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Anyone see the last HUSD meeting?

By Eric Kurhi
Friday, February 12th, 2010 at 10:30 am in Cherryland, Fairview, Hayward, Schools.

UPDATE: The video of the meeting is now available online. Recommended viewing times:

33:40 —  Trustee Luis Reynoso’s first objection of the meeting to seating placement of superintendent.

41:20 — Cameo public comment appearance of frequent HayWord poster John Kyle.

1:41:45 — Restructuring item begins.

2:13:12 — Reynoso input begins. Conflict begins about 9 minutes later, ends with item moved over Reynoso objections.

2:42:20 — Reynoso input on next item begins. Conflict begins almost immediately, with request for round robin, rejection of request, accusation of superintendent giving direction. About 15 minutes later it again gets heated and ends in a brief recess before being moved.

There was a fair degree of dysfunction, which is touched on in today’s story about Harder and Longwood elementary schools facing restructuring. The video isn’t available yet on the district’s Web site, but it is recommended viewing for anyone who wants to see how trustees are getting along.

Just curious to hear comment from anyone who might have been at the meeting or seen it on television.

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  • teachermama

    A new low, for sure. We would do better with Jerry Springer.

  • John Kyle

    Teachermama’

  • John Kyle

    Teachermoma! You despair?

  • John Kyle

    Teachermomma!

    The man has said his culpas!

    He like others is at least passionate about education.

    uNfortunately Had A MANNERISM WHICH HE PROMISES ME HE WILL CORRECT!

    MS. BECNEL NEVER RESPONDEED TO THE FOLLOWING IDEA BROUGHT TO HER ATTENTION LAST NOVEMBER.

    hOW WILL THE NEW DESIGN WORK, USING THE SAME STUDENTS AND THEIR PARENTS IN A NEIGHBORHOOD WHERE THE tRANSIENCE RATE REACHES WELL ABOVE 40% AND WHERE THE TRANSIENCE PROBLEM IS ALSO EXCESSIVEN IN RELATI8ON TO OTHER SCHOOLS?

    TEACHERMOMMA… HOW DO YOU RESPOND TO THAT PROBLEM… BEFORE YOU DI8SLOCATE THE ENTIRE STAFF AS PUNISHMENT FOR NOT HAVING SUCCEEDED IN THE PAST TEN YEARS UNDER SIX OR SEVEN CHANGES IN THE POSITION OF pRINCIPAL?

    wE HAVE DISMISSED FOUR SUPERINTENDENTS IN THE LAST 18 OR 19 YEARS AND IN BETWEEN THERE HAS BEEN FOUR INTERIM SUPERINTENDENTS. ON EACH OCCASION OF THOSE HIRES WE INCREASED THE CONTRACT PROCE…. AND GOT WHAT?

    SO, BEYOND A POKE IN THE EYE, WHAT DO YOU SUGGEST?

  • K Rocchio

    I feel that the behavior demonstrated at this, and previous, meetings was completely disrespectful to the community.

    I can remember back to promises of transparency and improving communication and trust. I can’t help but wonder who these five (or six) people are that sit before us. They seem to be so full of malice toward one another, there is no way to move forward.

    I believe Mr. Reynoso is asking some difficult and uncomfortable questions at this point. I am baffled as to why the other members grow so angry with the questions and not with the ANSWERS we are hearing.

    I understand the reluctance to give up the floor when it is clear the agenda appears to be to just move through the motions. There are times when there is a second before the motion is even complete. How can that be??? I know the Board reviews the agenda prior to the public meeting, but I hate to think that there is still not some opportunity for the public and additional information to have some impact. If not, please let us all know now, so we can save our time and energy.

    I do hope the personal feelings of our Board can be put on the back burner, but not at the sacrifice of getting the answers out to the community.

  • John Kyle

    Good for K.Rocchio !

