31.01.2014 Facilities Planning, K-12, Uncategorized Comments Off on Academy Development- Engaging Students in a Competitive Environment

Academy Development- Engaging Students in a Competitive Environment

Hawthorne, CA — “The bell rang and no one left their spaces… the students continued to work on their projects until the teacher told them they had to stop working and clean up.  Tool kits, circuit boards, protective goggles were spread out on the desks, and each desk looked like a workstation in a high tech Silicone Valley firm….”

This was the scene on a recent visit to the Bud Carson Middle School STEM Academy in Hawthorne, CA. Students

BCMS STEM Academy Leads the Way

Students Engaged In a Science Project at Bud Carson Middle School STEM Academy

were fully engaged building pinball machines using the integrated course units incorporating geometry, math and physics. When asked about his project, the student said, “I’m having fun, it doesn’t feel like work.”  Visiting school district officials from throughout Southern California commented on how engaged the students were on their projects and how the middle school classroom mimicked the skills students need in the work place.

CFW believes that the academic program must drive the facilities program. To this end, CFW has worked with a number of districts to help them create Academy Programs. Academies are not a curriculum, a program, or a vendor.

Academies are a cultural shift in what a total school is about. They promote a philosophy of education and learning.  They also serve as a natural vehicle for implementation of the Common Core State Standards and Project Based Learning. The curriculum developed is rich, rigorous and engaging. Thus, improving student achievement. Often, academy programs are overlooked by a district because they do not have the  facilities and/or curriculum and instruction capabilities or the time to  develop such programs.

It is important for local  schools to improve the academic achievement of their students. It is essential for their very survival. With the emergence of charter schools and other educational options available to parents,  public schools must offer programs that are appealing to the parents of the students that they serve.  This is a huge task especially when they also need to improve educational performance.

One of the ways to both increase academic achievement and appeal to parents is the creation of academies in the educational program. For example, CFW is working with the Oxnard School District to reconfigure the entire district into different grade levels and different academies: six K-8 schools with Dual Language Immersion programs, 3 Middle Schools with Academies: Science and Technology Academy, Environmental Services and Design Academy, and Visual and Performing Arts Academy, and eleven K-5 schools with an Academic Strand Focus.

These academy programs are integrated into the Facilities Implementation Plan along with proposed funding sources. Our team will work with your District to develop an academy educational program to be integrated within the proposed facilities program with the goal of strengthen academic achievement.

CFW will take your district from an envisioning process all the way to an  implementation plan.

We will provide a detailed  timeline/schedule of events and project  deliverable’s reflecting the four phases of the development and implementation process. The unique feature of our planning process is the integration of the Academy Program with the Facilities and Technology Program. We work with your District’s identified Leadership Team to ensure successful completion of each of these processes.

The program that is developed will be one that the District and its community envision, desire and own. As a secondary outcome of this process, your Leadership Team will receive Leadership Training that will bring long lasting value.


31.01.2014 Facilities Planning, K-12, Uncategorized Comments Off on 2013 – A YEAR OF PLANNING FOR SCHOOL DISTRICTS


Oxnard, CA — For many of our clients, 2013 was a pioneering year in the planning and envisioning of school facilities. For the Oxnard School District in Ventura County we developed an innovative 22nd century approach to classroom design.

That’s right – learning environments planned, designed, and built not with a 1990’s view of the 21st century, but with a view toward the needs and educational demands of students that will eventually live as citizens in a 22nd century world. Instead of painted wall surfaces, our planners deployed solutions that allow every wall, floor to ceiling, to be a markeable, writable, and interactive instructional space.

Harrington 2

Plans for Harrington Elementary  School, Oxnard, CA

We researched and replaced 20 year old solutions like Smart Boards with new technologies that effectively pair with digital textbooks and will more efficiently equip our teachers and students for the next 20 years.

At the La Habra City School District in Orange County we helped plan and transform local middle schools into academies of the arts and sciences.  Moreover, we reimagined and rediscovered the role of classroom furnishings, finding solutions that not only are more effective for maintenance and operations, but provide students with ergonomic advantages proven by recent research to have a substantive impact on attention span, concentration, and creativity – all welcome improvements for implementing the Common Core.

And now in Los Angeles County our planning division has been tasked by the Inglewood Unified School District to conduct a multi-layered facilities analysis that will examine data on school site capacity, bond project funding, State aid, and local mitigation agreements to construct a facilities priority matrix.  This innovative visual tool will allow local policymakers to consider various strategic approaches for improving school facilities and planning capital expenditures.  Plus, as an easy-to-understand graphic aid, the final “heat-map” will boil down the most complex financial and demographic interrelationships into the most fundamental and tangible solutions.

