Mountain View Whisman School Board Meetings September 2017

MVWSD Board Meeting, September 7th and 21st, 2017

The Mountain View Whisman Board of Trustees met on September 7th and 21st.

After School Programs Audit Report

The district’s strategic plan designates this school year as a planning year for after school programs. The audit report highlighted a variety of different after school programs across the district, some funded by the district and others paid for by parents or PTA’s. Some programs are run by parents, as well, while others are run by outside contractors like the YMCA.

The board was asked to consider whether there should be uniformity in after school programming across school sites. Another approach would be to provide certain district run programs like Beyond the Bell at each site, but continue to allow the current variety of programs as well, or the district could provide equal funding for afterschool programming across sites. The variety of programs and providers means there is little data linking programs directly to students’ academic outcomes.  The Trustees asked for more information about impacts on school climate, parent surveys, etc., to guide decision making.

Reserve Cap

Senate Bill 751 is currently awaiting a signature by Governor Jerry Brown. SB 751, among other changes, exempts small school districts and basic aid districts like MVWSD from a reserve cap. The current reserve cap is 6%, meaning a school district can only set aside 6% of the budget in reserve. If SB 751 is signed, the Board can instead set its own reserve cap based on recommendations from the district office. The Trustees discussed whether the Board should send a letter to Governor Brown expressing their support for the signing of the bill and made this an official agenda item for the future.

Enrollment Priorities Task Force

The District approached the Trustees seeking guidance for the Enrollment Priorities Task Force (EPTF).

New school boundaries were approved this past June after a years long process by the Student Attendance Area Task Force (SAATF). The SAATF was instructed that diversity and socio-economic status were not to be taken into account when redrawing boundaries, but instead an emphasis was made on not having students cross major thoroughfares like El Camino Real and Central Expressway. The SAATF’s mission was to not only address overcrowding at schools like Huff and Bubb, but to plan ahead for the opening of a new Slater campus.

With these new boundaries going into effect in the fall of 2019, the Enrollment Priorities Task Force (EPTF) is tasked with setting grandfathering guidelines for students in changing school zones, as well as reviewing the district’s current 26 enrollment priorities. Right now an enrolling family can elect to attend any school within the district pending space at that school and the current enrollment priorities.

One of the main challenges facing the Board is reconciling the SAATF’s emphasis on neighborhood schools with school choice and socio-economic diversity. The Board felt that diversity is an issue for schools and any attempt to address it by the EPTF would be welcome. The Trustees also noted that while neighborhood schools are a priority, there should be some flexibility for school choice. Board members were not concerned about school size and would continue to support current schools even if enrollment dropped dramatically for several years. Grandfathering of students within changing boundaries had limited support – perhaps only for a year or two. The District will share these overall guidelines with the EPTF at their first meeting.

DACA

The Trustees adopted a resolution asking that legislation be enacted at the federal level to continue the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program by March 2018.  The MVWSD Board “calls upon the United States Congress, including all members of the California delegation, to work with President Donald J. Trump to enact legislation prior to March 2018 that would, at a minimum, continue the existing DACA program and provide DACA recipients with a pathway to permanent residence and eventually to US Citizenship.”

— Devon Conley, Observer