Superintendent's Message

  • Superintendent Itoco Garcia Ed.D. Welcome Back to School!

    The Sausalito Marin City School District schools welcomes the children and families of Sausalito and Marin City back to school on Friday August 23rd, 2019. Bayside-Martin Luther King Jr. Academy offers classes ranging from transitional kindergarten through eighth grade. Additionally, the district’s charter school, Willow Creek Academy, offers kindergarten through eighth grade. The Sausalito Marin City communities are serving over 500 students through our public education system!

    Summer Activities

    Over the summer several of our local partners came together to provide an array of programs for the children of Marin City. The District contributed to The Hannah Project to provide Freedom School at Bayside MLK for the eighth year running. The Hannah Project worked in collaboration with Play Marin, the Marin City Library, Bridge the Gap College Prep and Sound Waves Music. Together our partners filled the Bayside MLK campus with 135 children ranging in age from first grade through eighth grade for five weeks of the summer. At Willow Creek Academy, our charter school served lower grade students with opportunities to strengthen literacy skills.

    Panther PRIDE at Bayside-Martin Luther King Jr. Academy

    At Bayside MLK, the focus for the school year is on culture and climate and enhanced instruction. School climate speaks to creating positive relationships and engagement throughout the school campus and beyond. Bayside MLK students are demonstrating PRIDE - Pride, Respect, Integrity, Determination and Excellence! Throughout campus, large yellow and black posters reinforce the message of pride in all things.. 

    Community School Development

    Bayside MLK is a Community School. Community Schools are uniquely designed to serve their communities. Community Schools are both a framework and a philosophy for interacting with the world. A Community School is both a place and a set of integrated partnerships between the school and other community resources. It's integrated focus on academics, services, supports, and opportunitieis leads to improved student learning, stronger families, and healthier communities. The District’s Local Control and Accountability Plan names the Community School model, and community school development as one of its four goals and at Bayside MLK, the Community Advisory Committee is charged with furthering the development of the Community School. In the coming months, the Community School development process will provide greater alignment between our community partners and our individual learning plans for students. These learning plans will be designed to encompass everything from academics and cultural relevancy to social and emotional supports for students and families. We are excited to welcome our new Community Schools Manager Jahmeer Reynolds M. Ed. who will be instrumental in the further development of our Community School Model. I am also excited to bring some tools to measure the needs of our community and the impact of our partnerships as a critical pathway forward to developing a nationally recognized community school. 

    Culture and Climate

    Through Prevention and Early Intervention funding provided by the County of Marin, the school district is grateful to collaborate with Seneca Family of Agencies.  Through this partnership the school has additional staff who provides support for students, staff and families by creating a shared vision for school climate and culturally and linguistically sustaining practicese. Through this partnership, the school is creating comprehensive positive behavior intervention and supports that provide clear and consistent expectations for conduct and behavior. We are looking forward to a robust implementation of Positive Behavior Intervention Systems (PBIS) that will allow us to align and collaboratively agree on our positive behavior expectations for all of our students and create a system of positive behavior incentives.  These systems of support are designed to enable our students to build upon a strong sense of pride in themselves, their school, their community and their culture. This year we will consistently use the PBIS School Wide Information System so that we will be able to provide accurate and real time school climate data and make data driven behavior management decisions as well as how to allocate our resources and our staff to improve behavior outcomes.We expect for the third year in a row to see a significant reduction in suspensions and behavioral referrals and increased sense of safety at our schol amongst students, staff, and parents. We are excited that we will now be able to regularly report to staff and our community finer grained details far beyond suspensions, about our school culture and climate. We are also excited to announce a partnership with Courageous Conversation, and organization that will train all school and district staff to sustain a conversation about race and equity in our school community, that will support us all in achieving more equitable outcomes for students. 

    Student and Family Supports

    Through Prevention and Early Intervention funding provided by the County of Marin, the school district is collaborating with Performing Stars/Phoenix Project. This partnership provides additional staff support and community collaboration to develop a shared vision for services that includes cultural competence by building the capacity of caregivers, administrators and teachers to respond to the social-emotional needs of their students through trainings, participation in coordination of services, and linkage to resources. Our community school manager, school based mental health clinicians, special education team, and our Student Success Coaches will all be integral resources in providing supports for students and families in order to systemically remove barriers to education and opportunity. 

    Instruction and Academic Achievment

    The school is also receiving funding from the Marin Community Foundation through a countywide P3 grant designed to address the achievement and opportunity gap, but also to ensure a successful pathway to college and other postsecondary opportunities. Key elements of the P3 grant include: shared vision, climate/cultural proficiency, high quality teaching and learning, instructional alignment, family engagement, and extended learning opportunities.  Bayside MLK is receiving an instructional coach to increase high quality teaching and learning and instructional alignment from class to class and grade to grade. Our commitment is to enhancing student engagement and improving student learning across the board through evidence-based instructional strategies and data-driven instruction.

    School Library Enhancements

    Through a partnership with the Marin County Library through the Marin City Library, the school’s library has received a fresh new look with culturally relevant library books and materials.

    Visual and Performing Arts Education

    We will continue to implement the Sausalito Marin City School Board approved strategic Arts Education Five Year Plan for BMLK students. The Arts Education Plan was developed through a collaboration with the Center for Excellence, a non-profit organization dedicated to serving the students of Bayside MLK through the arts. The Strategic Arts Education Five Year Plan aligns with the district’s Local Control and Accountability Plan by laying out goals, strategies, and budgetary targets for providing BMLK students with arts education and tools intended to also spark excellence in the other core academic areas and, ultimately, instill a passion that will motivate students through high school and beyond. For the 2019-20 school year we are in the first year of the restoration plan is slated for the 2019-20 school year.

    Bayside-Martin Luther King Jr. Academy and Willow Creek Academy

    Recognizing that schools are strengthened when they work together to share best practices, Bayside-Martin Luther King Jr. and Willow Creek Academies are seeking ways to collaborate. We are excited to begin regular collaboration between Principals of both schools, and to create opportunities for both staff groups to collaborate to share and learn how we can better meet the needs of our respective student populations, recognizing the need to place particular focus on our students with the highest needs.   

    We have an agreement to establish a baseline of our respective student data: who are our kids and what their needs are; what the respective baseline for school operations is, and lastly, we’re examining the respective schools’ priorities.  

    As an extension to the work of this small group, the school Principals are committed to working together towards collaborating on the successes and challenges of each school in an effort to strengthen each school’s outcomes. To date, our schools are sharing restorative justice practices and teacher collaborations around shared professional development opportunities.

    Finally, we agreed to provide updates on our work together to our respective school communities. We see these joint meetings as one of many important steps to making public education in Sausalito and Marin City the best it can be for years to come. Both schools appreciate the support of our respective and collective communities.

    School Unification Committee 

    Committees representing the Sausalito Marin City School District and the Willow Creek Academy Charter School will begin a series of meetings and town halls to discuss a pathway towards unification. We hope that all of us will join us in this endeavor.

    Board of Trustees

    The Sausalito Marin City School District School Board consists of five trustees who are elected at large.

    In closing, it is my privilege to serve as the District’s Superintendent.  As I work alongside and in support of our children, families and community partners, I am humbled and grateful serve the communities of Sausalito and Marin City.