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May 11, 2010 > New Haven District board of education briefs

New Haven District board of education briefs

Submitted By Rick La Plante

The Board of Education recently received an update on safety at James Logan High School.

Principal Amy McNamara reported a 35 percent drop in expulsions this year, from 47 at this point in the 2008-09 school year to 30 in 2009-10, and a 22 percent drop in suspensions, from 417 to 325. Referrals also are down significantly, she reported.

"The improvement has been particularly noteworthy among 9th-graders," she said, attributing it in part to the "freshmen families" system that enables most 9th graders to have the same classmates and teachers for most classes. "Having adults who care about them and talk about them on a regular basis has created connections," Ms. McNamara said, and resulted in more and earlier interventions.

Ms. McNamara also cited ongoing efforts to bring together Latino and African-American students, including a one-day retreat with equity consultant Enid Lee and a field trip to the Lawrence Hall of Science to see the American Anthropology Association exhibit on race and participate in a discussion on race and identity. Administrators are intent on diversifying ASB leadership in 2010-11.

The Board:
Recognized Principal Lisa Metzinger and the staff, students and families of Kitayama Elementary School, which last month was named a California Distinguished School.

Adopted resolutions proclaiming May 12 as Teacher Appreciation Day, coinciding with California Day of the Teacher, and May 16-22 as Classified Employees Week.

Received a report on services provided at Logan through the Tiburcio Vasquez Health Center. The Center received 2,340 visits during the 2008-09 school year, from 727 students.

A report on the New Haven Community Day School was received. The school opened in February to provide education services for expelled SDC and RSP students and for expelled sixth-graders. Current enrollment is 12.

Adopted a resolution formalizing a reduction of 70.2 full-time equivalents from the certificated workforce. With retirements, resignations and other attrition, approximately 50 teachers currently are facing the possibility of layoff due to budget cuts imposed by the Governor and Legislature because of the state's ongoing financial crisis.

Approved a rate increase for the Kids First before - and after-school program, to $5.30 per hour, up from $5 per hour, but still the lowest rate in the Tri-City area. It is the first increase since 2006.

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