    I have dRawn close to the intent of Mr. Reynoso’s frequent interrogation oN the effectivness of proposals brought forward to the agenda AND CONSEQUENTLY TO PUBLIC MEETINGS OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES..i DO NOT BELIEVE THAT THEY GO OVER THE AGENDA AT TYHE CLOSED MEETINS OCCURRING JUST PRIOR TO THEIR LATE ARRIVAL TO THE PUBLIS ‘OPEN SESSION’

    A few days ago I phoned Mr. Reynoso TO THE EFFECT that I supported his desire to understand the Details of matters requiring his vote.

    I did gain his recognition of his tendency to interrupt the answers poffered to his questions. He graciously saw the point and intends to be a bit more patient. our MIOST gracicous member, Sheila Sims, is the most calm person in the group.

    Too bad the other trustees fail to recognize that in their own comportment.

    I suspect that if the frequent momentary departures from the room, is an indication of SARAH’S declining health; I wish her well! If my assumptions are co=rrect I urge she take better care and if bnecessary, TAKE a short leave of absence. I VOTED FOR THE LADY AND SINCERLY HOPE SHE CONTINUES AT LEAST THROUGH THE BALANCE OF HER TERM.

    As to the Supt. seating arrangement I have no DIRECT objection; I only onserve that the seating arramgment started with the recently departed individual. In fairness he may have found it neccessary to introduce the frequent ‘tete a tete’ when that very old individual was presiding.

    I did not understand why the practice was continued with Sergio Saenz, EXCEPT FOR TYHE FACT THAT HE BECAME PRESIDER, IMMEDIATLY UPON HIS SELECTION AFTER THE SUDDEN RESIGNATION OF MS. TRUHILL

    I THOUGHT IT POSSIBLE THAT THE ‘TETE A TETE’ BETWEEN MR.SEANZ AND VIGIL, WAS UNREASONABLY POOR JUDGEMENT ON BOTH THEIR PARTS. ONLY BECAUSE IT INVITED SUSPICION! i THOUGHT IT POSIBLE sAENA WAS OFFERD THE POSITION DUE TO HE KWON DESIRE TO EARN A DOCTORATE!
    +
    Mr Frumkin’s occasional frustrations may have caused him to invite the more calming presence of Dr. Duran…. a vert competant, calm individual WITH VAST EXPERIENCE!

    ADd to the problem being caused by the creation of the two new schoolS concept at Longwood and Harder, I had writen Ms. Becnel as early as November, that the plan will fail as surely as the sun rises in the east.

    Why? There is no indication of the most necessary need to deal with the twin problems of Daily Absences causing loss of ADA money and the added overwhelming rate of transiency which I personally know to have been as high as 46% in mid 1990′s and which a now transferred teacher advised ( in spring of 2009) was above 40%

    tHERE IS NO SOLUTION TO THE API PROBLEM IF YOU DO NOT MAINTAIN A CHILD’S PRESENCE IN HIS GRADE LEVEL AT THE SAME SCHOOL FOR AT LEAST THREE YEARS….. THAT ARGUMENT CAME UP FROM THE MOUTH OF mASRLIN fOXWORTH 18 OR 19 YEARS AGO… DID WE FIRE HIM FOR REVEALING TRUTH?

    tHINK ABOUT THE FACT THAT THE LAST FOUR AND THE INTERVENING ‘TEMPORARIES’ HAVE NOT COME UP WITH A SOLUTION TO THOSE TWIN DISASTERS!

    WOULD THE IDEA OF CONDUCTING SOMETING AKIN TO A PUBLIC “TOWN hALL’ MEETING ENCOTAGE NEW THOUGHT FROM THE SHAREHOLDERS IN husd I.E. JOE LUNCH BUCKET AND KINDRED SOULS AMONG THE ELECTORATE?

  • John Kyle

    I SHUDDER AFTER READING THE ABOVE….

    AGAIN I APOLOGIZE FOR POOR TYPING SKILLS AND WEAKENING
    EYESIGHT. I ALAWAY INTEND TO KEEP IT SHORT, THUS AVOIDING COPY AND PASTE INVOLVMENT…..

