Hello, my name is Kelly Graham and I am the Superintendent/Principal of the Ackerman School District and Bowman Charter School. I would like to introduce myself and tell you a little bit about Bowman Charter School and the Ackerman Charter School District.
First, I am entering my 31st year in education and my second year at Bowman School. I hold a BA in History and a MA in Education Administration. In my previous principalship we changed our teaching to incorporate 21st Century Skills, focused on rigor and relevance and improved our culture where all students felt like a guaranteed member. Our school went from the lowest performing school in the district to the highest performing junior high school in Northern California with an API of 951. We did this by embracing every tool that would help all children become more successful.
Our goal for Bowman is the same. Bowman is, and will continue to be, a school where all kids can succeed. It is a school with a remarkable staff that cares deeply about children and their success. Having been an “at risk” child I understand that one size or one program does not fit all. With this in mind we have already begun to add programs to help students succeed. We have also added enriching 21st Century programs to primary grades as well as our middle school. These include General Music in Primary grades 1-3, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) elective in middle school. Students in STEM work with coding, robotics, and build design with our 3D laser printer. Additionally, we have added Marine Biology, writing computer code and a host of more rigorous electives to middle school.
This year we have continued our march to complete one-to-one chrome books in 2nd thru 8th grade. This year, with the help of our PTO, we have brought 3 chrome book carts to deploy in each third grade class and one new cart to second grade with a goal of two more next year. In addition, our staff is hard at work in developing our technology teaching standards for what each grade will be expected to learn and to master by the end of the year.
As we grow and evolve we need to continue to value the traditions of the Ackerman Charter School District. Founded in 1895, (Grover Cleveland was President at the time) Bowman School has a valued tradition of education excellence and performance. We are community based and work closely with our parents and volunteers as partners in education. Bowman continues to provide a rich local education that cherishes its past while embracing 21st Century Skills in the modern classroom. We strive to be good neighbors to our adjacent businesses and local community members.
Because Bowman is a charter school it is important that our community understand the process of enrollment. Ackerman is one of only 8 Charter Districts in the State of California. Every child living within our attendance boundary are guaranteed enrollment in Bowman Charter School. Enrollment in Bowman as a Charter Student is based on a blind lottery selection process. The selection process MUST BE honored to maintain our charter with the state of California. Quid pro quo exceptions are never done so as to not risk the charter status. There are absolutely zero exceptions to this policy. The lottery process is 100% blind which means assignment of numbers is done without looking at names. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me to discuss.
Lastly, I hope if you are parent reading this that you will consider joining our Bowman Education Foundation and /or our PTO. These two organizations are the life blood of our school and providing things for our students that they might not otherwise be able to receive. Both organizations have a lot of fun and are easy to be a part of.
Please know I like to have an open door policy and if you ever have concerns or questions please feel free to set a time to meet.
Yours in education,
Kelly Graham, Superintendent/Principal, Ackerman Charter District
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