Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Fwd: Board meeting update

Expand Messages
  • Cathy Travlos
    Board of Education meeting update: July 13, 2005 From the WCCUSD Communications and Community Engagement Office
    Message 1 of 31 , Jul 15, 2005
      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 school
      attendance area)
      > 3-4 teachers (with at least one elementary teacher and one middle school
      > Representatives from the district’s bargaining units
      > Staff to be designated by the Superintendent and/or Interim Superintendent
      > Representatives from Stewart K-8 School.

      Once formed, the Study Committee will set its own timeline. President
      Price offered the following framework:

      >July-August: Initial meetings, division of work, and research
      > September-October: Develop recommendations; preliminary report to board
      > November: Redistricting review of recommendations (if needed)
      > December: Full report to the board.

      In his memo, Mr. Price stated that the Study Committee should address the
      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 Holmes
      > Principal, Downer Elementary School: Graciela Uribes

      Superintendent Gloria Johnston reported that the board also approved the
      following appointments, pending negotiation of contracts:
      > Interim Chief Academic Officer: Dr. Kaye Burnside
      > Interim Lead Regional Superintendent: Karen Frison
      > Interim Lead Senior Director, Human Resources: Dr. Brandon Krueger.

      Recognitions and awards

      > 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 of
      silence for the passing of community member Ethel Gok and Martin Rodriguez,
      a student at Verde Elementary School.

      Board actions

      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 for
      November 2005.
      > Approved Resolution No. 27-0506, re-authorizing the district’s
      Maintenance and Recreation Assessment District for 2005-06.

      Comments from the Board and Superintendent

      Noting that this would be Dr. Johnston’s 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. Johnston’s 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. Johnston’s
      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 we’ll miss you a lot, but you’ll 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, “it’s 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 we’re 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. Pfeifer’s 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 he’d 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. Johnston’s 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. Oh—and by the way—if you can just run up to
      Sacramento and get the 20-million-something dollars we need to build
      Hercules Middle/High School, we’d 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 Foundation—which established the Tech Futures program for students
      using personal investments from the Whittier Family—and the Stupski
      Foundation, which has invested millions of dollars in the school district
      to provide professional development, guidance and support for the
      district’s 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. “We’re not satisfied that we’re 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. “I’ll miss you,” she said.

      Mr. Brown adjourned the meeting in appreciation for Superintendent Gloria
      Johnston’s six-and-a-half years of service to the West Contra Costa Unified
      School District.

      # # #
    • rcs101@att.net
      --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
      Message 31 of 31 , Aug 3, 2005
        --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.

        Scottie Smith

        -------------- 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.
        > Cathy
        > 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.
        > >
        > >Kevin
        > Yahoo! Groups Links
      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.