Superintendent Updates Parents on AIM/ GATE Changes

Superintendent Winfred Roberson
Superintendent Winfred Roberson

(Editor’s Note: The following Communication was sent out by Superintendent Winfred Roberson to districts parents).

Dear DJUSD Parents, Guardians & Caregivers:

I hope you are enjoying a pleasant summer.  I am writing to all families in the Davis Joint Unified School District.  Over the last month there has been general curiosity and misinformation circulating in our community regarding the self-contained AIM program (formerly GATE). I would like to take this opportunity to share relevant facts and pertinent information with you and provide you with the opportunity to share your feedback and experience with my office.

As you may know, on June 4, 2015, the School Board passed the following directive with a vote of 4-1:

To provide more equitable access to the AIM program, move to eliminate the use of private testing to qualify students, beginning with students who would first be admitted to the program in the 2016-17 school year.

Further, direct the Superintendent to have staff review and recommend assessment protocols to be implemented in screening students beginning in the 2015-16 school year.  The focus of assessment will be to identify students whose needs cannot be met in classrooms which fully implement best practices of differentiated instruction.

Assessment will take into consideration multiple measures.  Recommended changes will be approved by the Board, prior to implementation.

Further, direct the Superintendent to develop a plan for the district which fully implements differentiated instructional practices in all classrooms.

In response I will be working with district staff to develop a plan to meet this directive.  Our goal is to bring options back for Board consideration in the fall.  As we move forward with this effort, I want you to be aware of some crucial facts.

  1. All students currently enrolled in a self-contained AIM classroom are NOT affected by any possible changes to the AIM program.

Any new measures that may be implemented as a result of the school board’s direction would take effect in the 2016-17 school year. This means, all students currently enrolled in a self-contained AIM classroom, including the AIM-identified, incoming 4th graders will NOT be affected by the June 4 Board decision.  All students currently enrolled in self-contained classes will continue to receive services.

  1. DJUSD will no longer accept private examination scores for qualification or admittance into self-contained AIM.

As of June 4, 2015, DJUSD will no longer accept private testing as a means to identify a student for the AIM program.  Again, this does not have any effect on students who qualified as AIM identified prior to that date. Families who started the private testing process prior to June 4, 2015, who qualify for AIM may still be placed in existing vacancies for the 2015-16 school year.

  1. DJUSD will continue to offer AIM/GATE services.

The Board of Education directed the Superintendent to have staff review and recommend assessment protocols to be implemented in screening students beginning in the 2015-16 school year.  This effort has begun and a plan will be brought back for Board consideration in the early fall.  While the staff recommendation, if approved by the Board of Education, may change the way students are identified and therefore the number of students who may qualify, we are certain that DJUSD will continue to offer AIM services in accordance with board direction.

  1. The change in leadership of the AIM program does not mean the school district is ending the AIM program.

As part of the review and recommendation process mentioned above, we will be recommending a program coordination and leadership structure that matches the needs of the AIM program.

  1. Your voice and experience with self-contained AIM are important to us.

Please take some time to provide your feedback to AIMinput@djusd.net. Your input will be reviewed and considered by staff. Input from the community will be available to the public, however inappropriate commentary will be excluded.

The Board of Education will hold a special meeting on July 9, 2015 at 7PM in the Community Chambers to receive public input on the June 4, 2015 directive to staff as listed above.

More information and the opportunity to provide additional public feedback about the staff proposal will be available in the fall. We will communicate with families so you are aware of the public meetings and what issues are being considered.Please also take time to visit our updated AIM website at www.djusd.net/AIM.

  1. The AIM office is closed for the summer but will open as scheduled in August.

Each year the AIM Office is closed temporarily for the summer. The AIM office will reopen on August 12 and all regular services will resume.If you have further questions before that date, please contact Monica Roque at (530) 757-5300 x144 or mroque@djusd.net.

Winfred B. Roberson, Jr.

Superintendent

About The Author

Disclaimer: the views expressed by guest writers are strictly those of the author and may not reflect the views of the Vanguard, its editor, or its editorial board.

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