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BOE Meeting for September 25, 2007

1.) Installation of Student Board Members

Background: Each year students from the three high schools are installed. This year we are adding a fourth school, Alameda Science and Technology Institute.

The representatives are:

  • Alameda High - Allison Quach
  • Alameda Science and Technology Institute - Patricia Causapin
  • Encinal High - Stefan Montouth
  • Island High - Alexica Ramirez
  • Superintendent Goal: #3 - Safe schools

    2.) 90th Anniverisary - Alameda Adult School

    Background: The Alameda Adult School opened in 1918 and has been providing adult education to the Alameda community continouosily since that time.

    Superintendent Goal: Goal #1 - Close the achievement gap

    4.) Proclamation - Walk & Roll to School Day October 3, 2007

    Background: Pedestrian Friendly Alameda encourages the Board of Education to join in the promoting the benefits of walking or bicycling to school. This will be the 7th year for this event.

    Superintendent Goal: Not applicable.

    5.) Superintendent's State of the District - Focus: Educational Excellence, Boundaries & Facilities and

    Background: The Superintendent presented a planning process to address changing district demographics, enrollment imbalance between schools, inconsistency of high-quality education programs and long-term fiscal solvency.

    Superintendent’s State of the District:

    Focus on Educational Excellence, Boundaries and Facilities

    Ardella J. Dailey, Superintendent of Schools

    Quality Schools Shape Our Community

    Alameda Unified School District is a community asset that positively influences the quality of life in Alameda and the choices that families make to locate here and enroll their children in our schools. Indeed, recent Alameda newspaper and magazine articles have drawn the relationship between Alameda’s good schools, property values, and the desirability of Alameda as a place to raise children. Alameda schools provide a good education to our students and this is supported by the fact that the State of California considers AUSD a high-performing school district, based on exceeding the state’s target of 800 on the 2006 and 2007 Academic Performance Index (API). This high performance is a tribute to the talent and commitment of our employees who are passionately dedicated to the success and well-being of our students. Fifty-seven percent of AUSD employees choose to live in Alameda, further demonstrating the strong community bond between Alameda and its schools.

    Challenges and Opportunities

    Alameda schools are not without challenges, however - historically low per student funding; limited, smaller than average school size and campuses; a pattern of gradually declining enrollment; and an imbalance in enrollment from school to school - constrain us, but also compel us to seek long-range solutions that ensure the long-term quality of our schools.

    The reality is that the community’s desire for and the value placed on small neighborhood schools equates to higher operating costs. To add to the complexity of the issues, district leadership also needs to find ways to increase salary compensation for all of our employees and address the challenge of rising health benefit costs.

    Building on Community Dialogue About Our Schools

    The 2006-2007 school year was a time of intense dialogue in our district, brought about by lively community budget meetings, increased awareness of AUSD’s funding gap, and many occasions for “casual” conversations with parents, teachers, and staff in a series of Superintendent’s Coffees. In the course of these discussions, I had the great opportunity to hear many creative ideas and suggestions from our stakeholders. I am convinced that we have the talent and ability within us to chart our future together.

    Now is the time and the opportunity to proactively address Alameda’s changing demographics, the district’s need for fiscal solvency, and our community’s high expectations for educational excellence and equity for all students. It is essential that we thoughtfully examine the complexity of the issues and determine a long-term viable plan.

    As Superintendent of AUSD and a community leader of the City of Alameda, my focus of the 2007-2008 school year is to work closely with our community and staff to develop plans to address the following issues:

  • Changing demographics impacting elementary enrollment and facilities
  • Grade 6-12 imbalance in enrollment across the district which inhibits our ability to provide consistent courses of study, programs, and services
  • The need for fiscal stability, solvency, and educational equity based on multi-year and long-term planning
  • Planning for the Future of AUSD

    The following ideas need deeper analysis and thoughtful consideration as we take on the challenge to proactively address the issues of changing demographics, enrollment imbalances, long-term fiscal stability, educational excellence and equity for all of our students.

