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HUSD Governance Workshop: Addressing Challenges with a Focus on Equity, Hearing from Parent Advocates
Posted 1/21/20

apple on stacks of booksThe Hayward Unified School District seeks to honor, validate, and affirm our diverse community of families. We appreciate the strong parent voice that has emerged at board meetings, at our schools, and throughout the strategic plan process. Our parents provided helpful guidance at HUSD’s recent board meeting where the school board held a board governance workshop to allow the community to voice their ideas or concerns around the following three issues: 

 

  • Updates to the board’s equity policy based on the ideas that emerged from the September board equity workshop as well as the district’s three-year strategic plan, which was led by staff and community members
  • Analyzing disaggregated data from the CA Dashboard through an equity lens
  • Consideration about initiating joint meetings with the City of Hayward’s governing council to discuss topics of mutual interest

 

Parents attended the January 8th meeting to provide feedback on these three topics and other concerns regarding student success. “We parents advocate for our students because they are our future,” shared an HUSD mother. Parent participation in our decision making process is critical and it’s why we have made an effort to remove barriers for families to participate in these discussions. Interpretation services and free child care are offered at all of our school board meetings.

 

Equity Policy Update

HUSD is seeking to update its equity policy, which had not been updated since 2002, to appropriately reflect its newly updated mission and vision. We want to identify key practices and actions for the board and the district to ensure that equity drives our work as a core value. Parents have made clear that they feel more work is needed to seek accountability from staff both inside and outside of the classroom in order to see meaningful student achievement outcomes. A specific request was made for future collaboration between parents and the Hayward Education Association to discuss student/teacher concerns. The current draft of the updated policy reflects thoughtful discussions by students, families, staff, and community members. We appreciate parent interest in ensuring that the final version be made available in a variety of languages for the HUSD community. The most recent version of the equity policy can be found by clicking on the following links. Currently, the version can be found in English and Spanish.

 

HUSD has worked to redesign its websites to ensure that the content can be translated to various languages via the Google translate tool at the top of each page. The California School Board Association is taking steps to also make board policies and other official information on their website available in various languages as well.

 

HUSD/City of Hayward Joint Meetings

The Mayor of the City of Hayward has extended a formal invitation to conduct a collaborative advisory meeting after members from both agencies expressed an interest in meeting to discuss a variety of topics that affect both the city and school district, such as our organizations’ focus on equity, the impact of development (i.e. housing) on the city and the schools, and access to affordable internet services. 

 

Parents shared resounding support for the board to initiate this relationship, which will begin with one joint meeting. “I wholly endorse the idea of a union between the City of Hayward and Hayward Unified,” stated a longtime HUSD parent. “In partnering with the city, it enables us to have another lens,” she added. It is also clear that families have an interest in being present at any future joint meetings to ensure that their concerns are being heard and discussed. As details about a first meeting become available, HUSD will share that widely with our community. 

 

CA Dashboard Data Analysis

Conducting disaggregated data analysis is an important practice identified in the proposed new equity policy. With the 2019 CA Dashboard having just been released, the board received an overview of the dashboard tool at the board of education meeting and engaged in data inquiry around our district’s overall performance and for student subgroups. In December, HUSD shared this summary, which provides an overview of the results for our district. While we celebrate some great improvements around college and career readiness and graduation rates, we know we have more work to do. We appreciate parents participating in this part of the discussion to share concerns around reclassification rates for English learners and greater improvements for students who need additional resources to meet and exceed the proficiency level. 

 

Moving forward, the governance team will be looking at more actionable, short-term data. In particular, they will begin by digging deeper into suspension data where we’re starting to see a trend from multiple years of data. 

 

In our commitment to raise up our Made in Hayward students, we recognize and value the role families play in the important decisions we make. At the closeout of the board workshop a parent summarized it best by indicating, “If we commit to something, we have to follow through or else we fail.” We welcome families’ continued participation as we continue to review our challenges and make data-driven decisions with the help of families, students, and the community.