LAUSD Committee of the Whole Meeting Jan. 23

The Los Angeles Unified School Board will hold its Committee of the Whole meeting Tuesday at Pacoima Middle School to discuss the steps the LAUSD Division of Instruction’s Innovation Office is taking to allow educators to more easily share and implement promising practices across all subject areas. The full agenda can be found here.

According to a preview of the presentation, titled "Learning Together - Innovation and Improvement Sciences," the best practices include not only in-class instruction and management strategies but also ideas relating to school budgets and organization.

The discussion also will focus on ways to ensure that these practices are used in underperforming schools that have access to School Improvement Grants. Principals at San Fernando High School and Sutter Middle School in Canoga Park, both SIG recipients, will discuss how their schools are using grant money to make progress with innovative approaches and practices.

Other topics on Tuesday’s agenda include the Data Privacy Day, the National Day of Service, January as National Mentoring Month, a commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and special recognition for the Board’s Partners of the Month in Districts 2 through 6.

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LAUSD Regular Board Meeting Jan. 16

Highlights of the Agenda For the Jan. 16 Regular Board Meeting:

The Superintendent’s Reports will include:

·       An update on the governor’s budget proposal

·       A master plan for English Learners  

·       An update on federal legislative priorities  

The board will vote on resolutions to:

·       Create an Open Data Portal that will put more district data online and make it more accessible

·       Create a “Birth To Eight Roadmap To Success” steering committee focused on improving literacy during early childhood

·       Recognize and celebrate Black History Month

The full agenda can be found here.

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LAUSD Charter Board Meeting Jan. 9

LAUSD staff is recommending that Pathways Community School, a charter high school in San Pedro, be denied renewal at Tuesday’s Board meeting because of poor academic performance.

Three others charters: Ocean Charter, Goethe International Charter and Vaughn Next Century Learning center are recommended for approval.  The new charter petition for Los Feliz Charter Middle School of the Arts is also recommended for approval.

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LAUSD Regular Board Meeting: Dec. 12

Highlights of the Agenda for Dec. 12 Regular Board Meeting:

·  The LAUSD Board will vote Tuesday on a school calendar for the next three years that includes a mid-August start date, five days off at Thanksgiving and a three-week winter break.

·  The Independent Analysis Unit calling on the LAUSD Board to show leadership and tackle the enormous $13 billion unfunded health benefits liability that threatens to sink LAUSD if the problem is not dealt with immediately. The report from AUI calls on LAUSD to start putting more money aside to fund future retiree health benefits.

·  The Board will hear the First Interim Financial Report to the Los Angeles County Office of Education showing LAUSD’s financial certification is now “qualified,” meaning the District “may not be able to meet its financial obligations for the current fiscal year and for the two subsequent years” without cuts.

·  Board Vice President Nick Melvoin will introduce a resolution to bring before the Board all of the state legislation that the district is lobbying for on an annual basis. He plans to introduce an amendment to reverse the district’s position on SB808, the so-called “charter killer” bill, which would have allowed the district to shut down all successful charter schools without any process to appeal to the county or state.

·  Melvoin will introduce a resolution to create an Open Data Portal to put more district data online and to make it more user friendly.

·  Melvoin and Board President Monica Garcia will introduce a resolution to improve LAUSD’s process for reporting and tracking sexual harassment claims. “I believe our policies are inadequate,” Melvoin said. “That might be preventing people from coming forward. It’s about centralized reporting and hotlines and anonymous tips. In all organizations with 60,000 employees, we should be looking at this.

·  Board Member Ref Rodriguez (BD5) will introduce a resolution to create a “Birth To Eight Roadmap To Success” steering committee focused on improving literacy during early childhood.

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LAUSD Special Board Meeting Agenda Dec. 5: Charters

Eight charter schools up for renewal are being recommended for approval at Tuesday’s special LAUSD Board meeting, as are two new charter petitions, while one charter renewal and two new charters are recommended for denial. The full agenda can be found here.

On the renewal approval list are: Citizens of the World – Mar Vista, Crenshaw Arts Technology Charter High, Extera Public School No. 2, High Tech LA, Metro Charter, PREPA TEC – Los Angeles, Stella Middle Charter Academy, Valor Academy High, ICEF View Park Preparatory High. New petitions on the approval list are: Rise Kohyang Elementary and Valley International Preparatory High.

On the denial list are the renewal petition for Executive Preparatory Academy of Finance and new charter petitions for Acumen Academy Charter and iLEAD Encino Charter.  

Also at the meeting, the LAUSD Board will hear three superintendent reports: on the history of the District Required Language the Charter Schools Divisions staff requires in charter petitions, on Brown Act open meeting requirements and a review of the LAUSD Advisory Task Force’s attendance recommendations.

The Advisory Task Force comprises some prominent Los Angeles leaders, such as former Publisher and CEO of the Los Angeles Times Austin Beutner, former Los Angeles City Controller Wendy Greuel, former CEO of Paramount Pictures Sherry Lansing, UCLA Professor Pedro Noguera and ICM Partner Chris Silbermann.=

According to the Task Force report, in 2016–2017, over 80,000 LAUSD students, 14.3 percent, were chronically absent. That percentage increases to almost one-third of LAUSD students missing significant time at school if one adds the 17.9 percent of students who missed 8-14 days.

