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Year Round Schedule Proposal

Looking At Year Round Scheduling

The idea of bringing year round scheduling back to Browns Valley came from Browns Valley teachers who saw benefit to the schedule for students. VUSD administration is willing to consider returning to year round scheduling, but only if a large majority of families want to see the schedule adopted.

Survey Sent Home With Every Student

An anonymous paper survey will be sent home with every student. Students or parents can return their survey to their teacher or to a drop box near the front office. If more than two-thirds of Browns Valley families do not indicate that they would like to see year round scheduling return to Browns Valley, then the proposal will not go to the VUSD Board of Trustees for consideration.

2019-2020

If the Browns Valley Elementary community responds with at least a 2/3 majority in favor of year round, the proposal would go before the VUSD School Board Trustees for consideration this calendar year. If the board did approve year round, the schedule would not take effect until the 2019-2020 school year.

Proposed Year Round Schedule

click to view enlarged PDF

Proposed schedule Browns Valley

Q & A About Year Round Scheduling

How will students be placed in schedule tracks?

A lottery system would be used. Families would have an opportunity to give ranked preference of tracks. Lottery by family would apply. If one child from a family is drawn, the entire family is in the same track. As spaces in tracks fill up, families that are not drawn go into the drawing for their second preference. This continues to third or fourth selection until all students are placed. 

Would classroom sizes change?

No.

For families that have multiple children, will they be on the same track?

Yes. This includes future children from the same family.

Is there any data/research that shows year around is better?

There are studies on both sides. Most often studies show that students experience less regression due to shorter breaks and transition faster into each school year. Three teachers present at the community meeting and who taught during year round scheduling shared that they felt students retained more information and needed less time to adjust into the school routines.

As far as lesson plans go, when students are out for 20 days, will they have to be fast tracked?

No. The same 180 instructional days apply, so pacing of instruction is no different than it is currently.

When your student is in 6th grade, do they go to school all the way to August and then turn around and start 7th grade?

No. The school year resets on the Monday following the Fourth of July week. Students may have a longer or shorter summer than their peers, but there is not overlap with the start of the traditional calendar.

What is the percentage of in-favor survey responses required to send the proposal to the VUSD Board of Trustees for consideration?

At least 2/3 of the surveys would need to be in favor in order to move the proposal forward for board presentation.

Are the survey results going to be shared publicly?

Yes

When will a decision about year round be made?

If the survey shows that less than 2/3 of the community want year round school then the proposal will not be presented to the board. If the survey shows that at least 2/3 of the community do want year round school, then we would work to have a vote by January with implementation being pushed out to the 2019-2020 school year to give families time to plan.

Why is the survey going to be paper and will students living in multiple households going to get two surveys?

Paper surveys allow for surveys to be anonymous, can ensure that votes are only registered once, and do not require electronic or internet access. Students will only receive one survey. Households may collaborate on responses for the one survey per student.

What happened to the results of the online survey?

The online survey was intended to get an understanding of the extent of parent concerns about traffic, library time etc. There was also technical difficulty with the link to the survey that limited some parents from participating. While these responses will be considered and made public, they will not be included in the official (paper) survey count.

Will community members who do not have kids at Browns Valley be able to complete a survey?

Community members were invited to both community meetings and can share perspectives at boards meetings or via email. Community members will not be given a survey in large part because we recognize that the change would most directly impact Browns Valley Elementary families.

Will there be any priority given to families who have children in secondary schools?

Probably not due to logistical challenges. However, parents will be able to choose preferences for tracks.

Holidays… what happens if we take vacation during our track on time?

Just like the is process now, families would be encouraged to utilize our short term independent study procedures in order to ensure their child doesn’t fall behind.

If it is going to be a lottery, how are we going to balance the tracks with students' IEPs, 504s, etc.?

This would need to be decided in conjunction with the district leadership if the proposal were to move forward. Some services like speech therapy would be available on all tracks.

If a family would like a different teacher, will the student have to switch tracks?  What happens to siblings?

While moving between tracks is tricky, it is not impossible. Policies and procedures would be developed to facilitate moves and address family units staying together. Currently, only one teacher will be available on each track. If a family wanted a different teacher, they would need to change tracks. Siblings would then be on different tracks or all siblings would need to change tracks.

Why did year round scheduling go away to begin with?

