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Community Summit: Moving Forward Together

IUSD Summit Draws Hundreds to Envision District’s Future

Inglewood community residents, including parents, teachers, and district staff, attended the IUSD Community Summit: Moving Forward Together to Transform Our Schools on October 25 at the Forum. The Summit was convened by the Inglewood Unified School District (IUSD) to gather input for full-service community schools, academic priorities, and the mission and vision of Inglewood schools.

“This is an opportunity for the community to imagine the future we want to build together,” said State Administrator, Dr. Thelma Meléndez de Santa Ana. “We want to hear their hopes and aspirations for our students, and build our schools, inside and out, based on our common goals,” she said.

Over 500 community members participated in community asset mapping, instant surveys and developed academic planning priorities for the district. Working in teams, parents, teachers and local partners evaluated the organizational structure of the district’s community schools, administration, and policies to highlight its strengths, areas of improvements, and the required changes moving forward. The Forum generously donated the space and food for the event.

The enrichment school showcase featured robotics, dual immersion, STEM, career pathways, and other innovative programs offered at Inglewood district schools.

The Summit was the first of five community meetings planned to gather feedback. Inglewood stakeholders can also attend the following meetings to share their priorities:

  • Monday, Oct. 30, 6-8 p.m.: Warren Lane Elementary, 2602 W. 79th St.
  • Thursday, Nov. 2, 6-8 p.m.: Centinela Elementary, 1123 Marlborough Ave.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 15, 6-8 p.m.: La Tijera Academy of Excellence Charter School, 1415 N. La Tijera Blvd.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 29, 6-8 p.m.: Morningside High School, 10500 S. Yukon Ave.

Join Our Community Input Meetings

IUSD Summit Draws Hundreds to Envision District’s Future

Inglewood community residents, including parents, teachers, and district staff, attended the IUSD Community Summit: Moving Forward Together to Transform Our Schools on October 25 at the Forum. The Summit was convened by the Inglewood Unified School District (IUSD) to gather input for full-service community schools, academic priorities, and the mission and vision of Inglewood schools.

“This is an opportunity for the community to imagine the future we want to build together,” said State Administrator, Dr. Thelma Meléndez de Santa Ana. “We want to hear their hopes and aspirations for our students, and build our schools, inside and out, based on our common goals,” she said.

Over 500 community members participated in community asset mapping, instant surveys and developed academic planning priorities for the district. Working in teams, parents, teachers and local partners evaluated the organizational structure of the district’s community schools, administration, and policies to highlight its strengths, areas of improvements, and the required changes moving forward. The Forum generously donated the space and food for the event.

The enrichment school showcase featured robotics, dual immersion, STEM, career pathways, and other innovative programs offered at Inglewood district schools.

The Summit was the first of five community meetings planned to gather feedback. Inglewood stakeholders can also attend the following meetings to share their priorities:

District Caps Health Benefit Costs

At their meeting on October 11, Board members in the Inglewood Unified School District supported the actions of State Administrator Dr. Thelma Meléndez de Santa Ana as she announced the first of several major steps aimed at bringing the District’s deficit budget into balance. At the forefront of expected changes is the District-paid health benefit cost for all school administrators that will be capped, effective January 1, 2018.

According to Chief Business Official Eugenio Villa, it is estimated that this change will save roughly one million dollars over the next three years. The District is currently working to tackle an approximate and unanticipated eight million dollar shortage that must be addressed quickly. “The benefit cap is the initial step in a current plan to build a sustainable, strategic plan that will result in continuing educational improvements for students, and a solid financial foundation for services,” he adds.

The proposed change impacts approximately 50 administrators; some more than others, with those who select full family coverage, impacted the most. All administrators are still eligible for up to $9400 in premiums, but will now have multi-member family coverage at an additional employee expense. The District plans to seek broader options in health coverage in the months ahead and hopes that lower cost plans can be offered in the coming year.

