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Superintendent's Update - March 11, 2022

BOARD OF EDUCATION AGENDA CALENDAR

The agenda calendar should always be seen as tentative until formally posted the Friday before each meeting. The calendar can be found HERE.

PALO ALTO UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT ONCE AGAIN RECEIVES AAA CREDIT RATINGS

Palo Alto Unified School District recently received 'Aaa' and 'AAA' credit ratings from Moody's and Standard & Poor's ("S&P"), respectively. The ratings are the highest possible credit ratings available to the District.

The rating agencies generally review four factors in assessing an issuer's creditworthiness: District finances, District management, District debt, and local economy and tax base.

Moody's noted the following as credit strengths:

  • Robust reserves and cash supported by sound financial management and community support
  • Status as a community funded district, reducing exposure to variations in state funding
  • Very strong resident income and wealth

S&P highlighted similar strengths, including:

  • Affluent tax base located in Silicon Valley and access to ample employment
  • Solid financial profile
  • Substantial additional revenue flexibility in the form of an electorate-approved parcel tax, donations, and lease revenue
  • Strong financial management practices and policies
    1. Upgraded to "strong" from "good" based on the District's current management

The District's credit ratings are among the highest in California for all public agencies. Only eight school districts in California boast 'Aaa' bond and issuer ratings from Moody's. On the S&P side, just 23 school districts have 'AAA' ratings out of 662 rated districts in California, placing the District among the top 3.5% of issuers. The District's ratings also exceed both the Unites States' 'AA+' S&P rating and Santa Clara County's 'Aa1' Moody's rating.

The ratings were updated in preparation for the District's upcoming bond issuances. Strong credit ratings generally help garner greater investor attention and lower interest rates for District taxpayers.

EARLY LITERACY

Elementary educators are determined to increase the reading achievement of all students. They implement high-leverage instructional practices learned from the research to improve student reading achievement. Refinement of these practices comes through individual reading conferences with students and teaching reading strategies in small guided groups. Our Reading Specialists work in close collaboration with classroom teachers regarding their students in common. Each month, the Reading Specialists gather and have the opportunity to share the impact of their instructional practices providing their colleagues with new insights or reminders of techniques to reinstate. An exciting example was highlighting the lasting benefits of daily phonemic awareness instruction in kindergarten, first and second grades. These meaningful exchanges between educators are essential for meeting our early literacy goal.

SEEKING APPLICANT TO SERVE ON THE BOARD POLICY REVIEW COMMITTEE (BPRC)
PAUSD is seeking a parent representative (PR) to serve on the BPRC. The BPRC was established as a Board of Education committee to assist the Board in its thinking about District policies. The Committee discusses policy and makes recommendations to the Board. The PR should be familiar with policies and Board operations and will provide parent/community perspective during BPRC meetings.

BPRC meetings typically take place once a month, on Friday mornings, from 8:30 until 10:00 at the District Office. (See below schedule). The PR should expect to spend 2-5 hours per month reading the various policies proposed for approval by the BPRC. Meetings are being held virtually via Zoom.

To be considered for appointment to the Committee, please email Amanda Bark, by March 31, 2022 and describe any special qualifications or abilities you may have that would help you fulfill the PR role.

More information on the charge of BPRC can be found on its committee page. Thank you for your interest!

2022 BPRC Meetings (Friday, 8:30 a.m.-10:00 a.m.):

  • April 22
  • May 13
  • August 26
  • September 16
  • October 14
  • November 18
  • December 16

PAUSD CAREER FAIR
The District will be hosting a virtual job fair on Wednesday, March 16, for teaching (certificated) and support staff (non-teaching, classified) employment opportunities.

For more information and to register for this event, please visit: https://www.pausd.org/careers/employment-opportunities