Hart Union School District Board Meeting – March 1, 2023

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To navigate to a specific part of the video, simply click on the timestamp links below. Each timestamp corresponds to a different section of the video, allowing you to jump to the parts that interest you the most easily.

00:00:00 In this section of the video, the board of the William S. Hart Union School District holds a meeting in March of 2023. The board reports on closed session action items, which include approving the reassignment of one assistant principal and the non-re-election of three certificated employees for the 2023-2024 school year, as well as the acceptance of the resignation of three certificated employees effective June 30, 2023. The board establishes a quorum and approves the agenda for the meeting, as well as the minutes from the February 1st, 2023 meeting. The board also recognizes the Saugus High School cheer team for earning the title of CIF section division 4A co-ed traditional competitive cheer champions for three years in a row, and recognizes their head coach, Candace Rogers, as the CIF Southern section traditional chair division 4 coach of the year.

00:05:00 In this section of the video, the William S. Hart Union School District honors the Saugus High School cheer team for their outstanding achievements. The team has traveled and won many awards, including finishing third nationally in the National High School cheerleading championships. The head coach, Ms. Candace Rogers, along with the assistant coach and advisor, introduced the team members one by one, thanking everyone for acknowledging their hard work and dedication.

00:10:00 this section, the William S. Hart Union School District presents the One Heart Award to Dr. Leticia Hernandez, the Superintendent of the Newhall School District. The award recognizes individuals who embody the district’s core values of courage, creativity, caring, and community. Dr. Hernandez’s life and professional story are a testament to the power of community, and she is honored as an example for students and the community to follow. The award is a medallion presented to a student, staff member, or community member who exemplifies one or more of the core values as a way to encourage students to aspire to these character traits.

00:15:00 In this section, Dr. Hernandez, the superintendent of the William S. Hart Union School District, shares her inspiring story as a child of immigrant parents growing up in Santa Clarita Valley, attending New Hall School and Saugus High School. Despite coming from a background of low socioeconomic means, Dr. Hernandez was given every opportunity to succeed and receive a quality education, which opened up a different world for her. It was her Spanish teacher at Saugus High School who offered her the support and encouragement to attend college, which changed her life forever. Dr. Hernandez is grateful to the William S. Hart District for giving her access to accomplish her dream of becoming superintendent and giving back to the community that gave her so much.

00:20:00 section of the video includes board member reports from the Valencia and William S. Hart District schools. Valencia High School was recognized for being selected as the Showcase Choir at the American choral directors National Convention, and their Jazz Ensemble was chosen to represent high school vocal Jazz after a rigorous selection process. Dr. Hernandez was also congratulated for paving the way to success and helping remove barriers. Dr. Moore shared information about the Black History Month art show and presented a One Heart award to Valerie Bradford for her work in the community. Furthermore, the board informed students and parents about the upcoming event, “Adulting 101,” which is a financial workshop designed to help students learn how to balance their budget, pay bills, and manage finances.

00:25:00 others shared about upcoming events and recognitions within the district. In this section of the video, a member of the board highlights the upcoming “Get Real Adulting 101” event, which is a free workshop that teaches real-life skills to students. Additionally, the speaker recognizes Women’s History Month and highlights Patsy Matsu Mink, an advocate for Title IX and the first woman of color in Congress. Other board members also report on their attendance at events such as the Black History Month art show and athletic successes within the district. Finally, the student board member delivers a report, expressing gratitude for the district’s positive changes and improvements, and announces upcoming events such as the “College and Career Fair.”

00:30:00 In this section, various district events and achievements were discussed, such as the Black History Art Museum, Academic Decathlon, and a rock concert hosted by Valencia High School. Additionally, the issue of Fentanyl was addressed, with a video played at the board meeting to raise awareness about the drug and how to use Narcan to potentially save someone’s life. The district aims to keep this issue at the forefront of conversations and continue to promote safety for students and families.

00:35:00 In this section, members of the board discussed Narcan, a medication used to reverse opioid overdoses, and how to make it more accessible to those who may not be able to afford it. They also heard from John Minkus, president of the Hart District Teachers Association, who highlighted the need for logic and empathy in education and discussed the importance of assessment and training to maintain the quality of teaching in the district. Additionally, Minkus recognized the efforts of the district’s management team to improve the relationship with the teachers’ association and spoke about the responsibility to maintain the family-like atmosphere and commitment to the community in the ever-growing Santa Clarita Valley.