“This is a painful step we struggled to take, but one we made because we have so few options,” said Dr. Meléndez. “We certainly understand the impact this will have in some families. But in the current insurance climate, and given the financial conditions of the district, we must contain our benefit costs. There are so few places in our budget where we can make decisions that get us closer to a balanced budget. Increasing our state loan does not bring us closer to local control.”

The District is currently under state control because due to a budget shortfall and is presently repaying a $28 million State loan. The current deficit was discovered when Eugenio Villa acquired the top finance position during the summer. He called it “a perfect storm of financial issues” which included enrollment and funding projection inaccuracies, escalating costs of health benefits for employees, and the impact of a State loan repayment on the general fund.

In an ongoing effort to address the deficit this year and return the District to stronger financial footing in upcoming years, Dr. Meléndez will be bringing a series of proposals forward. She announced that school consolidations and closures will be needed and that efforts will be made to attract additional income through efficient use and lease of un-occupied district property. She noted that many vacant positions will not be filled; and that in non-teaching units of the District – mainly administrative offices, had its budgets reduced by 20%.

“We will be building a stronger strategic plan with staff and community input over the next couple of months, and believe that we can weather these cuts with the cooperation of our community, unions and our Board,” says Dr. Meléndez. “I am confident, in a couple of years from now, that this Board will be making independent financial decisions in the best interests of our students, staff, and taxpayers. We will also be celebrating significant improvements and outstanding academic achievement throughout this District.”

Sending Aid to Students Affected by Harvey

 

PTA Sending Aid to Students Affected by HarveyInglewood Unified School District State Administrator Thelma Melendez de Santa Ana, Ph.D. and the Inglewood Unified School District Board of Education recently announced plans to assist the many students and families of the Houston Independent School District (HISD) who were overwhelmingly affected by Hurricane Harvey. IUSD along with school districts across the United States are joining other organizations in offering support to those in need.

To help students learn about the impact of natural disasters and how they can help mitigate the suffering of victims, IUSD Principals and Teachers have been encouraged to incorporate facts about Hurricane Harvey into their lesson plans and school activities. Many schools will actively assist by collecting donations and or fundraise during non-instructional time. Additionally, Parents or PTA’s can support the effort by contacting their community schools to determine how best to assist.

According to a Houston Independent School District press release dated August 27th nearly 50 schools were flooded to some degree and are accepting donation of clothes, school supplies and money to help their students and families.

HISD’s immediate need is for children’s clothes of all sizes (new or gently used in clean, ready-to-wear condition), school uniforms and school supplies.

There are two ways that you can immediately help students and families in Houston:

1. Clothing and Supplies

  1. All clothing and school supplies collected at IUSD schools or classrooms will be sent to:
    HISD Harvey Recovery
    C/o Delmar Stadium 2020
    Magnum Houston, TX 77092

2. Monetary Donations

The HISD Foundation is accepting donations to provide financial assistance to students and families. Click the link below to donate:

You can utilize any of the organizations below as they are also accepting monetary donations to support those in need:

For additional information regarding IUSD protocols for schools that are donating and collecting in response to natural disasters, please contact the IUSD Office of School and Community Relations at 310-419-2700.

Connecting To The Community

Inglewood Staff Paints School WallA Beautiful Community Connection

We are very excited to share that extra summer work has been done toward accomplishing more than just beautification here at Clyde Woodworth Elementary. As a result, we have accomplished a greater community connection by demonstrating that we believe in them.

Hard Work Pays Off

Our PTA volunteered on Saturdays and committed to a very special campus beautification project. Woodworth has been run down and green for a long time and we all worked together to change that.

Turning Green To Yellow

As parents, teachers and students have become and committed to a brand new magnet program, and STEAM Academy, we have also reclaimed our historical colors of yellow and red. This year we have announced new yellow uniforms, and the parents have taken the mission a step further by painting yellow wherever they saw green. They want their kids to engage in our school culture and identity.

We are very grateful for the dedication of the entire cougar family of parents, led by the PTA President, Mrs. Angelica Manriquez.

