California/Hawaii Snapshot

California/Hawaii Region, january 2018


Happy New Year!
We hope your celebration of Christmas was a blessing for you and your families. This is a good time to share a heads-up regarding upcoming events:

Legal Notes
New Federal and State laws went into effect on January 1, 2018. We have reviewed these changes but want to remind school heads to be ready to meet new legal requirements.

Many schools have contacted us about California AB 500 (Employee Interaction with Pupils). We contacted the attorneys at Liebert Cassidy Whitmore and they provided the following information:

"AB 500 will go into effect January 1, 2018, adding section 44050 to the Education Code. All we can tell from the text of the bill is that schools must make available to parents and post on their public website any sections of the employee code of conduct that relates to student/teacher interactions. While I take your point that such a description is rather broad, I looked at the legislative history and it seems what the bill is focused on is behavior involving inappropriate interactions. One example given in the legislative history was rules that prohibit one-on-one meetings with the door closed, or prohibit sending personal texts or emails to students. The behaviors being targeted mainly focus on fears of sexual misconduct or impropriety. A previous version of the bill that required the entire code of conduct to be published was vetoed, with the Governor saying that is too broad and does not really address the concern in question here.

"The law makes clear that schools do not have to create such policies if they do not exist, but, if they do exist, the policies must be given to parents and posted online. The law does not provide for any penalties for non-compliance. However, the law does require this and even if there is not a set penalty under the law, the standard sets a required best practice. A school does not want to end up in a situation where inappropriate teacher-student interactions occurred and the school did not comply with this law.

"Of course, as with any new law, we still have some questions about what this does or does not cover. But, I think, for now, the schools should make a genuine effort to determine which policies in their code of conduct (or similar set of rules) pertain to inappropriate interactions with students and focus on those policies."

If you would like specific legal guidance from LCW you can reach them at (310) 645-6492 or at one of their offices near you.

Hawaii Events
We are very pleased to have 33 ACSI member schools in Hawaii. They are on the islands of Oahu, Maui, Hawaii, and Kauai. There is a kind welcoming spirit and strong sense of ohana (family) in Hawaii. This exists throughout the islands and is a part of Hawaiian culture, but there is an even stronger sense of family among the believers. They would welcome California ACSI members to attend their events!

  • January 8 PD Express @ Pearl Harbor Christian Academy
  • April 13 District Meeting and Accreditation Training @ Hawaii Baptist Academy

Thomas FireRecent Fires
I previously emailed you about schools in northern California that were impacted by fires. Thank you for responding with prayer and support for the affected schools. As most of you know, southern California has been plagued by several fires, including the Thomas Fire, one of the largest in the state's recorded history. We have been in contact with each member school in the area, and they are responding well to the challenges they face. While many have had to close school due to poor air quality, Ventura Missionary School (Ventura, CA) is still in mandatory evacuation, and the fire has touched their campus. So far, their buildings have been saved and they hope to be able to return to the campus very soon. Would you remember them and all the impacted schools in your prayers? Here is a picture of their campus during the fire. Feel free to communicate your support for them to Laurie Pido  

Professional Development
We have several opportunities to network and improve your effectiveness through professional development.

  • January 16 School Marketing Roundtable @ Foothill Christian in Glendora
  • January 17 School Marketing Roundtable @ Milpitas Christian School in Milpitas
  • February 6–7 School Leaders' Roundtable Events @ Tenaya Lodge
  • February 7–9 California Leadership Conference @ Tenaya Lodge

March and April: There are 14 Administrator Meet-Up events scheduled in California during March and April. You will receive a separate email with the details and a link to register for these free events.

Curriculum Directors Meet Up Event
Melody Heal of Bethany Christian School in Sierra Madre recently coordinated a gathering of curriculum & instruction administrators at the Anaheim PD Forum. It was very successful, and this group would like to continue to meet to connect and share ideas on fulfilling these important roles at Christian schools. Here are some resources if you want to participate in these gatherings.

Early Education

  • January 19 EE Directors Day @ Fremont Christian School
  • January 20 EE Conference @ Fremont Christian School
  • February 8 EE Breakout Sessions during California Leadership Conference @ Tenaya Lodge
  • March 2 EE Directors Day @ Biola University
  • March 3 EE Conference @ Biola University

Accreditation Events

  • January 19 Course One Training Session #3 @ ACSI Brea
  • January 31 Southern California Accreditation Commission
  • February 2 Northern California/Hawaii Accreditation Commission
  • April 13 Hawaii Accreditation Training @ Hawaii Baptist Academy
  • May 9 Southern California Accreditation Commission
  • May 17 Northern California/Hawaii Accreditation Commission

Student Activities
There are over 100 ACSI student activities scheduled. Please visit the regional student activities page for information about these events.

Wishing You the Best in 2018
Andrea, Martha, Megan, Lee, Rohn, Suzie, and I want to wish you Happy New Year on behalf of ACSI. We are thankful for your partnership and the amazing work you and your schools do every day to live the Gospel message and prepare your students for Christ-honoring and fulfilling lives.

Cecil Swetland, EdD
Regional Director