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AUSD Board Hears Love Elementary DEI Presentation

Meeting covers secondary math program, developer fees, number of certified employees, Delegate Assembly nominations

On Tuesday, February 27, Alameda Unified School District’s Board of Education meeting began with a proclamation, “Reaffirming AUSD’s Commitment to the Rights of LGBTQ+ Youth, Families, and Staff,” and a Paden Elementary presentation sharing the Paden Way and Paden Play.

Alameda Post - the front of Love Elementary School
Love Elementary School. Photo Joyce Boyd.

The agenda also included an update on school level initiatives to support African American achievement at Love Elementary; an update on AUSD’s secondary math program; a resolution to accept the developer fees levied by the district; a recommendation to decrease the number of certified employees due to a reduction in particular kinds of services for the 2024-2025 school year; and California School Boards Association (CSBA) 2024 Delegate Assembly election vote.

Initiatives to support African American achievement at Love Elementary

This year, all AUSD school sites are giving presentations on their Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives. The Update on School Level Initiatives to Support African American Achievement at Love Elementary was presented by Principal Tina Lagdamen. The goal is that every student will be literate, will be reading proficiently by second grade, and will maintain or improve their proficiency for each subsequent grade.

The School Site Council focus group for 2023-2024 includes students who are African American, AA/Multi-Ethnic, and Hispanic. The program focuses on:

  • Academic outcomes.
  • Eliminating policies and practices that limit opportunity and cause harm.
  • Comprehensive Coordinated Early Intervening Services (CCEIS) Root Cause Analysis.

The root cause analysis found that systemic racism, bias, and lack of cultural humility result in unaddressed microaggressions, a curriculum that does not reflect the diverse community it serves, and special education assessments that inadequately address issues of race, culture, and the family in telling the child’s story.

Staff and parents from Love Elementary who spoke at the presentation said safety, caring, and inclusiveness had increased, and students were not being profiled by race. According to California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) data for 2022-2023, Love Elementary has 471 students of which 3.2% (15 students) are Black, 14.4% are two or more races (68 students), and 22.3% (105 students) are Hispanic. The chart below shows 2023 proficiencies by ethnicity.

Alameda Post - a chart indicating 2023 SBAC Proficiency by Ethnicity
Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments (SBAC) 2023. Presented at February 27, 2024 AUSD Board of Education meeting.

After the presentation, a parent spoke about the February 13 Board of Education meeting and the Update on School Level Initiatives to Support African American Achievement at Lincoln Middle School. During that presentation, students in the program spoke movingly about the program and reported on racist speech they had experienced. The parent asked what concrete actions would be taken to address these concerns. The Board and Superintendent replies included the need for a calibrated response to hate speech and honest conversations about race − not just at school, but at home.

Secondary math program

In response to multiple inquiries about the Secondary Math Program, Superintendent Scuderi gave a brief update on middle and high school mathematics with a promise of a more detailed presentation later in the spring.

He said the vision of the program is to:

  • Increase overall math performance.
  • Have students make meaning with mathematics and see it in real-life contexts.
  • Ensure access and pathways to higher level math classes.
  • Increase number of underrepresented students in higher level math classes.

The Superintendent stressed that Algebra 1 remains an option for eighth graders who meet certain criteria, and that enough sections would be created for all of them to take a class. A summer Algebra class will be provided again this year.

Without taking Algebra I in eighth grade, students might not have a clear pathway to take advanced mathematic course work and increase their chances of college admission. Longer-term concepts under exploration include more integrated pathways for grades 8-12. A Math Task Force has been created to analyze data, prioritize trends, and design actions to increase the number of AUSD students who complete the A-G requirements for math.

Students hoping to enter the University of California (UC) or California State University (CSU) system must meet all of the A-G course requirements for entry. However, not all of the A-G courses are required for high school graduation, so a student could graduate without being eligible to attend a UC or CSU.

Alameda Post - an AUSD School Board meeting
School board members hear a presentation by Paden principal Tri Nguyen, Ed.D. Photo Joyce Boyd.

Approval to accept developer fees levied by the district

The School Board unanimously passed a resolution to increase the developer fee levied by the school district. In 1986, the California Legislature authorized school districts to levy school impact or developer fees on residential and commercial/industrial development for the purpose of funding the construction or reconstruction of school facilities. The basis of the school facilities legislation is the relationship between new development and the impact on school districts to provide adequate facilities for the student population generated by the new development.

Recommendation to decrease number of certified employees

Sandy Wong, Director of Certificated Personnel, presented a resolution to decrease the number of certified employees due to a reduction in particular kinds of services for the 2024-2025 school year. The resolution was then passed by board members. State law requires notification of potential layoffs by March 15. The resolution includes 5.95 full time equivalent employees. These layoffs are not definite; final recommendations will come in late April.

2024 Delegate Assembly nominations

The School Board unanimously voted to nominate Ryan LaLonde and Gary Lym to the California School Boards Association (CSBA) 2024 Delegate Assembly.

Joyce Boyd is a Certified Public Accountant, Alameda resident, and parent of an AUSD student. She is on the Parcel Tax Oversight Committee, a PTA board member, a prior PTA Council board member, and school site council member. Reach her at [email protected].

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