SCHOOL BOARD MEETINGS

What are our elected school officials doing?

2015-16 

Click here for report of June 16, 2016 Board Meeting

 

May 19, 2016

Four board members were present (Jimenez absent.)   Administrator, Teacher & Employee of the year were recognized -- but only Juan Ruiz was present, the others did not attend this meeting.  

 

Public Comment:  Ms. Popplewell spoke regarding the alumni auditorium mural gift to the high school/district;  she was unhappy about miscommunication with board/administration and needs clarification from the board to go forward with this project.  

 

Ms. Monohon distributed two packets of information for discussion later in the meeting.  One packet contained a letter to the Superintendent and CBO requesting clarifying information about the "Commercial Payment Register" for the May board meeting, with a copy of the district's response to her request regarding April warrant items.  She presented a copy of the "Accounts Payable Prelist" that Hanford JUHSD provides to the Public, as a contrast to the more limited and unclear listings RSUSD provides, and again asked the Board to honor their December 2015 meeting decision to start posting clear identification of expenditures online (prelists).

 

Jon Isom presented the results of his community survey about voter attitudes regarding the district, various projects, tax tolerances, and a possible facilities improvement bond.  He said that public support was well above the 55% voter approval threshold and recommended that the board place a bond measure on the November 2016 ballot.

 

Ken Horn presented preliminary data about this spring's SBAC testing.  He says some scores have improved.

 

The Board approved travel for AES Principal Price to attend the White House Turnaround Arts Talent Show -- this is the second time administrators have traveled to Wash D.C. -- but NO STUDENTS!  NOTE:  Am wondering if a greater impact and benefit would not result from taking a student along???

 

Action:  Primary Community Day School closed; reduction of a classified position; ELA/ELD curriculum materials adopted; library services with Fresno County approved.  A proposed continued contract with Carmel Draper was removed from the agenda at the last minute -- does this mean he may no longer retain his long-term coaching employment with this district, or is the contract being changed, or are other different professional development services being recommended by stakeholders (teachers/parents)  through the LCAP revision???

 

The superintendent was requested to place a Resolution on the May board agenda -- a public commitment by Board and administration to meaningfully engage stakeholders in the LCAP planning process and to provide them with clear accessible financial information needed to participate as decision-making partners.  THIS WAS NOT PLACED ON THE AGENDA AS AN ACTION ITEM, AND FOLLOWING DR. EAST'S LEAD, THE BOARD DID NOT MOVE FORWARD TO ADOPT THE RESOLUTION.

 

Even though this Resolution was drafted/presented by CASBO and School Innovations & Achievement, both groups highly regarded for their assistance to school districts, RSUSD leadership chose not to take this opportunity to correct the neglect and incapacity which this district's administration has thus far demonstrated regarding genuine inclusion of stakeholders in LCAP decision-making.   SHAME ON THEM!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"You may hold a brief "discussion" and then I'll tell you what to do."

 

 

April 21, 2016

Only three board members were present (Verdugo and Lopez absent).  Under Public Comment, the proposed alumni gift of a pirate mural on the auditorium was explained, a board member was thanked for his work with students through his athletic business (RAP), and the poor academic performance of RSUSD was questioned. 

  

A packet of information was distributed to show the difference between this district and other neighboring districts with regard to transparency and sharing of information with stakeholders (warrants/prelists, personnel employment and assignment, travel and conferencees, etc.)  The Board was reminded that their Strategic Plan states, "The District will provide all stakeholders with timely, relevant and open communication in a manner that builds trust" -- and this is not happening!

 

Superintendent East announced that the LCAP final draft presentation would be held on May 9.  [NOTE: No draft was actually presented at that meeting, nor has it appeared online or been shared at any meeting, as of June 1st]

 

Travel and Conference approval was given to AHS counselors for a trip to New Orleans ($4000 approx. cost).  On the Warrant report there were numerous other travel and conference costs listed, but NOT EXPLAINED, including $3,864.60 to Hilton Anaheim, $1,193.85 to Holiday Inn Express, $890.12 to Ken Horn, and unidentified amounts to US Bank and Bank of America credit cards for $2700.  

 

The Board approved changing school boundaries for Avenal Elementary and Tamarack in order to help alleviate the overcrowding at Tamarack.  (AES 6th grade is moving to the Reef-Sunset Middle School campus next year.)

Agreements with West Hills regarding College & Career Pathways with dual enrollment courses were approved.

 

Discussion items included the superintendent's wish to add to the District Office site by placing portables there "to house student service staff"  (un-named).   Mr. Yocum talked about the Primary Day School situation and the administration's preference to discontinue those services for students.

