Parent Questions & Answers: Grades 7-12

Williams Unified School District

Parent Questions and Answers:  Grades 7-12

Following are the answers to questions asked by parents: 

Question 1:  What are the School Resource Officer’s responsibilities?

Answer:  The School Resource Officer provides services at the school for students and staff in the areas of attendance and discipline.

Question 2:  Why can't the School Resource Officer complete random searches?

Answer:  There has to be probable cause for a search to be conducted.

Question 3:  Why aren't searches conducted at the Jr. and Sr. High Schools?

Answer:  Schools haven't completed searches in the past, but we are researching the use of dogs to conduct routine searches.

Question 4:  Can we get a print out of ASB (Associated Student Body) funds?

Answer:  A printout of ASB funds can be printed at any school office, with separate amounts for classes and clubs.

Question 5:  Why are we receiving absence calls when our students at sporting events?

Answer:  All sports rosters will be emailed to the attendance clerk.  Absences will be cleared and parents will not receive a call.

Question 6:  What training is provided for the office staff?

Answer:  Office staff is trained when they are first hired.  Ongoing training is provided in the office on new programs.  An example is the new mobile app.

Question 7:  What knowledge does office staff have?

Answer:  The Superintendent is checking with office staff to find out what additional training is needed.

Question 8:  What is the cost for the Aventa program?

Answer:  The Principal is checking with finance staff to verify amounts. The Aventa program costs $28,000 per year for licenses which provides unlimited licenses and unlimited courses.

Question 9:  What is the instructional model?

Answer:  The instructional model we use is a variation of Explicit Direct Instruction.  This is a topic that warrants a full meeting just to discuss.

Question 10:  How are grades assessed? Missing assignments? Weighting of Assessments?

Answer:  Grades are analyzed every two weeks for plus period.  Report cards are mailed out every 4 and a half weeks.  ABI is available every day.

Question 11:  Is Academic recovery the best use of funds?
Answer: 

Question 12:  What languages are phone & written communication provided in?

Answer:  English and Spanish

Question 13:  What accountability is in place for teachers? (ABI)
Answer:

Questions/Answers from March 11, 2015 Parent Workshop

Question 1: How does the school review 504 Plans?

Answer: A 504 plan is a plan that gives General Education students the opportunity receives identified services for behavior or academics. Teachers review the plans each year, in conjunction with the parents update them on the timeline indicated in the plan.  

Question 2: How are we hiring or searching for teachers?

Answer: The District uses EDJOIN a national search database to post our vacancies. In the last couple of years, Administration has also attended Job Fairs to encourage new teachers to apply in the District.

Question 3: Are parents notified when children are in detention?

Answer:   Teachers have a discipline procedure in each class.  On a first event teachers notifies students and assigns classroom consequence.  Second event results in a parent phone call.  Third event results in an office referral.   

Question 4: How often is ABI updated?

Answer:   ABI is updated at minimum every two weeks.  The expectation of the principal is weekly.  The majority of teachers update ABI every other day.

Question 5: How are we providing in class support to students?

Answer:   Students can make appointments with teachers after school, before school, and during lunch.  There is also a plus period, 30 minutes of study hall with a teacher that a student can get additional help from their teacher.  There is also additional help on Saturdays for students who elect to go.  

If you have additional questions, plus write them down and drop them off in the office or bring them to the next parent meeting.

Questions from 3/11/2015 

Communication must be improved between the superintendent, principals, and parents. 

Question:  How are ABI grades accessed for these students?
Answer:

Question: What programs are in place to challenge high achieving students?

Answer:   There are AP courses, college courses, and advanced electives available for students looking to challenge themselves academically.

Question: What kind of positive disciplines.  What are the steps to the procedure?

Answer:   Teachers have a discipline procedure in each class.  On a first event teachers notifies students and assigns classroom consequence.  Second event results in a parent phone call.  Third event results in an office referral.  Once the office receives a referral, progressive discipline is also used.  Students receive consequences that get more severe starting at detention, Saturday school, suspension, or, if warranted, expulsion.

Question: How does a parent address a specific concern with a teacher in class?

Answer:   If a parent has a specific concern about a teacher, that parent should speak to that teacher directly.  If the situation or concern is not resolved, then the parent should speak with an administrator.  At that time a conference between the administrator, parent, and teacher may be held.

