Board Meeting Highlights
November 15, 2016

At the November 15 Board meeting a few Novato High School, Marin School of the Arts students theatrically performed songs from the fall musical “How to Succeed in Business without Even Trying”. The presenting teachers were Rodney Franz and Scott DeTurk who played the piano. 

DISCUSSION/ACTION:  TELL Survey Agreement with New Teacher Center At the November 15 Board meeting, the Board of Trustees approved the TELL Survey Agreement with the New Teacher Center as teacher retention and support is a Board priority.  Kris Cosca, Assistant Superintendent Human Resources, presented the Board information on the Teaching, Empowering, Leading, and Learning (TELL) Survey.  As discussed at the November 1, 2016, Board meeting, teacher retention is a critical issue for the District, and the importance is compounded by the current teacher shortage felt across California. New Teacher Center’s (NTC) Teaching, Empowering, Leading, and Learning (TELL) initiative will help Novato Unified School District (NUSD) gather, document, and analyze educator perceptions of teaching and learning conditions in our schools and District. NTC will then guide our school leaders in using the survey results to plan improvements, including professional development for teachers and school leaders.  More information can be found in the November 16, 2016, Board Report Discussion/Action Item 15.b.    

STAFF REPORT: Sports Update Fall 2016: At the November 15 Board meeting, Athletic Directors (AD) from both high schools (Craig Pitti and Dennis Davis, San Marin High School, and Nolan Godfrey, Novato High School) shared with the Board of Trustees the key areas of focus to improve NUSD athletic programs for our student athletes, the number of participants in the athletic programs, and the GPA of those students. This is the first year having full time athletic directors at both high schools and the overarching goals are cohesion between both schools, student support, coach support, increased interface with coaches and students, student safety, and increased communication.  

The athletic directors from both high schools prepared presentations for the Board of Trustees and both can be reviewed here, November 15, 2016, Staff Reports Item 14.a.   In summary:  

San Marin High School:
  • Coach support involves the AD getting out to more practices, expanded coaching evaluation program to ensure coaches are aware of what is going well and areas to improve
  • Student safety includes a partnership with Sutter Health, Novato Community Hospital, for full time athletic trainers, every NUSD student received a base-line IMPACT cognitive testing
  • San Marin student support includes working with Community Liaison, Carmen Moreno to work with Spanish speaking students and parents
  • Increase interface with students, parents, and coaches: AD will attend all pre-season student athlete meetings
  • AD office moved to the front office where is it more accessible to parents
  • Increased communication by online registration and NUSD is the first district in Marin to have this, weekly emails, This Week in San Marin Athletics, increased social networking on Twitter and Instagram, as well as a student run program
  • Second progress report 73% of students were above 3.0, 43% were between a 3.50-3.99 and 15% were above a 4.0
  Novato High School:
  • Student support includes regular office hours, AD strong liaison with Counseling office, students are encouraged to increase their school engagement, College Recruitment Assistance to families and students, focus on academic success
  • Coach support focuses on posting coaching jobs on EdJoin and the Athletics website, and start and end seasons with comprehensive meetings with all coaches
  • Working with Community Liaison, Cinthia Angelicola, to reach Spanish speaking students and families
  • Increase interface with students and coaches, daily rounds are made to team practices, regular attendance at off-field functions, supervise home games, monthly meetings among Captains Circle of team leaders, and developing athletic culture
  • Increase communication involves a clarified sports process, ongoing website updates, increased use of social media, responding to calls and emails within the same day, significant synergy with NHS counseling office, established relationships with district departments and directors
  • Student athlete recognition, team culture building, and unifying MSA and NHS, parent culture building, and equity for all
  • 99.3% of students were academically eligible
STAFF REPORT: English Learner Program Overview:  At the November 15 Board Meeting, Melissa Diaz, English Learner Coordinator, gave an update to the Board on NUSD’s English Learner Program.  In the spring of 2014, the Board saw the need and importance of hiring an English Learner Coordinator to implement and maintain the compliance and programs that support our English learners. Melissa Diaz, English Learner Coordinator, began the position in August of 2015 and many programs have added to support English learners in the district. The 2015-2016 LCAP identified that community liaisons were needed at every site. Community liaisons provide resources to families and students, as well as connections to teachers and administrators. To address the achievement gap, NUSD expanded the English learner support program to include an English Learner Development (ELD) instructional coach, a Newcomer Counselor, free tutoring for English learners, DELAC Annual Needs Assessments, Integrated and Designated ELD, as well as continuing Clark Consulting Training which is in year two of implementation. For more information, please see the November 15 Board Report and Presentation, Staff Report Item 14.b.    

Future Board Meetings:

12/6/16      Regular Board Meeting, 7 pm Open Session
12/20/16    Regular Board Meeting, 7 pm Open Session  

District Office
101 7th St
Novato, CA 94945
Phone: 415-897-4201