Dr. Nick BruskiPrincipalWelcome! As the Principal at Montecito Union School, I broadly oversee Teaching and Learning.
So often, educators attend trainings and are momentarily inspired only to forget what they learned as the latest fad hits the spotlight. The structures of grade level and school-wide professional learning community meetings along with all teachers having shared a common experience at Harvard have helped build momentum and commitment to implementing change and working together towards a common vision of embracing a thinking curriculum. The role of Principal helps support and coordinate all of these endeavors.At Montecito Union, our vision is to set a global standard of educational excellence. We strive to give our students the academic foundation to creatively solve complex problems, to apply interpersonal and collaborative skills, and to demonstrate a genuine sense of curiosity in a student-focused and supportive environment. We seek to help our students be empowered thinkers who positively impact and adapt to our ever changing and diverse world.
- Weekly grade level professional learning community meetings
- Whole staff professional learning community meetings 3x/monthly
- Monthly Teaching and Learning Collaborative meetings to reflect on and refine our work towards implementing the Strategic Plan
- 3 non-student staff professional development days
- 5 release days to plan as teams and work with outside consultants
- Regular observation by the Principal with feedback
Although there are many methods of measuring success, one accomplishment we are proud was being honored as a “10/10” school. The state of California ranked schools on a scale from 1-10 based on their annual standardized test scores. The first 10 indicates that we are among the top scorers of all California schools. The second 10 indicates that when compared to schools with similar demographics, we are still among the best of the best. Another marker of our state test scores, placing us amongst the top 1% of districts in the State.
We also measure our success on the number of enriching activities we are able to provide to our students. Students enjoy weekly visits to our well-equipped music and art rooms as well as a state-of-the-art computer lab. Each second and third-grader is assigned a violin for two years of string study with our music specialist. Each third, fourth, fifth and sixth grader is assigned an Apple laptop for composition, research and presentations and receives instruction from our technology specialist. Our K-2 students each receive an iPad. Our art teacher displays the students’ amazing works of art in our professionally designed art gallery. Our physical education teachers help support healthy living and sportsmanship through bi-weekly outdoor sessions for each class. Our Spanish teachers visit classrooms twice weekly as well, encouraging cultural awareness and language acquisition. Our science specialist coordinates our new science lab with interesting equipment and materials as well as engaging activities to support classroom science units. A full-time librarian is on hand for weekly classroom visits to help connect students to over 20,000 titles housed in our library.