LAUSD 2016-17 Calendar Is Set!

LAUSD logo

After a prolonged study weighing costs and data results, the proposal of 6 different options, much deliberating, negotiating, as well as the failed “telephonic survey” which attempted to capture parent input, the LAUSD School Board has decided the instructional calendar NOT for the next 3 years as anticipated, but for the 2016-17 school year only. And just what is their decision, you ask with baited breath?

Well, basically, it’s the same Early Start calendar as this year.

Because if after all the data drilling, surveying, bargaining, and deliberating you can’t make a decision, just delay it (again) and keep the status quo. (Insert emoji of your choice here.)

At least we have a decision and everyone can make plans.

Announcing the LAUSD 2016-17 Calendar:

First day of school Tuesday, Aug 16, 2016
1 week Thanksgiving Break Nov 21-15, 2016
Semester ends Fri, Dec 16, 2016
3 week Winter Break Dec 17, 2016- Jan 8, 2017
2nd semester begins Mon, Jan 9, 2017
1 week Spring Break- April 10-14, 2017
Last day of school Friday, June 9, 2017

(2017-18 and 2018-19 to be determined later.)

If you’re interested in learning the results of the District Survey from September, 2015, click HERE.

More than 58,000 parents and employees responded to the (glitchy) phone survey in September. Total responses from parents and employees (54,236) reflect elimination of duplicates and unverified responses.

On the first spreadsheet, according to the data listed LAUSD received 41,345 Survey Responses from Parents.

542,433 students are currently enrolled in LAUSD, according to its own Fingertip Facts. That’s not a high turnout by anyone’s standards.

By comparison, 7,684 Employees responded of 59,823 District Employees. (12.8% participation)

*Remember, the 101,060 students currently enrolled in Indie Charters are not impacted by LAUSD calendar decisions as those schools have the autonomy to create their own calendars.

Well the show is over folks, you can get on with it. At least for now. Stay tuned for the repeat engagement next year.

Click for more info:
Calendar Press Release
Calendar Survey Results
LAUSD Fingertip Facts

Advertisements

Michelle King Selected As New LAUSD Superintendent

Screen Shot 2016-02-03 at 2.40.05 PMAfter an exhaustive and arduous search, the LAUSD School Board has voted in our new leader, former Deputy Superintendent, former Local District Supe, former admin, principal, teacher and LAUSD graduate, Michelle King.

One of the questions that continues to swirl around her is will she be a visionary leader who boldly goes after solving any of the many problems that plague the district, or will she be a placater spouting platitudes about “building pathways” and “educational outcomes” that lead to “student success.” Only time will tell.

So I’ll leave you with this Hillel Aron LA Weekly piece, and re-quote from it with what I feel are spot-on observations:

“Either we keep doing what we’re doing, which is blaming charter schools as the reason for declining enrollment, or we really roll up our sleeves and figure it out,” Rodriguez concedes. Which is why some are wondering if maybe the board should have chosen more of a visionary than Michelle King.

“The exodus to charter schools is the biggest indicator that parents have lost faith in the district,” says Nicholas Melvoin, a former LAUSD teacher, who’s now a lawyer and school reform advocate. For the school board to value unanimity in making decisions, he says, “doesn’t mean anything. I’d rather have 4-to-3 board votes — and know that the district is innovating.”

Read the whole piece HERE.

Take the LAUSD Calendar Survey Today!

CalSurvey

Hey LAUSD Parents,

It’s bigger than a pop quiz! This survey will help decide the fate of our school calendar (First Day of School, Last Day of School, Holiday Breaks) for next fall and through 2019!

Your voice counts – please participate in the survey.

Online survey available NOW through Dec 6th.

Five little questions with big implications.

Click HERE to Do It Now!

Here’s your test prep:

2016-19 LAUSD Instructional Calendar Survey Questions

Question 1: In your opinion, the school year should start:

  1. Early August
  2. Mid-August
  3. Late August
  4. After Labor Day
  5. It does not matter to me.

Question 2: The winter break should be:

  1. Two weeks
  2. Three weeks
  3. It does not matter to me.

Question 3: The District should explore a different, “modified early August” calendar. This option provides a four-week intervention during a shortened summer break. In addition, the winter break would be extended by four weeks to provide interventions. The winter break would last about seven weeks.

