The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District wants to instill a sense of social justice in students and the Board will hear the framework/action plan for the proposal at their Feb. 15 meeting.

The social justice item is one of several weighty issues agendized for the meeting. The Board will also discuss the Education Foundation’s quarterly report, revisions to independent study programs, an update to the District’s Family Engagement Framework and an annual report on Measure BB and ES expenditures.

SMMUSD has adopted a three-pronged approach to achieving “excellence through equity” including creating a culture of shared accountability, teaching cross-cultural/socio-economic skills and engaging in constant self-reflection around the issue of equity.

The social justice item is related to the cross-cultural/socio-economic prong.

“As part of our collective efforts to achieving Excellence through Equity, we have committed to establishing and embedding cross-cultural and socio-emotional learning as a cornerstone of our students’ educational experience. The development of the Social Justice Framework and Action Plan demonstrate our long-term commitment to implementing a comprehensive approach to fulfill our promises to students and families,” said the staff report.

According to the report, the framework includes a set of guiding principles designed to shape student behavior and an action plan to guide implementation.

“This action plan delineates our commitment to the development of our capacity to deliver educational experiences that center on supporting our students in acquiring the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to thrive in a diverse and democratic society,” said the report.

The Board will also hear a framework for increasing family engagement. Staff has been working to “improve and enhance” engagement efforts in accordance with the Boards budget plans.

“The purpose of the SMMUSD Family Engagement Framework is to provide guidance to schools and the district as we work to implement effective family engagement practices that yield higher levels of student academic success and college and career readiness. The framework is research-based, and involves a multi-year development process,” said the report.

At this week’s board meeting, the Education Foundation will present their quarterly report, which will provide an update on money fundraised and future goals. Established in 1982, the Education Foundation was “organized by a dedicated group of parents, community leaders, and local business owners to enhance and supplement the curriculum of the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District,” according to the foundation’s website. Between the school years of 2016-2017, the Foundation raised $1,512,118 through parent donations alone.

Independent Study Revision will be proposed to the Board in an effort to make “clarifications to Board Policy and … corresponding exhibits”. In the item, the proposal seeks “clear and written” board procedure and administrative regulation for Independent Study that staff can “implement consistently.” A committee was initially established in 2016-2017 to discuss interpretation concerns.

The Citizens Bond Oversight Committee will present to the Board their annual report on Measure BB and ES expenditures. Measure BB and ES are SMMUSD’s facility improvement bond measures that were passed in 2006 and 2012. The Bonds have helped SMMUSD with infrastructure problems, constructing new facilities, and updating the district’s technology.

The board will meet on February 15, at 5 p.m. at the District Administrative Offices: 1651 16th Street.

angel@smdp.com

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