Jim Hogeboom                                  April 19, 2017
WIGO for Spring!

When I was younger I participated in a public affairs fellowship program in San Francisco called CORO, and one of the systems we looked at in organizations was called WIGO:  What Is Going On.  Well, there is certainly no shortage of big initiatives that are brewing here in NUSD this spring that will pave the way for our students to master our Graduate Profile and go on to a successful life.  It’s been a busy year and here are all the big things that are going on:

  • 1:World Technology Plan:  Our Technology Advisory Committee and the teachers piloting the use of devices with students made a recommendation to the Board to roll out Chromebooks for students next year in grades 5, 6 and 9.  The IT department is working on the logistics, while Education Services is working on providing training this summer for our teachers.   The Board will vote on the final plan on April 25.  The Plan can be seen https://nusd.org/departments/educational-services/programs/1toworld-technology-program/

  • Equity Imperative/LCAP:  Earlier this year the Board of Trustees approved our Equity Imperative Declaration, which was developed by our District Advisory Committee and lays out the foundation for our universal goal for all students as well as our targeted goals for our Latino and African American students.  Ensuring access, equity and inclusion at all of our schools for all of our students remains a top district priority, and we are currently developing our LCAP (Local Control and Accountability Plan) to ensure we are supporting our students of color, students in poverty and foster youth.  Check out our Equity Imperative Declaration https://nusd.org/school-board/equity-imperative-declaration/;  you can also see a draft of the LCAP short version at https://nusd.org/about-nusd/lcap/

  • Bond Implementation Committee:  About 40 key stakeholders including teachers, parents, students, administrators and community members have been meeting since January to prioritize the projects to be done since the passage of Measure G.  The district successfully sold the first series of Bonds for about $51 million, and the Bond Implementation Committee has recommended a list of priorities for 12 projects for the next 5 years.  (It will take about 10 years to spend the entire $222 million in projects.)  The Board is scheduled to vote on these priorities at the May 2 Board Meeting.  The recommended list of projects can be found on the Bond Implementation Committee webpage “Recommended Project List – 1st Round.”

  • Dual Immersion at Lynwood:  The Board heard a report from the Dual Immersion Task Force which recommended that Lynwood Elementary become a Dual Immersion school starting in the fall of 2018 with Pre-K, K and First Graders.  This initiative has been in the planning stage for a few years, and there is great excitement in our community for starting this program.  The Board will make a final decision on April 25.  You can find the link to the Dual Immersion webpage here.

  • Later Start Committee:  This Committee has been meeting since last fall, and is proposing that high school start at 8:00 for first period and 9:00 for second period.  This would mean that elementary and middle schools would then start at either 8:20 or 8:40.   We currently have a survey out to our elementary and middle school staff and parents to get their input.  The next step is to see if the high schools can agree on a bell schedule.  A summary of the Committee work can be found on the Later Start webpage.

  • PBL Training:  We continue to offer PBL 101 and PBL 201 through the Buck Institute for Education and MCOE to achieve our goal of having all teachers trained by the end of December.  More than 60% of our teachers have already completed the training!  The District Leadership Team continues to work on rubrics, having completed ones for Collaboration and Communication and is now working on Critical Thinking.  Our May 26 Professional Development Day will be a great “Sharing of Practice” for teachers to share work done on the collaboration rubric and on projects.

  • Stadium Lights at San Marin:  The Board and community are waiting for the Final Environmental Impact Report to be made public, which should occur on April 18.  There were 97 letters with numerous comments on the Draft EIR that required a response.  The Board will vote to certify the Final EIR at the May 2 Board of Trustee meeting; with a final decision on the lights project slated for May 30.  More information can be found at Stadium Lights at San Marin.

  • Negotiations:  We continue to meet with our NFT and CSEA partners to discuss contract negotiations.  So far we are making progress on language issues, and once the May Revise Budget has been released we should have a better idea of the funding we will receive from the state next year.

  • Tour of Novato:  Thanks to School Fuel, the Tour of Novato is taking place Saturday, May 6!  The Tour of Novato and Community Fair and West Marin Metric Century are Novato-wide celebrations of our schools, and a fundraiser to support them.  To sign up, visit http://www.tourofnovato.org/2017//.  

So that is WIGO…what’s going on at Novato Unified! 

Jim Hogeboom

District Office
101 7th St
Novato, CA 94945
Phone: 415-897-4201
Email: lbenjamin@nusd.org