New Haven Unified School District

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Board Briefs for Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Board Briefs
for Tuesday, March 7, 2017

At Tuesday night’s meeting, the Board heard a presentation from Mr. William Huyett of McPherson & Jacobson L.L.C., the executive recruitment and development firm contracted by the District to assist in our search for a Superintendent.  Mr. Huyett shared the “Stakeholder Input Report”, a summary of the findings gathered from multiple staff and community meetings in addition to the contributions of the more than one hundred people who responded to an online survey.  This report is intended to provide information to the Board to help guide their decision-making and as a tool for recruiting candidates.  

In the survey and at the meetings, stakeholders were asked to share their thoughts on the following topics.  Under each are a few of the more frequent responses

  1.   Tell us what is good about your community
  • The diversity of the community
  • It is a small city where people know and support each other
  • High community engagement and involvement
  • Multi-generational city; families have lived here generations

  1.  Tell us what is good about the District and the schools.
  • Strong academic programs at every school
    James Logan High School has nationally recognized extra-curricular programs such as
    band, color guard and forensics
  • Caring and hardworking certificated and classified staff many of whom were students
    themselves in New Haven USD
  • Staff genuinely care about their students; there is a sense of family at the school,
    everyone is connected to someone

  1.  What are the issues a new superintendent should know about when coming to this
  • Need to address the continuing tensions between African American and Hispanic
    students so that issues of racial conflict do not escalate and become more disruptive; need to bring in city, parent groups, law enforcement and school to hold discussions on causes and solutions to this conflict
  • Equity of programs and resources; students with the greatest need do not receive
    equitable funds needed for programs that will have them be successful
  • The future financial crisis brought on by the end of the Race to the Top grant, declining enrollment, increasing retirement contributions and a leveling of state funding
  • Continuing to build upon the current work done in curriculum and instruction; a change
    in direction by a new leader will be counter productive
  1.  What are the characteristics, attributes and skills the new superintendent should have
    to be successful in this position?
  • Need someone who will not bring their own agenda and impose it on us but rather someone who values the work that has been done here, takes time to see the "beauty" in what we have done and will bring their experience and talents to build upon and enhance what we have created
  • Someone who knows and understands this District; preferably someone who is or has worked here before
  • A courageous leader who can make tough decisions after listening thoughtfully and thoroughly; will take positions that are in the best interests of students
  • A person who understands and has demonstrated successful experience implementing equity education programs

A link to the complete Stakeholder Input Report can be found here.

After the presentation by Mr. Huyett, the Board went into Closed Session and returned to Open Session at 6:30 pm.

Director of K-12 Instruction, Mr. Scott Pizani, presented to the Board an overview of the new State School Accountability Program, called the California School Dashboard.  This new accountability system evaluates schools and districts in 10 areas critical to student performance, including graduation rates, readiness for college and careers, test scores, and progress of English learners.  A link to Mr. Pizani’s presentation can be found here.

Lisa Metzinger, Director of Professional Development and Innovation, gave an update on Race to the Top, with a particular emphasis on sustainability after the grant ends this year.  She shared that the grant was designed to build and support teacher leaders, such as coaches, curriculum leaders, assessment leaders, technology team and task force members.  Through professional learning and teacher leadership, we sought to build the skills of our educators, enabling us to continue the work without grant funding.  The challenges and next steps are to use funding from LCFF, Title 1, Title II and Title III to support coaching, personalized learning and technology integration.  A link to the presentation can be found here.

Second interim report, based onGovernor's January Budget,
moved money from17-18 to18-19, added discretionary funds of $48 per ada,
madeline gabel

Also at the meeting, Director of Fiscal Services, Madeline Gabel, presented to the Board the District's Second Interim Report and Multi-Year Projections.  The Second Interim Report represents the District’s financial activities from the beginning of the fiscal year through January 31st, and contains revenue and expenditure projections for the current year and the two subsequent years.  This report includes revenue and expenditure adjustments based on the latest information available to the District.

Director Gabel shared potentials challenges for the District and its budget including:

  • Declining enrollment,
  • Pension fund rates,
  • The sunsetting of the Federal Race to the Top Grant,
  • Affordable Care Act and Healthy Workplace and Healthy Family Act,
  • Employee Retiree Benefits Trust, and
  • Contributions made to Special Education.

The Second Interim Report was submitted to the Board for approval with a Positive Certification of the district’s ability to meet its financial obligations for the current and two subsequent fiscal years.  The Board voted to approve the Second Interim Report.  A link to Ms. Gabel’s report can be found here.

A link to the complete agenda can be found here.