Super DAC News: January 2023

All District Advisory Council / Committee Monthly Update


Hello, Conejo Valley USD Community!

Welcome to this edition of Super DAC News, a monthly newsletter that highlights the work and activities of CVUSD’s six parent district advisory councils and the student district advisory committee. We hope that the information shared here each month is informative and helpful to families, students, staff, community members and community partners.

News & Updates from the DACs

African American District Advisory Council (AADAC)

We look forward to providing our next update in a future Super DAC Monthly! In the meantime, please click here to visit the AADAC webpage and learn more about us.

District Advisory Council (DAC)

Since the last Super DAC newsletter, the District Advisory Council has met twice. At our December 13 meeting, the main agenda item was a series of presentations and a breakout discussion on school fundraising, followed by an outstanding performance from the Newbury Park High School cast of “Mamma Mia!”

Kenneth Loo, the Assistant Superintendent of Instructional Services, kicked off the school fundraising presentations by providing some background on Board of Education policy regarding school-connected organizations and how schools are generally funded.

CVUSD receives the majority of its funding from the state and the federal government. Yet our district is fortunate to have around 75 school-connected organizations, including Booster Clubs, PFAs and PTAs, that fund additional opportunities for students. All PTAs are authorized by the National PTA, and all booster clubs and PFAs are 501c3 non-profit organizations.

The subsequent presentations and discussion focused on contributions by Conejo Schools Foundation, Conejo Council PTA and school site PFAs and PTAs. These organizations primarily provide general support and programs for all students, and booster clubs typically fundraise for one program or activity. The chart below shares a range of revenue and expenditures that are typical for PFAs and PTAs.

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Next, Cathy Riggs, President of Conejo Council PTA (CCPTA), shared that CVUSD PTAs collectively raise around $1.6 million dollars every year. CCPTA is a district-wide organization that provides support to all CVUSD PTAs and sponsors several programs, including the Reflections Art Program and the Saving Hearts program that screens students for heart conditions. CCPTA also co-sponsors the annual Principals’ Round Table, alongside the Conejo Schools Foundation.

Looking at the impact that the pandemic had on school fundraising was one of the primary reasons for having this discussion at DAC. According to CCPTA data, CVUSD PTAs raised less than half of what they typically raise during the 2020/2021 school year, with a district average of 45.4% of revenues in comparison with the prior three years.

Next, Lana Clark, Executive Director of the Conejo Schools Foundation (CSF), shared about the signature programs and additional support that this independent, non-profit organization provides for our district. CSF focuses on district-wide initiatives and programs and covering additional staff expenses for programs and materials.
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Conejo Schools Foundation signature programs include Cash 4 Conejo Classrooms that provides direct grants to teachers, the All District Music Festival, the Get Ahead Program and the Annual State of the Schools event, which will be a luncheon this year. CSF also contributes funds to programs like the Wellness Centers, Breakthrough, Conejo Closet, Parent Outreach Program, HOP into Kindergarten, Spelling Bee Registration, We the People and a variety of music and arts programs.

Since the arts are something that have been historically supported by school-connected organizations in CVUSD, particularly at the elementary level (see the chart below), we also had an update on the Visual and Performing Arts Strategic Plan by Brian Peter, CVUSD Coordinator for Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA).

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The VAPA Strategic Plan is a five-year plan currently in its first year of implementation. The mission is to provide a coordinated and sequential arts education across our district that is aligned with curriculum standards and equitable for all students. To support this overall mission, the team hopes to change the perception of the arts as an “enrichment activity” to a mindset of integral education for all. The following slide lists some highlights and proposed solutions from the plan.

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As part of the plan, CVUSD allocated 3 million dollars to VAPA from a one-time Music & Arts Block Grant provided by the state. Due to the recent passage of Prop 28 by California voters, CVUSD expects to have additional long-term funding for the arts of approximately 2.2 million dollars annually, with 80% of the money required to be spent on staff.

