Palo Alto school officials say they want to boost district-wide consistency in "academic rigor, grading and curricular elements" while still giving principals leeway to innovate at their own schools.
An initiative to "provide a district approach to align sites on key areas" is one of 11 proposed priorities for 2013-14 up for discussion tonight by the Board of Education.
Board members will convene at 6:30 p.m. for their first meeting of the 2013-14 school year, following a 5:30 p.m. closed session in which they will discuss labor negotiations, student and employee discipline and potential litigation.
The 11 proposed annual priorities, or "focused goals," range from implementation of the new Common Core State Standards to flexibility in facilities planning.
The item on district-wide consistency addresses a complaint sometimes heard among parents and district critics that school sites have too much autonomy in important areas such as discipline and counseling policies.
In a spring survey of parents, students and staff, given in connection with the district's strategic planning process, many parents complained of inconsistency in grading and rigor.
A majority said the district should provide more guidance in measuring the impact of academic programs, responding to bullying, assessment methods and curriculum.
Board members will discuss the proposed priorities tonight in preparation for a final vote Sept. 10.
In other business tonight, the board will hear a report on construction under the 2008 "Strong Schools" bond program and discuss extending until June 30, 2015, the lease of district property at 525 San Antonio Ave. to a private school.
The San Antonio property was acquired two years ago as a potential site for the district's 13th elementary school, but a decision on the new school's location has been postponed until next spring.
Tonight's meeting will be held in the boardroom of school district headquarters, 25 Churchill Ave.