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Movers & Shakers

Clark County superintendent expands 'franchise principal' initiative

California lawmakers introduces bill to increase computer science education
Clark County School District Superintendent Pat Skorkowsky has tasked successful principals with the management of multiple schools.
Clark County School District Superintendent Pat Skorkowsky has tasked successful principals with the management of multiple schools.

Pat Skorkowsky, superintendent of Clark County School District in Nevada, has expanded a franchise principal concept in which successful principals take over management of multiple schools, replicating the same educational approach in each.

Following a successful pilot last year with two principals, the initiative involves training a core of administrative leaders who can continue to implement the policies and goals that have been working at each school.

Beverly Emory, superintendent of Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools in North Carolina, has reorganized her central office to include five instructional superintendents, who are each responsible for 13 to 18 schools.

The new arrangement replaces two assistant superintendents overseeing 80 schools. A sixth instructional superintendent coordinates the central office’s instructional services. And rather than adding payroll, the district assigned new responsibilities to existing employees.

Oscar Menjivar, founder and CEO of Teens Exploring Technology, was invited to speak at the inaugural South by South Lawn, a festival of ideas, innovation and action at the White House.

Menjivar was invited to discuss the success of his Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization that introduces male, minority middle and high school students to STEM subjects and coding. His program also works to build students’ confidence and career aspirations.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf has increased the state budget by $20 million to create 45 new treatment facilities that will serve more than 10,000 residents. These centers integrate behavioral health, primary care, and when appropriate, medication-assisted treatment.

The state has also made the opioid reversal antidote naloxone available without a prescription since 2014, which has allowed 1,500 opioid overdoses to be reversed in that time. In addition, two bills have been introduced in the legislature that would require schools to teach students about opioid misuse in existing drug and alcohol abuse curricula.

California Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla, District 14, introduced legislation recently signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown to start a three-year planning process aimed at increasing computer science education in all state public K12 classrooms.

The law establishes a 23-person advisory group to develop a long-term computer science education plan that includes new content standards. Information technology is one of the fastest-growing business sectors in California, and the law is designed to help meet labor demand.