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CVUSD To Increase Class Time, Professional Development

 

Last updated 7/30/2019 at 11:31pm



After two consecutive years of layoffs and the recent resignation of its superintendent, Coachella Valley Unified School District’s plan for the 2019 – 20 school year was put to a board vote June 26.

The CVUSD’s Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP), seeks to increase instructional time for all grades and professional development for teachers.

Middle and high school students will get an additional 100 minutes per week in the coming school year. In elementary schools, instructors will get an additional 100 minutes per week as “teacher collaboration time,” according to Josie Paredes, assistant superintendent of educational services.

Teachers across the district also will receive two additional professional development days that can be spent at conferences or training.

The CVUSD serves students in the cities of Coachella, Thermal, Mecca, Oasis and Salton City, with an enrollment of 18,013 during the 2018 – 19 school year.

Among the students, 41.1 percent were English learners, 0.3 percent were foster children and 94 percent were identified as socioeconomically disadvantaged, or qualifying for free or reduced-price lunches.

California’s education funding model, known as the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), provides additional money to districts with more students in these three groups in the form of “supplemental and concentration grants.” In the 2018 – 19 school year, out of the proposed budget, the CVUSD had about $54 million supplemental and concentration grants.

“The LCAP has been incrementally increasing community needs and priorities,” Victor Gonzalez, project manager at Alianza, a grassroots community organization in Coachella, said. “I think the LCAP is reflective of the community’s priorities.”

Gonzalezhas worked closely with the district, focusing on reducing school suspensions and expulsions, attending several of the community meetings during the year that led to the creation of the LCAP. He said parents and other members of the community wanted to keep students in the classroom and build trust within the student body.

CVUSD’s annual plan reflects these concerns. The LCAP states that the district will continue using the blended model, which “supports positive school climate” by integrating different approaches to building relationships with students strengthening school discipline.

Along with school climate, CVUSD is still recovering from substantial layoffs. In March, the School Board gave notice to 78 employees. According to Paredes, 36 of those layoff notices were rescinded due to resignations and retirements that vacated certain positions.

Superintendent Edwin Gomez later announced his resignation. He left to be deputy superintendent at the Riverside County Office of Education, and started July 1.

Maria Gandera was appointed the new CVUSD Superintendent June 27.

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