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Board Highlights April & May 2020

Measure "A" Citizens' Bond Oversight Committee Report  

On June 3, 2014, the voters approved the Sequoia Union High School District’s Measure “A” Bond.  On September 17, 2014, the Board adopted Resolution 1528, establishing the Measure “A” Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee (BOC). 
Under law, the Citizens’ Oversight Committee must present to the Board of Trustees, in public session, an annual written report summarizing the Committee’s proceedings and activities for the preceding year.  The report should contain a statement indicating whether the District is in compliance with the requirements of Article XIIIA, Section 1(b) (3) of the California Constitution which, in part, are listed as the following:
  • The proceeds from the sale of the District’s Measure “A” Bonds have been used only for permitted purposes and not for teacher or administrator salaries or other school operating expenses.
  • The proceeds from the sale of the District’s Measure “A” Bonds have been spent only on school facility projects listed in Measure “A.”
  •  The District has conducted an annual, independent performance audit to ensure that Measure “A” Bond funds have been expended only on projects listed in Measure “A.”
  • The District has conducted an annual, independent financial audit of the proceeds from the sale of Measure “A” Bonds. 
John Violet, Chairman of the SUHSD Citizens’ Oversight Committee, will provide an update to the Board on the Bond Oversight Committee’s activities for the 2019 calendar year.

Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) Update, Year I

The Student Services department will provide the Board with an update on the current state of the Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) implementation for Year I. The team will review the District MTSS vision as it aligns to District goals 3 and 4, as well as the Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) goals 2, 3 and 4. The informational presentation will include delving deeper into the road map of MTSS, data collected in Year I, analysis of challenges, and a clarity of focus within the 3-5 year plan. 
The presentation is accessible by clicking here or by directing your browser to:

Discussion of LCAP Proposed Goals and Action Plan

At the January 29, 2020, Board Meeting, staff presented to the Board a review of the Community Engagement Meetings and the results of the Panorama student, staff, and parent surveys. This input, along with the District's State Dashboard results, California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) scores, Multi-Tiered Systems of Support work, recommendations of the English Learners (EL) Master Plan and professional development, were all used to inform the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) goals and action items presented to the Board in April.
Already vetted with Superintendent's staff, at the April 15th meeting, LCAP authors presented a draft of said proposed goals and corresponding action items for the Board's input, to then be vetted by Principal's Council, Instructional Vice Principals Council, Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA), District English Learner Advisory Council (DELAC), Sequoia District Teachers' Association (SDTA) Consult and American Federation of School, County, Municipal Employees (AFSCME) leadership. To view the April 15th presentation, click here or see the attached. A complete conversation did not follow the presentation as there were Zoom difficulties that caused the meeting to have to be adjourned. However, prior to the meeting being called, the end of the presentation on April 15th, two trustees raised the point that the report felt like it was written prior to COVID-19 and did not address our current crisis.
The state agrees with Board members who expressed concern about foci during the pandemic. Since the last Board Meeting, an executive order has been released that changes the LCAP process. The LCAP approval deadline has been extended to December 15, 2020. By July 1, districts must adopt an Operations Written Report to the community that explains changes due to school campus closures, including how the District is:
  • meeting the needs of unduplicated count students
  • supporting high-quality distance learning
  • providing non-congregate meals
  • providing supervision during the day as practicable
Budgets must still be approved by July 1, 2020 and the report is to be made at the same meeting as the budget approval.
For a preview of the May 13th LCAP in the Time of COVID-19 presentation, click here or view the attached PDF.

Update on English Learners Newcomers

Over the course of the 19-20 school year, we conducted interviews with Principals and Instructional Vice Principals at Menlo-Atherton, Sequoia, and Woodside High Schools to gather input about newly arrived student services provided at sites and to create a proposal for how to best support newcomers in our district. In addition to site administration, we spoke with Bilingual Resource Teachers from Carlmont, Menlo-Atherton, Sequoia, and Woodside; Bilingual Parent Liaisons, the District’s Coordinator of Attendance and Welfare, District English Learners Advisory Committee (DELAC) parent participants, and Newcomer student focus groups at Menlo-Atherton, Sequoia, and Woodside. 
These interviews surfaced important conversations about each site’s approach to supporting their newcomer students. Some of these areas include the decision to provide Primary Language (PL) instruction, understanding when students have access to Spanish for Native Speakers courses, most importantly the process students have to complete once they arrive at each site.  
One finding is that at these sites the Spanish for Native Speakers class begins at level II. Having the opportunity to offer this course at the beginning level may be a place for Spanish-speaking newcomers to work on their literacy skills in their home language which would have an impact in learning English but would also provide a space for students to learn more about various resources at their sites and community. Another finding is the importance of streamlining or defining an intake process from when students register at the district and arrive at the sites, which may also be an area where we can improve how we welcome our students. Lastly, another area we discussed was the decision to offer Primary Language instruction. With the new changes outlined in the California English Learner Roadmap, schools can now offer Primary Language courses. This approach could benefit students with interrupted formal education to develop their skills without losing content information. 
One huge takeaway from all sites is that they all take pride in the work they’re doing to support their newcomers. Building their school pride, ensuring students have access to school-wide activities and feel part of the community clearly came across in all our conversations. 
In this presentation, the Board of Trustees will receive an overview of the initial steps, based on research this fall, for aligning with the CA ELD Roadmap and improving services and outcomes for newly-arrived English Learners.

Career Technical Education and Pathway Progress at all Sites

In 2016, in an effort to better prepare students for the work place, the state has expanded its definition and implementation of California Technical Education (CTE).  Some of the major signs of this change have been a much greater approval rate of CTE courses meeting the University of California "A-G" requirements, the completion of a CTE pathway meeting the College and Career indicator on the California State Dashboard, and the creation of California Technical Education Incentive Grants (CTEIG) and K12 Strong Workforce Grants (K12 SWP).
Having applied for and been granted CTEIG and K12 SWP funds, the District has been able to move toward a more robust and sustainable CTE District presence. This information item will provide an update on the continued progress as well as future plans going forward.