Community Forum Notes

Community Forum – 2018 Long Range Plan – Lagunitas School District

  • The following input from our community was transcribed from the poster boards created during our community forum, April 18, 2018. Individual comments are listed below with the number of people adding check marks to indicate agreement in parentheses ( ). The categories for discussion included:  Physical Education and Athletics, Technology, Service and Civic Responsibility,Environmental and Outdoor Education, Cultural Competence and Acceptance of Differences, Practical Life Skills, Academics, Social-Emotional Aspects, Collaboration and Cooperation and The Arts: Music, Dance, Theater and Visual Arts. In addition to these topics three long standing questions were brought up during our preparation for the forum: Should we have two elementary programs? Should we maintain the school lunch program? And Should all students begin Middle School at the same grade level?  Comments on these subjects are also included below.
  • Physical Education and Athletics
    • Round 1
      1. (6) Buck life lessons
      2. (5) Great outside time
      3. (4) Team building 
      4. (4) Organized P.E. program for elementary school
      5. (3) Middle school after school sports are important in developing teamwork and leadership skills
      6. (2) Middle school outreach with Drake athletics (big fish at Lagunitas are shocked my competition when they reach Drake)
      7. (2) Curriculum unclear
      8. (2) Life skills, don’t give up on yourself or your team
      9. (1) Loss of trapeze :(
      10. (1) Every P.E. class gets regular structured P.E.
      11. (1) Children must be taught and supervised to pick teams fairly (random, no favoritism)
      12. (1) Key-importance of outdoor movement
      13. (1) Team value in sporting
      14. (1) Female strength to combat sexism
      15. (0) When golf course park develops, collaborate 
      16. (0) No competition for younger kids (preference for all grades)
      17. (0) Districtwide developmental P.E.
      18. (0) Some negative discipline practice
      19. (0) Wrestling into curriculum, Johan is wrestling coach at Drake
      20. (0) Self defense
      21. (0) First aid training
      22. (0) Have more folks come in and share their healthy ideas
      23. (0) Ace wants a van to take the most disruptive kids to the beach so the class can live in peace
      24. (0) More graduates come back and share
      25. (0) Require students to garden, grow food
      26. (0) All parents are welcome to come play
      27. (0) If they could, board members are welcome to come
    • Round 2 (no comments)
  • Technology
    • Round 1
      1. (15) Strongly in support of limiting student cell phone use on campus (no use during school!)
      2. (15) Teachings students about appropriate/healthy screen awareness, limits, behavior
      3. (14) Way too much tech + screen time
      4. (10) Device-free recess/lunch, cell phones only come out when teachers ask students to use them as a learning tool
      5. (8) Reducing/limiting screen time (iPad, Chromebook) especially among younger kids
      6. (7) Policy of Cell Phone Free during school hours, “away for the day”
      7. (6) Thinking is more important than computers
      8. (6) Students should be enabled to develop logic and critical thinking skills for using computers well, at age-appropriate levels
      9. (5) Computers are an important tool, should be accessible
      10. (4) Don’t want to teach that technology is bad, should coexist
      11. (4) Computers should not replace teaching, should not be relied upon for lessons
      12. (3) Positive applicable use, ex: iNaturalist for science projects 
      13. (2) Teach about cyber bullying, net safety
      14. (1) Learn effects on brain, have students read “Glow Kid”
      15. (1) Media literacy (fake news)
      16. (1) 3D printing
      17. (1) Tech neck awareness, kids neck are losing their natural shape
      18. (1) Tech literacy
      19. (0) Keep updated on new uses and new forms
      20. (0) Tech training for staff
      21. (0) Cutting edge tech tools/programs
      22. (0) A.I.
      23. (0) VR/AR
      24. (0) Programing skills
    • Round 2
      1. Teach about tech literacy/critical thinking (i.e. fake news)
    • Round 2
      1. How can we make justice the central idea/practice of education?
  • Service and Civic Responsibility 
    • Round 1
      1. (10) Value of multi-age opportunities within the school and community (seniors, kids, etc.)
      2. (9) Learning about social responsibility locally, nationally, globally
      3. (9) Participating in your community allows you to be a member/part of it
      4. (6) Becoming a good citizen in person + online
      5. (5) Collaborating with the community center
      6. (5) Integrate service learning into curriculum in all grades
      7. (5) Mentoring younger/older students
      8. (5) This is already an area of strength in our district 
      9. (4) Community service
      10. (2) 8th grade service project
      11. (2) Getting students in more diverse opportunities 
      12. (2) Rest Homeless Program, feed homeless
      13. (1) Volunteer at community center
      14. (0) If you force students to do community service hours, it has little to no value to them
      15. (0) What are the responsibilities of a citizen?
