11

Alameda County Grand Jury report on HUSD

UPDATE, story ran today.

Back from vacation, found this in my inbox. The Hayward Unified report begins on page 159. The Alameda County Grand Jury received numerous complaints about the district, at first because of the contentious behavior of board members and the process by which a new superintendent was selected. Bottom line: Grand Jury concluded that there wasn’t anything wrong with the supt. appointment and the board’s behavior has improved after new members came on board and training sessions were held, but expressed serious concerns about HUSD’s fiscal management. They made two recommendations:

Recommendation 11-53: The Hayward Unified School District Board of Education must implement the fiscal advice they are receiving in order to prevent relapse into financial insolvency.

Recommendation 11-54: The Hayward Unified School District Board of Education must prepare an array of budget scenarios and adopt a realistic balanced budget, including required financial reserves.

26

HUSD Supt. Duran leaving… for Newark

As reported by our Newark reporter, Janis Duran isn’t going back to retirement in New Mexico after all. She’s bouncing south a few districts to serve as the interim superintendent in Newark, a district that has recently lost a lot of top spots and is looking for stability, even if it’s on an interim basis.

For a refresher, find the text of the January story when she announced she was leaving HUSD after the jump. Continue Reading

26

Anti-bullying program at Hayward schools

Had a story on this program spearheaded by Lynn Bravewomon in yestesday’s paper and got a request to toss up a blog about it for discussion purposes.

saysomethingcoverAlso got a call from Lea Lyon, who wrote a book in 2005 called “Say Something” that also encourages kids to take an active role in quashing bullying behavior at school. You can learn more about Lyon and her books on her website.

Here’s a little more on an anecdote mentioned in the story, from Bravewomon:

“With increasing frequency, as students learn how to speak up when bullying language is heard, they do so. There are stories of many students at many schools who are empowering one another to identify themselves as allies and speak up to their peers to stop bullying language. Student allies support the target by breaking the silence that so often occurs with the witnesses of bullying. One example occurred in an elementary classroom. Two girls overheard a passing and cruel comment muttered to this target by a child moving across the classroom.  They both stood up and clearly stated, “We don’t tolerate bullying at our school, it hurts everyone who hears it, stop it now.”  Students and teacher alike were surprised and impressed with this well-timed and effective display of ally behavior. Their teacher, who had been working with the Safe and Inclusive Schools Program and teaching the importance of being allies, praised the girls and continued teaching. The student who had been the target of bullying  reports that after 2 or 3 weeks of support from a variety of allies in his class, the occurrence of bullying fell from multiple times daily to ‘maybe one time in a week, maybe less’. This student also reports he feels comfortable going to all parts of the recess yard and that people are friendlier.”

5

Career opportunities at HUSD

Hayward Unified is easily the most popular subject of discussion here at the HayWord. Anyone with a desire to stop talking about the district and start talking for it has just such an opportunity: a colleague of mine pointed out that  Hayward Unified is looking to ramp up its public relations staff, what with the following job postings. This one is for the PIO/Community Outreach Officer. This one seems redundant, maybe it’s the same post, but  it’s for a Public Information Liaison.  Here is one for a Lead Publications Assistant.

4

Walker resurfaces as HUSD commissioner, and a possible troika in the works?

Annette Walker, who lost to Trustee Jesus Armas in a close race last November, said at the time that she intended to work in other capacities to help Hayward schools, and tomorrow she’s being sworn in on the district’s Personnel Commission after being appointed to the post last month by State Superintendent of Schools Tom Torlakson.

AnnetteWalkrt“I promised to keep a finger on the pulse of what’s going on with schools,” Walker said. “I didn’t immediately jump at this opportunity, but thought about it and decided I had to do it. There’s no way I could walk away from an opportunity to do greater service to the schools in this tough economy.”

According to a district document, the Personnel Commission is “charged with maintaining a merit system for classified employees of the school system and for fostering the advancement of a career service for such employees.” They hear appeals and protests of personnel matters concerning the district’s non-teaching workforce.

Walker pointed out that this is a six-month appointment, as she is filling in for someone who couldn’t complete the term. She will then be up for a three-year appointment … or might pursue other things, which “absolutely” includes the possibility of another school board run.

“What excites me is that I ran for wiping the slate clean,” Walker said. ”And that possibility may come up again, in a run with two other candidates.”

Wait… that word, “slate.” It rings a bell. Wasn’t there a high-profile couple talking about forming a slate for a school board run before deciding not to run? And who did they strongly back in the race? Ok ok, I’m not here to speculate, just to report. But those are the facts.

Terms for trustees Armas, Luis Reynoso and Maribel Heredia are up for election in November 2012.

75

Big hit in latest ideas for cuts: Faith Ringgold

UPDATE 5/16: Here’s the story that ran today.

cutsummaryFaith Ringgold School of Arts and Science supporters were out in force last night, and for no small reason. The superintendent is recommending closing the school to save more than $700,000. That’s the single largest source of $1.5 million in cuts that Supt. Janis Duran said need to be made regardless of what news comes from the state next week. Duran’s not alone in her recommendation — 60 percent of the the Fiscal Integrity and Transparency Advisory Group recommend its closure, 27 percent voted “yes, but modify” the plan, no members voted against it and 13 percent were undecided.

Trustee Jesus Armas said the board “needs a philosophical concurrence” in making decisions such as this one, because without that, “it’s just numbers, dollars and cents.”

That’s what the board’s special meeting earlier this afternoon was aimed at, a discussion of goals and the like.

We’ll have a story on Faith Ringgold in the next couple of days. Board will decide at the May 25 meeting.

Also, item H.6, the one about forming a community interview panel for the superintendent search, passed. Details to be ironed out.

3

HUSD special meeting, plus possibility of community voice in supt. search

Quick heads up: Lots of HUSD fiscal recovery/getting to positive certification talk next week. So much that there’s a special board meeting set up for Monday night. Find the blurb below that’s going in the paper’s government listings, but you might want to check the agendas/materials on the district site for more information.

suptsearchAlso, notice the item in Wednesday’s meeting (at over 300 pages, this is one of the larger packets I’ve seen in a while) about setting up the community  interview panel for superintendent candidates… it’s an idea that was put forth by Trustee Jesus Armas, and they plan to discuss it and make a recommendation. See exerpt from report at right. Thought some of you might be interested in that. Here’s the final brochure for the search.

HAYWARD
SCHOOL BOARD
A special meeting will begin at 5:30 p.m. Monday in the district office board room, 24411 Amador St.
Topics include a presentation on staying in qualified budget status and reaching positive certification, and child development budget and programs.
A regular meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the City Council chamber at City Hall, 777 B St.
The meeting will be broadcast live on Hayward cable Channel 15.
Topics include more on the budget and fiscal recovery, and the formation of a community interview panel for superintendent candidates. View the complete agendas at http://husd.k12.ca.us/

8

Base API scores for schools released

We had a story about the base API scores being released this week. The scores aren’t new — they are rejiggered from the growth API scores that were released in the fall. There are variables that change in the formula for calculating the scores each year, so once those variables are figured out, the previous year’s score is put through the calculations to come up with a base for comparison in the fall.

If you need a recap, here’s a guide to the state’s Accountability Progress Reporting system.

There are links in the story, but click here if you’d like to jump directly to scores for Alameda County’s schools. As you can read in the story, none of Hayward Unified’s schools make it into the statewide top 50 percent. But some fare better when compared with schools similar in terms of student’s socioeconomic status, number of English language learners and other factors, which the district pointed out in a press release you can find after the jump. Continue Reading