  • teachermama

    John Kyle, it was good to see you live at the board meeting. I’m not sure how you interpreted my very brief comment. I am certainly AGAINST the restructure of Harder and Longwood, or any school for that matter. It’s just a desperate measure to make the district appear to be reform-minded, and is being meted out punitively, as Reynoso suggested.

  • John Kyle

    Teachermama

    1.) Pres. of HEA was correct…. not enough work prior to bringing the new small school concept forward;

    2.) Becnel ignores the need to address the ‘transienct rate’ and the ‘absentee’ rate these are coupled rfactors which mustt be addressed if and when ‘small’ schools (20 are to be restricted to wnrollment boundaries now associated with these two schools. Becnel was alerted to that in writing last November; my only oral contact with that lady tells me I would be hardly able to be on the same team. She can be abrupt!

    3.) I admire Reynoso who was raised in a Mexican orphange and adopted to gian entry into a land where he did not speak engklish. He tells me he left his Fremont tewaching job, is living on his savings while pursuing a doctorate at USF. I admire the man and have encouraged the man to make emquiry any time he did not understand the issue upon which he was to vote. He has one fault which I encouraged him to correct and he took it in good greace….do not interrupt before the partu is finished answering your previous question…. something that Gonzales and Frumkin fail to recognizew when addressing their imagined incorrect analysis of audacity by Reynoso is seen in the outrageuous tussle started by Ms. Sarah.

    If your are the individual I suspect you to be …. you might press that thought upon Frumkin and Gonzales.

    During the tussle with board at first meeting of January, I caught wind of an intended re-call which I will oppose just as I did in 1994. A recall can cost up to $100,000 and is charged to HUSD by Alameda County reguistrar of cvoters? Guess who suffers most from that thought?

    Get it?

  • John Kyle

    Teacher mamma; (2) not (20

  • K Rocchio

    It is the responsibility of the Board to represent all community members. There are going to be differing opinions, as there should be! No one sector holds more weight than another and no one Board member should be discounted based on their ideas. I was shocked to hear Dr. Gonzales asking who Mr. Reynoso was trying to convince with his questions. It is my belief that questions are asked and answered as a process to inform and educate the Board and community. She went on to state that she was entitled to her opinion. Questions in no way deny any Board member of their opinion. That is what they are allowed to express when the vote comes to the floor.

    I hope our Board can contain their personal feelings and listen to the information objectively. There was a great deal of information shared on 2/10 about some huge decisions facing our District. I hope people in the community are listening and not just tuning in for the antics!

  • John Kyle

    One of the basic causes of poor API scores is the problem of absenteeism. It is most easily observed at the High school level in the HUSD operation.. Each lost day due to unexcused absence costs the district something like $27 or $28 in payments from the state.. In Hayward that loss at the high school level is reputed to be about $1,000,000. Per year. I can not prove that since the figures are not conveniently made available.

    The other major cause is the transience rate….. Kids moved away without proper notice, to another school district, almost on the same rotational game often seen played in Baseball. Courteous notice to the school districts is lacking. They come and go hither and thither without recognition of the economic damage to the school system nor the affect upon their future lives. Often they return to the same district where they started.

    One major contribution to the probability of their lack of ability ,to enter college, is the drop out rate. That usually originates with early participation in hooky games.

    It would probably be seen as anti-democratic but somehow parents have to be made accountable when kids are in almost constant transition or when frequently absent.

    Teachers can not be held accountable for the API score disaster when students do not remain with their classmates, in the same school for more than two or three years. Somehow, some sort of identity card ought to be swiped twice per day ( on arrival and again at end of last class.) and the central accounting system alerted to behaviors such as school transience rates and questionable absenteeism. Students should not be ‘flopped’ from one classroom to another, in a separate school, without some sort of intervention.

    What say you with computer skills who just sit and ponder, then proclaim nothing in the way of solutions to damaging results of absenteeism and transience?

