New Haven Unified School District

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Board Briefs for Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Board Briefs for Tuesday, October 16, 2018


At Tuesday night’s meeting, the Board heard a presentation from the founders of the Village Method, Mark and Mahea Gaskins, along with a number of student scholars from their program, about the art program that sprang from their students’ interest and love of art in all its forms.  Ms. Gaskins went on to explain that, as they were working on a mural, the Alameda County Office of Education put out a call for art that told a story around having courageous conversations. The Village Method answered that call and submitted their work which was displayed in the County Office of Education for three months, from April to June. The artwork represented two ideas that they were sharing.  One, titled “From the South”, represented historical experiences of African Americans in the South. The other, titled “To the North”, represented the movement of African Americans to places like Detroit, Harlem, and Chicago. The painting represents Harlem and depicts famous locations like the Apollo Theater and the Savoy Ballroom. Please click here to see a picture of the murals.


The Board also held a public hearing regarding the sufficiency of instructional materials in the district.  Chief Academic Officer Lisa Metzinger explained to the Board that all sites had certified that all students at their sites had sufficient textbooks and instructional materials.  After holding a public hearing to allow public input on this topic, the Board passed a resolution which stated that each pupil in the district has sufficient textbooks and instructional materials in specified subjects that are aligned to the academic content standards and consistent with the cycles and content of the curricular frameworks adopted by the State Board.


Next, Ms. Metzinger shared with the Board information about the District’s progress on the five Local Indicators, an important component of the Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP).  She shared a brief presentation with the Board which can be found here.


Ms. Metzinger and Directors from the District’s Division of Teaching and Learning also shared with the Board the second part of the 2017-18 Achievement Update.


In an effort to reduce the scope and impact of the budget cuts that will be needed to address the projected $5 million budget shortfall for 2019/20, Chief Business Officer Annette Heldman proposed an expenditure freeze for this current school year.   Ms. Heldman stated that, if implemented mindfully and, importantly, with fidelity, an expenditure freeze can be an effective way to capture some savings in the current year, which could help control spending and thus provide relief to the out-year fiscal concerns. The Board voted to approve the proposed expenditure freeze.  Below are items and areas that are considered as part of the freeze:


  • New positions

  • Vacant positions

  • Classified overtime

  • Consultant services

  • Non-instruction related equipment and furniture

  • Non-instruction related subscriptions including magazines and newsletters

  • Non-instruction related computer software and equipment

  • Non-instructional supplies

  • Travel and Conferences

  • Organizational memberships

  • Out of class differentials

  • Staff Development activities

  • Food purchases for meetings

  • Cash purchase reimbursements and use of District credit card


The expenditure freeze would not affect contracts previously authorized by the Board, as well as items that are legally mandated. For all else, a form has been created by the Business staff and circulated to management staff to be used as a tool to request a waiver to the freeze.


The agenda for Tuesday night’s meeting can be found here.  A recording of Tuesday night’s video can be found here.


The Board will hold their regularly scheduled meetings on the first and third Tuesday of the month. Please see the list of dates below:


November 13, 2018

December 11, 2018

January 15, 2019

February 5, 2019

February 19, 2019

March 5, 2019

April 16, 2019

May 7, 2019

June 4, 2019

June 18, 2019