Category archives for: Education Matters

District shares blame in $7 million property tax bill error

Marsha Sutton

After hearing from staff how the district was not blameless in the property tax bill error discovered last October, the San Dieguito Union High School District’s Board of Trustees voted 4-1 at the May 1 board meeting to pay $80,000 to the county of San Diego for partial reimbursement of expenses associated with correcting the mistake.

Education Matters: Teacher training in Del Mar: In search of balance

Marsha Sutton

As a final follow-up to the recent series on professional development in the Del Mar Union School District, DMUSD superintendent Holly McClurg explained why some teachers are out of their classrooms for training more than others.

All DMUSD teachers spend two to five days a year, for three years, in Cognitively Guided Instruction staff development, she said, to prepare for Common Core State Standards which are being introduced this fall.

Education Matters: Teacher training vs. time in the classroom: How Del Mar walks the tightrope

Marsha Sutton

Part Three of a three-part series:
After all the hubbub about what some say is an excessive amount of teacher training in the Del Mar Union School District, I asked to sit in on a professional development session.

DMUSD superintendent Holly McClurg enthusiastically agreed and set me up with a session for the district’s kindergarten, first- and second-grade teachers on Feb. 10.

Education Matters: Teacher training vs. time in the classroom: How Del Mar walks the tightrope

Marsha Sutton

Part 2: Last week’s column discussed the Del Mar Union School District’s balancing act as it tries to provide professional development for its teachers without negatively impacting students and impeding learning in the classroom.

Tiffany Kinney and Gina Vargus, co-presidents of the Del Mar California Teachers Association, discussed the discomfort some teachers have with the training.

Teacher training vs. time in the classroom: How Del Mar walks the tightrope

Marsha Sutton

Three years ago, under then assistant superintendent Holly McClurg, the Del Mar Union School District adopted an intense regimen of professional development, mostly focused on a training program called Cognitively Guided Instruction.

Shortly thereafter, the criticism started, as parents and teachers began to register objections.

A conversation with the Del Mar and Solana Beach superintendents

Marsha Sutton

We met to talk about the new Common Core State Standards (CCSS), and initially they began by congratulating the San Dieguito Union High School District for taking the initiative to bring together all five of SDUHSD’s feeder elementary school districts for regular discussions about how to make the drastic kinds of changes CCSS is demanding and how to integrate everything into a seamless transition for students moving from elementary to middle and high schools.

Evolutionary revelations

Marsha Sutton

The Pew Research Center’s recent survey on evolution found that 60 percent of Americans accept the principle of evolution of the human species while 33 percent don’t. [The remaining respondents were undecided.]

The shift to Common Core and what’s troubling about it

Marsha Sutton

New awareness that students are graduating high school without the skills and knowledge they need for success in college and career has prompted the creation of a national undertaking called Common Core State Standards.

Policy changed for questioning of students by school authorities

Marsha Sutton

Several weeks ago, I presented the first of two recent policy changes at the San Dieguito Union High School District, on “Discipline” – and promised a discussion the following week of the second policy change, “Questioning by Law Enforcement.” That scheduled column was pre-empted after I discovered an error on San Dieguito tax bills, which became the subject of several, more pressing columns.

How to repair broken trust over tax bill debacle

Marsha Sutton

By now everyone has probably heard that all property owners in the San Dieguito Union High School District received a tax bill for the 2013-2014 year with an error on it. The amount charged for the high school district’s bond was about 50 percent higher than allowed.

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