Karyn Cummings

Karyn Cummings

Karyn Cummings, assistant superintendent of administrative services, presented the Mesquite ISD Board of Trustees with an effectiveness report on the Cultivating Culture initiatives during Monday night’s meeting.

“One of the things we did not want to do is come up with one more thing for our campuses to have to do,” Cummings said. “Throughout the development of this document, I kept telling them, I don’t want a program. I don’t want something that we’re going to have to roll out to campuses to do. This just has to be who we are.

“The purpose of Cultivating Culture is the way we address our kids and make sure they leave here self-determined adults able to choose their own freedoms,” she added.

According to the presentation, the vision is for students to have a sense of belonging and empathy that inspires collaboration and loyalty.

She said the district looked at what it wants students to walk away with, which are integrity, empathy, grit, embracing diversity and to participate in service opportunities.

Cultivating Culture is broken down to three areas – development, programmatic and sustainable.

The development part is the five essentials listed. The programmatic part is to ensure these essentials are being taught in the classrooms, she said.

“Different schools do different things. One school was already doing the Leader in Me, which encompassed all those five essentials,” Cummings said. “Within what they already had going, they can either add to or take out so that it will fit this Cultivating Culture prototype.”

The district would sustain this through a timeline and accreditation.

On the calendar, some examples of elements of Cultivating Culture presented were staff training on bully protocol, behavioral framework and relational practices this month. Starting work on social emotional learning on campuses is set for September, as well as problem solving team training. October is National Bulling Prevention month, and campuses as well as the district as a whole participates in service projects.

Cummings reiterated that none of this was new, these are things that various campuses have already been doing.

To learn more about Cultivating Culture find it under the "about us" tab at mesquiteisd.org.

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