      16.  (0) Social, environmental, economic justice at core of curriculum 
      17. (0) Civic and world citizenry curriculum
      18. Can justice be the horse and academics the cart that is being pulled by the truth-justice-peace horse?
      19. How do we combine math/science with english/history/P.E. to create a wholistic vision and purpose
  • Environmental and Outdoor Education
    • Round 1
      1. (11) Combining time outdoors with art + science, i.e. sketching wildflowers while hiking, water safety, which bird species live where, etc.
      2. (8) More campus experiential education
      3. (8) Look into family programs such as star gazing night, bird watching, etc.
      4. (7) Native American history
      5. (7) Mindfulness activities done outside 
      6. (7) More wilderness way - cut in the past because of money issues
      7. (6) More love to the upper campus fields 
      8. (6) Exploration of other Environmental Education curriculums (ex Vilda, Medicine Wheel) 
      9. (5) Salmon lifecycle
      10. (5) “Nature Connections” focus
      11. (5) Better trail access to study creek
      12. (4) Bigger gardens so the produce can be used by the cafeteria 
      13. (4) School as stakeholder in transition of golf course
      14. (4) Kids stewarding the transition of the golf course land adjacent to the school (holes 12-15)
      15. (4) How do we respond as a community/school to the climate catastrophe
      16. (4) We are blessed with such a place, let’s visit more
      17. (4) Put more structure into outdoor education on school camping trips 
      18. (3) Update MLP teaching guide
      19. (3) Extend school creek preserve to extend all the way to Roys Redwoods
      20. (2) Marietta Larson Preserve, removes poison oak in August + January, signs that say Marietta Larson Preserve
      21. (1) Must have teaching goals and structure to meet them
      22. (1) Needs to be balanced with core academics
      23. (0) Significant teacher-student interaction
      24. (0) Skatepark
      25. (0) Work closely with County parks, Open Space, Golf Course (School-County-Golf Course Collaborative)
    • Round 2
      1. Reopen the idea of improving the fields between upper and lower campus
      2. Group supports more outdoor time tied to academics, i.e. sketching, reading, responding, observing while hiking
      3. Climbing wall
      4. Integrating opportunities for silence while hiking
  • Cultural Competence and Acceptance of Differences
    • Round 1
      1. (20) Second language instruction not on a computer, Spanish
      2. (13) Mindfulness classes to help teach acceptance of self + others 
      3. (12) Address that our community is less diverse than most, introduce kids to difference cultures/ways of thinking
      4. (10) Volunteer at community center, food bank
      5. (7) How do we make social/economic/environmental justice at core of curriculum 
      6. (5) Develop policies around equality for staff hiring, board representation, etc.
      7. (4) Opportunities to be in diverse areas/populations without it being service oriented
      8. (3) We thank you for the special needs kids, we hope this is forever
      9. (3) Increase cross-cultural enlightenment, differences and similarities 
      10. (2) School-wide inclusivity training 
      11. (2) Support diversity of learning styles, i.e. special day class, special education
      12. (2) Social justice training
      13. (2) Professional opportunities for parents/students/staff
      14. (1) Every student should have an IEP
      15. (0) Collaborate with difference school in area that are more diverse
    • Round 2
      1. none
  • Practical Life Skills
    • Round 1
      1. (14) Conflict resolution
      2. (14) Learning to work with a team, non-violent communication, leadership
      3. (14) Cooking, cleaning up, good life habits
      4. (10) Hygiene, hand-washing, enforce!
      5. (13) Middle school - robust sex ed program
      6. (13) Enjoying the process of learning, reading-writing-math, general academics
      7. (10) Mindfulness classes, ability to stay calm, conflict resolution, communication, attention, acceptance of differences, learning how our mind and thoughts work together
      8. (8) Financial management skills and responsibility 
      9. (7) Managing social media use and safety online
      10. (7) Critical thinking, how to tell real news from opinions
      11. (5) Safety and health tips
      12. (4) Use of basic construction tools, building skills 
      13. (3) Responsibility and accountability (backpack, homework, jobs, chores)
      14. (3) Parenting and child-rearing knowledge
      15. (3) Sewing, woodwork, print making
      16. (2) Taking city bus, coordinate/get schedule from middle school to fairfax 
      17. (2) Emotional literacy, self-awareness
      18. (1) Is there a more important skill than growing food?
