Previous Chair Report Summaries & Outside Resources
Dear LCAP Parent Advisory Committee –
So, our next meeting will be the last one for the school year – and a very important one. This is the meeting where we review the proposed changes for the guiding document for the school district, the Local Control Accountability Plan before it goes to the Board.
You will receive a series of documents for this upcoming meeting via email. I’ll give you a bit of a preview here and some helpful tips to streamline your time.
- Annual Update. This document details the variety of changes in this plan compared to last year’s. It’s a bit hefty (over 100 pages), so please don’t print it unless you absolutely want to. This will be provided as a hard copy at the meeting. But there is a way to get the gist of the changes: the document is separated into sections based on the 15 goal/focus areas, and at the end of each section are 4 question/answer summaries. This is the best way to absorb this information quickly. And if you want a printed copy ahead of time, please reach out to Chatty.
- PAC-Specific Recommendations. This chart may look familiar – it’s our recommended changes from the sticky-dot exercise and the motions throughout the year. (The motions have been highlighted in green.) You’ll also see that there are notes about each of the recommendations and how they will be addressed by the district.
- Summary of LCAP Recommendations. This document is a description of all the recommendations for the plan – from the PAC, staff, the district, etc. Those that have come from the PAC have a special star noted.
The entire LCAP plan itself (the whole shebang, with the components that haven’t changed and the parts that have) is currently being formatted. It’s gigantic, so like the other big doc, it’s recommended to NOT print on your own, as the district will provide copies for the PAC.
What if I have new ideas?
New ideas are fantastic … for next year. This is the time period for review of all our work we’ve done. But we don’t want to lose any of our good ideas either, so Chatty will have special notecards for everyone. As good ideas come to you, please jot them down on these notecards. Chatty will type them up, and we’ll be able to get a jumpstart on next year with this info.
Plan Preview Help: This process and the documents can be overwhelming, even for those of us who have been on the PAC for a while. For the newer members who may need clarification and extra help understanding the components of the plan, please feel free to contact Chatty and Donna for a phone call. These mini-sessions are for training and clarification (the merits of the recommendations are for the open meetings). Please do take advantage of this, as the LCAP process is complex.
Outreach to the community: a plan for next year. District staff have been observing the best ideas from other districts, and Donna will be presenting a plan of action to get better feedback from the San Juan community, especially our LCAP population. This proposal will nicely complement our community-forum model, and we’ve slated time on the agenda to give an overview.
Thanks everyone! See you at the meeting.
San Juan School Board
Meeting – May 22, 2018
Remarks from Mary Beth Barber, Chair
Parent Advisory Committee, Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP)
Good evening, President Costa and the other members of the San Juan School Board, Superintendent Kern and Ms. Cunningham. I’m Mary Beth Barber, chair of the Parent Advisory Committee – or PAC – for the Local Control Accountability Plan – commonly known as the LCAP. This is my fourth time in front of you this year as LCAP chair.
Last week the PAC met to discuss the Annual Update and current draft of the LCAP for San Juan for 2018-19, a plan that guides the spending of funds by the school district. This spending plan – by design, as set by the state – serves as a lead guiding document for funding allocations by the school district.
The Parent Advisory Committee is the principal voice of the parents, community members and students to provide meaningful engagement with the school district. Parent and student engagement is a key component of the Local Control Funding Formula.
For the past three years, the PAC has approved of the LCAP and Annual Update. This year was different. Last Thursday a straightforward motion was presented: The PAC approval of the annual update and LCAP for 2018-19.
The motion failed. Just over half of the PAC members in attendance voted “no.” The remaining members abstained. There were no “aye” votes.
Our overall reason for the voting down of the motion is straightforward: the members of the PAC did not see in the LCAP that the District seriously considered nor implemented key advice of the PAC. There is a lot to like in the draft LCAP. That fact wasn’t denied.
But there are key components of the educational process that have been recommended by the PAC that are not part of the plan for 2018-19.
- Counselors. The PAC has very strong concerns about the low investment in high school counseling staff and services. The ratio of counselor-to-students for the district is a little higher than the approximate 1-to-360 ratio recommended by the California Department of Education. (Please keep in mind that the American School Counselor Association recommends a much lower max ratio of 1-to-250.) Nevertheless, San Juan Unified’s counselor-to-student ratio is the bare minimum recommendation. The PAC has voiced that this is not enough. Our district should be striving for comprehensive services for our students.
The plan for the implementation of the comprehensive school counseling program that is listed in the LCAP for next year is a good step forward, in that it will mean that the services currently provided will be of better quality. But the fact of the matter is this: there are hundreds if not thousands of students in the District who receive little more than a cursory introduction to their counselor (if at all), and receive little to no preparatory planning services for life after high school.
We can do better for our students.
- Ombudsman. The Annual Update this year outlines the plan for an outside analysis to examine whether the District needs an Ombudsman – an individual or office that serves as a resource for families, employees and the community to resolve issues or concerns through mediation and education, as well as identifying opportunities for service improvements. While the PAC lauds the effort of an investigation, there is strong consensus that the evidence for such a position exists now. Members feel that a study is not needed; a trusted employee dedicated to the purpose described is needed, and needed immediately.
