The best education systems employ regular methods for expanding existing knowledge while also improving teaching and learning practices, much like the research and development department of a large company. High-quality twenty-first century learning requires advanced forms of teaching to develop student competencies, such as deep mastery of challenging content, critical thinking, complex problem-solving, effective communication and collaboration, and self-direction.
To accomplish this effectively, a thriving district requires resources – educational researchers with time dedicated to current curriculum, learner motivation, development, classroom management, and the job-imbedded and ongoing professional development. The Teacher on Special Assignment, often shortened to TOSA, does just this – providing a school district’s Educational Services team with the critical support to advance teaching and learning. In short, the TOSA serves as a job of the coach is to build the capacity of the school and its teachers to meet the learning needs of all students.
This year, MBEF is supporting several TOSA positions to continue to build upon the strong education system we have in place. Donations to the Annual Appeal in 2021-22 are supporting these important strategic positions that keep our schools ahead of the curve.
LITERACY TOSA MBEF helps ensure that MBUSD curriculum keeps pace with the changing world by funding a TOSA to lead continuous improvement efforts throughout the district in this important area of growth. Under the direction of the TOSA, student achievement is evident in participation in advanced courses and electives, including Creative Writing, Journalism, and AP English, as well as our exceptional scores on standardized tests districtwide.
ELEMENTARY MATH TOSA The adoption of Common Core State Standards for Math in 2010 introduced a new way of teaching and learning math. The focus on both mathematical understanding and procedural skill as equally important means modeling new concepts for students that go beyond memorizing formulas. The Math TOSA at the elementary level will continue to strengthen instruction with teachers by modeling teaching techniques and practices, while also coordinating common student assessments to address student learning needs.
SECONDARY MATH TOSA Students in our secondary schools today learned the Common Core approach to math while in elementary school. Focusing on aligning teaching and learning in our secondary schools will help to strengthen math instruction and outcomes districtwide. MBEF will augment MBUSD funds for a Teacher on Special Assignment (TOSA) to collaborate on student-driven instruction and best practices in instruction with teachers across the mathematics departments the middle and high school.
STEM TOSA Strengthening the STEM program and enhancing the available articulation pathways requires resources to identify and implement best practices as they evolve with industry standards. A directed gift from Chevron will fund a Teacher on Special Assignment (TOSA) to lead the districtwide efforts in STEM and ensure the natural progression from elementary to high school. The TOSA will collaborate with all STEM educators to create synergy between the school sites.
STUDENT SUCCESS TOSA Middle school is a challenging time that requires significant mentoring and support as students explore their interests and focus on development. This TOSA will work on building academic success and a climate of care to better meet the diverse needs of our students at a critical transition in their lives. The Student Success TOSA will lead programs such as the nationally recognized mentoring program, Where Everybody Belongs (WEB), and coordinate professional development for staff, learning experiences for all students, and parent partnerships.