 

Superintendent East wishes to ask the community to approve new school bonds, and the board indicated approval for Jon Isom to survey the community.  (This was not an "action" item as such, but a three-board-member verbal/gesture agreement.)

 

SHOULD THE DISTRICT ADMINISTRATION ASK THE PUBLIC FOR MORE MONEY WHEN THEY ARE REFUSING TO BE OPEN AND TRANSPARENT ABOUT ALL EXPENDITURES of TAXPAYER DOLLARS?   

 

For offical Board Minutes of this meeting, look on the District website:  http://www.rsusd.net/

 

March 17, 2016

Four board members were present (Jimenez absent.)

Students from KC Elementary were recognized for their participation in the Peach Blossom Festival.  West Hills College administration and architect gave an update regarding planned AHS Science classroom renovations.

 

A Public Comment pointed out that school board meetings ought not to be "theatre" -- little scripted plays put on by the Board and district administrators --  but rather must be occasions for the demonstration of authentic local "government of the people, by the people, for the people" with an informed citizenry engaging in public dialogue to promote school-community collaboration in education.

 

Customary reports were given by Board members and District Office personnel.  Curriculum and Instruction reports are still covering only staff activities held locally and are NOT giving the public information about the use of their education dollars for travel and conferences, especially travel by administrators.  Warrant reports are still inadequately describing expenditures of public monies, even though the Board agreed at their December 10, 2015 meeting that Prelists would be posted online "the day after the board meeting for transparency" beginning in January 2016.

 

Superintendent East mentioned the WASC visit at AHS for accreditation -- no results yet given to the public.  SCHOOL SERVICES of CA is in the process of examining RSUSD hiring practices (Human Resources procedures), checking into LCAP processes and the district's capacity for genuine engagement of stakeholders, and looking at personnel salaries. 

 

Trustee Leticia Lopez and district staff are exploring establishing a school-based health center, looking at Adventist School Health Clinics and a Fresno Health Center Coalition.

 

ACTION ITEMS:  All items not removed were approved, including the reverting of Reef-Sunset Middle School back to a grade 6-8 campus, and establishing both AES and TES as K-5 schools.  There was much discussion about the continued overcrowding at TES, and four plans were offered to remedy the situation, one of which was to change elementary school boundaries.  

 

A very large sum of money ($82,287.00) was approved to contract with Kagan Professional Development for five days of summer teacher training.  Teachers will also be paid for their time in attendance ($90,000 estimated).  Kagan staff development emphasizes student engagement through cooperative learning strategies.

 

Four NEW administrative Job Descriptions were approved without the customary two readings (at separate meetings in order to allow for stakeholder input and subsequent board deliberation.)  The current high school vice principal position will be split betwen TWO assistant principals, one of whom will also act as "Activities Coordinator", and the other as "Athletic Director."  Thus, one more administrator for the Avenal High School.

 

Another district administrator will be designated as:  "Adult and Alternative Education Principal."  The impression was given that this person might also be filling the fourth new position:  "Family/Community Engagement Coordinator."  (Currently the AHS Principal serves as administrator for alternative schools.)  

 

The new school-community liaison position is badly needed to begin the work of authentic collaboration with parents/community as shared decison makers in educating our children.  A great many long-overdue actions need to be taken immediately to move good intentions from paper plans to actual implementation, to establish effective family-school partnerships that support student achievement and school improvement.

 

DISCUSSION ITEMS included the need for additional school restroom work and a potential 2016 GO Bond.

 

 

February  18, 2016 

Action Item 10.C (Releasing Administrative Employees) was removed from the agenda.  All other Items were approved by the Board.  There was some discussion concerning "Board Meeting Protocol for Public" during which Randy Edwards (an attorney sitting beside Supt East at the Board table) presented his interpretation of the Brown Act and legal requirements for allowing public comment during board meetings.  

 

There was also discussion about GATE opportunities, AP courses at AHS, and the High School Auditorium Pirate Mural.  

 

January 21, 2016 Regular Meeting Minutes are posted on RSUSD website.  A Special Meeting was also held on February 10. 

 

December 10, 2015

 

The Board met a week earlier than usual for its annual “reorganization.”  The same officers will continue to serve: President Verdugo and Clerk Lopez.  Board representation on district committees was reduced through rolling C&I/LCAP/Budget into just one committee.   Members Cazares and Martinez were absent.

 

AHS football and cross country teams were recognized for their accomplishments, and Bill Vallem commended for his long-time dedicated service to coaching our athletes.

