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PPS-SF Board Watch: This week three committee meetings: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday @6PM

posted Feb 1, 2016, 10:12 AM by Miranda Martin

Another big week of meeting for the SFUSD Board of Education.  Monday is the Curriculum and Program Committee, Tuesday is Committee of the Whole and Wednesday is Budget and Committee. Click the links to see agendas for these meetings.

Highlights: 

  • Curriculum and Program Committee: Monday @ 6PM in the Board Room
    • This committee is made up of Commissioners Shaman Walton (chair), Rachel Norton, and Jill Wynns. All other commissioners are invited to attend and participate - but not vote on recommendations.
    • There is always an opportunity for public comment on the items discussed at the committee meeting or topics that fall under the purview of this committee. Usually it is not necessary to sign up in advance - speakers will be called to the podium when the chair determines it is time for public comment.
    • There will be discussion and recommendations made on several proposed policies and resolutions.  These recommendations will be taken back to the full board at a regular, Tuesday night board meeting where a final vote will be taken.  Some items are discussed in more than one committee (for example, Curriculum and Budget).  Items that would be discussed in more than two separate committees are referred to a "Committee of the Whole" meeting instead of being discussed in multiple committees.  At this meeting recommendations will be made on:
      • proposed revisions to Board policies on immunizations and availability of condoms
      • a charter renewal petition for Thomas Edison Charter Academy
      • a proposed resolution to expand access to world languages - with initial focus on Mandarin: details on this resolution, introduced by commissioners Norton and Fewer are in this blog post from Commissioner Norton
      • a proposed resolution to support the needs of students with incarcerated parents

    • This committee will also hear informational updates from district staff on:
      • The School Quality Improvement Index: school level reports including many new accountability measures will be made available this Tuesday.  More information here.
      • Mid-Year Local Educational Agency report (here is an example of the year end report from last year)
      • Career and Technical Education Incentive Grant (here is a press release from last spring on this grant from the State)
      • Early Education Department P-3 Outcomes Report 

  • Committee of the Whole: Tuesday, February 2nd @6PM in the Board Room
    • All commissioners are encouraged to attend Committee of the Whole meetings.  These meetings allow commissioners to take a "deep dive" into the topics or proposals on the Agenda.  Any resolution that would need to be discussed in more than two board committees is referred to the Committee of the Whole instead.
    • District-wide Arts Center at 135 Van Ness Avenue including the Ruth Asawa School of the Arts (RASOTA)
      • This should be an interesting discussion.  There has long been discussion of eventual plans to move RASOTA to the former Commerce High School (now district administration offices) SFUSD property at 135 Van Ness.  I heard a report last year that included ideas about other elements that could be part of a new "arts center" at that location.  I can't find any reports online, but my recollection was that proposals included art teachers in residency, possible teacher housing and additional performance space (the Nourse Auditorium is on adjacent district property).  Here is an article I found on the history of 135 Van Ness and another adjacent SFUSD property, 170 Fell Street.
    • Arabic and Vietnamese Language Pathways 
      • A resolution was passed by the Board last spring that directed the district to start the program placement process - determining possible locations, staff and curricular requirements, costs etc. for new language pathways in Arabic and Vietnamese languages. A recent article gives some data about the number of Arabic and Vietnamese speaking students in SFUSD.

  • Budget and Business Services Committee Meeting: Wednesday, February 3rd @6PM in the Board Room
    • This committee is made up of Commissioners Rachel Norton (chair), Sandra Lee Fewer and Hydra Mendoza-McDonnell. All the other commissioners are invited to attend and participate - but not vote on recommendations.
    • Topic to be discussed include:
      • The renewal petition for Thomas Edison Charter Academy, the world languages resolution and the resolution supporting the needs of students with incarcerated parents - same items being discussed on Monday at the Curriculum committee -- but at this meeting Commissioners will focus on financial impacts.
      • Administratively Approved K Resolutions. Whenever SFUSD hires contractors the board must approve the contracts, "K-resolutions" relate to approval of contracts for consultant services and can range from construction contracts to contracts for recess consultants or after-school enrichment programs.
    • Department Budget Review: Facilities
    • SFUSD Budget Development for FY 16–17.  I assume this will be an update on the budgeting process, including state budget forecasts and a timeline for important meetings and votes on the budget.  At last month's Budget committee meeting many community members gave public comment on priorities they would like to see addressed in this year's SFUSD budget and Commissioner Norton polled committee members on their own budget priorities. We live tweeted that meeting and you can view discussion highlights on Twitter @ppssf #BoardWatch on January 6th 2015. 
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