Friday, December 26, 2014

School board approves budget, accountability plan, heads into summer break

From page A1 | June 27, 2014 |

The Davis school board met a few state-mandated deadlines on Thursday night, unanimously approving the Davis school district’s 2014-15 Adoption Budget and the district’s new Local Control Accountability Plan.

Both documents had been discussed at the June 19 school board meeting, both needed to be officially approved by the school board before the month of June ended.

The LCAP generated a bit more public comment on Thursday. Parent Hiram Jackson noted that the LCAP is a document designed for a three-year time frame, but Jackson observed that some of the school district’s programs serve students over a much longer period — the music program serves students from the fourth through 12th grade, and the district’s athletic program offers team sports from the seventh through 12th grade. Jackson wondered if the three-year LCAP process might miss the opportunity to evaluate these long-term programs.

Parent Alan Hirsch also spoke about the importance of shade trees on school campuses. He noted that the district is worried about the costs associated with maintaining trees, “but there is no offsetting metric about the (value) of the shade created” in terms of student health and student comfort, and he urged the school board to consider the benefits of shade, even if there isn’t an immediate monetary value attached.

The school board also accepted the LCAP for Da Vinci Charter Academy. As a charter school within the school district, Da Vinci prepares its own LCAP, which was approved by Da Vinci, but a copy is shared with the school board, which approved its charter.

The school board also discussed the possible creation of a district-wide Curriculum and Instruction Committee. The school district will be getting new curriculum material in a number of areas as the Common Core academic standards are phased in, and much of its current material is several years old and not aligned with the new standards.

Superintendent Winfred Roberson told the trustees that a district wide curriculum committee could be “a great addition,” assuming that the committee “is set up properly” and draws on “people who have an understanding of how students learn.”

The school board also discussed the creation of an Ad Hoc Alternative Conflict Mediation Work Group to look into the resolution of complaints, which teacher Cathy Haskell said would be “extremely valuable” to the district. School board president Gina Daleiden identified trustee Alan Fernandes, who joined the board in May, as the school board’s liaison with the work group, saying he “will give us some new eyes” on the topic.

The school board postponed action on a contract extension for Roberson until August, when the next regular meeting of the school board is scheduled. Thursday’s meeting was a special meeting and state education code requires that a vote on the superintendent’s contract be made at a regular board meeting.

The school board also heard a farewell from the district’s Director of Instructional Technology Kim Wallace, who announced that she is taking a job as an assistant superintendent with the Fremont Unified school district in the Bay Area.



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