January 18, 2019

Superintendent’s Office


The Board Retreat will begin at 8:00 a.m. in Open Session. We anticipate roughly three hours together before recessing to Closed Session for the Superintendent’s performance review. We will review each of our priority areas and discuss key leverage areas. Actionable goals will be presented. In some cases, we will have a plan for a future plan. This will be true in several aspects of developing meaningful metrics.

As a reminder, input for the plan came from:

  • Reviewing all previous plans, committee work, and presentations
  • Staff survey with a 70% response rate
  • Video pod cast to all parents
  • Let’s Talk! invitation for feedback
  • District Leadership Team meeting
  • Family Leadership Summit input
  • Principals’ Meeting targeted input
  • Secondary Instructional Leads
  • Secondary Associated Student Body discussions


Items tentatively scheduled for the January 29 meeting may be revised, added, or removed prior to the actual meeting. As of today, we have tentatively scheduled the following:

  • Closed Session
    • Stanford University General Use Permit Environmental Impact Report from Santa Clara County
  • Reports
    • Recognition of Measure Z (school facilities bond) co-chairs and team effort
    • Recap of January 24 Study Session
  • Discussion / Action
    • Review of new courses
    • Direction for Grant Avenue PAUSD staff housing project (2nd time with the Board)


We have received feedback about the proposed staff housing project on 231 Grant Avenue. I have clarified with interested parties that we are early in the process. At this point, there are very few immediate decisions in front of us.


Our website explaining Stanford University’s record-breaking GUP proposal continues to expand. The website can be found here. Community members are becoming highly engaged in the process and are expressing a desire to join the conversation.

Education Services


Top three reasons why registration lines are short:

3. All Information is on the ‘Registration’ web page.

Parents/guardians can find all the information they need online to complete their registration in one visit!

2. Parents/guardians can make an appointment (through the ‘Registration’ web page).

Booking an appointment reassures parents that they do not have to stand in line; they can come to our office when it’s convenient for them!

1. Process improvements cut appointment times in half!

The Registration process has been streamlined thanks to new technologies, focused communication and training, added data safeguards and consistency, and clarification.

Many thanks to PAUSD staff in Information Technology and Registration Services for their hard work. An even bigger THANK YOU goes to parents/guardians for their patience and collaboration with us as we continue to improve. Parents are encouraged to provide feedback on their experience with the registration process.


Students at Fletcher and Greene Middle Schools are gearing up to take the Common Writing Assessment (CWA). The CWA is an in-house essay assessment created by PAUSD teachers, which is given every year during winter quarter. During the week-long assessment, students read source materials and then draft and revise essays responding to Common Core aligned prompts. After testing is complete, teachers meet with grade-level and subject-matter colleagues to calibrate and score the student responses.


Middle school science teachers met this week for training on their first pilot curriculum from TCI. Sixth grade students will study Weather with these new materials. Seventh and eighth grade students will focus on one of the following topics: Ecosystems, Adaptations, Genetics, Waves, or Forces and Energy. Teachers who pilot the new materials will be asked to complete an evaluation form on the TCI program in mid-February. Students, and their parents, will also be asked to complete an evaluation form based on their experiences with the pilot materials. Students in non-piloting classes will address the same learning objectives using existing materials. Beginning next week, pilot materials will be displayed for examination and comments at the District Office and at each of the middle school sites.


The PAUSD Elementary Computer Science Committee is currently working on gathering baseline information about current practices in computer science. The results will inform next steps in the implementation of the equitable access of computer science standards for all students. The California Department of Education (CDE) will unveil its implementation plan for Computer Science K-12 in late March 2019.


On January 17, staff from the Department of Academic Supports and the superintendent welcomed 70 new Tinsley Voluntary Transfer Program families into the District for the 2019-20 school year. Families enter the lottery through the San Mateo County Office of Education (SMCOE) in the fall and are notified in December if they are accepted. This meeting reviewed next steps in the registration process and additional paperwork. Choice school principals also attended the meeting to discuss the various opportunities available for new families. Students are assigned to an elementary site at the placement meeting on March 28.


