tv [untitled] June 28, 2011 6:30pm-7:00pm PDT
her mother from the ivory coast, where her family still lives, threatened by civil war. she realized that in san francisco she had opportunities that her family back home did not that inspired her to do well in school. she graduated also from the school of arts and plans to go to ucla to study dentistry. she lives in richmond. is that correct? she was going to have to take two buses and probably a cab to get here. it was her plan to be here. when she got to her one-year-old chi, she said it would not worked out. she is a single mother who takes care of herself. her parents had their own situation going on, being incarcerated. at the age of 14, she filed to be independent.
this year, she graduate from help of high-school and plans on studying creative writing at city college while taking care of her 1-year-old son. i think she deserves our applause even though she could not be for tonight. [applause] this is just the beginning of what is going to be an incredible program and journey for us. we look forward to helping students every year who are in the same situation. they are not the students everyone is going to point to. they are not the ones that will get every award. they are students that have incredible promise and just need somebody to say we believe in you. but we believe in these kids and we think the school district for giving us the idea and encouragement. we are going to make you proud of the work that you do. thank you very much. commissioner maufas: before you go, can you share with us what you are giving to the students?
>> each of the students is getting a $7,000 award to help them through two years of community college and two years of a four-year college. [applause] commissioner maufas: comments from commissioners? >> thank you very, very much. commissioner wynns: i wanted to add my thanks, and particularly reiterate what you said. this is not the story we usually hear. these are not the students that others focus on. the are the ones who really need it. i think you deeply for doing this. and congratulations to the students. commissioner murase: i want to congratulate the students very much. they have overcome real challenges in their lives. it is wonderful to see the foundation recognize that. thank you all. >> thank you and
congratulations. we are here to support you. we do not leave you after you graduate. i want to acknowledge doug, who is here. we have been working closely together for a few years. we have these very funny conversations over lunch about where the need is and how to support the students. over the years, you have stepped up in ways that -- we are eternally grateful because you had the resources to really tapped into -- tap into not only funds from the foundation, but human bodies to support a and mentor. you have refurbished classrooms and family rooms and have volunteered and brought people out. you've contributed in so many different ways i'm glad we had the opportunity to run into each other and grow this relationship. for you to do such wonderful things for our kids is really powerful. on behalf of the board, please
accept our deep gratitude for all the work you do as masons. jim, thank you for bringing this together in the first place. it was meaningful and powerful. congratulations for not giving up. you have had tough times and did not give up. you have already made as proud. make this product. thanks for coming up and sharing all the -- make us proud there. thanks for coming out and sharing all your stories with us. >> item d is our student delegates report, and we have a student here, which we did not expect to have. elvina fan: i do not have much to report on since the student advisory council had our last meeting in may and the school year is over. it is summer. commissioner maufas: do you want
to share with us what you are doing for the summer? elvina fan: i have a bank of america leadership internship. basically, the partner with the boys and girls club of san francisco. they are giving me a trip to washington, d.c. i am excited. president mendoza: how long will you be in washington, d.c.? >> one week. president mendoza: item e is the current advisory council pac report. we have michelle. >> good evening, commissioners and deputy superintendent. i am the proud parent of two public school students, the coordinator of an after-school program, and a member of the
parent of kaiser accounts will. -- parents advisory council. we appreciate the california masonic council supporting our students. this is the last pack report -- pac report for this school year, and i conclude my term at the end of this month. it has been an honor to serve, although i did not know what i was getting myself into when i signed up. i have had the opportunity to hear from and represent parent concerns and perspectives from across the district. observing where and why they were different or the same, i have learned a great deal of the past four years. i am a different and better person because of it. i have a greater understanding of education policies, procedures, budgets, and the
agenda. i still do not completely understand all of it. i have the privilege of reading and learning from a wide cross- section of people, parents, board members, community advocates, legislators. i am grateful for this opportunity and encourage others to undertake what has been for me an amazing journey. it is with this perspective that i present the report for 2010- 2011. the role of the parent advisory council is to present parent voices and perspectives to inform policy decisions. this it summarizes our work for this school year and issues we will take up again in the fall. the last page includes a table showing our specific goals and achievements over the year.
