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    Rescue Union School District

    Educating for the Future, Together

    Board Of Trustees Meeting Highlights - October 13, 2020

     

    We continue our efforts to communicate effectively and in a timely fashion with our families and staffs.  We know not every parent, teacher, or staff member can attend our Board meetings, so we will provide a brief update after each Board meeting, sharing highlights and actions taken by the Board.  As always, please let us know how to better serve and communicate with you!  We want to be partners with you in the educational journey of the children entrusted to us.
     
    DISTRICT RECOGNITIONS:

    Rescue Elementary School

    Principal, Dustin Haley, thanked the Board for the opportunity to speak on behalf of Rescue School. Mr. Haley commented that he would be sharing one aspect of his school, how the Hybrid program has been working. He went on to report that it has been three fold in terms of instruction:
    emphasizing quality not quantity, student connectedness and intervention.
     
    Rescue staff took quite a bit of time at the beginning of the year to assess students to determine not only what they may have missed but also to augment the grade level standards. Teachers have been using power standards focusing on the main cluster standards in planning and instruction helping to streamline the finite amount of time they have this year with students. Mr. Haley shared a 3rd grade sample with the Board.
     
    Mr. Haley said for connectedness, Rescue continues with Positive Behavior and Intervention Supports (PBIS), the Principal’s Monday Morning Announcements (students recognized for monthly character traits, other awards or recognitions, spirit activities, Raider Awards for positive choices) providing lunch bunch dates with Frontier students to help them stay connected to their home school, a drive through Halloween Parade for hybrid/Frontier students has been planned and assemblies moved to classrooms with monthly awards. Their counselor is also providing in class lessons and meeting with small groups, or individually virtually and in person as well as connecting virtually with Frontier students.
     
    Mr. Haley then reported on interventions for Hybrid model. He stated the start of the school year in this way could not have been better, lending itself to a natural intervention with the smaller classroom structure. This has allowed teachers to connect with kids, give more individual opportunities and time for kids, and meet with kids on a one-on-one basis. They have been able to leverage and maximize support staff with the AM/PM model. Mr. Haley stated he was grateful that the start of school
    provided opportunities for interventions, to get kids solidified in a place where they are back to school, comfortable about being there, having their needs met, and getting them ready for when they return to full time. The Rescue Learning Center continues to serve not only the special education students but also as a free intervention for those students who may need to be assessed or just need extra help and now they are where they need to be. Currently they are in the process of evaluating the effectiveness of their program, pre and post assessments, with beginning of year assessments and getting ready to assess students for the first trimester reporting. Monthly communication is provided between parents and teachers as well as the counselor provides monthly reports of students he meets with to teachers. They are also establishing SST meetings as needed.
     
    Principal Haley shared there was a learning curve at first, but he feels his teachers and staff, with a lot of hard work, have hit their stride. When you walk through classrooms there is a level of comfort, whereas before there was a lot of anxiety for both teachers and students. He went on to say he was grateful to see how much growth they have had in just 8 weeks. The theme this year for Rescue School is ONWARD. Mr. Haley stated you can’t control your circumstances, but you just continue to
    forge on, and that is what Rescue School is committed to do.
     
    Difference Makers:

    The Difference Maker honorees from Rescue Elementary were Janie Carlson, School Nurse and Adrian Padilla, Health Office Nurse. Thank you for making a difference for your school and students!
     
    UPDATES/REPORTS:
     
    Superintendent Report
     
    Superintendent Olson reports: So far we have escaped the power outages, however we are preparing for them just in case. The schools will stay open as long as transportation and food services can operate, classrooms are not too hot or too cold, and generators will be used to keep the offices running.
     
    We are also creating generic grade level lessons that teachers can use, so students can complete them at home or at school without technology. Teachers can also create their own generic lessons to better match where they are in the year depending on the time of the outage. We want to be as prepared as possible.
     
    The county surveillance testing is underway. It is the desire of the county to provide all school staff with two opportunities to be tested between now and December 18 th . Some of our staff are assigned to be tested at Oak Ridge High School, some at Ponderosa High School and some at Buckeye District Office. The purpose of the surveillance testing is to see how the virus is traveling, and the rate at which the virus is traveling.
     
