Live Tweet Recap: Board of Ed Meeting, December 8, 2015

posted Dec 17, 2015, 12:27 AM by Miranda Martin   [ updated Dec 17, 2015, 11:40 AM ]
Superintendent Report
  • My Brother and Sister's Keeper event: more than 300 community leaders met to discuss an action plan
  • It is Inclusive Schools Week! Kicked off at city hall yesterday.
  • Follow Superintendent Carranza's Twitter feed (@SFUSD_Supe) for posts and pictures related to Inclusive Schools Week
  • A student at Ruth Asawa School of the Arts who plays guitar and is a composer will be featured in "From the Top" on National Public Radio
  • Golden Bell Awards were given to schools for innovative programming; partnerships with Salesforce and Revolution Foods
  • Recognition of the Academy of Sciences guest services department for dedication to hiring young people with disabilities
  • Cal Academy sets the standard for hiring special needs students; motion passed to recognize Cal Academy
  • Several Cal Academy student employees spoke and gave thanks for what they have learned

  • QTEA Impact and Innovation Awards have been presented to schools. See this link for information on the winners and criteria. bit.ly/1NUmYV7 or view the press release.
Student Delegate Report
  • Student engagement survey has been produced to get input on the Local Control and Accountability Plan
  • Youth Summit will be held on March 16th. Student leaders are invited to attend. Look here for more information on the Student Advisory Council members and meeting schedule. 
  • Student delegates plan to deliver holiday goodie bags to homeless youth

Vote on Renewal of Charter for Mission Preparatory School
  • This vote was moved up on the agenda in recognition of the large number of people attending the meeting for the purpose of giving public comment on this item.
  • Over 40 people signed up for public comment on this topic: time limit reduced to 1 minute per speaker and students given the opportunity to speak first
  • Mission Prep is asking to change status: from state charter to district charter.
  • Many parents and students spoke of good experience at Mission Prep -- some compared to less good experiences at other schools
  • After public comment, commissioners discussed the charter renewal petition
    • Commissioner Wynns spoke in support of letting the charter remain state sponsored: plans to vote against renewing as a district charter
    • Commissioner Fewer commented that she had visited Mission Prep and that while she was in general not in favor of charters she appreciated what she saw at Mission Prep.  She noted that it was easier with 231 students and that she didn't appreciate the remarks some made in public comment "disparaging" the public school system
    • Commissioner Norton also noted that there was no need for public commenters to disparage other schools in their remarks and that many other schools are serving more kids better than Mission Prep. Still, she will vote "yes" because if not the state board will still grant the charter and it is preferable for the district to have a relationship with Mission Prep and oversight of it. She noted that the request Mission Prep has made for a district building will displace children at other schools.
    • Commissioner Walton acknowledged that charter schools are fractious and divisive, but that Mission prep has quality teaching and learning. He warned that some of the parents who spoke may have been misled that public schools are bad.
    • Commissioner Mendoza-MacDonald commended Mission Prep for growing and better appreciating the challenges of the community. She agreed that she would rather see Mission Prep be under "our charter" and be "our families"
    • Commissioner Wynns asked that a particular "Whereas" clause that recommended that charter schools "should be come an integral part" of the California education system be removed from the resolution. Other commissioners agreed and it was struck.
    • Commissioner Haney commented that this is a broken and awkward process. He noted that Mission Prep has a lot to be proud of and that he planned to support the charter but agreed with the concerns. 
    • Commissioner Murase observed that charter schools are public schools in that they must be free. She relayed concern for labor partners and noted that charters cost money for the district. In the end, she offered support for Mission Prep because of the demographics it serves and because of its financial stability
    • Commissioner Fewer encouraged Mission Prep to work with labor partners (UESF) to hire teachers.
    • The board voted 6-1 to grant Mission Prep a district charter. Commissioner Wynns was the "no" vote.

Parent Advisory Council Report (PAC)
  • Parent Advisory Council chair Tony Talarico gave a report on activities of the council. He noted that families need action now from SFUSD on creating a family engagement plan. Needs to be strategic and resourced.
  • New federal legislation (the newly signed Every Student Succeeds Act) supports the importance of family engagment.
  • The parent advisory council held 20 conversations to inform the Our Children Our Families Council work.
  • Superintendent Carranza responded that we should be talking about "parent empowerment" not "parent engagement" and that Chief Kevin Truitt and Executive Director Mele Lau Smith would engage with the PAC to discuss a "family empowerment plan."
  • Commissioner Haney reported that there will be a Committee of the Whole meeting in January on the issue of family empowerment.  Date TBD.

Public Comment on Consent Items
  • Susan Soloman from UESF commented that many of the "k-resolutions," which are contracts for consultant services within SFUSD, appear to be contracting out teacher work.  She identified this as an unfair labor practice.
Consent Calendar
The Board approved items on the consent calendar.

