by Chris Bailey
23 June 2021, Thousand Oaks, Ventura County, California
Amid the tremendous public concern over sex education in the Conejo Valley Unified School District at the 15 June 2021 public meeting, a number of other items were overshadowed. Here are some of those items.
Gifted and Talented Education District (GATE) Expansion of GATE was on the agenda, and highlighted the integration of the GATE program into high school curricula this year. Individually Differentiated Learning Plans were also highlighted. Solar car development, baking lessons, and forensic murder lab are three examples of varied learning offered to students this year.
There are shades of “equity” learning in many explanations of these plans online. Self Advocacy was also highlighted as a learning skill in this conversation, which is given the same status as reading, writing and arithmetic. For those of you who do not understand what Self Advocacy means, it’s training to “use your voice” concerning issues of Equity. All parents should use district resources that are available to learn what education looks like at your children’s campuses.
Classified School Employees of the Year The School Board took some time to acknowledge individuals who earned this nomination.
Steve Davie – Custodian, for his selfless efforts and positive attitude.
Laura Hammiter – Licensed Nurse, for her dedication during this difficult school year.
Alexandria Hanson – Child Nutrition Manager, for her leadership and calm demeanor every day preparing school meal plans.
John Hendrickson – Print Services Specialist, performed duties at an exemplary level, while helping all persons, staff or students accomplish their goals.
Angela Hughes – Child Care Leader, excelled with 3 year old students too young to use online systems. Curriculum changes were implemented with her tireless efforts.
Michelle Jinks – Human Resources Technician for her efforts fulfilling substitute teacher training and requirements throughout the school district.
Gabriella Morales – Para Educator Bi-Lingual, whose patience and compassion with students and parents are beyond comparison.
Karin Wakefield – Para Educator, a most talented and flexible staff member, with great communication skills with her students.
Kimberly Zamerano Campus Safety Assistant, viewed by all as a source of comfort and support by students and staff alike.
At the end of these nominations was a special acknowledgement to outgoing Student Trustee Craig
*My apologies for misspellings, as those nominated were not spelled for publication*
A topic that was NOT on the agenda, but received some public comments was the area of Student Dress Code. There were no public responses from the School Board to comments that expressed concerns over the new dress code even though the Dress Code has substantially changed.
The new Student Dress Code embraces gender identity and the potential for students to wear a school uniform. There is also a change regarding an “opt out” provision by individual students on a case by case basis should a Conejo Valley campuses decide to wear school uniforms. The changes to the former dress code are noted, with a legend for each type of change from the previous dress code in the upper right corner.
The document is available for your review here. https://www.boarddocs.com/ca/conejo/Board.nsf/files/BYZQ3X668107/$file/BP%205132%20-%20Dress%20and%20Grooming.pdf
For those who want to review the dress code and have yet to receive a copy of it, the District Office at 1400 E. Janss Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91362 has a printed version.
Chris Bailey is a reporter-at-large of citizensjournal.us, a business owner, military veteran and long time resident of Camarillo