i know this was emailed earlier. there are paper copies as well. we want to achieve student achievement, equitable access, and accountability. we support these parties and have focused to engage parents in several of these initiatives. we are concerned that we are still hearing from a lot of parents that are not seeing social justice at high standards or effective instruction to close the achievement gap in practice. our work is aligned with the goals of the balanced scorecard , and we have reached out to hear from families across the city. at the beginning of the last school year, we reviewed strategic initiatives for the year before setting our own priorities, which included public engagement in middle school placements, parent
inclusion in the superintendent zone schools, informing changes to the transportation policy, addressing a teacher and administrator standards and accountability, supporting the current engagement plan, supporting access to after- school, and aligning after- school programs. we worked closely with district staff and parents for public schools over most of the last school year to plan and conduct neighborhood forums, developing k-eight pathways with a goal of improving middle schools. however goal was to increase middle school quality for all students, strength and implementation of new policies and systems, and build trust between the board of education, parents, and the community. we have mixed feelings about the community engagement initiative. we know we accomplished an enormous project. we engaged over 900 parents,
educators, and committee members in discussions over proposals for student assignment, expanding language pathways, and supporting the school students. we conducted 12 community forums and seven targeted focus groups that directly engaged over 850 participants to discuss student assignment, language pathways, and other issues. we also helped lead community updates and workshops where over 60 parents, teachers, principals, and other community leaders shared questions. following the meetings, we led a process to develop a report of findings, and develop recommendations for the board that included the suggestions of parent partners, and present these findings and recommendations to the board and other district leaders. we also met with district staff yesterday to evaluate our partnership and discuss steps for moving forward on future
work. however, as we look at other goals for this initiative, we feel proposals put forward did not necessarily reflect our recommendations or address questions raised by community members who participated in the forms. we believe this initiative did not achieve the objective of building trust for the district among families in the community. for many parents, the chasing presentation of the district's proposal, lack of consistency, and missed deadlines for providing information has resulted in less trust and confidence in the district than before. to many in the community, it appears the staff and board of education ignored our questions regarding equitable access to my good programs, resource issues, and lack of transparent implementation plans to improve school quality. this is discouraging, especially
because of the amount of time, effort, and resources that were put into this initiative, postponing other important issues we hoped to focus on this year. just to highlight some of that are put in more personal face on it, i'll insert a few personal comments at this point. they are my comments, but i believe the reflect what i have heard other parents and pac members say. so many people gave an extraordinary amount of their time and energy to make these forums happen, including district staff and volunteers. while personally i did not give as much this year as i have, it was nice to receive the acknowledgement from the board and the district, but i can say that none of us did this for the acclaim. we did it because we believed it was important.
we would like to know what we did was serve a purpose. i can tell people that i meet in the world that it is worthwhile to speak your mind, because i have seen in make a difference personally. so when people at these forums would ask me if it is going to make a difference, are they going to listen to us, i said yes. i believe this would really have an impact. and i have to honestly say that i am in some ways relieved to be stepping down at this time because i do not know if i could go out another year and say the same thing with the same kind of conviction. that makes me feel like what
right do i have to be asking people, if i do not feel that what they are going to tommy is a point to be taken into account. but now i want to move onto other things we did accomplish this year. strengthening the systems for communication and current engagement. one project was working with the district pta and parents for public schools to develop a tool kit with information and resources to help parents understand how to address concerns about their child's school. the objectives are to map out a process for raising concerns so it is consistently understood by all parties involved, including school staff and district administrators, to provide tools to help parents navigate the system and achieve an acceptable outcome, create accountability and transparency through the process. volunteers from three organizations worked to develop
draft materials for the toolkit designed to help families navigate their concern through the most appropriate channels. parents met with district staff and leadership to make sure the materials were accurate and in line with the strict policy and labor agreements. the conducted several focus groups, including meeting with the parent liaison. in april, parents presented the materials and turned over the response ability for implementing them to district staff. the deputy superintendent committed to making it available on the district website in chinese, english, and spanish by the beginning of this school year. in addition, the district staff commited to including the revised tool kit in the section on effective parent engagement. we are excited and proud of this work and look forward to seeing the implementations take place. representing current voices to district leaders -- to convey
what we learned from speaking of families across the district, we present regular reports, meet with individual commissioners, and work closely with district staff. we have presented a report at all but two regular meetings. that was in march when we were facilitating community forums. we participated in meetings at the curriculum committee and the ad hoc committee on student assignment, met with superintendents and other district staff to discuss specific policy initiatives, including changes to transportation policy and implementation of the district plan for parent engagement. participating in parent and public education networks -- we have played a leadership role in the parent involvement coalition. while that is not currently meeting, we have been participating in the new coalition convened by mission
graduates. we continue to meet with our parents in the community as that moves forward. our members and our staff regularly participate in meetings of community based organizations, working to support efforts in the bayview. well we support the goals and objectives of the superintendent zone, we arkin -- we remain concerned about the confusion that has played to these initiatives in the past year. clear channels of communication need to be established with community, teachers, and district staff. there need to be measures for how well these initiatives are working. we have yet to see this information in a parent- friendly format. we look forward to that, moving forward. we have built an active membership and strengthen systems for planning and implementing program goals and reaching out to communicate with families. our organizational development achievements include renewing annual support from our major
funders. thank you very much. that has allowed us to maintain staff to coordinate projects led by the otherwise all-volunteer membership. continuing fiscal sponsorship by community initiatives allows us to focus on program efforts rather than administrative issues. we recruited seven new members and retained almost all the current membership whose terms had not expired. we improve the website, which provides a way for us to make more information available to parents one remaining link on the district website. while we have mixed feelings about the immediate impact of community engagement efforts this year, we have learned a great deal about issues related specifically to middle schools, as well as parent concerns about other issues. despite the challenges of the joint community engagement initiative, we have been
building new working relationships with district staff and leaders. we have identified lessons learned from this process and strategies for fixing future community engagement efforts. based on what we have heard from parents and related to district parties, we are likely to continue addressing these issues next year, monitoring implementation of the engagement plan to ensure clear timelines, deadlines, and standards for engaging parents at the district level, advocating to ensure the district provides meaningful support and hold teachers and administrators accountable for student learning outcomes, and working with the after-school advisor counsel and staff on plans to align after-school programs to ensure collaborative efforts that expand access to high-quality programs. thank you. i am happy to answer any questions at this time. if the public has questions or comments about this report or
our work in general, we invite them to contact us at pac@s usf.edu. any messages will be responded to when schools resume in august. commissioner murase: i just want to thank michele very much for your service. i had the privilege of serving with you on the parent of kaiser council. you really did give 110% to the organization. i do want to respectfully disagree that all of the discussions at the general meetings were not sufficiently recognized. there are specific examples for the proposal changed. one is siblings were moved up in terms of priority. second, the start date of the middle school feeder was pushed back to six years.
