Welcome to Board Watch for WCCUSD’s May 24th Board of Education Meeting!
At the May 24th Board of Education meeting, our board members discussed updates to the 2017-18 LCAP and the topic of suspensions based on willful defiance. The board also approved a facilities agreement with Caliber Schools, as well as charter revision / renewal proposals with Aspire Richmond College Preparatory Academy, Aspire Richmond Technology Academy, and Leadership Public Schools. Lastly, the board approved the Special Education Annual Service & Budget Plan through a public hearing.
Click here to see the full meeting agenda.
Agenda Item B.8
United Teachers of Richmond Addresses the Board
Demetrio Gonzalez, UTR President, introduced Elizabeth Sanders, the bargaining chair for UTR, who spoke on the ways UTR and the district could work together to attract and retain teachers and reduce turnover. She stated main reasons for turnover was the lack of a competitive salary and high cost of living.
Agenda Item E.8
Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) Update
Ms. Rashidchi presented the new LCAP template and changes to the Actions and Services Summary and walked through Goal 1 to illustrate the changes. Superintendent Duffy went through the Annual Measurable Outcomes (AMO) proposed to date highlighting some of the template language changes and revised measures and summary noting how the AMO’s best measure outcomes.
President Block requested clarification on measurements. Ms. Rashidchi explained the State’s requirements which do not always tie to a specific area the district is keying in on. Ms. Joyner explained state measures and indicators stating she understood some of the confusion between state requirements and local indicators and said they will separate out going forward.
Mr. Panas commended staff on work done to date and appreciated everyone’s efforts.
Ms. Cuevas questioned the connection between LCAP activities and reaching the state marks, how that work is being assessed, and how to explain that ties back to the value of the programs and money being spent.
Mr. Phillips reiterated his support for the addition of Vice Principals and feels they should be at all sites with funding from central support funds and not through site funds as he hears is happening. He stated specifically that he believes K-8 schools should have Assistant Principals added to them as well without having to pay for them, specifically requesting for Stewart and Mira Vista effective at the start of the next school year.
Ms. Cuevas questioned if staffing ratios were dictated by union contracts. Ms. Gamba explained how staffing is allocated and that the budget for 2017-18 is about complete with monies being allocated. She stated adding positions at this time would add to the deficit and at a critical juncture should the Board wish to make this type of change.
Ms. Rashidchi drew the Board’s attention to the enrollment formulas used and dot matrix in their LCAP document and provided further explanation. Discussion continued around the formulas used to determine number of staff at sites and funding and the need for future discussions on criteria to staff. Mr. Phillips clarified his request was to specifically add Vice Principals to Mira Vista and Stewart.
Ms. Kronenberg thanked Ms. Joyner for her work to ensure the District is answering the states questions and how best to answer the community when the two don’t mesh. She appreciated the work on the dashboards.
Agenda Item E.2
Suspensions Based on Willful Defiance
Superintendent Duffy presented a summary review of Willful Defiance including updated ethnicity numbers. This led to his recommendation to continue to review and dig into the data and trends along with strategies for professional development for staff and creation of a task force.
Ms. Cuevas shared comments she’d received from the community and supports changing the culture in schools understanding it’s a complex issue that takes time. She questioned how to best support and deal with suspensions as a whole and requested those conversations be started.
Mr. Phillips agreed District culture needs to change and discussions need to begin to include and involve stakeholders. He spoke passionately about discrimination, acknowledging those in the community who care about this issue. He shared about a meeting with the teachers’ union president to involve stakeholders while not continuing to subjecting children to discriminatory practices. He read a motion he hoped to bring to the Board at a future meeting requesting a moratorium on suspensions and willful defiance, and supported the establishment and charge of an ad-hoc committee.
President Block stated she wanted any task force formed to include administrators and teachers. She then stated conversation was straying from the agenda topic and requested members stay on topic and hold requests for future agenda items until the end of the meeting.
Ms. Cuevas requested to hear from the teachers union. Mr. Gonzalez gave his position on banning willful defiance suspensions.
Ms. Kronenberg agreed she would like to see a moratorium effective August and to start the year with it in place and utilize the task force to do long range planning.
Mr. Panas noted his agreement to much of what had been said this evening and supported the Superintendent’s proposal to create a task force. He stated he would like to see information on campus arrests.
President Block wanted to receive input from sites and the summer in order to have something in place for 2017-18. Superintendent Duffy agreed this could be done and was willing to put a group together to begin work by August as well as a year from now.
Mr. Phillips wanted to ensure seeing a change going into next year.
Ms. Cuevas added her support to begin a task force as soon as possible and have a policy in place for August.
