What makes CCUSD unique
CCUSD is a small district consisting of a tight-knit, inclusive welcoming community with a very high level of diversity of staff and students of different races, religions, languages and cultures that are celebrated. Being a small district helps unify the vision, allowing for evolution and progressive thinking. The staff communicates fluidly and feels and operates like a family supporting each other. The highly engaged community and parents donate to District-supported initiatives such as Backpack for Kids Program which is an important resource that discreetly provides nutritious, child-friendly, easy-to-prepare food to chronically hungry children. The food is distributed in ordinary backpacks that students take home over the weekends during the school year.
CCUSD supports the Arts and Arts Integration with the belief that the arts bring joy and wonder to both teaching and learning because the arts are a way for students to express themselves. Culver City is a community within the arts and culturally-rich creative economy of Los Angeles and is a part of CCUSD’s context.
A huge part of the vision is for arts integration to afford students with the opportunity to have experiences with the community and the environment including leadership opportunities. CCUSD is leading the way with CCHS’s Academy of Visual Arts CTE pathway to support the arts. A CTE Film Pathway will be added in 2020. Partnerships with multitude of arts and media companies, including Sony Pictures Entertainment and several theatre groups, to enrich the learning environments.
Multiple entry points for broad experiences are available to all students to help them become expert learners. The Universal Design environments will support meeting students wherever they are in their ability to learn. Universal Design looks at diversity as the rule, not the exception. The focus is on giving students tasks that help students become expert learners honing their metacognitive skills. Students who can access their own cognitive processes and reflect on what and how they are learning are able to learn more effectively.
Culver City Unified School District’s motto “Success for All…Takes us All!” was embodied in a collaborative process to ensure the creation of Educational Specifications (Ed Specs) and Campus Master Plans reflecting the District’s vision, mission, core beliefs and areas of focus critical to developing a dynamic learning community.
The mission of the Culver City Unified School District, a diverse haven of excellence, is to ensure that each student possesses the academic and personal skills necessary to achieve his/her highest potential as a valued, responsible member of society by providing challenging, personalized educational experiences in a safe, nurturing environment and by fostering a passion for teaching and learning with committed parent and community involvement.
Each person deserves to be safe.
Everyone deserves to be treated with respect.
Honoring diversity makes us stronger.
Peace is worth pursuing.
The quality of life is determined by the harmony among emotional, physical, spiritual and intellectual pursuits.
Everyone has a right to a belief system.
Aesthetics is essential to life.
We are responsible for ourselves and accountable to each other.
Individuals have the right to express their views, opinions, and thoughts.
The sense of family and belonging is integral to our lives.
Everyone has the right to preserve his/her dignity.
Each person has the capacity for goodness.
Areas of Focus Critical to Developing a Dynamic Learning Community
From Superintendent’s Message
Effective Instruction and Leadership
Safe and Respectful Environments
Engaged Students, Community and Stakeholders
“We not only want our students to learn and grow but we also want them to make a positive and profound impact on this world. In order to accomplish that, we must foster life and learning opportunities for our students to collaborate, think critically, be creative, be inclusive and learn from failure.”
What Are Ed Specs?
Short for Educational Specifications
The Ed Specs (Educational Specifications) are design guidelines to serve as key drivers for future projects called out in the master plans. Some of the diagrams and photos may look like they are only for new construction, but they are not. They serve as a measuring stick to have renovations try to come as close as possible to meeting the ideal model for new construction. The steps can take place incrementally to reach the ideal flexible learning facilities.
The Ed Specs serve to:
Support CCUSD’s aspirations and pedagogical vision
Establish parity District-wide at our campuses
Help future design teams understand CCUSD’s design guidelines so as to avoid re-inventing the wheel while empowering them to find creative solutions by outlining the parameters that will support the District’s vision
Beta test innovative educational planning concepts
Ed Specs establish a thoughtful connection between learning and the design of the educational facilities.