 

Regular monthly reports were given by district office personnel; these are still NOT BEING POSTED for all stakeholders to read.  The Curriculum and Instruction Report DOES NOT LIST ALL TRAVEL AND CONFERENCES attended by district personnel – purpose, destination, costs and benefits to district/students.  WHY?  (Corcoran District lists these on their meeting agendas for Board approval before they occur.)  MUCH MORE TRANSPARENCY NEEDED HERE!

 

Superintendent East spoke briefly about the postponed AHS Science room upgrades, the grant providing bottled water at all sites, the transfer of 6th grade classes to RSMS, and a proposal to employ an outside group to examine salary schedules, hiring practices, and stakeholder engagement.  The two groups mentioned were FCMAT, and School Services of CA (which we currently contract for other services.)  The Supt and CBO still seem to prefer not to use FCMAT even though this may be the more experienced and qualified group -- WHY?

 

Under Discussion items, it appears that little if any progress has been made to explore GATE alternatives with staff and parents.  Likewise, little has been done to improve two-way communication within the district.  Someone printed a table to list the various methods currently used to share news with parents and community; these are primarily one-way modes of “telling” with limited use by stakeholders to give feedback, and almost NO EFFECTIVE PLANNING FOR AUTHENTIC ENGAGEMENT IN DECISION-MAKING.

 

Also discussed was lack of transparency in making public the district’s expenditures.  Monthly Warrant Registers give little indication of what was purchased, why, etc.  Weekly “Prelists,” which only Board members currently receive, have hand-written explanations with a little more information.  It was suggested that these “Prelists” also be posted online for the public, since one of the best ways to really see what is happening in the school district is to “follow the money!”  LCFF is all about accountability!

 

There was a public request for a report of the distribution of GIFT CARDS that were purchased in 2013 as “incentives.”  This was a VERY IFFY and HUGE EXPENDITURE of $45,000.00 with totally inadequate rules for the use of these GIFTS OF PUBLIC TAX MONEY.  All very nebulous – INCENTIVES FOR WHAT???  How and by whom would their distribution be determined to ensure fairness, determine their effectiveness, etc.  Are they being used to “buy” loyalty to supervisors?  There is an urgent need to CLEARLY DESIGNATE THE PURPOSE AND AUTHORIZED USE OF THIS $45,000.00, with strict accountability and regular reports.

 

 

November 19, 2015

BOARD ROOM FILLED with teachers and supporters advocating FAIR RAISES FOR OUR TEACHERS. A number of people also spoke up to protest current RETALIATION AGAINST STAFF who do not silently knuckle under to administrative preferences and who dare to question practices and suggest alternatives.

 

Presentations were given by the Avenal Police Department and by Kings View Mental Health Services.  

Monthly reports were also given by District office personnel -- WHY ARE THESE NOT INCLUDED IN THE AGENDA PACKET FOR THE PUBLIC TO SEE?  A new position job description was discussed (first reading) and a District Strategic Plan adopted.  CSBA revised policies were presented for a first reading.

 

NEGLECT ISSUE:  Due to lack of regular Business Office inspection of facilities, an old building at AES has become filthy with bird droppings, etc.  Why was this allowed to happen?  

 

FULL DISCLOSURE LACKING:  Curriculum Department is not listing all "professional development" events attended, with personnel names/positions and costs.  Local coaching is listed on C&I Report, but not out-of-district travel, especially for adminstrators.  WHY?  Reports of this travel, what was learned and benefit to district are not being given -- WHY?

 

CAPACITY BUILDING:  Ms. Monohon addressed the Board regarding the need to develop district capacity for genuine inclusion of stakeholders in education decision-making processes.  She gave the Board a handout describing the CA PTA  program "School Smarts" which is a successful authentic parent engagement academy, and urged Board members to contact PTA.

 

 

October 15, 2015

SCHOOL BOARD MET and gave 5% raises to classified staff, 6% to confidential management and administrators plus a $1,250 one-time payment to all.  PARENTS AND STUDENTS asked to have GATE opportunities restored for children who are advanced in academic performance.  New student board member, EDWN MARTINEZ, was sworn into office.  Building Fund application was approved, as were a COP refinancing lease agreement, and all other action items on agenda.  Ken Horn gave several presentations about district goals and plans, with visuals comparing Reef-Sunset State Test performance with that of other area school districts.  We are very low. THIS INFORMATION NEEDS TO BE PROVIDED TO THE PUBLIC ON THE DISTRICT WEBSITE.  The District is not communicating to stakeholders with timely transparent disclosure – ASK FOR IT!