California school districts stopped receiving funding for year round scheduling. VUSD also saw significant drops in enrollment around 2003 due to changes in the economy. Browns Valley went to a single year round track, then returned to traditional scheduling.

Is the intention of year round scheduling to add more students to Browns Valley?

No.

Would there be an increase is cost for staffing?

There would be some cost increases.

When will work on school facilities be done? 

Deep cleaning, which happens now in the summer, would be done when a track is off and the room is empty. VUSD Maintenance and Operations staff adhere to regulations for chemicals used near children and on school campuses for cleaning and facility repairs alike.

Will we be able to know what teachers will be on what track before the lottery?

If the proposal moves forward, then staff selection would be made prior to student selection so that families would have that information.

How will teachers be assigned to tracks?

If the proposal moves forward, we would work closely with the unions to determine guidelines for teacher and staff placement. 

Will more teachers be hired for 5th & 6th grade music and what about school events and activities, a track will always be off?

These types of instructional concerns would be addressed by the district so that all students have the opportunity to participate. The site would have to work together to find creative solutions for our community events.

Were all BV staff and teachers polled about year round scheduling?

Yes. Every staff member was invited to weigh in.

How many students from other VUSD school boundaries have been allowed to go to Browns Valley this year? (Intra-district transfers granted)

Intra-district: 92 students have transferred from Browns Valley to another VUSD school.103 students have transferred to Brown Valley from other VUSD schools. When families move out of a school boundary, VUSD tries to allow students to continue at the school they are established at as well as keep siblings together at one site. Inter-district: 29 students transferred to Browns Valley from out of district. Inter-district transfers are only allowed if a classroom has room or if the transfer is grandfathered in from previous years.

If the BV community rejects year around, what is VUSD's plan to mitigate population changes?

VUSD has a plan that allows the district to flex with changes to enrollment numbers while being fiscally efficient. This plan includes several actions: saving developer fees for a new school whenever possible; the re-opening of Sierra Vista K-8 in 2016 as a school now open to every VUSD family; the opening of Ernest Kimme Charter Academy for Independent Learners, now serving approx. 200 students; the revamp of Fairmont Elementary campus and curriculum, now Fairmont Charter Elementary open to every VUSD family. (Fairmont was recognized in 2016 by the California Department of Education as a distinguished Gold Ribbon school); consideration of reinstating year-round school schedules at sites that have expressed interest. Many families were disheartened by the loss of the multi-track year round school schedule. VUSD is open to re-establishing this option for families if the desire still exists in the community. This possibility can reduce the number of students on campus at any given time; Proposition 51 may or may not allocate funding for facilities in years to come.

Why doesn’t VUSD build schools when developers start building homes?

Developer fees are paid by land developers and can only be used to mitigate population growth caused by the development itself. Developer fees are only paid when a newly constructed single-family home is built. New neighborhoods are typically built in phases, often spanning decades based upon the economy and home sales. It often takes more than 10 years to accrue enough money to build a new school. In the meantime, student numbers increase and construction costs often escalate at a faster pace than fees can be collected. In order to accommodate slow growth, school districts across California add portable buildings to existing schools to serve students immediately. Approximate fees collected per home in north Vacaville developments are $12,103. Developer fees accrued to date are approximately $15,600,000. (This includes fees collected from South Vacaville developments and North Vacaville developments.) 2017 cost estimate to construct a new school on an empty lot in North Vacaville is $38,000,000. 

How does VUSD decide when a school will be built?

Fiscal limitations are a primary factor, but several other considerations are made before new schools are built; California budget trends- VUSD was forced to close Sierra Vista Elementary in 2011 due to statewide budget cuts to educational funding. VUSD has since been able to re-open Sierra Vista as a K-8 school open to all VUSD families; forecasted cost increases- school districts across California are facing another budget crunch in coming years, as the mandated employer contributions to the state’s pension funds are slated to increase to 19.1% for STRS by 2020 and to 27.3% for PERS by 2024. VUSD administration and trustees are cautious not to over extend financial obligations in preparation for increasing costs; Vacaville Unified demographics currently show fewer students enrolled in VUSD than a decade ago; accrual of developer fees- VUSD works to save developer fees whenever possible to help with construction costs of a new school. Accrual of enough developer fees to build a new school may take at least ten more years.

Community Meeting Presentation

BV community meeting presentation
 

Year Round Proposal

Browns Valley Year round proposal

Enrollment Data from California Department of Education

Browns Valley enrollment Graph