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Board of Education District and Community Relations Committee Meeting - Sep 25, 2013

Meeting Date & Time: Wednesday, September 25, 2013, 5:00 PM
Where: DeLayo Martin Community Room Alice and Bruce King Educational Complex, 6400 Uptown NE
Minutes: Minutes
Agenda Packet: Packet
Meeting Posted On: 05/24/2013, 6:37 PM
Agenda Posted On: 09/20/2013, 10:02 AM
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District and Community Relations Committee Meeting

AGENDA

 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

5:00 PM

DeLayo-Martin Community Room, Alice and Bruce King Educational Complex, 6400 Uptown Blvd.NE

Albuquerque, New Mexico

 

I.

Call to Order

 

A.

Roll Call

 

B.

Adoption of the September 25, 2013, District and Community Relations Agenda (Discussion/Action)

 

II.

Public Forum

 

III.

Superintendent's Student Advisory Council (SuperSAC) Report (Discussion)
Presenter: Joseph Escobedo, Chief of Staff

 

IV.

Presentation from Superintendent’s Teacher Advisory Council (SuperTAC) (Discussion)
Presenter: Winston Brooks, Superintendent

 

V.

Summer School Update (Discussion)
Presenter: Jami Jacobson, Executive Director, Curriculum and Instruction

 

VI.

Bullying Prevention Recommendations (Discussion)
Presenter: Dr. Kristine Meurer, Executive Director, Student, Family, and Community Supports

 

VII.

Next District and Community Relations Committee Meeting

 

A.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013, at 5:00 p.m., at the Alice and Bruce King Educational Complex in the DeLayo Martin Community Room.

 

VIII.

Adjournment

 







Minutes of the District and Community Relations Committee Meeting

Board of Education

Albuquerque Public Schools

 

A District and Community Relations Committee meeting of the Board of Education (BOE) of Albuquerque Public Schools (APS) was held Wednesday, September 25, 2013, beginning at 5:00 p.m., in the DeLayo Martin Community Room, Alice and Bruce King Educational Complex, 6400 Uptown Blvd. NE.

 

I.          Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 5:00 p.m.

  1. A. Roll Call

Present:  Martin Esquivel, Steven Michael Quezada, Dr. Analee Maestas, Lorenzo Garcia, Dr. Don Duran, and Dr. David Peercy.

Absent:  Kathy Korte

  1. B. Adoption of the September 25, 2013, District and Community Relations Agenda

Chairperson Analee Maestas asked for a motion to adopt the agenda.  Dr. David Peercy moved for approval; Mr. Steven Michael Quezada seconded the motion; motion carried.

 

II.         Public Forum

The participant of the public forum expressed concern regarding the delay in receiving information on an Inspection of Public Records Act (IPRA) request he had submitted and requested fiscal information regarding the expenditures of the district.

 

III.        Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council (SuperSAC) Report

Chief of Staff Joseph Escobedo introduced several of this year’s SuperSAC students:  Jack Hodge from La Cueva High School, Alexis Gough from Cibola High School, and Nicolas Martinez from the Career Enrichment Center (CEC).

The first SuperSAC meeting of the year took place on September 23.  Among the topics discussed were graduation requirements, truancy, how schools can help improve attendance, and the Student Health Advisory Committee (SHAC), which is a district advisory council made up of parents, students, community members, and school staff who work together to improve the health of students and families through coordinated school wellness programs (research indicates that healthy children learn better).  A request for volunteers was extended for both SHAC and for the Town Hall Meeting at the Council of the Great City Schools (CGCS) Conference on Friday, November 1.  Superintendent Brooks shared that there are two community sponsors for SuperSAC:   Jason’s Deli, who provides lunch for the monthly meetings and Hinkle Family Fun Center, who hosts an end of the year event.

Mr. Martinez shared that 25 credits are required to graduate (with one dual credit), along with passing end of course exams.  He expressed concern that many students are afraid to attend classes due to bullying.

Mr. Hodge shared that many students are truant due to the necessity of employment and parents not understanding the importance of early childhood education.   He likes the idea of community outreach programs to help with this.

Ms. Gough suggested having a jump start day for kindergartners and their parents.  She shared that there is a lack of understanding on what classes would meet graduation requirements (i.e., CNM classes count as an elective, not dual credit).  Outreach programs through the schools and involving parents may help.

Board members advised that students, beginning in middle school, should know what is on their transcript and what requirements are needed to graduate, so that there won’t be surprise at the time of graduation.  Counseling departments may be a place to improve such communication, along with revisiting how the Next Step Plan is being utilized by teachers and students, making it more personalized.

