Hot Topics

  • PPIC Report: Special Education Finance in California

    The Public Policy Institute of California issued a report on Special Education Finance on November 30. The report examines the special education finance system through thte principles that inspired LCFF - local control, accountability, transparency, and equity. The report also draws on the findings of the 2015 Statewide Special Education Task Force report, which made several recommendations to improve California's special education delivery system. The task force envisioned a unified system in which general and special education are part of a seamless program of student services.

    The report makes the recommendation of eliminating SELPAs in favor of funding special education at the district level.

    Foster Youth Education Rights

    Assembly Bill 224, approved in October 2015, required the development of a standarized notice of the education rights of foster youth. Attached is the notice that was jointly developed by the California Department of Education (CDE) and the California Foster Youth Education Task Force.  Translation of this document will be available soon.

    The notice is also posted on the California Department of Education Foster Youth website and the Marin COE Foster Youth website.

    California Mathematics Placement Act of 2015/Senate Bill 359

    The Math Placement Act was passed last year, providing School Districts an opportunity to approve a Board Policy outlining a "fair, objective, and transparent mathematics placement policy" prior to the 2016-2017 school year.  This policy is to be posted on the District's website.  As a reminder, the mathematics placement policy for pupils entering grade nine must meet the following requirements:

    • Systematically takes multiple objective academic measures of pupil performance into consideration;
    • Includes at least one placement checkpoint within the first month of the school year to ensure accurate placement and to permit reevaluation of individual student progress;
    • Requires an annual examination of pupil placement data to ensure that students are not held back in a disproportionate manner on the basis of their race, ethnicity, gender, or socioeconomic background;
    • Requires a report on the results of the annual examination by the local educational agency to its governing board or body;
    • Offers clear and timely recourse for each pupil and his or her parent or legal guardian who questions the student's placement; and
    • For non-unified school districts, addresses the consistency of placement policies between elementary and high school districts.

    The California Arts Education Data Project

    All students in California deserve the opportunity to enroll in high quality arts education curriculum that will provide them with the skills they need to succeed in today's competitive workforce.  Up until now, we lacked the tools to show us where and how arts education is offered across the state.  That's why Create CA, the California Department of Education and the Arts Education Data Project, have joined forces to provide a new suite of tools to help increase participation and ensure student success in arts education.  The Data Project is designed to increase participation in arts education across the state by analyzing and reporting school-level data on arts education courses and grades 6-12 enrollment.  It provides important information to education leaders, teachers and parents about levels of access to and enrollment in arts courses in schools.

    The window to correct issues with your data for 2015-2016 is December 3-January 27.  This makes it even more important to have those data discussions over the next few weeks.  Although you can't make corrections to the two years of secondary data being displayed now on the interactive dashboard, you can ensure that when information is imported for 2015-2016 in a few months, it is correct. You can access the list of course codes here.  Please take a minute to look through the Roadmap for Districts as this will provide you with some good options for moving ahead. 

    California Gold Ribbon Schools Program

    Although the application date for the Intent to Apply for the Gold Ribbon Schools award is now past, we have been informed by the CDE that those Marin schools that did successfully submit the Intent to Apply have been accepted into the 2016-17 Program. Those schools will need to submit their application to the CDE with a postmark on or before December 5, 2016.

    California Green Ribbon Schools Recognition Program

    The California Department of Education (CDE) invites K-12 schools, school districts, and early learning centers to apply for the California Green Ribbon Schools Award. The Green Ribbon Schools Award program recognizes schools and districts with an established and replicable focus on sustainability, environmental education, and the health and wellness of students and staff. Click here for additional information about the award. Interested applicants should first complete the application interest survey.  Once the survey is completed, applicants will be provided additional application materials.  The complete application package is due to CDE by 5:00 p.m. December 23, 2016.

    Elks USA 2016-2017 Essay Contest

    The Elks Lodge has selected the theme for their annual essay contest: Why Is It Important to Vote?  This essay contest is open to students in grades 5-8 and essays must be submitted by December 16, 2016.

    SMART Train – Ongoing

    Sonoma Marin SMART Train has created a Rail Safe website with rail safety resources for all members of the community, including parents and students. Here you will find rail safety materials including posters, activity books and safety tips.  They are also offering free rail safety presentations to schools.  Click here for an overview of the SMART Safety Education School Outreach Program.

    College Financial Aid and Planning

    The Marin County Office of Education (MCOE) hosted a presentation for parents on financing the cost of college on November 7, 2016. The presentation included New Prior-Prior Year (PPY) Deadlines, Financial Aid Sources, Cost Reduction Tactics and Expected Contributions.