High schools on the school board agenda

Every six years, our high schools each complete a major planning document that guides all aspects of the school management for the next six years. The plan is a requirement of accreditation by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This document (the "WASC plan") governs social emotional and academic programming at the school. Our 2 high schools have been working for the past year (2 years at Paly) on their WASCs, and have involved many teachers, students, administrators, and parents at each school site. The WASC plans for Gunn and Paly will be on the school board agenda for Tuesday, February 24.

These documents are being considered by the board, following an initial presentation at a morning meeting on Feb. 10. However, they were placed on the agenda this week for "consent," meaning adoption without discussion. 
I believe that there is a strong community interest in having a fuller discussion of the future course of our high schools, particularly in the area of social-emotional wellness. Over the past several board meetings, an unprecedented number of parents and community members have come to the board to express those concerns. In addition, board members have not had much opportunity for a full board discussion of the WASC reports. The reports provide an important opportunity -- one that comes only every 6 years -- to get an overview of our high schools and assess their strengths, areas for growth, and points of comparability.
I have therefore requested that the WASC reports will be removed from the consent calendar and will be addressed in open session. Any board or community member may remove an item from "consent" in this way. Board President Melissa Caswell has confirmed to me that the High School WASC item will be taken off the consent calendar and heard as a regular item for a full discussion with the board and community. I plan to raise a number of issues, including whether academic classes should be offered in "zero period", which begins at 7:20 in the morning.
Although it is not shown on the public agenda posted to the district website, if you would like to have the opportunity to come to the board meeting and comment on what our high schools should focus on for the coming six years, please plan to attend. It's not clear exactly where the WASC reports will fall on the agenda, but I will try to post an update here on Tuesday evening once that it is decided.
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