third, there was a real commitment, and i think we can all recall a firm commitment, to getting the district to articulate plans at the middle school level not just for language but also for owners, music, visual, and performing arts. those are three small examples of the way in which the hundreds of discussions you facilitated made for better policy making. i agree that in the and we did not adopt the full scope of recommendations, but those discussions were really valuable to me as i was looking at the policy decisions. i want to again acknowledge all the work that went into those discussions for what i consider to be better decisions. commissioner wynns: i also want to thank you for your service. i particularly want to thank you and all of the pac members.
i want to make two points. i think the process you have largely played a significant role in developing, that we have used for community outreach in a number of ways, including this year, related to the development of this component of the student assignment plan, is outstanding. i think the partnership with community-based organizations and departments inside the school district, really having a strong foundation which ripken use as a model for community input -- it has improved each time we have done it and i think the continue to. i want to acknowledge that and tell you how much i appreciate it. second, i should say i was the person who authored the resolution to form the pac. i wanted such an entity at the
district level for parents to have input in policy making at the district level. it was sort of the third iteration. we tried a couple of other things that did not work as well as we like. i think all the members who have served. -- i want to thank all the members that have served. i want to say something about the student assignment policy development. i think this is really tough. i think i was in the minority in that i agree more with the pac recommendations then other members of the board. i acknowledge some changes were made. that is the important thing. what we have done is develop a way to get community input and make policy on complex issues that is able to be modified, that is not set in stone once it is proposed. that is the most important thing. whether we are happy with how
far it went in one direction or another is secondary, i think. also, the ability to modify and assess continues into the future. that is one of the things we were clear about when we voted. we want to make sure the monitoring and assessment israel, and also that we have times and benchmarks. we will of gannett and can change it in the future. -- we can look at it and can chain into -- can change it in the future. although we all want never to mention it again, we will many times. the years we have spent recently talking about student assignment policy, which is the way the children of the parents in our school district get into the schools that they attend and access the educational services that we have, it is enormously
important to all the goals we have. the fact that the pac has been a key partner in advancing that difficult policy discussion is a testament to you personally and to the work you have done. commissioner fewer: michelle, but i know michelle well because she worked at colman. i cannot believe your term is up. with young kids, i know how hard it is. as the parent leader who wrote the resolution and brought it to the board, it was the vision of a group of parents that said we needed to have the parent voice. never did i think it would come to this. as a person who helped to seek out the continual funding to
have this happen, i think that where the pac is now is a reflection of the volunteer work that has happened from past members. but i did want to also mention it is, i have to say -- it is troublesome for me as a past parent advocate, being on the other side of the podium, trying to get this advisory council resolution passed when other board members were not going to approve it, and then finding six or seven years after we started it -- i am hearing in your report a little disappointment, and i guess the lack of trust and confidence in the district, and probably in the board.
that is somewhat disturbing to me. i hope that in the future that as a board, or individuals from the board, we will have closer relationships with the parent advisory council to foster communication. but i do not want the pac to think their efforts were for nothing. we heard them loud and clear. that is why we also wanted the parent advisory council. the more people that know about what we are doing, the more people hold us accountable to what we are doing. to make sure this "middle school thing, that we are really going to do it -- i want the pact to continue -- the pac to continue to hold us accountable. do not be afraid to express this. you are an extension of the board.
i am glad you put this in. this is an honest feeling and a thing we need to do better. not only do parents need to push back, but they need to push back on the board. having said that, i want to really think the members for their hard work and volunteer work. remember, it is volunteer work, precious time taken away from your families. this commitment is a long commitment. thank you. best of luck. please convey to the other members our thanks. commissioner murase:-- commissioner maufas: in reading the report, i found it everything i had heard from me-- the pac in board meetings and offline. i appreciate that you were able to memorialize it in a report to
us. it is an interesting but concise summary of the year. if anybody wanted to understand the pac and get the level of how important you are to us, i think they could see it in this one report. it is incredible. i just do not think the public understands the commitment to the volunteering and being able to be the buffer of some of that heat that i witnessed at those meetings, the community conversations. i am really in off of the graciousness of pac members in not engaging in the anger, but really taking that information in and of passing it on to the board. i am grateful for that. that really does speak to the years of buildup and trial and error and how you have been ableo