A slew of updates populates this week’s SMMUSD school board meeting.

The lengthy November 15 school board agenda will update the Board on several items including progress on efforts in implementing project-based learning, an update on the timeline for the freshly-prepared food pilot program and a data-driven presentation on counseling reforms in the district.

Inquiry and Project-Based Learning

Almost a year ago to the day, the Board directed district staff to meet with inquiry-based learning (IBL) schools and communities that were apart of those schools to gather information.

IBL is a learning method based heavily on interaction, posing students with problems/scenarios and often having students work in groups to solve those problems. By mixing in real-world concerns, students display their learning through a public product or presentation.

Information gathered from IBL schools and communities was used to build a list of necessities and a cohort of interested teachers that’d want to implement IBL into their classrooms and schools.

This led to recommendations on March 13, 2018, to establish a visioning committee to establish implementation goals and timelines.

This update will provide information on the research and strategic planning that’s occurred and the preparation of implementing IBL into the 2019-2020 school year. “Bright spots”, barriers and funding will be discussed.

Data-Driven Counseling

Education isn’t the only thing going from passive to active in the SMMUSD. Counseling in the district has become more active due to data-driven metrics.

The SMMUSD counseling team will update the Board on how they have and continue to reform and reshape counseling services in a presentation to be shown.

The presentation will show a five-year plan for students that begins in middle school to help improve student achievement and satisfy LCAP goals.

The plan will focus on academic, social/emotional and postsecondary life.

Food Services Update

Food services staff will update the Board on changes made to increase student participation in school-provided meals as well as an update on challenges food services faces.

While SMMUSD schools provide fresh and nutritious food options, community members have asked for healthier options, more fresh fruit, scratch-cooked meals, more vegetarian options and better burgers.

Food services were able to address some of these concerns and the presentation at the board meeting will demonstrate how, but staff still face challenges in aging kitchen equipment (to be solved with the passing of SMS) and costs of paper and cleaning goods due to green initiatives.

The presentation will inform the Board and public of Malibu and Samohi kitchen upgrades, food services budget, and an update for a previously approved food delivery pilot program in which fresh meals would be prepared at Malibu and Samohi’s soon-to-be-upgraded kitchens and then delivered to SMMUSD school sites.

Additional agenda items include a reporting of performance standards, budget revisions, a proposal of a supplemental employee retirement plan and approvals and amendments of various school improvement projects.

angel@smdp.com

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