'm really looking forward to you guys seeing this video. I hope you enjoy.
Ryan Schramm: Why don't we jump right in and tell us a little bit about Shorecliffs and your school's message.
Dr. Brad Baker: Yeah, there's a lot to tell. We have a fabulous school. You'll hear this a lot coming from our community and from our school is the words educate and inspire. And what I mean by that, it's really derived from our mission and vision to educate all students to be innovative and collaborative thinkers. And where we do that by our vision is to really inspire with school spirit, a belief in students and their abilities to learn; all students to learn. And so that's our message when it comes down is educate and inspire.
Dr. Brad Baker: We ask ourselves four questions. One is, what do we want all students to know? How do we know they know it? How do we respond when they don't know it? And then, what do we do when they get it? And so we work off that framework and actually use data and common assessments for teachers to have discussions about students and look at what the priorities are when it comes to the standards, the curriculum and the rigor.
Dr. Brad Baker: And then we have teachers meet regularly and have discussions about students in assessments and achievement, and then we make database decisions and instructional changes to meet the needs of all our students.
Ryan Schramm: So along those same lines with education, what resources are you guys making available to your students?
Dr. Brad Baker: We have many resources. However, I think the most valuable resource that we have is our personnel on campus. Our teachers, our support staff, our PTA, our foundation; those groups really make the difference.
Dr. Brad Baker: But we do have other programs and some other resources that are very helpful to students and achievement. One is we have lots of after school programs. The Seventh Inning Stretch, which is a San Clemente rotary based program. We also have Activate, which is San Clemente city program. And then we also partner with Saddleback College for some enrichment programs. Again, with the math tutoring and the after school help with our teachers, and then we've also partnered with San Clemente High School and the students there and they are able to tutor our middle school students.
Dr. Brad Baker: We have an amazing parent group. First of all, if we have a PTA that has grown and raised a ton of funds to put back into the classrooms in the same year they raise the money. They have great vision, great leadership with Denise Fellar who's now the PTA President.
Dr. Brad Baker: We also have a Shorecliffs Educational Foundation, and this foundation is just on fire. In the last two years they've raised almost $160,000. So we have a tech center in our library and it's brand new, cutting edge, flexible learning center. We also have bought Chromebooks for our full science department so they can work on moving to what's called the Next Generation Science Standards.
Dr. Brad Baker: So we look at not only reading writing or arithmetic as we do, but the essential skills of building relationships, being able to present, to communicate, to be creative. Those are the skills that we feel that are important for them to be ready for high school and college and career. San Clemente is a very special place. It's a place I grew up. I was a student here at Shorecliffs and at San Clemente High School, and I live in the community. So the thing, I believe, San Clemente people value is being authentic in relationships. So my thing would be go in and see the campuses, talk to people, visit the principal. My door's always open.
Ryan Schramm: Well thank you so much, Dr. Baker. We really appreciate you having us here.
Dr. Brad Baker: Thank you.
Ryan Schramm: Good luck.
Dr. Brad Baker: Anytime.
Ryan Schramm: Hey everybody, it's Ryan Schramm. Today we're going to be here with Dr. Faith Morris, principal at Marblehead Elementary School. If you have kids that attend the school or soon to have kids attend the school you're going to love this interview as we sit down.
Ryan Schramm: She's going to tell us what makes Marblehead Elementary so special, a little bit about the programs that they have here. It's going to be really informative so stay tuned as we interview principal Morris.
Ryan Schramm: Principal Morris, thanks so much for having us here today.
Dr. Faith Morris: It's great to have you.
Ryan Schramm: Yeah, so why don't we jump right in? Tell us a little bit about your school and what the average day for a student looks like.
Dr. Faith Morris: All right. Well Marblehead is an environmental studies academy which means that we teach all the core subjects but we infuse a focus on the environment into the studies of all the different areas. During the morning block we typically have some reading time, some math time but it's broken up throughout the week with specialty subjects such as P.E., science labs.
Dr. Faith Morris: They go to work in our school garden. We have an outdoor classroom that they can work in. We have an innovation lab which, where they are doing engineering tasks. So a lot of different things are happening during their day and it's broken up into segments so they're always doing something new.
Ryan Schramm: Yeah.
Dr. Faith Morris: Well our district averages about 30 students per class but we're a Title One school which gives us some extra funding and we were able to use that money to bring our class sizes down a little bit this year so our classes are sitting at about 28 per class. Many ways for parents to get involved. We have both a PTA and a foundation.
Dr. Faith Morris: They compliment each other but they both support us to be able to provide a very rich program for the kids, financially and by volunteering. We also encourage parents to volunteer in the classrooms at all the grade levels. It's wonderful for parents to be in the room working with small groups or helping the students or their teachers prepare materials.
Dr. Faith Morris: I think it really ... It helps the students and the parents to really have a good sense of this as a place that everybody belongs. And being a smaller school too at the moment, you really feel like people know you.
Ryan Schramm: Yeah.
Dr. Faith Morris: Teachers know the students in other classes and support each other to help those students. Well I think we're perhaps a little bit of a hidden gem. I think people should come see the school. I'm always welcome here to have people come and ask me questions and give them a tour of this campus.
Ryan Schramm: Okay. Outstanding. Well thank you again principal Morris. It's been a pleasure.
Dr. Faith Morris: My pleasure.