The room was situated with one table each of students, teachers, classified staff, parents, and community members.  Judy (Wood) and I were at the last table.  The program is set up to get diverse input from these stakeholders.  From the student table, half introduced themselves by noting their pronouns.  At the parent table, several were parents of the students at the student table.  One gave their pronouns.  At our community table, two were Sierra College employees (one also being a spouse of a prominent teacher at Bowman Charter School).  While I found most to be friendly and open to our input, almost everyone in the room is associated with the education system in some way.   One young woman (not a part of the system) who works for a non-profit in Grass Valley told me during the first break that she appreciates what our group (Protecting American Ideals) stands for and that while we might feel alone, we aren’t.  I appreciated that.  A District high school principal said the same to me in so many words at the end.


    After the “winds” and “anchors” exercise, where each table lists the things impeding or helping progress towards the District goals (our table was very split on those), the District goals and goal metrics were presented.  We were invited to attached post-it notes on the wall under our group name for making comments.


    At the end of the day, my posted comments were the following:

  1. Healthy Kids Survey – Parents are afraid that the surveys will be data mined to support more intrusive School District policies and the usurping of parent rights.
  1. RAYS Program – will this “alternative” to suspension by initiating “student circles” be subject to accountability if it does not reverse or reduce the many reports of rampant bullying?
  1. Equity – The State of California defines equity as allocating resources and opportunities based on student need.   Who will determine who needs what?  Will the determination be made on immutable characteristics like race and ethnicity? Will it violate district policy against discrimination by race and ethnicity?
  1. A-G requirements – The % of kids that fulfill the requirements to enter a UC school directly (A-G Requirements), as shown by the data, is low.  Suggest that freshmen receive more information on these requirements early on. [this one affected my family]
  1. One of the LCAP goals is measured by having expulsions and suspensions limited by a % of the total school population.  Isn’t that counterproductive given the extensive parent and student complaints of bullying?
  1. Perception is as good as reality – CAASP is the only measure of student achievement, despite its problems.  Find creative ways to encourage students to take the tests and perform at their best.
Contributor: Jonathan Kors, February 2023


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