    Our teachers were previously surveyed to find out their thoughts and input in regard to how the year is going, and now, as the Board directed, we have surveyed our parents as well. In addition, the survey gathered input from parents on the distance learning Wednesdays, and coming back to full time. Hybrid student listening circles were completed this past week also, during which we talked with groups of students at each site about how they think the year is going. The results from the parent survey are on our webpage.
     
    Another area that is taking our teachers additional time this year is that when a student is quarantined due to COVID symptoms they gather and send work for the students to do from home. This has created an additional layer of work. To date, our schools have had the following numbers of students out for quarantine, even though only two students have actually tested positive: Green Valley: 58, Jackson: 75, Lake Forest: 90, Lakeview: 67, Rescue: 59, Marina Village: 34, and Pleasant Grove: 46. These numbers do not include other types of absences or those students taking trips, which has also increased significantly this year.
     
    Our most recent meeting with EDPH provided good direction and information to use in establishing our next steps toward reopening fully. Dr. Williams shared that they will not create a formula for reopening with certain numbers or stages. It is up to individual areas to determine when to open. Dr. Williams also stated that social distancing is not the critical component, however everyone wearing a mask and thorough disinfecting would be of paramount importance. We are using these guidelines in our plan. More details will be shared as we draw nearer to the full reopening date.
     
    We are almost finished collecting Fuel Education materials from hybrid families. Parents are returning materials to their school site. Our teachers are excited to use many of the resources contained in the kits. In addition, we have been working with Fuel Education representatives for the past few weeks to renegotiate the contract so that we are only paying for the services we are using, and we are nearing the end of the renegotiating process. We have been able to cut the bill to about 40% of the original cost, and are paying only for what we are using. Again, as a reminder, the Fuel Education materials were purchased with the Federal CARES Act dollars, specifically provided for learning loss mitigation during COVID, and the majority of that money must be spent by December 30, 2020.
     
    Myrna Harp and Clara Hawkins, our two middle school counselors, provided a survey for our Frontier middle school students. The survey was sent to the 262 students in Frontier, 176 who are originally from Marina Village and 86 who are originally from Pleasant Grove. By September 28, 88.9% had signed up on the joint Google Classroom that the counselors developed and 61% had already taken the survey. The data indicated that 69.8% of students say it is easy to reach our counselors when they need to, 25.2% were neutral, and 5% felt they could not reach counselors when needed. 64.2% said they would not contact a counselor if they had a problem, 25.2% were neutral and 10.6% said they would not contact a counselor. We are glad that our students are feeling connected and know how to access our counselors. Additionally, our elementary counselors are meeting virtually with our Frontier elementary classes during their Zoom lessons, as the Frontier teachers request it. Each elementary counselor is assigned to a grade level for Frontier. Additionally, recently there was an article in the Lake Forest newsletter from counselor Kristen McKelvey sharing what she is doing and how families can reach out to her. Our counselors are truly wonderful. They care about our kids and families and are working diligently and creatively to meet the needs of all students whether in person or virtually.
     
    We remain grateful to and for our teachers and staff for their commitment and hard work as they continue meeting the needs of our students and families.
     
    ACTION ITEMS:
      • The Board approved Resolution #20-14 Week of the School Administrator
      • The Board approved Teacher Supports and School Calendar for Distance Learning Days and Transitional Reopening
      • The Board approved Resolution #20-15 Adopting Accounting of Developer Fees for 2019-2020.
      • The Board approved:
        • Minutes of the September 8, 2020 Regular Board Meeting
        • Minutes of the September 22, 2020 Study Session
        • District Warrants and Purchase Orders
        • Williams Act Uniform Complaint Procedure Quarterly Report
        • Personnel Actions
        • Nonpublic School/Agency Master Contract:
          • Point Quest Education
          • Shine Support Services, LLC
        • Individual Service Agreements for Nonpublic School/Agency
          • Devereux Foundation and Texas Treatment Network
          • Growing Healthy Children Therapy Services, Inc.
          • It Take THE VILLAGE, Inc.
          • New Horizons Child &amp;Family Services
          • Placer Learning Center
          • Point Quest Education
          • Shine Support Services, LLC
        • Surplus Property
     
    NEXT MEETING:   Regular Board Meeting, November 10, 2020
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