A kick-off visioning and professional learning workshop was held on February 12, 2019 to align the District Mission and Vision with guiding principles for the Ed Specs, setting a solid foundation for their development. Click here for the detailed Ed Specs Workshop Report.
The kick-off meeting was followed up by twelve interviews with educational leadership and teachers representing school levels and programs. The essential question asked was: How will Culver City prepare students for THEIR future with our teaching, learning, and facilities? By asking this question, an understanding of how students will learn at Culver City (now and in the future) was developed.
The six-month engagement process for the Ed Specs included meetings with each campus’ Site Committee, monthly meetings with the Core Planning Group, a daylong workshop with the Educational Specs Committee, twelve interviews with educational leadership and teachers, and evening community forums for each campus with community parents and students which included presentations of best practices in designing space for future-ready learning and the draft master plans for feedback. The Ed Specs are the drivers for the Master Plans so the development of both was done in tandem.
A total of 1,334 individuals from the CCUSD community including parents and students, participated in an online survey answering questions related to the Master Plans and Ed Specs. The results of the survey showed what is most important to consider in the development of CCUSD schools today and in the future. This high level of participation both in person at the meetings and online is a testament to how strongly engaged the CCUSD community is.
One of the topics that the majority agreed with is that school facilities should be a role model for environmental stewardship for the community and they should be a teaching tool for students (i.e. monitoring building energy usage with access to monitoring software).
CCUSD is currently working with DLR Group and Harris & Associates on an Integrated Energy Master Plan using data from the master plan assessments to chart a path to get to Zero Net Energy over time. This work will be completed by February 2020.
Over a six-month period, the Culver City community provided important feedback for guiding the Ed Specs using the online Community Forum Survey. Participants included students, parents, staff, volunteers, and community members. Here are some of the results:
Clear majority (80%+) of participants believe…
School facilities should be a role model for environmental stewardship for the community
School facilities should be a teaching tool for students
(monitoring building energy usage with access to monitoring software)
Facilities need updating and modernization to support future-ready learning
Facilities need repair and maintenance
More than half (66%+) of participants believe…
The facility supports school safety
Considering the most important programs in the future:
College prep classes
Second Most Important
Classes focused on Fine Arts, Personalized and Flexible Learning, and Courses for Career Pathways
Half (50%+) of participants believe…
Beyond core academics, Fine Arts (Music, Drama, Art) are the most valued programs. STEAM related programs (coding, Robotics, Construction) were valued second most, followed closely by programs focused on foreign languages
Facilities are in “good shape”
Traffic patterns for pickup and drop off are unsafe and do not work well
The most important elements in the future for CCUSD schools will be Educational Programming, with a close 40% of participants also agreeing available technology will be important in the future
Integrated Energy Master Plan
The results of the survey showed that environmental stewardship is a high priority. CCUSD is currently working with DLR Group and Harris & Associates on an Integrated Energy Master Plan (IEMP) using data from the master plan assessments charting a path to Zero Net Energy. The work will be completed by February 2020.
There are several government mandates and code changes driving the need for an IEMP. The primary energy polices driving these changes are Executive Order (EO) B-18-12 & (EO) B-30-15 which requires commercial buildings (includes schools) to have the following:
By 2020 50% of all New construction square footage (SF) to be Zero Net Energy (ZNE) using 2010 as a baseline.
By 2020 Water use to a 2010 baseline 20% reduction.
By 2020 Green House Gas (GHG) reduction to a 2010 baseline or a 20% reduction.
By 2025 50% of Existing SF to have a Zero Net Energy (ZNE) using 2010 as a baseline.
By 2025 100% of all New construction SF to have be Zero Net Energy (ZNE) using 2010 as a baseline.
By 2030 EO B-30-15 requires a 40% reduction of 1990 level GHG.
By 2050 EO B-30-15 requires a 80% reduction of 1990 level GHG.