Ask Dr. Baker

Do you have a question for our superintendent, Dr. Baker? Ask it here!

Estimated time for response is one week.

Answers

  • LCAP Question/Response

    Posted by Jeff Bowman on 6/11/2018

    On page 151, for the Goal 3 iPad purchases, why are there no budgeted expenditures for 2018-19 and 2019-20, if lease payments are required? On pages 227 and 230 for LCAP Total Expenditures columns, "2017-18" and "2017-18 through 2019-20 Total" indicate 1,000,000.00 expenditure from Measure H Bond Program if bond funds were not expended in "2017-18"? On page 231, Total Expenditures by Goal, explain why Goal 3 (iPad) "2017-18 Annual Update Budgeted" is shown as 1,142,000.00 when all other budget references $ 1,000,000? On page 231, why is Goal 3 "2017-18 Annual Update Actual" listed as 347,444.00 when the annual lease cost was stated as $275,258.03 on page 44? On page 231, Goal 3, why does the "2017-18 through 2019-20 Total" state the budgeted expenditure amount for 2017-18 instead of the Actual expenditure amount?

    For context, it is important to understand that the 2018-19 Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) will have updated goals. Through the ongoing feedback that we received as a District, there was confusion, misunderstanding, and disagreement with the previous LCAP goals, specifically Goal 1 Algebra, Goal 2 Writing, and Goal 3 Technology. As a result, the District has adjusted the goal, which is permissible as per CDE Guidelines, to Maintain a keen focus on ensuring student academic success and development of the whole child. By changing the goal, the District needed to update its funding allocations and measures of success. With this context in mind, going forward, we will be using a good portion of our general education Instructional Materials dollars to fund general technology. Each year, the District identifies potential expenditures and then is required to explain any differences that occurred between budgeted and actuals. The total of $347,444 referenced above was comprised of three items: devices, professional development, and device management. Each of these individuals items was identified in the action section of the LCAP.

    Comments (-1)
  • LCAP Question/Response

    Posted by Jeff Bowman on 6/11/2018

    On page 43, for explanation of material difference between budgeted and actual expenditures for Goal 3 iPad purchases, why does the District provide the false explanation that leasing with General Fund 01 was chosen because the "opportunity" for lease became available, when Mr. Jew admitted that the budgeted Measure H Bond funds did not exist? Additionally, explain how a 4-year lease acquires more devices over purchase? 

    Bond Measure H designated two separate funding areas that could be allocated for technology. One was designated as "Technology Infrastructure," and the other was simply and broadly "General Technology." In the past, dollars were used from the General Technology component to purchase devices. Going into last year (July 2017), however, we had an approximate balance of $380,000 remaining in the General Technology. This balance could not be applied to a lease, as the law does not allow us to secure a lease using bond dollars. Therefore, if we used the remaining balance to purchase outright the devices, the District would have been able to purchase only approximately 950 devices, as compared to 2,670 devices we were able to secure under a four-year lease. And, it is important to understand that our lease arrangement has us owning these devices at the end of the 4-year period.

    Comments (-1)
  • LCAP Question/Response

    Posted by Jeff Bowman on 5/30/2018

    On page 5, I do not see any "green" indicators. What are they and where are they? 2) Besides groups that are socioeconomically disadvantaged, does CUSD also consider inherent problems with high-income / double wage-earner households where parents are ignorant (accidentally or unwillingly) of school dynamics? 3) On the same token, I hope that SoulShoppe and Recess 101 are not only provided at Nimitz/DeVargas/Eisenhower but throughout CUSD, so that CUSD is not so narrowly-focused on socioeconomically disadvantaged. 4) "Student A" (commented on May 8 CUSD Board Meeting at Nimitz) is known to not be returning to Dilworth ES for the remainder of the school year, but was a surprise visitor at Thu May 17 6-7pm Open House. What is the meaning of suspension?

    1. Performance for state indicators is calculated based on the combination of current performance (Status) and improvement over time (Change), resulting in five color-coded performance levels for each indicator. From highest to lowest the performance levels are Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange, and Red. The Dashboard, reflecting Fall 2017 data is available at https://www.caschooldashboard.org/#/Home
    2. The District looks at data from all groups and works with all families regardless of socioeconomic status to support children when issues arise or when issues hinder the success or safety of others. 
    3. Each school has character development and conflict resolution programs in place.  Funds are allocated through our supplemental dollars to support all schools with programs that support safety, sense of belonging and tiered intervention structures. In addition to Soule Shoppe and Recess, 101 other programs in place are PBIS, Project Cornerstone and Acknowledge Alliance.
    4. For suspension questions, please refer to our Board Policy: 5144.1
    Comments (-1)
  • LCAP Question/Response

    Posted by Jeff Bowman on 6/5/2017

    I read through the entire 191 page PDF document but could not find any reference to Gifted and Talented students. Could you perhaps shed some light on the plan to address the needs of this important constituency? 

    Response to Question: Thank you for your input.  We agree there needs to be more emphasis on differentiating for students who need enrichment as well as students who need intervention. Our Units of Study program in Writing allows for high achieving students to take their writing much further than programs used in the past.  The reading assessment elementary teachers are being given time for will require teachers to test students to their instructional reading level.  By identifying what level a student is reading at, teachers can provide more advanced reading texts where needed. The training our teachers are receiving in math is helping them to go much deeper with problem-solving and conceptual development to make math more challenging for all students.  Many of our computer programs allow for enrichment.  And, we provide supplemental enrichment activities for teachers to use in our math binder.  We recognize the importance of challenging our high achievers and that more needs to be done in all content areas.