Discussion clarified that a certificate of completion is given in place of a diploma when students have completed required credits but have failed to pass the end of year exams in U.S. History, English 11, and the Student Based Achievement (SBA) in reading, math, and science; end of course exams may be an alternate to the SBA.  UNM and CNM accept students based on ACT scores.

Ms. Gough assured board members that students don’t view the certificate of completion as an alternative and that teachers are pushing students toward the higher bar.  She elaborated that there are tutoring sessions during lunch every day at Cibola High School to ensure students are able to pass their exams.

Board members encouraged SuperSAC students to communicate what they’ve learned to their schools and encourage students to attend sessions and bring their questions.  They further emphasized that attendance is partly the student’s responsibility and partly the parent’s.  Parent involvement is more critical for younger students; community involvement could be a deterrent with high school students (i.e., local businesses calling campus police to come get truant students).

Getting students to care about their education is a key part of the issue; it could be that a student’s parent achievement is having a negative influence.  Offering choices for education can help those who are not motivated.

 

IV.       Presentation from Superintendent’s Teacher Advisory Council (SuperTAC)

Superintendent Winston Brooks established and met with a 21-member teacher advisory council on Monday, September 16.  The group will meet monthly to provide input on a variety of topics happening in the schools.  More than half of the group was selected by Ellen Bernstein and the Albuquerque Teachers Federation (ATF); the remaining were selected by APS administration.  Much of the discussion at the first meeting centered on biggest challenges, implementing Common Core State Standards, teacher evaluation, pay periods, work load, and truancy.

Superintendent Brooks introduced APS teachers and SuperTAC members Valerie Kovach from Atrisco Heritage Academy, Jamen Medina from Van Buren Middle School, and Jonathan Saiz from Armijo Elementary School.  The teachers were impressed with the range of representatives within the new group and appreciate the opportunity to have a voice; they encouraged board members to make school visits.

 

 

Discussion points included:

  • The difficulty of balancing common core, living within budget restrictions, being prepared for the classroom, and being effective with truancy, deportation, homelessness, and hurting children on a daily basis and still keeping the focus on the students;
  • The stress of the new testing requirements, especially for special education students who will not be able to attain to graduation requirements with the time allowed;
  • Co-pays for insurance have an affect on overall health, especially when surgery has to be put off.  One can’t plan when they will need a surgery and do not make enough to put money aside;
  • The tools to prepare students are not readily available.  It is time-consuming for teachers to have to find and pull from various resources to get the core content needed and keep students’ interest.  Printers break down when overused to compensate for the lack of textbooks;
  • Many students do not have a computer or internet at home.  Will the APS network support additional iPads in classrooms?
  • Common core curriculum is contradictory to the teacher evaluation system and to end of year exams; teachers would like more district support across curriculums and grade levels for implementing common core standards;
  • Teacher evaluation is causing confusion and stress at the principal level, and it differs between schools.  Teachers are concerned that it be equitable;

The board members shared that they are frustrated as well and encouraged fidelity to student and school success.  The freedom of implementation is important and the district can work on common collaboration.  While it’s the responsibility of administration and the Board of Education to protect teachers and serve as a buffer so they don’t have to worry about the other issues, some of it can only be affected through the election polls, sharing concerns with parents, and through letters to the legislature.  Teacher training time is taking time away from the students.  The district will strive to make improvements; perhaps there can be some collaboration through contract negotiations.

The board thanked the teachers for their leadership, dedication, passion, creativity, and teamwork and encouraged communication.

 

V.        Summer School Update

Jami Jacobson, executive director of Curriculum and Instruction, provided an update of 2013 summer school programs and outcomes including elementary magnet summer school programs, middle and high school summer school, the “K-5 Summer Learning Adventure:  Into The Wild!” Pilot at Painted Sky Elementary School, as well as K3+ and Start Smart programs.

Traditional summer programs funded by the APS operational budget include four elementary magnet summer school sites, nine middle school summer school sites, and four high school summer school sites.  The cost for elementary school is $475,930; for middle school is $151,684; and high school is $801,178 for a total cost of $1,428,792.  Community partners make up the difference for elementary, before and after school providers, and high school programs.  High school students pay tuition, which goes back into the general fund for teacher and administrative cost.

The curriculum focuses on remediation and support for elementary and middle school students and on credit recovery for high school students.  The highest ethnic group served is Hispanic.  The highest at-risk groups served are priority 2 and free and reduced lunch program students.