Time and time again members of the PAC have heard or directly experienced situations that escalated at a school, were not solved at the school site level, and then when brought to the attention of the District, the parents or students were sent right back to the school site with little resolved. These are not minor incidents described, but instead serious harassment – including sexual harassments – dangerous bullying, unacceptable behaviors by various individuals (which sometimes mean teachers and staff), and basic administrative functions of a school that directly influence our children’s current education, but also their future higher educational opportunities and potential employment.
Currently there is not an individual or office that fulfills this role at the district level. Complaints that come in to the district are directed to the Family Engagement Office, which is a subdivision of the communications department and has a huge undertaking with its main purpose and function. “Family engagement” and “problem-solving and crisis management” are not the same thing.
Most of the time the parent or student is directed right back to the school without a resolution. Parents and students feel lost. They feel cheated, they feel ignored. They need somewhere to go to voice complaints and concerns without increasing the conflict at the school site, where they fear retaliation.
There is a complaint process, with legal paperwork to fill out – paperwork that can be confusing and frightening. And if that legal paperwork is filled out and is “successful” from a legal standpoint, then the district has a large legal problem that might have been resolved earlier.
As frustrated as the PAC is at the lack of an ombudsman or ombudswoman for 2018-19, the members are very willing to sit and talk to the outside consultant, if it comes to that. Most members feel the investigative step is unnecessary, that it would be better to have somebody into that role and work with them immediately. But we are very willing to sit, talk, and explain.
- Student Advisory Committee. For over a year now, there has been a proposal for a district-wide student advisory committee for the district that would advise the PAC and the Board. The purpose of such a student committee would be, in an open meeting process, to really hear from students.
The district staff has made various alternative proposals for student input to the District, but the proposals have been lacking in a number of areas, mostly transparency. The vision is an open meeting, with elected advisory members focused on advising the district and the LCAP, which makes the purpose different than the student body councils at the schools. There’s a connection, but in the vision put forth by the student representative on the PAC, they are not the same thing. Informal advisory groups picked by staff have limited perspective and “confirmation bias.”
Members on an informal advisory group would likely be the ones to confirm that all is fine, or provide information through one particular perspective. Student councils are principally concerned with activities at the school site, not analysis and advice at this district level.
We hope that the fulfillment of the student advisory committee as envisioned will be supported next year.
- Campus Climate Assessments. As the Chair of the PAC, I’ve been in front of this board earlier this year discussing the allocation of funding for campus climate assessments to be conducted that was slated two years ago – funding for two high schools, two middle schools or K-8 schools. Not surveys. Not “in house” investigations by district staff. The PAC would like to see this implemented.
- Student Surveys and Grading Policies. Previously there was also proposed a recommendation for student classroom-based, non-evaluative surveys available to teachers, strongly encouraging their use as one way for students to provide anonymous feedback to individual teachers with the goal of improving classroom climate. It’s unclear whether this component is part of the LCAP for next year.
Also of importance, as mentioned in previous meetings, is the adherence of clear grading policies at the high school level distributed to students at the onset of the semester. Again, this may be addressed for the coming school year, and the PAC would like to keep up with the details.
The state upended the ways schools were financed a few years ago and eliminated the minutia spending requirements for the districts for the “categoricals” – a sliver of funding here but only for arts ed, or a sliver of funding there but only for science. That’s mostly gone with the Local Control Funding Formula.
What was also implemented was a blueprint for meaningful engagement from the school district community – the parents, the students, the community members and supporters, as well as staff and leadership. The PAC would like to be a part of the ongoing discussion that results in meaningful changes in the district’s Local Control Accountability Plan.
Some members expressed extreme frustration at last Thursday’s meeting, stating that their information and insights don’t matter and are ignored. Others were a bit more cautious in their criticism, including those who want more time to dive into the details of the full 300+ page document.
But all members expressed their desire to dialogue, to discuss, and to be heard. We hope that you – the board and the staff at the San Juan School District -- are willing to listen.
LCAP PAC Chair Comments
San Juan Unified School Board Meeting
April 24, 2018
Good evening, and great to be in front of the school board again this month. As you know, I’m Mary Beth Barber, chair of the LCAP Parent Advisory Committee. This presentation is probably the key one to the Board for the year, as it is the culmination of a lot of listening, dialogue, thinking and decision-making for the advice to give the board.
In front of you is a document that outlines some key ideas for investment that were proposed at our last PAC meeting, with numbers that indicate importance from the members of the PAC. This is in addition to the recommendations that were presented the two previous times I was in front of you.