Still, many of our clients have not yet had an opportunity to utilize CFW’s team of forward-thinking school planning professionals.  Your district may be facing its own set of unique planning challenges, and our Planning Division is here to help craft solutions specifically designed to address them.  Contact Jeremy Cogan at 510-596-8180 to tell us about your facilities and technology planning challenges and we will be happy to share appropriate planning services to meet your needs.

28.01.2014 Campaigns, K-12, Uncategorized Comments Off on IS 2014 A GOOD TIME TO GO OUT FOR A BOND?


Over the last 12 years, Caldwell Flores Winters, Inc. has maintained an impressive 90% success rate in passing hard to win bond measures. Last November, CFW went 3 for 3 in passing a General Obligation Bond measure, a parcel tax measure at two-thirds approval and assisted in the reorganization effort of the newly organized Wiseburn USD.

Given our experience and expertise in running elections in rural, urban and suburban communities, we know that every community is unique. We have a proven track record in passing bonds, both at the two-thirds approval level and 55% because CFW takes a holistic approach in meeting your district’s needs.  It’s important to remember that not all voters have daily contact with local schools.  Parents usually make up less than 20% of the electorate and many voters simple do not know why good schools will impact them if they do not have kids in school. That is why it is important to strategically plan and listen to the needs of all constituents throughout the District and then present a program that voters will accept at the ballot box.

Starting with the end in mind is important in your  planning processes. Long gone are the days when districts could just call for a bond election and win without facing any public scrutiny.  Given recent headlines in the news and recent bond reform measures, it is critical that district’s plan accordingly before the Board takes action to call an election.

Common sense and research will tell you that new facilities do help improve student achievement.  However, now more than ever, we need to be intentional about how the district’s educational planning and Common Core standards interact with facilities.  Voters want to know how investments in educational outcomes are linked to facility improvements.  This is why, we recommend an integrated planning approach to get you from where you are today to where you want to be tomorrow.  Is now the best time for your District to pursue a bond?  Let us help guide your discussion with your community stakeholders.  For more information, contact Abel Guillen at aguillen@cfwin.com.

01.05.2013 Facilities Planning, Financial Advisory, K-12, Program Management Comments Off on Oxnard District Plans to Open Academies at 3 Schools

Oxnard District Plans to Open Academies at 3 Schools

By Jeremy Foster Special to The Star


Middle school students in the Oxnard School District will have more opportunities next year to pursue specializations.

The district plans to open three academies at three intermediate schools, which will be reconfigured as grade 6-8 campuses. The redesigned schools are meant to make students more competitive in the global economy, district Superintendent Jeff Chancer said. read more

30.01.2013 Community Colleges, Financial Advisory, K-12 Comments Off on CABs: State Leaders Aim to Restrict Local School Financing Options

CABs: State Leaders Aim to Restrict Local School Financing Options

When the economy tanked, the need to replace leaking roofs or update electrical systems for computers and technology didn’t go away. Schools throughout California have continued to be under tremendous pressure to provide quality and safe schools for our children.

Like most things, there is no free lunch when it comes to financing the construction and renovation of our public schools. Whatever path a community takes, you either pay now or pay later for these buildings – but like your household, it’s good to have both options. read more

26.05.2011 Campaigns, Financial Advisory, K-12 Comments Off on AB1045 Seeks to Restrict School District Access to Local Funds

AB1045 Seeks to Restrict School District Access to Local Funds

The ability for local school districts to raise funds through local measures is in jeopardy.  Last week, the Assembly approved AB 1045 (Norby), and the bill now moves to the Senate Finance and Governance Committee. read more

14.01.2011 Facilities Planning, Financial Advisory, K-12 Comments Off on CDE Announces QSCB Allocations

CDE Announces QSCB Allocations

The California Department of Education (CDE) announced the allocation of approximately $849 million in Federal Qualified School Construction Bond (QSCB) authorizations to 61 California school districts. read more

26.12.2010 K-12 Comments Off on Next Generation Technology Briefing

Next Generation Technology Briefing

On December 21st, Caldwell Flores Winters, Inc., convened a technology briefing and discussion for its clients in Mendocino and Sonoma Counties.   read more

23.12.2010 K-12 Comments Off on QSCB Allocation Award Delay

QSCB Allocation Award Delay

Update for Districts from the Desk of Ernesto Flores read more

07.12.2010 Campaigns, CFW Foundation, Facilities Planning, Financial Advisory, K-12, Program Management Comments Off on 2010 Holiday Highlights Video

2010 Holiday Highlights Video

Please enjoy the following 2010 Highlights video, including the CFW Foundation Annual Scholarship Program awards. read more