Welcome to GO’s School Board Watch for Wednesday, August 24, 2016. We hope everyone is having a great start to the school year. This week, the Board will be finalizing work plans for the year, including plans for Quality Schools Development, a Facilities Master Plan, and a plan for a single-destination system for Human Capital and Finance.
Beginning with this Board Watch, we will be organizing updates according to four areas roughly aligned with those in the Board of Education and Superintendent’s work plan:
- Professional Culture
- Quality Schools Development
- Fiscal Transparency and Management
- Board Development and Strategy
This week’s agenda includes:
- Adoption of work plans for the Board of Education and the Superintendent.
- Review of the Superintendent’s report.
- Review of the plan for Quality Schools Development.
- Recommendations for new business systems for Human Capital and Facilities.
- Details on OUSD’s improved investor grade ratings.
1) Professional Culture
No informational or action items presented.
2) Quality Schools Development
The SPF is a new tool that provides families, educators, and the community with a variety of measures to see how well our schools are supporting our students both academically (SBAC performance, graduation rates) and socioemotional/culturally (student/teacher/parent surveys, school discipline, and attendance). Here are more details on the design of the SPF.
OUSD will hold a series of community engagements to roll out SPF this fall with school and teacher leaders, community based organizations, family leaders, and student leaders.
According to the presentation, the purpose of PLCs is to collect and disseminate best practices – providing specialized supports and coaching for teachers and administrators.
In 2015-16, the foundation for more effective PLCs was established by collecting baseline data and best practices for PLCs. Over the summer, 400 people participated in clarifying expectations for teacher leader teams and 100 teachers participated in trainings. Additionally, there was a soft launch of an online platform for training modules – Online Personalized Learning Platform (KDS).
This coming year, Cross-functional Planning Teams for Principal & Teacher Leader Professional Learning will continue to collect best practices, develop tools and protocols, and monitor development and implementation of PLCs.
The Superintendent’s Report lays out the vision, scope, timeline, structure, and process for developing the Facilities Master Plan.
The Facilities Master Plan will be a living document intended to serve for the next 10 – 20 years. It will be developed with school/community site planning groups on Critical Facility Needs, Education Program Needs, and Future Facility Needs. The plan’s development will also include input from school leadership, community outreach meetings, and school site councils.
The vision for the Facilities Master Plan is that it will:
- Assure safe, appropriate, inspiring and cooperative learning environments.
- Provide and maintain effective and sustainable facilities.
- Assure appropriate access to technology and resources.
- Continue community investment in innovative, flexible, and collaborative learning environments.
The Facilities Master Plan will include:
- Facility Condition Assessments
- Demographic Analysis
- Education Adequacy Assessment
- ADA Assessment and Transition Plan
- Demographic Study
- Community Outreach meetings
The intention is to have a draft of the plan within 4-5 months and a complete final draft within 5-6 months.
3) Budget and Fiscal Management
After successfully completing the Fiscal Year 2014-15 Audit, OUSD obtained high investment grade ratings of Aa3/AA-/AAA from Moody’s, S&P, and Fitch, respectively. This will save taxpayers over $44 million in debt service payments.
The Superintendent’s report provides information about the Talent and Finance department’s plan to create a Business Operations Portal (a single destination for all Finance and Talent data). Their plan is to use Escape, a well-established application hosted and supported by the Alameda County Office of Education.
The report provides visuals that help explain the relationships between the various systems described above. The Superintendent also details how Escape will help the district reach its goals of a more effective talent system and greater budget transparency and accountability.
The talent and finance divisions have been using iFAS as their anchor data system – a business system that has not been updated in nearly 10 years and that has been increasingly unreliable and difficult to use. In order to meet their needs, each division has been using a bevy of auxiliary applications.
Each division also began implementing plans for long-term transitions to different anchor programs. Talent decided on Workday and finance decided on an updated version of iFAS called e-Business Plus.
Both Workday and e-Business Plus failed to deliver on the improvements promised. As a result, both projects have been terminated.
A full proposal on Escape will come before the Board in October. The current plan is to fully switch over to Escape beginning in 2018. Until then, the district will continue using iFAS as its business system.
4) Board Development and Strategy
According to the the Handbook’s introduction, “The Governance Handbook was first developed in 2011 by Director Jody London. Beginning in late 2015, Directors Gonzalez, Torres, and Eng began updating the handbook. A draft was presented in April 2016 and reviewed again in June 2016.” The most recent iteration contains the following updates:
- Added new sections including: Governance Team Norms, Vision, Mission, Core Beliefs, Strategic Priorities, Goals for Student Achievement, and link to the LCAP;
- Added additional detail and robust sections to the Powers and Responsibilities of the Board including: Role of the Superintendent, Shared Responsibilities of the Board and Superintendent, Orientation and Onboarding of New Board Members, how Board agendas are prepared, how complaints from the public should be handled, handling conflicts among Governing Team members, and how media requests should be handled;
- Made minor edits to the Theory of Change framework;
- Updated grammar and language to improve overall flow of the handbook.
The goal is to complete the draft of the Governance Handbook for adoption by August 30, 2016. Read the full draft of the latest iteration of the Governance Handbook.
Board of Education and Superintendent Work Plans
The Board will adopt the Board and Superintendent Work Plans that were reviewed at the last meeting. For details on what those plans include, please see the previous Board Watch.