Board Meeting 5/7/18

Two presentations were made that showed trustees what the schools are doing to promote excellent education.

 1. Performing Arts

  • LAHS and MVHS Performing arts departments offer instrumental choral, drama, and dance courses.
  • Classes range from open-to-everyone, audition, and touring and competition opportunities.
  • To address challenges, LAHS requests more building and storage space to create a stagecraft class, and to add new counseling staff.
  • Student achievements were highlighted
  • MVHS has stagecraft and makeup classes.

2. Los Altos Academy of Engineering and Design

  • Courses in mechanical engineering, computer science, fabrication, and design.
  • Also provides career assistance and opportunities for students.

—  Nathan Pier and Ellen Wheeler, Substitute Observers

Board Meeting 5/21/18

World Language Department Report

Mountain View- Los Altos High School has 12 teachers teaching 22 courses to 1129 students in Spanish, French, Mandarin, and Japanese.  Los Altos High School has 12 teachers teaching 23 courses to 1349 students in Spanish, French, Mandarin, and Latin.  Both schools are developing new and improved courses for Native and Heritage Spanish speakers. (A heritage language is a minority language learned by its speakers at home as children, but it is never fully developed because its speakers grow up with a dominant language in which they become more competent.)

Associate Superintendent Mike Mathiesen presented a preliminary overview of the 2018-19 budget.  Budget assumptions: secured property taxes growing by 7%, enrollment expected to be 4,433 students, plan to hire 8 additional teachers, health insurance premiums growing by 7%, MVLA Foundation donation is expected to be $1.9M, and the cost of retirement programs will be 16.28% for certificated staff and 17.7% for classified staff.  Progress is expected toward the district goal of a 20% reserve. Board members suggested adding funding for consultants to address student safety, academic and college counseling, Latino parent outreach, and data analysis management.

Associate Superintendent Margarita Navarro presented the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) preparation.  The LCAP documents progress in closing the achievement gap for English Learners and SocioEconomically Disadvantaged students, based on goals set in 2106-17: Balancing high-quality instruction with student wellness; Improving Math performance; Improving performance of English Language Learners; and Increasing Special Education student placement in the Least Restrictive Environment.

— Sally Ahnger, Observer