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Capo Unified to Discuss Class Sizes, Search for a New Superintendent

The board will consider asking the state to waive any financial penalties for big class sizes as a precaution, even though it may be unnecessary for the first time in two years.

Capistrano Unified trustees are scheduled to consider asking the state for a waiver to exceed maximum allowable class sizes. Patch photo credit: Penny Arévalo.
Capistrano Unified trustees are scheduled to consider asking the state for a waiver to exceed maximum allowable class sizes. Patch photo credit: Penny Arévalo.

Asking the state to exceed the allowable maximums in class size is on the Capistrano Unified school board agenda next week.

For the last three years, the Board of Trustees has made similar requests, and needed them twice.

However, for the first time in recent history, the district may actually have enough money to decrease class sizes, outgoing Superintendent Joseph Farley has said.

The move to get permission to maintain the above-allowable class sizes “is being taken in case budget projections change and the class size waiver is needed,” says an agenda listing.

State law requires class sizes in kindergarten to average no more than 31, in first through third grades no more than 30 and in grades four through eight to average no more than 29.9 students per teacher.

Districts that do could face financial penalties, but a waiver will prevent them.

At worst, district staff envision “the maximum individual class size in kindergarten through third grade would be 35 students,” says an agenda listing. “The maximum district class average would be 33 students in kindergarten and 34 students in grades one through three.

The flexibility of being able to go above the state’s upper limits also helps the district reduce combination classes, according to the agenda listing.

In other business, the board is expected to discuss the hunt for a new superintendent. In December, Farley announced he would be retiring at the end of this school year. The board meets a half hour later than usual, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, at the Capistrano Unified headquarters, 33122 Valle Road in San Juan Capistrano.

A 5 p.m. special meeting is scheduled before the regular meeting, during which the board is scheduled to select the superintendent search firm for which Farley is already working part-time.