The Elementary Teachers on Special Assignment (TOSAs) continue to support teachers at all 13 elementary school sites. Grade-level and one-on-one teacher supports include lesson development and planning, math differentiation strategies, Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) for Success follow-up, small group planning, and assessment data analysis.


Reading Specialists met on January 16 and discussed Teachers College Phonics Units of Study, dyslexia, and the PRIDE Reading Program. A Reading Specialist created extension cards for kindergarten teachers to use with the Teachers College Phonics Units of Study. Dyslexia Work Group presented an update on dyslexia. Two additional Reading Specialists shared their training experience on the PRIDE Reading Program and its connection to students with dyslexia. The next meeting is scheduled for March.

Strategic Initiatives and Operations


PAUSD’s work on Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is highlighted in the CDE’s “Social Emotional Learning in California: A Guide to Resources.” The guide was developed by a multi-agency team including experts in the field and members of the CDE Social and Emotional Learning State Team. This new guide was compiled in collaboration with officials from Massachusetts, Minnesota, Washington, and Tennessee, and features resources created with the help of staff in California districts leading the way on systemic social and emotional learning.

According to State Superintendent Tom Torlakson, “This new guide offers a toolkit of resources that will assist California educators in serving the social and emotional needs of the whole child. Science confirms that learning is not only cognitive, but also social and emotional. These resources help students develop the skills they need to function well in the classroom, the community, college and their careers.”

The SEL resource guide is the result of the Collaborating States Initiative, a group of eight states in partnership with the Collaborative for Academic Social and Emotional Learning. The Collaborating States share information, best practices, promising tools, and ideas in the interest of building strong programs in schools across their states. In 2017, the CDE and its collaborating state partners created California’s Social and Emotional Learning Guiding Principles, a set of statements intended to provide guidance to education leaders at counties, districts, schools, and expanded learning programs. The guide is a result of their work to collect and vet a comprehensive list of resources aligned with these principles.

Please see the outgoing State Superintendent Tom Torlakson’s press release. The full guide can be found on the CDE’s Social and Emotional Learning web page.


PAUSD Social Workers and the Student Services Coordinator participated in the Santa Clara County Office of Education’s (SCCOE) Homeless and Foster Youth Services Professional Development Day on January 17. During the full-day training, the team from Wellness and Support Services worked on specifics in the analysis, design, and structure of the District’s Multi-Tiered System of Supports in supporting homeless and foster youth.

Business Services


On January 9, Governor Newsom released his first proposed state budget for the 2019-20 fiscal year. The highlights of his proposed budget, as it relates to K-12 education in California, include:

  • Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) – The budget proposes a $2 billion increase for the LCFF, which reflects a 3.46% cost of living adjustment. As a Community Funded District, this has minimal effect on PAUSD.
  • Special Education – The budget proposes $576 million (of which $186 million is one-time) to support Special Education services and school readiness supports. There were no details on how the funds would be distributed, but the intent is to allocate more funds to school districts with high percentages of students with disabilities, as well as students who are low-income, youth in foster care, or English language learners.
  • California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) Obligations – The budget proposes to allocate $3 billion in one-time funds to provide relief for the rising cost of pension obligations. This would reduce PAUSD’s CalSTRS obligations in 2019-20 by approximately $1.1 million.
  • State Preschool – The budget proposes $125 million to increase access to subsidized full-day, full-year State Preschool.
  • Longitudinal Education Data – The budget proposes $10 million in one-time funds to plan for and develop a longitudinal data system intended to connect student information from early education providers, K-12 schools, higher education institutions, employers, other workforce entities, and health and human services agencies.

Over the next few months, the Legislature will have formal public discussions about the state’s fiscal priorities. The May Revise will be released around May 10, 2019, and the state budget will be adopted prior to June 30, 2019.

On a related note, Kevin Gordon and Jack O’Connell from Capitol Advisors Group will provide the Board with a legislative update at the February 26, 2019, Board Meeting.