 

What is this about?  Attorney is being paid to attend board meetings?  When asked who the unidentified person sitting with the Board was, Dr. East introduced Randy Edwards of the law firm Griswold, LaSalle, Cobb, Dowd & Gin, and a payment of $1,182.18 to that law firm appears on the Warrant Register.   Explanation?

 

September 17, 2015

THREE of the five Board members were present.  An unidentified/unintroduced man also sat at the Board table next to Supt East.  Most school administrators attended, as well as other district/school employees.  There were few parents, but some students were there to give reports about school activities. THREE MEMBERS OF THE KINGS COUNTY GRAND JURY WERE ALSO PRESENT.

 

Here is the Agenda:

http://www.rsusd.net/cms/lib7/CA01001053/Centricity/Domain/31/Board%20Agenda%209-17-15.pdf

 

Two items (GATE program, and Athletic Director position) were removed from Discussion, due to the absence of Members Collins and Jimenez.

 

COMMUNICATION (lack of) was once again on the discussion agenda, and Member Lopez suggested that we examine the effectiveness of what we are now doing.  Ms. Monohon gave the Board handouts for excellent RESOURCES ALREADY AVAILABLE that have been provided by the CA Dept of Ed as well as by state organizations such as PTA.  She pointed out that there are many other stakeholder education materials that THIS DISTRICT IS SIMPLY IGNORING AND NOT PUBLICIZING TO PARENTS AND STAFF.  WHY ?

 

Parents themselves have given the District a list of ways to more effectively involve stakeholders in education planning.  Parents have encouraged the District to "make a BIG DEAL of" these LCAP meetings.  Boring long-winded presentations and lack of informative engaging materials/discussions are NOT helping to make PARENTS FULL PARTNERS in decision-making!

 

IT'S TIME TO DO THINGS DIFFERENTLY -- It's time to WALK THE TALK !!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

August 20, 2015

The Kings County Grand Jury was  present to hear the District's response to their 2014-15 Report and continue an ongoing investigation of this school district.  It is great to have this group of dedicated people as watchdogs over local government.  Did you know that Grand Juries originated in England in the 12th century?

 

Inviting FCMAT to do a comprehensive study of the district would also assist the Jury, school board, and public to have a clearer understanding of the operations, conditions and management of our local schools.

 

When a community member asked about certain warrants for trips/lodging, the CBO and Superintendent declined to be transparent in revealing why our children's education money was spent on those partiular excursions.   Why?  Are they "pulling a Parlier"  on the Avenal public?  The  trips were not included on the C&I Directors list of teacher trainings.

 

COSTS? $2,271.12 to Asilomar, $2,210.70 to Sea Pines Golf Resort, $3,433.10 to Holiday Inn, $721.49 to Hilton Long Beach, $534.54 to Town & Country, $427.10 to Irvine Marriott.

 

Secret trips? Why is the district putting up hurdles and road blocks instead of simply stating the purpose of these excursions???  We need truthful transparency concerning  use of public funds!

 

At this meeting, a public hearing was held to determine the sufficiency of instructonal materials. There was a concern about the failure of the computerized inventory system and perhaps an inability to distribute textbooks and computers to all students promptly.  The public was told that  a number of employees have been working on this, and the problem is being fixed.

 

Micky Yocum gave a power point presentation of the activities of former Prevention/Intervention Specialist Mina Valdeabella, who has left the district.  This position remains unfilled for 2015-16.  School Nurse Tina Jimenez gave a report of her activities at all of the schools -- she is one very busy lady!  We need additional nursing assistance.

 

A presentation was made by Cecilio Barrera and Juan Ruiz about offering high school students an Environmental Science Academy in cooperation with Waste Management and West Hills College.  It appears  that this is still in the preliminary stages of development, with many particulars needing to be worked out.  The Board expressed approval of moving forward with planning.

 

CBO Cutillo reported on business services, but much of what she said was inaudible due to a very poor sound system.  There was also a written report, but unfortunately it is not made part of the packet that is posted online -- this needs to be done in order for the public to be kept informed.

 

New C&I Director Ken Horn listed numerous ongoing teacher "training" activities.  There was a publc comment citing recent studies which indicate that typical professional development "is ineffective and wastes money. "  It was suggested that the Board be proactive in obtaining valid survey feedback from teachers about their trainings, and that they consider very carefully the kinds of staff development they will approve.