Key components of recommendations on the academic side (Goal 1) include:
- Supports for English Language Learners, including direct observation and guidance by expert teachers and additional bilingual instructors;
- An increase in the diversity of San Juan staff;
- Equitable access on specialized programs such as AP and IB classes and opportunities, including at neighborhood schools
- Increase in the counseling assistance, including through more staff, more responsiveness for college applications, and consistency of counselors through high school
The PAC members also saw a need for an increased focus in social-emotional supports (Goal 2) in our schools. As you may remember, the PAC has a “community forum” format for the first half of many of our meetings, where specific topics or areas are more deeply explored. This year many of the main topics were social-emotional in nature. The recommended areas of focus cited by the PAC in this area:
- There is very strong support for an ombudsperson position for students and parents at the district level. This topic not only received a large focus when comparing different recommendations, but because a huge focus of the PAC’s discussion throughout the year. Time and time again parents – either formally through public testimony or informally to PAC members – have expressed a sense of feeling abandoned by the district when they’ve asked for help because of lack of action at the school-site level. This subject received the most votes of all the areas. We strongly recommend that the Board hear the PAC when we state our observations that PARENTS AND FAMILIES DO NOT FEEL THEY ARE BEING HEARD.
- The PAC also feels strongly about increasing student voice through equitable, elected student representatives at the district level through an official public committee that is open to the public (i.e. falls under the Brown Act)
- More training for parents in key college-and-career tools, specifically Naviance, but also language supports.
I’d also like to remind the Board of specific motions that the PAC has already passed in terms of official advice. These are:
The PAC recommends
- that the board develop a legal and proactive policy for hiring DACA staff, teachers and administrators.
- that the board direct staff to develop a formal and sustainable partnership with the Hispanic Association of College and Universities, as a means of developing additional pathways to college.
- that the board mandate school climate assessments at two high schools and 2 middle schools and /or K-8 schools
- the board enforce online board policy (AR 5121.III.D.3.a) at all high schools that reads: “High school and middle school teachers must provide students with a written copy of their grading policy. Grades reflect an objective evaluation of all academic activities a student has been required to complete during the assigned grading period.”
- making student classroom-based, non-evaluative surveys available to teachers, strongly encouraging their use as one way for students to provide anonymous feedback to individual teachers with the goal of improving classroom climate. The PAC requests that special attention be given to protecting student anonymity in the survey process.
Further, the PAC officially voted that it shall establish an ad hoc committee to research and develop recommendations on student voice opportunities with the district. This came about as an alternative to an official student board as described before as a recommendation.
In addition, the PAC voted to advise the Board for the school district to begin the implementation of the California Education for a Global Economy Initiative, also known as Proposition 58. This initiative changed the education code regarding multi-lingual students, and the implementation of the changes should be a top priority for San Juan. I don’t have the exact wording of the motion in front of me today (I will get that to the Board at a later time), but the intent of the unanimous motion was clear: the PAC advises that San Juan initiate appropriate changes for our multi-lingual English Language learners based on these changes in state law and regulations.
Thank you for your time and attention. The LCAP process is complex, but the San Juan infrastructure of parent and community member governance for the PAC is a model for others. The staff who support us through the LCAP process should be commended for their work. We appreciate the ability to be heard, and the advice expressed by the PAC is carefully dissected and discussed, especially the advice that was formulated into specific motions of advice. We ask that if recommendations are not implemented or are modified, the PAC could receive written explanations explaining why.
Thank you, and I’d be happy to answer any questions.
Chair’s Report to SJUSD Board
March 13, 2018
Good evening, and thank you for making time on the agenda this month again for an update from the Parent Advisory Committee – or PAC -- for the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP).
The PAC met last Friday to take a deeper dive into the information and data to inform recommendations for the LCAP. There’s a tremendous amount of information to process – from financial and budgetary data to the results of surveys and other tools like thought exchange – that the district is utilizing to guide the process.
The information is extremely helpful, and PAC members expressed their gratitude for the feedback from Dr. Donna O’Neil and the others at San Juan Unified for the information, insight, and ability to analyze both the inner workings of the school district as well gain information about the thoughts and satisfaction of the students, parents and teachers and staff. The PAC members take a great deal of time to examine the information and provide quality advice to the school board, and how the recommendations are implemented as appropriate.
While the recommendations will become incorporated through the Plan, I wanted to update you on a few thoughts from the PAC. (These are not formalized motions as before, but general thoughts.)
- DACA HIRES. The district superintendent examined the recommend support for undocumented students through hiring practices and rightly expressed the legal problems with fully undocumented hires. The PAC wishes to clarify its support for a program that hires DACA individuals -- those who fall under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program who can be hired by the school district without legal difficulty.
- INCREASE DIVERSITY. Multiple members of the PAC expressed their encouragement for the district to increase diversity and hire staff who look like and can relate to San Juan’s community, especially those who fall into the LCAP Supplemental category of free/reduced lunch, English Language Learners, Foster Youth and Homeless. Diversity in this case can mean additional aspects to race and background – for example, male teachers at younger grades, female instructors in the sciences, employees at schools with backgrounds in other careers than education.