This is fantastic news for our wonderful CVUSD arts programs and all students! Over time, the VAPA Strategic Plan and the new influx of funds will positively impact areas of arts programming that have been historically funded by school-connected organizations, which may provide these groups with opportunities for new fundraising priorities. For our DAC breakout discussions, we focused on the questions listed below.

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Following the breakout discussions, DAC members shared some highlights with the entire group. At the secondary level, there was a desire to increase participation with PTAs and PFAs. Some suggestions included providing more transparency and outreach to address feelings of parent disconnectedness and adding questions about PTAs/PFAs on the annual LCAP survey.

At the elementary level, fun runs were one of the most successful fundraisers, and fall carnivals and auctions were also big money makers for many schools. Half of the funds raised typically come from corporate sponsorships. Suggested best practices include holding an annual parent mixer to encourage family engagement and front-loading direct donations at the beginning of the year to help with planning.

Finally, our DAC members were treated to a fantastic performance by the Newbury Park High School cast of Mamma Mia! The actors sang several songs from the musical, displaying the amazing vocal and dancing talent of the featured performers and the ensemble. Led by teacher Marilyn Strange, the students capped their performance with a rousing rendition of “Dancing Queen,” inspiring many DAC members to sing and clap along. It was a great way to close out 2022!

At our January 10 DAC meeting, the main focus was on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) efforts in our district, with Table Talks featuring district experts followed by a presentation on the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Strategic Plan.

Kenneth Loo, Assistant Superintendent of Instructional Services, kicked off the Table Talks by thoroughly outlining the process, introducing the topics and the district experts and posting a guide for the tables. There were six tables in all, and an expert or expert team hosted each table with a focus on a single topic that is part of CVUSD’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion work. In each fifteen-minute round, the expert(s) gave a brief summary of the topic, shared a handout and answered questions from DAC members. After fifteen minutes, DAC members moved to another table, and DAC members were able to choose three tables to join, in total.

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The Table Talk topics and experts were:

  1. Anti-Bias Education Grant – Dr. Dwight Rogers, Associate Director, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

  2. Co-Teaching Training – April Vasquez, Teacher on Special Assignment, Inclusion

  3. Dual Language Immersion Program – Dr. Dena Sellers, Director, Elementary Education

  4. Newcomer Program – Edith Cortes, Counselor, Newbury Park High School

  5. Secondary Core Literature Training – Dede Dryer, Teacher on Special Assignment, Professional Learning

  6. Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Learning Walks – Analise Griffith, Teacher on Special Assignment, Secondary Social Emotional Learning, and Brynn Hutchinson, Teacher on Special Assignment, Elementary UDL/Intervention

After the three Table Talk sessions concluded, DAC members at each table shared insights with the full group. A few highlights were: Universal Design for Learning (UDL) has moved beyond offering options for students and now focuses on removing unintentional barriers; the Newcomer Program is housed at Newbury Park High School, and students from all three high schools are able to participate; and the Dual Language Immersion program is so popular that the initial plans were expanded to one TK class and three Kindergarten classes.

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Next, Dr. Dwight Rogers, Associate Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, shared about the district’s DEI Strategic Plan. The focus of the plan is to create a community where everyone belongs and to utilize strategies like the Recognize Interrupt Repair (RIR) Protocol to combat the effects of unconscious bias. This five-year plan is currently under development and will dovetail with the Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP). All the work being done is about improving school experiences and outcomes for all kids.

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The Table Talk framework was new for DAC, and many members expressed how much they enjoyed the format and appreciated the opportunity to learn and give feedback in smaller groups. Kudos to Mr. Kenneth Loo for the idea and for his excellent facilitation of the process, and thank you to all the district experts who shared about their meaningful and important work! And our gratitude to Dr. Dwight Rogers for his leadership and his passion for helping our district become more equitable and inclusive for all!

Our next DAC meeting is on Tuesday, February 14, at 9:00 am, in the MPR at University.

