Ninth-grade Principal Matt Smith and teacher Perry Darweesh told the Board about the “family system” that was introduced this fall at James Logan High School, where every freshman is part of a “family” 60 to 100 students who have the same three teachers for English, biology and life skills.
The Board also heard a presentation on efforts being made to answer the Strategic Plan call for frequent, common assessments (Strategy 1, Action Plan 1). The District is in the process of implementing North West Education Association (NWEA) benchmark assessments, starting in grades 2 through 9, to provide academic growth measures for individual students.
Director of Assessment & Evaluation Craig Boyan talked about the use of Measures of Academic Progress, or MAP Assessments, on which the level of difficulty actually changes from question to question as the student is taking the test, based on the student’s ability level as assessed through previous answers. State-aligned, MAP Assessments provide instant results and accurate achievement and growth data, helping teachers identify skills and concepts that individual students have learned, diagnose instructional needs and monitor academic progress.
Principal Tracie Noriega told the Board how MAP data is being used to guide instruction at Alvarado Elementary School, and fourth-grade teacher Roxanne Ramirez talked about how she uses NWEA assessments with her students.
Also on Tuesday night, the Board:
● Received a report on enrollment as of “CBEDS Day.” As of October 3, the date designated for reporting by the California Basic Education Data System, District enrollment was 12,998, down 115 students from 13,113 on “CBEDS Day” in 2006. The continued decline in enrollment, which is affecting virtually all Bay Area districts, means ongoing financial challenges because of the corresponding decline in state funds.
● Heard the annual report on how the District is spending money from Measure A, a $120 million facilities bond passed by New Haven voters in 2003. The District has leveraged more than $32 million in additional funds from the state to supplement bond projects. Projects completed in the past year include new classrooms at Logan, installation of a solar energy system at Conley- Caraballo High and a sprinkler system at Eastin Elementary, exterior painting at Alvarado and Hillview Crest elementary schools, covered walkways at Emanuele and Kitayama elementary schools, and new gym bleachers and refurbished lockers at Alvarado Middle School.
● Approved a resolution authorizing the District to seek state matching funds for construction of the East Bay Culinary Arts Institute on the campus of James Logan High School. Logan students enrolled in the Mission Valley Regional Occupational Program and New Haven Adult School students will have a unique opportunity to study, train and gain practical experience at the Institute, which will include classrooms, training kitchens and a full-service, public restaurant. (NOTE: Further details on the East Bay Culinary Arts Institute are included in a separate press release to follow.)
● Heard a report on Risk Assessment practices and Risk Management activities, focusing on the District’s efforts to identify major areas of exposure and mitigate the risk.
● Recognized Logan senior Jade Lopez, a member of the United States taekwondo team that competed during the summer in the Pan-American Games. A gold medalist this fall in the Pan-Am Junior Championships, she hopes to compete in the Olympic Games.
● Presented “Years of Service” awards to employees who have reached service milestones of 35, 30, 25 or 20 years. The honorees:
35 Years: Roger Stahr (CCMS), Sharen Valles (Eastin).
30 Years: Ann Boylan (Pioneer), James Hansen (Logan), Deborah Hatton (Logan), Brenda Lloyd (Pioneer), Victoria Medina (Logan), David Pava (ESC), Barbara Breves (AMS), Joann Brown (CCMS).
25 Years: Barbara Hostnick (Corp Yard), Deborah Gajda (Kitayama), Susan Moss (ESC), Michael Freed (Logan), Carol Hartunian (Alvarado Elementary), Darrell Rumple (Corp Yard), Glenda Stapf (Logan), Vicki Ballard (ESC), Judith Casey (Eastin), Lisa DeSa (AMS), Susan Robertson, Lynne Thomson (AMS).
20 Years: Raymond Yardley (Corp Yard), Amy Adelson (Logan), Theresa Clark (Logan), Carla Colburn (Logan), Jane Correia (Pioneer), Leslie Crisfield (Logan), Kim Daniel (BWMS), Shawn Dolgin (Logan), Sharyl Larson (Conley-Caraballo), Alida Lombardi (Logan), Margaret Malley (AMS), Lisa Metzinger (ESC), Rhonda Neagle (ESC), Gustavo Samaniego, Frances Szlapka (Logan), Jeff Ustick (Logan), Kathy Wanzong (Eastin), Pamela Jensen (Pioneer), Marsha Brass (Emanuele)
Agendas of regular Board of Education meetings and minutes of past meetings are available on the District website: www.nhusd.k12.ca.us