News, Notes and Votes (ARCHIVED)

News, Notes & Votes
St. Helena Unified School District
August 9, 2012

1. “Where Everybody Belongs” (WEB) at RLS Middle School
Four 8th grade students from RLS Middle School – Jacob Shafer, Joaquin Gutierrez, Emma Grace Roberts, and Gail Conwell – informed the Board of Trustees about the “Where Everybody Belongs” (WEB) program that trains 8th graders to become leaders in helping the new 6th graders adjust to school life at RLS. The 8th grade WEB leaders call all the 6th graders prior to the first day of school, greet and welcome them when they arrive at school on the first day, and meet up with them once in awhile throughout the school year to see how they are doing and answer any questions they may have. In addition to developing leadership skills, the 8th graders also do team-building activities and help the 6th graders become more confident about attending RLS. The highlight of their presentation to the Board was leading the Board and Administration through a couple of rounds of the “Tiger, Trap, Person” game they play with the 6th graders, which everyone thoroughly enjoyed.
2. K-5 Schedules
Assistant Superintendent Cindy Toews, SHES Principal Mark Arnold, and SHPS Principal Tom Hoskins presented the 2012-13 schedules for the Elementary School and the Primary School to the Board of Trustees. These new schedules address the scheduling difficulties that the K-5 Program experienced last year and are focused on strong core instruction periods, thus alleviating the many transitions the students had last year and the lack of uninterrupted instructional time for English Language Arts and Mathematics.
3. Trimester and Spanish/Electives at RLS Middle School
RLS Principal Mary Allen explained the 2012-13 schedule for RLS Middle School to the Board, explaining the move to Trimesters but retaining the 2 or 3 days a week of instruction per Spanish/Elective. Mary also stated that they will be closely monitoring
RLS 8th Grade WEB Leader Gail Conwell addresses the Board about the success of the WEB Program at RLS Board Members and Administrators follow the instructions of RLS 8th Grade WEB Leader Emma Grace Roberts in a game of “Tiger, Trap, Person,” with the Tigers being Trapped! student needs and student success to ensure that their schedule always serves the students’ best interest.
4. Board of Trustees’ Strategic Planning Objectives for 2012-13
At their Board Workshop on June 22, 2012, the Board reviewed their Strategic Planning Objectives for 2011-12 and, based on their analysis, developed new Strategic Planning Objectives for 2012-13, building on the progress of last year’s Objectives. The Board’s new Strategic Planning Objectives for 2012-13 are as follows:
(1) Student Learning and Achievement
Foster an exceptional learning environment that engages, challenges, and supports all students so that each student thrives within the District and achieves his or her full academic potential.
(2) Strategic Planning
Implement and refine the Strategic Plan, focusing on the goals and objectives and the Board of Trustees’ role in achieving the goals and objectives.
(3) Communications/Positive Relationships
Improve communications with the community, the press, and throughout the District. Foster positive relationships with all stakeholders in the District: Students, Parents, Community Members, and Certificated, Classified, and Administrative Staff.
(4) Budget/Resource Allocation
Develop a District budget that aligns District resources to meet the District’s Strategic Plan while implementing the District’s reserve policy.
(5) Facilities
Establish a long-term plan to maintain and build high-quality, safe facilities through general obligation bonds and local resources.
(6) Human Resources
Recruit and hire the highest qualified staff. Retain, support, and develop staff through training, mentoring, and positive evaluation processes.
5. New District Organizational Chart and Duties Related to Certificated and Classified Personnel
Earlier this year, the Board of Trustees approved an agreement, with School Services of California, to provide a report on implementing a quality Human Resources program in the District. In order to establish a more efficient and effective Human Resources process within the District, the conclusion of the report recommended separating Human Resources (HR) responsibility by assigning Certificated Personnel to the Assistant Superintendent HR Department and Classified Personnel to the Chief Business Official HR Department. This will require a relocation of personnel within the Departments. The report further suggested the need for .5 FTE in the Assistant Superintendent’s Office to ensure quality HR functions for the employees of the District.

The Board will study the proposed organizational chart and reorganization, and this subject will be brought back to the Board for action at their September 13, 2012, Board Meeting.