If you haven’t watched an episode of Not So Undercover Sup, now is the time to do so!

The series of videos, posted on the Desert Sands Unified School District website (www.dsusd.us), began as a way for then-new Superintendent Scott Bailey to recognize the efforts of the unsung heroes on staff. What started as the Superintendent’s ambition to celebrate employees who work tirelessly behind the scenes, has been parlayed to include a partnership with high school career technical education programs, and DIGICOM, a 21st Century Arts, Humanities, and Technology Program.His idea was to go “undercover” in a department where he could be of help. The series, an obvious take off of the successful Undercover Boss idea, took an interesting direction. Scott quickly became the anti-hero of the series. Presenting himself as an undercover intern, it is always a surprise at the conclusion of each episode to find out that everyone knew all along.

Each of the three videos currently completed also present information and facts and figures about the work being accomplished by the departments. To add to the value of the work accomplished in the creation of the videos, they are produced, shot, and edited by DSUSD students. A script idea is presented to them and they take off. The first three episodes are the work of students in Indio High School’s IMPACT career technical education program. The next several will be created by the FILM students at Palm Desert High School. This hands-on experience for students complements the district’s mission to successfully prepare students for college, career, and life.

Here’s the latest:

So, take an idea to showcase staff, add student creative to the mix, then throw in the involvement of a community partner—DIGICOM Learning—and you have a winner. So much so that Not So Undercover Sup was recently recognized in three nationally-distributed education publications. District Administrator Magazine sent a reporter to Desert Sands to write an article about the Superintendent’s atypical staff and community engagement strategy. (www.districtadministration.com/desert-sands-usd-scott-bailey-not-so-undercover)

Just a few weeks ago, EducationDive, an online publication featured Desert Sands Unified School District in what is called their Dive Brief. The salute to DSUSD also includes favorable mention of the Goldfish Bowl program an initiative that rewards student ideas with cash investment using “goldfish” (i.e. sharks/judges) from the local community. Learn more about it by clicking here. But that’s a story for another time.

 School Administrator Magazine has a regular column titled Leadership Lite that features amusing anecdotes about school administrators. What could be a better fit than Not So Undercover Sup and Superintendent Bailey’s willingness to have the joke on him.

This summer the district’s communications and community engagement activities, including Not So Undercover Sup,  were recognized by the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA).

On Tuesday, Sept. 3 as part of another district program titled Front & Center, episode three received its “world premier.” A sneak preview was shown at the district’s convocation, a gathering of the entire 2,700+ staff for a rally to begin the school year.

Not So Undercover Sup

Filming

Front & Centers are 30-minute briefs to the school board on activities taking place in our schools and departments just prior to school board meetings. This particular Front & Center featured a presentation by Director of Safety and Security Edward Nacua on how the team of agents keep our students and staff safe. But we began the presentation with the premier of Not So Undercover Sup: Security.

Not So Undercover Sup

Security Agents

To learn more about the DSUSD security team, watch the new video. Then take a moment to watch Not So Undercover Sup: Transportation to find out about the safe drivers taking your children to and from school and field trips. But don’t forget the very first episode, Not So Undercover Sup: Nutrition Services to see how Superintendent Bailey has to regroup and let the professionals take over. Each episode delivers facts about the department along with information on things such as numbers of meals served each day, what it takes to drive a school bus, and the responsibilities of a security agent. Next up…Not So Undercover Sup: Maintenance & Operations and Not So Undercover Sup: Warehouse. Not So Undercover SUP is filmed on weekends with gracious volunteers.

Check out all three at www.dsusd.us/content/notso!

Image Sources

  • Filming: DSUSD
  • Security Agents: DSUSD
  • Superintendent Bailey as Elvis: DSUSD