00:40:00 In this section, two speakers address the William S. Hart Union School District Board. The first speaker, representing the HDTA, advocates for a fair and balanced approach to teacher evaluation while emphasizing the importance of providing teachers with the necessary assessment and support that they require. The second speaker represents CSEA Chapter 349 and expresses gratitude to the board for approving their salary increase while highlighting upcoming events intended to build unity and foster communication between CSEA and HDTA members. The School site report, presented by the principal of Castaic High School, is on the agenda, but two speakers address the board before the presentation can begin.

00:45:00 In this section of the meeting, speakers discuss the success and growth of Castaic High School, including the strong relationships between staff and students and the student-centered environment. The class of 2023 shares exciting news about college acceptances and certificate programs, and the school’s staff is recognized for their hard work in creating a safe space for students to fail and try again. Betsy Schubert thanks the board for bringing the current principal to Castaic High School and praises him for his positive impact on the campus. The report from Castaic High School is a 20-second video showcasing their Pathways program.

00:50:00 In this section, the speaker expresses gratitude for the opportunities and access provided by Castaic High School and gives an overview of the school’s population and programs. Castaic High School has been successful in providing access to programs and courses that can be life-changing for students, including UC and Cal State transferable college credits, a rigorous course of study, and a variety of Pathways. The school also has supports in place, such as wind time for extra help and after school intervention for math and English. Additionally, the school underwent a huge Equity audit in the fall, looking at enrollment in all programs and using surveys and data to make improvements. Currently, about 30% of the school’s students are enrolled in AP courses.

00:55:00 In this section, the speakers discuss the various programs and opportunities available to students at Castaic High School, including the icann program which allows students to take college-level courses and potentially earn college credits. The ASB president of the school praises the supportive and inclusive environment, the diverse student-led clubs, and the success of academic and extracurricular activities such as debate, band, theater, and more. The board members express their admiration for the principal and the school’s success.

01:00:00 In this section of the video, various individuals in the meeting commend Mr. Ferry for his leadership and success at Castaic High School, with specific praise for the campus culture and programs such as the I-CAN Academy partnership with COC. Mr. Ferry mentions adding an early and late bus for students, and there is a discussion about the location of current bus pickup spots on the east side. One board member asks about the assessment retake philosophy and how it may motivate students, and a student gives an example of retaking a math assessment for a higher grade. Overall, the meeting highlights the positive developments and initiatives at Castaic High School under Mr. Ferry’s leadership.

01:05:00 finally have a trans student. In this section, a speaker addresses the board about detransition or awareness day and shares personal experiences of being affirmed as a trans student without being questioned. The speaker highlights the harm caused by gender surgeries and synthetic cross-sex hormones and urges for more options and questioning for those who may be uncomfortable in their bodies. The board reminds speakers to limit their comments to two minutes and encourages those who wish to speak on an agenda item to wait until it is discussed.

01:10:00 In this section of the transcript from the William S. Hart Union School District Special Meeting, two parents speak out. The first parent discusses the issue of transgender transitions amongst minors, highlighting two lawsuits in California regarding minors being given hormones and surgeries without parental consent. The second parent addresses the lack of empathy shown by some board members after her son suffered injuries on the school basketball court. She expresses her disappointment in the board members who neglected to respond to her emails and emphasizes the importance of a new national Bill of Rights for all parents regardless of gender, race, or economic status.

01:15:00 In this section, Glenda expresses her opinion about the teacher unions, calling them corrupt and accusing them of telling members who to vote for in elections. She then talks about the grassroots efforts of the Saugus High School band and color guard, stating that they went out on their own to beg for donations for the group. Rebecca Hindman speaks next, addressing the issue of harmful language and rhetoric towards LGBTQ+ individuals and minorities, stating that it reduces students’ value of self and increases suicidal ideations. She asks the district to reflect on the fact that differences make us greater, and to not bring learned hate from home to school. Finally, Diane Zimmerman talks about the decline of education quality since the formation of government teachers unions and the damage California’s social welfare programs have done to families, particularly African-Americans.

01:20:00 In this section, a woman speaks and expresses her concerns about how unions and government-run programs have been making individuals more dependent on them, causing poverty. She argues that the majority of people used to get along with one another, independent of race, color or creed, but the introduction of racist organizations such as Antifa and Black Lives Matter has caused issues for individuals. She encourages teachers to read the book, “Standing up to Goliath” by Rebecca Friedrichs which delves into the history of teachers’ unions and the damage they have caused to all children in government-run schools.