 

Supt. East mentioned seniority milestones for staff; Kent Anderson was present and was thanked for his 20 years of service.  New KC principal Katherine Reddick was mentioned  -- she was present but was not introduced with any information about her prior experience or employment.  

 

A resumption of regular meetings with the Avenal City Council was proposed, beginning Sept 14 at the Avenal Theater.  The school board used to hold joint City/Board meetings attended by other community groups like RAP, the Police Dept, Scouts, etc.  These were discontinued a year or so ago.

 

Supt East also mentioned data showing a reduction in suspensions/expulsions, attributing this to successful PBIS and Restorative Justice practices.  However, restorative practices are not yet actually carried out authentically since district-wide staff training has been spotty.   So the question must be asked, "Does the current data reflect fewer incidents of undesired behavior, or simply a blind eye being turned and poor behavior being tolerated?"  The Board needs to investigate this.

 

LCAP planning meetings will begin on September 15.  Since Budget issues are integral, as well as all aspects of curriculum and instruction, along with parent engagement requirements, the public will want to be present at these meetings.

 

Supt East read portions of the District's required written response to recent Grand Jury Reports on Avenal High School and RSUSD.   Written responses are the first step; taking remedial action to address the Jury findings is the most important response needed now.  It is to be hoped that the Jury will remain vigilant with ongoing investigations.  Many changes are needed here.

 

The board heard proposed updates to Policy which  could be approved at the September meeting.  It was also asked to approve Single Plans for Student Achievement for each RSUSD school site.  There was little discussion and no confirmation that each board member had carefully reviewed these legal documents before voting to approve them.

 

Other routine items of business were approved, and a visual representation of a Facilities Master Plan was distributed.  Brief mention was made of possible reconfiguration of school grade levels (with particular regard to what site will house 6th grade students.)  This item will need much public discussion to prepare for any changes in 2016-17.

 

Future agenda items may include action plans to improve communication throughout the school community and with families.  School websites need continual updating to remain current; most of them do not yet have up-to-date 2015-16 Parent-Student Handbooks.  Some have blank Calendars.   If site calendars and pages are not current, families are out of the loop -- no real parent engagement.

 

 

June 18, 2015

Last minute agenda items were added:  Approval of a District Athletic Director job description, an Education Protection Account, and an Overnight Volleyball Trip.  SPSA plans were removed from the agenda.  

 

WHC personnel gave an update presentation about the AHS Science classrooms remodel.  Student Board member, Genevie Araisa was honored for her dedicated service on the Board.

 

Board members Leticia Lopez and Claudia Cazares gave reports on their activities/ideas to promote school improvement, communication, parent engagement, and agency collaboration.

 

The district-prepared LCAP and Budget were approved as presented, without adding funding specifically for Parent Centers and staff training in Restorative Justice practices.  Public comment urged the Board to comply with CA mandates for improving school climate, parent involvement, and authentic stakeholder engagement in decision-making.

 

Student/Parent Handbooks were once again brought to the Board for approval without having been updated for publication in August.  Copies had not been made available on the district website for parents/public to look at prior to the meeting day.

 

Also approved were new/revised Board policies, a JSO agreement with the City of Avenal, Union contract negotiation openers, a new AHS elective course in Floral Design, purchase of a new van for $40,000,  a teacher internship, and the aforementioned  3 new additions to the agenda.

 

Discussion items were a request for parent English language classes, and clarification of the AHS process for approving student community service hours.

 

A future agenda item suggested by a community citizen was the employment of FCMAT to look at the Human Resources and Business departments in the district.  This would be very helpful to the Board because four members are new since the last review (2008), LCFF has made drastic changes in school finance, and employment practices in this district are quite different from what they were in 2008.

 

However, both the Superintendent (now handling HR) and the CBO (Business) seemed strangely reluctant to allow this outside review of district practices, and opposed it.  The Board lacks a clear understanding of how FCMAT assists school districts, and administrative personnel muddied the waters with inaccurate statements regarding FCMAT.   Why do they appear fearful and want to prevent a Review??????

 

BIG RED FLAG!   BRING IN FCMAT, the sooner the better!

 

June 11, 2015     LCAP and Budget Hearing Meeting

Attending this meeting were four school board members (absent: Chris Collins and Genevie Araiza.)  There were district office staff and three principals present, one school administrative assistant, one community member, and one parent with her two children.  NOT a good turnout for a public hearing!

 

The following statement of opinion was read during Public Comment:

 

"First, The Kings County Grand Jury has issued two reports about our district:  one specific to Avenal High School, and the other general to the district and its public meetings.  It would be appropriate for this board of trustees to inform the public what your actions will be to resolve issues that the Jury has indicated are of concern, and for which they have made recommendations.  I suggest that this be agendized for discussion and public comment.

