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  • President's Message to OVSD Families

    • Ocean View Is Keeping Student Safety at the Forefront

      In my roles as mother, teacher and Board President, I am always thinking about student safety. Not a single day goes by that I am not reminded about the many ways we take care of our students in the classroom, on the playground, and as they travel to and from our schools. In Ocean View, there are many programs, drills and policies in place to keep our students safe, so they can focus on their number one job – learning.

      Schools and districts from across the nation recently recognized three important safety programs, National Bullying Prevention Month, the Great Shakeout and Red Ribbon Week. These programs allow our OVSD personnel to interact with students, families and community organizations to promote safety and educate students about these critical topics. Our Board of Trustees updated its policy on bullying earlier this year, and Ocean View schools are actively practicing bullying prevention throughout the year, with programs such as Where Everyone Belongs, a middle school program that enables seventh and eighth grade students to support sixth graders as they transition into middle school. Other schools celebrate with Kindness Week and Be A Buddy, Not A Bully Week. Our schools also participated in the Great California Shakeout on October 19 at 10:19 a.m. Earthquake safety drills were held at our schools and District offices, so students and staff could practice what to do in an actual earthquake emergency. This year’s official Red Ribbon Week was held October 23-31 under the theme of, “Your Future Is Key, So Stay Drug Free.” Our Board of Trustees passed a resolution recognizing Red Ribbon Week, and schools hosted weeklong activities raising awareness about drug use prevention.

      As Board President, one of my highest priorities is to find ways to do what is right for our children, and this includes the maintenance of our school grounds. This past year, I worked closely with District staff to focus on long-term pest prevention through approved Integrated Pest Management best practices. Ocean View is the first public institution in Huntington Beach to begin using organic pesticides and stop using Roundup.

      You may have heard educators mention Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, or PBIS. We use PBIS in Ocean View as a way to support our students socially, emotionally and academically. By creating clearly defined expectations for behaviors and outcomes, students feel supported and a safe, positive learning environment is cultivated.

      In November 2016, our community showed its support for the Ocean View School District by passing the District's first-ever general obligation bond in the amount of $169M. As part of our school modernization priority projects, safety and security issues, like perimeter fencing and security systems, are being discussed. In fact, this summer, Maintenance and Information Technology staff successfully installed a new Shoretel phone system in all classrooms, schools and District offices. These phones will provide an added level of safety and reliability in an emergency situation and every day.

      As an added measure of safety, we always encourage families to talk openly with their children about safety. It is a good idea to discuss safe school routes if children are walking to and from our schools. Safe school routes, developed with our surrounding cities, can be found under “Families” at www.ovsd.org.

      I am proud to say that Superintendent Carol Hansen, who has been in her leadership position for just over two years, is setting an outstanding example for all. You may have read that the National School Public Relations Association recently recognized Dr. Hansen as a “Superintendent to Watch 2017-2018.” She was one of only 21 superintendents nationwide to be honored, and I am proud to have supported her nomination.

      As a strong team of educators, families and community leaders, we will continue to make going to school and learning a positive, safe experience for all students.

     

    Continuing the Collaborative Work of Our District


    School boards must make tough decisions to accomplish goals and overcome adversity. The Ocean View School District has been faced with and resolved many difficult challenges over the past several years. It was not easy, but through an intentional focus by our Board of Trustees and our District’s Leadership Team, we have collaborated and improved communication with our families, staff, and community on important decisions. In just two years, we successfully modernized and reopened Hope View, Lake View, and Oak View Elementary Schools, passed a $169M school general obligation bond, settled a multi-year lawsuit with Republic Environmental Services, and created a comprehensive online Facilities Master Plan.

    This will be the same approach that will guide us as we begin discussing bond modernization projects, school consolidation, and fiscal stability, from now through the 2018-2019 school year. We are in the process of keeping our constituents informed and gathering information and input, with the support of District staff, as we move forward. Note that modernization projects will not begin until the fall of 2018.

    I want to provide some factual information that will help make sense of the important decisions we now face as a Board.

    • Like other school districts in California, OVSD has seen an overall student enrollment decline. OVSD has gone from 9,600 students in 2009 to a current enrollment of approximately 8,700 students. This significant decline impacts everything we do—from District income, staffing, facility usage, categorical funding, and class configurations in our schools.
    • Our District received positive certification from the county for its 2016-2017 budget and must project the same solvency for the upcoming two fiscal years, despite our declining enrollment. This decline negatively impacts District income and will now impact other practices, such as maintaining very small school sizes. As a result, we must analyze our overall efficiency, staffing ratios, school enrollments, and school sizes.
    • Sun View Elementary School currently enrolls only 250 students; Westmont Elementary School enrolls 330 students; and Ocean View Preparatory Preschool (OVPP)/Pleasant View enrolls 240 students—very small enrollments for a typical elementary school. However, these schools require the same level of teachers and support staffing that is often found at larger schools.

    The complexity of these issues requires a clear strategic solution. Our Board is committed to modernizing school sites in OVSD to the same level of quality found in the modernization projects at Hope, Lake, and Oak View Schools. Of course, changes of this scope may not be implemented quickly because they impact entire school communities, and some aspects are governed by collective bargaining agreements with our employees.

    Two School Consolidation Task Forces were formed to provide a forum for questions and concerns from families, employees, and community members as we move forward with the exploration of temporary housing and school consolidation. There is one task force for the Sun View Elementary School consolidation and another for the OVPP/Pleasant View consolidation. These groups will advise our Board and District administration prior to any school consolidation in 2018, and they will contribute to a comprehensive Board report prior to a public hearing on any formal action by our Board.

    As your Board President, I will continue to provide updates on the modernization projects and our fiscal responsibilities. Our recent District achievements reflect the support and collaborative work of our families, employees, and students throughout the District, and I intend to uphold that spirit.


Paid for By Gina Clayton-Tarvin
Huntington Beach, CA 92647
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