SLV School District Perspectives


General Information

School Board Meetings

Budget Info

School Closures

Recall Election

Analysis and Discussion


School Board Meeting Synopsis

October 7, 2003

Link To SLVUSD Web site Agendas and Minutes Page (Note: These are PDF files - read this if you have trouble opening them). Minutes are posted after they are approved, usually at the next regular meeting.

Note from Laura About These Synopses (Basically, I report on what I think will be most interesting to community residents. Consult the minutes for a more complete listing of what happened in the meeting.)

Closed Session

The board had no report out of closed session, which was listed on the agenda as follows:

- Labor Negotiations Compensation for Represented and Unrepresented Employees (Government Code 54957.6)
- Confidential Personnel Issues (which may include leaves, medical issues, disciplines, separation, etc.) (Government Code 54957)
- Superintendent Performance Evaluation (Government Code 54957)
- Confidential Student Issues (Ed. Code 35146)
- Pending Litigation (What is this?)
Government Code: section 54956.9 (b)(1)(3)(c) (What is this?)
Claimants: SLV CARES, Michelle Hooker, L. Crews McCulloch, Janice Marshall, and Martin McKendry Vs San Lorenzo Valley Unified School District

Community Input

Ed Bischoff, former School Board Trustee, congratulated the board and staff for a successful beginning of school. He and his wife brought a cake to celebrate.

Steve Krause, former School Board Trustee, came forward to support the board in this difficult time, and challenged "the school board member not a recall target" to be more vocal in support of the others.

Again this week, those who are bringing costly actions against the District were challenged to return the money so that services to students wouldn't have to be cut more.

Recognition was given to Carole Parkison and her husband for their volunteer efforts to the District in writing some very helpful software.


Childcare Update

We don't have enough enrollment yet to proceed with setting up the program. They have been talking to the State and other Districts to continue to accumulate information and gave updated budget information to the board. (For more information on this topic, see previous board meetings.)

Testing - Physical Fitness, Grades 5, 7, and 9

Graphs were shown on how the kids are doing in half a dozen areas of physical fitness. We are above average in everything (we particularly excel in "trunk extension strength", apparently). Aerobic capacity, while still above average, was where the kids scored the lowest. In every category, the girls scored higher than the boys.

Average Yearly Progress - "No Child Left Behind"

Marilyn French laid out some of the goals for this program, and where we are at this point. The main points are that every school district is supposed to make yearly gains on several measures - mostly standardized testing, but also high school graduation rates. The ultimate goals are basically unattainable (100% proficiency, 100% graduation rates, etc.), but "clean up legislation" is expected before districts are expected to attain these goals in the 2013-14 school year. One of the problems in this district is that many parents sign waivers so that their children don't take STAR testing. If 95% of the kids don't take the tests, the district automatically doesn't make the grade, and we are way below this, especially charter kids and certain other "sub-populations", such as Hispanic and Special Ed. If we don't make the grade, we will be subject to all kinds of nasty consequences such as intervention from outside the district, informing all parents that we are "at-risk", yada yada yada.

Ms. French made it clear that each "sub-population" (ethnicity, gender, special ed, you name it) also has to make the grade as far as percent tested and test results.

As an alternative ed parent, don't even get me started on this.

Related Info: California "No Child Left Behind" Site

Action Items

Money from Major League Baseball Players Trust for Children

We're getting $100,000 to upgrade our baseball diamond!

Changes to Board Meetings and Times

Proposal to change meeting times due to conflict with Volunteer Fire Dept. times and the length of meetings. Originally, the proposal was 5 PM on Wednesdays for the open session, with the closed session to follow. It was pointed out that many districts meet even earlier than this, but several board members were concerned with community members not being able to attend, and we are certainly blessed with interested community members!

The current proposal is the first and third Wednesdays, with closed session to convene at 5, and public session to begin at 6 PM. It will be voted on next meeting.

Acceptance of Response Letter from Stephen Graves

Background: Even though the closures of Quail Hollow and Redwood are exempt from having to conduct environmental impact investigations, the District has "in an abundance of caution hired two outside environmental consultants to determine whether there were any cumulative impacts of significant effects from the school closures". (Note: This is was almost certainly due to the SLV CARES legal action.) At the last meeting, Stephen Graves presented an analysis of the environmental impact of the school closure, and stated that there was no impact under CEQA regulations.

Since then, Mr. Graves has received 11 letters from parents of children who attended Redwood Elementary School before the closure, protesting that there is indeed environmental impact from the closures mainly due to what they feel is overcrowding at Boulder Creek Elementary School. At the meeting, he presented a summary of those comments, and reiterated the reasons why there is no environmental impact from the closures. He also pointed out that Boulder Creek Elementary School is currently far under their top enrollment, which is expected to continue to decrease. He stated that there are no potentially significant issues.

Appointment of Surplus Property Committee

Background: A committee must be appointed by the Board to decide what to do with buildings not being used by the District. (These types of committees are sometimes called "7-11 committees" because they are to be somewhere between 7 and 11 residents, and have to fill certain criteria.) The Board decided to appointed nine people to the committee and took applications. Tonight, it worked to find a balance of people who live in the various Trustee areas, people who have expertise in relevant areas, homeowners, renters, and business owners, and people who are representative of various demographic characteristics.

The Board has received many applications from people who fulfill more than one of the above requirements, therefore, there are many business owners and many with expertise of various types are on the committee. The committee will be made up of the following people (apologies for misspellings, and not knowing what area each is in at this point: this will be corrected when the minutes from the meeting come out):

Eric Schoffstal (admin - out of area)
Christine Castagnetto (teacher - not sure area)
Gene Carkook (Area 1)
John Scannell (Area 2)
Lisa Hill (Area 3)
Russell Johnson (Area 4)
Danielle Barnes (Area 5)
Michelle Cardinale (Area 2?)
Vern Furness (Area 3)

Note that the Redwood building is in Area 2, and the District Office building in in Area 4.

There was one protest from a community member saying that Ms. Cardinale wrote a negative Letter to the Editor of the Valley Press spreading rumors about Redwood parents, and so should not be on the committee.

Meeting was adjourned sometime after 9.

Comments from Laura:

This felt like a normal meeting. I've been going to meetings for a year, and this is the first one that seemed like a regular meeting, where work gets done without a lot of bruhaha or interference.