    Comments (-1)
  • LCAP Question/Response

    Posted by Jeff Bowman on 5/15/2017

    Your Question:  Everywhere that ethnic groups are broken out, there is no comment on the sizes of each group. For example I had to dig through the report to find that Latinos are 5%, African American are <1% and Low SES are 5%. It seems that quantifying these groups would help those reading the report, knowing that our primary group is Asian, with white being the next largest and therefore much focus is on closing those gaps.

      

    Response to Question:  Although the demographics are not on the LCAP Narrative Summary, they are on the first page of the official document. (See Below) The Cupertino Union School District (CUSD) serves approximately 18,500 Transitional Kindergarten through 8th-grade students in 25 schools (one K-8, 19 elementary schools, and five middle schools). The District’s student demographics are as follows:

    - Latino  5%

    - African American less than 1%

    - Filipino 1%

    - Asian 73%

    - White 17%

    -Multi Racial 3%

    - English Learners 11%

    - Low SES 5%

    - Students with Disabilities 7%

    Based on your input, we will consider putting this on the official document.

    Comments (-1)
  • LCAP Question/Response

    Posted by Jeff Bowman on 5/15/2017

    Regarding #1 Board Priority/LCAP Goal (math):

    How does IBD work to close the achievement gap? Do items like Newsela, RazKids, etc. include training specifically on how to use this to help close the math achievement gap?  There is also mention that more needs to be done at the elementary level so that "minority students and English Learners are receiving the type of rich instruction in grades K - 5 which will prepare them for advanced math in Middle School." However, these students are not only disproportionately underrepresented in middle school advanced math courses; they are disproportionately overrepresented as not meeting proficiency standards. What items in the LCAP proposal will help support students who are not meeting standards, particularly at the middle school level (other than funding for ISTs)?

    Response to Question:  We provided training for Rosetta Stone in order for teachers to understand how to use it to support language acquisition. However, we have not provided training for teachers on how to use RazKids and Newsela to differentiate instruction support readers of all levels with language acquisition and content knowledge. This is an excellent idea for future workshops. Thank you for the suggestion!!

    IBD is strongly correlated with the Common Core State Standards.  When taught as intended, students are engaged in rich academic conversations with their peers discussing and debating the meaning behind texts.  This interaction holds all students accountable for deeper thinking and expression.  Along with that, students are expected to go back to the text and find evidence to support their reasoning.  All of these strategies and more are aligned with what colleges are expecting from incoming students and hopefully responsible to closing the gap.

    We all agree more needs to be done and this is a priority.  We have allocated funds for our targeted middle schools with the highest numbers of students who need extra support to have after school intervention programs.  Although not represented in the LCAP, we fund Elevate Math during the summer out of our General Fund.  This is explicitly for the students you are asking about. It was our intent to support all students in math with deeper understanding when we provided PEBC math lab training. We are supporting all middles schools with social skill programs to take care of behaviors that may keep students from reaching their academic potential. 

    Comments (-1)
  • LCAP Question/Response

    Posted by Jeff Bowman on 5/15/2017

    Which 10 elementary receive Writer's Workshop Units of Study professional
    development besides three pilots schools (Blue Hills, McAuliffe, Meyerholz)

    Response to Question:  Thank you for your question.  This year, the schools who received Writer’s Workshop PD were: Nimitz, Lincoln, Montclaire, Garden Gate, Dilworth, Muir, Collins, West Valley, Stocklmeir, Along with that, all of the middle schools have had the PD as well as Sedgwick

    Comments (-1)
  • LCAP Question/Response

    Posted by Jeff Bowman on 5/15/2017

    It was very long, so I may have missed it, but I didn't see anything in the plan about collecting feedback on teachers and school staff. It is hard to improve/reward what you don't measure.

    Response to Question:  Thank you for your input.  It is an extremely long document!!  The LCAP doesn’t specifically call this out, but along with the LCAP District survey put out each year, sites also administer spring climate surveys to allow for feedback at the site level. This feedback is reviewed at each school site.

    Comments (-1)
  • LCAP Question/Response

    Posted by Jeff Bowman on 5/15/2017

    Where is the focus on development for high achieving children that require more than a standard classroom is currently able to offer?

    Response to Question:  Thank you for your input.  We agree there needs to be more emphasis on differentiating for students who need enrichment as well as students that need intervention. Our Units of Study program in Writing allows for high achieving students to take their writing much further than programs used in the past.  The reading assessment elementary teachers are being given time for will require teachers to test students to their instructional reading level.  By identifying what level a student is reading at, teachers can provide more advanced reading texts where needed. The training our teachers are receiving in math is helping them to go much deeper with problem-solving and conceptual development to make math more challenging for all students.  Many of our computer programs allow for enrichment.  And, we provide supplemental enrichment activities for teachers to use in our math binder.  We recognize the importance of challenging our high achievers and that more needs to be done in all content areas.

    Comments (-1)
  • LCAP Question/Response

    Posted by Jeff Bowman on 5/15/2017

    I would like to see more resources dedicated to school psychologists and behavior specialists.


    Response to Question: Thank you for your input.  We all agree there is a need and have added extra funding for behavior specialists each year.  

    Comments (-1)