March 21, 2013 Board Meeting
4:30 p.m. Closed Session
6:30 p.m. Open Session
8.1a Approve Grants, Entitlements and Other Income Agreements, Ratification of Other Agreements, Approval of Bid Awards, Approval of Declared Surplus Materials and Equipment, Change Notices and Notices of Completion
BOARD WORKSHOP/STRATEGIC PLAN AND OTHER INITIATIVES
BUSINESS AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION / REPORTS
Watch the Meeting
This meeting of the Sacramento City School Board is being videotaped in its entirety and will be cablecast without interruption on Metro Cable 14, the government affairs channel on the Comcast and SureWest Cable Systems.
Response to Public Comment
Will transportation be provided to displaced students?
Response: Transportation to new home schools will be provided to many of our students. At some sites, walking attendants and crossing guards will be employed to help students who will be walking and biking to schools. The district is working with partners from the City of Sacramento to develop maps of safe routes and to implement other safety measures as needed.
Do limited English parents have access to information?
Response: Information about school closures, Open Enrollment and the transition process has been translated into all threshold languages and provided to parents. Connect ED phone calls and letters home have also been translated into all threshold languages. In addition, translators from SCUSD’s Matriculation and Orientation Center (MOC) have staffed the School Transition Information Clinics and are available at the SCUSD Enrollment Center to assist families with questions.
Are we keeping track of students? Do we lose them? Do they go to different schools? How will teachers move to new schools?
Response: The district is tracking the movement of students. Further research would need to be conducted to determine if this student movement varies from what is experienced in any other year. SCUSD is working closing with the Sacramento City Teachers Association regarding the movement of teachers impacted by school closures.
How much have we already spent to make the schools up to par, and what is the true cost at the end of the day?
Response: SCUSD’s 2012 Sustainable Facilities Master Plan found that our total district facility needs are approximately $2 billion. Any projects necessary to upgrade receiving school sites are included in this estimate. The district is the process of identifying immediate and long-term needs at receiving schools (as well as all other district schools) so that projects can be appropriately prioritized.
Are there other funds in restricted budgets that the district is sweeping?
Response: The district has swept Deferred Maintenance and Adult Education funds. Those funds are Tier III, which the state gives districts flexibility in using. There are no other available Tier III funds to sweep.
How will the safety concerns at Earl Warren be addressed?
Response: Currently we are assessing the safety and security at all of our sites – including Earl Warren. This work is being conducted by the SCUSD Safety Committee with representation from law enforcement and other agencies.
Why are special needs children not being bused and going to home school?
Response: Currently, students who are able to attend their home school or school of choice, do so. We operate Special Day Class programs in regionalized patterns throughout the district. It is not possible to have Special Day Class programs that meet each child’s unique needs at every site. Before we move children from their home school, the IEP team meets to determine that the student’s needs can only be met outside the current educational setting at another school site. IEP teams are encouraged to consider whether or not additional services can be provided in the home school environment to avoid a movement to another site. However, in the end, the IEP team must determine the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) for the student to receive a free and appropriate public education. If the IEP team moves the student to another program away from their home school, transportation is provided.
How are children selected for Linked Learning? How are parents selected? Do they offer workshops on financial aid/scholarship writing? Do you support in getting information on how to afford college? Do you recruit in middle schools? Are there pamphlets?
Response: There are no selection criteria for students who enroll in Linked Learning Pathways. The established standards ensure that all students, regardless of their current level of academic achievement, language proficiency, or post-secondary aspirations, are eligible to enroll. The Linked Learning approach systematically retools and repurposes existing district and site practices to create an improved education network which delivers ever increasing achievement, a decreasing number of drop outs, and students who are prepared for college, well-paying careers and civic participation.
The district recognizes parents/guardians as key partners in the dynamic transformation of their child’s high school experience. Since Linked Learning is not a criterion-based program, there is no selection process for the students or parents/guardians. Linked Learning pathways encourage and foster participation in the selection process with the goal that parents/guardians support their children and guide them to a pathway choice that is aligned with their interests and career aspirations.
As the district’s signature approach to high school redesign, the goals of Linked Learning Pathways are synonymous with Pillar I of the district’s Strategic Plan to prepare students for college and career upon graduation. Workshops on financial aid and scholarship writing are a part of the comprehensive college going culture/student support component of Linked Learning Pathways. Site administrators, teachers, counselors, and pathway partners provide these opportunities for students and their families. Examples of district support include UCAN (University and College Accountability Network), Career GPS, and Target Excellence, as well as various college fair events held throughout the district.
Yes, active recruitment at the middle school level is a major element of educating prospective students. High schools engage in the following activities to recruit middle school students to participate in the Linked Learning Pathways:
• Schools provide a series of open house events for prospective students and their families
• Several schools offer Shadow Days for students to experience a “typical” day-in-the-life of a pathway student
• High school teams including school counselors, pathway leads, teachers and currently enrolled students visit middle schools to make presentations to prospective students and parents/guardians
• High schools align their recruitment efforts to coincide with the district’s open enrollment window
• District Linked Learning staff hosts an annual Linked Learning Recruitment Fair. This year’s fair was held on February 5th with attendance topping 300.
Yes, the Linked Learning Pathways have developed a variety of marketing and recruitment materials, including pamphlets. They are housed at the school sites, district Enrollment Office, and the High School Reform Initiatives Office.
Can we see data on student outcomes to date?
Response: The Linked Learning approach continues to bear results as a key lever for high school transformation. Although there are 28 pathways at varying developmental stages, the number of established pathways has increased from four pathways in 2009 to 14 pathways in 2013. These 14 pathways include all five small high schools, nine California Partnership Academies (CPA) at comprehensive high schools, and one small learning community at Rosemont High School. Recently, the Johnson Corporate Business Academy at Hiram Johnson High School successfully completed its Linked Learning Certification through the National Academy Foundation (NAF) process. In addition, this spring, three more small high schools are scheduled to complete their Linked Learning Quality Review via the ConnectEd process, which will enable them to receive the Linked Learning Certification.
Can we see more data on why Capital City and American Legion have increased in enrollment?
Response: With the reduction of summer school over the past years, many students are finding themselves short on credits. Going to Capital City and American Legion is one option for gaining credits at an accelerated rate.
The original reason behind the expansion of Capitol City was to bring SCUSD students back from Sacramento Academic and Vocational Academy (SAVA). When SAVA opened, it pulled many students interested in an independent study from SCUSD because it offered an easier entrance process. Now that SCUSD has addressed entrance barriers, the student population at Capital City has climbed from approximately 300-400 students in 2007 to 900 the last four years. This year, enrollment has been capped at about 700 because of the loss of teachers.
American Legion in recent years has done a better job working with students to recover lost credits. Word is now spreading that Legion has become more than just a place for behaviorally challenged students and a real option for students in need of credit recovery.
In short, SCUSD alternative education programs have increased in popularity because of the number of options available and the recent success with helping students recover credits. Comprehensive high school counselors have more tools at their disposal to assist students in crisis and routinely encouraged students to pursue alternative education options. In many cases, students enroll for a semester, or a year, and return to the comprehensive school to graduate.
When will you start negotiations with unions? What type of changes will occur? We would like to see real discussion, real action.
Response: SCUSD’s contracts with its two largest unions, SCTA and SEIU, expire on June 30, 2014. Meetings on a new contract will begin in mid-October.