December 15, 2017

Hello to the PAUSD Community, 

Last Friday’s Weekly was quite lengthy, I know; thanks for permitting me the time to share comprehensive information related to Title IX Compliance and student safety. This week, I wanted to put a spotlight on some of the efforts being driven by our Academic Support Programs and Equity Teams.

Assure that every student has access to multiple programs, services, activities and enrichment experiences that support student learning and enable each individual to achieve his or her fullest intellectual, creative and social potential.

A priority under that goal is to: Increase equity of opportunities and outcomes for all PAUSD students to close the achievement gap.

To that end, the Board of Education will be asked to approve and direct implementation of the District Equity Plan to increase student and parent engagement and eliminate the achievement gap for underrepresented groups, Historically Underrepresented (HUR), low Socioeconomic Status (SES), & Special Education (SPED).  The Equity Plan will be presented for review and discussion at our December 19 Board Meeting.  If you wish to access those materials, they may be found on the Board page on our website.  

Some specific information from Equity Coordinator Mr. Keith Wheeler about the work underway within the District:

•    One of the roles of the Equity Coordinator is to have an active presence with diverse student groups around the district. To initiate this focus, I am having one-on-one meetings with our BOE student reps, and sharing educational data and conveying the alignment with the PAUSD Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP), LCAP Equity Dashboard, District Goals, and Equity Plan.  
•    The PAUSD 2017-18 Equity Plan that will be presented to the BOE and the community on December 19 will build upon previous efforts in this important area including recommendations from Minority Achievement & Talent Development (MATD) and incorporate additional contributions from the community this school year.
•    The PAUSD Equity Committee will be having its second meeting, Monday December 11, 2017, from 4:00 - 6:00 p.m. in the Board Room at the District Office.  Equity Committee meetings are open to the public.
•    PAUSD will be hosting an Equity Series with the first speaker being international researcher and author, Dr. Tyrone Howard presenting on the following:

Why Race & Culture Matter in Schools
In this session, school personnel and various stakeholders will be introduced to the important role that race and culture have on teaching and learning. Participants will be introduced to important data, concepts, knowledge and skills that is designed to increased racial awareness and improve cultural competence. In this session, participants will be exposed to strategies, resources, skills, and approaches that can create inclusive classrooms for all learners. Participants will focus on some of the following components:
•    Racial awareness in the classroom
•    Developing cultural competence
•    How poverty intersects with race, culture and gender
•    The important roles of language and literacy
This session will assist participants with meaningful frameworks for better understanding the racial dynamics and cultural complexities that are becoming increasingly present in classrooms.  Many of the skills and strategies that will be covered will also be essential for engaging parents, caregivers and guardians in ways that they can support school personnel in helping children reach their maximum academic outcomes.

This will be a public event, open to all of the district and community. The date for this event is Tuesday, January 9, 2018, from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. Our presentation location will be inside of the Board Room. The event is free. Promotion for this event will begin, using every District and site outlet, by Friday, December 15, 2017.

LCAP Process
On December 14, the Educational Services Division held a community meeting on the LCAP and newly released data from the California Department of Education, CA Dashboard.  The team reviewed District data on five indicators: College Readiness, English Language Arts 3rd-8th grade, Mathematics 3rd-8th grade, Suspension, and Graduation Rates. Over 100 stakeholders attended the event, which included staff, community members, parents, and students.  Spanish and Mandarin translation was offered and provided access for multiple stakeholders to participate in small group discussions.  All materials will be posted on the PAUSD LCAP website on Monday, December 18. The next meeting is scheduled for February 20, 8 a.m. - 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. - 7 p.m. in the Board Room at 25 Churchill.

In addition, please find the attached Weekly report provided by our Strategic Initiatives Department.

Upcoming Events

RISE Task Force
We have a Responsive Inclusive Safe Environment (RISE) Task Force Work Group Meeting scheduled on on Monday, December 18, 2017. You can find the agenda on the RISE Task Force webpage

Recommending School Names Advisory Committee    
The committee has a meeting on Monday, December 18, 2017, from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. 

Board Meeting
We have a Board meeting scheduled for Tuesday, December 19, 2017.

For your convenience, below is a list of Open Session Agenda Items:

A. New Course Proposals for 2018-19: It is recommended the Board discuss these new high school courses and approve them at the next regular Board meeting.

