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Tracy Smith
Tuesday, September 17, 2019

           Cynthia Evers, Board President*****************************Tracy Smith, Superintendent

Employees of the Month Honored: Rocellie Lansagan and Jen Gallaway

Rocellie Lansagan, cook at Whited, is a master multi-tasker while always remaining calm.  Her fantastic sense of humor makes everyone laugh.  Cel took on various positions at the district office over the summer and has recently been hired as the business clerk at the district office.  She will be greatly missed at Whited.

Jen Gallaway, teacher at Binkley, values relationships, creativity, strength, recognition, and leadership.  Jen lives out those values in her classroom, with children and their families, and with her colleagues. She understands the hearts of students and takes the time to find out exactly what each student needs to progress and then sets up a plan of action.  Mrs. Kjaer thanked Jen for her unwavering dedication to this noble profession.   

School Spotlight: Village

Cecilia Holt represented Village School and reported on their steady gains in student success.

Mrs. Holt explained the process that Village follows to increase student academic progress, which include data meetings, collaboration, synergy and interventions.  Village’s EL and Math SBAC provide evidence of steady growth and demonstrated significant increase again this past year.  She attributes student success to the concentrated and targeted dedication of her staff.

Instructional Program Highlights

The purpose of the Jump Start program is to provide kindergarten readiness skills. Typically these are students who did not attend preschool.  During the two week program the teachers focused on learning procedures and routines to help the students be prepared for kindergarten, learning proper pencil grip, counting to 10, basic letter naming, and social emotional skills.   This summer we decided to open up the registration for Jump Start to any incoming kindergarten student whom the kindergarten teachers felt could benefit from the program based on the screening the teachers administered. We invited 32 students to participate and we had 20 students accept the invitation and attend.  We had a 96% attendance rate.

Science Adoption Timeline

RVUSD is looking to adopt a new science curriculum to align with the New Generation Science Standards (NGSS).  We have been waiting for publishers to create programs for adoption.  We have a Science Committee in place and they will meet on October 8, 2019 for an NGSS presentation from Anna Vandordrecht and preview publishers.  Next steps include setting up a pilot and then bringing a recommendation to the Board, order materials, set up training, and implement curriculum.   There is an option to look at a K-5 and 6-8 science adoption.


Differentiation Professional Development

One of the summer professional development opportunities was a week-long course on Differentiation.  Principal, Jenny Lynch, and consulting teachers Kathy Alexander and Colette Haldi planned and lead the course.  They presented an overview of what was covered in the course to the Board.  Some of the teachers that attended shared some of the things they enjoyed, learned, and brought back to their classrooms this year.  Staff would like to offer two sessions next summer and possibly a Differentiation 2.0.


Center for Educational Leadership

The Rincon Valley Union School District is entering its third year partnering with the Center for Educational Leadership (CEL). This school year the administrators are learning how to have targeted feedback conversations with teachers.  This is an area that principals identified as a focus for training to help with conversations with teachers after classroom observations.  Classroom  walkthroughs on their site are also being planned for this year allowing teachers to visit the classrooms of other teachers to learn and grow.  The district continues to familiarize itself with the 5 Dimensions Teaching Framework.


Sexual Health and HIV/AIDS Prevention Instruction

This policy was brought back for further discussion.  The legal requirement is clear, but how we instruct our students is left to our discretion as long as it contains the necessary elements.  The next steps include identifying the curriculum available to comply with the requirements.  A committee consisting of general education teachers, a school counselor, and a nurse will review the curriculum to make adjustments to meet our grade level make-up needs.  Following the work of the committee, information will be brought back to the Board to consider.


BP 5030 Wellness Policy

The Wellness Council met on September 9.  The Council reviewed the required components of a Wellness Policy and began drafting guidelines.  The focus for this year is to formalize the district’s plan for no food birthdays, before lunch parties, and smart snacks.  There will be a multi-year rollout of guidelines that will include physical and mental components.  The district is not managing what parent clubs do for their fundraisers.  If there are more interested participants who wish to join the committee, the work will break up into subcommittees to focus on each guideline.


Rincon Valley Charter School and Spring Creek Matanzas: Is it best to merge these campuses? Conversations and Decision Making Timeline

Board of Trustees discussed future plans for the Rincon Valley Charter School. The Spring Creek- Matanzas community will also be engaged in the discussion as their campuses will be impacted by this decision as well.


One of the first decisions that needs to be made is whether to merge the two RVCS campuses onto one campus creating a larger 300+ student 7-8 middle school program.  Although this move has been discussed many times by the board of trustees over the last several years, a decision continues to be delayed due to the fires of 2017 and the resignation of the superintendent in October 2018. The Rincon Valley Charter Exploratory Committee started meeting in December 2016. The Board received a summary of the information collected to date.  All documents related to this summary are available in the district office and will be posted on our website in the next few weeks.


Superintendent Smith presented a timeline of next steps/meetings and activities for making a final decision for the RVCS campuses.  There will be opportunities for discussion and input from RVCS, Spring Creek, Matanzas and Sequoia staffs, community, and Board.  The goal is for the Board to give direction at the November 12th Board meeting.

District Budget: Unaudited Actuals

Dr. Pandolfo reviewed the Unaudited Actuals Financial Data and answered questions.  A summary of this data can be found here.

Next Board Meeting: Tuesday, October 8 at 6:00PM