August 16, 2019

Board President Update
The Board of Education had its first regularly scheduled meeting of the 2019-2020 school year on Tuesday, August 13, 2019.  The Board was excited to welcome everyone back to a new school year and to have Superintendent Dr. Jeff Wilson at his first official meeting.  Audio of the Board's discussion of all agenda items during the Open Session meeting can be listened to  here.
Academics Advisory Committee
Over a series of Board meetings in May and June, Academics Advisory Committee Chair Dr. Michiko Lee and Executive Director of Educational Services Jason Kurtenbach presented to the Board possible AAC topics for the 2019-20 school year.  Now that Dr. Wilson, former Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services at Arcadia Unified, has arrived, he has provided additional input to Dr. Lee and Mr. Kurtenbach, including the suggestion that the AAC study Universal Design for Learning (UDL). 
According to Mr. Kurtenbach, UDL can be defined as a framework to improve and optimize teaching and learning for all people based on scientific insights into how humans learn.  UDL is designed to provide multiple means of engagement, representation, and action and expression so that students of all ages, abilities and interests will be successful learners.   Click here for a short video explaining UDL.
Mr. Kurtenbach mentioned that while UDL is already incorporated into the Common Core standards and is being used in the District, an in-depth study of UDL could lead to research and action on assessments, Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS), Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS) and Open Educational Resources (OER).   The adoption of some or all of these frameworks might lead to benefits for all students, as well as a reduction in costs related to Special Education and textbook adoptions. The study of UDL could also incorporate topics relating to college preparedness and admission.
The Board approved Dr. Wilson's recommendation of UDL as an AAC topic and acknowledged Dr. Wilson's warning that, unlike some past AAC topics that could be assessed within one school year, research and analysis of UDL and how the UDL framework might work in San Marino Unified may take several years of time and research on the part of the AAC as well as the District.
Fiscal Resource Task Force
In light of the projected structural deficit the District is facing in coming years due to various factors discussed in prior Board Updates (see April 12, June 14, and June 27), Superintendent Wilson recommended the creation of a Fiscal Resource Task Force that would bring parents, community members, District staff, and Board members together to research, analyze and evaluate possible financial resources that would supplement the District's current sources of revenue.  The Board expressed interest in the Task Force concept, noting that during prior cycles of financial instability, the District and/or Board had convened similar committees, such as the Financial Advisory Committee appointed in 2008.  The Board asked Dr. Wilson and staff to further develop the recommendation and bring it back for proposed action at the August 27th School Board meeting. 
The Board's next regularly scheduled meeting will be at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, August 27, 2019, in the District's Board room.

Lisa Link
President, SMUSD Board of Education
San Marino Unified School District Board of Education

Lisa Link
Chris Norgaard
Vice President
C. Joseph Chang
Shelley Ryan
Corey Barberie