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Middle School Matters, Opportunity Programs Introduced at School Board Meeting

The March 7 School Board meeting held by the Santa Clara Unified School District (SCUSD) was notable for the introductions of the Middle School Matters (MSM) and Opportunity programs. The aforementioned programs are a part of the school district’s Multi-tiered System of Support, which focused on the development of students’ social emotional well-being, literacy practices, math skills and conceptual knowledge. The Educational Services division has supported MSM and Opportunity faculty in creating the curriculum, enhanced professional development and providing individualized teacher support. The programs have shown improvements to the students’ education, especially regarding their grades, self-regulation, and study habits.

The next steps include developing materials that describe the MSM and Opportunity programs, create a clear transition plan and explore the possibility of getting paraprofessionals for the MSM classes.


Curriculum Adoptions for History/Social Science and English/Language Arts Courses


There is a possibility that a new system will be used to track the longitudinal progress of the students in the MSM and Opportunity programs. The system is including Curriculum Adoptions for each grade level, especially improving the History/Social Science and High School Language Arts curriculum.

According to Lori King, kindergarten to 5th grade, as well as 6th to 8th and Civics, would adopt curriculum from the Teachers’ Curriculum Institute (TCI); US History and World History would obtain new curriculum from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; and Economics would obtain curriculum from EMC (a division of Carnegie Learning, Inc.). For ‘New Course Lit’ and Nonfiction courses, they are offered in regular and honors courses throughout 9th-11th grades, as well as 11th/12th grade Honors British Literature, and 12th grade British Literature, Multicultural Literature and Composition and AP English Literature.

The next steps will be submitting LGBTQ and 11th grade English text for School Board approval in Spring 2019, initiate two paid summer institutes for unit planning in Summer 2019, and allow publisher training on new History curriculum starting on August 2019.


AFT Salary Increase

In regard to the AFT Salary Increase, the main subject of it is the approval of tentative agreements between SCUSD and California Federation of Teachers, AFT, Chapter 6343. SCUSD and AFT had signed a tentative agreement on Feb. 11. The main recommendations are the increase of AFT salaries by 3 percent, the effective date for the salary schedule increase will be on July 1 and SCUSD will calculate the amount of retroactive pay for hours worked for each employee. The estimate for the cost of the tentative agreement is $31,512.


Possible Establishment of “Pot Shops” near school grounds

One agenda item that was notable at the end of the meeting was a parent’s concern about marijuana dispensaries established in SCUSD. This parent’s concern was that the Santa Clara City Council might approve the opening of three pot shops within the City and located where the students may have access to while walking to school. The parent has requested this concern be placed on the March 7 agenda. The City Council still hasn’t decided where the dispensaries will be built in the City of Santa Clara.

SCUSD recommended that there should be a solution passed to the City Council where they would recommend which areas of the City they want the dispensaries to be established in and between certain distances from schools

The next School Board meeting is March 28.


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