New Haven Unified School District Board Briefs for Tuesday, June 2, 2015


Board Briefs for Tuesday, June 2, 2015


On Tuesday, June 2, the Board held a public meeting to allow for Board and community input on the District's Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP).  The LCAP is intended to be a comprehensive planning tool for the District and describes goals and specific actions to achieve those goals for all students and each subgroup of students identified.  Documents related to the District's LCAP can be found here.  Co-Superintendent and Chief Academic Officer, Dr. Arlando Smith, outlined for the Board a number of goals that have been and will continue to drive the LCAP in New Haven:

  1. Increase the number of students who are college and career ready.
  2. Through personalized learning approaches, the District will expand its capacity to incorporate the "5 C's" (Communication, Collaboration, Critical Thinking, Creativity, and Cultural Competence) in support of the District's goal of 100% of teachers providing Common Core aligned instruction and assessment to improve student learning.
  3. Ensure community confidence in the District by increasing active participation, communication, and collaboration between schools/District and stakeholder groups, specifically parents of focus subgroups with the specific goal of educating the whole child and ensuring achievement.
  4. Ensure basic services:  The District will annually increase the number of students achieving "proficiency" or equivalent on California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress English/Language Arts and Mathematics assessments, by ensuring students are taught by appropriately assigned and fully-credentialed teachers, have full access to Common Core aligned instructional materials, and attend well-maintained school facilities in good repair for all students.

The Board also held a public meeting to solicit recommendations and comments from members of the public regarding the proposed budget to be adopted for the 2015-16 school year.  Co-Superintendent and Chief Business Officer, Akur Varadarajan, gave on overview of the general fiscal health of the District, outlining both additional resources and fiscal pressures.


Mr. Varadarajan shared that the District is able to submit a positive certified budget for the current and two out years.   In general, the District is in positive fiscal health. The Governor's decision to accelerate LCFF revenues and give more money to school districts sooner than expected has helped the District realize an additional $7.9 million in funding.  With $2.5 million of those funds intended for Supplemental/Concentration funding, approximately $5.4 million is left for general purposes.  A significant portion of this revenue is intended for agreed upon salary increases for employee groups, step and column costs, lower class sizes in grades K-3, cost of instructional materials, and other inflationary increases to expenses like water, property and liability insurance, and worker's compensation, among others. 


Mr. Varadarajan also pointed out that there are some ongoing monetary pressures that the District must manage.  We continue to be a district with declining enrollment.  As districts are funded per the average daily attendance of enrolled students, realized revenues are expected to decrease.  In addition, in order to manage the State's growing pension fund liabilities, the Governor is increasing the required employer's contribution to both the Public Employee and Teacher Retirement funds.


The Executive Director of Union City's Kids' Zone, Nancy George, shared with the Board an update on Academic Parent Teacher Teams (APTT) that have been implemented in the District.  These teams are intended to foster communication between the teacher and parent regarding the student's academic standing and needs, as well as assist parents with incorporating home learning activities.  Ms. George shared this past year's APTT successes as well as plans to support additional teachers and sites in implementing this powerful strategy.


Director of Food Services, Angelia Nava, provided the Board with an update on the District's Wellness Advisory Task Force, HEART, Health Education and Resource Team.  Ms. Nava shared with the Board requirements from the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010: Nutrition Standards for Breakfast and Lunch, which are intended to increase the number, variety, and amount of fruits and vegetables that students are offered at each school meal.  She went on to share current and pending legislation that will affect the Food Services program. Finally, she shared with the Board highlights of the Food Services program for the 2014-15 school year which included the addition of salad bars at some sites and plans for their expansion, the Seamless Summer feeding program that will take place over the summer at Emanuele Elementary, Searles Elementary, Cesar Chavez Middle, and the New Haven Adult school, and the successful pilot of a supper program at three of our schools.


The agenda for Tuesday's meeting, including documents related to the presentations and hearings, can be found here.



- Sunil Sethi


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