School board to discuss world language courses, state budget implications

By From page A4 | January 23, 2013

The Davis school board will revisit two topics that have come up repeatedly on the agenda in recent years — world language courses offered in grades 7-12 and the potential implications of a new state budget proposal on Davis’ budget — when trustees gather for a meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday.

The Davis district offers Spanish, French, German, Japanese and Chinese courses to students in junior high and high school. In some cases, students at the junior high campuses or Da Vinci Charter Academy need to make a trip to Davis High to take a course they desire.

On Thursday, the board will consider a set of recommendations that came out of meetings involving the World Languages Committee, community members and Superintendent Winfred Roberson. Among the recommendations:

* Japanese, Chinese and German will not be offered at the three junior highs, only at DHS;

* When logistically feasible, Japanese I, Chinese I and German I should be offered during first period at DHS so junior high students would not have to travel during the middle of the school day;

* Any student who begins the first level of a world language in grades 7, 8 or 9 should be able to complete at least four levels of that language by grade 12.

* Spanish should continue through Level 6 since many students have participated in the district’s Spanish Immersion program;

* Each of the five world languages should appear in the junior high and high school course catalog each year; and

* Level 1 world language courses should have a minimum seat enrollment of 30 students.

Elsewhere on the agenda, Associate Superintendent Bruce Colby will offer an update describing the implications of Gov. Jerry Brown’s January state budget proposal. For 2013-14, Brown proposes a 1.65 percent cost-of-living adjustment for K-12 schools, dependent on continued economic growth.

“While the state budget has been balanced in this proposal, the district’s ongoing budget deficit is approximately $1.5 million at current staffing levels,” the agenda summary states. “The governor’s January budget, if approved, could help toward reducing this deficit if the district does not take actions to increase expenditures.”

Other agenda items include:

* Recognition of Davis High School athletic team section champions, Davis High School HUB newspaper staff members and midyear retirees.

* Consideration of proposed secondary course changes, including proposed courses titled Strategic English Enrichment Lab in grades 7, 8 and 9, and changing the title of the current ROP Journalism course to Journalism 2, along with new instructional materials to go with the proposed new courses.

* Acceptance of a regularly scheduled district audit report.

Thursday’s meeting will begin at 7 p.m. in the Community Chambers at Davis City Hall, 23 Russell Blvd. The meeting will be carried live on Davis cable Channel 17, and carried as streaming video on www.djusd.tv.

— Reach Jeff Hudson at [email protected] or 530-747-8055.


Jeff Hudson

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