At the Goleta Union School District Board Meeting on September 22nd, the Board of Trustees voted unanimously to adopt Resolution 2021-21, making June 19th "Juneteenth" a recognized holiday. Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. On June 19, 1865, a Union General rode into Galveston, Texas to announce that the Civil War had ended and enslaved people had been freed. Though the Emancipation Proclamation became law in January 1863, it could not be enforced in places still under Confederate control. Thus, it took over two years for approximately 250,000 Texan enslaved people to learn their freedom had been secured by the government. The day was recognized as a federal holiday on June 17, 2021, when President Joe Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act into law. Juneteenth's commemoration is on the anniversary date of the June 19, 1865, announcement of General Order No. 3 by Union Army general Gordon Granger, proclaiming freedom for enslaved people in Texas, which was the last state of the Confederacy with institutional slavery. GUSD believes in the excellence that lives within our African American community. We acknowledge the significance of Juneteenth. This newly adopted GUSD holiday provides an opportunity for us to reflect on the symbolism of freedom and equality for all.
The first days of a new school year are always exciting- the subtle change in the air from summer to fall, nervousness about a new teacher, the thrill of seeing what the year’s classroom looks like. This is the second in a three-part series exploring the process GUSD goes through to get ready for the first few weeks of school. Summer Projects If you’re someone who enjoys doing big projects for your home, you’re going to be a bit jealous when you read about what went on over the summer in GUSD. If you’re not one of those people who love big projects, you’re going to be very grateful for the GUSD Maintenance, Operations, and Transportation (MOT) staff. Actually, you’ll be grateful either way. Summer break allows MOT time to devote to some of the bigger projects that require access to classrooms and facilities that isn’t possible during the regular school year. Shawn Dahlen, director of MOT, and his staff tackled several projects this past summer. A partial list remodeling of portable buildings that house Isla Vista Youth Project on IV’s campus. new water lines to classrooms at Foothill repair of irrigation leaks at Kellogg and El Camino roof repair for the multipurpose room at Ellwood significant shifting of furniture location in preparation for student return receipt and assembly of 500 new student desks shampooing and cleaning of all rugs at school sites installation of over 400 new portable HEPA air filters and fans for better air air quality Installation of over 100 shade canopies for outdoor learning “We take on a lot during the school year-- usually 75-100 work orders each week. When summer comes around, we have time to focus on tasks that are longer time commitments,” says Mr. Dahlen. “A project like the one at IV - remodeling two portable buildings and then upgrading- replacing old with new and refreshing them-- that’s something where it’s easier for us and safer for kids if we have more time and space to work with.” For Mr. Dahlen, it all comes down to student safety. “Everything we do is ultimately about the kids in our district. Whether it’s school bus maintenance, classroom air quality, or making sure each student has a good solid desk-- my staff and I are here to support student safety.” Mr. Dahlen also has an eye toward the future. “I’m immensely proud of how well kept up our fleet of busses is, but we know they’ll need to be replaced at some point. So we’re looking at some eco-friendly options down the road. We’re also looking at moving from traditional lock and key doors to electronic locks.” Mr. Dahlen’s eyes light up when he talks about new playground equipment. “Our current playground equipment is great, but our next generation of playground equipment will be even more fun for kids. As we see more research on what promotes meaningful play for kids, we see some really great opportunities.” With an eye on the present while looking toward the future, Mr. Dahlen and his staff have their hands full each day. And they wouldn’t have it any other way.
The first days of a new school year are always exciting- the subtle change in the air from summer to fall, nervousness about a new teacher, the thrill of seeing what the year’s classroom looks like. This three-part series explores the process GUSD goes through to get ready for the first few weeks of school. Thirty-Three Strangers A Call is Put Out The process of hiring new teachers begins in the spring as some teachers retire, some move out of the area, and some move-on to other positions within the district. The Human Resources department, headed by David Simmons, assistant superintendent of human resources, begins to assess needs for the coming school year in early spring. In a typical year, 10-12 new teachers will be needed. For the 2021-2022 school year, however, the need would be much greater as class sizes were reduced in response to COVID-19. “We knew we’d need to do a lot more hiring for this fall,” says Simmons. “We were determined to address issues related to learning loss due to virtual learning, as well as social distancing. With the support of the School Board, we had permission to go beyond our usual ratio of 24 to 1. For grades K-2, we’re now at 16 to 1, and in grades 3-6, we’re at 17 to 1.” The district was well-positioned to quickly seek out more classroom teachers. With student teachers, smaller class sizes, and Virtual Academy; several strong candidates were already in place. In addition, Mr. Simmons and others in the district maintain relationships with the education departments at local universities and colleges throughout the year. “We received over 400 applications for classroom teacher positions. Our district’s reputation for excellence always brings in a lot of applications. This year was no exception.” Along with principals, Mr. Simmons and his staff review applications- looking for the right fit for each open position. “Each of our campuses and grade level teams have their own personality,” says Simmons. “We work hard to ensure that we find the best match for every position. Above all, though, it comes down to hiring really good teachers.” By early August, classroom teaching positions are filled. Strong candidates who aren’t offered a classroom teacher job are recruited to other positions, such as Consulting Employees and substitute teachers. Welcome to GUSD On August 9 of this year, 33 new GUSD