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Oakdale Schools Lead In Exit Exam Passage
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Oakdale schools’ pass rates of the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE) are higher than any other unified school district in Stanislaus County and surpass the county and state average pass rates, according to a report given to the Oakdale Joint Unified School District Board of Trustees at the Sept. 10 regular meeting.

OJUSD Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum Kristi Rapinchuk said that Oakdale’s overall CAHSEE pass rates are at 87 percent for the first attempt when taken in the 10th grade. In her report, Rapinchuk also provided details on how Oakdale schools’ subgroups performed in the English Language Arts (ELA) and Math portions of the tests. Oakdale’s primary student subgroups are English Learners (EL), Hispanic, and Socioeconomically Disadvantaged. In one example, she noted that Ceres and Riverbank outscored Oakdale in the English Learner subgroup for the 10th grade attempt and added that Oakdale has made contact with those districts to find out their strategies for EL students.

Rapinchuk further reported about OJUSD’s strategies for remediation for those students who don’t pass all portions of the test on the first try. There are Saturday academies, a.m. and p.m. workshops for 11th and 12th graders, East Stanislaus High School has CAHSEE classes, and there are other remediation courses as well.

Any student who doesn’t pass either the ELA or Math portion of the CAHSEE, may retake it at least twice during their junior year. Seniors who haven’t yet passed a portion may take it up to five times. The CAHSEE ensures that students can demonstrate grade level competency in reading, writing, and math. The test has 79 multiple choice questions weighted at 80 percent and one essay question weighted at 20 percent on the ELA portion, while the math portion is 92 multiple choice questions.

In other business, Chief Business Officer Susan Dyke provided the prior year financial report – unaudited actuals to the board. She reported that revenues came in higher than the adopted budget and that expenditures came in $117,000 lower than the adopted budget.

Dyke said that the ending fund balance was $13.3 million with $4.3 million in cash. She noted that the district can sustain one-and-a-half months of payroll on the cash reserve. Payroll is $2.5 million per month. She also reported that the district has a five percent reserve of $1.99 million, approximately $799,000 in legally restricted funds, $5.4 million in designated funds, and a little over $5 million in undesignated funds. She further noted that OJUSD relied on prior year money to pay its July and August bills until the state funds finally came through.

In public comments, Oakdale Music Boosters President Dave Snyder said that there are about 200 elementary band students, 90 choir students between the junior high and high school, 50 Oakdale High School marching band students, and 60 Oakdale Junior High School marching band students. He also reported that the Music Boosters’ annual fundraiser will be Nov. 3.

In reports, the Oakdale Teachers Association and California School Employees Association presidents voiced their support for Proposition 30, which is a sales and income tax increase initiative on the Nov. 6 ballot.

The next regular meeting of the OJUSD Board of Trustees will be at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 8 at the Oakdale City Council Chambers, 277 N. Second.