Track Your Child’s Progress With Aeries

Logo Of Aeries PortalFamiliarize Yourself With Aeries

The Aeries portal is a resource that we are encouraging all of our parents and families to familiarize themselves with. It’s a really great tool to keep an eye on the progress of your IUSD student as they progress through the various grade levels.

About The Software

Aeries Software is the leader in providing the newest industry student data management. The software provides outstanding customer service and simple solutions for K-12 education.

The company is consistently on the cutting-edge of new technology and innovation, which is one of the reasons we are so proud to offer it to our families. We strive to make the experience here at our District as convenient as possible for all of our families, from kindergarten all the way through senior year.

Aeries Software has been open since 1995 and has successfully implemented the Aeries® Student Information System in over 530 other public school districts and education agencies.

About The Founder

The late founder, Jerry D. Lloyd was an industry pioneer, and president of Aeries Software. He was the creator of numerous student information systems dating back to the 1960’s. Mr. Lloyd passed away in June of 2011, but his vision lives on in Aeries.

We hope that you will get familiar with using the Aeries portal and learn how convenient it really is, and what a great tool it is for parents here at Inglewood Unified.

The IUSD Promise

 

The Inglewood Promise@ 3,6,9,12 is the new vehicle driving academics in the Inglewood Unified School District! The IUSD mission statement has not changed and continues to be the leading force behind the District’s efforts. It states…The Inglewood Unified School District is to ensure that all our students are taught rigorous standards based curriculum supported by highly qualified staff in an exemplary educational system characterized by high student achievement, social development, safe schools and effective partnerships with all segments of the community. Dr. Carmen Beck, Chief Academic

Officer for IUSD was determined to send a clear message to all stakeholders. After months of discussion, the Inglewood Promise was recently born. “It was a collaborative process and not done by any one person” Beck explains. You may be asking, “What is the promise?” The Inglewood Promise@3,6,9,12 focuses on ensuring: 100% of its students will be reading by 3rd grade, mathematically competent by 6th grade, A-G ready by 9th grade and college and career ready by 12th grade. The Inglewood Promise holds students at the center of its work. Additional promises are: participate in at least two job interviews, participate in visual and performing arts or extracurricular activities, apply to at least four colleges, actively engage and participate in a career pathway/ academy, have access and resources to STEM (Science, technology, Engineering and Mathematics), engage in project-based programs like robotics, MESA, Project Lead The Way, and take part in externship opportunities with business partnerships.

One may ask why the district is making such promises? Beck explained that she was informed by a parent that charter schools are promising programs for her children which is why she has chosen to leave IUSD. Beck said that shifted her thinking to begin working with her team to identify what they could reasonably promise each family. At the June 14th board meeting, she shared the Promises and knows they are ambitious, however, she feels this is something we need to and can do. She also reviewed the goals of the Local Control Accountability Plan in a Public Hearing. Goal 1 is to provide excellent conditions for learning; Goal 2 is to produce exceptional pupil outcomes; and finally Goal 3 is to promote an engaging learning environment. She further discussed the process of stakeholder engagement to develop these goals which included district groups and departments, community meetings, union leaders, surveys and more. “Our purpose will be to create coherence to build capacity for sustainability of improvement efforts” Becks adds. In preparation for implementing the Inglewood Promise, Beck is engaging all principals and District leaders in looking closely at the SBAC data results and focus on the root causes of student inequity and underperformance. This data will be publicly released before school begins. “Data always tells us something and it will also guide our professional development for teachers,” adds Dr. Rene Rosas, Director of K-12

English Learner Services and Professional Development. Both Beck and Rosas will work together with principals to create a strategic focus for student learning. Beck asserts, “We are focusing on best practices of good first instruction that can be replicated throughout the District.” She feels this will be done by defining desired learning outcomes for each student while developing collective expertise to deepen learning. Finally, she underscores the importance of parents and the community being engaged in this process so strategies can be replicated at home and success can be sustained.