CUSD Board Meeting Wrap Up

March 9, 2023

Regular Board Meeting - March 8, 2023

The following items were discussed and/or decided at the March 8, 2023 Regular Meeting of the Board of Trustees:

  • Carlsbad High School New Course - Film Academy Ethnic Studies - Approved
  • Annual Measure HH Financial and Performance Audit - Fiscal Year 2021-22 - Approved
  • Second Interim Budget Report for the Period Ending January 31, 2023 - Approved
  • Resolution No. 21-2223 Authorizing a Preliminary Guaranteed Maximum Price, Execution and Delivery of A Preconstruction Services Agreement, Site Lease, Sublease, Construction Services Agreement and Other Acts Relating to the District's Aviara Oaks Elementary School Modernization Project - Approved
  • Bike and Ebike Registration Program Partnership with Carlsbad Police - Information/Discussion
  • 2022-23 Transportation Plan - Approved
  • Election of 2023 CSBA Region 17 Delegate Assembly Candidates - Approved
  • Process for Public Comment on Consent Calendar Items - Approved

More information, including slide decks and copies of approved resolutions, can be found here or by clicking the button below.

Superintendent's Message:

What is Ethnic Studies?

In October 2021, the California legislature passed (and Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law) Assembly Bill 101, making California the first state to require ethnic studies as a high school graduation requirement, beginning with the graduating class of 2030. The law requires that students in the class of 2030 (our current 5th grade students) take one semester of ethnic studies in high school, and all high schools in California must offer these courses starting in the 2025-2026 school year.

Ethnic studies is the interdisciplinary study of race, ethnicity, and other identities, focusing on people’s lived experiences and perspectives. An Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum was adopted by the State Board of Education (SBE) on March 18, 2021. According to the model curriculum’s overview, the intent is to provide students the opportunity to learn about the histories, cultures, struggles, and contributions to American society of historically marginalized peoples, which have often been untold in US history courses.

Last night, our Board unanimously approved a course titled Film Academy Ethnic Studies. This is not the class that will eventually be required for students beginning with the class of 2030. Instead, this is an optional course for students at Carlsbad High School who elect to enroll in Carlsbad High’s Film Academy. You can learn more about the Film Academy here.

Leading up to the vote on this optional course, we heard from many people with a range of opinions on the topic of a required ethnic studies course for high school students. Common themes include the desire to provide opportunities for our students to develop important critical thinking skills, engage in rich dialogue about a variety of topics, and develop their own opinions on issues that are important to them. We strive to accomplish this across the curriculum in all grade levels, not just in the course that was approved last night.

Our Board-approved Graduate Profile describes graduates who are critical thinkers, effective communicators and collaborators, and ethical and responsible citizens. We continue to work intentionally to develop these skills and attributes in students at all levels, providing age-appropriate lessons and experiences beginning in elementary school and continuing through middle and high school.

We’ve not yet begun development of a required ethnic studies course that will be offered to all students beginning no later than the 2025-26 school year. Last night, our Board directed staff to agendize a future discussion about the development of an ad hoc advisory (not decision making) curriculum committee to provide input in advance of the development of a future required Ethnic Studies course. We expect to discuss the development of that committee in the fall. After establishing and getting input from the committee, we’ll also reach out to our partners at local institutions of higher education, including Cal State San Marcos and MiraCosta College, as well as other local districts who have already implemented an Ethnic Studies course, for feedback about what went into the development of their courses and possible opportunities for partnership.

I’ve spoken with students, parents and staff members who talk about the desire for “mirrors and windows” in our curriculum - for the chance to see themselves reflected in lessons and materials (mirrors) and for the chance to see and learn about others unlike themselves in lessons and materials (windows). I’m excited about continuing to support the great work of our teachers and staff in this endeavor, and look forward to continuing to incorporate parent voice in the process.

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