SOT Addresses School Updates

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Kamiya Rodrigues

SOT discusses multiple school updates. Principal Ramona Esparza discussed how school would look like for students next year.

Kamiya Rodrigues, Reporter

The School Organizational Team met on April 22nd to discuss updates and changes within Valley.

The meeting started off with welcomes and introductions and then moved on to the two minutes allotted for public comment. Stephanie Steyh, English teacher at Valley, stated her opinion on grading that was briefly brought up in conversation. Steyh felt that grades are used to communicate academic concerns and she has seen what it has done to students. Regarding the grading equity model, which was further explained later in the meet, she feels that it has moved up the median so there is better range for excellence.

After the two-minute period, the minutes for the meeting were approved and new updates were discussed. Vice Chair Vince Bognot, a teacher member, brought up the concern of scheduling next year. Ramona Esparza, Valley’s principal explained that schools will either be face-to-face or online. Students are not required to turn on their camera during class.

Following this, Stanley Willis, another teacher member, presented on the Valley Equity Scale. The Valley Equity Scale is a grading scale that changes the letter grades of a percentage. What would normally be a C is now graded to be an A. Dawn Hicks, a parent member, voiced her perspective saying that she understands the need for it but understands how hard-working students will feel. Rachel Wohnhaas, another parent member, looks at it differently. Wohnhaas states that if this is to continue college acceptance rates will increase.

Conversation about grading district-wide was also brought up in conversation. Behavior will be removed from grading criteria along with a move toward standards-based grading. Assistant Principal Thomas Smith pointed out that the motive on the equity scale is to bend the curve on loss of credits.

A few updates were provided on the Title 1 monetary allocation. The majority of the money will go to people through salaries. However money will also be put into PPE (personal protective equipment) and an air purification system. CCSD also requires money allocated for mailing and refreshments at parent functions. There is money for child-care for attendees, and there will be an amendment period in the fall.

Some quick updates regarding various topics were discussed. Regarding sports returning to normalcy, there will be some restrictions and precautions due to COVID, including a limited number of spectators. Due to the CARES ACT, the superintendent stated that Victory schools will still get funding. Also Freemont MS will be using Valley as well as ESY( Extended School Year) services. Plans to return to school in the fall are being reviewed. Busing and open house are possibilities but the funding depends on the number of students registered at Valley. Graduation will be at Thomas and Mack on June 2 with two ceremonies and attendance limits.

More news and updates will be discussed at a later date. The next meeting will take place in May,2021.