SLV School District Perspectives


General Information

School Board Meetings

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Analysis and Discussion


School Board Meeting Synopsis

November 4 , 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 - Brown Act)
- Superintendent Performance Evaluation (Government Code 54957)
Conference with Legal Counsel - Pending Litigation
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 (What is this?)

Recognition - Comcast Cares Volunteer Day

Recognition was given to the organizers of this event, in which 60 volunteers, including Comcast employees and members of local businesses, got together and did a lot of work at SLE - painting, building planter boxes and picnic tables, connecting cables to the new portables, and installing new playground equipment. It was a tremendous efforts with wonderful results.

Recognition - Golden State Awards

Recognition was given to the high school students who did well on these exams.

Community Input

(11/11/03 Note: I've amended this item after an email exchange with Mr. Storm where he kindly corrected and updated me, and provided the text of the notice.) Paul Storm filed a written notice which charged the Surplus Property Committee with violating the Brown Act (Government Code 54960.1) by failing to post an agenda, discussing items not on the agenda, and not allowing public input. He also noted that the issues regarding the agenda have been corrected. The text of the notice reads as follows:

This is written notice pursuant to California Government Code section 54960.1 demanding that the San Lorenzo Valley Unified School District (SLVUSD) cure or correct violations of the Ralph M. Brown Act. SLVUSD has empowered a committee called the Surplus Property Committee. This committee is a "legislative body" as defined in section 54952(b) and as such the Ralph M. Brown Act applies. This committee has violated this Act by failure to post an agenda (54954.2), failure to only discuss items on a posted agenda (54954.2), and failure to allow public address (54954.3).

During our email exchange, Mr. Storm reported that he has heard that the all of his concerns have now been corrected to his satisfaction.


District Office Update

The boxes are being packed, and the move should take place on the 14th.


The API target is to have all schools and significant population subgroups scoring above 800. All our schools are well above the national median, but three are below this target. All are above the scores of three years ago, and all except BCE are above last year's score. Ms. French explained that the low socioeconomic group at BCE slipped quite a bit this year, bringing the school average down. She stated that this issue is being addressed. The official scores can be found here.

Strategic Plan

Our last strategic plan was completed in 1992 and has been used since that time. Superintendent Haff told us about that plan. Some of the objectives were high (like 100% graduation rate) and others seemed more attainable (like a 15% increase in higher level high school courses.) It also had objectives relating to support from the community. It had strategies such as recruiting superior staff and improving communication, and ended that the biggest threat in carrying out the plan was resistance to change. All of which sounds pretty familiar!

Next, Ms. French talked about some ideas about plans, with a proposed timeline. She talked about different models of strategic plans, and suggested we use the Hoshin model this time, which has a narrower focus, with a few goals at a time. There was some discussion among the board members as to what a strategic plan should entail, and they planned a retreat specifically on this issue. Some of the things they will be discussing: how much community involvement in the development of the plan, how much it should resemble a business plan, and how broad the goals should be.

High School Site Plan

Valerie Pitts, the new high school principal, outlined the high school site plan, with an emphasis on improving test scores, API, graduation rates, college readiness, and college attendance.

Public Hearing - Surplus Property Committee

A public hearing was conducted to provide input to the surplus property committee for the purpose of determining acceptable uses of the Redwood Elementary and District Office buildings.

Five citizens offered input, all on the Redwood building. One presented a letter to the board without public comment. One said she felt the building should remain some kind of educational institution. One emphasized the importance of residents in the areas being informed of the possibilities, and that he doesn't want the buildings to be made into housing. One person felt that the committee's agenda should be more widely posted, and wanted to make sure that the conditions of the Brown Act are followed. One person, who is on the committee and lives near the Redwood building, said that it was important to minimize the impact on the community. He hoped it would be utilized for a purpose that was mainly during the day, and felt that keeping it as a school would be best.

Action Items

Approval of High School Construction Contract

The contract was awarded to the lowest bidder, who apparently also has an excellent reputation and experience working on school sites with children in attendance. This company is James Rosewall Construction, Inc., based in Watsonville.

Meeting was adjourned at around 8:00.