Supts eNews - Oct. 24, 2023


In this edition ...

  • Board meeting review: Equitable access to choice schools lottery, One-time payment
  • Pandemic’s effects on MVWSD test scores continue
  • High Fives: Teacher of the year, Walkathons

Board meeting review

Equitable access to choice schools lottery update: Staff provided an update on how data from the first year (2022-23) of the weighted lottery for applicants to Mistral and Stevenson Schools will help us refine the lottery for the upcoming school year.

choice schools graphic

Our goal is to ensure MVWSD’s choice schools serve all students and reflect the district’s demographics. A weighted lottery provides a boost to socioeconomically disadvantaged students when they are underrepresented in the choice school applicant pool, compared to the district’s population overall. For information about why there is a lottery and how it works, please see the video here.

Last year’s changes resulted in an overall increase in applications, and an increase in socioeconomically disadvantaged students (SED) enrolling at Stevenson. In last year’s lottery, all SED applicants were seated at a choice school. This year, our lottery weights will be updated based on last year’s applicant data. Additionally, a couple small changes are recommended to the Board to further refine the process and make use of targeted data in order to attain MVWSD goals. For more information, please click on the presentations here.

One time payment: MVWSD deeply values our teachers and staff members and has worked extremely hard over the past nine years to improve working conditions; specifically compensation and benefits. As an organization, and as a community, we want to continue to be a destination for parents, students and employees. Recent years have been difficult at home for many employees as inflation has increased and regular payments (like student loans) have recurred as the pandemic has subsided. To help, MVWSD’s Board of Trustees authorized a one-time, off-schedule payment of four percent (4%) based on an employee's 2023-2024 salary. We hope that this small gesture before the holidays will go a long way in helping our staff, and ultimately our students, by helping retain our high-quality teachers and staff.


Pandemic’s effects on MVWSD test scores continue

state testsState tests show some increases in scores for MVWSD students, but also areas of concern as gaps, made worse by distance learning in the pandemic, persist among students in our at-risk subgroups. MVWSD’s scores from the May administration of the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) show overall declines since students last took the test in 2019. Overall, MVWSD continues to outperform the county, but we see a drop in proficiency across the state, county, and in our district. Overall, 64% of students are on or above grade level in English Language Arts (down from 66% last year). Overall, 58% of students are on or above grade level in Math (down from 59% last year). Students with Disabilities is a subgroup that has slowly been making gains in comparison to 2019 results.

The scores are a lagging indicator of the pandemic's disruption to our youngest students’ education in 2020 and 2021. Time spent in distance learning, families worried about loss of income, and social-emotional skills of younger students who missed traditional school experience are all factors in test performance. Additionally, chronic student absenteeism (missing more than 10% of school days) is a factor in students’ learning. While our students’ absentee rate has decreased since last year and is lower than the county average, the current rate of 15.6% is higher than in past years. MVWSD is implementing strategies to help families ensure students are in school every day.

MVWSD is already hard at work focusing on the strategies to increase student success:
   * The District is implementing its MTSS (Multi-Tiered System of Support) that will further help schools use data to inform instructional decisions for the benefit of individual learners.

   * The curriculum committee is currently researching new K-5 language art curriculums rooted in the Science of Reading for implementation in elementary schools in 2024-25.

   * MVWSD has established an early literacy team to ensure that students are reading at grade level by the critical milestone of third grade. Five reading intervention teachers, a director and five instructional assistants are supporting 150 students from Castro, Mistral, Monta Loma and Theuerkauf with reading intervention.

You may view your student’s CAASPP report in the PowerSchool Parent Portal under “Score Reports” on the left hand column. To view the report to the Board of Trustees on Nov. 2, please click here for meeting details.


High Fives 

Teacher of the Year:Erika Valle MVWSD 2023 Teacher of the Year Erika Valle Guerrero was honored at the Santa Clara County Teacher Recognition Celebration on Monday, October 23. The Teacher Recognition Celebration is the oldest and largest celebration of teachers in California and the most prestigious local award given to classroom teachers. Congratulations, Erika!

Walkathons: Several MVWSD elementary schools (Landels, Stevenson, Theuerkauf and Bubb) held their Walk-a-thons recently. Students gathered pledges for completed laps and school communities and parent volunteers came together to put on fantastic events. The Walk-a-thons raised money for PTAs to fund important school programs and activities, and were full of fun, good exercise, great food, and school spirit!

walkathons pictures

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