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Board Approves Spending Of Common Core $$
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To implement the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), the Oakdale Joint Unified School District Board of Trustees approved the expenditure plan for it at the March 10 regular meeting. The district receives funds in a one-time allotment of a little over $1.05 million from the state and they may be spent in 2013-2014 and 2014-2015. The CCSS are required to be in place for the 2014-2015 year and the funds must be spent by July 1, 2015. As a condition of receiving the funds for implementation, the district is required to develop and adopt a plan explaining how the funds will be spent.

Kristi Rapinchuk, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, said that school districts were allowed to spend the Common Core dollars in three different ways: on professional development, instructional materials, or technology needed to implement CCSS. She said that 30 classroom Chromebook labs are going into the schools next year. Though instructional material purchases are allowed, those needs are being addressed through another funding source, it stated on the agenda item. The estimated cost for technology is $883,000; $17,000 for staff development; and $180,000 for curriculum coaches.

A public hearing on the matter was held at the February regular meeting of the board.

Also related to CCSS implementation, Rapinchuk gave a report on the Integrated Math Pathways available to students in seventh through twelfth grades once CCSS goes into effect. Her PowerPoint showed a chart comparing vast differences in the percentages of “Depth of Knowledge” in current math assessments versus those required by CCSS. She noted that this will be “a serious curriculum shift” to Common Core. She added that the curriculum will move away from “answer getting” and toward “critical thinking.” She also said it’s believed that the math curriculum will be foundational in making kids more comfortable with math. She spoke of the “fluency” that will be developed in math and it will go deeper in that students will be manipulating numbers in their head more quickly.

There will be a cost of about $200 per teacher for “Teacher Editions,” and about $15-$20 per year for student consumables. Rapinchuk also said that curriculum training for teachers will be a significant financial commitment by the district at first.

In announcements, architect Gary Gery informed the board that the Oakdale High School Aquatic Center received a design merit award from the Sierra Valley Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. Gery’s firm designed the center. He presented the board with a plaque and said it was inscribed with some comments about the project from the judges that said, “Festive,” “Imaginative,” and “Would love to swim there.”

The next regular meeting of the OJUSD Board of Trustees will be at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, April 14 at the Oakdale City Council Chambers, 277 N. Second Ave.