  1. I strongly agree
  2. I somewhat agree
  3. I neither agree or disagree
  4. I somewhat disagree
  5. I strongly disagree

Question 4: It is important that both elementary and secondary schools follow the same calendar.

  1.  I strongly agree
  2.  I somewhat agree
  3.  I neither agree or disagree
  4.  I somewhat disagree
  5.  I strongly disagree

Question 5: The first semester should end before the winter break.

  1. I strongly agree
  2. I somewhat agree
  3. I neither agree or disagree
  4. I somewhat disagree
  5. I strongly disagree

Ok, now you know what the questions are. Get to the SURVEY and get it done!

Splash page with links to a deep dive of additional info HERE

SITE: http://achieve.lausd.net/schoolcalendars

Please note: “Survey opinions will inform Los Angeles Board of Education members when voting to approve the calendar. Their decision will cover the next three years.” It will still come down to the School Board vote.

LAUSD’s Next Superintendent: Your Voice Counts!

MONSTER JOB: EXECUTIVE STAR SEARCH:

StarSearchLet’s see, candidate must be able to manage $8B annual operating budget, a divisive and entrenched Board, multiple labor unions, shrinking budgets, decimated enrollment numbers, lackluster and at times unproductive staff, unmotivated students, bitter and at times hostile parents, direct and blatant competition, corporate interests, litigious volleys from all sides, allegations of misconduct, corruption, extortion, non-compliance, liabilities, misrepresentation, constant 360 criticism, mixed agendas with conflicting cross purposes, corporate interests dangling multi-million dollar contracts, dilapidated facilities next to state of the art glass houses, lowering standards in a volatile environment while outsiders are chomping at the bit for a hostile takeover…

…and on the upside? Holding the potential of children, our future, our next generation, in the palm of your hand, being the Voice of Reason (or Nonsense) or God, facing the mighty challenge of reversing a downward slump, swerving through potholes, setting a New North, becoming a hero, a savior, a rising star in the City of Angels, in shimmering lights, for a shiny new penny, the second-largest school district in the country, the greatest show on earth, the sandbox of creators, makers, and dreamers, where tiny feet tread, and egos clash. Oh, the highs, the lows, the revolving door…that is the helm of LAUSD.

It might be dysfunctional, but it’s OUR dysfunctional.

Surely SOMEBODY’s up for the challenge. And WE need YOU!

Parents, name your candidates; what you want to see in our new leader. The new Superintendent.

According to LAUSD, they’re listening and your voice counts!

Here’s more on the Supt SEARCH
Take the SURVEY
Attend one of 24 community MEETINGS covering all points North, South, East, West:

LASupt Community Meetings LASupt WMtg Oct2615

Upcoming Magnet Fairs

LAUSD will be hosting the following Magnet Fairs for parents to meet representatives from area Magnet schools and learn more about the Magnet process. FLYER

West EL:
Wednesday, October 7, 2015 5:30–7:15 pm @Baldwin Hills Elementary School

West MS:
Thurs, November 5, 2015 5-8p @LACES

West HS:
Thursday, October 8, 2015 6:00–8:00 pm @Crenshaw High School

Palm’s “*High School Night”:
Thurs, Oct 29, 2015 6:00-8:30p @Palms Middle School

North EL:
Wednesday, October 7, 2015 6:00–8:00 pm @Haskell Elementary School

North MS:
Weds, Sept 30, 2015 6:00-8:00 pm @Sepulveda Middle School

North HS: “*Meet The High Schools Night”:
Weds, Oct 7, 2015 5-8 pm @Walter Reed Middle School
FLYER

North HS: Millikan’s “*High School Night”:
Thurs, Nov 12, 2015 6 pm – 8:30pm @Millikan Middle School
FLYER

* Meet and hear about area public, private, magnet, charter, gifted and other specialized programs – all under one roof. Recommended.

More LAUSD Proposed Calendar Concepts: The 5/7 Tango

Another twist in the LAUSD Calendar Conundrum. Enter the 5/7 Tango.

Say what?

