CUSD

At their meeting on Thursday, Aug. 13, the Coronado Unified School District’s (CUSD) school board discussed their plans for reopening this fall, as well as their new board plan in regards to equity and inclusion. This meeting can be viewed in its entirety on the CUSD’s website.

Coronado schools are set to start on Aug. 27. At their meeting Megan Battle, the Senior Director of Learning, presented a number of proposed schedules for distance learning in this upcoming school year. CUSD has decided to refer to their distance learning as “CUSD Bridge.” CUSD Bridge will consist of a combination of daily synchronous instruction, as well as asynchronous learning. Each school within the CUSD will have a proposed schedule designed to ensure that students are getting adequate education without exposing them to extended periods of screen time. Students will have approximately 30-40 minutes of screen time for each period in which the teacher will lecture and present the content. After that, the student will be released to work asynchronously to complete the tasks assigned during the class period. Attendance and engagement in asynchronous learning will be monitored. Support time or “office hours” will also be integrated within the schedules to ensure that students can ask for help with assigned tasks or general questions.

The CUSD will continue to provide needed supplies and resources to their students. Each student will be given a bag of school supplies as well as a white board for answering questions in class, and weekly meals will be available for pickup every Monday. In addition, the CUSD IT Department will be continuing to survey families in order to prepare devices for students who require them.

The board also spent a significant amount of time going over their new Equity Action Plan, presented by Niamh Foley, the Director of Student Services. This plan involves a number of different actions and efforts to provide a safe and inclusive environment for CUSD students and their families. One of which is the development of a committee of stakeholders composed of CUSD students and their families, staff, and community members that will be focused on equity within Coronado schools. The CUSD will also spend an estimated two years examining their current practices and reviewing them under a lens of equity and access. In addition, they will be gathering CUSD data in order to make data-driven decisions. They made clear that this plan is not an overhaul of existing CUSD policies and practices, or a shift from their core values. Foley said, “At the heart of this board policy is educational equity, and that means students have access, opportunities, and support to thrive in school.”

As part of this plan, the CUSD will amend the verbal and written aggression area of their current Disipline Action Guide (DAG) to include the use of “biased language specifically related to race, religion, sexual orientation, ability, or other discriminatory language.” They will also create a forum for people to share “experiences, perspectives, and opportunities for growth.” In the long term, the district will review their curriculum and instructional materials to ensure that they reflect diverse experiences and points of view. Additionally they will review their human resources practices/policies in regards to the employment and retention of a diverse staff. Professional development on culturally responsive instructional practices will also be provided to staff.

The CUSD plans to seek guidance from the San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) to ensure that their plan is enacted correctly and is aligned with other districts in San Diego. According to Foley the SDCOE’s Equity Department has been developed over the past two years, and has a “very clearly defined protocol for professional development.” They also hope to have the SDCOE assist them with communicating the purpose of their new committee to the larger community, as well as providing guidance for the norms for the committee’s work.

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