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NVUSD Schools Spearheading Change: The On Track Collaborative and Ecosystems of Cariño


Educators from Silverado Middle School, Napa High School, and NVUSD Secondary Instructional Support Services Team joined forces with other California school districts in the On Track Collaborative. This is a dynamic initiative under the California Education Partnership. According to the California Education Partners' website, this three-year program aims to:

  • enhance alignment and collaboration among 8th and 9th grade staff 

  • improve college and career readiness outcomes for students. 

  • focus on the pivotal transition from middle to high school

The initiative aligns with the Annual Board Priority #1: Improving and Targeting Mathematics Support and Progress. This is evident in the collaboratives clear goals. These include:

  • Decreasing 8th and 9th grade D/F rates

  • Increasing A-G course completion rates

  • Enhancing students' sense of connection to their schools and educators. 

  • Increasing and improving system-wide adult learning and collaboration

A key part of the strategy is conducting empathy interviews with students. Staff from Napa High School and Silverado Middle School finished interviews this week. This approach, crucial in understanding grade data, will help develop actionable next steps. The interviews are also an expression of the Ecosystems of Cariño approach. They emphasize understanding by addressing students' experiences with care and high expectations. Napa High's Principal, Ean Ainsworth, attested to the impact of these interactions, saying, "Our Napa High Student/Staff Round Table discussions have been one of the most impactful actions we have taken as a staff. Students and staff are able to have real and vulnerable dialogue about issues that matter to both students and teachers."

Anne Vallerga, Principal of Silverado Middle School, also emphasized the importance of the interviews, "Silverado staff are actively listening to a cross-section of about 75 students in grades 6-8 as they voice their experiences and perspectives on home and school life, motivation and learning, grades, attendance, and electives. Students are providing insightful, candid input, and we're really excited to empower them to have ownership in Silverado's future."

Student engaged in empathy interviews at Silverado Middle Schooll

These empathy interviews are vital for formulating actionable strategies. The feedback from students will guide the future direction of both schools. What happens next? Educators from Napa High and Silverado Middle School will review this grade data and student feedback. The goal will be to ensure that student voices remain central to any implemented changes.

The On Track Collaborative is a testament to the district's dedication to nurturing and high-expectation learning environments. The initiative is setting new standards in educational partnerships. It showcases the power of empathy, care, and collaboration.

  • Napa High School
  • Silverado Middle School