01:25:00 In this section of the meeting, the William S. Hart Union School District gives an update on their strategic plan for Focus Area number three which is access and equity. The goal of this focus area is to ensure that all students have access to a rigorous course of study and activities on campus. One of the initiatives is to identify and remove barriers that limit students’ access and success. The district has been reviewing data and trends through a subgroup lens to provide more support and ensuring success for all students. The district also aims to provide ongoing support for students to ensure they are ready for opportunities after high school.

01:30:00 In this section of the meeting, the William S. Hart Union School District administrators explain the results of their recent research project. They tasked all administrators with selecting a student from traditionally lower-performing subgroups who had achieved success. The administrators then interviewed the students and their parents to determine specific factors that contributed to their success. They found that adult support, collaboration with friends, connection to school, and very specific language and terms from teachers were key, while barriers included lack of access to materials like graphing calculators. The administrators plan to incorporate these success strategies into site plans for the following year, with a focus on early intervention and support. They also plan to investigate equitable access to all co-curricular activities, including athletics, performing arts, and other programs, in order to identify barriers to participation and find ways to close any gaps.

01:35:00 In this section, the school district discusses their plans for identifying and removing barriers to ensure that every student has equal access to programs and opportunities available in the district. They aim to leverage successful programs and share best practices to provide equal access to education and extracurricular activities, including those with financial barriers such as band, uniforms, and instruments. The district plans to use targeted outreach to connect students and families with available resources for college and career readiness, while building relationships with them to advocate for individualized support. Finally, the district wants to ensure that their students leave with the academic, technical, and professional skills needed to pursue their post-secondary endeavors with a competitive advantage.

01:40:00 In this section of the transcript, the speaker discusses the importance of aligning students’ education with their future career goals and utilizing labor market indicators to increase Career Technical Education Pathways. They also highlight the district’s efforts to accurately collect and analyze data to expand their work in this area to ensure all student groups are represented. The speaker then provides an example of how the district is aligning the top Santa Clarita industry needs with student enrollment in their CTE Pathways to graduate opportunity-ready students while supporting local industry partners to sustain the local economy. The section ends with a discussion on the district’s comprehensive system of support, which focuses on providing multiple opportunities for students to pursue their goals, including intervention and credit recovery opportunities within and after school, summer school programs, and introducing students to career pathways early on.

01:45:00 In this section, the speaker discusses the supplemental online programs that have been incorporated district-wide in all schools of the William S. Hart Union School District. This includes Apex for credit recovery and IXL in math and English for students in grades 7 through 10. The Schools take turns using the limited number of Apex licenses for sections of courses they need to repeat, and the students earn credit back towards graduation. Using IXL, students across the district have practiced over 345,000 skills and earned proficient levels in over two-thirds of them. Teachers can get real-time results on each student’s performance in individual skill areas for remediation and enrichment courses. The focus is on identifying strategies to support students and encouraging asset-based learning. However, there were concerns raised over the lack of support for specialized learning, understaffed special education teachers, support for the district’s bilingual program and the need for more programs like Bowman, which is an excellent opportunity for students.

01:50:00 In this section of the video, the discussion centers on college and career readiness for students, with a focus on certifications and opportunities for internship and job applications. The importance of engaging with industries in the Santa Clarita Valley and ensuring that there are no barriers to participation in extracurricular activities such as sports or music, due to financial constraints, is emphasized. The district aims to promote best practices to ensure that every student has access to the resources they need to succeed.

01:55:00 In this section, the speakers discuss the importance of increasing access to opportunities for students, particularly regarding college and extracurricular activities. They note that many students are unaware of scholarships and financial aid available to them, and that the FAFSA form can be difficult to navigate. They also discuss the importance of interviewing students to better understand their needs and what has helped them succeed in order to replicate those conditions for other students. The goal is to ensure that every student has the opportunity to be successful, regardless of financial barriers.

02:00:00 In this section of the video, a member of the William S. Hart Union School District expresses concern over students not making a sports team due to lack of ability. While they believe that everyone should have the opportunity to compete, they also want to address the issue that some students have had access to sports training since they were young, while others have never had the chance to play. The member suggests budgeting priorities and finding ways to offer more sports opportunities in junior high schools. The district also discusses defining and addressing the socioeconomic gap in terms of student involvement in programs and how to provide intervention opportunities for students to pursue advanced coursework. The district acknowledges the difficulty of balancing equity and access with the students already in the class.

