Fwd: Board meeting update
- Board of Education meeting update: July 13, 2005
From the WCCUSD Communications and Community Engagement Office
In the absence of President Glen Price, Acting Chair Dave Brown read a memo
from Mr. Price regarding the formation of a committee to study K-8
schools. In his memo, Mr. Price announced that he has appointed board
members Brown and Karen Pfeifer to the K-8 Study Committee. Mr. Brown will
serve as committee chair and will seek additional co-chairs once the
committee is formed. The committee will include:
> 5-7 parents (with no more than two parents from any middle schoolattendance area)
> 3-4 teachers (with at least one elementary teacher and one middle schoolteacher)
> Representatives from the districts bargaining unitsOnce formed, the Study Committee will set its own timeline. President
> Staff to be designated by the Superintendent and/or Interim Superintendent
> Representatives from Stewart K-8 School.
Price offered the following framework:
>July-August: Initial meetings, division of work, and researchIn his memo, Mr. Price stated that the Study Committee should address the
> September-October: Develop recommendations; preliminary report to board
> November: Redistricting review of recommendations (if needed)
> December: Full report to the board.
following focus areas and any others that it deems to be relevant:
curriculum, program, and best practices; facilities and capacity; fiscal
and staffing issues; and redistricting and implementation of K-8 schools,
if so desired.
Report out of closed session
Chief Academic Officer Dr. Cynthia Leblanc reported out of closed session
that the board approved the following appointments:
> Vice Principal, Bayview Elementary School: Wendy HolmesSuperintendent Gloria Johnston reported that the board also approved the
> Principal, Downer Elementary School: Graciela Uribes
following appointments, pending negotiation of contracts:
> Interim Chief Academic Officer: Dr. Kaye BurnsideRecognitions and awards
> Interim Lead Regional Superintendent: Karen Frison
> Interim Lead Senior Director, Human Resources: Dr. Brandon Krueger.
> Mike Mahoney, chair of the Citizens Bond Oversight Committee (CBOC),reported on activities of the CBOC and the Facilities Subcommittee. The
CBOC met at Grant School on June 22; its next meeting will be held on July
27 at Lincoln Elementary School beginning at 6 p.m. Mr. Mahoney announced
the CBOC meeting schedule for 2005-06 as follows: July 27, August 24,
September 28, October 26, December 7 (2005); and January 25, February 15,
March 22, April 26, May 24, and June 28 (2006). The Facilities
Subcommittee met on July 14; its next meeting will take place on August 17
at 3 p.m. at the Facilities Operations Center.
> The School Board and attendees recognized and observed a moment ofsilence for the passing of community member Ethel Gok and Martin Rodriguez,
a student at Verde Elementary School.
Trustees approved consent calendar items after making the following
changes: moved item F.3 to follow C.2; moved item E.6 to follow F.5; and
removed and tabled items E.7, E.18, E.21, and F.2.
Board members then took action on the following items:
> Approved Resolution No. 25-0506, authorizing a school bond election forNovember 2005.
> Approved Resolution No. 27-0506, re-authorizing the districtsMaintenance and Recreation Assessment District for 2005-06.
Comments from the Board and Superintendent
Noting that this would be Dr. Johnstons final board meeting as
Superintendent of the West Contra Costa Unified School District, Mr. Ramsey
commended Dr. Johnston for her can-do attitude. He recalled that when
Dr. Johnston first arrived in the district, Hercules Middle/High School had
not yet been built, and that she took a proactive approach to seeking the
additional funds that were needed for the Hercules construction
project. Dr. Johnstons positive outlook and success in obtaining more
than $20 million in additional funding from Sacramento for Hercules
Middle/High School motivated him to see that it was possible to do bigger
things for the district.
This spirit also spurred the district to pass three bond measures and vote
to place the Measure B parcel tax on the ballot only eight days after a
previous parcel tax had just failed. Mr. Ramsey thanked Dr. Johnstons
leadership in navigating the district through the past six-and-a-half
years, which included sustained periods of difficult fiscal conditions. I
wish you the best, and well miss you a lot, but youll always be
remembered. Thank you for your time, Mr. Ramsey said.
Board member Karen Fenton commented that Dr. Johnston has brought structure
to the district that I have not seen as a board member, as a parent or
community person in any previous leadership. Ms. Fenton said that since
Dr. Johnston announced her retirement, its occurred to me how much you
did for us, and how much we depend on you to pull everything
together. She thanked the Superintendent for providing her expertise and
wisdom over the years in bringing different elements together to move the
work of the district forward. In the overall, you have moved us forward
in six years, and were ready to continue the climb.
