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June 26, 2012 > New Haven Board of Education report

New Haven Board of Education report

Submitted By Rick La Plante

The Board of Education, on June 19, approved a 2012-13 budget made possible when members of the New Haven Teachers Association and the New Haven Administrators Association voted to work and be paid for nine fewer days and take an additional 1 percent pay cut, to help mitigate cuts forced on the District because of the ongoing state budget crisis. The District also has a tentative agreement with the California School Employees Association, pending a vote by members.

The employees' sacrifices will enable to District to continue to offer middle school electives such as music and art and retain most of the elementary school specialists who teach science, music and physical education. About 25 percent of library services will be maintained at the secondary level, and two-thirds funding will be provided for stipends for after-school activities such as athletics, band and forensics.

The school year will remain at 175 days, the same as in 2011-12 but five days fewer than in previous years. Teachers will give up four additional workdays - two days of preparation time at the beginning of the school year, a midyear grading day and one day at the end of the year - and classified employees and administrators also will give up four additional workdays. The changes also include a one-year freeze on "step-and-column" salary increases.

The Board also received a "State of the District" presentation from Chief Academic Officer Wendy Gudalewicz and her staff from the Division of Teaching and Learning. Some of the highlights:

The rate of English Language (EL) learners attaining English proficiency improved from 23.5 to 26.3 percent for those in EL less than five years and from 43.2 to 48.2 percent for those in EL for more than five years, putting the District in position to shed its federal Title III "Program Improvement" designation.

Of the 3,243 students in grades 2-9 who scored below grade level in reading in the fall, 1,371 (42 percent) exceeded goals by improving at least 1.5 grade levels in the spring.

Among traditionally lower-performing sub-groups, African-American students exceeded national norm growth in grades 5 and 8, Latino students in grades 7 and 8, English Learners in grades 6-9 and students from low socio-economic situations in grades 5, 7 and 8.

Sub-groups in grades 5, 6, 8 and 9 exceeded District averages in meeting growth targets in reading.

James Logan High students took 1,181 Advanced Placement tests, up from 1,027 in 2011, and a remarkable increase from the 662 AP tests administered as recently as 2010.

Expulsions fell for the fourth year in a row, to a total of 12, down from 66 in 2008-09, 37 in 09-10 and 16 in 10-11.

At the conclusion of the presentation, Board members offered good wishes to Ms. Gudalewicz, who is leaving the District at the end of the month to become Superintendent of the Cupertino Union School District.

Also, the Board:

Met incoming Chief Academic Officer Arlando Smith and welcomed veteran New Haven educators Nancy George, Jessica Wilder and Jesus Varela. Ms. George will become Executive Director of the Union City Kids' Zone, Ms. Wilder will take over as Principal of the New Haven Adult School, and Mr. Varela will become Principal at Alvarado Middle School.

Approved the appointment of Sara Wiford as Director of Special Education, replacing Anjanette Pelletier, who is leaving the District to become SELPA (Special Education Local Planning Agency) Administrator for the San Mateo County Office of Education. Ms. Wiford, who spent more than 10 years in New Haven's special education department, returns to the District form Newark, where she was a special education program specialist for the past four years.

Approved the appointments of Mary Rodriguez as a house principal at James Logan High and Heather Thorner as a part-time assistant principal at Alvarado Middle School. Ms. Rodriguez, a former Logan student, returns to the District after serving as a vice principal in Santa Clara.

Approved reductions from the classified workforce of 19 full-time equivalents: 7.67 FTE as part of the process necessary to balance the budget, and 11.33 FTE as part of a reorganization of the Kids First program that provides before- and after-school care.

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