Superintendent Vicki Schumacher and Trustee Sue Nash compiled a report titled “State of Education in Coast Unified School District,” which Schumacher presented to the board at its meeting Thursday, Aug. 20.
Excerpts from the text of the report follow:
Coast Unified School District has a strong commitment to preparing all students to be career-prepared and college-ready for the 21st century. We prepare our students for their future by providing an integration of technology in our core educational programs, meaningful experiences in arts education, and ongoing opportunities to participate in athletics.
Our parents and community members are critical partners in the education of our students. We value the trust that parents have placed in our staff, and we accept the responsibility of ensuring that all students develop the 21st century skills necessary for success in a competitive global society.
In the Graduate Profile that stakeholders have developed during this past year, a graduate from Coast Unified School District has opportunities to achieve success in the following areas: academics, career readiness, technology, communication and critical thinking, civic engagement, physical and emotional wellness, and visual and performing arts.
The Board of Education has taken several steps to align instruction, assessment of student learning, employee contracts and the budget to the goals in the 2015-16 Local Control and Accountability Plan. In June of 2015, members of the Board of Education approved the CUSD LCAP, which identifies three goals and success indicators. Additionally, members of the Board of Education and Cabinet approved alignment of these LCAP goals with the CUSD strategic goals. In July, employees in CUSD, who are members of the California School Employees Association, voted to approve a new contract for 2015-16, which is guided by the LCAP goals.
Strategic goal 1: To expand students’ communication and critical thinking in literacy.
All administrators, teachers and instructional aides in CUSD learn to apply instructional strategies in close reading as part of professional learning. Furthermore, administrators and teacher leaders visit classrooms during instructional rounds sessions to learn about effective teaching practices of close reading across schools.
Close reading helps students meet the following learning goals: 1. Find main ideas; 2. Gather and evaluate evidence; 3. Develop powerful explanations and interpretations; 4. Build students’ note-taking capacities; 5. Improve students’ writing; 6. Develop students’ habits of mind.
Close reading includes the following stages: 1. Introduction of topic and text; 2. Active reading; 3. Discussion; 4. Synthesis; 5. Evaluation of the lesson.
Strategic goal 2: To accelerate students’ academic outcomes in mathematics.
Teachers participate in professional learning sessions and provide daily instruction on the standards for mathematical practice, which include the following habits of mind:
1. Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them; 2. Reason abstractly and quantitatively; 3. Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others; 4. Model with mathematics; 5. Use appropriate tools strategically; 6. Attend to precision; 7. Look for and make use of structure; 8. Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.
Strategic goal 3: To advance students’ college and career readiness.
In partnership with San Luis Obispo County Office of Education and a community stakeholder group, including parents and community partners, develop career pathways in the areas of product development; engineering, computing, and visual arts. Based on building a partnership with SLOCOE and Cuesta College, CUSD has obtained a $6 million grant to support development of career pathways at Coast Union High School. As a result of this grant, we will strengthen one pathway in computing, engineering and art, and a second pathway in agriculture.
In partnership with Cuesta College, CUSD will offer one concurrent enrollment course per semester in engineering. In 2015-16, district leaders and community stakeholders will develop a survey for students to self-assess how they are progressing in the CUSD graduate profile. As a result of giving students multiple opportunities during their years in CUSD to complete a self-assessment survey on their progress in the Graduate Profile and to take ownership of their learning outcomes, students will be better prepared in high school to successfully complete career pathways.