2018 Strand Descriptions

The conference planning committee has identified the following major "strands" for the 2018 AEC program as they relate to school governance teams and their policy role: 

Equity and access

The equity and access strand explores the relationships between funding for schools, educational performance and access to a meaningful diploma upon graduation for all California students. This strand also touches on ways to differentiate instruction, services, and resource distribution to respond effectively to the diverse needs of students so that all students have access to an equitable and rigorous broad course of study.

Topics could include: successful programs that close the opportunity gap for low-income students, students of color, English language learners, homeless, LGBTQ students, foster youth and immigrant children; special education; Local Control Funding Formula; college and career readiness; programs that may serve vulnerable students including alternatives to suspensions/expulsions, positive behavior interventions, school discipline practices, dual immersion programs, and programs that support attendance; digital divide; charter schools and special education; issues related to human trafficking; implicit bias; and understanding shifting California demographics.

Social and emotional

The social and emotional strand encompasses the social and emotional needs of a district’s students and teachers, the programs in place at different schools, and social health services and partnerships between school districts and private and public entities.

Topics could include: restorative justice; community partnerships; harassment prevention; intervention; student stress and anxiety; bullying; foster youth; mental health services and partnerships; social and mental health resources for teachers; the board member role in promoting healthy school climate; programs that address the mental, nutritional, and physical health for improved student health; social and emotional curriculum; classroom climate and behavioral health services; and wraparound services.

In the classroom

This strand underscores the importance of programs, services that support a well-rounded education, ensuring all students are college or career ready.

Topics could include: STEM; Next Generation Science Standards; looking at multiple data points; broadening and enriching curriculum; ensuring teacher excellence and diversity; teacher recruitment, retention, and pipeline programs; summer learning opportunities; causes of achievement gaps and how to address these factors; Career Technical Education; blended learning; technology in classrooms; digital and social media use by students, teachers, and in schools; visual and performing arts education; bilingual education; early learning programs; issues related to legalization of marijuana; special education; early learning programs; and brain research as it relates to student achievement.

Advocacy, engagement and community relations

This strand speaks to the board member’s leadership role in building collaborative relationships with stakeholders to generate support for student achievement and make visible the work of the public schools.

Topics could include: local and grassroots advocacy; lobbying the legislature; forming political partnerships; business, non-profit and higher education partnerships; philanthropy and corporate partnerships; full service community schools; partnerships with county offices of education; dashboard, LCFF, LCAP; LCAP and stakeholder participation; crisis communication for home visits and poverty simulations; media training for board members; marketing and promoting schools; and bringing attention to public education’s successes.

Leadership through governance

This strand aims to equip board members with leadership skills, qualities, strategies and techniques to become effective agents of change in order to become a high functioning team.

Topics could include: Local Control and Accountability Plans as a tool for continuous improvement; using data to inform decision making; charter school oversight; the art of boardsmanship; board member role in developing a positive district culture; board self evaluation; board/superintendent relations; superintendent contracts, hiring and evaluations; district and county office relations; policy and protocols to support good governance; developing governance calendar and handbooks; goal setting and budget alignment; election by trustee area; leadership role of the board president; leading for equity; understanding and following parliamentary procedure; Form 700 and conflict of interest; the Brown Act; governance issues related to the legalization of marijuana; prep and recovery efforts for disaster response; and first responder training.

Full and fair funding

The full and fair funding strand underscores the importance of ensuring that all students benefit from the resources needed for a high quality education and includes a broad spectrum of learning opportunities.

Topics could include: the Local Control Funding Formula; special education resources; STRS and PERS planning; health care and labor negotiations; collective bargaining in an LCAP era; finance for equity; bond, parcel and sales tax campaigns; ADA recovery; creative and innovative strategies for budgeting in good and bad times; communicating the budget to the community; safety issues surrounding aging facilities and planning for new ones; construction, modernization of new facilities; early education facilities; charter facilities; local, state and federal budget issues; and classroom design for optimum student achievement.