The Palo Alto board of education tonight will discuss high school student-achievement data, including the latest information on the percentage of Palo Alto students who graduate with all prerequisites for admission to California's four-year public universities.
School officials have been trying to raise that percentage, which historically has hovered around 80 percent. Starting with the class of 2016, the district will mandate the four-year college prep curriculum as a condition of high school graduation unless a student and his or her parents have negotiated alternative requirements with the school.
Also tonight, the board will vote on 4 percent raises, plus a onetime bonus of 2 percent, for all teachers, staff and administrators except for Superintendent Kevin Skelly.
The raises would bring the salary of an entry-level teacher from $52,965 to $55,083, plus a one-time bonus of $1,059. A mid-career teacher would go from $85,924 to $89,360, plus a one-time bonus of $1,718. The most senior teachers on Palo Alto's salary schedule now earn $106,951, and an additional 4 percent would bring them to $111,229, plus a onetime bonus of $2,139.
The raises will add an ongoing $5 million to the district's $180 million operating budget, according to finance officer Cathy Mak.
In the case of Skelly, the board will vote tonight on a 3 percent, "one-time annual salary increase" for the 2013-14 school year on his regular pay of $287,163.
In other business tonight, the board will hear an update on high school guidance-counseling programs, which has been a point of contention because service models at Gunn and Palo Alto high schools are not the same.
The board has indicated an acceptance of differing counseling models, so long as services to students are "comparable." But a number of parents at Gunn, which uses a traditional counseling model, have lobbied the board to order the school to adopt Paly's "teacher advisory" system. That system uses about 40 teachers to augment a small counseling staff.
In the fall of 2012 Gunn convened a 17-member "Guidance Advisory Committee" of parents, teachers and students representing all sides in the bitter dispute, which spent five months analyzing various counseling models and generating a 104-page report.
In March, Gunn indicated it could take an additional three years to fully implement its counseling reforms because they may require a change to the school's bell schedule.
In tonight's update, officials plan to present "secondary counseling framework," which they described as a "tool for aligning and clarifying secondary counseling services."
The two high schools are scheduled to present reports on their respective "site plans" in March 2014.
Following a 5 p.m. closed session in which the board will discuss employee, legal and real-estate issues, the board will convene in public session at 6:30 p.m. in the boardroom of school district headquarters, 25 Churchill Ave.