In reflecting on my ongoing work as Executive Director, I thought it might be helpful to provide an overview of some of the projects I’m involved in on behalf of AEA. I will try to release an updated list of my ongoing work, to the extent possible, on a weekly basis.  It is important to remember that as with all projects that aim for sustainability over the long term, much of this work is done in teams rather than with me working in isolation:

AEACES Site Modernization: You may recall that about a year ago AEACES was approved for a full site modernization project to be funded through Proposition Z.  “Prop Z” was approved by San Diego voters in 2012 and a key provision of the bond provides for charter school facilities funding.  While the start date for the AEACES project has yet to be determined definitively, I continue to serve on the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) board-appointed Charter Schools Facilities Committee which advises the district board on facilities funding.  I am currently working on applying for additional state funding through a new bond program recently approved by CA voters; this could offset a portion of our project costs and provide for more monies to become available for other San Diego charter schools.  I will be present a Prop. Z update to our Board of Trustees at their March 7 meeting.  As with all Board meetings this will be open to the public.  The meeting will be held at 458 26th Street, San Diego, CA 92102 and is scheduled to begin at 4:30 pm. Please consult the official AEA calendar at www.aeacs.org for updated information on this and other meetings.

AEA Budget Planning for 2017-2018 and Beyond: AEA is required to submit a Board-approved budget for both schools to SDUSD by June 30 of each year.  We are hard at work in our administrative team with building our budgets based on the Governor’s preliminary proposal for state funding (we will know more definitive funding numbers when Governor Brown releases his ‘May Revise’ three months from now).  In addition to our administrative leadership team, the budget planning process involves the AEA Finance Committee (made up of administration and Board members) as well as our back-office financial services provider.  The AEA Board of Trustees will discuss a first draft of the AEA budgets at their April meeting, and the Board will vote on the final budgets either at their May or June meetings.

AEA Policy Review and Updates for 2017-2018: As part of running an efficient, responsible and compliant organization, it is imperative that AEA develop, maintain, review and update policies annually.  I am currently working with our leadership team to identify areas of need and draft new policies to bring to our Board with the goal of having them approved and in place for the 2017-2018 school year.

Support for the AEA Board of Trustees: While I am not an AEA Board member, a significant portion of my responsibilities involve supporting our trustees so that they obtain the best information possible with which to make decisions.  As mentioned in previous posts, the primary responsibility of the Board is to ensure the fiscal and legal compliance and programmatic viability of AEA.  On this note, a highlight of AEA Board meetings this year has been the monthly presentation of student achievement data by Principals Bouterse and Robinson.  These presentations underscore the Board’s commitment to understanding and supporting academic excellence at AEA.

Ongoing Collaboration with Charter Authorizer (San Diego Unified School District): The AEACES charter was unanimously renewed for an additional five year term (July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2020) by our authorizing entity SDUSD.  A year ago, the AEACMS charter was also renewed for a five year term with unanimous support.  A significant portion of my ongoing responsibilities include maintaining a positive and mutually-supportive relationship with our authorizing district.  This work is not limited to charter renewal, and involves a myriad of areas including the annual negotiation of facilities use agreements, deciding which services AEA will purchase from the district and which we will obtain elsewhere, and collaborating on procedures that will support San Diego charters and district staff alike in the service of all students.  For the past ten years I’ve been a member of the Charter Advisory Group, a select committee that helps to set the agenda for meetings between SDUSD and San Diego charter leaders.  This group also reviews petitions for new charters that are being submitted to SDUSD for possible ratification.

I hope this partial list provides a glimpse into my work this week.