  • Develop alternative educational programs to attract and retain students, such as magnet schools or a district-sponsored charter school
  • Expand career/technical education programs that prepare our students for high-tech careers and college specialized programs
  • Develop creative solutions, including consideration of boundary changes, to obtain more consistent school size and high-quality educational programs, courses of study and services for all students
  • AUSD Superintendent’s Goals 2007-2010

    The Board of Education adopted four goals that will guide our work during this process of planning for the future of AUSD:

    Goal #1: Continue to improve student achievement while also narrowing and closing the achievement gap in English Language Arts and mathematics between our lowest performing students (African American, Latino, English learners, and Special Education students) and our highest performing students.

    Goal #2: Align the spending plan with educational objectives while ensuring the highest and best use of limited resources and long-term solvency.

    Goal #3: Ensure all students will be in educational environments that are safe and conducive to learning.

    Goal #4: Recruit and retain highly qualified and diverse staff and provide systems of support for and recognition of all employees.

    Community Input Process and Timeline

    In order to develop the best possible solutions to the above issues, it is essential that we provide a broad-based staff and community planning and communication process that allows adequate time for input, refinement of ideas, and thoughtful implementation. The goal is to develop and approve proposals in the 2007-2008 school year that would be implemented in the 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 school years. We will use a variety of organizational structures to generate broad-based staff and community input. Following are proposed structures.

    Pathway to Excellence & Equity

    The pathway will start with a Task Force charged with developing preliminary options which will be refined through various feedback loops. The refined options will be presented at district-wide community meetings.

    Establish Task Force to develop preliminary options

    The Pathway to Excellence & Equity Task Force will consist of district and site staff with the charge to research and develop options for consideration by the feedback structures described below.

    Refine preliminary options through feedback loops

    We will utilize existing district organizational structures to involve AUSD employees and our parent community to provide feedback on options generated by the Task Force. Currently, the presidents of our four employee groups (Alameda Education Association [AEA], California School Employees Association [CSEA], Public Employees Local One, and Associations of California School Administrators [ACSA]) meet monthly as the Superintendent’s Council and we will add a standing agenda item for discussion of updates from task forces and feedback structures.

    Other feedback loops include regular meetings of the District’s Curriculum Council (DCC), Principals, Counselors and Extended Cabinet, and Board of Education.

    The feedback loops for parents will include PTA Council, the Alameda Education Foundation, District English Language Advisory Committee [DELAC], Alamedans for Better Schools, and others.

    I will also create a feedback loop of community representatives through the formation of a community Sounding Board. The purpose of the Sounding Board is to provide the Superintendent with direct access to community members who can offer vital input, feedback and comments on options developed by the Pathway to Excellence & Equity Task Force. Members of the Sounding Board will be volunteers from our community who represent the cultural, racial and economic diversity of our schools as well as community perspectives such as business and community-based organizations. The Sounding Board will meet on a regular basis with the Superintendent beginning October 2007 through June 2008.

    Convene district-wide community meetings

    The Superintendent will hold a series of district-wide school community meetings between November and January to share preliminary options developed to address changing district demographics, enrollment imbalance between schools, inconsistency of high-quality educational programs, and long-term fiscal solvency.

    Ongoing Communication and Updates

    Parents, staff and community who are not able to attend community events will be able to access information and updates through the following communication channels:

  • Issues and Options – both hard copies and electronic publications on www.alameda.k12.ca.us
  • School newsletter updates
  • Superintendent newsletter updates
  • Following is a Summary of Issues

    Changing demographics impacting elementary enrollment

    AUSD has an unusual challenge: the desire for small neighborhood schools and a pattern of gradually declining enrollment.

    According to the most recent demographic study, there will be increased enrollment to elementary schools East of Park Street within the next 5 years. This year, we have experienced a spurt in Kidnergarten enrollment across the district.

    We have several conditions that need addressing:

    • Inequity of the size of schools
    • Declining enrollment of schools in the central and west part of Alameda
    • Small neighborhood schools East of Park Street are not able to meet increases in enrollment
    • Many sudents are diverted to schools other than their neighborhood schools
    • Staffing inequitable

    To develop a long-term, viable plan for student enrollment, the following will need to be explored and addressed:

    • Demographic study - boundaries
    • Facility capacity report
    • District funding
    • Enrollment policy
    • Developing an optimum size range for elementary schools

    Grades 6-12 imbalance across the district, which affects consistent courses of study, programs and services

    AUSD desires to offer consistent high-quality course of study, programs and services across schools.

