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January 23, 2007 > School district board briefs

School district board briefs

On Tuesday, January 16, the New Haven Unified School District Board of Education received the second in a regular series of quarterly updates on the district's Strategic Plan, New Haven community's guide to budgeting and decision-making during the next five years. As part of a separate report, the board also saw how Strategy 1 - assuring implementation of standards-based curriculum and using assessment data to drive research-based instructional practices - is being carried out.

Crafted last year by more than 150 students, parents, teachers, classified employees, administrators and community members, the plan includes 54 specific results, work on 21 of which is well under way. The example cited Tuesday night was Strategy 4's call to teach, model and assess character attributes and the district's implementation of the Building Integrity curriculum. Second-quarter components included Respect as the October theme and Selflessness as the November/December theme.

A second example was cited during a report on Professional Learning Communities, a key to achieving Strategy 1. The PLC process is designed to help teachers and administrators in the effort to meet three of the specific results: incorporating frequent common assessment tools; incorporating frequent, valid and reliable benchmark assessments; and establishing power standards. The process also seeks to end the "curricular chaos" that results when standards vary from school to school or even from classroom to classroom.

Also on Tuesday night, the board heard a report on district plans to delay for one year the modernization of Cesar Chavez Middle School and take advantage of the closure of Barnard-White Middle School by moving students to that campus, rather than try to complete construction while students are housed in temporary buildings. The plan will preserve a learning environment away from the noise, dirt and inconvenience of a construction site, and it will save an estimated $1 million in interim housing costs.

Parent-volunteer, Victor Diaz, who recognized for the three years he has volunteered
hours each week as a counselor for at-risk students at Barnard-White Middle School. In additions, Diaz began working last year with students at Conley-Caraballo High School.

Agendas of all board of education meetings and minutes of past meetings are available on the district website: www.nhusd.k12.ca.us.

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