      19. (1) wilderness/ancestral skills
      20. (1) Fire/shelter
      21. (1) Childcare (babysitting)
      22.  (1) Job training 
      23. (0) Understanding of appropriate behavior
    • Round 2
      1. All are good suggestions, how does the focus of any or all of these get incorporated? How do you prioritize the importance of meditation or hand-washing?
      2. Mindfulness, conflict resolution, and non-violent communication all got most votes
      3. Offer practical home-economics, building, trade classes
      4. Mindfulness class covers many categories, i.e. practical life skills, acceptance, social/emotional, service, conflict resolution
  • The Arts: Music, Dance, Theater, Visual
    • Round 1
      1. (7) Exposure to as many art forms as possible
      2. (7) Community art projects with both programs
      3. (6) K-8 experiences
      4. (6) Develop skills and have opportunities to spend more time in areas of interest
      5. (6) The art program should not rely only on parent-raised funds 
      6. (6) Would like more opportunities for kids to do art in middle school
      7. (5) In order to maintain interest in band, bring in gust artists and cater to all levels
      8. (4) Dance elective 
      9. (4) Love integration of art room in Open
      10. (3) Would be nice if band worked towards performance, learned a variety of songs
      11. (3) Consider smaller, more frequent theater productions that take less original creation
      12. (3) More murals, teaches math, art, teamwork among students 
      13. (2) Tech tools in support of art/music
      14. (2) Money for art
      15. (2) Integrate arts into the curriculum, broad spectrum including dance, poetry, music, etc.
      16. (2) A chorus would be good
      17. (1) Recording equipment, A/V equipment 
      18. (1) Extra curricular theater collaborate with school theater
      19. (1) My kid never brings home any art, need better art projects by art teachers
      20. (1) Dance for elementary
      21. (1) Middle school theater program with elementary school as supporting cast
      22. (1) Create a dedicated performance space at school
      23. (0) In theater, expose kids to all types of roles (if easier, more frequent smaller productions)
      24. (0) Arts as an opportunity for older/younger mentoring
      25. (0) Where is the kiln for Montessori, need more medium variety 
      26. (0) Band should focus on developing competence in students, work on performance 
      27. (0) Art field trips
    • Round 2
      1. none
  • Academics
    • Round 1
      1. (14) Can we please include a language, Spanish
      2. (11) Project-based
      3. (9) Hire and retain talented teachers through competitive salaries 
      4. (7) Family choice for standardized testing
      5. (6) Challenge all students at their academic level, high expectations
      6. (6) More access to library
      7. (6) More science 
      8. (5) More emphasis on STEM
      9. (5) Academic rigor and joy for learning are not mutually exclusive, Lagunitas needs more rigor
      10. (4) More than 20 minutes per week of language in middle school and heavier dose in elementary 
      11. (4) Aim high with academic standards
      12. (4) Teacher accountability
      13. (4) Low/no evidence in literature that homework is best for learning
      14. (3) Rich, complete in depth interdisciplinary portfolio
      15. (3) All kids enter Drake at Algebra 1 (higher math class)
      16. (3) Collaboration with all programs 
      17. (3) Better discipline equals more learning
      18. (3) Library for middle schoolers
      19. (3) Attention to preparation for middle school then high school
      20. (3) “Fab lab” maker space (cross program)
      21. (3) student accountability
      22. (3) Clear school wide standards for academic achievement by grade level
      23. (3) Drake High School teachers/Lagunitas teachers collaboration project
      24. (2) More space and support for students in the Open that want to have sustained emphasis/focus on academics
      25. (1) Provide students with academic skills that transfer into their lives 
      26. (1) Evidence that shows academic growth over time and allows for differences in students and individuals
      27. (1) Homework is a good thing that helps kids learn and grow
      28. (1) More literacy in younger grades
      29. (0) High Standards don’t equal homework
      30. (0) More early intervention, identification of learning disabilities if possible
