Board Of Trustees Meeting Highlights - April 9, 2019
We continue our efforts to communicate effectively and in a timely fashion with our families and staffs. We know not every parent, teacher, or staff member can attend our Board meetings, so we will provide a brief update after each Board meeting, sharing highlights and actions taken by the Board. As always, please let us know how to better serve and communicate with you! We want to be partners with you in the educational journey of the children entrusted to us.
Principal Michele Williamson reported that currently there are 510 students enrolled at Jackson Elementary School with 12% of students receiving Special Education services and 2% receiving EL services.
Jackson has four overarching areas of focus this year. The first being SBAC testing, which is an ongoing goal every year. Jackson continues to strive to be consistently over the 80% mark. This year they looked at classes that were very successful in particular curricular areas and had those teachers share strategies during collaboration time. Amy Bohren, EL Coordinator, came to the 4th and 5th grade classes to talk about test preparation and Teacher Amy Hadden, provided benchmark training for her grade level team. At this point in the presentation Amy Hadden shared with the Board an overview of the work she has been doing around the SBAC Test to model test taking strategies using Benchmark Advance assessments and SBAC goal setting.
Mrs. Williamson went on to talk about the Social Emotional Learning (SEL) focus. They have implemented the “Comfort Corners” and have done a lot of staff development on Trauma Informed teaching practices. They used the SEL inventory at the beginning of the year and will again at the end of the year. They have grouped students into three tier level supports. Principal Williamson thanked their counselor, Jennifer Craig, for all her support and contact with students. These supports have included 30 classroom presentations K-5 on all topics relating to SEL and facilitating student groups throughout the year on the topics of self-control, fitting in with peers, study skills, peer relationships, and focus at school. She has also done one to one supports for 26 students.
Another focus has been Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS), and Jackson has embraced it! They have implemented the matrix for all areas on campus and in all classrooms. They are currently working their way through assemblies, songs, chants and videos to teach the lessons. The tenants all include “Get Jag-y”. Student helpers joined Principal Williamson for the school chant: Hey Jackson you’re so cool, you’re so cool we love our school, get jag-y, hey, hey get jag-y! Also the students in the leadership elective are making goody bags and will take new students on PBIS walks at the beginning of the year to educate them about the different zones. Jackson is completely revamping the character counts assemblies around the “Get Jag-y” traits.
For the last focus area, Principal Williamson reported that Jackson has been training on the new California Arts Standards. It is no longer called VAPA(Visual and Performing Arts). It still has the same 4 traditional strands but now a 5th strand has been added, media arts - integrating technology into the arts. Mrs. Williamson and Ms. Tweed have been attending training and they will roll that out for the rest of the Jackson staff in August. The exciting part of media arts is that it ties in directly with the video production lab, and the 3-D printer, integrating technology into creativity and letting children create original products. This year they brought back the schoolwide dance program, and they have a new choir director as well as a new musical director. She also shared a short video and murals that were created in a joint project with the El Dorado Arts Council. Professional artists went into all the classrooms to talk about creativity and the process of creativity.
Difference Makers: Jackson School presented the Difference Maker awards to Jan Williams, Yard Supervisor and Jennifer Craig, Counselor.
Our enrollment continues to hold steady. We are down two from last month, up 20 from last June, up 90 from the first day of this school year and up 66 from the start of last year.
Our District Leadership Team has reviewed the new computer science standards and the associated grade span progression for California and are engaging in conversations about how to teach these standards to our students.
At the middle school level, they plan to continue to offer electives to directly teach some of these standards, while at the same time, thematically integrate computer science instruction into other core academic classes. The Computer Science First and Code.org programs are being reviewed as well to see how they might be used to help teach in both of these settings.
At the elementary level, our principals are reviewing those curriculums. They will be speaking with teachers about computer science standards implementation and which of these programs would best meet our needs. Our initial thoughts are that the Code.org program, which contains lessons specifically designed for each grade level, would serve our needs well. Our principals will come back together in May to continue discussing implementation.
Trustee George requested we survey our parents about our transportation services. Larry Garcia, Information Technology Manager, and Pat Cahill, Director of Transportation, collaborated and developed a short survey. The survey will be sent out to parents at the conclusion of our LCAP survey around the beginning of May.
Our District is pleased to share that we have staff and students who will be visiting our sister schools in China over spring break. Teacher Ashlie Oliver, along with 7 students and 5 parents will visit Beijing, Hangzhou, and Shanghai and our sister schools. They will share about the trip at a future Board meeting.
The Board had requested information regarding what our sites are doing to address students’ mental health needs and what we do in regard to suicide prevention as well as how we respond if children express anxiousness, depression or suicidal ideations. We are continually impressed and grateful for our counselors, teachers and administrators who are on the front lines, supporting our students in very tangible, meaningful ways. They work closely together as a team to make sure all students are cared for, and individual hurts or struggles are identified and given appropriate intervention and support. We thankfully have a very thorough and robust system of support and materials to use. The Board was given a copy of these materials.
Lastly, it is with great pride that we share that our very own esteemed and beloved Dave Scroggins has been awarded the ACSA Curriculum and Instruction Administrator of the Year for the entire State of California. It is well deserved and we are very proud of him.
Student Support Services
Each year the SELPA recognizes individuals for their contributions to the district, and to Special Education students as well as honoring retirees. Director of Student Support Services, Laura Hendrix, presented the SELPA Awards to the following recipients: Victoria Brownstein, Psychologist who will be retiring this year, Michele Williamson, Principal of Jackson Elementary School, and Hope Migliaccio, Principal of Pleasant Grove Middle School.
Director of Transportation, Pat Cahill, updated the Board on our electric busses. We are still in the process of acquiring an additional 6 busses. One bus is ordered (anticipated arrival in May) and we are still waiting for contracts on the other 5 busses.
Mr. Cahill informed the Board of another funding source from the El Dorado Air Quality Management District called SECAP funding (Sacramento Emergency Clean Air Transportation Program). El Dorado County will receive approximately $600,000. Mr. Cahill has applied for the funding and just received confirmation that they will begin working on contracts for us. This is basically for “white fleet” heavy duty vehicles ($100,000 per vehicle).
Director Cahill also reported on the progress with PG&E regarding infrastructure and rebates. He provided the Board with an illustration of the proposed plan for the charging stations and electrical work. We are in a holding pattern waiting for all the pieces to come together. Mr. Cahill finished his presentation with an overview of ridership for our district.