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Superintendent's Update - October 21, 2022

From the Office of the Superintendent:

 

BOARD OF EDUCATION AGENDA CALENDAR 

The agenda calendar can be found HERE.  

GUNN HIGH SCHOOL NIGHT RALLY 

I had the opportunity to attend Gunn High School’s traditional night rally earlier this week. It was full of spirit and happy students. It was also a reminder that adults sometimes forget that high school is supposed to be fun. We can get so caught up in preparation for the NEXT step, that we look past THIS step. My favorite part of the evening was an interview video of the homecoming court candidates. The candidates were smart, funny, and authentic. Their interviews reminded me of my time in high school and as a former high school principal. Kids always make sense! 

TOPICS COVERED BY THE BOARD OF EDUCATION 

The Board of Education deals with matters of policy affecting matters of our school district. Over the last four years, the Board has touched on many important topics and policies that govern our work. Obviously, COVID-19 had an impact on traditional work and took priority over all other issues. 

The campaign season has resurfaced some topics, including math pacing. Since the fall of 2020, PAUSD has purposefully distanced our program from aspects of the State Mathematics Framework. The framework has gained attention across the state as school districts grapple with placement and pacing of specific courses.  

In our case, the direction taken guaranteed 8th grade students in PAUSD would be placed in Algebra beginning this year. For context, following the state framework would have slowed placement in Algebra to 9th grade. Our acceleration is in addition to the test we provide (often referred to as the “skip test”) for students to move an extra level ahead during their time in middle school. To further summarize, our math program is already accelerated by a full year when compared to the state framework.  

The three middle schools have allocated two additional math sections to provide support via our Team-Teaching model to push into groups with the highest need. The focus has been to support the algebra sections in the 8th grade and focus on the units and standards needed for our student's skill set to prepare for the 9th grade. As the progress report data is analyzed, adjustments will be made, including sixth and seventh-grade levels, for additional support when beneficial.  

With our return to normalcy, PAUSD has launched eight ad hoc committees to tackle complex topics in a way that solicits more input. Each committee has a specific charge and a wide range of representations. The full website and minutes from meetings can be found HERE. Each ad hoc committee and charge are listed below.  

SELF and Advisory High School Programs 

Charge: Identify strengths and opportunities in both programs. Provide recommendations based on stakeholder feedback and evaluation of best practices. 

Athletic Funding 

Charge: Athletic funding has not been adjusted in a long time. Prepare a brief report for the Board of Education with recommendations. Review stipends (number, gender balance, amounts). 

Childcare 

Charge: Identify components of childcare programs that are essential for all vendors to earn contracts with PAUSD and report recommendations to the Board of Education. 

Choice Programs 

Charge: Prepare a summary report of each choice program, including historic enrollment numbers, representation, and measures of success. Identify strengths and opportunities for each program. Make recommendations to the Board of Education for the future of choice programs in PAUSD. 

Secondary Bell Schedule 

Charge: The committee will focus efforts on potential allocation of minutes within the school day, within parameters to share staff, meet state requirements, comply with collective bargaining agreements, and district priorities. Determining start and end times of schools are not part of the charge. 

Enrollment Trends 

Charge: Prepare a series of options for consideration by the Board of Education. Everything is up for consideration and thoughtful debate. 

Consent Education 

Charge: Clearly define the goals and purpose for Consent Education at each grade level and memorialize the amount of time dedicated at each level. Include resources and expectations for teachers. 

Celebrate and Serve Others 

Charge: One of the five priority goals in the PAUSD Promise is Celebrate and Serve Others. This group will identify a schedule to accomplish both goals throughout the year. 

The ad hoc committees are in addition to the eight standing ongoing committees found HERE.

The Board of Education will also take up topics such as employee housing, contract negotiations with all associations, aspects of special education, ethnic studies, graduation requirements, dual enrollment opportunities, Cubberley property, and the proposed expansion of Stanford University. All these topics will be in motion this year in varying phases of discussion and potential action.  

ESCONDIDO TEMPORARY RELOCATION OF SI PROGRAM SHELVED 

After holding a handful of meetings with stakeholders, we have determined the timeframe to work through issues is too daunting. As a result, we will move forward with the original construction plan. Construction at Escondido will have disruptions and will not include accelerated air conditioning. It will keep the school together as a whole.  

We will communicate with Hoover families to go over the future of their temporary move. We have some options that are best left to discuss with them directly.  

GUNN THEATRE PRESENTS: TRANSLATIONS BY BRIAN FRIEL 

Gunn Theatre is proud to present Translations by Brian Friel. Love and loss are intertwined in a story about human connection and cultural identity during a time of strife and turmoil. As the curtain rises, audiences are transported to Baile Beag, a fictional village in 1833 Northern Ireland. The play revolves around the village and two British soldiers who have come to relabel the map of Ireland as a territory of the British Empire. A heart-wrenching love story between one of the soldiers and a local woman ensues as the soldiers are introduced to Irish culture and people who fiercely protect their identity and history. Do not miss this poignant production! 

For tickets and more information, please visit GunnTheatre.org 

THE MYTHS AND REALITIES OF SCHOOL FUNDING  

Please join us on Tuesday, November 1, from 6:30 to 7:30 pm as Chief Business Officer Carolyn Chow explains how the PAUSD budget works and demystifies the madness of California school funding. Find out how Partners in Education (PiE) and the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) fit into the funding structure and what it truly means to be a basic aid district. We will be meeting in the Board Room (SDC) at the District Office.  

ADVANCED AUTHENTIC RESEARCH MEET AND MINGLE EVENT 

The multi-award winning Advanced Authentic Research (AAR) program hosted a Meet & Mingle event last Sunday. The event allowed students and mentors to connect on research topics and passions and share information about the recent dual enrollment opportunity. The AAR program recruits mentors year-round. If you are interested, please sign up HERE.

INNOVATION CENTER UPDATE 

We launched our first Innovation Center at Briones Elementary. The Innovation Center is a space for elementary students to explore different career possibilities and pathways offered at secondary schools. Each center will host different industry sector stations, which will be supplied with materials related to the respective sector, to engage in hands-on learning. The mission of this space is to nurture our students as they build their career readiness skills in agriculture, arts, media, entertainment, culinary arts, health science, medical technology, engineering, and architecture. Plans are in place to launch a second Innovation Center at Barron Park Elementary soon.