Board Action on Resolution to Revise the Admissions Policy to Comply With State and Federal Law on Residency Requirements
  • Commissioner Fewer:  would like to add two clauses to this resolution. One clause requiring that any residency investigation take place in the home language of the family being investigated and one clause making it clear that families who have been evicted from their homes can stay in SFUSD for the remainder of the school year.
  • Legal council inquired as to what documentation would show no-fault eviction status.
  • Archie Folkin from admissions stated that current practice is to give notice to families in their home language of a residency-related investigation and also informed the board that he know of no instances where residency status had been revoked for a family that was evicted.
  • Deputy Superintendent Myong Leigh clarified that homeless families are already exempted from the residency requirements.
  • Commissioner Mendoza proposed that homeless SF families who are placed in secure housing outside of San Francisco city limits should be able to stay in SFUSD.
  • Superintendent Carranza pointed out that in the cases of residence fraud that had been reviewed the vast majority resulted from dishonesty about one's residence. He advised SF families to assume best intentions of the district.  "If you work with us and are honest, we will work with you."
  • Resolution - with amendments - was passed unanimously.
Board Action on a Resolution Recognizing the Historical Contributions of Chinese Americans
  • Under this resolution, three schools in SFUSD would be recognized and receive plaques: Yick Wo, Gordon J. Lau and Spring Valley ES.
  • Spring Valley ES is the oldest school in California!  It was established during the gold rush and is the only one from that time still open.
  • Diane Laue Yee, the daughter of Gordon J. Lau spoke about her father's contributions.
  • Gordon J. Lau was the first Chinese Supervisor in San Francisco and authored the rent control law.
  • A student from Gordon J. Lau spoke, noting that many kids at the school are newcomers to the US and don't have much money, however the school scored 96 out of 100 on the School Quality Improvement Index this year.
  • Gordon J. Lau was originally founded to segregate Chinese students from the students at Spring Valley. It was called the "Oriental school."
  • Alice Fong Yu was the first Chinese teacher at Gordon J. Lau ES
  • Yick Wo was named for the plaintiffs in a famous Supreme Court civil rights case that set precedent for the rights of English Learners in the US.
  • Superintendent Carranza declared that it is important to remember our history in the face of current events and that every student should know the namesake of their school.
  • The resolution passed unanimously
Public Comment 
  • Support for inclusive schools week
  • Sunset resident opposes part of Francis Scott Key property renovation (skate park and live music opposed)
  • 9th Circuit Federal Court hosting essay contest for 10th, 11th and 12th graders on the Miranda decision. Prizes to be awarded.
  • UESF presented proposals for special education solutions to support educators and students
  • UESF president gave emotional appeal in support of living wage for educators. This year twice as many teachers and paras are facing extreme economic hardship.
  • Several members of the public spoke against the new state law requiring student vaccines

Board Action on Equitable Transportation Resolution
  • The resolution supports creation of a comprehensive transportation policy, including Safe Routes to School support and free Muni
  • Commissioner Fewer appreciated inclusion of her suggested language giving preference to zero emissions vehicles when bus contracts are renewed
  • Commissioner Haney (who is a sponsor of the resolution) explained that single family vehicles used to transport kids to school are a huge part of the problem and urged other commissioners that SFUSD should be part of the solution by building on the Safe Routes to School Program. He added that he hoped the policy would include not just students, but staff too.
  • Resolution passed unanimously

SFUSD Calendar for 2016-17
  • Calendar will be similar to this year (see article in the Newsroom for more details)
  • Commissioner Murase noted that we may be talking about a longer thanksgiving holiday in the future, but it is not part of the current plan.
  • Calendar was approved. School will start on August 15th, 2016 for students and end before Memorial Day in 2017.

Approval of Balanced Scorecards 
  • Board approved the Balanced Scorecards (accountability plans) submitted by each school site for the current school year.
Update on After School Programs
  • Overview of ExCel Quality Action Plan and update on After School For All Resolution (PowerPoint). Mele Lau Smith presenting.
  • ExCEL participation is associated with better attendance and higher GPA
  • 20 fewer schools have waiting lists for after school programs then in April 2014
  • A sliding scale fee structure is being discussed for after school programs like ExCEL.  Lau-Smith notes this is important part of making the system work (expanding access to all)
  • SFUSD is exploring changing school start times (early start schools are hard - long after school programs)
  • Commissioner Wynns asked how many schools have consolidated to just one after school provider
  • SFUSD Chief Kevin Truitt: State and Federal funding for after school is not a guarantee, our district has to apply every year.
  • Commissioner Norton stated that every family should have ample after school capacity at any school they enroll in.  Asked how far are we from that vision?
  • Chief Truitt: Eventually we will have to say "make the space" for all students. That date is not set yet, but we are working on it. Don't think it will be later than after 2016-17.
Resolutions Offered for First Read
  • Five Keys Charter Renewal Petition
Reports from Committee Meetings and Announcements of Committee Meeting Dates
  • Labor relations committee heard about trouble with substitute staffing.  Also ideas for teacher housing assistance and in-house administrator training.
  • Budget committee heard review of business services department and learned about infrastructure challenges.  Need to invest in infrastructure. Also spoke of looming changes in accounting rules relating to retiree costs.
  • January 6th is the next Budget Committee meeting. Will talk about Budget priorities and have a wholistic discussion
  • Superintendent Carranza noted that ESEA reform bill moving forward, good news is that most provisions of the Federal education bill fit nicely with our School Quality Improvement Index
  • Reports given from the California School Board Association meeting last week.

Meeting Adjourned!