 

Second, the Hanford Sentinel has published articles concerning suspension and expulsion rates in Kings County schools.  When interviewed last July, Dr. East stated that the district had received a $60,000 grant that would be used to “expand restorative justice” to the middle and high schools.  He said it was already in place in three elementary schools.  This was quite misleading, since the district has not thoroughly trained its entire teaching staff in using restorative practices authentically, nor are social-emotional learning programs in place.  The public is being misled.

 

Third, the Board needs to report data revealing the numbers of students who are still falling through the cracks by dropping out, and how current district practices allow or promote this.  Avenal High School dropped 39 in student enrollment between late August and early May of this school year.

 

Fourth, the Grand Jury has pointed out the long-standing problem of poor communication throughout our district.  The lack of promotion of important LCAP and Budget Hearings by the district is just one more example. 

 

These concerns cover the entire “engagement” piece of the required CA State priorities for LCAP/LCFF.

I would suggest that the Board and superintendent demonstrate responsible behavior by agreeing to rescind the superintendent's new contract with its $20,000 raise until AFTER action is taken to resolve the serious problems of communication, parent engagement, and school climate.

 

Thank you."

 

May 28, 2015

Attending this Special Study/Discussion Meeting were three teachers, 6 administrators, administrative assistant, 2 parents, and one community member.  Focus of discussion was the Primary Community Day School.  It was agreed that much more needs to be done to support all students and create positive school climates where every child can succeed.  This is a state LCAP priority so resources must be allocated for staff training in restorative practices and social-emotional learning, with effective additional services provided for special needs children.

(See summary of proposed LCAP update by clicking HERE.)

 

MARCH 19, 2015

At this meeting, the Board agreed to a $20,000 per year raise for the RSUSD school superintendent, for a new base salary of $152,000.   What could have prompted this outrageous action?

 

Did you know that California's State Superintendent of Schools has a smaller base salary than this? 

 

The new contract given to Dr. East also guarantees him additional salary increases whenever other groups of employees get a raise.   Not a sound practice, since his salary should depend on the quality of his own work performance.

 

Whatever can our elected school board members be thinking! 

 

Under the new State education funding law, school districts must consult with stakeholders with regard to how tax money is spent, and all funding must be allocated to improve education for our children.  Satisfying an administrator's personal greed for wealth does not help the children of Avenal and Kettleman City.

 

COME TO BOARD MEETINGS AND HOLD OFFICIALS  ACCOUNTABLE TO OUR COMMUNITY!

 

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 MAY 14, 2015

 

At this meeting, Martina Cana and Sam Sanchez were recognized as Teacher and School Employee of the Year.  Congratulations to both!

 

No action was taken on the proposed discontinuation of Primary Community Day School services; the matter will be taken up at a special Study Session, to be announced.  

 

Revised Job descriptions for two new district-level administrators were approved.  Ken Horn was approved as C&I Director, and Micky Yocum as Director of Student Services.  The manner in which these selections were made was questioned, as it appears not to conform to Board Policy and Ed Code.  (See BLOG)

 

A contract to approve consultive services with the KCOE was approved; however, it was urged that effective evaluation procedures be put into place regarding outside consultants working in our district.

 

Parent volunteers and the creation of Parent Centers were discussed.  It was pointed out that there is much research available on the importance of parent involvement, and there are numerous helpful publications that describe best practices and can assist the Board in planning.   This should be part of our LCAP because parent engagement is one of the State's Eight Priorities.

 

High school students and staff gave a presentation on PACA, the new Ag Academy.  The students who had been asked to present were happy about their participation in the program and felt that they were receiving special support for success.   In answer to questions, it was expressed  that although there have been problems to solve, the PACA leaders believe that the program is providing valuable benefits for students.

 

Superintendent East reported that the LCAP draft is still in preparation (it has not yet appeared on the district website in its entirety), and that the Public Hearing date needs to be advanced so that the County Office has sufficient time to review it.  Date to be posted.

 

The Governor's new May Budget Revise promises more money for schools.

 

APRIL 16, 2015

 

At this meeting, it was proposed to add two new administrative positions at the district office:  a new "Director of Curriculum and Instruction," and a new "Dirctor of Student Services. "  The job descriptions for these positions were presented for a first reading, and need some revision, but they are posted on the district website (Packet for 4-16-15 meeting) and you can read them there.  It was announced that our current Assistant Superintendent will be retiring, and would not be replaced by another assistant superintendent.  The current "Instructional Coach/Program Manager" is also retiring. The two new Directors would share the work currently done by these two individuals who are leaving.  