    Currently, our secondary schools have a wide span of enrollment, which affects what the school can or cannot offer:

    Chipman Middle School: 600 students
    Lincoln Middle School: 900 students
    Wood Middle School: 600 students
    Alameda High School: 1900 students
    Encinal High School: 1100 students

    We have several conditions that need addressing:

    • Inequity of the size of schools
    • Smaller schools do not have the economies of scale to offer a broader range of electives courses,programs and services
    • Staffing inequitable

    To develop a long-term, viable plan for consistent high-quality programs, the following will need to be explored and addressed:

    • Define the consistent, high quality school; what will draw students
    • Developing an optimum size range for middle and high schools
    • Development of alternative educational programs
    • Demographic study - boundaries
    • Facility capacity report
    • District funding
    • Enrollment policy

    Following is a proposed Planning Timeline

    Date Action Responsibility
    Sept 25, 2007 BOE presentation: Superintendent’s State of the District Focus on Educational Excellence, Boundaries and Facilities Superintendent
    Oct 5, 2007 Identify members of Pathway to Excellence Task Force Superintendent
    Oct, 2007 to June, 2008 Pathway to Excellence Task Force researches and develops options for consideration Executive Cabinet
    Sept 26, 2007 to Oct 5, 2007 Invite and identify community members to participate in Sounding Board Superintendent
    Oct, 2007 to June, 2008 Sounding Board meets on a regular basis Superintendent and Communications and Community Relations Coordinator
    Oct, 2007 to June, 2008 Regular meeting schedules of existing district leadership structure Superintendent and Employee Group Leadership and Executive Cabinet
    Oct, 2007 Neighborhood schools community meetings focus: Enrollment Student Affairs and Compliance Officer and Superintendent
    Oct, 2007 to June, 2008 Agenda item on the second meeting of each month to provide updates on Taskforce and other activities Superintendent, Taskforce members and Exectuive Cabinet
    Nov, 2007 to Dec, 2007 Community meetings to present preliminary options Exectuive Cabinet and Student Affairs and Compliance Officer
    Jan, 2008 to Feb, 2008 BOE presentations of Superintendent's recommendations Superintendent
    Mar, 2008 to Aug, 2008 Work on implementation of adopted recommendations .

    The Superintendent's Powerpoint presentation summarized the printed material listed above witha few minor additions. She requested feedback and direction from the Board.

    Overall, the Board believed the creation of the Task Force along with including the community in the process was the right approach.

    The Superintendent did clarify that the October community meeting was focusing on the Enrollment policy that will be reviewed by the Board in late October or early November.

    Fiscal Implications: Undetermined at this time

    Superintendent Goal: All four goals.

    6.) Revision of BP 1330 Use of School Facilities –Facility Use Fees

    Background: The revision of the BP 1330 Use of School Facilities –Facility Use Fees approved at May 22,2007 BOE Meeting created a fiscal hardship for groups providing supervised youth recreational activities. Staff is recommending granting these orgranizations a 75% waiver on FY 07/08 and a 50% waiver in subsequent years.

    Fiscal Implications: None as the budgeted increase of $20,000 will still be met

    Superintendent Goal: Goal 2.) Spending plan alignment

    7.) Approval of 2006/07 Unaudited Actuals Financial Report

    Background: Staff presented the unaudited actuals for 2006/07.

    The Board approved the unaudited actuals.

    Superintendent Goal: Goal 2.) Spending plan alignment

    8.) Report on State Budget’s Impact on AUSD (45-Day Review)

    Background: The staff presented a review of the signed state budget's impact on AUSD 2007/08 budget. There were no major changes to assumptions of a 4.53% funding increase.

    The Association of California School Adminstrators (ASCA) staff prepared a technical review of the state budget including state wide policy issues.

    Superintendent Goal: Goal 2.) Spending plan alignment



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    Last modified: September 20, 2007

    Disclaimer: This website is the sole responsibility of Mike McMahon. It does not represent any official opinions, statement of facts or positions of the Alameda Unified School District. Its sole purpose is to disseminate information to interested individuals in the Alameda community.