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Our district needs to develop a five year plan to address State and Federal Funding, which is among the lowest in the state. We have spent so much money prepping for our residents to pay for a bond measure but I don't see any energy by the District in coordinating getting additional resources from the state or fed, despite our wealthy tax base. This should focus on student funding as well as facilities funding!
They should outsource HBEF (like Manhattan Beach does) to maximize contributions not only from parents, but corporate sponsors OUTSIDE Hermosa (Silicon Beach, Pro Sports Teams, Entertainment), alumni and working parents/partners and the companies for which they work. My SO gets all the email from HBEF and I am sure many parents/working fathers could be more strategically targeted.
As we are one of the lowest funded districts in the state (I believe 11th lowest OVERALL), our schools need to look at maximizing school instruction time.
How much money does the school spend on prepping students for standardized tests versus ACTUAL teaching. Would our funding ACTUALLY decrease if we opted out of this? Would our Blue Ribbons go away? What is the cost/benefit of these tests in actual dollars versus perceived dollars?
In addition, our students are inundated with homework, even in Kinder. Some studies suggest this homework is meaningless and many better performing countries are eliminating homework. Many students are enrolled in outside enrichment (sports, language, music, arts) that our district can't provide and don't have time (nor should they make time) for hours of homework!
See this article regarding schools eliminating homework http://www.msn.com/en-us/lifestyle/parenting/this-school-is-giving-no-homework-for-an-entire-year/ar-BBvHcbi?ocid=se
When looking at dates for school calendars, please be cognizant of the day of the week that the school year begins and ends. To have the school year end on a Monday causes working parents to make the decision to either pay for a week long camp and not have their child attend the camp on the Monday or have their child be absent from their Hermosa school which is a loss of revenue for our district. Not a great financial decision for our district.
Offer all 7th & 8th graders 2 full years of a foreign language. For the last 6/7 years only a handful of 8th grade students are enrolled in a full year of Spanish. That means, less than half of the graduating class has had any experience with a foreign language. Is this preparing them for high school? I think not! We need to make this our priority and fix it once & for all.
Consider adding Walking School Bus routes that are school and district staffed to ease parking and traffic congestion. It was great when school staff began working Valet at View, and I think it would be great to have a district-funded WSB network of routes. We need this today for View, and with the upcoming bond measure and some of the initially-proposed routes for traffic around North School, committing to this now would assuage the fears of North School neighbors that the already tight streets are going to turn into a parking lot. It also adheres to our wellness policy of encouraging physical activity, and is in line with Hermosa's commitment to reduce our carbon footprint. Maybe the city will even provide some funding!
Would love more healthier, hot lunches for different vendors.
Partner with a local club soccer organization and turf the Hermosa Valley field.
Build a community/schools pool and create a local aquatics program. Partner with the city, local community sports groups, and the schools.