Grant-funded Jump Start programs include Start Smart at 13 elementary school sites and K3+ at 32 sites.  Grant budgets are $3,683,853 through summer 2015 for Start Smart, and $4,267,810 through SY 2013-14 for K3+.  Jump Start curriculums implement school core curriculum, common core-based curriculum, and assessment.

The cost for extended school year for special education is $149,737 (operational) and $1,462,182 (federal).

Overall enrollment and attendance data show a steady increase in elementary programs.  Assessment outcomes for proficiency in kindergarten to fifth grade English language arts and math indicate a need for improvement.

There were 3,861 high school students with 365 summer school graduates that attended summer school in 2013.  The end of course exams are causing the increase; teachers will have to increase as well.  Transportation is a drawback.  The Horizon Grant helps with tuition through community partners.

The K-5 Summer Learning Adventure:  Into The Wild!” pilot was implemented at Painted Sky Elementary School with the intention of eventually replacing the current summer school program.  Data shows that the traditional summer programs are not showing expected growth; this program is expected to bring higher interest and greater success.  The academic goal was for students to gain three percentage points in reading comprehension and math fluency as measured by district pre- and post-assessments.  Students who qualified for regular summer school program and attended Title I schools using these programs applied to attend the pilot and were chosen by lottery.  Surveys were done to gather input from staff, students, and parents.  Initial results show enthusiasm among all participants, high comprehension, and collaboration.  A middle school pilot may be looked at in the future.  Discussion clarified there will be a rotation of differing programs.

A Summer School Redesign Task Force will meet monthly from September 27 to November 29, 2013, with full re-design in place for 2014 summer school sessions.  The focus is to rebuild/repair APS Summer School programs based on research and best practices, with input from all stakeholders regarding needed changes in policy, procedures, implementation, and practice.

The board would like to see specific data on how successful summer school students are in the following school year, whether middle school students are struggling academically or if its apathy, and how many students are repeat recovery students for high school.  There should be collaboration between summer school teachers and regular education teachers and a pre- parent/teacher/student conference to communicate any special needs or issues.  Currently, a purple file is created that follows the student; it is evaluated and referred to special education if a pattern of repetition is seen.  It would be helpful to have an electronic method for this data.

 

 

VI.       Bullying Prevention Recommendations

Dr. Kristine Meurer, executive director, Student, Family, and Community Supports, and Brooke Tafoya, bullying/violence prevention coordinator, Wellness (Coordinated School Health) shared that suggestions from APS’ fall 2012 public forums on bullying prevention were taken to elementary, middle, and high school task forces, resulting in the development of recommendations on bullying prevention programs by level for discussion with the Board of Education.

Two community meetings were held in September 2012 to gather feedback regarding bullying prevention.  Student feedback was gathered from the SuperSAC.  Associate superintendents recommended administrators to serve on the Bullying Prevention Program Task Forces (BPPTF) for each level.  The task forces began meeting in December and have met eight times since then.  Key elements were agreed upon to guide the BPPTF’s decision making, including:  building common language, engaging the whole school in embodying the thinking, opportunities to engage parents, and overall cost and impact.  Each level reviewed eight different programs and each chose one to serve as the foundation for bullying prevention.  Connected and Respected, Safe School Ambassadors (SSA) and Nurtured Heart were the programs identified, building on previous investments and plans already developed for continued sustainability.

The estimated cost for a three-year roll-out is $345,974 ($82,124 for elementary schools, $144,070 for middle schools, and $119,780 for high schools).  The estimated carrying cost after roll-out would be $62,063.20 ($11,127.20 for elementary schools, $34,430 for middle schools, and $16,506 for high schools).  Grant funding will continue to be sought after.

Specific strategies implemented in September 2013, will continue through August 2014.  Current program implementation includes 28 elementary schools implementing a conflict resolution/mediation program; 419 elementary staff members that have received some training in the Nurtured Heart Approach (representing 71 elementary schools); 16 middle schools and three high schools implementing the SSA Program.

The board advised emphasizing the message to the community about what the district is doing and what parents can do.  Video clips were made for teachers, parents, and students out of the program that will be distributed and utilized in meetings, as well as a video for health educators.  Committee members suggested these also be provided to the schools of choice, as they are high risk.

 

VII.      Next District and Community Relations Committee Meeting

Chairperson Maestas announced that the next District and Community Relations Committee meeting will be held on Wednesday, October 23, 2013, at 5:00 p.m., at the Alice and Bruce King Educational Complex in the DeLayo-Martin Community Room.

 

VIII.     Adjournment

The meeting was adjourned at 7:13 p.m.

 

 

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