      31. (0) Integrate tech tools into curriculum 
      32. (0) Teach kids coding
      33. (0) All Lagunitas students ready to enter high school geometry 
    • Round 2
      1. Does the community value academics at a high level?
      2. What does the data show about our students achievements? Readiness for high school?
      3. How can we get parents to participate more in their kids learning/achievement?
      4. Build a stronger academic foundation in elementary school
      5. Individualized learning plans
      6. Good/better use of academic minutes
      7. Use Montessori aides more efficiently?
      8. Invite kids to conferences? Have mandatory mid-year conferences?
      9. How are we measuring progress and discussing it with parents?
      10. How do we get all teachers on board with reading assessments?
      11. Are kids getting early intervention/special education?
      12. More early/explicit teaching in all areas
      13. Small group instruction
      14. Goal to have kids reading by end of 1st grade
      15. Reporting out of elementary schools to aid middle school teachers (paper trail)
      16. What do we want kids to know at end of each grade (matriculation meetings?)
      17. Importance of academics to school board filters down to community
      18. Have kindergarteners stay until 1:15pm
  • Social-Emotional
    • Round 1
      1. (11) Create common language around conflict resolution (curriculum) 
      2. (9) Restorative justice
      3. (9) Empowering students that are eager to listen, learn, participate instead of being punished when a few in the group are acting out 
      4. (7) Teaching kids to self-advocate
      5. (7) School-wide inclusivity training, a common language to help students solve conflict
      6. (7) Clear policy to avoid classroom disruptions, expectations and consistent consequences
      7. (5) Role playing
      8. (5) Facilitate healthy ways to express emotions
      9. (4) E.L. program worked well in past
      10. (4) Create S.E.L. for middle school that middle schoolers love
      11. (3) E.L. not popular with middle school students 
      12. (3) Can we have boys and girls groups like the middle school used to have?
      13. (3) E.L. so valuable for kids to learn how to articulate feelings, conflict resolution skills important for future school/workplace
      14. (3) Why is it that the negative behavior can hold the attention for so long?
      15. (3) Learning to get along with everyone
      16. (2) More support for kids whose families are under stress
      17. (2) Bring in lots of guest speakers representing ethnic, economic, lifestyle diversity 
      18. (2) Some middle school classes seem to be detailed by a few - help students learn how to turn this around to get their educational needs met
      19. (2) Cause/effect consequences 
      20. (1) Staff training
      21. (1) Teach empathy and understanding of different viewpoints
      22. (1) Discipline
      23. (1) How can we agree about what’s really happening in the world?
      24. (1) Mindfulness classes
      25. (0) Bring back the peace table
      26. (0) Boys don’t equal girls, challenge one size fits all learning 
      27. (0) Increase experiential learning 
    • Round 2
      1. none
  • Collaboration and Cooperation
    • Round 1
      1. (8) group project work with the class and between grades 
      2. (7) Collaboration across two elementary schools
      3. (5) Working with people you wouldn’t usually get to school, mix groups 
      4. (4) Listening and communication skills 
      5. (4) Collaboration with both programs and with nonprofits to build a strong community 
      6. (4) More communication between programs and staff would be nice
      7. (1) Joint projects with middle school, Open, and Montessori 
      8. (1) Learning that the struggle is worth it to learn new things/get new ideas
      9. (1) How can we live in greater cooperation with the Earth (i.e. consumption, sustainability, quality, etc.) 
      10. (0) Mentoring youth and older students 
      11. (0) Collaboration with Montessori and the preschool
      12. (0) Can school make something of economic value, can students/teachers/staff have an economic cooperative that meets human needs
      13. (0) Can build tolerance and appreciation of differences
      14. (0) Teach kids to work with and rely on peers they aren’t usually drawn to
      15. (0) Teach leadership and fellowship
    • Round 2
      1. none
  • Combining the Two Elementary Programs
    • Round 1
      • Pros
        1. (6) Efficiency, save money
        2. (5) Solves the parenting fundraising dilemma
        3. (5) Reduces friction in the community
        4. (4) Wouldn’t have to choose as a new parent
        5. (4) One teacher for things like music, art, etc.
        6. (3) Student interaction
        7. (3) Creation of a new learning/teaching model
        8. (3) Kids could know each other better
        9. (2) The programs are already similar
        10. (2) Be one community that accepts each other
        11. (2) Both programs are based on free choice within a clear context, parents in both programs want the same thing for their kids
        12. (0) Only good if it does not result in decreased staff or budget, no increased class size
      • Cons
        1. (2) Reduces opportunity for different learning styles 
        2. (19) Limits choice for families
        3. (17) Loses unique nature of Lagunitas
        4. (17) Less focus on individual student
        5. (14) Increases size and loses intimacy of both programs
        6. (10) All families should be able to choose the educational path their child takes
        7. (8) Don’t have choice of two different programs
        8. (0) Having more than one programs helps us to come together and accept our differences as in the real world
        9. (8) Takes away from the unique qualities of each individual programs 
        10. (1) See collaborative chart, having choice gives great opportunities for collaboration
        11. (0) How about two separate programs but on the same campus
        12. (0) Concerned that student/teacher ratio would change drastically 
        13. (0) Overtime this will create a generic under-funded district instead of the wonderful under-funded district we are
        14. (0) Don’t combine programs, but combine efforts to support all
        15. (0) Community building to connect students from both programs
        16. (0) ONE SCHOOL with both programs <3
    • Round 2
    • Maintaining the Current School Lunch Program
      • Round 1
        • Pros
          1. (8) Organic/healthy
          2. (7) Some students don’t have access to food
          3. (5) Kids like pizza on Wednesdays
          4. (5) Older kids need two slices of pizza
          5. (4) Baked potato bar
          6. (4) Grow food on golf course, in upper fields, like Martin Luther King Jr. School in Berkley, kids grow and prepare their own food
          7. (3) Expose kids to different foods
          8. (2) Way better than what we had before
          9. (1) More food from garden
          10. (1) Integrate garden and lunch program
          11. (0) Better food for kids
          12. (0) Study ways for financial sustainability
        • Cons
          1. (7) Not enough time for kids to eat
          2. (5) Needs gluten-free/dairy-free options for kids, not just with allergies (already there?)