5:7 Proposal

According to a recent article in LA School Report, “An advisory committee studying options for LA Unified’s academic calendar are considering six different plans, and one them is a radically different approach that would shorten the summer break to five weeks and increase the winter break to seven weeks.

The idea being that they could create a 20-day intersession (think ‘summer school’ but during both the winter and summer breaks) for students who fall below basic and need extra remediation or credit recovery.

If passed, this would mean that students would break for 7 weeks during the winter holiday, and only 5 weeks in the summer.

Whaaaat?! 

What do working parents do? I guess their kids can just hang out while parents go back to work, which is most public school parents these days. What about the kids who don’t qualify/don’t need the intersession, where does their retention go after a 7-week winter break as they head back to the second semester?

Um, down the (You)Tubes.

For those of you who followed my GoMamaGuide Facebook page, you saw as I covered the robocalls this past weekend that went out to current LAUSD parents, announcing with a 1-day notice there would be an upcoming telephone survey that would poll parents on 5 calendar-related questions. The calls came in over the weekend right when most of us had our hands full of kids and dinner, or for those with a life, date night and/or other weekend evening activities. There were 3 attempts to reach us and if we didn’t pick up the phone and take the phone survey right then and there during one of those 3 calls, that would be it.

Then I started seeing reports from many folks who did answer and attempt to take the phone survey, only to have the calls glitch and unceremoniously disconnect them after the first question. So much for parent participation.

In another robocall Monday evening, LAUSD Supt. Cortines acknowledged that there were indeed glitches in the telephone survey and offered an apology to parents, explaining they would reach out to those who experienced problems.

Ok, but how? When? Who would be reached? And how would they know who did and who didn’t complete the survey? They offered no number, no email or website to contact them back if you received one of the glitched calls.

Supt. Cortines also mentioned on the call that there were 58,000 “successful” responses. Um. Cool.

Looking at the “fingertip facts” on LAUSD’s own website, this figure represents just over 10% of the 542,433 students currently enrolled in LAUSD. (Remember, independent charters get to set their own calendars so they are immune from this decision.)

So, a success? Or is it a fail.

We’ll see what happens next. They’ll be making a decision this spring that will impact the next three years. Regardless of what happens, you can bet I’ll be staying on top of this topic on behalf of all of us!

If you feel motivated, share your opinion by emailing Supt. Cortines and your board members directly:

superintentdent@lausd.net
george.mckenna@lausd.net
monica.garcia@lausd.net
scott.schmerelson@lausd.net
steve.zimmer@lausd.net
ref.rodriguez@lausd.net
monica.ratliff@lausd.net
richard.vladovic@lausd.net

For a deeper dive into the number crunching and test results the joint advisory committee considered collected from the offices of School Operations, Curriculum, Instruction and School Support, Data and Accountability, and Budget Services, click HERE.

Caution: Enter data dive at your own risk. Quick perusal doesn’t show enough significant test gains to substantiate maintaining Early Start in my opinion, but I know that many High 
Schoolers love it.

LAUSD Parents Surveyed On School Calendar Changes

LAUSD logoLucky us! LAUSD Supt. Ray Cortines robo-called LAUSD parents today announcing we will be receiving a “telephonic survey” consisting of 5 questions, as the District begins planning the instructional calendars for the next 3 years. (Um, is telephonic a word? nvm.)

Hello folks!

This is our chance to return the start of the school year back to September and out of the heat!

Just say NO to Early Start!

I also propose we lose the whole week at Thanksgiving and make the holiday breaks more evenly distributed, but priorities! Return the after-Labor Day school start date. So parents, answer those survey calls and make your voice loud and clear!

#AugustIsForSummerVacation #FixTheAC #NoMoreEarlyStart!

UPDATE: They’re calling from 213.241.4544 – so look out for that number and answer it when they call you. It only took me 2 mins. 5 questions.

Courtesy of Angel Zobel-Rodriguez, MagnetAngel, here is the list of LAUSD survey questions:

First Question: School should start in Early August, Mid August, Late August, Early September.

Next questions use a five-point scale, Strongly agree, somewhat agree, neither agree or disagree, somewhat disagree, strongly disagree.

