LCUSD: Governing Board Meeting Recap 8/25/15

School Calendar - Ms. Sinnette elaborated on the reasons associated with the decision for the school year calendar mid-August start date, some of these reasons include:

1. The first semester ends before the winter holiday allowing for finals to take place before the start of the vacation and providing students with a true holiday break;

2. The calendar provides for 2 weeks of additional instruction before high stakes tests, such as AP, ACT, SAT, PSAT, and SBAC testing;

3. In line with #2, the calendar allows for instructional pacing guides to cover more curricular content prior to the tests, supporting the learning needs of low, middle, and high achieving students;

4. The calendar allows us to synch our extra curricular calendars with the schools in the surrounding area and those in our CIF league;

5. With this calendar, first semester senior transcripts are available late December to early January which is important as more and more universities adopt a rolling admissions approach;

6. The close of all marking periods are aligned with the beginning of vacations (winter holiday, spring break, summer vacation);

7. The calendar still provides for a full week of vacation at Thanksgiving;

8. Increasingly student summer intern and job opportunities have rolled forward to match the earlier calendar;

9. With summer 2015 we again realized the full 10 weeks of summer - the same length of time we experienced before the calendar was accelerated;

10. We currently have negotiated calendars through the 2017-18 school year, with school staring August 16, 2016 andAugust 14, 2017.

So, while the District recognizes the concerns advanced by some parents on the calendar, as well as the value and importance of family time and summer vacation, and personal preferences for a later end to summer, the reasons for the earlier start to the school year remain compelling.  The survey issued in 2012 had 55% of respondents indicating, after hearing the District's communications on why there was an interest in accelerating the calendar, their understanding and willingness to support this initiative.  Given the data cited above, the Governing Board and District Administration continue to endorse the earlier start date which optimizes student learning and offers advantages for family time and reduced student stress.

Ms. Sinnette commented on the outcomes related to candidates filing for the Governing Board Election, which was slated for November 2015.  Because LCUSD had two candidates file for two open seats, no election is required and the District is in the process of filing the appropriate documents to cancel the election, which will provide a significant cost savings to the District.   Ms. Sinnette thanked  Ellen Multari and Brent Kuszyk for their candidacy and for their commitment to the District and its families.  Both candidates will be sworn into office at the annual organizational meeting in December.

President's Report:  Andrew Blumenfeld

Andrew congratulated Ellen Multari and Brent Kuszyk for their forthcoming appointment to the Governing Board. He expressed great confidence in the new school board team that will begin working together this December.

Andrew also provided an update on SB 799, a bill currently before the state legislature regarding the new cap that has been placed on school district reserve ("rainy day") funds. The current cap would limit savings to 6% of the Districts funds, which amounts to only several days of expenditures. SB 799 would cap those reserves at 17%, and specify that it only applies to General and Reserve Funds. That is, it would not apply to any special funds assigned by the Governing Board to save for future projects or expenses. 

The Governing Board has already passed a Resolution opposing this savings cap. Andrew will continue to provide updates as this bill moves through the legislature, and encouraged everyone to contact our local representatives in the Legislature to urge their support of SB 799.

Chief Business & Operations Officer Report- Mark Evans

The painting project is in touch up phase. The architect did the final review and developed a list of details to address at each building. This is an extensive list, and the vendor will be completing those items in the next couple of weeks.

In follow up to our discussions at the last meeting, Diane Clinton is checking with other districts as to how they deal with donations and the Routine Restricted Maintenance Account.

Our new food services company is underway. I have heard many positives about the menus. The crews are creating new choices, and they too feel the food is improved. Some miss familiar items from the past, but initial purchases are up. We are looking at other options at the high school for addressing student needs within the day as well as after school is out.

The latest update on our stolen iPads is good. After working closely with the Sheriff, our IT crew helped the detectives recover 5 of the stolen iPads. There was one arrest made as well as leads to others. The initial steps our IT crew made in setting up the iPads, and the monitoring they did after they were stolen, were instrumental in the recovery. It may also provide leads for law enforcement to track down a larger operation.

Student Representative- Riley Owen

Bill Lively introduced Riley Owen as our new Student Representative.  Riley is a service oriented and goal oriented young man who is committed to the community and LCHS.

Riley, a senior at LCHS, introduced himself prior to giving the student report.

Whilst our students enjoyed their well-deserved Summer break, they most certainly carried their ambitions and commitment in the classroom to the real world as many participated in internships with State Assembly members, the Chamber of Commerce, law-firms, and charitable organizations, continuing to challenge themselves and work to serve others.  Various students from the high school enrolled in the French language curriculum had the opportunity to travel to Paris and other regions of Northern France, immersing themselves in the culture and linguistic studies.  Five young men from the high school, now seniors, had the opportunity to attend Boys' State hosted by the American Legion where they created a model state government with two being elected to the offices of County Treasurer and Governor.  

