DAC-Minutes-091114 - Goleta Union School District

DAC Meeting
11 September 2014
Kellogg School
Present: William Banning (Superintendent), Kim Bruzzese (Principal, Kellogg
School), Karen van Gool (Kellogg), Melissa Fitch (El Camino), Peggy Reagan
(Foothill), Tammy Merritt (La Patera), Ana Huynh (La Patera), Yvonne DeGraw
(GUSD Board of Trustees), Susan Zink (Hollister teacher/UTP-G Rep), Sandra Edgar
(Hollister), Jill Ronkainen (Ellwood), Judy Blue (Community Rep)
1. Meeting called to order at 9:20 by William Banning
After introductions, Mr. Banning emphasized that we need to increase
representation in our committee to better reflect the make-up of our
community, for example, including families of English language learners. He
also mentioned that we should look at our by-laws with respect to term
limits on the committee.
2. Melissa Fitch was elected as Chairperson
3. May 22, 2014 Minutes were approved
4. Ms. Bruzzese presented the Kellogg School report
Prior to the start of the presentations, Mr. Banning asked the committee
members to jot down things they would like all of our principals to address
in our meetings, as well as anything they thought was missing from the
presentation, but would like to see each month.
Ms. Bruzzese showed a video about the Kellogg community and what makes
it special.
Kellogg is a well-rounded program with many enrichment opportunities,
which fosters community spirit and a love of learning. Common Core is being
embraced in the classrooms, and children are working hard, doing well, and
able to demonstrate their successes through several activities and events
throughout the year.
Kellogg has 408 students this year, 22 more than last year. 24% of the
students are English language learners and 26% are socioeconomically
disadvantaged. Most of that increase is due to expanding their autism
program and adding a transitional kindergarten.
Kellogg’s autism program was expanded. Previously Kellogg had an autism
inclusion program, and Isla Vista was the home for students on the autism
spectrum whose IEP identified need levels necessitated more time in a more
restrictive environment. There is a grey area between fully included and
partially included. Both programs have now been combined, forming the new
K.A.P., or Kellogg Autism Program. Kellogg had enough physical space, and
was able to add teachers, specialists, and aides in order to meet the demands
of the program.
Ms. Fitch asked for some clarification regarding the amount of choice that the
Isla Vista parents had with respect to being moved to Kellogg.
Mr. Banning explained that when addressing special needs with any group,
there is a continuum from the least restrictive approach to the most
restrictive approach, and the goal is to use the least restrictive approach that
meets a students needs. When it comes to the more restrictive ends of the
spectrum, in order to best meet these needs as a district, resources
sometimes need to be centralized at a district, or even a regional level. In the
case of the children being moved from IV, in order to receive the level of
services determined by their IEP’s, each family had an individual conference,
and all were happy to make the change.
Ms. Bruzzese noted that there was a lot of work over the summer with both
families and the professionals in the classrooms to make this transition as
smooth as possible for all involved.
Kellogg also has a new TK (Transitional Kindergarten), supporting Kellogg,
Mountain View, and Foothill Elementary schools. Hollister and El Camino TK
kids are at Hollister. The other schools in the district each had enough
children to open their own TK’s this year.
Ms. Ronkainen asked how Kellogg is addressing its commitment to preparing
students for college and career paths.
Ms. Bruzzese replied that the new standards are sequential, from TK-12th
grade, with the goal of preparing students for college and careers. The focus
on teaching critical thinking skills is what will help prepare children for
successful futures. One of the ways to do that is by helping children tie their
classroom lessons to real-world experiences.
Mr. Banning asked for input on our list of items for the principals at each
school. The following items were requested: demographics, what makes each
school unique, how technology is used, and how each is approaching
developing college and career paths.
On the question of what makes each school unique, Mr. Banning offered that
each of the principals is reading a book this year about what makes a
successful principal. How do you balance autonomy at the school level with
meeting district expectations, mission, and vision so that all children in the
district succeed? And with the new testing, it will be two years before we
have test scores as a benchmark for how we are doing. Having said that, Mr.
Banning believes that test scores are certainly not the only measure of
success, so identifying additional benchmarks and data points is an on-going
and active discussion in the district at this time.
