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First Public Board Meeting – Jan 10, 2019

January 10, 2019

I’d like to make a practice of reporting my involvement in board meetings, but I haven’t figured out how I want to do it. The meeting three days ago (Jan. 7th) I listed under the “Meetings” menu, and this is under the “What’s New/Blog” menu. I’ll probably move it later to the other menu, but I haven’t got it set yet and I want to get my recollections down when they’re fresh.

The highlight and main event was the Teacher of the Year awards presented by the teachers association. Look elsewhere for a list (and pictures) of honorees and celebrators but seeing and hearing briefly about each nominee made me feel proud to be associated with those people, and they’re also a stand-in for the hundreds of others who serve this community (and helped raise my three kids as they went through the local schools). A few of them I knew personally, but I admired all of them. (Fellow board-member John Silva got a group picture I envy. I’ll try to acquire it.)

Other items on the agenda I either voted on or noted:

  • A closed session item about a settlement with the California Office of Administrative Hearings (confidential, but you might be able to look it up using the public case number: 2018110330, I think it was; I voted in favor, and it was approved).
  • Approved the minutes of the last meeting (see them at this link, but you’ll have to navigate to the particular meeting – you can also get all the details on this meeting at that link).
  • Heard a report on the “Intensive Intervention for General Education Students” program, which is in the middle of its second year. It’s showing itself as an effective prevention tool for some of the youngest students at serious risk of failing in school
  • Heard a presentation responding to last month’s meeting “Student Voices,” where several specific complaints were given; we heard formal responses given by several top administrators, and I learned a lot.
  • Voted to approve these items: all of the routine agenda business items (“consent calendar”); a grant application for a Kindergarten program; a bid award for HVAC upgrades at Laurel Creek school; two teachers to teach on an “intern” credential; a slight increase in the substitute teaching pay schedule; and the creation of a position for a “family engagement coordinator” and a “coordinator of educational services”.
  • Heard and/or accepted reports on the local control and accountability plan (“LCAP”); some new high school courses for next year; some upcoming bids for vehicles for vocational programs; a review of financial statement for the month ending November 2018; the facilities subcommittee minutes; and reports on participation in the California School Board Association.

It was a two-and-a-half-hour meeting, and instead of boring (as many board meetings in the past have been for me, before I was elected) I was interested in just about all of it!

I had to put several hours ahead or time into preparing for it (reading all of the briefing materials, and even meeting once with the superintendent for more information), and I plan to spend another hour or two reviewing the materials so all of this information doesn’t quickly fly away out of reach of my memory.

The personal high points were looking out at all the teachers during their part of the program, and then later hearing the meeting adjourned in memory of many people who have recently passed away, including Theo Dean, with whom I had a connection from childhood; I visited with his son Michael after the meeting. That was the other high point.

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