District English Learners Advisory Council (DELAC)

CVUSD recently went through Federal Program Monitoring (FPM) in which DELAC was one of the committees to be audited to ensure it met all state and federal guidelines. The DELAC Executive Board is proud to announce that DELAC had no findings. Furthermore, our entire English Learner program was also included as part of the audit and there were also no findings. The FPM audit reinforced the hard work that all of our teachers and staff are engaged in to support our English Learners.

The fourth DELAC meeting was held on Tuesday, January 31th from 10 am to 12 noon. You will find below a link in either English or Spanish for each of the presentations.

  • English Language Proficiency Assessment of California (ELPAC)

Our next DELAC meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, February 28th from 10 am to 12 noon, in the MPR at University. Even though our meetings are held in Spanish, we provide translation services from Spanish to English. Everyone is welcome to attend!

DELAC Executive Board

President: Carina Pivaral

Vice President: Alma Molina Valenciana

Secretary: Liliana Diaz

Parliamentarian: Lucely Duarte

Gifted and Talented Education District Advisory Council (GATE-DAC)

GATE-DAC December 2nd meeting

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) – Dr. Dwight Rogers, Assistant Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, gave an update on CVUSD’s draft DEI plan. Dr. Rogers has been visiting all the DACs to give this presentation and to garner feedback from DAC members. The common concern from all the DACs is communication. The district is working on various communication means to ensure accessibility to all CVUSD families. The district has increased their Instagram postings for district information and announcements. Check them out @ConejoValleyUSD.

Core Literature Adoption Process – Dr. Dena Sellers, Director of Elementary Education, presented on the core literature adoption process, which is outlined in the following link: GATE-DAC is looking to ensure that higher Lexile leveled books are readily available for GATE students, as core literature books or in the school site libraries.

Social Emotional Learning & Learning Loss (SEL) – At both the November and December GATE-DAC meetings, GATE-DAC reps discussed social emotional learning and learning loss at their school sites and how each impacts GATE students. The following outlines opportunities to improve SEL and learning loss for not only GATE students but all students:

· Social Emotional Learning

  • Integrating a growth mindset program into the SEL curriculum.

  • Training teachers on SEL with professionals and/or experts to ensure buy-in.

· Learning Loss

  • High school tutoring in Advance Placement and Honors courses.

  • Understanding and bridging the opportunity loss for GATE students due to the pandemic. GATE students might not have encountered learning loss due to the pandemic, but how much more could these students have achieved?

Joint GATE Facilitator and GATE-DAC Representative meeting – Social Emotional Support for Gifted Learners was discussed at this joint meeting. The following highlights the takeaways from that meeting:

· Glows

  • More tech savvy

  • Return to socialization

  • Collaboration and teamwork

  • Extracurricular activities

  • Motivation to achieve better grades

  • Taking on leadership roles

· Grows

  • Lacking self-control/impulse control

  • Insecurities and/or frustrations about making mistakes or when tasks are challenging

  • Executive functioning

  • Different interactions with teachers (lack of respect and/or accountability)

  • Coach through social cues and social norms

· Actions to Assist

  • Setting clear expectations and behavior systems

  • Supporting students in developing growth mindset

  • Providing more collaborative opportunities

  • Allowing students to discover healthy boundaries

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning and Others Advisory Council (LBGTQ+ AC)

We look forward to providing our next update in a future Super DAC Monthly! In the meantime, please click here to visit the LGBTQ+AC webpage and learn more about us.

Special Education District Advisory Council (SEDAC)

SEDAC Meeting Highlights

December 14, 2022

  1. SEDAC Meeting Presentations

    1. Link to SEDAC December Meeting Google Slides. Please review for full recap of the meeting


    2. Link to upcoming SELPA Parent Trainings


    3. Link to Updates from Directors of Special Education


  2. CTE Pathways Presentation

    1. Thank you to Brian Mercer (Director of High School Education), Sonia Wilson (Director of Middle School Education), Nick Guerin from NPHS, and Ashley Cooper from TOHS for presenting today. CTE courses are open to ALL students at the middle and high school levels. Please discuss with your student’s case manager for more information and about enrolling in a course.

