‘Tide Rising for All Children’ by Dr. Randy Trani, MSBSD

“All boats rise and fall on the same tide.”

Dr. Randy Trani has had a strong belief in this quote, throughout his lifetime. He strives to implement this on a daily basis at the Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District (MSBSD), for all students.

A recent online lunch and learn meeting provided Dr.Trani the chance to share achievements and to commend staff and students on the strides made by MSBSD.  ‘Lunch and Learn’ are a time for collaboration amongst staff, administrators and the community surrounding students. Lunch and learning are a quick way to share, observe, update and ask questions directly in an informal setting.

Dr. Randy Trani had some exciting and empowering news to share about the growth and celebrations of the MSBSD. Students are “rising up” to meet their expectations and goals. Prioritizing students’ needs has become a standard practice at the MSBSD. This is accomplished daily through staff accountability to students, and having structured in-class time, to directly support the student. It has helped to foster and create a culture of high achievements and success.

Dr. Trani shared that the PLC time change this year has been quite beneficial. Professional Learning Community, or “PLC’s”  allow for teacher clarity, planning and collaboration. MSBSD is starting school an hour later on Mondays, so teachers and staff can have adequate time for planning, meeting and collaboration amongst the teams. There was some controversy with making this late start time, but results have shown that this time is essential to teacher planning, and correlates to the teacher support of students in the classrooms. MSBSD has seen positive growth and change in the students.

You are capable of this.” is the message of  Dr. Randy Trani, and one of empowerment that the MSBSD continues to support on a daily basis throughout the students’ education experience.

Underserved populations of students have seen a massive increase in AP Participation & standardized testing scores. Testing costs are also being covered, creating more participation from students. Graduation requirements-increased slightly. For example, the math requirements moved from 3 credits to 4. Although this posed a challenge, students were able to meet and surpass the goal set forth. MSBSD has had an 85% graduation rate, the highest the district has seen since 2001. Equity and excellence changes have contributed to each grade level in secondary schools to have a rate of 1 in 5 will participate in earned college credit while attending H.S.

Goals: All GPA increases higher than national average.

All students will have a 100% growth and all will be at or on grade reading level standard by 3rd grade.

Continued collaboration between Administrators, and the MSBSD staff working together to align support for students, will increase their potential for opportunities and provide multiple choices in their future. Expectations were raised and students were able to rise to the goal. More is expected in learning, but students are rising to meet the higher expectations. MSBSD has been shifting the mindset to prioritizing students’ needs and supporting students by implementing a culture of equity and excellence. The results are evident that this change has been meaningful and impactful for student’s across the MatSu valley.