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October 14, 2011 > New Haven School District board report

New Haven School District board report

Submitted By Rick La Plante

The Board of Education on October 4, received a presentation from Superintendent Kari McVeigh about the ongoing work to create a Union City Kids' Zone.

The product of discussions initiated by the Superintendent that led to a partnership involving the District and several other agencies and community organizations, the Kids' Zone would provide cradle-to-career services for the District's most vulnerable students and their families. Starting point for the effort would be the Decoto neighborhood.

Preliminarily, goals are to see:
New positive patterns of behavior incorporated in the culturally rich values, traditions and fabric of the community;
Families set goal and priorities for college/career readiness;
That all children have access to high-quality early education that supports healthy development across all domains (cognitive, physical, social/developmental) and prepares them for school success;
Community social services integrated in a way that allows community members access to sufficient health and wellness services;
All students in the Kids' Zone achieve at high levels academically.

Partners include the City of Union City, Union City Leisure Services, Kidango, Centro de Servicios, the Fremont Family Resource Center, Congregations Organizing for Renewal, the Tiburcio Vasquez Health Center, Safe Routes to School, the YMCA and Washington Hospital.

Also during the meeting, the Board received the 2010-11 Student Achievement Report. The Division of Teaching & Learning reported that New Haven students are continuing to make progress academically, mirroring some of the trends seen at the state level. But an achievement gap still exists, with a continuing need for more focus on traditionally underserved groups.

A strong basis for continued growth is in place and will be nurtured by continued work on key initiatives such as Writers' Workshop, Targeted Leadership walk-throughs and learning sessions, a focus on equity and English Learners, the expansion of Critical Literacy to all elementary sites, Reading Apprenticeship at the middle schools and high schools, interventions for struggling students, and an ongoing examination of grading and assessments. The District also is focusing on recognizing "bright spots" that can be replicated elsewhere and is training staff in Human System Dynamics as a way to better recognize and approach key issues.

Goals for 2011-12 are that, by spring 2012:

78 percent of students will be identified as proficient by English/language arts scores or reading assessments or 100 percent will meet reading growth targets.

Students who start the year below grade level in reading will exceed their growth target by scoring 1.5 times the expected target.

On behalf of Alvarado and Cesar Chavez middle schools, the Board also received a commendation from the Alameda County Board of Supervisors for "CPR7" cardio-pulmonary resuscitation training and recognized AMS student Wilson Hoang, who single-handedly taught CPR to nearly 100 people after receiving the CPR7 training last year.

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