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Mission Statement

The Mission of CUSD is to provide a safe, student-centered, high quality education to ALL students. 

Vision Statement

To provide, in cooperation with our families, an excellent, well-balanced education where students gain skills necessary for success in an ever-changing world. 

News

8/21/17

 

Change, as they say, is always hard.  Over the last few years, CUSD has been shifting towards Standards Based Grading (SBG) in the elementary classrooms.  While teachers have been explaining this concept for the last few years, it seems many parents still find the new system confusing.  Let’s take a quick look at the foundational ideas and practical uses of SBG.

 

SBG is a “Best Practice” because it brings focus and clarity to grading.  Old style grading gives parents an average grade in one content area, without identifying the student’s proficiency levels in specific areas.  For example, if a student comes home with a 90% on a math test, she might have gotten 100% of the multiplication questions correct, and only 80% of the division questions right.   Increasing the number of standards assessed on a single test makes the results even more likely to hide poor performance in a single area.  In another scenario, a student could come home with an 80% grade on a test having scored 100% on questions related to four standards and getting all the questions related to a fifth standard wrong.  Under the old system, parents would naturally presume the student was doing fine overall, when in fact they are struggling greatly with one particular concept.  SBG helps parents know their child’s strengths and areas for improvement accurately.  With technology, we can now separate and track test questions based on the standard they assess, and assign a “grade” which indicates the student’s level of mastery of each standard. 

 

SBG also separates behaviors from achievement.  Students who do not turn in homework traditionally have lower grades, often based on faulty data.  In a Standards Based system, academic content knowledge is measured separately from learning habits and behaviors.  In this way, we can accurately communicate to parents whether their child needs to focus on building academic skills or changing habits.  Again, SBG is different from the old system, but more precise and useful once parents understand it.

 

Unfortunately, the idea of SBG hits a snag after 6th grade.  That snag is our traditional college entrance / acceptance procedure.  It forces secondary schools (Grades 9-12) to have a system where students earn one letter grade in each class, which the school then uses to calculate a grade point average (GPA).  Colleges will not look at separate content mastery and learning behavior grades.  Instead, they use GPA’s to judge whether students are prepared.  7th and 8th grade become the transitional years where we try to prepare students for this new way of grading.  Unfortunately, that college-driven system labels students inaccurately, and gives students and parents poor information upon which to make important decisions.  

 

Almost 50% of the college students never complete their BA/BS degrees.  They enter college with low content knowledge but high learning behavior skills, and are overwhelmed by the amount of material they must master.  Or, they enter college with high content but low skills, and fail because they are not in the habit of meeting deadlines and instructor expectations.  If we could get colleges to use SBG entrance requirements, their completion rates would, I think, increase greatly. 

 

Parents of students in grades 7-12 can help their child by keeping these concepts in mind when talking to teachers and reading progress reports / report cards.  Ask teachers to help you understand whether lower grades are the result of a learning gap, or a behavioral issue.  Also, make sure you understand the teacher’s grading system.  Some classes put significant emphasis on participation, which is a valid method of grading for certain subjects.  But, make sure your student knows that in college, and the world of work, effort counts to some degree, but achievement lets you pass your class or earn your paycheck.  Even if we cannot use SBG at all grade levels, the concepts allow everyone to see more clearly the real issues at play, and prepare students more thoroughly for the world of today and tomorrow. 

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Standards Based Grading: a better way to communicate about student learning

Interested in learning more about Standards Based Grading?  Click on the Administration tab above and then select Superintendent's Bulletin. 

CHS Parents can Help with District Funding

CUSD recently calculated that the district loses out on $70,000 each year.  The loss results from a lack of Free Lunch Applications being completed at the High School.

 

The state’s public school funding formula ties school revenue to the percentage of students eligible for free or reduced priced meals.  Each year about 75% of the students at BPS and EMS are found to be eligible for the federal program.  However, because many parents of CHS students decide not to fill out the application, the CHS eligibility averages closer to 55%.  CUSD Chief Business Official, Sheryl Parker, estimates that 20% difference will cost the district about $70,000 during the 17/18 school year. 

 

Facts about the Free and Reduced Price Meals (FRPM) Program:

  • Eligibility depends on family income.  However the income limit amount changes each year, so parents should apply each year.
  • Applying for the program does not mean the student must eat school lunch.
  • It only takes about 5 minutes to fill out the application.  
  • Who applies and whether the application is approved is highly confidential information.  Only the student and their family know if they are eligible.  At the point of sale, FRPM eligible students are not treated any differently than students paying full price for the meal. 
  • The CHS cafeteria currently serves over 80% “scratch cooked” meals; very little pre-packaged food is offered.  Delicious, healthy food and a salad bar are options for students each day.  
  • The CHS cafeteria is undergoing remodeling this summer.  Nutrition Services Director Leasa Hill says,  " Students at CHS should expect cutting edge service and next level entrees will soon be available at CHS.  Parents should apply so their students don't miss out." 

 

Applications are being mailed to every family in the district. Everyone is encouraged to apply.  The guidelines for eligibility change, therefore some families who were not eligible in the past may be eligible this year.  It is important for all parents to fill out the application, and particularly so for parents of CHS students.  The additional funding may be used for computers, textbooks, classroom supplies – anything the students need. 

 

A few minutes of your time will help fund additional educational opportunities for all our students.

 

Thank you

2017-18 DRAFT LCAP

A public hearing regarding the 2017-18 Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) will be held on Tuesday, September 12, 2017 at 4:00 PM. Click here to view the DRAFT version. 

Colusa High School Graduation 2017

RiverHawks Graduation Ceremony - June 1st, 2017

CAHS & Home School Graduation Ceremony - May 31st, 2017

Colusa County

Safe Routes to School

 

For more information about the plan and ways to get involved, please visit the project website at:

 

ColusaCountySafeRoutes.org

 

 

or use your QR reader app:

                                                                     
                                                                           

 
   

Infinite Campus

Today: 8/21/17

Emergency Operations Manual

Click here to view the Emergency Operations Manual. 

Check out the DO News

Click here to view the past Golden Apple Recipients

 

Click on Administration, then Superintendent's Bulletin for our monthly newsletters. 

The Governing Board is committed to equal opportunity for all individuals in education. District programs, activities, and practices shall be free from discrimination based on race, color, ancestry, national origin, ethnic group identification, age, religion, marital or parental status, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, or genetic information; the perception of one or more of such characteristics; or association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics.

Board Meeting Information

Regular Board Meeting - September 12, 2017 at 4:00 PM

Location: 745 Tenth St. Colusa, CA 95932 - Conference Room