- DIVERSE AND REFLECTIVE MATERIALS. Along these lines, there’s also a strong recommendation to update educational materials and provide not only culturally diverse materials, but continue to update the curriculum to reflect today’s academic and general environment.
- CAMPUS CLIMATE TOOLS. Some members of the PAC wanted to clarify the distinction between campus climate surveys – which are one component of how to gauge how students, staff and others are feeling at a school -- and campus climate assessments, which may include surveys but which take a deeper look and potentially make recommendations.
- STUDENT VOICE. As I mentioned the last time I presented to you, Student Voice is a key topic and goal for the LCAP PAC, and one of our student members is heading up an ad hoc committee to tackle the subject. We encourage the school district to continue to hear from students from all backgrounds, including and perhaps especially those who haven’t spoken up before. We will provide additional information as this ad hoc committee formalizes.
- LCAP PAC OUTREACH, AND COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT LEADER. There are many on the PAC who would like to see more outreach and communication with the school sites themselves. We haven’t had as many parents attend our forums as we would like, and would like to outreach with school-site councils or other parent groups like PTAs to strengthen these relationships. PAC leadership will be working with staff on this outreach issue in coordination with district staff.
- PROBLEM-SOLVING AND STAKEHOLDER RELATIONS. The public comments to the PAC so far have been of problems, typically of very specific complaints that are beyond the purview of the PAC. Parents have come and commented about issues that were not addressed at the school-site level, and by all appearances grew to become much greater problems than necessary before the district was involved in resolutions. The PAC members strongly encourage San Juan to examine its problem-solving infrastructure and implement structural improvements to avoid these situations in the future.
- TRANSPORTATION AND SAFE SCHOOLS. The PAC has been hearing quite a bit of information about transportation needs and transportation-related safety issues (unsafe traffic situations at or near school sites). While some of these topics may be more appropriate for examination by another advisory committee, there is an intersection with the LCAP PAC’s purview. Some of these recommendations and/or observations may be included in the LCAP or in other communications in the future, or perhaps through a coordinated effort between advisory committees.
- SCHOOLS WITH COMMUNITY RESOURCES, AND AS COMMUNITY RESOURCES. Some of the PAC members expressed a desire and interest to seeing greater interaction between our schools and our communities and community groups, in both directions – meaning greater resource sharing by community groups on our campuses to support San Juan students and families, and also the utilization of our schools as community resources and not wholly separate from the areas and neighborhoods we live in.
- LISTEN TO OUR RECOMMENDATIONS AND ASK US QUESTIONS. As your advisory committee regarding these important funding issues, the parents, students and committee members of the Parent Advisory Committee welcome you and others to our meetings, to listen, and to heed the recommendations made – if not in exact detail if the “how” of the recommendation if not exactly perfect, then to listen to the “why” the recommendation has been made and suggest an alternative method. The PAC members come from different backgrounds and have different perspectives, but the recommendations come from hard work as well as insights as parents, grandparents and members of the community that may be unrecognized by school and district staff. The parent perspective is key to the success of our schools. We can provide very useful insights. Please utilize our perspective and hard work.
Thank you, and I’m available if you have any questions.
Chair's February Report Summary
The main accomplishment in the past month was the report presented to the board on the evening of February 13, 2018. See text following these quick announcements.
- BOARD RECOMMENDATIONS. While quite a few board recommendations were presented day before yesterday, the Chair will be presenting at a board meeting in March on March 13, 2018. Please speak up today if you’d like to put forth official motions for advice to the Board to the PAC for discussion and potential
- STUDENT AD HOC COMMITTEE. There has been great interest in the student ad hoc committee. Please see Marley Fortin for more
- CABE CONFERENCE. The California Association for Bilingual Education (CABE) will be at the end of March. There’s a decent sized group from San Juan – including LCAP PAC members – who will be attending. A quick report-out on best practices and other lessons learned from this conference at the April meeting makes sense. If you are one of those attending, please take notes and gather materials to share in
- MARCH MEETING. The March meeting is the biggie for the year – the review and discussion of the draft plan for the LCAP plan itself. IMPORTANT – this meeting takes place during the day, on Friday March 9, starting at 8:30 am. Please make sure it’s on your calendar, and please get caught up on the components of the plan itself in preparation for this meeting. This is also when we take a look at the current priorities and formulate recommendations for changes, additions, etc. We will learn more today from staff, but please be prepared to do a bit of heavy thinking and reading between today’s meet and the March meeting.
- NO ARTICLES THIS TIME. I have found and been sent one or two interesting updates in the media, but due to time constraints wasn’t able to add them to this Chair Look in the list for next meeting.
Quick reminders – repeats of previous reports:
The LCAP Chair’s Corner is up and includes the various articles and items of interest from the last meeting, as well as a few from this one. If you’re interested in viewing them and have trouble finding the section on the website, email LCAPPAC@sanjuan.edu or LCAP@sanjuan.edu and we’ll send a link.
- LCAP Chair Corner is on the website, and includes previous Chair
- Sign up for the San Juan Scene for district updates to the San Juan Community at https://www.sanjuan.edu/domain/2645.