fact checker February 12, 2014 at 05:12 PM
For a person who feels comfortable criticizing other people on the internet anonymously you have a very thin skin when it happens to you.
Mission Viejo Mom February 12, 2014 at 05:52 PM
SVUSD received more ADA per student about $200 more then CUSD received. And has many less students in the district and yet our API is higher. I'll take 200.00 more for student for 7 API points, Shelly.
Mission Viejo Mom February 12, 2014 at 05:54 PM
Research supports early education. Again, can we afford it when we can't even afford k-12?
fact checker February 12, 2014 at 06:05 PM
Transitional Kindergarten saves money. Win win. And CUSD is receiving a big boost in ADA with the new funding formula. Good news, right?
shelly February 12, 2014 at 06:14 PM
Mission Viejo Mom, I was addressing Dawn's assertion that 3 more days of school and paying your teachers less makes a big difference in school quality. It doesn't. CUSD has a higher API than SVUSD. It would have been great to have the $4 million dollar more for our district if we had received the same ADA as SVUSD. Saddleback is good district. CUSD is a good district. We have similar demographics but in the former funding formula CUSD received less money per student.
shelly February 12, 2014 at 06:28 PM
Mission Viejo Mom, So we should just keep everything status quo? Parents who can afford preschool put their children in preschool now meanwhile children and people who cannot afford it do not. When we, the taxpayers, are given the responsibility to provide every child with a good education you are saying we should ignore the studies that state very clearly that children who attend quality preschools do better in school. So we have found something that clearly helps and we should ignore it. So children whose parents have money will only benefit from the early education that is proven to help all children do better.
shelly February 12, 2014 at 06:31 PM
Mission Viejo Mom, Preschool is funded by the state now for children who cannot afford it but you feel this is should not happen because we cannot afford it even though children who attend do better in the long run.
fact checker February 13, 2014 at 01:31 AM
No it isn't available for all. There are a few state funded programs but they serve a fraction of the children who need them and are only available at a few schools.
Mission Viejo Mom February 13, 2014 at 01:32 AM
Shelly, your rants make no sense. Read my earlier posts and let me know where I said we should eliminate the present preschool program for low income kids. Preschool is available in this district for free for those who can't afford it. Check the district website. At this time, we have some of the largest class sizes in the country, our schools are falling apart and we can't give the employees raises. Yet, we have to fund preschool for all? I wonder what your family budget is like?
fact checker February 13, 2014 at 01:57 AM
"More children may meet the eligibility requirements than can be accommodated at the district state funded programs." http://childed-capousd-ca.schoolloop.com/cms/page_view?d=x&piid=&vpid=1235869902705
fact checker February 13, 2014 at 01:59 AM
Mission Viejo Mom, the legislation for pre kindergarten for all clearly states that the program will save money, both short term and long term. We can't afford NOT to fund it.
shelly February 13, 2014 at 02:19 AM
Mission Viejo Mom, "Mission Viejo Mom February 12, 2014 at 05:54 PM Research supports early education. Again, can we afford it when we can't even afford k-12?" Sorry I just assumed you were saying we couldn't afford it. My error. Studies show that preschool/transitional kindergarten bring better outcomes and futures and I believe that is what we are all striving for. Sorry for the rant.
Mission Viejo Mom February 13, 2014 at 02:09 PM
"More children may meet the eligibility requirements than can be accommodated at the district state funded programs." http://childed-capousd-ca.schoolloop.com/cms/page_view?d=x&piid=&vpid=1235869902705 The key word there is MAY. Is there a waiting list right now?
fact checker February 13, 2014 at 02:38 PM
A pre kindergarten class available to every child at every school will save money and increase the potential success for every student. At present we do not offer this to every child...not even those who qualify for the state funded program.
Mission Viejo Mom February 13, 2014 at 03:49 PM
Hmmm. At every school? So all the schools in the district have plenty of room to accomodate pre-k? We're not just talking about classroom space. There is also the question of enough bathroom facilities for the younger kids. As a former K teacher, you should be aware of the ed code requirements. So add these items to the 800 million already on the list of facility improvements for the district.
fact checker February 13, 2014 at 04:00 PM
There are already preschools at every site, right?
Mission Viejo Mom February 13, 2014 at 04:54 PM
No, there is not. And many of them 3 year olds. In addition, since you think there are so many kids in our district that do not attend the district preschool presently, where are we going to put the large influx that will come once it is free for all?
Mission Viejo Mom February 13, 2014 at 04:58 PM
There were over 3700 kids enrolled in kindergarten last year....at least 100 kids per campus. That would mean an additional 5 classrooms for the 20-1 required for a pre k program, not to mention the bathroom requirements. I know FC, you don't care about the details.
fact checker February 15, 2014 at 01:32 AM
Why so hostile? Why would you think I don't care about the details? How many schools do not have a preschool? Those children already in district preschool classes use restrooms don't they? The same could be used for the Pre-K classes. It is amazing what was accomplished in order to implement the Class Size Reduction program in grades 1-3 a few years back. It happened in just a few months for grades 1-2 and the following year for grade 3. Classroom space was found. Schedules were arranged. Teachers were hired. All in about 3 months. Why so much resistance to doing the same for our youngest learners when we know the results will benefit all? And, again, why assume that I don't care about children or the details needed to meet their needs?
SC Parent February 15, 2014 at 08:53 AM
My son is in one of the district fee based preschool programs, we love it. There is not a preschool program where my other kids attend elementary school...and NO room for one either. There are a lot of schools with no preschools at them, for various reasons I am sure. Just for the record, the toilets and sinks are too big as they share with the rest of the school and cannot reach them without a bench. From what I was told every school cannot accommodate a preschool program, I did not ask why and question it. I am sure there are valid reasons.
fact checker February 15, 2014 at 11:17 AM
Sc Parent are the toilets and sinks at your home sized to match your preschooler? Or does he use the same ones you do, with sinks and toilets that he accesses with a step or bench?
fact checker February 15, 2014 at 11:21 AM
Schools did not have the facilities for 20-1 in grades 1-3...until legislation was passed and efforts were directed to make that happen. We don't need roadblocks put up to prevent our youngest learners from accessing quality preschool. Every child deserves to attend preschool, not just those whose parents can afford it or where "we have room or toilets for them." Those of you who are trying to block this are in the minority.
SC Parent February 15, 2014 at 11:50 AM
I am at home to assist my child in the restroom. The sinks and toilets are taller at the school than at my house. Who is trying to roadblock things? Some schools have a hard time accommodating their current enrollment, let alone add a preschool program. Take it up with the district. We sacrifice and struggle to afford preschool and don't meet the requirements for getting it for free. Not all schools per the district can accommodate a preschool program, even if it is a great idea. Also, all their current preschools aren't even filled to maximum capacity and still have space available. Why don't you take your ideas up with the preschool director instead of writing them on here? I just told you the facts about the restroom at my kids school, the truth. I will not be posting anymore on this subject and I will be enjoying this beautiful day with my kids.
fact checker February 16, 2014 at 12:11 PM
You want to know who is putting up roadblocks and then you post an entire list of them. All perfectly solvable. Universal Pre kindergarten is a good idea that will benefit every child. The state is close to providing the funds. Other states (and countries) have already done it. Wouldn't it be great if California did it too.
Dawn Urbanek February 16, 2014 at 02:27 PM
The State should not be implementing any new programs until they can adequately fund K-12 so the question of wether or not transitional k would benefit even one child is irrelevant.
fact checker February 16, 2014 at 07:52 PM
So if it benefits a child it is irrelevant? This money is in addition to increased funding for every other child.
Capo Parent March 13, 2014 at 07:15 PM
FC has never met another person who money should could not spend on teacher, uh I mean education. Had to laugh when you cite the Legislature as a source for your claim that transitional kindergarten will save money. We all should be asking, how much money will be spent on transitional kindergarten before any savings are realized? Put another way, when has the Legislature ever projected costs accurately?
Dawn Urbanek March 13, 2014 at 08:59 PM
http://edsource.org/2014/cost-grows-for-proposal-to-expand-transitional-kindergarten/58692#.UyJUIVFdUdL
Dawn Urbanek March 13, 2014 at 08:59 PM
A Quote from Darrell Steinberg - regarding the additional $1.46 billion cost of expanding transitional kindergarten: “When I think about what we spend money on in this state, what we spend on education and the amount of surplus dollars we are experiencing, whether (the program expansion) costs $990 million or $1.46 billion, there’s not a better investment we could make"
fact checker March 13, 2014 at 09:09 PM
I agree with him. And Dawn you are forgetting about the other side of the ledger...the savings that will be generated by this program. I shudder to think of how you balance your checking account. All debits and no credits will leave you with a negative balance every month.

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