Jul 26, 2014
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School District, Community College Boards Talk Progress, Priorities

City schools Superintendent Cindy Marten said the two boards working together was a "model for what collaboration looks like."

School District, Community College Boards Talk Progress, Priorities
By Sarah Sapeda

The governing boards of the San Diego Unified School District and San Diego Community College District came together Tuesday night to discuss sharing data, implementing common core standards and possibly backing pending legislation that could impact them both.

The boards of both districts, which each serve about 130,000 students, also heard staffers outline progress made on goals set at last year's joint meeting, the second of three since 2011.

Previous topics have included syncing academic calendars so spring break is anchored around March 31 and expanding college preparation programs in which high school students earn college credit.

Community college district Vice Chancellor of Instruction Otto Lee said that since the last joint meeting, the districts had come up with a master memorandum of understanding, which addressed student and staff responsibility, and outlined standards that could be applied to other partnerships.

City schools Superintendent Cindy Marten said the two boards working together was a "model for what collaboration looks like."

District officials said the meeting at the San Diego Continuing Education's Educational Cultural Complex would provide trustees opportunities to build on prior progress and to plan toward preparing students for higher education and the workforce.

"This is a great opportunity for us to hear what the two boards want to see achieved for our community," said Chancellor Constance Carroll of the community college district, which includes three two-year colleges and seven continuing education campuses.

SDUSD Executive Director of Teaching and Learning Teresa Walter said the district was preparing to implement integrated mathematics in the coming year, which not only aligned with common core standards, but with college math courses and skills used in the workplace.

"We really want to make sure all of this reaches every classroom at every school across our district," Walter said.

San Diego Unified was also working toward sharing data on students from kindergarten through community college, while still protecting privacy, which could be used to judge how well high school students were prepared for college, community college district acting Vice Chancellor of Student Services Gail Conrad said.

Additional projects in the works included a language advancement academy at Hoover High School, adding college- level math and political science classes for Mira Mesa High School students and at Lincoln High School, focusing on science, technology, engineering, arts and math.

Members of the boards also heard a presentation on pending legislation that could impact both districts, including an Assembly bill that would provide grants to community colleges and secondary school districts developing plans to improve adult education, a state bill that would allow some community colleges to offer four-year degrees in in-demand fields and legislation that would make kindergarten mandatory.

—City News Service

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