El Segundo Unified School District Nears Adoption of AI Policy Under Superintendent's Guidance

Wed May 08 12:38:00 PDT 2024

Her determination to leave behind a meaningful legacy drives her efforts to finalize the AI policy before her retirement.

As the digital landscape continues to evolve, the El Segundo Unified School District is taking proactive steps to ensure responsible integration of cutting-edge technologies, particularly artificial intelligence (AI). Led by Superintendent Dr. Melissa Moore, El Segundo Unified, which serves approximately 3,500 students, is on the brink of adopting a comprehensive AI policy that reflects the needs and values of its community.

Dr. Moore’s commitment to embracing AI is driven by the belief that "failure to act is failure to be responsible." Recognizing the transformative potential of AI in education, she has spearheaded efforts to develop policies that not only harness the benefits of AI but also address potential challenges and concerns.

The journey towards AI adoption began after Dr. Moore attended the "Engage AI Institute" in August 2023, where discussions underscored the urgent next step for ESUSD identifying the need for AI policies. Drawing inspiration from this event, she initiated a Leadership and Literacy in AI initiative in December 2023, collaborating with stakeholders and hosting community engagement sessions to gather input and feedback.

Through town hall meetings, focus group sessions and a school board public study session, the district solicited perspectives from parents, teachers, and community members, revealing a spectrum of opinions ranging from excitement to apprehension about AI. Despite differing viewpoints, Dr. Moore emphasizes the importance of inclusivity and transparency in crafting policies that reflect the diverse interests of the community.

The district also collaborated with EDSAFE AI Alliance Policy Lab to encourage responsible AI development, deployment, and usage. The lab provides ESUSD with policy recommendations and educational resources. In addition, Dr. Moore is one of ten school superintendents in the nation participating in Digital Promise’s Generative AI working group which has provided a valuable thought partner group of researchers and superintendents.

As the school board prepares to take action on the proposed AI policy, Dr. Moore remains committed to ongoing review and revision, recognizing the dynamic nature of AI as an emerging and evolving technology.

Presenting her district's initiatives at national conferences, such as the ASU+GSV Air Show, Dr. Moore has highlighted the importance of community engagement and collaboration in AI adoption. She encourages other districts to follow suit, emphasizing the need for tailored policies that address local needs and concerns. "Policy is a life vest to make sure we're doing things safely and responsibly,” said Dr. Moore.

Despite the enthusiasm surrounding AI integration, Dr. Moore acknowledges the challenges of keeping pace with rapidly evolving technologies and vast volumes of information. However, her determination to leave behind a meaningful legacy drives her efforts to finalize the AI policy before her retirement.

Looking ahead, Dr. Moore envisions continued collaboration with teachers, parents, and stakeholders through advisory teams and task forces to ensure ongoing refinement of AI policies and practices. With a steadfast commitment to responsible AI integration, Dr. Moore and the El Segundo Unified School District are paving the way for a future where technology enhances education while prioritizing safety and accountability.

Dr. Melissa Moore, Superintendent of the El Segundo Unified School District