Scripps Ranch Schools Committee (SRSC)
In these reports, we will include information presented during the Scripps Ranch Schools Committee meetings, as well as updated information about issues that affect our schools.
Safety and Security
School safety and security was the main focus of the February Schools Committee meeting. Phil Stover, deputy superintendent of business support services, and Rueben Littlejohn, San Diego Unified School District Police Department chief, made the presentations. Phil reported on the comprehensive inspections of all schools. The inspection rubric includes:
- Site training of all staff, including substitutes;
- Site access and egress;
- Doors and locks, more than 7,000 classrooms districtwide;
- Lights and cameras;
- Standardization of policies and procedures; and,
Low-cost or no-cost improvements will be scheduled immediately. Remaining repairs and upgrades will be triaged in a master plan over the summer and presented to the board of education for funding in September. Communication has already been identified as a key issue for school sites, so the district will standardize communications and issue more than 4,000 narrow-band radios for emergency communications by September.
Chief Littlejohn spoke about the school police’s relationship with the San Diego Police Department and other law enforcement agencies in the county. He said the groups meet and work together to provide a consistent response to various issues.
In addition, the chief shared information about safety programs and services school police oversee. These include the Crime Stoppers’ Students Speaking Out Program, which allows students to anonymously report bullying that they are involved in or observe. The anonymous bullying hotline is 888-580-TIPS (8477) and can be used by students or parents. Visit [www.StudentsSpeakingOut.org] for more information. Other topics addressed by the chief included:
- Crime mapping at [www.crimemapping.com], which allows you to get crime statistics around schools;
- Site comprehensive safety plans;
- Review of actions that constitute cyberbullying, such as threatening or posting obscene materials or harassment;
- Cyberbullying laws;
- Free cyber-safety presentations for students by SafetyNet through the School Police Foundation; and,
- An explanation of how district staff must report child abuse.
Chief Littlejohn also gave the school police phone number—619-291-7678—which is staffed 24 hours a day. If you suspect illegal activity at or near schools, please call. This number is always in the Newsletter Directory for easy reference.
The San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) budget should improve with the governor’s January budget proposal that provides more state revenue for education, approximately $750 more per student. However, the district is facing a $49 million deficit for 2014–2015, so it remains to be seen how much it can restore programs and services in the short term.
The district is reportedly analyzing the budget to determine how expenditures are tied to student needs to find savings through “strategic staffing,” in addition to continuing sales of real estate holdings.
The district added one day to the 2013–2014 school year. It now ends on Friday, June 13, for traditional schools, and Monday, July 21, for year-round schools.
Common Core Math Transition
There continue to be ongoing issues with the transition of students currently in middle school math courses to the new integrated math courses the district has chosen to implement for Common Core in the fall. Meetings are scheduled with key district staff to try to find a smoother transition. The goal is no significant redundancy next year of the math standards that students are learning in this year’s courses and a continued accelerated pathway for advanced math students.
The Schools Committee meets on the third Wednesday of the month—during the school year—at 4:30 pm in the Marshall Middle School community room. The next meeting is on Wednesday, Apr. 16. All meetings are open to the public. For questions, please email co-chair Shana Smith at [[email protected]].
Tamara Hurley, Legislative Analyst