          3. (5) More variety, needs more
          4. (3) No incorporation of school garden
          5. (2) sandwich bread is too big, kids don’t have room for fruit/salad
          6. (2) Would like to see more kids using the service, hot lunches are far more appealing than sandwiches 
          7. (3) Waste
          8. (2) Students serve/clean to save cost and promote community
          9. (1) Too expensive for district
          10. Split cost with community center?
          11. (0) Contract out-service to save money/save cost of staff?
          12. (0) More soup
          13. (0) Menu that mirrors season and bodily needs
          14. (0) Understaffed in kitchen?
          15. (0) No vegan options besides salad
      • Round 2
        • none
    • All Students Enter Middle School at 6th Grade
      • Round 1
        • Pros
          1. (6) How about both elementary schools have the choice?
          2. (5) Middle school community building would happen as both programs combine
          3. (5) Offers students an even playing ground socially and academically 
          4. (4) Continuity socially and academically
          5. (4) Middle school is great, students should feel excited to go and make new friendships 
          6. (1) No kids get left behind academically 
          7. (1) Pros are all for the school not the kids, i.e. easier financial management, not having inconvenience of kids coming in just for specific programs 
        • Cons
          1. (8) Some kids are “ready” to move to middle school and some are not, seems beneficial to leave that choice open to kids and their parents 
          2. (6) Puberty hits kids at different times and in different ways, allowing kids to choose when to enter middle school allows kids and parents to adjust based on the individual needs of each child 
          3. (6) Making it mandatory removes the power of individual choice 
          4. (4) Some students still need the support of a contained class, need the opportunity to be the oldest in the class vs being the youngest in a new environment 
          5. (4) How about K-6 grade school and 7-8 middle school?
          6. (3) Allowing kids to choose can be empowering
          7. (3) Being the oldest provides kids with the opportunity to mentor and encourage the younger kids
          8. (0) Takes away from individual support, socially, emotionally and academically 
          9. How much of it is really based on choice vs where your friends go?
          10. Choice may create anxiety? Feeds the idea that middle school is scary
          11. Some may need more time to see middle school as less scary
          12. How about 7-8 only
          13. Structured programs for 6th grade mentorship
          14. Some compromise hybrid, 6th can join middle school sometimes for certain activities or projects 
          15. Depends on child, what works for some may not work for another 
          16. What does your kid want?
          17. Happy to have choice 
          18. With groupings of three, makes a community (1,2,3 and 4,5,6)
          19. Contained classroom not as positive as departments 
          20. Middle school model serving community?
          21. Education about what middle school looks/feel like for students, teachers, parents 
          22. Kids being exposed to things like phones/social media -creating safe space to deal with this reality 
          23. Survey alumni with this experience, would they make the same choice again?
          24. Pride in meeting kids where they are, continue giving them a choice 
          25. 6th grade teachers will continue to meet the kids where they are
          26. Certain children thrive more in certain environments
          27. Nicasio contained classroom with 6,7,8 (14 kids)
          28. Drake has houses/combined classes
          29. 8th grade math- preparing for 9th grade geometry- not appropriate for all ages
          30. Algebra 1 at 9th is a more difficult class
          31. Geometry is about concepts
      • Round 2

      These themes were selected based on a series of discussions among our school community, staff, and administration, our Lange Range Plan facilitator, Sarah Fisk, and a series of telephone interviews with school parents conducted by Sarah. It is the intent of the school board and administration to have the development of our Long Range Plan be an open and transparent process with continuing input from our school community. Each subject area, and others which may arise, will be discussed at public school board meetings. The final plan will be generated from these discussions and open for public review prior to being finalized by the school board. We want to sincerely thank the community members, approximately 60, that spent their evening with us to begin this process in April.

      Compiled by Steve Rebscher, Trustee, June, 2018