11/15 Highlights: Single Plan for Student Achievement

Click here to see WCCUSD’s minutes from this meeting.

Welcome to Board Watch for WCCUSD’s November 15th Board of Education meeting!

This week, our board members are being recommended to approve each school’s Single Plan for Student Achievement (SPSA), in addition to a policy on school climate. Our board members are also scheduled to hear update presentations on: (1) the work being done by Partners in School Innovation with the Kennedy family of schools, and (2) the implementation of the forensic audit recommendations. Lastly, board members are scheduled to hold a public hearing on Rocketship San Pablo Elementary’s charter petition.

Click here to see the full meeting agenda.

1. Vote on Approval of Individual Single Plans for Student Achievement (SPSAs) for Each District School

Consent Item D.8. District staff are recommending that our board members approve each school’s Single Plan for Student Achievement (SPSA). SPSAs serve as a vehicle for communicating information about a school’s vision and initiatives to improve academic achievement; in addition, SPSAs describe how the school site uses supplemental, concentration, and Title I funds. School plans describe legally-mandated requirements and comprehensive programmatic information, including:

  • a description of how parents are involved in the school program;
  • data analysis and assessment of student learning;
  • an action plan for improving student achievement and closing the achievement gap;
  • a plan to improve attendance; and
  • a plan to promote a safe, welcoming, and disciplined learning environment.

SPSAs are developed and approved by each site’s School Site Council (SSC).  The plans are available for review on the District website and at the State and Federal Programs Department located at the Vista Campus.

DATA IN ACTION: Single Plans for Student Achievement matter because they provide targeted areas for student improvement with action steps and related expenses. We hope you take time to review the SPSA for your child’s school to better understand how students are progressing and what programming is in place to try to improve student outcomes. Talk with your child’s teacher and / or principal about the specific identified strategies and how they will support academic growth for your child and his / her peers.

Below is an example SPSA for student achievement in English Language Arts.

2. Vote on Resolution No. 49-1718: Establishment of a Positive School Climate Policy

Action Item G.2. Based on direction from the Board, Superintendent Duffy convened a group of stakeholders to craft a policy that eliminates willful defiance as a category for suspensions and expulsions. Willful defiance is defined as: “disrupting school activities or otherwise willfully defying the valid authority of school staff.” This broad definition has included suspensions for everything from a student failing to follow directions or bring materials, to wearing a hat in class or talking back to a teacher. (Click here for more on suspensions and school climate.) During the course of this work, the working group identified several issues that need to be addressed along with the elimination of willful defiance, including law enforcement in our schools, alternative solutions, and restorative justice efforts.

The draft resolution identifies resources, establishes timelines and prescribes additional work to ensure that such a policy is successful and leads to positive outcomes for students, improves the climate and culture at schools, and has the support of teachers, parents, students and administrators. At this meeting, the board is being recommended to approve the resolution.

DATA IN ACTION: The resolution shows our district taking a step forward in public accountability and transparency. It commits to a number of areas for public data reporting. Information provided in these areas will support a better understanding of student experience in our schools, lost instructional time from suspensions, and alternative strategies utilized by school sites.

The resolution demonstrates a commitment to publish data on school discipline and behavioral interventions on the district’s website bi‐annually (twice a year after each semester) for: (1) the district overall, and (2) disaggregated subgroups (e.g. by school, gender, age, ethnic background). Data will include the following, as excerpted from the resolution:

  • The aggregate (total) number of referrals, teacher, supervised in‐school, and out‐of‐school suspensions, voluntary and involuntary transfers, expulsion referrals, expulsions, and stipulated expulsions disaggregated by all subgroups, including race, ethnicity, ELL status, socioeconomic status, homeless, foster youth or probation status, and disability and by offense for the district and by school site.
  • The number of instructional days and ADA funding lost to suspensions, transfers, and expulsions.
  • Interventions and alternatives to suspension utilized by school sites, including restorative practices circles and conferences.                
  • In reporting such data, the privacy of individual students and teachers shall be protected. Data will not be disaggregated in any manner that could reveal student identity to the public or to knowledgeable members of the school community.    
  • The district will work with school sites to report accurate data around incidents of school discipline (traditional and/or restorative) without penalty. 

RECOMMENDATIONS: We continue to encourage the board to incorporate a more frequent data review cycle to monitor the policy’s impact and make adjustments as necessary.

  • Quarterly reporting, as opposed to semester reporting, would allow for shifts in programming to better meet the needs of students during the current academic year.
  • The timeline for reporting must be clear. Data should be released within four weeks of the close of each quarter to be most actionable and impactful. For example, high school quarter one closed this past Friday, October 27th. We would expect the data to be shared publicly at the November 16th or December 6th Board of Education meetings. This would allow for potential interventions to be in place by the start of quarter three.
3. Update Presentation from Partners in School Innovation focused on Kennedy Family of Schools

Discussion Item F.1. Partners in School Innovation will provide an update of the organization’s work to date with the Kennedy family of schools. Partners’ work has two tiers of support: Coronado, Grant, Wilson, Stege, and Kennedy are one tier called Transformational sites, while DeJean, Nystrom, King, and Lincoln are another tier called Intensive sites. Check out the presentation to understand the work at each tier, and successes and obstacles to date.

4. Update on the Implementation of the Forensic Accounting Investigation Recommendations

Discussion Item F.2. The board is scheduled to hear a report on the implementation of the forensic accounting investigation recommendations. On September 21, 2016, the board accepted the full Phase II Accounting Investigation Report.   The Phase II report contained 112 recommendations to reduce the District’s level of risk, and improve overall operational and administrative efficiencies. To date, staff has implemented several recommendations. Check out the links below to learn more about the investigation report and recommendations.

5. Initial Public Hearing for Rocketship San Pablo Elementary Charter Petition

Discussion Item F.3. The board is scheduled to hear from members of the public on Rocketship San Pablo Elementary’s charter petition. On Wednesday, October 18, 2017, Rocketship Charter Management Organization (CMO) submitted a Charter Petition for a Transitional Kindergarten through fifth grade. The Rocketship CMO plans to open in 2019-2020 using a slow growth model that will reach stated maximum enrollment of 564 in 2023-24.

District staff project the fiscal impact to be a loss of Average Daily Attendance for the year 2019-20 for 386 students at $3,107,544, and by full enrollment in the year 2023-2024 of 600 students, $4,81,978 per academic year. Assumptions for calculations are ADA for Transitional Kindergarten and 112 kindergarten through 3rd grade students at $8,112 per student, and for grades 4th through 6th, ADA of $7,689. Check out item F.3 in the agenda for the full set of attachments, including information on budget, talent, governance, and special education.

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