Question: Is the school doing something to improve the ELD program?

Answer:   We are always looking to improve the design of our ELD program.  Next year we will be creating an ELD schedule that allows fluid movement for students so they can accelerate in the classes where they are excelling in. 

Question: What is being done about public displays of affection on campus?

Answer:   The discipline procedures for public displays of affection are listed in students’ agendas.  When they are seen they are addressed and consequences may be given.  Parents are notified and students are counseled on why it is not allowed.   

Question: If a student is absent, how is work graded and is it accepted?

Answer:   If a student is absent for an excused reason, then that student has the same number of days to turn in the assignment as they were absent.  If a student is absent for one day then they have one day to turn it in. 

Question: Why is campus for 7-12 grades students not closed to keep students from getting into trouble?  (ex. smoking, using/getting drugs…)

Answer:   Currently, the board policy for our school is an open campus.  If parents want to look into having our campus be closed then that discussion must be brought up to the school board. 

Question: Why not give a second chance for work to be handed in or graded even if it is late or allow the assignment to be redone if lost.

Answer:   Many teachers offer additional opportunities for students to turn in work.  We are trying hard to teach students the importance of meeting deadlines and handing work in on time. 

Question: If the school knows where students are getting drugs (specific house), why has nothing been done?

Answer: As a school we work closely with the school resource officer.  When there is illegal activity in the community, it is outside the jurisdiction of the school. 

Question: Why do we not have uniforms?  What is the dress code and how is it enforced?

Answer:   Currently the board policy is that we have not uniforms.  The dress code is printed in the front of each students’ agenda.  If a student is in violation of dress code we have the student change, remove the clothing that is breaking code, or go home to change.  Sometimes we call to have the parent come to the school  to not lose class time for the students. 

Question: What can be done about transporting students home?

Answer:   In the development of the budget for next year, when the LCAP is discussed, there can be funds directed towards the transportation of students home. 

Question: How can we get teachers to update ABI on regular basis or at least a few times per week?

Answer:   ABI is updated at minimum every two weeks.  The expectation of the principal is weekly.  The majority of teachers update ABI every other day.

Question: What can be done about teachers misplacing assignments that are turned in?  Kids’ grades are being affected because they have to redo an assignment.

Answer:   Please speak with the teacher directly regarding any concern for missing or lost assignments.  If students are concerned about assignments being lost, use the cameras on cell phones to take a picture of the assignment before turning in to verify that it was completed. 

Question: Block Schedule-Can we change of do something for kids that get bored because they are done or work faster.  Excelling kids are now getting in trouble because they are bored and talking but have nothing to do.

Answer:   We are continually working on improving instruction to be more engaging.  For students who are wanting more challenge there are AP courses, college courses, and advanced electives available for students looking to challenge themselves academically.

Question: Can we get rid of common core?  It’s making something so easy complicated for children to learn.  Also harder for parents to help their children when we were taught differently and don’t know how common core works.

Answer:   Common core curriculum is mandated by the state.  All districts are required to align with common core.

Question: How do we motivate teachers to put in maximum effort?

Answer:   I am very proud of my teachers and how hard they work.  We continue to collaborate on how to improve the educational experience for our students. 

Questions: Can we please have questions and their answers in the same meeting?

Answer: 

Question: How many 8th graders are graduation?

Answer:   8th graders are working towards promotion this year.  Currently there are 18, 8th graders who are not on track for promotion right now.  Those students are in Academic recovery on Saturdays to finish their promotion requirements. 

Questions: What is going on with graduation this year?

Answer:   Graduation will be May 29th at 7:00pm on the football field. 

Question:Can students still take classes this summer at the college here in Williams?

Answer:  Students who promote 8th grade may take courses at Woodland Community College on the Williams facility.  We also are offering courses during the school year, during the school day, and after school for students who wish to take college courses.

Question: What will you do to improve the security of our kids’ possessions?

Answer:   We use video cameras and work closely with the school resource officer to make sure students’ possessions are safe.  We encourage students not to bring expensive personal items to school to prevent loss or damage. 

Question: When will ABI be current?

Answer:   ABI is updated at minimum every two weeks.  The expectation of the principal is weekly.  The majority of teachers update ABI every other day.

Question: Why are our scores so low in the state?
Answer: