Thursday, June 8, 2023

CUSD Governing Board Considers Long Range Plan Updates; Will Focus On Academics in 2022

Source: Coronado Unified School District

The Coronado Unified School District Governing Board met for the first time in 2022 at a special meeting on Saturday, January 8. The meeting had two purposes; to review meeting protocols, and to begin the process of updating the district’s Long Range Plan (LRP).

Newly elected Board President Esther Valdes-Clayton opened the meeting and welcomed educational leadership consultant Jim Huge to facilitate the Board’s discussion on protocols, efficient governance, and effective leadership. Mr. Huge is a retired educator and an internationally recognized consultant with over 25 years of experience working with educational institutions, large corporations, small businesses, and professional and trade associations.

Valdes-Clayton said that in 2022 she does not want the Board to be distracted with issues where it has no jurisdiction, and that the priority will be academics and student achievement. “It is time we put our full focus on learning,” she said. Trustees Lee Pontes, Helen Anderson-Cruz and Whitney Antrim concurred, with each trustee agreeing to fulfill their governance duties effectively in a timely manner, and to conduct the business of the district with “respect for each other and everyone who engages with the Board.” Trustee Stacy Keszei did not attend the meeting.

Superintendent Karl Mueller led the LRP update discussion with a history of the document, which was originally adopted in 2018 as a five-year strategic plan. “The LRP was created to determine local areas of importance, beyond the scope of state priorities, to purposefully guide the trajectory of the district. It outlines the vision for the district and is the guiding document for all our decisions, for allocation of resources, and for measuring our work. It provides continuity and focus independent of outside distractions or changes,” he said.

Illustrating the significance of the LRP, Mueller highlighted initiatives attributed to the plan since its adoption: new TK-12 coordinated curriculum in math and science; new TK-8 curriculum in English/Language Arts; new bell schedules at all four schools; vertical pathways in engineering; robotics, and visual and performing arts; expansion of dual/college credit and world language; awarding of educational grants; facility leasing to pay for facility maintenance; expansion of counseling services; new website; consistent communication platforms; and branding.

The LRP lists four areas of focus with strategies and goals in each area: Academic, Budget, Support, Communication. “Most of it is ongoing, but as we accomplish goals and look at new data, there is opportunity to add to and update some of our goal areas,” said Mueller.

The Board’s discussion primarily focused on academic achievement and trustees presented ideas for potential consideration. After reviewing data and literature related to student learning, the trustees decided to schedule a future study session focused on 3rd grade reading, 8th grade math, dual language immersion, accelerated learning opportunities for students, and impacts of the pandemic on learning. The date for the study session has not been determined.

“This discussion is the first step in updating the LRP. We will have opportunities in the coming months to engage our community and staff through surveys and other means and to have more focused discussions as a governance team prior to a June adoption of any changes. Now that we have narrowed our focus, staff can provide more specific data and realistic options to the Board and community for consideration,” said Mueller.

The next Regular Board Meeting will be held on Thursday, January 20 at 4pm in the CUSD District Office.

Source: Coronado Unified School District


Managing Editor
Managing Editor
Originally from upstate New York, Dani Schwartz has lived in Coronado since 1996. She is happy to call Coronado home and to have raised her children here. In her free time she enjoys reading, exercising, trying new restaurants, and just walking her dog around the "island." Have news to share? Send tips or story ideas to: [email protected]