On the question of technology, last year the district contributed 70-80K
toward technology grants for teachers. Right now there’s a mish-mash of
uses out there, with the goal of determining what is most effective and
working toward a technology plan for the district. This will be especially
important when it comes to the smarter balance test environment as it is
mandated that students have equivalent equipment during testing in order to
make fair comparisons and to give them a fair shot at doing their best.
Current feedback shows that students do better with a desktop, keyboard,
mouse and a nice screen, than they do on a laptop or on an iPad, with iPad
being the worst of the three options.
5. District Update/Advisory and Planning, presented by Mr. Banning
a. Start of School Updates
During the summer all staff held a meeting at San Marcos High to kick
off the year. There was a presentation for everyone before they broke
out into several different professional development sessions.
One of the first things that needed to be addressed was how to
support the Holzer family tragedy. Mr. Banning is very proud of how
everyone came together to provide the short-term and on-going
services needed for families, students, and teachers during such a
horrible tragedy. He had a special thank you for Dr. Saleh, the Asst.
Superintendent of Student Services, who did a remarkable job of
coordinating and leading this effort.
The district acknowledged the 30 or so new hires, including new Asst.
Superintendent of Instructional Services, Carol Boyan-Held, and Dr.
Bridget Braney, the new principal of Foothill School, both who have
joined the district with a wealth of education, experience, and
expertise. They also acknowledged one of the strengths of the district
is all of the long-term employees, including those going into 20, 25, 30,
and 35 years of service in the district.
Last year the district has developed a new Mission Statement:
The mission of the Goleta Union School District is to maximize
academic, intellectual, and personal growth in order for each
student to prosper in, and positively influence, a diverse and
dynamic world.
The staff presentation included emphasis on the principles of
powerful instruction, purposeful individualization, productive
partnerships, and how these principles come together to show solid
evidence of student success.
With respect to powerful instruction, they were shown a video
regarding a research project that showed that children who are
praised for hard work strive for more, and are more confident in the
learning process than children praised for intelligence. The goal is to
help students develop a growth mindset by teaching them the value of
hard work.
With respect to purposeful individualization and helping to meet each
student’s learning needs, they were shown a video of a Ted Talk
entitled “Every Child Needs a Champion.” The message of the talk is
that the power of building relationships with students and focusing on
the positive can make a significant difference in a student’s confidence
and success.
With respect to productive partnerships, there are on-going efforts to
build relationships in the community which greatly supplement what
the district is able to offer and accomplish.
Together these principles form the district’s new vision statement:
Powerful Instruction
Purposeful Individualization
Productive Partnerships
Solid Evidence of Student Success
Mr. Banning presented the following numbers: district-wide we have
3,704 students, up from 3,692 last May. The district is very stable.
With only 12 new students, we have added 4 new teachers. We are
trying to eliminate combo classes wherever possible, especially as the
schools with the highest need. Our school sizes range from 259
students to 490. It’s a well-accepted fact that districts shoot for school
sizes under 500 to achieve the most success. Our current grade-wide,
district-wide class size average is 22.18. The TK class sizes range from
13 at Kellogg to 21 at Hollister. Our district-wide TK-3 class size
average is 20.9 and 4-6 is 24. Some individual schools are pushing
class size limits and they are actively trying to address it. The contract
with the teacher’s union puts limits on class sizes and requires
instructional aides once those limits are exceeded. Enrollment at each
school is:
El Camino-256
Foothill-456 (including 61 at GFS)
Isla Vista-483
La Patera-427
Mountain View-329
Ms. Edgar asked about the disruption it causes to move kids around
after the first couple weeks of school, especially in and out of combo
classes. Mr. Banning emphasized that, until the kids all either show up,
or don’t show up, they are only working with estimates, and these
changes are only made when necessary and beneficial to the students
overall, and they always try to eliminate combos when possible.
b. Instructional Focus
i. New State Standards - The focus is around Common Core
ii. TOSA Support - The TOSA (Teacher on Special Assignment)
program was expanded
iii. Gifted Services - GATE is no longer a State-funded program. The
district is still funding and supporting gifted services through general
funds and is looking at how to identify gifted students by means other
than achievement test scores, as these do not provide a complete
picture (some kids are good test takers, but are not “gifted”). They are
looking at how to identify gifted English language learners. The TOSAS
are part of supporting this program. Identified 4th graders are now
receiving push-in (rather than pull out) instruction and those teachers
are receiving professional development for managing this type of
differentiated education.
iv. Multiple Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) - This the new name for
Response to Intervention. The goal is to respond to students who
aren’t learning, even with interventions and even when they do not
have identifiable learning disabilities. What’s good about this change
is it now includes kids at the very gifted end of the spectrum and fits
in well with the concept of purposeful individualization.
c. Expansion of Goleta Education Foundation
The Goleta Education Foundation has previously only support
programs for PE and music. By expanding into new content areas,
they are able to benefit from additional funding sources.
