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Borrego Springs - Student Awards


Last updated 2/24/2016 at 4:43am

Alarming Student Performance and Progress Data Presented at BSUSD Board Meeting

The Open Session of the Borrego Springs Unified School Board came to order at 5:00 pm on February 10, 2016. There were no comments by the public. The Student of the Month Awards and the American Legion Award were presented to those listed below.

Names of Students of the Month:

In Elementary School for December 2015, and January 2016:

Kindergarten Atom Polimadei and Daniel Barron

1st Grade: Humberto Torres, Jorge Torres, Melaine Arias, and Janessa Nehrer

2nd Grade: Esmeralda Bravo Garcia, Mateo Fuentes, and Angel Urquidez

3rd grade: Monique McNeish, Odin Valdez, and Luke Rogowski,

4th grade: Astrid Lopez

5th grade: Minnie Camacho, Bryan Troncoso, and Alessandra Reyes

In Middle School for January 2016:

6th grade: Brianna Del Bono

7th grade: Ashanty Rangel

8th grade: Emma Walbourne (not present)

In High School for January 2016:

9th grade: Sydney Lanza (not present)

10th grade: Kaeli Asche (not present)

11th grade: Nohemy Ochoa

12th grade: Eduardo Sanchez

Other Awards in January 2016:

Elementary School

2nd grade student Carlos Garcia Ramirez was awarded the American Legion Award for Respect.

The meeting recessed for refreshments and socialization, and reconvened 6 minutes later.

Angelica, ASB President, from the Salton Sea presented the Associated Student Body Report. The girls’ basketball team had a free throw-a-thon on Feb. 5th; 8th graders are fundraising for Catalina by selling chocolate roses for Valentine’s Day and are going to be selling water at a career event in Salton City; the senior class just sole Krispy Kreme Donuts; the junior class for Prom committee is hosting a middle school movie night raising the money by selling snacks; ASB is planning a movie night for high school students; ASB is in the process of finding a new lock; and the ASB president will be attending Laurel’s Luncheon with Miss Goldberg.

Tracey McFarland presented an update on Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) accreditation. She discussed the format for review by WASC and the data to be included. The format was given to the district in November 2013, and was structured into 6 parts: (1) Community Profile, (2) significant changes and developments, (3) ongoing school improvement, (4) school action plan progress, (5) school action plan refinements, and (6) school progress report. The next probationary visit by the WASC auditors will be April 24-26, 2016. They will look at district performance in all categories as demonstrated by documented evidence, analyze district progress, and issue their recommendation.

Dr. Elizabeth Stevens reported that she met with the parents of 9th grade students in 2 sessions, one in English and one in Spanish, in December, as part of the Guidance Program, to discuss High School Graduation Requirements and the Development of a 4 Year Plan for students. She found that most 9th graders did intend to go to college. She met with 12th grade students to discuss financial aid options and the requirements for filing. Dr. Stevens measured both parents’ and students’ comprehension of the subject matter by means of pre and post tests, the results of which proved the value of the meetings to those attending.

Consent calendar was approved. The Regular Board Meeting Minutes of January 13, 2016, were approved. The Special Board Meeting Minutes of January 26, 2016, were approved.

Sherilynn Polanco gave the Elementary School Principal’s report:

Observations were made by two teachers at a time observing a third in vocabulary instruction using the new “Write up a Storm” method. Just a few of the strategies they saw teachers using included kinesthetic learning by means of gesturing, TPR (total physical response) with a partner, and motions for certain words, and color coding verbs, nouns, and adjectives taken from books they are reading. At the end of January they introduced a new activity called “the Great Week of Kindness”. This is an anti-bullying program that includes a check list of 5o Random Acts of Kindness that can be done in a school setting. Students check off the acts that they performed. They are having a fundraiser for the American Heart Association. Teachers went on February 12th, after school to a horse ranch that students go to, with Kathy Paredes, during ASES. Groups of seven students at a time go for several visits and get to know the horses and how to care for them. On February 5th, the classes went to see the matinee performance of the San Diego of Ballet. The Ugly Duckling was danced, and greatly enjoyed by both students and teachers. New students moved into the district bringing the fourth grade total up to 34 and the fifth grade total up to 39 students. Teachers met with the Special Education advisor in 45 minute sessions to go over IEPs and evaluate if accommodations are being provided to students as they are recommended, and if students are getting the attention they need. Students had a visit by The Green Machine, an educational science outreach program about agriculture. Students had special sessions learning about fruits and vegetables, tubers, butterflies, soil, and water. They have successfully launched the Professional Learning Community (PLC), run by teachers, given on the first Friday of every month and lead by Victoria Bye.

