Scripps Ranch Schools Committee (SRSC)
Common Core Implementation
Much of November’s Schools Committee meeting centered on the district’s and schools’ efforts around Common Core State Standards (CCSS) implementation. Area superintendent Gil Gutierrez reported the district’s interim assessments would be administered to students in early December and in the spring. The purpose of the assessments is primarily a learning process for teachers rather than students, and it was unclear whether parents and students would be informed of the results.
The principals shared their efforts on CCSS implementation. The elementary principals all visited Jerabek to watch CCSS instruction in the classrooms, but each principal spoke of different implementation strategies.
The committee’s legislative analyst, Tamara Hurley, reported that the district received $22.5 million in state funding restricted to CCSS implementation. The board approved a proposal to spend 63% of the funds for professional development, curriculum alignment, and assessment, with an additional 26% for new instructional materials, primarily in math.
Tamara noted that math instruction under CCSS is very different, with the elimination of geometry as a class and the integration of geometry and probability/statistics concepts throughout the instructional years. The general focus is on greater depth of understanding in math concepts with decreased breadth of concepts.
This results in a major impact for middle schoolers, where the math sequence will change mid-stream. The district has not yet identified a plan for these students, who would have gaps in content for some concepts but could repeat others.
Marshall Middle School principal Michelle Irwin said that the MMS and SRHS math department chairs are meeting to discuss the progression. Also, there are plans to have a parent meeting early this year to explain the new math instruction.
School Site News
Principal Sue DeVicariis revealed Jerabek’s plans to open a preschool on their campus with SAY San Diego. It would have openings for potty-trained preschoolers, with first priority to Jerabek families.
Jerabek also has been selected as one of 18 schools in the district to be part of a school safety study. This generated a discussion around student safety when campuses are opened to allow polling booths onsite. While the district denied access to some campuses in the last election, others were still opened for polls.
Principals at schools that had polls in November said they would contact the district in hopes of denying access in the future. However, at the sites that had polling, most of the voting was held in confined areas so that the public did not have direct access to the campus and children.
Finally, the principals from Dingeman, Miramar Ranch, and SRHS all indicated progress on eventual air conditioning for their campuses, with installation already occurring after school hours at SRHS.
Common Calendar Update
Tamara Hurley reported that the plan for a common calendar for both year-round and traditional schools in 2014–2015 is still in process but there was limited new information. The first day of school on this calendar is proposed to be Monday, Aug. 25, with three weeks of winter break, two weeks of spring break, and the last day of school on Monday, June 22. A copy of the calendar is at [www.scrippsranch.org/documents/SDUSDcal.pdf].
The Cluster Congress, made up of representatives from all school clusters—high schools and their feeder schools—is working with the Mira Mesa Cluster to develop a survey for all stakeholders to give feedback on the proposal. Meantime, comments can be sent to a Calendar Committee rep at [[email protected]].
Concern was expressed that the proposed calendar could move forward without any stakeholder feedback. So the committee voted to send a letter to school board trustee Kevin Beiser requesting he delay the board vote until feedback was solicited. [As of press time, Beiser responded that he would ask for greater transparency and more time to solicit input from stakeholders prior to a board vote.]
In the event that the board does not approve the proposed common calendar, the district Calendar Committee will develop both traditional and year-round 2014–2015 calendars to bring before the board. It is anticipated that these, too, will have school starting on Monday, Aug. 25.
Unanimous votes were made for the following positions: co-chairs—SRHS Foundation parent representative Shana Smith and MMS principal Michelle Irwin; secretary—EBS School Site Council (SSC)/Site Governance Team (SGT) parent rep Jeremy Jessup; parliamentarian— MMS SSC/SGT parent rep Gloria Tran; legislative advisor—parent Tamara Hurley; and, Cluster Congress reps—Tamara Hurley and MMS Parent Teacher Student Association parent rep Lorelle Mudd.
Tamara reported that the spending regulations for the new education funding system, Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), continue to be modified by the state board of education in advance of the Friday, Jan. 31, deadline for adoption. The current draft regulations allow significant local flexibility to spend these funds. The state template “scaffold” for spending these funds will be determined locally—called the Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP).
The Schools Committee had a district LCFF input session to solicit feedback on LCFF spending and LCAP priorities for our community. The LCAP will address priorities and concerns based on the amount of feedback received. For those who would like to provide input, it can be done on the district website at [http://www.sandi.net//cms/module/selectsurvey/TakeSurvey.aspx?SurveyID=1048].
Meetings are held on the third Wednesday of each month at 4:30 pm in the MMS community room. The next meeting is on Jan. 15. Meetings are open to the public. For questions, please email co-chair Shana Smith at [[email protected]].
Tamara Hurley, Legislative Analyst