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Board Briefs - Oct. 8, 2019

Here are a few highlights from the San Juan Unified Board of Education’s most recent regular meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 8 (the full agenda packet can be found here).

Board hears update on strategic planning

Staff provided the board with an update on the district's current strategic planning efforts. The Strategic Planning Task Force convened on Sept. 5-6 to conduct the initial phase of the strategic planning process.

During this initial phase, task force members analyzed district demographic data in order to gain a better understanding of the community in an effort to expand the scope of listening and learning activities as part of not only the strategic plan but also the Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) development process. 

The expanded listening and learning phase of strategic planning includes three Regional Forums, site listening activities, and the convening of a network of “cultural brokers.” Cultural brokers are individuals that are connected to our district and have an affinity with communities identified by the Strategic Planning Task Force as in need of a connection to the strategic plan and Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) development processes.

Please join us for the upcoming Regional Forums to provide direct input into our new strategic plan.

Board hears update about Encina Preparatory High School and the 6-12 model

Staff presented to the board on the exploring, discovering and learning that occurred during the 2018-19 school year at Encina Preparatory High School.

During the 2010-11 school year, Encina Preparatory High School implemented a school-wide redesign plan as part of a School Improvement Grant they received. In addition to the redesign process, the school configuration was shifted to include grades 6-8 in their instructional model as a part of the process to close Jonas Salk Middle School. While there were some areas of improvement following the redesign, specifically school climate and culture, staff connectedness, community engagement and safety, the school continues to underperform based on state academic indicators.

In an attempt to learn more on how to improve both the learning and social/well-being of all students through a continuous improvement model, the district assigned Nina Mancina, program specialist, to Encina during the 2018-19 school year to do a deep qualitative data study of the school including observations and intensive interviews with students, staff, administration, parents and the community. Mancina's observations were shared with Encina’s extended leadership team which identified five areas to be addressed. The first four areas include addressing primary student trauma, resolving secondary trauma, increasing academic supports and making better use of data. Efforts to address these areas are being implemented through actions developed by Encina staff and are detailed in the school’s Single Plan for Student Achievement.

The fifth area is to consider the limitations of the 6-12 model at Encina and whether an alternative 6-8 structure might better meet student and community needs. To that end, district staff plan to engage stakeholders throughout the region over the coming months and return to the board with a recommended course of action this spring. Any recommended changes would likely not take effect until the 2021-22 school year or later.

In other news...

  • The board adopted a resolution proclaiming the week of Oct. 13-19 as the Week of the School Administrator.

The Board of Education will hold its next meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 22 in the district office Board Room.  Agendas are posted online Fridays before each meeting and can be found here. Audio files and transcripts from past board meetings can be accessed here.