Published on New Haven Unified School District (http://www.nhusd.k12.ca.us)

Board Briefs: March 18, 2008

The Board of Education on Tuesday night heard a report from Grade 9 House Principal Matt Smith and a team of teachers from James Logan High School about Professional Learning Communities and the four critical questions that make up the Cycle of Inquiry: 1) What do we want students to learn? 2) How will we know when they’ve learned it? 3) What do we do when they haven’t learned it? 4) What do we do when they already know it?

Mathematics Department Chair George Oliviero said the faculty has made “remarkable progress” after “a rough start” in incorporating the common formative assessments that measure mastery of essential standards, and he cited the need for collaboration time. American Literature curriculum leader Trish Tripepi shared how progress toward meeting standards can be measured by exercises as practical as reading and understanding the label on a medicine bottle. Algebra curriculum leader Linda Rodrigues noted how the Cycle of Inquiry helps students take charge of their own learning and noted the opportunity to involve parents by sending home “learning targets” to be signed and returned.

The Board also approved the second interim report on the 2007-08 budget and multi-year projections for 2008-09 and 2009-10. The multi-year projections, which must account for a $7 million loss in revenue resulting from Governor Schwarzenegger’s proposal to slash the state’s education budget, include the elimination of five management positions, as announced last month. The District was able to avoid laying off teachers, but most if not all teachers who are retiring or leaving for other reasons will not be replaced, meaning class sizes will increase. The District also is reorganizing special education and working on reorganizations and/or reductions in transportation, custodial and restricted maintenance programs, technology and centralized enrollment. There will be a 25 percent reduction in site discretionary funds.

Also on Tuesday night, the Board:

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