Verdugo undergoes an ESBMM transformation

Did you know that students can play a role in this school’s decision-making process? Now that Verdugo Hills is officially an Expanded School-Based Management (ESBMM) school, decision-making is a democratic process, which means that it is something everyone can take part in, whether you are a student, a parent, or a member of the community. Students are now permitted to suggest student-centered ideas to change and improve our campus. If interested in the decision-making process at our school, you should check out our school’s website to learn the dates and times to attend events or meetings.

Over the years, LAUSD and UTLA have been supporting the inauguration of ESBMM within LAUSD. UTLA Chapter Chair, English Dept. co-chair, and English teacher, Holly Campbell, said, “The purpose is to establish and improve the collaboration of all stakeholders, teachers, staff, parents, students, and the community, and to place the instructional program and student achievement at the center of the decision-making process, rather than decisions made by the unilateral, autonomous role of a few administrators.”

For many years, our school’s faculty has strived to adopt a more collaborative approach to decision making. On March 31, 2014, LAUSD approved Verdugo’s ESBMM plan, and we successfully accomplished what our faculty has been working so hard on. Solutions to problems in our school are being resolved following the new plan. Ms. Campbell stated, “Under the ESBMM plan, issues or problems are solved using the four Cs: Collaboration, Cooperation, Communication, and Consensus.” Using these four Cs, the best decisions are reached for the benefit of the students on campus.

The entire faculty participates in several committees: Curriculum and Instruction, Assessment, Professional Development, School and Bell Schedules, Staffing, Technology, Budget and Financial Resources, and Discipline. You are welcome to participate by joining committees or the Governance Council or School Site Council. To participate in the committees, you can check the school website for dates and locations. The Governance Council meets after school at 3:30 p.m. on the first Tuesday of every month, in room 48.

The committees play an important role in which decisions are made. They report to the governance council and may present reports, motions, or concerns. The idea will be either approved or rejected by the council. Ideas may be rejected due to reasons such as the school’s budget or the idea being unreasonable.

This is our first year as an ESBMM school, and as of now, it’s a learning and adjustment process. The committee members are more involved in the school, and their perspective changed into a more holistic and global manner now. Ms. Campbell said, “We are interfacing our departments, programs, practices, and assessments in such a way that we see the whole, rather than just a part of the picture.” It has solved some past issues, and hopefully it will solve more in the future.

-Linda Trinh