On August 10, the New Family Socials hosted by the Boosters Club and the PTA, gave new students at their respective schools the opportunity to get to know the campus and other classmates involved in its organizations such as Bridge or ASB.  As students returned to the classroom from a busy and exciting summer, energy at the freshly painted High School was palpable and students anxiously re-entered the educational rhythm of another optimistic year.  New lunch-options contracted by the Chartwells School Dining Services have also pleased students of all ages in K-12 with healthier and more flavorful selections.  After only two weeks, the year is off to an incredible start from the spirited Assembly put on by our three outstanding student commissioners and our first football game quickly approaches this coming Friday under the leadership of our new head coach, Mr. Ryan Zerbel.

Students from all schools and ages are eager to tackle another year of academic success, personal growth, and extra-curricular achievement, supported by amazing staff and faculty members district-wide.

12.a. Update on Teacher Evaluation Pilot 2015-2016, R9-15-16
 

LCUSD and LCTA are engaged in a certificated evaluation pilot designed to make the evaluation process a more professionally meaningful and worthwhile experience.  The pilot centers around goal setting, a series of observations, and the identification and production of evidence, including student achievement data, designed to demonstrate the successful completion of the professional goals set by the certificated staff member working with his or her administrator.  Both parties have agreed to move the evaluation pilot into the collective bargaining agreement as a part of their 2015-2016 negotiations.

The current certificated evaluation process has been in its pilot stage since January 2014.  As a part of the on-going review of the process, the Governing Board has requested progress updates on the evaluation pilot's implementation.  Currently, over 100 certificated staff members are on the evaluation cycle for the 2015-16 school year.  Minor adjustments to the evaluation pilot were agreed to as a result of LCUSD/LCTA negotiations last school year.  This agenda item presentation will provide an overview of the evaluation process, including any changes from last year.  With this evaluation pilot, administrators and certificated staff members continue to be engaged in reflective dialogue related to meaningful goal setting, evaluator walkthroughs and observations, as well as assessing progress on goals and reviewing evidence demonstrating employee progress. The inclusion of student achievement data in the certificated evaluation process ensures the District's compliance with the Stull Act.

This is the final year of the full pilot and it will move into the negotiated agreement with the teachers association at the end of the current school year.  Wendy Sinnette provided information that was shared with all faculty on August 10, 2015.  All Probationary I & II employees (new teachers to the District) will be on the evaluation cycle, plus, a percentage of permanent employees will also be on the evaluation cycle. Wendy elaborated on the timelines and steps involved in the evaluation process.  She discussed the 5D+ Teacher Evaluation Rubric used with the permission of the University of Washington's College of Education which is available as a resource within the evaluation instrument to guide teachers to prepare their goals. Two of the their three goals must align with district initiatives and priorities. The teacher will also work with their administrator to develop evidence of progress, and student achievement data must be a part of that evidence, in compliance with California's Stull Act.  In addition to the training of employees towards successful participation in the evaluation process, administrators and evaluators participated in training and calibration to ensure fair and consistent application of the evaluation process.

12.b. Resolution 4-15-16 Statement of Assurance of Availability of Pupil Textbooks and Instructional Materials for Fiscal Year 2015-2016 for Grades K-12

Law requires districts to hold a public hearing and to certify that the district has sufficient textbooks and instructional materials for each student or will have prior to the end of the fiscal year.  The textbooks and/or instructional materials are to be consistent with the curriculum standards/frameworks and adoption cycle established by the state board.

Each site submits textbook and instructional material requests to the district's curriculum office, which in turn uses state textbook funds to order state adopted instructional materials as appropriate for each student in the district. In addition, sites also use categorical funds to finance any additional requests not covered by state funds.  Each student has an individual copy of the adopted textbooks K-12. 

Anais Wenn presented to the Board and Community the verification that the LCUSD has complied with the ED Code. 

Communication

1.  Kaitzer Puglia congratulated and welcomed Riley Owen as the Student Rep and Jack Nagal and Doug Williams as current Chamber Interns.

2.  Dan Jeffries congratulated Riley Owen on joining the Board.
 

3.  David Sagal congratulated all on a great start of the new year.
 

4.  Agenda Planning for the December meeting has been moved to November 18, 2015.
 

3.  December Organizational Meeting - needs to be re-scheduled.  Propose onDecember 1, 2015.  All Board members agreed.
 

6.  CSBA is scheduled for December 3, 4 and 5, 2015 in San Diego, CA.

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