- Utilize LCAPPAC@sanjuan.edu for the chair and vice chair and LCAP@sanjuan.edu for staff. While we cannot have a full discussion among the entire PAC (the reason for the “do not reply all” request when the Board meeting remarks were emailed out), direct questions and requests for meeting subjects may be
Remarks from LCAP Pac Chair Mary Beth Barber
Board Meeting – San Juan Unified School District – February 13, 2018
Good evening members of the San Juan Unified Board. My name is Mary Beth Barber, and I’m the chair of the Parent Advisory Committee for the Local Control Accountability Plan for San Juan, or LCAP, for the current school year of 2017-18. While I have commented here before as a member of the public, this is my first time presenting as the Chair of the PAC.
The Parent Advisory Committee meets monthly during the school year to discuss components and issues relating to the LCAP – which, because of its overwhelming importance to the district through school finance, touches on just about all subjects relating to San Juan Unified.
The format of the majority of our meetings is a “community forum” at the onset of our meeting for just over an hour, followed by a general business meeting where ongoing business, follow-up of previous forums, data dissection and other issues are discussed.
Some meetings are dedicated solely to the content of the LCAP or are dedicated to information and administration – our March and April meetings are dedicated to the details of the Plan, for example. But the forum format for allows for a deeper dive into particular subjects and a greater understanding of San Juan’s efforts in these arenas, as well as an opportunity for the public to learn and comment about particular areas of interest, and for the PAC to visit various school sites and outreach to the greater San Juan community.
These forums follow the general pattern of San Juan’s LCAP goals and focus areas. There are two overarching goals in the LCAP – one that can be described as the “academic achievement” goal, with the other as the “social- emotional and support” goal necessary for a comprehensive education. This school year we have touched on the following focuses for the community forums:
- October: “Climate, Culture, Safety and Student Voice”
- November: “Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS)”
- December: “On-time Graduation”
- January: “College Career Readiness”
Day after tomorrow on Thursday, February 15, will be our fifth community forum of the year, with “Parental Engagement” as the focus.
Not all focus areas of the LCAP are addressed through community forums each year, as there are too many to address in this format – although the subjects are addressed during the “business” part of the meeting. As a body we’ve adopted a two-year cycle to take the deep-dive forum format.
While the Board receives the official advice from the LCAP PAC through the PACs recommendations and the Plan’s adoption in the spring each year, there are specific areas and issues that the PAC identified over the past three months. These areas of advice to the Board were gelled into official motions approved by the PAC at the past two meetings. I’m here today to inform you of each.
I’ll read each official motion with the advisory information, and then provide brief background about the issue.
MOTION: The PAC recommends that the board develop a legal and proactive policy for hiring undocumented staff, teachers and administrators.
Background: The PAC has discussed how to best support its immigrant populations, with a key focus in the fall on those who are in families with undocumented individuals – either the students themselves are undocumented, or their parents, siblings or others in their family and community. PAC members noted that other school districts have made outreach efforts to employ individuals who understand the dynamics facing these communities and can serve as examples and experts in this area, especially individuals who fall under the DACA program. This passed in December 2017.
MOTION: The PAC recommends that the board direct staff to develop a formal and sustainable partnership with the Hispanic Association of College and Universities, as a means of developing additional pathways to college.
Background: This motion is related to the previous one, with a strong effort to support Latino students. School district staff have informed the PAC that efforts in this area are underway. This parallels partnerships and efforts with the historically black colleges and universities as well as other group supporting scholarships and support for African American students. The PAC recommendation strongly encourages these similar efforts for Latino students to be long-term. This was also passed in December 2017.
MOTION: The PAC recommends that the board mandate school climate assessments at two high schools and 2 middle schools and /or K-8 schools.
Background: This motion was significantly discussed and revised at the January meeting, and has been a topic for the PAC since I joined the committee three years ago. The PAC has recommended in depth school climate assessments as key ways short-term funds can be allocated in order to investigate and improve schools through a deep analysis done by experts outside the district.
In fact, funding for these four assessments – two at the high school level and two at the middle or K-8 level – were part of the LCAP spending plan in the past. But it is the PACs understanding that these assessments did not take place, in part due to the voluntary nature of the allocation. It’s the PAC’s understanding that surveys were conducted, but surveys are not full professional assessments by an outside entity.
As noted, a school’s administration must agree to have an outside expert come in and conduct a deep analysis as well as provide recommendations, and apparently no school volunteered to do so. The PAC recommends that the Board seriously consider requiring at least four schools to do so and utilize the already slated funding, especially in light of the recent civil rights complaint filings that directly concern school climate that have been reported on in the local media. This motion passed in January 2018.
MOTION: The PAC recommends the board enforce online board policy (AR 5121.III.D.3.a) at all high schools that reads: “High school and middle school teachers must provide students with a written copy of their grading policy. Grades reflect an objective evaluation of all academic activities a student has been required to complete during the assigned grading period.”