    2. To learn more about CTE Pathways, please visit the website


    3. Link to Presentation given at the SEDAC meeting


  3. Congratulations to the new Director of Special Education, Elementary: Dr. Erin Roderick. Welcome to CVUSD! We look forward to working with Dr. Roderick.

    1. Thank you to Bethany Stern for stepping in as Interim Director! We will miss having you at our meetings and we appreciate your help during this time.

  4. Tarjan Center Presentation

    1. Thank you to CCC Becky Mertel for organizing the event!!! The informational meeting was held on December 7th and was geared towards students with developmental disabilities and their parents/guardians. The presentation will be available to share with families soon so stay tuned!

    2. “The mission of the UCLA Tarjan Center, University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities is to advance the self-determination, inclusion, and quality of life among the diversity of people with disabilities and their families. We accomplish our mission through collaborative leadership in training, community education, research, service, and information sharing. We serve as a bridge between the resources of the university and local, state, and international organizations, agencies, policy makers, people with disabilities and their families.”

    3. Follow the Tarjan Center on Twitter: @UCLA_Tarjan and visit their website to learn more.

  5. SEDAC Committees

    1. Current SEDAC Committees and Committee Chairs

      1. Disability Celebrations, Jenny Crosby

      2. Curriculum and Inclusion, Lee Ann Holland

      3. Safety, Denise Benic and Jenny Crosby

      4. Transitions (Big T/Little T)--Chair Still Needed

      5. Mental Health/SEL/Wellness Centers--Chair Still Needed

      6. New Member/Communications --Chair Still Needed

    2. If you would like more information or would like to join a committee or you would like to volunteer to be the chair, please email SEDAC Chair, Erin Bell at

The next SEDAC General Meeting will be TUESDAY JANUARY 24, 2023 from 9:15 am to 11:30 am at UNIVERSITY (2801 Atlas Ave)

Student District Advisory Committee (SDAC)

We had a break in meetings during December and January due to the holidays and winter break. We are planning a special meeting in early February to review the Board Bylaw 9150 and adjust specific language in consideration of suggestions offered in this past Board of Education meeting. We will be having a discussion with the entire SDAC regarding improvements to this specific Bylaw.

Additionally, the subcommittee chairs will be working together these next couple weeks to review and discuss their goals for this new semester. We are looking forward to a great start of second semester as we organize new goals and discussions going forward.

Learn More About Us

What is a DAC?

A DAC or district advisory council/committee is a body made up of parent or student representatives that advises district leadership and administration on education programs, policies and procedures related to student achievement, academic performance, overall success and wellbeing. DACs are one avenue for parents, guardians and students to be involved and have a voice about the education of students in CVUSD.

What are the current CVUSD DACs?

• African American District Advisory Council (AADAC)

• District Advisory Council (DAC)

• District English Learners Advisory Council (DELAC)

• Gifted and Talented Education District Advisory Council (GATE-DAC)

• Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning and Others Advisory Council (LGBTQ+ AC)

• Special Education District Advisory Council (SEDAC)

• Student District Advisory Committee (SDAC)

How can I learn more about the different DACs?

To learn more about the parent district advisory councils, check out the Parent Involvement page on CVUSD’s website. You will find a brief description of each DAC along with a link to each DAC’s webpage.

To learn more about the Student District Advisory Committee, check out their webpage.

Can I attend a DAC meeting?

District advisory council meetings are open to the public, and all are welcome. To see the upcoming meeting dates for all the parent DACs, check out the Master Schedule.

Upcoming DAC meetings and agendas are available on the district website through BoardDocs, which is the same portal for the Board of Education meetings. Access the BoardDocs portal here.

Conejo Valley Unified School District