Minutes from September 9, 2014 Gary Thomas, San Bernardino Superintendent of Schools

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Open Board of Directors Meeting

San Bernardino Community College District

114 S. Del Rosa Drive

San Bernardino, CA   92408


Present: Don Averill, Deborah Barmack, Carole Beswick, Tom Brickley, Ken Coate, June Collinson, Bill Easley, Allison Ellingson, Ron Griffin, Dick Hart, Mark Kaenel, Lowell King, Sue McKee, John Mirau, Bev Powell, John Prentice, Kristine Scott, Paul Shimoff, Phil Waller and Ray Wolfe.    

Guests: Schaffer Sunderland 

Announcements1) A Southern California Energy Summit will be held on Thursday, October 9 and Friday October 10, 2014 at the Palm Springs Convention Center.   For more information go to the Inland Action web site calendar or http://www.socalenergysummit.org/index.html.  2) In the past month letters of appreciation were sent to Inland Empire Legislators.  Letters of support were sent regarding Work Force Innovation and Bay Delta Conservation Plan EIR.  3) The meeting on September 23 will be held at the new San Bernardino Court facility on 2nd St.  We will be given a tour of the facility (7:00am-7:30am) and Assoc. Justice Miller will speak with the group (7:30am-8:30am).  More information and parking instruction will be sent to the membership. 4) Inland Action has been asked to participate, and will be represented by Mark Kaenel, on the UCR Center for Sustainable Suburban Development. 

M/S/P:  Minutes from July 22, 2014.   

Sue McKee introduced Dr. Gary Thomas, San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools. 

Gary Thomas, Ed.D has served as San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools since 2008.  The district is currently in the midst of major change and transition in Local Control Funding Formula, Local Control Accountability Plans, Common Core State Standards, County Schools Strategic Plan, Countywide Vision, Cradle to Career Roadmap and State and Federal Priorities. 

There is a huge shift in school funding that now gives more local control to districts.  The new system is called Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF).  It directs more resources to California’s highest needs students: English language learners, low socio-economic and foster youth.  It leaves significant spending decisions to local discretion, and calls for parents and local communities to have a voice in how funds are used.  The Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) requires districts to develop local Control and Accountability Plans that establish annual goals for all students, describe what will be done to achieve these goals, and detail how funds will be spent to increase/improve services for English learners, low-income and foster youth students.    

Common Core Standards (adopted by 45 states and the District of Columbia) represent large-scale changes to the instructional core.  These international standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, preparing students for colleges and careers.  Multiple-choice questions are replaced with online assessments where students must demonstrate critical thinking and depth of knowledge.  Our teachers have been good at instructing in the academics but now they must adapt and also teach application, not unlike the ROP instruction.    

The County Schools Mission is to “transform lives through education”.  Their Strategic initiatives include leadership, educational priorities, connecting to parents and communities, increased technology and communications. 

The Superintendent supports the Countywide vision which states that “We envision a sustainable system of high quality education, community health, public safety, housing, retail, recreation, arts and culture, and infrastructure, in which development and complements our natural resources and environment.  We envision a model community which is governed in an open and ethical manner, where great ideas are replicated and brought to scale, and all sectors work collaboratively to reach shared goals.”    

The restructuring of their Regional goals includes partnering with all sectors of the community to support the success of every child from cradle to career.  This roadmap would establish San Bernardino County as a model in the state where local government, regulatory agencies and communities are truly business friendly.  Four regional advisories (West End, East Valley, Desert/Mountain and Morongo Valley) will work on ways we can work together as a region and anticipate business needs of the future.  So far 17 of the 33 districts have adopted the Cradle to Career Roadmap. 

Advocacy priorities are as follows:

  • Funding Adequacy-per student funding in CA is ranked 49th in the country-substantially lower than the national average.
  • School Facilities-schools are deteriorating and funds must be dedicated to repair & upgrading
  • Accountability-it is critical to keep local control
  • Charter Schools-assist Charter schools with business plans and creating realistic budgets
  • Special Education Funding-push for the promised 40% federal funding (currently receiving 17%)
  • ESEA Reauthorization-Continue the States “one test” system
  • E-Rate-continue this program that provides discounted rates for telecommunications and Internet access for continued progress into a digital world.


    A Q & A period followed.

    The meeting adjourned at 8:30 a.m.