Background: This motion stems from public comment and a PAC member’s direct observation that middle- school and high schools students feel inadequately informed of how their grades will be determined in some classes. This motion was discussed by the PAC members as well, with some members emphasizing that individual assignments that must be assessed by an expert teacher – an essay, for example – have a evaluative component from that teacher’s perspective. It was clarified that the recommendation to the Board for the enforcement of this policy was not about concerns about this kind of evaluation.
Instead, students find themselves at a loss as to how their grades are determined at all and are not given description of tests, assignments or other components for a final grade. This discussion and motion took place in January, where the community forum topic was College and Career Readiness, and as one PAC member stated, how can our students be college and career ready if they are uncertain about what is expected of them in the classroom. This motion passed in January 2018.
MOTION: The PAC recommends making student classroom-based, non-evaluative surveys available to teachers, strongly encouraging their use as one way for students to provide anonymous feedback to individual teachers with the goal of improving classroom climate. The PAC requests that special attention be given to protecting student anonymity in the survey process.
Background: The PAC discussed ways that teachers could be given feedback by students to help with their professional development. Goals of this feedback would include information that directly relates to the teacher (versus general surveys where feedback for the district as through the surveys and ThoughtExchange), and not be tied to any kind of teacher performance criteria – or be viewed by anyone but the individual teacher, for that matter. The intent was direct teacher feedback to improve instruction and school climate. This component has been included in the LCAP for the past two years but not enacted. This motion passed in January 2018.
MOTION: The PAC shall establish an ad hoc committee to research and develop recommendations on student voice opportunities with the district.
Background: The PAC consists of two student members, including Marley Fortin, who is in her second year on the Committee. Ms. Fortin has desired to start a formalized method of student advisors to the school district, one that includes democratic representation from all high schools in the district, utilizes a formal “good government” infrastructure, and can energize students to become part of the advisory process. Given the goals of the Local Accountability Funding Formula and the LCAP process, the PAC formally approved the creation of the ad hoc committee and charged Ms. Fortin with the development of infrastructure and outreach to students. This motion was passed in January 2018.
These are the motions of formal advice to the Board from the PAC so far, although other topics were discussed in the series of meetings and could be presented in the future as official recommendations. I plan to present to you in a month, likely with additional recommendations.
I’d also like to reiterate that day after tomorrow we shall be here, in this room, to have a community forum on “parent engagement” – which includes student engagement as well as community engagement – and all members of the San Juan community are invited to this public meeting to learn about LCAP and the community’s voice.
Thank you for your time, and I’m available for any questions.
Below are some important articles and information provided about the Local Control Accountability Plan process and other educational matters.
- The January state budget proposal from Governor Brown includes an increase in K-12 funding and could increase during the spring budget negotiations, according to the Legislative Analyst’s Office:
- https://www.cabinetreport.com/budget-finance/lao-brown-likely-under-estimates-tax-revenue-this-year and
- https://www.cabinetreport.com/budget-finance/browns-budget-gives-schools-record-prop.-98-funding ;
- The governor, however, warned that while current budget projections look steady for funding, a reduction in funding is likely in the future from recession and other causes, as reported in the Sacramento Bee: http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/the-state-worker/article194434479.html
Below are some important articles and information provided about the Local Control Accountability Process and other educational matters.
- The State Board of Education recommended adjustments to standardized math assessment, according to an article in The Cabinet Report. “The state board of education moved Wednesday to adjust downward the scoring standards for math testing last spring that fell unexpectedly below the two prior years. Although the action was criticized by some who worry poor school performance is being artificially inflated, the board was careful to cite authoritative analysis that supports the need to sometimes modify a grading matrix when working with such a small pool of data.” https://www.cabinetreport.com/curriculum-instruction/sbe-sidesteps-critics-rolls-back-math-score- measures
- Information on chronic absenteeism is being collected by the California Department of Education (CDE). Ed Source has a database of information hosted here: https://edsource.org/2017/database-on-chronic- absenteeism-in-california-schools-2016-17/591232
- An Ed Source reporter asked two dozen school leaders, student advocates, legislators and others for their best ideas on how to improve the Local Control Funding Formula system. https://edsource.org/2017/24-ideas-for-improving-the-local-control-funding-formula/590709
- There’s another article from Ed Source that may be of interest to the PAC, this time on school climate with “State board’s next challenge: how to measure school climate, the heartbeat of a school” -- https://edsource.org/2017/state-boards-next-challenge-how-to-measure-school-climate-the-heartbeat- of-a-school/590744
- The organization “Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE)” will be conducting a conference on “Research and Policy” on February 2, 2018, at the Tsakopoulos Library Galleria in downtown Sacramento. This is a fee-based conference. From their website: “Our 2018 full-day conference will focus on three key education policy issues: ensuring educational equity under the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), rethinking policy and practice in special education, and strengthening alignment between California’s pre-K and K-12 education systems.” http://edpolicyinca.org/events/fulfilling- promise-local-control-funding-formula According to their website, PACE is an independent, non-partisan research center based at Stanford University, the University of Southern California, and the University of California-Davis.