The Task Force is recommending “broad-based outreach to parents, students, and the community, and targeted approaches that support the unique needs of individual students and families.” Improving student attendance would significantly help LAUSD’s financial crisis, the Task Force found. If every child in LAUSD attended one more day of school, LAUSD would have approximately $30 million more to invest in the classroom.

The report also recommends greater accountability and efficacy measures for LAUSD’s current programs designed to improve attendance, “a cash reward program for schools to incentivize them to achieve better results,” and direct intervention programs at schools to provide “one-on-one counseling to students and families most in need.”

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LAUSD Special Board Meeting Nov. 28

The LAUSD BOARD will take a deep dive into the budget Tuesday, exploring the various funding models at different school districts across the nation.

Boston schools, for instance, use a “weighted student formula” that gives schools a per-student amount, with weights added depending on grade-level and for students living poverty, students with disabilities, English Language Learners, kids with emotional impairment and vocational students.

The Board will examine the pros and cons of LAUSD’s current funding model, which varies depending on the type of school. Affiliated charters and magnets receive more resources, for instance. The Board will also look at what types of local autonomy LAUSD schools have over their budgets.

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LAUSD Regular Board Meeting Nov. 14

Highlights on the agenda include two resolutions up for a vote: the creation of a District phone app for parents and a call for increases in per-pupil funding.

Introduced by Board Vice President Nick Melvoin (BD4) last month, and co-sponsored by Board President Monica Garcia (BD2) and Board member Richard Vladovic (BD7), the Transforming Engagement via Communication Hubs (TECH) resolution will seek approval for the creation of a phone app designed to give parents easy and instant access to Board, district and school information and provide a simple avenue for parental feedback.  The goal of the app would be to reach a wider group of district parents – particularly those who may not have landlines, computers or broadband services at home. Current methods rely largely on website postings, in-person meetings, phone calls and paper documents. The app also could be used to access student test scores, attendance records, grades and graduation process and special education documentation

Also up for a vote is a resolution sponsored by Board member Kelly Gonez (BD6), which is co-sponsored by Board Member George McKenna (BD1) and Melvoin, directing the superintendent and District staff to ask the state to increase per-pupil funding to $20,000 by 2020 and $25,000 by 2022. In 2017, California was ranked 47th at just $7,571 spent per student, trailing the national average by nearly $2,500. 

The resolution argues that a funding increase would allow the District to “significantly lower counselor-to-student ratios, reduce class sizes to 24 on average, add four additional trainings per teacher, employ a full-time nurse at every school, expand transitional kindergarten programs to all elementary schools and provide high quality arts education for every child at every school.” If passed, the Board would join United Teachers Los Angeles in calling for funding increases and advocate signing open letters to the State Legislature, holding an advocacy day in Sacramento, spearheading a targeted media campaign coordinated with the Governor’s budget release in January, and actively identifying potential sponsors for future legislation.

Other items on Tuesday’s agenda include voting on potential rules changes regarding public comments and speaker time limits, granting P.E. credit for Junior ROTC courses, recommending funding for anti-tobacco programs and the designation of City of Angels, Thomas Riley High School and Youth Opportunities Unlimited as alternative schools based on California Department of Education criteria.

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LAUSD Special Board Meeting Nov. 7: Charters

Thirty Four charter schools have petitions up for renewal or approval Tuesday. Eleven charter renewals and three new charter school petitions are commended for denial. Schools from Alliance and Magnolia, STEM Prep and Equitas Academy are among those recommended for denial. Several KIPP schools are recommended for approval but only with benchmarks the organization finds unacceptable.

Fifteen other charter schools have public hearings for petitions that will be voted on at next month's meeting. The entire agenda can be viewed here.

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LAUSD Special Board Meeting Agenda: Oct. 24

The Board will conduct a "deep dive" study session on wanding, the practice of conducting daily, random student searches with hand-held metal detectors, which has been LAUSD policy since 1994. Some charter organizations, civil rights groups and United Teachers Los Angeles have questioned the policy, but many parents still support it.

The Los Angeles School Police Department Chief Steven Zipperman will update the Board on critical weapons incidents on campus. District officials will also provide a history of and legal basis for the procedure, a presentation of current weapon statistics and a review of parent and student survey feedback about the policy. The Students Not Suspects Campaign, which opposes wanding, will also present suggestions for alternatives to wanding. The entire agenda can be read here.

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Committee of the Whole Meeting Oct. 17

Board members will discuss barriers and opportunities for improving student outcomes among English Learners at the Committee of the Whole meeting at Fairfax High.

Below are some of the speakers and topics:

* Chief Academic Officer Frances Gipson: Advancing Proficiency for English Learners

* Hilda Maldonado Executive Director Multilingual and Multicultural Education Department: Goals and Initiatives

* Chris Mason Expert, EL Elementary Instruction, MMED:  English Language Proficiency Assessments of California

* Mara Bommarito Director, MMED: Expanding Dual Language Program - Proposition 58

Click here for the entire agenda.


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