September Board Meeting Highlights
October 6, 2016


Lynwood Elementary School students shared with the Board their GLAD (Guided Language Acquisition Design) T-charts on expected behaviors for students at the September 20, 2016, meeting.  Their T-charts show student behavior expectations in the hallways, office, before and after school, during assemblies, lunch and snack time, on the playground and in the bathroom.  All students participated collaboratively in making the charts that are displayed on campus.

DISCUSSION/ACTION:  Trustees Unanimously Approved 2016-17 District Goals and Priorities:  Trustees voted unanimously on September 6, 2016, to approve the District Goals and Priorities presented by Superintendent Jim Hogeboom. The priorities of Equity, Student Success, Staff Success and Community Involvement and Engagement continue from the 2015-16 school year and under each of these priorities are three SMART (Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound) goals.  For more information, please go to the September 6, 2016, meeting Discussion/Action 14.b. or click here to view the 2016-17 Goals and Priorities.

STAFF REPORT: Student Achievement Results:  Ivan Chaidez, Assistant Superintendent Education Services, updated the Board of Trustees on NUSD’s student achievement results from the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP):  Smarter Balanced Assessments for English Language Arts/Literacy and Mathematics.  NUSD conducted for the second year the online administration of the Smarter Balanced (SBAC) test in English Language Arts/Literacy and Mathematics to all students in grades 3 through 8 and 11 in the spring of 2016.

Mr. Chaidez prepared a short and long presentation for the Board of Trustees.  Both can be reviewed here: 
                      Short Presentation
                      Long Presentation

In summary,
  • NUSD is very proud of the work that our students and teachers have done to transition to the new standards and prepare for this new test.
  • These results provide one measure of the teaching and learning occurring in Novato Unified School District.
  • The CAASPP achievement level results are broken down into four categories which include the percentage of students who exceeded the standards, met the standards, nearly met the standards and did not meet the standards. 
  • All grades outperformed the state averages in both English Language Arts and Math.  
  • NUSD is proud of the growth our Latino students are making in closing the achievement gap by either meeting or exceeding state wide scores.
  • NUSD needs to continue to find best practices and ways to better serve our English Learners, students from low income homes and Latino/Hispanic students as there is a clear gap in their achievement as compared to White or non-socioeconomically disadvantaged.
DISCUSSION/ACTION: Trustees Approved the Planning Process for the No Bells Initiative at Novato High School:  The Board of Trustees approved the planning process to explore the potential pilot of the No Bells Initiative scheduled for the fall of 2017 at the September 20, 2016, meeting.

Last spring, Novato High School Principal Matt Baldwin and teacher Glenn Corey, along with consultant Rob Lippincott, began discussions around the possibility of establishing a pilot school within a school program for the fall of 2017 with a cohort of approximately 100 students.  This creative and PBL-based program would focus on Design Thinking, and build on the past successes in the product design program at Novato High School.  The group also met with Superintendent Jim Hogeboom in late May to get initial support to move forward with the planning process.  The approval of the general concept was given, and the planning began in June. The planning will continue and the final proposal for the fall 2017 pilot will be brought to the Board of Trustees at the January 28 Board meeting.  To review the presentation and the proposal, please go to the September 20, 2016, meeting Discussion/Action 14.a.

PRESENTATION:  COMPASS Program Update:  Superintendent Jim Hogeboom introduced Jonathan Eldridge, Senior Vice President of Student Learning & Student Services, College of Marin, who presented an update to the Board on the San Marin staff worked with College of Marin representatives to identify a cohort of 25 students for the program.  These students agreed to fulfill certain responsibilities and meet the expectations for being admitted to the program. Upon completion of the multi-year program, students will have more than 20 units of transferable college credit and are eligible for tuition the first year should they enroll at College of Marin.  For more information on the COMPASS program, please visit the COMPASS webpage.

STAFF REPORT:  School Safety UpdateAt the September 6, 2016, Board meeting, Superintendent Hogeboom shared with the Board that many parents want to know what steps NUSD has taken to ensure that their students are safe in our schools in light of the shooting that took place last May involving Novato High School students. As a result, meetings with every school PTA/PTSA have been scheduled to discuss the various aspects that impact school safety, including physical safety, but also social/emotional safety for our students.  The meetings include sufficient time for questions and comments from parents, staff and students as the concerns at each site are different.  The interchange also provides district staff with good ideas and suggestions to improve our communication and our safety procedures and processes.  Director of Communications Leslie Benjamin and North Bay Security Consultant Bill Welch have been accompanying Superintendent Jim Hogeboom at these presentations.  When his availability allows, Novato Police gang expert Nelson Orantes also attends as well if there are particular gang issues.  (Gang awareness training is also being provided to all staff at the secondary schools.) 

STAFF REPORT:  Solar Update: Karen Maloney, Assistant Superintendent Business & Operations, gave the Board an update on NUSD’s solar project.  Heavy construction began in the summer of 2016 to install solar carports and shade structures at 10 schools and that has been completed. Final work relating to connectivity remains and the systems will be online and generating clean, renewable energy by November 2016.  NUSD entered into a Power Purchase Agreement with SolarCity to achieve maximum energy saving with minimal capital expenditure with SolarCity financing the approximately $6 million project. NUSD’s costs totaled approximately $325,000 for legal, procurement/construction management, inspections and testing. NUSD projects utility savings of between $7-12 million over 25 years. For more information, please see the September 6, 2016, Staff Report 13.e.

STAFF REPORT:  Update on California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)/Initial Study for the San Marin Stadium Lights Project:  Superintendent Hogeboom updated the Board of Trustees on the process for the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and the Initial Study for the San Marin Stadium Lights as prepared by Rincon Inc., including a summary of the scoping meeting that was held with San Marin neighbors on September 7, 2016 and a follow up meeting with neighbors on September 12.  The September 20, 2016, Board meeting was also an opportunity for the Board of Trustees to provide input and ask questions on this process.

On May 17, 2016, the NUSD Board of Trustees approved an agreement with Rincon Inc. to conduct a California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) report, including and Initial Study and Notice of Preparation (NOP.) The Initial Study was released to the public on August 25, 2016, along with the NOP.  This began a 30-day public review period, which ended on Sunday, September 25, 2016. The findings from the Initial Study did determine that there were potentially significant impacts of various environmental factors, including aesthetics, air quality, cultural resources, greenhouse gas emissions, noise, transportation/traffic, and mandatory findings of significance. Because of these findings, a full EIR will be conducted.

As part of the public review, NUSD held a public Scoping Meeting on Wednesday, September 7, 2016, to present the findings of the Initial Study and receive input concerning any other environmental factors that need to be analyzed in the EIR. Comments received from the public were submitted to Rincon for inclusion in the EIR. After the Scoping Meeting, a follow up meeting with a representative group of seven San Marin neighbors was held on September 12, 2016 to discuss the Proposed Usage Schedule of the field. As a result of this meeting, the Proposed Usage Schedule was modified and this new schedule will be used by Rincon for the upcoming EIR.  Another result of the meeting is a follow-up meeting with a subgroup of San Marin neighbors and the Novato Police Department to develop a plan to provide adequate supervision and safety of students and adults. 

It is estimated that the EIR will take approximately two months to complete, and so the district should expect the report by the end of November. For more information, please see the September 20, 2016, Staff Report 13.c.

Future Board Meetings:

10/18/16    Regular Board Meeting, 7 pm Open Session

11/1/16      Regular Board Meeting, 7 pm Open Session

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