B. 2017-2019 Equity Plan: This item is to be discussed, receive input, and be approved at the following Board meeting.

C. First Interim Financial Report: It is recommended the Board 1) Give a positive certification to the County Superintendent that the District can meet its financial obligations through the end of the fiscal year and for the subsequent two years; and 2) Approve the budget revisions listed in the projected year totals. 

D. 2016-17 Parcel Tax Fiscal Report: This report is presented for information only. No Board action is necessary. 

E. Replacement of Eleven Copiers: It is recommended the Board authorize the District to lease eleven Canon copiers from Pacific Office Automation. 

F. Naming the Board Representative for the County Committee: This representative votes on behalf of the Board for open seats on the Santa Clara County Committee. This traditionally has been assigned to the Board President. 

G. 2018 Board of Education Committee Assignments: The Board will determine committee representation for its members for the 2018 calendar year. 

H. Proposed Calendar for Board of Education Meetings for 2018-19 School Year: The Board will discuss its meeting schedule for the 2018-19 school year. It is anticipated action will be considered at the next regular meeting.

Great Things Happening in PAUSD

Kindergarteners in Room 5 at Escondido Elementary learned about the African-American celebration of Kwanzaa. Beginning December 26 and lasting for seven days, Kwanzaa is a celebration of community, family and culture, established as a means to help African-Americans reconnect with their African roots and heritage. Kwanzaa celebrates the seven principles of Unity, Self-Determination, Collective Work and Responsibility, Cooperative Economics, Purpose, Creativity, and Faith.

Kwanzaa celebration

Hoover Elementary
Hoover held an engaging, informative cyber safety parent event on Tuesday, December 12, hosted by Emily Garrison, District Educational Technology Coordinator, and Kristin Howell, Hoover School Librarian. Parents discussed current issues around screen time at home, learned strategies around how to design healthy screen time expectations at home, and how to prevent and handle cyber bullying and inappropriate online behavior in order to keep their children safe while online.

The Hour of Code was alive and well at Hoover last week! Kindergarten students learned to code with their third-grade buddies and all involved learned far more than coding! Patience, kindness, and accountable talk all supported our youngest learners as they created magic on the screen! Students in grades K-5 celebrated Hour of Code events in a variety of ways, not all of which included screen time. Tracks were created for Dash and Dot cleverbots and Bee Bots that promote learning around directionality, sequencing, estimation, problem solving, and having FUN!
Our resident actors, actresses, and stage crew finished exceptional performances of the Children’s Theater play, The Reluctant Dragon! They performed for a packed house over the weekend along with providing two encore performances for students on Tuesday, December 11. We are so proud of the time and effort they put into making the show such a success! Thanks go out to our director Michael Jorizzon, and the Palo Alto Children’s Theater for their continued support of the arts in our schools. We are so proud of our student performers and behind-the-scenes support crew!
Our second grade celebrated the unique strengths they bring to our community of learners at the annual Cultural Heritage Celebration. Students interviewed family members, researched information about their heritage, and created information stations that included everything from cultural traditions to delicious food samples! Parents were invited to celebrate with students. This ties in with the information stations presented at the Hoover International Festival each spring and a new initiative, Cultural Information Stations, that families volunteer to share during noon recess throughout the year.

Hoover Collage

Gunn High School 
Last night we held a joint Gunn-Paly Sources of Strength information night for parents at Paly, and it was very successful. Fifty parents and community members attended, and your Gunn students were the stars of the evening.  Staff led an introduction which included Dr. Shashank Joshi, Stanford Associate Professor of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. Students led small-group sessions with testimonials about their experiences with strength and resilience, and they facilitated discussions with the parents (imagine doing that at age 16!). They represented our community exceptionally well, and we want you to share our pride in them.

Gunn participants were Naama Bejerano, XiLin Choi, Helena Cirne (planning), Gwen Dunlap, Sarah Glasser, Gaya Gupta, Eric Her, Camille Jacobsen, Ainsley Roh (photos), Meghna Singh, Brianna Wingard, Kathie Laurence, Mike Heffner, Pier Angeli LaPlace, and Lisa Hall.

The Paly participants were Elizabeth Spector (Mental Health and Wellness Coordinator) and students:  Kristina Im, Rachel Loewy, Emily Tsoi, Bridget Leonard, Maddie Lee, Noor Navaid, Claire Billman, Neil Yeung, Kelsey Anna Seligson.