By Nancy Gutierrez
Lindsay Unified School District Assistant Superintendent Frances Holdbrooks was recently named Administrator of the Year by the Tulare County Charter of the Association of California School Administrators (ASCA).
Holdbrooks received the honor for the "Curriculum and Instruction" category for administrators. She was recognized for her work with the curriculum and instruction at LUSD. She was selected from approximately 260 members in ACSA.
"It's a real honor,' Holdbrooks said. "There are a lot of really good curriculum people in leadership roles."
Holdbrooks helped to implement several programs to aid in students education. When she started six years ago she helped bring the Focus on Achievement curriculum to Lindsay. Focus on Achievement was an attempt to try and introduce a curriculum based on California State Standards. Holdbrooks said it was part of the comprehensive school reform demonstration grant ad was one of the first grants the district applied for to receive money for educational interventions. She also helped in a two-county program that worked to close the achievement gap.
"We've made an intense push to get students who are not at grade level to their grade level," she said. "We used summer school, afterschool and Saturday school classes. We've trained teachers on the use of standards-based materials that have been adopted by the state."
Holdbrooks was also integral in bringing the WestEd group to Lindsay. WestEd is an assessment group that helps identify a students proficiency level. After WestEd came the Edusoft program which actually tracks student progress in classes and throughout the ir high school years.
One of the programs she is most proud to have helped implement is the Head Pollet math training program. Elementary teachers have been training with this program for several years now. Holdbrooks attributes the constant rise of math scores to the math curriculum.
"We have shown growth on the academic performance index every year," she said.
But Holdbrooks said she didn't implement these programs on her own.
"You can't do this by yourself," she said. "It's the result of people who see themselves as life long learners. The school board, superintendent and assistant superintendent are the best group I've ever been acquainted with."