Submitted by John Arbeeny.
Two prominent and important actions were taken at the Clover Park School Board meeting this past Valentine’s Day.
The issue of District discipline (Policy 3241 “Student Discipline”) had been brought up in a previous Board meeting (10 January 2022) by Director David Anderson based upon some shocking numbers received in a District FOIA request: 36118 disciplinary events 2017-2021, concentrated (85%) in just 5 out of 27 District schools.
Initially these statistics were somewhat dismissed by Superintendent Banner and Director Jacobs. However it was agreed that staff report on discipline at the working session on 24 January 2022. That briefing indicated that there were disciplinary problems generally but lacked specificity relating to individual schools.
At the 14 February 2022 Board meeting Director Wagemann moved “…that this matter of Student Discipline be placed on our retreat agenda for more in-depth discussion following on the update we received at our January workshop.” The motion was seconded by Director Anderson. Discussion ensued with the following points in support of the motion.
Data presented in the District’s briefing had not been disaggregated by school which covered up the concentration of disciplinary issues (85%) in just 5 schools. Policy suggests that “Accurate and complete reporting of all disciplinary actions . . . is essential for effective review of this policy; therefore, the district will ensure such reporting.” Yet, there have been no such reports observed in the several past years worth of Board meetings. There is also the requirements that “With regards discipline, each school will create an action plan, evaluate previous plans, and revise accordingly – all of which are shared with the community.”
Director Anderson asked to see those plans.
Director Jacobs countered that the previous staff briefing on discipline was all the Board needed to know about the alleged problem.
Director Jacobs commented further that discipline and all the related statistics and reporting were “below the line” which is to say only within the purview of the Superintendent and not the Board’s responsibility.
Director Anderson responded that since discipline has a critical impact on the learning environment and academic competence (actual learning) it must be within the Board’s sphere of interest.
The motion to place discipline on the retreat agenda passed: 3 yes (Wagemann, Anderson, Veliz); 1 abstention (Jacobs); 1 no (Pearson).
Another issue addressed concerned Policy 1822: Training and Development for Board Members” – specifically, “Cultural Competency, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (CCDEI).
Director Anderson made a motion “……that Policy 1822 be removed from the 1st reading (Jan. 10, 2022) and 2nd reading (Feb. 14, 2022) process and placed in a regular meeting for further discussion.” This motion was further amended to make the discussion part of the upcoming Board Retreat on 28 February and 7 March 2022. The motion and amendment were seconded by Director Wagemann and discussion ensued with the following statement by Director Anderson.
“Per the minutes of the January 10, 2022, meeting of the school board: ’Director
Anderson asked if the school board can have a voice at the table for the development of the curriculum for cultural competency, equity, diversity and inclusion training. It was agreed that Director Anderson will reach out to the WSSDA DA3 representative, who is from University Place School District. Director Wagemann agreed to provide the contact information to him.’
“On January 19, 2022 – Unable to contact the WSSDA DA3 representative, Director David Anderson was able to contact Tim Garchow, Executive Director for WSSDA, in an email in which Director Anderson copied CPSD Board President and the Superintendent.
“On Jan. 27, 2022 Garchow invited Director Anderson to the final CCDEI standards
community feedback session. Unaware that there had been a first feedback session and that now this was the last, which was held on Feb. 2 and which Director Anderson attended via Zoom, Director Anderson learned the following that explain why he believes passage of Policy 1822 Cultural Competency is premature.
“As with all curriculums, the school board should have a chance to review the
curriculum for which board directors, and district employees, are to be trained. But
that curriculum is still being developed.
“We should also have an opportunity to peruse the 2nd and final draft of what is
being called the CCDEI Training Rubric. But community input for that was only recently conducted Feb. 2. As of this meeting tonight, I do not believe we know the specifics of the criteria an instructor will use to evaluate the project.
“The Public Education Standards Board subcommittee is not scheduled to finalize what the standards shall be until sometime, TBD, in March.
“In summary, we are being asked as a CPSD board to approve at our meeting tonight a policy that directs our board to be trained in Cultural Competency, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion:
- and yet the criteria have not been finalized;
- nor has the curriculum been completed;
- nor has this board had opportunity to peruse the list of available training programs that WSSDA “must develop” for school employees – let alone the school board – per the language of SB 5044.
“And finally, as added incentive to not pass tonight Policy 1822, Garchow said that
he would make himself available in a Zoom meeting with our school board, if
contacted by our school board president or superintendent, should we forestall this
vote on Policy 1822, and explain to all of us where WSSDA is on all of this, there
being – as hopefully raised and made clear here – many questions that remain.”
Opposition stated that the Policy 1822 had to be passed at the 14 February since it was the second reading (although no Board discussion of the issue had occurred since the first reading on 10 January 2022). Director Jacobs stated such training was required by law regardless of the current status of WSSDA curriculum development.
It was further claimed that the District could always request revisions of WSSDA policy and curriculum in the future if and when they were found wanting. Apparently, the fine distinction between the law and the implementation of the law was lost on the opponents to this motion.
The motion as amended to place Policy 1822 on the Board’s retreat agenda passed: 3 yes (Wagemann, Anderson, Velez); 2 no (Pearson, Jacobs).
The public is invited to attend the two Board retreats to be held on 28 February and 7 March 2022, 5:30PM – 9:30PM at the CPSD Student Services Center to hear the debate on these two issues and other Board matters. Public comment will not be allowed.