Steve Dunn presented the Middle School and High School Principal’s Report.

The first semester has ended. Grades have just come back and they are putting together interventions where necessary. The anticipated ELD evaluation has been temporarily cancelled due to sickness of the evaluators. They have sent two teachers to a professional development seminar in San Francisco, designed by Carol Duet and Angela Buckworth, on “Learning and the Brain—Growth Mindset”. The teachers paid for their own trips. Teacher collaboration is going well. Winter sports will be over in two weeks. The girls’ basketball team has a chance at the championship for the first time. The team is enthusiastically anticipating hanging a new banner in the gym. They are looking for a football coach and making every effort. They are putting together a conference on apathy of students, focusing on “cans” rather than “can’ts”.

Martha Diechler presented the Superintendent’s Report. Ms. Diechler attended a training on the naval base at Point Loma an introduced many people to Borrego Springs. District wide they are having a vocabulary development workshop with Linda Merion on February 22, 2016. There will be a general assembly for students by The Rope Warriors, a jump rope performer, in two sessions, to allow teachers time to meet. The superintendent hosted a meeting at her house with 15 parents. She asked the question, “How do we get the Spanish speaking parents to come to meetings at the superintendent’s house? It was noted at an ELD meeting that these parents use their smart phones more than their PCs. So, a new phoned based texting alert system was developed, called the “Told 3” system, wherein one parent will tell 3 more by sending text messages. Ken Collard is doing random sampling of IEPs district wide to evaluate delivery of services as recommended. The School Resource Officer, Pete Wagner, has been meeting king with Martha in regard to student attendance two times a month. Martha and Steve have divided students into quadrants depending on how much they need help. They are triaging vocabulary development needs in classes and in the lab. They are evaluating further Special Ed needs. San Diego County is partnering with Zachary Metz in regard to a dehumidifier for the district. His students will be involved in measuring the amount of water it produces from the air, and then will do an art project about it. Teacher lead collaboration is doing well.

Mark Stevens presented the Deputy Superintendent’s Report. The progress on the Solar project is slow. They have found a new company and are starting from scratch. The district is trying to purchase new transportation and trying to update the fleet of school busses. It was noted that the ASB accounts show a negative balance. These will be further evaluated.

The Board of Trustees reported on The Dolly Parton Imagination Library, a foundation that for a fee of $25 a month (per student) will send an age appropriate book to that child at home every month on the child’s birthday from age 0 to age 5. The Board is working on raising the funds necessary to bring the program to the district. The fee will not be charged to the recipients. The goal is to get all 107 children in the district enrolled. All students need to do is register by completing a sing up card at the elementary school or at the library. The books are in English, with one bilingual book per year. There is an upcoming WASC conference on technology. The district will send a teacher to facilitate the WASC collaboration. The district is looking into changing the internet service from AT&T to another internet service provider, after learning that AT&T will increase current costs from $1,000 to $4,500. They are looking at Ontel and Cybernet.

Special Education Advisor position was approved.

The Road Warrior assembly was approved.

Sherilynn Polanco presented the report on the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress. The initial assessment was administered on October 28, 2015. The 11th grade was evaluated in Math; the 7th grade was evaluated in Math; the 3rd grade was evaluated in math and ELA; and the 9th grade was evaluated in ELA. Overall and in general the assessments have 4 levels of performance: (1) Nope, (2) Almost, (3) Yes, and (4) Heck Yeah. The most alarming result revealed by these assessments was that approximately 67 % of the 11th grade class was unable to pass math and scored in the Nope category! No 11th grade students scored in the Heck Yeah category! Although the percentage of 3rd grade students who scored in the Nope category was also high, approximately 50%, some students in the 3rd grade did score in the Heck Yeah category. This improvement in the younger students demonstrates the improved results of the Smarter Balance program recently adopted by the district. These scores are interim scores and students will be reevaluated in April 2016.

The next regular board meeting will be held on March 9, 2016.

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