teachers made their way into the Board Room at the district office. The morning opened with greetings from Superintendent Diana Galindo-Roybal who shared her excitement about the new school year. From there, the day belonged to Director of Instructional Services Kim Bruzzese, Mr. Simmons, and Shannan Cocklin, the newly elected President of UTPG, the school district’s certificated bargaining unit. It was a full day- these were not just new GUSD teachers, they were new GUSD employees. There were sessions that included items any new employee might need to know. Staff from fiscal resources, technology services, and human resources all had important information to share. But the bulk of the day focused on teaching as Ms. Bruzzese provided an overview of district curriculum and practices. Just as importantly, Ms. Bruzzese got teachers up on their feet and moving around the room. Like any good teacher, Ms. Bruzzese had her “students” talking to each other. “If it’s just me standing up there all day and talking, that’s not good teaching. As professional educators, we wouldn’t do that to our students. It just makes sense to model it for our new GUSD teachers. More importantly, we know that active learning- moving and talking- solidifies new information in the brain. We want to make sure our new teachers see that we practice what we preach.” Throughout the day, teachers had opportunities to ask questions of Ms. Bruzzese, as well Teachers on Special Assignment (TOSAs). TOSAs are veteran teachers who step out of the classroom for a year or two to provide leadership and concentrated support in key areas. This year’s TOSAs are Jill Means, Kristina Munoz, and Amy Welbourn. Seasoned teachers Deirdre Li, Paige Huyck, Shannan Cocklin, and Special Education Coordinator Ashley Johnson, joined the TOSAs when groups met in grade level bands to address grade-level specific questions and instruction. Throughout the year, Ms. Bruzzese, TOSAs, principals, and grade-level team members will come alongside new GUSD teachers to ensure they’re receiving the support they need. As the day came to a close, 33 teachers who walked into the Board Room as strangers walked out as colleagues--ready to take on a new school year and the joy that comes with guiding the students of GUSD.
Transition to a New System of Electing Board of Trustees Members August 25, 2021 Dear Goleta Union School District Community: I am writing to update you and to encourage your participation in an important process led by the Goleta Union School District Board of Trustees. In 2019, the District initiated the process of transitioning the method by which the Board of Trustees are elected. Under the current “at-large” system, all registered voters in the District’s boundaries can vote for all candidates for Board. Under the new proposed system, candidates will be elected by “trustee areas.” This means only voters within a given trustee area can vote for candidates who reside within that same area. The intent of this proposed system is to offer greater opportunities for Board representation for candidates that might not otherwise be elected under an at-large system. Since the creation of “trustee areas” requires the most updated Census data available, and since the release of the 2020 U.S. Census data was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the information needed to proceed with map creation is not available until this Fall. Transitioning to this new system will require the Board to hold public hearings on proposed trustee area boundaries (or maps) prior to asking the Santa Barbara County Committee on School District Organization to approve the change. If the Committee approves the change, “by-trustee area” voting would be held starting with the 2022 Board of Trustees election, on Tuesday, November 8, 2022 . The District will be utilizing the services of an independent, professional demographer to prepare draft trustee voting area plans for community and Board review this Fall. The demographer will work with the District’s legal counsel to ensure that all draft trustee area map options are in compliance with the California Voting Rights Act (“CVRA”) and other districting requirements. The process of establishing the trustee areas will involve using the demographic data from the 2020 Census (most recent – once released), in addition to other, accepted population and demographic information. Please note, that this process has no impact on student and school attendance boundaries. Before draft map options can be prepared and presented to the community, the law requires the District to hold two public hearings to solicit comments and feedback regarding potential trustee areas. Thereafter, the District will be hosting a series of public hearings regarding the map options, once created. The dates and times of the upcoming public hearings are shown below. You are invited to attend as many as you would like. If you cannot attend a hearing or meeting and wish to review and/or comment regarding potential trustee areas as well as on the proposed “trustee area” maps, once created, please do not hesitate to submit your comments and feedback to the email address below. Following the intial public hearings, the proposed maps will be created and posted on the District’s web site, https://www.goleta.k12.ca.us/ You may email any comments or questions to Christy Rockwood at: firstname.lastname@example.org We look forward to your participation in this important process this fall. Sincerely, Dr. Diana Galindo-Roybal Superintendent Feedback Opportunities (Prior to Creation of Map Options) Date Meeting Information Time Wednesday, September 1, 2021 Public Hearing Meeting ID: 947 8108 3944 Password: 598604 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, September 22, 2021 Public Hearing Meeting ID: 935 0051 2545 Password: 321865 6:30 p.m. Feedback Opportunities (After Creation of Map Options) Date Meeting Information Time Wednesday, November 10, 2021 Public Hearing Meeting ID: 966 9005 2509 Password: 325589 6:30 p.m. Monday, December 6, 2021 Public Hearing Meeting ID: 912 5136 0750 Password: 252588 4:00 p.m. Wednesday, December 15, 2021 Public Hearing Meeting ID: 980 8135 5944 Password: 445159 6:30 p.m. NOTE : Board vote on trustee area boundaries to follow third map Public Hearing on December 15, 2021 at 6:30 p.m. *Visit https://www.goleta.k12.ca.us/board-of-trustees/meeting-schedules-with-agendas-and-minutes/2021-meeting-schedule-with-agendas-and-minutes/ for a link to each meeting’s Zoom Webinar and Public Comment Request form. If the board meetings resume to in-person meetings, it will be stated on the website and the Zoom links will be removed.