02:05:00 In this section, the speakers discuss the benefits of Career Centers and the need for increased career access and transportation for students. One area that is growing is in the health and medical technologies, with body systems and disorders classes offered on most high school’s daytime campuses. Completers are also explained as students who complete two full years of CTE courses aligned in a certain pathway, with the sequence being key as classes have to be taken in a specific order and taught by a fully credentialed CTE teacher. Despite the smaller numbers of completers, the district’s requirements to complete are in alignment with the state’s regulations.

02:10:00 In this section of the video, representatives from the William S. Hart Union School District talk about their efforts to increase the number of students completing Career Technical Education (CTE) pathways by ensuring that counselors, administrators, and families understand the importance of taking courses in a specific sequence. They have also ensured that every CTE pathway has a teacher with a CTE credential, and teachers are encouraging their students to complete the pathway and develop elevator pitches to promote the value of completing a pathway when applying to colleges. They also discuss the importance of considering unintended consequences of expanding programs, such as creating baby Bowmans and the need to support students who are not enrolled in Title One schools. The district has included supplemental funds in the Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) that can support low-income students district-wide.

02:15:00 In this section, the speaker talks about the ways in which the school district can improve education and opportunities for students. One suggestion is to expand lessons in prominent sports to prepare students for high school, with the caveat that these changes must align with state junior high PE curriculum standards. The speaker then moves on to discuss an advisory committee’s recommendations to honor law enforcement, first responders, and the military. The district plans to add honor walls to all high schools, designate first responder nights at extracurricular events, and feature campus resource officers more regularly in morning announcements to present them in a positive light. The goal is to humanize law enforcement colleagues and present them positively to students.

02:20:00 In this section of the William S. Hart Union School District Special Meeting, the district’s plans to honor first responders and expand communication efforts are discussed. The district aims to hold events celebrating first responders and possibly even offer free admission to show their appreciation. Meanwhile, the district is exploring a replacement for their current Blackboard mass communication system and considering Parent Square, which allows for more engaging and customizable communication, including the ability to translate messages in multiple languages and have two-way communication. The district hopes these efforts will improve engagement with families and enhance emergency communication.

02:25:00 In this section, the school district discusses the issue of communication and how it can be improved and unified through the use of Parent Square, a single platform that unifies family communications from district-wide alerts to individual parent-teacher messages. Parent Square offers a unique ability to verify and flag updates to contact details, allowing parents to pick their preferred way of being reached using any of their phone numbers or email addresses. The district has received very positive recommendations on the program, and all four of its feeder elementary districts currently use Parent Square. If the program is approved, the district will begin working on training and transitioning to the platform, with the goal of going live before the fall of 2023.

02:30:00 In this section of the meeting, several items were discussed and voted on by the William S. Hart Union School District Board. The Career and College Readiness Department was awarded a two million dollar grant to promote College and Career Readiness opportunities for students. Site-based decisions for Canyon High School and Golden Valley High School were also approved, with staff voting in favor of a block schedule and collaboration time for staff, respectively. Additionally, a resolution to eliminate 8.28 full-time equivalent employees in the classified service was discussed and approved, with the Board authorizing a layoff reduction in force effective July 1st, 2023.

02:35:00 In this section, the William S. Hart Union School District discusses the reason for the layoffs and the motives behind them. They explain that the layoffs were caused by funding sources expiring this year, and that open positions were evaluated before the layoffs took place. The reason for the layoffs being done now is due to legislation that created a March 15th date for classified staff, which has resulted in the district having to protect jobs. They also reveal that all of the bumping has happened and that the bus assistant hours will be tacked onto the instructional assistant’s day since the instructional assistants have fewer hours. The section ends with the district discussing two items that are related: the Award of Bid to Charter Communications, and the implementation of a secondary internet connection through the Los Angeles County Office of Education to improve redundancy and resiliency of their network.

02:40:00 In this section, the board approves bids from Charter Communications and the Los Angeles County Office of Education for fiber-based wide area network and dedicated internet services. The board also approves the consent calendar and discusses items for future consideration, including training for substitute teachers and a possible training program for teachers to be alert to their students’ needs. The board also addresses plans for a bilingual education program and learning from schools that have implemented a block schedule. The district is taking steps to ensure substitute teachers are trained and prepared for their roles in the classroom.

02:45:00 In this section of the William S. Hart Union School District special meeting, the board members discussed various topics, including potentially moving to the block system and exploring dual immersion programs. They also touched on the issue of cell phone use in schools and requested updates on a recent job fair. The board members voiced enthusiasm for continuing to examine foreign language education, and several members noted the importance of discussing the physical and mental effects of smartphones. The meeting adjourned shortly thereafter.

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