Board member Karen Pfeifer stated that she would miss Dr. Johnston, and
thanked her for her kindness and instruction, and for her time spent
providing orientation for herself and Mr. Brown as new board
members. That said, I would like to thank Dr. LeBlanc, Dr. Burnside, Ms.
Frison, and Dr. Krueger for stepping up, Ms. Pfeifer said. This board
would be in a world of hurt without you. She thanked them for stepping up
to new and difficult jobs, and stated that she would be relying on them and
their colleagues to continue to carry the district forward. She asked them
to help the board find a replacement for Dr. Johnston, and to hang in
there with the board members to continue to serve the children and the
families of the district.
Mr. Brown seconded Ms. Pfeifers thanks to the administrative team that has
stepped forward during the transition period. He stated that although he
was one of the most critical voices on the board, he always responded to
people who expressed unhappiness with the way the district was run by
saying that the Superintendent was intelligent, more knowledgeable about
education than anyone hed ever met, had a laser-like focus, and was hard
working. While there may have been differences in strategies or how
strategies were to be implemented, he described Dr. Johnstons commitment
and integrity as second to none.
Dr. Johnston thanked board members for their comments. I had forgotten
when I came here in February 1999, the board said, We really want you to
focus on student achievement. Ohand by the wayif you can just run up to
Sacramento and get the 20-million-something dollars we need to build
Hercules Middle/High School, wed really appreciate that. Dr. Johnston
recalled that the board also shared with her their priority to rebuild the
Dr. Johnston said that the new administrators, teachers, support staff, and
others who have come to work for West Contra Costa over the past six years
have lifted up the district, and she applauded the tremendous talent that
exists throughout all aspects of the organization. She noted that
partnerships have been formed with organizations such as the Ron and Ellen
Whittier Foundationwhich established the Tech Futures program for students
using personal investments from the Whittier Familyand the Stupski
Foundation, which has invested millions of dollars in the school district
to provide professional development, guidance and support for the
districts focus on student achievement.
Dr. Johnston stated that contrary to inaccurate comments from naysayers
concerning student achievement, WCCUSD students have in fact been making
strong, steady gains since 1999. Were not satisfied that were not where
we want to be, but we are certainly on the right path, noted Dr.
Johnston. She concluded by thanking the community members, parents,
teachers, and support staff who have visited, called, and sent letters,
cards, and e-mails to thank her and say goodbye. Ill miss you, she said.
Mr. Brown adjourned the meeting in appreciation for Superintendent Gloria
Johnstons six-and-a-half years of service to the West Contra Costa Unified
# # #
- --Kevin and others:
I will not address this issues much, only because when I came to this district many many moons ago, they were pushing something call "whole language" and back then I spoke out and said "one size does not fit all students and that teachers should be allowed to teach in the best interest of their students. So, when the high paid consultants came out and told the leadership what parents and teachers had already told them, they listen to the consultants. Therefore, we need to get our own group of highly paid consultant to advocate for teachers and parents. I am ready to join that group and I know some great teachers that have retire or need to make a few extra bucks that would really have the best interest of the students in mind. But, we have a problem, how do we get paid? Because as my mother would say "why buy a cow, when you can get the milk free", and that is what many of us do, volunteer or time and knowledge, only to be dismissed by the powers that be, because we are not making them pay.
-------------- Original message ----------------------
From: Cathy Travlos <cbt@...>
> I think this part is the key to what's going on in this district.
> Curriculum decisions are being made by consultants, not by teachers or
> parents or anyone with any curriculum knowledge. It's all been happening
> without input from, or usually with the knowledge of, the education
> community. It's time these decisions were made with open discussion and
> total disclosure. I guess I'm still not quite as jaded as Kevin (though I'm
> moving that direction....) and I actually think this committee, as a board
> subcommittee, has a chance to change the current way of doing things.
> At 10:33 AM 8/2/2005, you wrote:
> >Educrats are making education into a complicated morass for their own job
> >security. As long as parents play along with the smoke and mirrors being
> >laid out by those consultants who are sucking the billions of dollars out of
> >the classrooms the children of today will never attain the same education as
> >their grandparents and that is a shame.
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