Last month there was an article by Dan Walters published in the Sacramento Bee about the state of the state’s education sector. The piece may be found here: http://www.sacbee.com/opinion/california-forum/article175876141.html
California’s method of school assessment isn’t sitting well with some education evaluators nationally. “Another prominent education research and advocacy organization that disapproves of California’s approach to school accountability has ranked California’s new system at the bottom nationwide in a report released Tuesday. The low score by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute reflects a core disagreement over how best to identify and work with schools needing help. California education leaders are unapologetic about the route they’ve chosen, and they say the Fordham analysis contains a key error.” https://edsource.org/2017/california-at-bottom-in-nationwide-ranking-of-accountability-systems-state-board-president-disagrees/590271
Chair's January Report Summary
- Increased focus on time-keeping. As chair I’d like to serve the PAC in the best way possible, especially with the important questions and discussions that take place. Please understand if I wrap up a subject if it appears that we’re discussing the same issue using different words, or if there’s a pressing matter later on the agenda that should be taken up and not tabled.
- Communication to the Board. It is likely that this meeting today (January) will include a series of agreed-upon recommendations to the Board from the PAC, established by approved motions. PAC leadership (chair and/or vice chair) will then present to the school board in the coming months, with plans to attend meetings on the following dates: February 13, March 13, April 10. If you have an interest in attending and supporting your fellow PAC members, please mark these dates in your calendar.
- Date change of meeting in April. Because of a conflict with another major San Juan Unified event on April 19th (Spirit of San Juan awards), the PAC meeting has been moved to April 12.
- Nominations for Spirit of San Juan awards. Consider taking the time to nominate an individual who’s contributed to making the San Juan system and schools the best they can be. “The Spirit of San Juan awards recognize individuals or groups who help others in their school community, demonstrate positive character and provide an inclusive environment for others.” Deadline is March 2. Students, groups, teachers and staff are eligible for nominations. https://www.sanjuan.edu/site/default.aspx?PageType=3&DomainID=4&ModuleInstanceID=66051&ViewID=6446EE88-D30C-497E-9316-3F8874B3E108&RenderLoc=0&FlexDataID=39673&PageID=1
- Thought Exchange. Over 5,000 students provide their insight and perspective on our schools in November through the Thought Exchange process, an online questionnaire that may be used to hear a community’s thoughts and help develop the best of new ideas. The results for this student-focus Thought Exchange are available on the San Juan Unified website at http://sanjuan.thoughtexchange.com/card-welcome/welcome-4/. Take a look at the summary results, especially the main themes. (And if you’re interested in past Thought Exchange exercises for San Juan, those summary results can be found here: http://sanjuan.thoughtexchange.com/)
- Podcast with anecdotal stories about College and Career Readiness. The audio show This American Life from NPR provides deep insight of major issues through first-person stories on serious topics. The episode “Three Miles” examines the emotional impact of post-high-school for students from one of the poorest areas in The Bronx. While the piece examines the lives of only a handful of students, the insights can be meaningful as we wrestle with the topic. https://www.thisamericanlife.org/550/three-miles or find the podcast included as a “favorites this year” in late 2017’s listings for This American Life.
These are the same as last month, but good to keep in mind.
- The LCAP Chair’s Corner is up and includes the various articles and items of interest from the last meeting, as well as a few from this one. If you’re interested in viewing them and have trouble finding the section on the website, email LCAPPAC@sanjuan.edu or LCAP@sanjuan.edu and we’ll send a link.
- Keeping in touch with the communications and outreach of San Juan Unified is important, and one of the key ways to do this is to sign up for the San Juan Scene, a weekly newsletter that publishes news items from the District. Sign up is at https://www.sanjuan.edu/domain/2645.
- Any members of the PAC who might be interested in the California Association for Bilingual Education (CABE) conference in Sacramento on March 28-31, let staff know in case there’s room or an alternate is needed. Organization info: http://www.gocabe.org/; conference info: http://cabe2018.gocabe.org/.
- If there’s a topic that the members of the PAC would like to review as part of the business meeting portion of our upcoming meetings, please utilize the emails and let us know! LCAPPAC@sanjuan.edu for the chair and vice chair, and LCAP@sanjuan.edu for staff.
Chair’s December Report Summary
The holiday season is upon us, with the winter break starting next week. It also marks the approximate halfway mark for the school year and the ideal time to provide recommendations to the Board on ways to improve our San Juan schools through the LCAP plan and locally controlled funding.
- BOARD RECOMMENDATIONS. Discussing potential recommendations to the Board will be part of today’s meeting. Please speak up if there’s an issue you’d like to
- COMMITTEE CHANGES. We’ve had some changes in the make-up of the LCAP Parent Advisory Committee.