Second Question: Winter Break should be 2 weeks,

Third Question: Elementary and Middle/High school students should be on the same calendar, (isn’t this a no-brainer?)

Fourth Question: Create a longer winter break with an “intersession*” (apparently a 5 day/wk – 5 wk intervention for those students needing remediation) and another one during the 7-wk summer. *think mandatory summer school during both the winter and summer breaks for kids below basic. And everyone else can just hang out for another few weeks while their parents go to work. Oh that’s gonna be popular! Not.

Last Question: First semester should end before Winter Break. (clue: that’s why we have the August start date to begin with.)

Be prepared. They will only make 3 attempts to call you, and once answered they will not call back. Good luck!  (Thanks for sharing the questions Angel.)

And, If you want to add more weight to your voice, sign the Change.org petition here:
LA Kids Deserve Summertime – Start School After Labor Day

Also, email Supt. Cortines and your board members directly here:
superintentdent@lausd.net
george.mckenna@lausd.net
monica.garcia@lausd.net
scott.schmerelson@lausd.net
steve.zimmer@lausd.net
ref.rodriguez@lausd.net
monica.ratliff@lausd.net
richard.vladovic@lausd.net

LAUSD Rolls Out Transitional Kindergarten (TK) Expansion for 2015

(article updated on Oct 1, 2015 with K-TK-ETK breakdown and additional links added at the bottom.)
TK- ETKLAUSD will be expanding its Transitional Kindergarten (TK) Program to assist children impacted by the shuttering of its current SRLDP preschool program, by creating an Extended Transitional Kindergarten program, now acronymed as ETK. 117 school sites will offer the program beginning in August 2015, with the remaining 173 sites opening in the 2016-17 school year.

There will now be 3 distinctions of the entry-level programs. Kindergarteners who meet the 5 by Sept 1st age cut-off will enter Kindergarten (K). Students whose birthday falls between Sept 2 and Dec 2 have the opportunity to enroll in the Transitional Kindergarten (TK) program, and those children whose birthday is after Dec 2 and who quality will be placed in the Extended Transitional Kindergarten (ETK) program.  All of these programs are a tuition-free, full 6-hour day following the same schedule as other elementary school classrooms, with Breakfast In the Classroom (BIC) provided. Class size will be limited to 24 students per class.

“The LAUSD Transitional Kindergarten Expansion Plan is intended to provide an alternate program in schools with closed School Readiness Language Development Program (SRLDP) classrooms.” —LAUSD website

Priority enrollment for ETK will be offered to low income high needs children who have missed the 5 by Sept 1st Kindergarten age cut-off and have also missed TK’s current 5 by Sept 2-Dec 2 cut-off. This is a preschool program that focuses on school readiness and language acquisition with the intention of preparing children for Kindergarten.

Only those students who legitimately qualify for the Free/Reduced Lunch Meal Plan (FRLP) will be eligible for ETK and then those applicants will be taken in order of birthdate beginning in Dec and continuing through March 31 and possibly into April, May or June if space is available. Families residing in the school attendance area will also be a priority. Schools may offer a 1-year non-renewable TK/ETK transfer to non-residents after satisfying all other priorities first.

See enrollment priority list below:

TK Priorities

List of Expansion Sites for 2015: HERE
Comparison chart of TK and ETK curriculum, framework, assessment, funding: HERE
More Detailed Info – including overview, goals, curriculum, enrollment requirements: HERE
LAUSD TK/ETK splash page to more links: HERE

LAUSD Approves 2015-16 Calendar

CalendarThe LAUSD School Board voted yesterday to approve the 2015-16 School Calendar.

First Day of School will be Tuesday, August 18, 2015. Last Day of School will be Friday, June 10, 2016.

Key recesses are:
Thanksgiving Break: Nov 23 – 29, 2015
Winter Break: Dec 19 – Jan 10, 2016
Spring Break: Mar 21- 27, 2016

Negotiations will continue however, and changes are likely for the 2016-17 calendar. Talks include the possibility of pushing the start date back after Labor Day and reorganizing the breaks so the first and second semester have a more evenly distributed number of instructional days. Perhaps the end of Early Start after all? Wouldn’t that be grand!

Calendar Link
News Release