The board is almost completely made up of current or former district
employees, and they are working toward adding board members who
represent business and community to broaden representation on the
d. Status of Board of Trustees Election
The number of individuals filing as interested parties for vacant seats
did not exceed the number of vacant seats available, therefore no
election will be necessary in November. These seats have been filled.
Board members beginning terms in December 2014 are Rich Mayer
(incumbent), Luz Reyes-Martin (incumbent appointed in March
2014), and Carin Ezal (parent, unopposed in November election).
Incumbent Valerie Kushnerov, chose not to seek re-election.
e. Gifted Services
i. Appeals and Alternate Identification
ii. Changes in 4th grade service delivery and CT support
This topic was addressed earlier in 5.b.iii.
f. LCAP and Strategic Plan Updates
The LCAP was approved at the June meeting without any need for
revisions. It was helpful to work simultaneously on the Strategic Plan.
We will be reviewing some of the goals of the Strategic Plan in
upcoming meetings.
LCAP stands for Local Control Accountability Plan. The federal/state
funding model changed, whereby local districts are in charge of
distributing funds as needed, provided they meet the needs of at-risk
populations. Before funds were targeted to specific populations.
g. Role of DAC
i. Expansion of membership - It’s important that the DAC include
members that represent our entire student population. It’s OK to have
more than one representative per school. Live language translation
will be provided if necessary.
ii. Advisory Capacity – We’ll be looking more at this going forward.
iii. Meeting Dates – We received the calendar. Please note that the
February meeting is on a Wednesday.
iv. Meeting Content - Mr. Banning will be sending a survey to help
determine some of the topics we’d like to see covered. Suggestions
from the group included learning how school sites are preparing for
the Smarter Balance testing environment; providing Common Core
instruction to parents so they can support their students at home; and
disseminating more information about Common Core as many
parents are uninformed or misinformed.
Regarding the misinformation and confusion over Common Core
amongst the parents, Mr. Banning pointed out that FactsWise and
Number Talks are not curriculum, but rather teaching strategies. The
district is researching appropriate Common Core resources and
curriculum materials. They have found one they are looking into
purchasing, however they are being cautious overall that they not
simply getting old materials re-packaged and re-labeled as Common
Core that will not adequately serve the schools or the students going
h. Q&A
Ms. Edgar commented that she’d like to have information about a
timeframe for rolling out a program for gifted students, as she feels
her child’s needs are not being met, despite considerable efforts on
her part. Mr. Banning asked her to personally email him.
Melissa Fitch was a request for clarification of district policy
regarding fevers and sending kids home, as well as keeping kids home
until they are fever free for 24 hrs. Mr. Banning indicated that he’d
prefer to research that and come back with an answer. Ms. Bruzzese
said that Kellogg just updated their handbook with wording that said
a child would be sent home if they had a fever of 101 or higher.
There was a suggestion from Peggy Reagan to include information in
the school reports regarding how the different schools fundraise,
how much participation do they get, and how successful are various
events. Mr. Banning said this is usually managed in the PTA portion of
the meeting, rather than part of a principal’s presentation.
Ms. Fitch asked if the district was paying for chaperones for the 6th
grade camps. It seems this is on a per school basis, but that required
chaperones needed to be addressed. Mr. Banning also mentioned that
each school was going to receive $100 per 6th grader for the 6th grade
camps. What was not clear was how this money would be allocated at
each school.
6. School Council and PTA Reports
As time was short, we did not go around the room giving reports. Ms.
Fitch mentioned that El Camino did have a parent education event at
Back to School Night where parents went to stations to learn math,
using the strategies that the students are using in the classroom.
The meeting was adjourned at 11:25 am.
>>The next meeting is Thursday, 9 October 2014 at El Camino School<<