The Windsor Unified School District (WUSD) has announced a special meeting to take place Tuesday, March 2 at 6 p.m. to address two important topics which show the strain of COVID on the district; namely layoffs and standardized testing.
For the first, the trustees will be considering a resolution to give notice of layoffs to employees for the coming school year. According to the board packet, “administration annually reviews staffing levels to judge whether they are insufficient or excessive to meet the educational and programmatic objectives of the district. This review includes an analysis of current and projected enrollment, student interest, and continuing and changing curriculum and instructional programming.”
Following the analysis, the board then has the option to “reduce particular kinds of services currently being provided, and then reduce staffing levels for the coming school year.” The state’s Education Code requires districts to identify staffing reductions early enough to notify affected staff members of their layoff for the coming school year.
The proposed layoffs listed in the resolution include eliminating the equivalent of 3.0 FTE elementary teachers and eliminating the equivalent of .967 FTE Single Subject instructors in the following manner: eliminate the equivalent of 0.6 FTE physical education; eliminate the equivalent of 0.2 FTE music; and eliminate the equivalent of 0.167 FTE Foreign Language (French).
The second item is the elimination of all standardized testing for the 2020-21 school year.
“The California Department of Education (CDE), State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tony Thurmond (SSPI) and the State Board of Education (SBE) are all raising concerns over the requirement from the United States Department of Education (ED) to administer standardized testing to students for the 2020-21 school year. While the ED has loosened some restrictions and is allowing for options that include extending the testing window into the summer and/or fall, they are not offering a process for states to apply for a waiver to not administer testing at all for the 2020-21 school year,” according to the board packet.
The board will consider a resolution to support WUSD and its recommendation to not administer standardized testing for the 2020-21 school year, to include:
- Smarter Balance Summative Assessments for English language arts/literacy (ELA) and mathematics in grades three through eight and grade eleven
- California Alternative Assessments (CAAs) for ELA and mathematics in grades three through eight and grade eleven
- California Science Test (CAST) in grades five, eight, and once in high school
- California Alternative Assessment (CAA) for Science in grades five, eight, and once in high school
- California Spanish Assessment (CSA) for Spanish language arts in grades three through eight (CCLA only)
- English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC) Summative in grades transitional kindergarten through twelve
- Alternate English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (Alternate ELPAC) in grades transitional kindergarten through twelve
- Physical Fitness Test (Fitnessgram) in grades five, seven, and nine
It is unclear what is any downside may exist for choosing to forgo the testing this year.
There will also be a short consent calendar agenda, which will include: awarding a contract to Ridgeview Builders, Inc for the 17 new modular classroom building pending DSA approval of drawings; an updated job description for Adaptive Physical Education; and approval of the agreement for the second year of a two-year plan to loan Windsor High School teacher Chris Catelli to the Sonoma County Office of Education.
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Because this is a Special Board Meeting, comments should be limited to the identified agenda items only. Comments will only be taken during public comment prior to the board adjourning to closed session. For any comments you wish to make during Public Comment, please email Jenny Cox email@example.com, the subject line should read, Public Comment for Special Board Meeting, March 2nd, 2021.
The length of the emailed comment should be three minutes which is customarily allowed for verbal comments which is approximately 400 words. If your emailed comment is received by 4:30 p.m. on March 2, it will be provided to the trustees and made publicly available under public comment. Every effort will be made to read emails received after that time, but the district cannot guarantee such emails will be read during the meeting, although they will still be included in the administrative record.