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SCHOOL BOARD MEETING HIGHLIGHTS - May 3, 2016
SPECIAL STUDENT RECOGNITION
 
Scott MacLeod, San Marin English and Journalism Teacher, introduced Daria Hoang, Jane Williams, Cate Guempel, and Caroline Baetkey who won awards at the recent Western Region Scholastic Arts & Writing Contest.
 
In addition to Student Presentations at Board Meetings, throughout the year the Board will also recognize a student or small group of students for special accomplishments.  

STUDENT PRESENTATION
 
The Boys A Capella Group from the Novato Charter School sang Barbara Ann (from the Beach Boys) for the Board.  A short video clip can be viewed on the NUSD Facebook page.
  • Expanded Transitional Kindergarten:  The Board of Trustees approved the staff recommendation to continue the present practice of enrolling students with a 5th birthday between September 2 and December 2.  Assembly Bill 104 amended the law pertaining to enrollment in Transitional Kindergarten (TK) by giving districts the choice of enrolling 4 year olds who turn 5 after December 2 and within the school year. 
Ruthanne Bexton and Kris Cosca met with NUSD TK teachers who expressed their interest in offering the best developmentally appropriate program and environment for TK students.  They clearly explained the differing developmental needs of 4 and 5 year olds and the need for additional professional development in early childhood education and planning in order to appropriately serve 4 years olds in a TK class.
 
NUSD is also partnering with the YMCA to open four preschool classrooms in 2016-2017 with support from grants from the state.  The preschool classes will serve 4 year olds with staff already qualified in early childhood education. Implementing both programs next year causes potential competition for the same students and could result in poor implementation of both, thereby jeopardizing funding for the preschool.  The Board directed staff to monitor the preschool program on how well it serves our typically underserved children and provide an update next year on expanding the TK program. Discussion/Action 16.a
 
  • Response to the Grand Jury Report "Head Injuries and Concussions:  Are our High Schools Keeping Our Children Safe?":  Superintendent Hogeboom presented NUSD's response to the Grand Jury Report on concussions. The response was developed in collaboration with both high school principals, athletic coaches, and athletic trainers.  Overall, NUSD agrees with the Grand Jury's report and recommendation that high schools have an athletic trainer at each of its high schools, perform annual pre- and, if necessary, post-concussion tests, expand concussion education to become mandatory, and adopt Return-to-Play and Return-to-Learn protocols for all athletes.
NUSD is fortunate to have an agreement with the Novato Community Hospital to provide Certified Athletic Trainers at a reduced cost. These Trainers cover all sports at the two high schools and are present for all home games and assist the visiting teams as well.  Novato Community Hospital also covers the cost of concussion testing for our athletes.  Currently both high schools follow the California Interscholastic Federation's Return-to-Learn protocol, and CA State Law AB 2127, Return-to-Play.
 
The Board of Trustees approved the response to the Grand Jury Report.  The complete NUSD response can be reviewed under Discussion/Action 16.b.
 
  • Behavioral HealthKarin Jimbo, Coordinator, and Andrew Weiher, Behavior Health Specialist, gave the Board an update on the Behavioral Health program at NUSD since it was developed when Mental Health services were returned to the District in 2012. Behavioral Health includes coordination of Educationally Related Mental Health Service (residential placements, counseling enriched special day classes, individual, group and/or family counseling) for students with disabilities as well as behavioral support (education, intervention and programming) district-wide. Some new components of the program include standardized data collection systems, site trainings, evidence-based procedures in classroom, agency collaboration and general education outreach.
  • School Enrollment and Capacity for the 2016-17 School Year:  Kris Cosca, Assistant Superintendent Human Resources, presented the projected school enrollment, capacity, and potential spaces available at NUSD school sites.  Mr. Cosca commented that actual available space is based on current enrollment information and projections and will decrease as new residents in the neighborhoods register to attend, transfers due to intra-district transfers are made, and/or Program Improvement Parent Choice transfers are fulfilled. Potential space available at a given school is determined based on capacity minus projected 2016-2017 enrollment and the numbers simply represent a snapshot of a moment in time.
Capacity for elementary schools is determined based upon:
    • the projected number of Transition Kindergarten through grade three;
    • General Education Teachers assigned to a school multiplied by 22 students plus the projected number of fourth through fifth grade;
    • and General Education Teachers assigned to a school multiplied by 27.
Capacities for middle and high schools are based upon Novato Unified School District's most recent Facility Master Plan criteria for capacity.  To review the report, please go to Discussion/Action 15.c.
 
Future Board Meetings:
 
5/17/16       Regular Board Meeting, 7 pm Open Session
 
5/21/16      Special Board Meeting, 9 am - Noon
                     Facilities Workshop
 
6/14/16      Regular Board Meeting, 7 pm Open Session
 
6/21/16      Regular Board Meeting, 7 pm Open Session
 

Are you interested in receiving advance notice of the Board agenda and its reports?  If so, please email Gladys Batz, Executive Assistant to the Superintendent, at gbatz@nusd.org and say you want to be added to the email list.  Ms. Batz sends out the link to the agenda and board reports for the upcoming Board meeting the Friday before a regular Board meeting.  The agenda and associated board reports can also be found on AgendaOnline.   The link can also be found on the homepage of the NUSD website (www.nusd.org) under Quick Links.