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Summerville Trustees To Talk Connections Academy, Construction

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Tuolumne, CA – A public hearing relating to the Connections Academy school charter is at the top of this week’s Summerville Union High School District agenda.

It is part of a process that occurs every five years, according to District Superintendent Robert Griffith, who, due to his three-year tenure with the district, was not on hand for the last go-around. Not that he expects the hearing to generate any issues. “Since I have been here we have had nothing but positive feedback on our charter school,” Griffith states with a chuckle.

Under the state’s education code, the district school board is charged with considering the level of support for the petition by teachers employed by the district, other employees of the district, and parents ahead of renewing the charter.  The hearing, itself, is public so comments from the room would ostensibly figure into its action, which is anticipated at the next meeting.

More Campus Improvements Coming Soon

Work will be able to get underway shortly on slated path-of-travel improvements between the stadium and Building 100, along with other Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) provisions, under the second increment of the district’s modernization plans. According to Griffith, the board expects to approve low-bidding contractor Njirich & Sons, Inc. to complete the project for $331,500. As previously reported here, the project was estimated to cost in the neighborhood of $400,000 and be ready ahead of the next school year.

Among several reports to be made Wednesday is Superintendent Griffith’s overview of how well the district executed against its Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) goals this school year, during which the LCAP plan had over $273,000 in supplemental concentration grant funding. These monies are meant to help better serve the district’s “at risk” students, such as low income, foster youth and English language learners.

Under the current LCAP, the district’s stated goals are: to provide a rigorous academic program for every student with the opportunity to learn at high levels through full delivery of Common Core learning standards as measured through the new state assessment program; increasing student engagement through various strategies, programs and increased use of in-classroom technology; and better prepare students for post-secondary college and other career path training.

Executing Towards District Goals

Griffith’s report notes that, along with expanding staff training and technology capabilities, district actions included adding support classes and four hours per week in after school tutoring, the latter servicing up to 100 students per month. AP Physics was introduced for advanced student learning. Additionally, four career pathways were identified with robotics, manufacturing and technology equipment and a greenhouse purchased for related instructional support. Administrators also met with each student to review goals, grades, progress and complete next year’s course selection.

Feedback from 319 respondents who participated in an LCAP parent/staff/student survey that was given in February indicates that a strong majority either agreed or strongly agreed that the district was meeting its stated LCAP goals.

In other business, the trustees anticipate approving Coach Ben Watson as Girls Golf Coach, for which he will be paid a stipend of just under $3,000; and authorizing the purchase of portable bleachers for just under $7,200 in order to increase seating options at the stadium and in other places around campus, as needed.

Following a 5 p.m. closed session, the meeting will open to the public at 6:30 p.m. in the high school library (17555 Tuolumne Rd.).