 

AFTER the new job descriptions are Board-approved, the positions must be filled through a fair and unbiased hiring process to find the best candidates, and these jobs NOT given in-house as "rewards" for loyalty!

 

"The Superintendent or designee shall develop fair, open, and transparent recruitment and selection processes and procedures which ensure that individuals are selected based on demonstrated knowledge, skills, and competence and not on any bias, personal preference, or unlawful discrimination."  BP 4311

 

A community member suggested that the Board request FCMAT to do a review of our district.  The last one was done in 2007-08, and new LCFF budgeting procedures, as well as changed personnel hiring practices warrant a thorough Human Resources and Fiscal Review by FCMAT.

 

Superintendent East attempted to justify discontinuing Primary Community Day School services to our elementary school children who have been referred to this program in order to receive specialized and differentiated education  according to their individual needs.  Parents and their children came to this meeting (and last month's meeting in Kettleman City) to object to the school closure and to advocate for maintaining these services for special needs students.  The matter will continue under review.

 

Can parents volunteer in our schools?  This question was discussed, and the Board needs to do some homework about ways to more authentically involve parents in their children's education, welcoming them into our schools, and providing Parent Centers where they can learn about new curriculum and intructional practices.  There are a multitude of resources regarding parent engagement.   Are any of these materials being used by our district?

 

"We don't have to re-invent the wheel, we just need to FIND it!"

 

Another topic that was of interest to people at this meeting was a proposal to re-paint the pirate mural on the Avenal High School auditorium.  Earnest Ware gave the Board some background on the original painting, and encouraged the school principal to consult the Class of '80 before making decisions.

 

AHS teacher Kent Anderson  reminded the Board of good intentions not followed through:  the Restorative Justice program has been touted as our district's alternative to suspensions and expulsions, but where is it ?  The Thinkery that was promised -- where is it?  He also pointed out the large number of elective course offerings that our high school students have lost over recent years.  

 

These are OUR Schools for OUR Children.  

 

Come to public meetings and share your thoughts and suggestions!

 

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REUNIONES DE LA ESCUELA DE LA JUNTA

¿Qué están haciendo nuestros funcionarios escolares elegidos?

 

14 de mayo 2015

 

En esta reunión, Martina Cana y Sam Sánchez fueron reconocidos como Maestros y Empleados de la escuela del Año. Enhorabuena a los dos!

 

No se tomaron medidas en la interrupción propuesta de los servicios de Community Day School Primaria; el asunto será examinado en una sesión de estudio especial, que se anunciará.

 

Se aprobaron las descripciones de empleo revisadas para dos nuevos administradores a nivel de distrito. Ken Horn fue aprobado como C & I Director, y Micky Yocum como Director de Servicios Estudiantiles. La manera en que se hicieron estas selecciones fue cuestionado, ya que no parecía ajustarse a la política de la Junta y el Código de Educación. (Ver BLOG)

 

Se aprobó un contrato para aprobar servicios de consulta con el KCOE; sin embargo, se instó a que los procedimientos eficaces de evaluación se ponen en marcha en relación con consultores externos que trabajan en nuestro distrito.

 

Se discutieron padres voluntarios y la creación de Centros de Padres. Se señaló que hay mucha investigación disponible sobre la importancia de la participación de los padres, y hay numerosas publicaciones útiles que describen las mejores prácticas y pueden ayudar a la Junta en la planificación. Esto debe ser parte de nuestra LCAP debido participación de los padres es una de las ocho prioridades del Estado.

 

Los estudiantes de secundaria y el personal hizo una presentación sobre la PACA, la nueva Academia Ag. Los estudiantes que habían sido formuladas para presentar estaban contentos con su participación en el programa y sentían que estaban recibiendo un apoyo especial para el éxito. En respuesta a las preguntas, se expresó que si bien ha habido problemas por resolver, los líderes PACA creen que el programa está proporcionando valiosos beneficios para los estudiantes.

 

Superintendente del Este informó que el proyecto de LCAP está todavía en preparación (que aún no ha aparecido en el sitio web del distrito en su totalidad), y que la fecha de audiencia pública necesita ser avanzado tanto que la Oficina del Condado tiene suficiente tiempo para revisarlo. Fecha para ser publicado.

 

El Gobernador nueva de mayo de Presupuesto Revisar promete más dinero para las escuelas.

