SUSD Live – About to start

SUSD Trustees haven’t come out of closed session yet, but they’re expected any moment. As people wait, some are drooling over a large chocolate cake on a table in the middle of the board room. The cake is to congratulate the Stagg High Mesa team, who won a national championship late last month.

Here is tonight’s agenda.

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Union wants Arne Duncan to quit

The nations’s largest teachers union wants Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to resign according to the Associated Press. Here’s the Washington Post’s feed on the topic.  

The article says the “tipping point” for some in the union is that  Duncan spoke in support of a California judge’s ruling against teacher tenure laws



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SUSD board meeting agenda

Feel free to take your time over the three day weekend to read this: Stockton Unified’s Tuesday night agenda.

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UPDATE Upcoming SUSD information


SUSD’s second public hearing on the LCAP will now be held in conjunction with the District English Language Advisory Council meeting at 6 p.m. Monday at the Professional Development Center at 1503 St. Mark’s Plaza, which is at Pershing Avenue and March Lane.

Stockton Unified trustees are scheduled to vote on a final spending plan at the regular meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the board room at 701 N. Madison Street.

I’m off from Wednesday until July 2, so I’ll be missing out. Look forward to hearing all the details when I get back.

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Not Live LincolnUSD – Last night’s meeting

There was a small crowd for last night’s Lincoln Unified School District board meeting. The meeting lasted about 1 hour and 15 minutes before trustees went back into closed session.

Some topics from last night:

- Thomas Crocker has been hired as the district’s new Director of Special Education.

- Lincoln High will renovate its baseball and softball fields.

- The district will pay $40,000 to put its Trustee election on the November ballot. Three trustee seats will be up for grabs.

- Drug testing: Superintendent Tom Uslan gave a short presentation about the district’s drug testing program. He said some surveys were done of the athletes involved and that 33 percent of them said they chose to decline using drugs or alcohol because of the drug policy. 31 percent knew someone else who did. 56 percent said the online program with the policy was “useful.”

Uslan said that no students tested positive during the year. Two students were out of compliance with the policy, but were put back on track. The drug policy does not include punishment, he said. No athletes missed an event throughout the process.

- Incoming Lincoln High Principal outlined some ideas to decrease suspension rates at the school. Ideas ranged from putting cyber bullies into peer mentoring programs instead of automatic suspensions, to reducing punishiment for students that might threaten or initiate to fight but don’t actually fight.  Students caught with tobacco could also be placed in an on-campus drug and alcohol counseling program for six weeks instead of an automatic 3 day suspension, he said. No vote on the ideas, yet.

- Lincoln Unified used all of its $8.4 million of Prop. 30 money for teacher salaries. Remember, Prop 30. is the tax on high income earners. Here’s a pretty good Internet entry on Prop. 30.

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SUSD Live – back to LCAP/signing off

Huntoon joked that she was taking a nap (although, I’m just not sure that Garcia called the item properly to begin with. Instead of asking for a presentation, she only asked for comments).

I’ll have a full story soon on all the LCAP happenings – so won’t spoil that all here.

Signing off to make sure I take good notes. Good night.

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SUSD Live – Board comments

Keenan – Thanked some teachers in common core

Smith – talked about the great graduation ceremonies

Midura – Grew up in family, youngest of six, and his parents made sure the kids ate first. He said that’s what he heard from parents – making sure kids are high priority. Shoutout to Fremont from him for 8th grade graduation. Gave shoutout to Stagg and Chavez (largest grad class at Stagg)

Varela – Went to 6 of 10 graduations. He also asked why the LCFF, LCAP discussion was on the agenda but not addressed. Trustees are going back to it.

Allen – Mentioning today’s Vagera decision (read tomorrow’s Record for more on that.) Talked about some other graduation stuff too.

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SUSD Live – Public comment

Lots of public comment, most of it on LCAP.

Two speakers from Fathers & Families of San Jan Joaquin are criticizing the LCAP plan, saying it does not address needs for English Learners, Foster youth and low-income students. They haven’t come out and said it, but the hint is that the LCFF money could be funneled into Fathers & Families of San Joaquin to operate programs that help foster youth, low income students and English learners.

Some folks – and kids – spoke also. Some students in county programs – spoke on behalf of Fathers & Families of San Joaquin also. Some of the kids in County charter schools, however.

A retired educator named Ron asked for counselors to be hired to work directly with foster programs. He works now in foster services.

ACLU organizer Laila Fahimuddin  also spoke.  Her group has written a letter citing a lack of transparency in the LCAP process. I’ll have more from her in my upcoming story.

Teachers union president Ellen Old is talking about class sizes.

Michael Ramirez and two students are speaking without being called – it’s getting late – he said. Earlier resident Toucan Ngyuen said she missed the bus waiting to speak. Trustees weren’t sure they’d let Ramirez speak. But they did. Nguyen stood up “can I speak for 3 minutes!” She’ll go next.

Nguyen then spoke. As is her wont to do, she spoke about corruption, minorities, and some of her claimed personal illnesses. “Behave yourself,” she finished.

Rev. John Harris spoke. It was the third time he’s been here. His group PAC has 20+ congregations locally and 180+ total. They want to the district to know the group is the district’s partner in bettering schools, Harris said.

Peyton Elementary Principal Sherry Jackson spoke – said she’s served for 14 years. She spoke saying that Lowder announced retirement, and the district hasn’t named an interim superintendent. She said rumors said Julie Penn would serve in an interim but that now someone from business services might be chosen. She implores Trustees to make it happen soon.”We have a plan,” Trustee Kathy Garcia said.

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SUSD Live – New Dr.s?

Chavez Principal Will Nelson and a cohort of other administrators in SUSD are all taking courses to get doctorates in education. Sounds like the group gets a reduced rate since they’ve all signed up together.

People in the group I immediately recognize are Nelson, Michele Huntoon, Tom Anderson, Robert Sahli, and Ed Eldridge.

It’s through a college called Concordia Irvine.

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SUSD Live – AdvancePath program

Reyes Guana is presenting on Agenda item 4.2, the Advance Path in SUSD program – which is a credit recovery program.

Amasia Dugar – Student spoke about her Advance Path experience after being a troubled student elsewhere. She graduated on time – actually 3 months early. Advanced Path helped her in life and school. She’s in a college course to become an ultrasound technician now.

Carlos Castellon  – Another student spoke about attending the Chavez and Edison Advance Path programs. He said he was at Franklin when he heard about the program. He was lacking credits and had to make them up. He said he liked the school because it was four hours a day and he could get a job. He later went to Chavez after some other problems arose. Through the program, though, he graduated on time. “I really love this program,” he said.

Teachers JD Burrise and Tim Swartz also spoke.

Burrise said he’s enjoyed the job, and has been able to see for example a student who had hated math before wanted to discuss math problems.

Swartz said he thinks Chavez will have 50 graduates by the end of the summer. He said he strives to teach students why they are learning the things they are. In Advance Path, he said, students have a building block back toward life-long learning.

A couple admins also spoke about research and student “nurture.”

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