Agenda Item F.2
Facilities Use Agreement and Ground Lease with Caliber Schools
Ms. LeBlanc presented the final agreement to house Caliber at the North Campus site. She went over key terms of the agreement and facility improvements needed stating there was minimal impact to the District for this long-term solution.
Mr. Phillips asked counsel clarifying questions on the contract language relating to ownership of the facilities. There was continued dialog between Mr. Phillips and counsel over Mr. Phillips request to strike the words “ownership and” from page 9 stating the broadness of language makes ownership ambiguous.
Motion Failed: Mr. Phillips moved to amend the Facilities Use Agreement and Ground Lease with Caliber Schools by striking the words “ownership and” from page 9. Ms. Kronenberg seconded. Ms. Kronenberg and Mr. Phillips voted yes. Ms. Cuevas, Mr. Panas, and President Block voted no. There were no abstentions and no absences. Motion failed 2-3-0-0.
Ms. Kronenberg questioned the preference for union labor and local businesses and how that would work. Caliber attorney explained the bid and award process noting that monitoring of the process would be overseen through a collaboration between Caliber and the District through a public bid process.
Mr. Panas questioned his understanding on the gross financing amount. Ms. Leblanc provided information.
Motion Passed: Ms. Cuevas moved to approve the Facilities Use Agreement and Ground Lease with Caliber Schools as presented. Mr. Panas seconded. Ms. Cuevas, Ms. Kronenberg, Mr. Panas, Mr. Phillips, and President Block voted yes, with no abstentions and no absences. Motion carried 5-0-0-0. Passed with a motion by Valerie Cuevas and a second by Tom Panas.
Agenda Item F.4
Decision for Material Revision Charter Petition, Aspire Richmond California College Preparatory Academy (Aspire RCCPA)
Superintendent Duffy noted that due to the discussion that took place the last meeting’s public hearing there was no plan for a presentation for this item or Item F.5.
Ms. Cuevas commented she is doing her best to service district students and recognizes the need to work on legislative change.
Motion Passed: Ms. Kronenberg moved approval of the Decision for Material Revision Charter Petition, Aspire Richmond California College Preparatory Academy (Aspire RCCPA). Mr. Panas seconded. Ms. Cuevas, Ms. Kronenberg, Mr. Panas, Mr. Phillips, and President Block voted yes, with no abstentions and no absences. Motion carried 5-0-0-0. Passed with a motion by Madeline Kronenberg and a second by Tom Panas.
Agenda Item F.5
Decision for Material Revision Charter Petition, Aspire Richmond Technology Academy (Aspire RTA)
Motion Passed: Mr. Panas moved approval of the Decision for Material Revision Charter Petition, Aspire Richmond Technology Academy (Aspire RTA). Ms. Kronenberg seconded. Ms. Cuevas, Ms. Kronenberg, Mr. Panas, Mr. Phillips, and President Block voted yes, with no abstentions and no absences. Motion carried 5-0- 0-0. Passed with a motion by Tom Panas and a second by Madeline Kronenberg.
Agenda Item F.6
Resolution No. 89-1617 To Approve Renewal to the Leadership Public Schools (LPS), Richmond Charter Petition
Motion Passed: Ms. Kronenberg moved to approve Resolution No. 89-1617 To Approve Renewal to the Leadership Public Schools (LPS), Richmond Charter Petition. Mr. Panas seconded. Ms. Cuevas, Ms. Kronenberg, Mr. Panas, Mr. Phillips, and President Block voted yes, with no abstentions and no absences. Motion carried 5-0- 0-0. Passed with a motion by Madeline Kronenberg and a second by Tom Panas.
Agenda Item F.7
Special Education Annual Service Plan and Annual Budget Plan Public Hearings
Mr. Collins presented history and a high level overview of the Service and Budget Plan requirements. Mr. Berger, Director Elementary Programs, presented information on the annual budget plan and requirements and walked through the line items. Mr. Nazario, Director Secondary Programs, presented service plan information and requirements and services being provided, some of which are unique to fit the needs of our students. President Block opened the public hearing.
Ms. Block questioned where autism classes are. Mr. Collins provided site locations.
Ms. Cuevas questioned the parent/student survey results on how serving the needs of the students. Mr. Collins stated they were just completed and data has not been compiled as yet and will be presented in September.
President Block reiterated her concern that numbers are being under reported but acknowledged staff is a better job of identifying.
Motion Passed: Ms. Kronenberg moved to approve the Special Education Annual Service Plan Public Hearing Special Education Annual Budget Plan. Mr. Panas seconded. Ms. Cuevas, Ms. Kronenberg, Mr. Panas, Mr. Phillips, and President Block voted yes, with no abstentions and no absences. Motion carried 5-0-0-0. Passed with a motion by Madeline Kronenberg and a second by Tom Panas.