 

 

19 de marzo 2015

En esta reunión, la Junta acordó de $ 20.000 por año aumento de sueldo para el superintendente de la escuela RSUSD, para un nuevo salario base de $152.000. ¿Qué pudo haber llevado a esta acción escandalosa?

 

¿Sabía usted que el Superintendente de Escuelas del Estado de California tiene un salario base más pequeña que esto?

 

El nuevo contrato dado al Dr. Oriente también le garantiza incrementos salariales adicionales siempre que otros grupos de empleados reciben un aumento de sueldo. No es una buena práctica, ya que su salario debe depender de la calidad de su desempeño en el trabajo.

 

Cualquier cosa puede nuestros miembros del consejo escolar electos estar pensando!

 

Bajo la nueva ley de financiación de educación estatal, los distritos escolares deben consultar con las partes interesadas con respecto a cómo se gasta el dinero de los impuestos, y todos los fondos deben ser asignados a mejorar la educación de nuestros hijos. La satisfacción de la codicia personal de un administrador de la riqueza no ayuda a los hijos de Avenal y Kettleman City.

 

VEN A LA JUNTA DE REUNIONES Y FUNCIONARIOS PEDIR CUENTAS A NUESTRO COMUNIDAD!

 

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16 de abril 2015

En esta reunión, se propuso añadir dos nuevas posiciones administrativas en la oficina del distrito: un nuevo "Director de Currículo e Instrucción," y una nueva Las descripciones de trabajo para estas posiciones se presentaron para una primera lectura "Dirctor de Servicios Estudiantiles." , y necesitan alguna revisión, pero se publican en el sitio web del distrito (Paquete de reunión 04.16.15) y se puede leer allí. Se anunció que nuestro Asistente Superintendente actual se jubilará, y no sería reemplazado por otro asistente del superintendente. La actual "Instrucción Gerente Coach / Programa" también se está retirando. Los dos nuevos Directores compartirían el trabajo actualmente realizado por estas dos personas que están dejando.

 

Después de que se aprueben las nuevas descripciones de funciones, las posiciones deben ser llenados a través de un proceso de contratación justo e imparcial para encontrar a los mejores candidatos, y estos puestos de trabajo no se da en la casa como "premios" para la lealtad!

 

Un miembro de la comunidad sugirió que la solicitud FCMAT Junta a hacer una revisión de nuestro distrito. La última de ellas fue realizada en 2007-08, y los nuevos procedimientos presupuestarios LCFF, así como el personal cambiado las prácticas de contratación garantiza unas exhaustivas Recursos Humanos y Revisión Fiscal por FCMAT.

 

Superintendente Oriente trató de justificar la interrupción de servicios de la escuela Community Day primarios a nuestros niños de primaria que han sido referidos a este programa con el fin de recibir una educación especializada y diferenciada de acuerdo a sus necesidades individuales. Los padres y sus hijos llegaron a este encuentro (y la reunión del mes pasado en la ciudad de Kettleman) oponerse al cierre de la escuela y para abogar por el mantenimiento de los servicios para todos los estudiantes con necesidades especiales. La cuestión continuará en revisión.

 

¿Pueden los padres voluntarios en nuestras escuelas? Se debatió esta cuestión, y la Junta tiene que hacer un poco de tarea sobre formas de involucrar más auténticamente a los padres en la educación de sus hijos, dándoles la bienvenida a nuestras escuelas, y que prestan los Centros de Padres donde pueden aprender sobre el nuevo plan de estudios y prácticas rrr. Hay una multitud de recursos en relación con la participación de los padres. ¿Alguno de estos materiales siendo utilizado por nuestro distrito?

 

"Nosotros no tenemos que volver a inventar la rueda, sólo tenemos que encontrarlo!"

 

Otro tema que era de interés para las personas en esta reunión fue una propuesta para volver a pintar el mural pirata en el auditorio Avenal High School secundaria. Earnest Ware, dio la Junta algunos antecedentes sobre la pintura original, y alentó a la escuela principal consultar la clase de '80 antes de tomar decisiones.

 

Profesor AHS Kent Anderson recordó a la Junta de las buenas intenciones no siguieron a través de: el programa de Justicia Restaurativa ha sido promocionado como alternativa de nuestro distrito a las suspensiones y expulsiones, pero ¿dónde está? El Thinkery que fue prometido - ¿dónde está? También destacó el gran número de ofertas de cursos electivos que nuestros estudiantes de secundaria han perdido en los últimos años.

 

Estas son nuestras escuelas para nuestros hijos.

 

Asistir a las reuniones públicas y comparta sus ideas y sugerencias!