School Boards in Action: 5 Questions with Brad Beach, ABC USD

Brad Beach, board president, ABC Unified School District

With the school year well underway, what are some promising practices taking place in your district?

Our district is trying to hire a mental health professional at every campus. We are getting close. In an effort to retain employees, we cover 100 percent of employee contributions toward their entire family health benefits. This sets us apart from most other districts and also helps us recruit new hires.

What are your district’s plans for learning recovery and academic acceleration this summer?

At ABC USD, we are offering tutoring in the evenings and are planning to offer in-person summer school for all students. Each school also provides various programs like IXL Learning and Reflex math for students to do on their own time to gain extra skills.

What are some ways the district is sharing positive news and/or support with families and the community?

We recently hired a communications officer and he is doing a great job. The district has strengthened our Facebook and Twitter following and posts all of our board meetings on YouTube. Our Facebook page is called ABC Stories and we share many great things going on in our district. We also put announcements out via email and do a weekly newsletter to our community. These platforms help parents stay informed.

What is one thing you’d most like to accomplish during your time as a trustee and why?

Our district is facing declining enrollment and formed an ad hoc facilities committee to assess our schools. We are expecting a decrease in revenue from the state and may have to make some difficult decisions going forward. We are also currently looking for new Superintendent. One thing is for sure — our process will seek significant community input and will be transparent.

What do you like to do in your free time?

In my spare time, I enjoy being a “girl dad.” I coach my daughter’s softball team, support my other daughter in jiu jitsu and participate in the Watch D.O.G.S. program at their elementary school. Every district should consider implementing this program at their schools. It involves dads in their children’s lives and makes schools safer. Our family enjoys traveling and playing with our maltipoo dog named Hannibal.