AVUHSD con­sul­tant cost: $75K District OKS pact for ed­u­ca­tional model

Antelope Valley Press (Sunday) - - Front Page - By JULIE DRAKE

Val­ley Press Staff Writer sult­ing con­tract Thurs­day night with child be­hav­ior spe­cial­ist Kath­leen Van Antwerp, an as­so­ciate of Davis who made two pre­sen­ta­tions be­fore the Board last year.

Board mem­bers Jill McGrady and John Rush voted no.

The district will pay up to $75,000 to im­ple­ment Va­len­cia­based Full Circle Con­sult­ing Sys­tems Inc.’s S.T.O.P. ed­u­ca­tional model over the next four months.

S.T.O.P. stands for stu­dents, teach­ers, of­fi­cers and par­ents.

Van Antwerp de­scribed the pro­gram dur­ing a pre­sen­ta­tion at the Board’s Dec. 12 meet­ing as “a holis­tic ed­u­ca­tional model based on the science of child and ado­les­cent de­vel­op­ment” that “fo­cuses on the so­cial­emo­tional well­be­ing of the chil­dren within your district as well as the teach­ers, of­fi­cers and par­ents.”

Van Antwerp pre­vi­ously addressed the Board at Davis’ in­vi­ta­tion last Fe­bru­ary. Davis also in­vited Ruf­fin, who was elected to the Board on Nov. 6, to make a pre­sen­ta­tion at the same meet­ing.

Full Circle Con­sult­ing’s will be­gin in Fe­bru­ary and con­tinue through June with a fo­cus on the district’s al­ter­na­tive school sites Phoenix, R. Rex Par­ris, and Desert Winds high schools. The last

June 7.

Shan­de­lyn Wil­liams, the district’s as­sis­tant su­per­in­ten­dent of Stu­dent Ser­vices, de­scribed the pro­gram briefly at Thurs­day’s meet­ing.

Wil­liams and Stu­dent Ser­vices staff met with Van Antwerp and Full Circle founder Senta Greene about the pro­posal dur­ing the district’s win­ter break.

One of the ques­tions that came up dur­ing a day of school is

dis­cus­sion with the school site prin­ci­pals was im­ple­men­ta­tion of the pro­gram in the re­main­ing four months of the school year.

“As part of those fur­ther con­ver­sa­tions we be­came aware that one of the schools will have mid­cy­cle WASC (ac­cred­i­ta­tion) and so we will need to de­ter­mine how bring­ing in a new pro­gram at this point in time of the year may also im­pact that process,” Wil­liams said.

Wil­liams said they would like to review the im­pact re­ports in more de­tail. In ad­di­tion, she said they also need clar­i­fi­ca­tion of cer­tain as­pects of the pro­gram in a school set­ting.

“There were dis­cus­sions re­gard­ing pos­i­tive as­pects of the pro­gram. How­ever there is time needed to vet how it aligns with the schools’ cur­rent fo­cus ar­eas. In ad­di­tion to that there are a num­ber of ques­tions with the fee sched­ule that was pre­sented as well that we need to clar­ify,” Wil­liams said.

Davis asked Wil­liams to ex­plain what the pro­gram would pro­vide.

“It ba­si­cally would pro­vide train­ing for our stu­dents, teach­ers, re­source of­fi­cers, cam­pus su­per­vi­sors, and also for par­ents,” Wil­liams said.

Davis pressed Wil­liams. “What do they bring to our district? Can you just tell me that they’re all about so­cio­emo­tional needs, that’s what her back­ground is,” Davis said.

Davis ref­er­enced a pre­sen­ta­tion on the district’s var­i­ous sys­tems of sup­port that Matthew Case, Direc­tor III Be­hav­ior Interventi­ons gave ear­lier the meet­ing.

“I be­lieve that this pro­gram would ben­e­fit what we’re do­ing in this district,” Davis said.

Davis, who worked for the Cal­i­for­nia De­part­ment of Cor­rec­tions, said his back­ground is in safety and so­cio­emo­tional needs of stu­dents.

Davis then accused Wil­liams of bias in vet­ting the S.T.O.P. pro­gram as com­pared to the Par­ent In­sti­tute for Qual­ity Ed­u­ca­tion, a pro­gram pre­vi­ously in place at Knight High School that Davis, Ruf­fin and Par­rell re­jected to re­new at the same meet­ing.

“I would have liked to have the per­son ask­ing for the $75,000 here to an­swer a cou­ple of ques­tions as well,” Rush said. “And so I’ll ask any­body who knows about it — has she ever taught this to stu­dents on a cam­pus. Has this pro­gram ever been on a school cam­pus or pro­gram?”

Ruf­fin said Van Antwerp’s Dec. 12 pre­sen­ta­tion was thor­ough, and said she has ex­ten­sive ex­pe­ri­ence with Los An­ge­les Uni­fied School District and Ven­tura County.

The Full Circle Con­sult­ing web­site in­di­cates the firm’s pro­grams have been im­ple­mented in school dis­tricts and county of­fices of ed­u­ca­tion but does not of­fer any spe­cific ex­am­ples nor does it in­clude any in­for­ma­tion about the S.T.O.P. pro­gram.

“The im­pact packet that she gave us last time talked about a work­shop from a Thurs­day to a Tues­day with 220 stu­dents at one time,” Mcgrady said. “It’s a to­tally dif­fer­ent pro­gram than go­ing into a high school once a week like she’s talk­ing about. I want to know how many high schools she’s trained and what high schools is she cur­rently work­ing with? How many high school clients does she have?”

Ruf­fin said those ques­tions should be have asked when Van Antwerp was at the Dec. 12 meet­ing.

“We have a du­pli­ca­tion of ser­vices,” Rush be­gan. “I think that the ser­vices that we pro­vide in­clude the ser­vices that she pro­vides and it over­laps the ser­vices. I are we


think we can be bet­ter spend­ing the $75,000.”

“Can you elab­o­rate?” Ruf­fin in­ter­rupted him. “No, I can’t,” he said. Mcgrady noted the $75,000 is for three months of train­ing and one month of col­lect­ing data.

“In the con­tract it says five months of work for the $75,000. I would ask her if she was here, ‘How could we fix that?’” she said.

Mcgrady also asked about the ed­u­ca­tion back­ground of the train­ers.

Ac­cord­ing to the con­tract af­ter train­ing ses­sions be­gin Van Antwerp and Greene will meet with ad­min­is­tra­tors via con­fer­ence calls, or face­to­face.

“Then I would also ask, ‘Why now?’” Mcgrady said. “We’re at the mid­dle of the year; we al­ready have pro­grams go­ing on. Our pro­fes­sional de­vel­op­ment cal­en­dar is al­ready ap­proved and in place. This is an additional thing.”

She also asked about the po­ten­tial im­pact on the district’s staff.

To share your opin­ion on this ar­ti­cle or any other ar­ti­cle, write a let­ter to the ed­i­tor and email it to ed­i­[email protected]­press.com or mail it to Let­ters to Ed­i­tor, PO Box 4050, Palm­dale CA 93590-4050. off

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