Super short meeting to open the 2012-13 school year: the meeting started at 6:20 p.m. and was over by 7:30 p.m. There were a few contracts on the agenda, most notably a group of contracts valued at over $15 million for non-public school tuition or non-public agency fees paid to educate students with disabilities placed out of district (either as a result of lawsuits or mutual agreement between the district and the child’s parents/guardians). Other contracts of note:
- Partners in School Innovation – $468,000 to provide professional development for teachers in the Bayview and Mission Superintendent’s Zone schools;
- UCSF – $200,000 to provide doctors and athletic trainers for interscholastic athletic events;
- Language Bank – $190,000 to provide translation and interpretation services at IEP meetings and parent trainings;
- Stetson & Associates – $135,000 to provide professional development for teachers to increase their knowledge of inclusive practices for students.
In other news, Commissioner Fewer introduced a resolution calling for one early release day per week, where — starting this school year — students would be dismissed one hour early on Wednesdays in order to give teachers common planning and professional development time. That one-hour loss of instructional time would be made up by “banking” 15 minutes per day — usually accomplished by shortening recess/lunch times or adding a few more minutes at the beginning or end of a day. The proposal will be heard in committee early next month, then return to the full Board for a vote (assuming there are no additional changes or research required by district staff) in late September or early October.
Many of the middle schools already have two “late start” days per month — students arrive at school one hour later, affording time for professional development or common planning by teachers.
Superintendent Carranza gave upbeat opening remarks, discussing the successful Administrator Institute two weeks ago, his expectations that our district’s showing on the STAR (CST) test (results will be available August 31) will be very strong, and announcing his new Twitter handle: @SFUSD_Supe.
Are you ready for school to start? I am. School starts this coming Monday, August 20 — five days and counting!