  • K Rocchio

    Something to consider regarding the absenteeism … have you been in one of the elementary school cafeterias lately? They are overcrowded with no time to clean between the next herd moving in. Classrooms are overcrowded! One sick kid and next thing you know you’ve got 35 sick ones coughing and “sharing”!

    Transiency … well when we have these kinds of conditions it is a breeding ground for discipline problems and that is a huge factor in bouncing these kids around like balls! When I was volunteering in the library at one of my kids schools, we had children who could not check out a library book because we just weren’t sure they would be there from one week to the next! There is also some restrictions that maybe someone else can clear up on how long some students are allowed to stay before we have to pay another teacher???

    On moving to another district … can we really blame people for fleeing with our Board meetings being compared to reality tv??

    From my experience, not many are more upset by these issues than teachers themselves! I agree these are problems worth looking into and I don’t believe re-design will address any of these concerns!

  • John Kyle

    Kelley,

    I am fairly regular and astute in listening to the items brought to ‘public comments’ but yours are hnew to me. Some of what you say I find incomprehensible.

    Health Conditions? Have you called the county board of health which haaas a section dedicated to examination of kitcchen cleanliness at restaurants etc?

    Discipline problems?

    Is there a lack of proper comportment when class is in session? Just a singular unruly individual in a classroom setting? Is it sufficient to warrant intervention by Principal or expulsion by Board. If a group is involved is it a result of poor teacher quality? Maybe just overuse of substitutes whi change every 30 days as was reported to me … belatedly by a parent at Longwood? Edid you witness the problem?

    Library problems? Free education does not preclude requiring a refundable deposit. At conclusion of the school year an accounting must be made over refunds and amounts due; failing that then by all means restrict issuance; but to refuse a child the use of the book is not to be taken lightly. How widespread and economically damaging was this problem? Was this at Fairview? Isn’t that particular principal a bit strident in control matters?

    Your question—- how long are students permitted to stay before paying another teacher? I pondered that and conclude you mean that those not promoted are in such numbers as to require another classroom and teacher? Please clarify; perhaps advise why tutoring by a volunteer might not aid a child… or, are the numbers so high that volunteer use is out of the question.

    I had a situation reported to me of an instance where the ‘dummies’ (of poor parentage?) were gathered in a class taught solely by substitutes who, under the law had to be changed every 30 days. If that is what is really occurring…. Then let us together raise a bit of hell!

    How about a district wide type meeting on the order of the “town hall” type….. Outside the purvey of the board of trustees? Using break out group techniques so that all attendees can be given time to speak without the difficulty of hearing all, individually, three minutes at a time. City used it effectively in late 1991, on the only occasion I saw it used locally. It would work if we had enthusiastic leaders.

    Which is it to be: blog until death or a public outburst, by well behaved, in a publicly seen outburst of enthusiasm for schools …. Or retirement into the background of shrinking interest?

  • teachermama

    Right on, K. Rocchio! You should run for board again!

  • K Rocchio

    Teachermama, thanks but turns out I’m not much for the political arena.

    Mr. Kyle, I just wanted to clarify:
    The conditions I refer to regarding cafeterias do not reflect on the kitchens, but the actual tables our children sit at and eat lunch. It is the only way they can move so many children through a small cafeteria in a set amount of time. They are broken down into groups and moved through very quickly to allow all of them to eat near mid-day. This leaves quite a nasty mess!

    I can’t imagine that discipline problems come as a surprise to anyone at this point. Overcrowding always leads to chaos. That is what we are seeing in HUSD. A teacher spends so much time trying to “manage” the students that I would be exhausted after mere minutes in this setting. Our teachers deal with this on a daily basis. The responsibility for bad classroom behavior belongs with those exhibiting the behavior and those who follow.

    I would be more than happy to participate in a townhall type meeting. There are a great number of parents with concerns regarding our District at this point. But until we can come up with some solutions this would quickly turn into a gripe session.

    I assure you my interest in HUSD is not shrinking into the background. Now with the news of Dr. Gonzales resigning, I am curious what happens now!

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