The CCUSD School Board gathered on July 9th, 2019, the last meeting before a hiatus, covering new grants, pilot programs, air quality and districts that ‘beat the odds.’
Superintendent Lockhart discussed the local impact of Los Angeles County’s Youth Diversion Program. Culver City is in receipt of a $763,000 grant to fund the program, managed by New Earth, a nonprofit organization located on Bristol Parkway. Western Junction Center will provide training on implicit bias. (See video by New Earth founder Harry Grammar’s TED talk.)
A rising Culver City High School Senior, Sarah Hager, advocated for lowering the voting age in municipal elections to 16, looking to each board member for support. She also brought to the Board’s attention that the CCHS algorithm which restricts access to certain websites blocks pro-choice resources and certain pages of the Human Rights Watch.
Dr. Tashon McKeithan and School Board President Dr. Kelly Kent discussed the availability of additional funding for teachers through the Fed Co Charitable Foundation and other resources presented by the Birth to Twelfth Grade Water Cooler Conference.
Board Member Allaire mentioned the overall decrease of ADA (days of student attendance divided by the days of instruction), sparking interest regarding the subsequent effects on funding and support for older students.
Board Member McBride proposed tracking the five year graduation rate for CCUSD high school students, as opposed to the typical four-year track, in order to include students graduating at a later date. She also announced that California School Dashboard is now accessible as a mobile app in both android and iPhone app stores, a resource especially useful for parents and teachers.
The California Air Resource Board will be assessing the air quality of the Inglewood Oil Field, and possible locations to set up the trailer are Linwood E. Howe Elementary or El Rincon Elementary, both nearby and home to a higher daily concentration of sensitive receptors.
On the agenda for business service action items was an amendment to the lease-leaseback agreement regarding the construction of the new high school science building, lowering the guaranteed maximum price by $370,000. In addition, an anti-graffiti substance will cover benches outside of Robert Frost. $1.7 million will be transferred from the Special Reserve Fund for Capital Outlay Projects to the General Fund.
The Board approved a memorandum of agreement to implement a pilot program for the 2019-2020 school year assessing class sizes, adjusting aide time, and finding a balance between teacher compensation for class overages, hiring new personnel, and adding sections of courses.
Lastly, the Board discussed a research article titled “California’s Positive Outliers: Districts Beating the Odds,” (see link below) analyzing gaps between students of different racial and/or socioeconomic backgrounds. The results were mostly unsurprising to the Board, whose main takeaways were that educating minorities well in one subject area correlates with educating minorities well in other areas as well, and that CCUSD attracts qualified teachers with certificates, unlike some other districts studied in the report, and thus the area for progress lies in the specific classroom practices. Overall, there is always room for improvement.
The next meeting will be August 27th, 2019.