- The Board representative has shifted from Pam Costa to Paula Villescaz. Pam will be the liaison for the district’s English Learner community (DELAC) and the Special Education Community Advisory Committee (CAC), which has crossover with the LCAP
- We’ve had some changes in the PAC membership. Two members resigned due to conflicts, and three others have not been able to fulfill their duties with meeting attendance. Four new members join us today and will be introduced at the
- THOUGHT EXCHANGE. There are two Thought Exchange processes in progress – one that’s for students only (and provided through the classroom), and another for parents and community members. The main subject for the Thought Exchange for parents/guardians centers on what the district does and could do to make people feel welcome. Please participate and encourage other parent/guardians to do so as well. If you are a parent or guardian in San Juan currently and don’t have an email on file with the district, a link to the Thought Exchange is at http://sanjuan.thoughtexchange.com/invitation/ and is open until December 21, 2017. Available in English and Spanish; please contact the district for assistance with other
- STUDENT OUTREACH. Our student representative on the LCAP is working hard to establish the connections between the LCAP PAC and the different student advisory groups. San Juan is a large district, so any help other PAC members can provide is greatly appreciated. Please reach out directly to your fellow PAC
- MEETING NORMS. As we explore different topics during our PAC meeting, please keep all meeting norms in mind – especially approaching the discussion and questions from a positive point of view. Thank you!
The following information was mentioned at the last meeting, but it’s good to remember …
- The LCAP Chair’s Corner is up and includes the various articles and items of interest from the last meeting, as well as a few from this one. If you’re interested in viewing them and have trouble finding the section on the website, email LCAPPAC@sanjuan.edu or LCAP@sanjuan.edu and we’ll send a
- Keeping in touch with the communications and outreach of San Juan Unified is important, and one of the key ways to do this is to sign up for the San Juan Scene, a weekly newsletter that publishes news items from the District. Sign up is at https://www.sanjuan.edu/domain/2645. Last week’s publication included a story about our next meeting location site, Encina High School, and the struggles of the school’s football
- Any members of the PAC who might be interested in the California Association for Bilingual Education (CABE) conference in Sacramento on March 28-31, let staff know in case there’s room or an alternate is needed. Organization info: http://www.gocabe.org/; conference info: http://cabe2018.gocabe.org/.
- If there’s a topic that the members of the PAC would like to review as part of the business meeting portion of our upcoming meetings, please utilize the emails and let us know! LCAPPAC@sanjuan.edu for the chair and vice chair, and LCAP@sanjuan.edu for
Chair’s November Report Summary
Keeping in touch with the communications and outreach of San Juan Unified is important, and one of the key ways to do this is to sign up for the San Juan Scene, a weekly newsletter that publishes news items from the District. Sign up is at https://www.sanjuan.edu/domain/2645. Last week’s publication included a story about our next meeting location site, Encina High School, and the struggles of the school’s football team.
If there’s a topic that the members of the PAC would like to review as part of the business meeting portion of our upcoming meetings, please utilize the emails and let us know! LCAPPAC@sanjuan.edu for the chair and vice chair, and LCAP@sanjuan.edu for staff.
“Hope for Encina’s football team” in the San Juan Scene,” describing how the team came together with school staff after a serious disappointment: https://www.sanjuan.edu/site/default.aspx?PageType=3&DomainID=4&ModuleInstanceID=66051&ViewID=6446EE88-D30C-497E-9316-3F8874B3E108&RenderLoc=0&FlexDataID=38731&PageID=1
There is a staff coordinator for the various student groups that presented at the last meeting: Lori Vine, Equity Resource Specialist of the Equity and Student Achievement staff. Information about Teens 4 CHANGE, Pride PAK and the Superintendent's Student Advisory Council (SSAC) may be directed to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reminders mentioned in the last Chair’s report:
- Last month we asked about members of the PAC who might be interested in the California Association for Bilingual Education (CABE) will have a conference in Sacramento on March 28-31. While staff is wrapping up its list, if you didn’t let them know you’re interested, please do so ASAP in case there’s room or an alternate is needed. Organization info: http://www.gocabe.org/; conference info: http://cabe2018.gocabe.org/
Chair’s October Report Summary
SJUSD will have another round of Thought Exchange this year – but for students. This resource will be open to students grade 5-12 starting in early November. Please spread the word, and keep an eye out for announcements from the district when it’s time for students to submit.
The California Association for Bilingual Education (CABE) will have a conference in Sacramento on March 28-31. SJUSD is interested in sending parent leaders to this conference, including those on the LCAP PAC. Organization info: http://www.gocabe.org/; conference info: http://cabe2018.gocabe.org/. Early bird deadline is in November – please tell staff right away if interested.
When the district requested input on new materials for the high school Financial Math course, I signed up as part of the review team in late October. I will provide feedback at a later meeting, if relevant to LCAP discussions, and welcome information on similar insights from PAC members – email LCAPPAC@sanjuan.edu.
Finally, if there’s a topic that the members of the PAC would like to review as part of the business meeting portion of our upcoming meetings, please utilize the emails and let us know! LCAPPAC@sanjuan.edu for the chair and vice chair, and LCAP@sanjuan.edu for staff.