Board to talk National Day of Silence, special education, equity in SRVUSD

Plus: District library plan, declaration of need for fully qualified educators

The San Ramon Valley school board is set to hear a series of presentations at its regular meeting Tuesday, ranging from the recognition of May as Asian Pacific Heritage Month and April 27 as National Day of Silence, to a discussion on special education and an investigation of equity within the district.

To begin, the board will proclaim May as Asian Pacific Heritage Month. The month-long event celebrates the heritage of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States. The month of May was selected by Congress in 1977 to commemorate both the immigration of the first Japanese to the U.S. in May 7, 1843, and the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869.

Next the board will hear a presentation recognizing April 27 as National Day of Silence.

Participating students take a day long vow of silence in order to call attention to, and signify, the prevalent silencing of those in the LGBTQ+ community. Started in 1996 by Students at the University of Virginia, the National Day of Silence is recognized by hundreds of thousands of students every year, according to the Gay Lesbian & Straight Education Network.

The SRVUSD has issued a resolution of support for National Day of Silence participating students for the past two years.

Cat Cabral, SRVUSD's equity instructional coach, will give a presentation discussing the district’s vision for equity.

According to the SRVUSD, the district’s vision of equity is committed to implementing the FAIR Education Act in K-12 schools, coaching teachers and school stakeholders in social justice curriculum, implementing inclusive health education at middle and high school levels, network with local K-12 districts and universities for best practices in equity, and to engage and unify student culture groups to inform students through their own voices.

The board will then consider a presentation pertaining to special education within the district by its executive director of special education MaryAnn Frates and her team.

According to the California Department of Education, in the 2017 academic school year 7% of students in the district identified as students with disabilities. To accommodate these students, the SRVUSD is equipped with a special needs department that aims to develop effective programs uniquely designed for individual students, and focus on overall student inclusion in the district, according to district staff.

The meeting will be held at the SRVUSD Education Center, 699 Old Orchard Drive, in Danville this Tuesday at 7 p.m. All meetings are open to the public.

In other business

* The board will consider the approval of a declaration of need for fully qualified educators.

Currently the SRVUSD might not have enough educators to meet its needs for the current school year, the declaration of need “will assure that the district will be able to staff all classrooms with appropriately credentialed teachers during the 2018-2019 school year,” according to a staff report signed by Superintendent Rick Schmitt.

In the report, Schmitt estimates that the district will need a total of 42 limited assignment permits in order to fully staff schools for the academic year, 16 of which are needed for special education instructors.

* The board will consider approval of the district library plan update. The update describes both the goals of the districts library program, and the work teacher librarians are doing to achieve those goals.

Goals include maintaining a librarian staffing allocation ratio of 1 per 1,000 students, continued collaboration between classroom teachers, administration and library staff, provide relevant resources to students in a variety of formats and technologies, and increase parent and community members involvement in the development of library media programs.

The districts library program is currently staffed with 12 credentialed teacher librarians and 32 library media coordinators.

* In closed session before the regular meeting, the board will convene to discuss the appointment of principal at Bollinger Canyon Elementary, and will confer with its legal council over existing and potential future litigation.

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