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Live blog of MDUSD Dec. 13 meeting

By Theresa Harrington
Tuesday, December 13th, 2011 at 9:00 pm in Education, Mt. Diablo school district.

In an attempt to update the community more quickly about what happens at Mt. Diablo school board meetings, I am going to try to live blog tonight.

So far, the board voted 4-1 to elect Sherry Whitmarsh as president (with Hansen voting no) and 4-0-1 to elect Linda Mayo vice president (with Mayo abstaining). Mayo nominated Whitmarsh and Dennler seconded.

The board also unanimously reappointed Superintendent Steven Lawrence as board secretary.

The board voted 3-2 to change meeting dates to Mondays (Hansen and Mayo voted against).

Board unanimously approved consent agenda, except item 10.31, which was pulled.

Student reps reported on a variety of activities.
MDHS student said the campus is losing millions of dollars in QEIA funding.
YVHS student reported school band won first place at Napa Band Review.

Mayo asked that appointments be made before public comment.

Board appointed Christian Patts administrator of related services 5-0.

Board appointed Hunt Lin program specialist special ed. 5-0.

Board appointed Budget Advisory Committee members as presented. 5-0

Mike Fine asked the board what it intends to do to improve math test scores at CVHS.

Janet Fitzpatrick spoke against cuts to IMA II positions.

Several MDHS teachers said a majority of campus teachers have voted no confidence in Principal Kate McClatchy.

Debbie Hickey of CST Local 1 spoke against cuts to her bargaining unit.

Lawrence reported on Diablo View MS developments and Wells Fargo grant of $40,000.

CFO Bryan Richards presented a budget PowerPoint and board unanimously approved a “Qualified” budget, meaning the district may not be able to pay its bills for three years.
Trustee Gary Eberhart asked Richards to create a one-page document that shows the district is not “sitting on a $43 million pot of gold.”

Board unanimously agreed to approve contract increase with Non-Public Agency, Ed Support Services, as presented.

Board unanimously approved budget allocation for Seneca Center, revised MOU.

Board unanimously agreed to contract for maintenance of district’s Measure C phone systems and voicemail as presented.

Board agreed to SunPower change order as presented (I believe Hansen voted no).

Board unanimously agreed to increase the contract/purchase order amount with Beyond the Words, Inc. for the Services of Educational Interpreters for the Deaf for School Year 2011-12.

Board did not act on CSBA nominations, since no one had approached trustees requesting to be nominated.

Board voted 4-1 to spend $2,000 on a Governance Leadership Development Workshop on Feb. 4 (Hansen voted no).

Eberhart said the rest of the items on the agenda were for information only.

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82 Responses to “Live blog of MDUSD Dec. 13 meeting”

  1. Doctor J Says:

    Wow, no confidence vote against Kate McClatchy is huge — in shadow of CVCHS petition, mid year, prior resignation of Denise Rugani in SASS, and disclosures of underfunding of high schools in MDUSD. I guess we can call this McClatchygate.

  2. anon Says:

    WOW, if I had even a shred of compassion left for this district I’d almost feel sorry for them.

  3. Doctor J Says:

    Eberhart, Lawrence and Richards made their own beds, now let them lie in them.

  4. Anon Says:

    Did Bryan Richards mention the status of the district’s financial audit report for 2010/2011?

  5. Doctor J Says:

    What happened to pulled item from consent agenda ?

  6. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Loss of QEIA appears to have been last straw. 55 teachers no confidence to 11 confidence.

  7. Theresa Harrington Says:

    No mention of 2101-11 financial audit.

  8. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Item pulled was not discussed. It was removed.

  9. Doctor J Says:

    Was the 11 FOR “confidence” or just refusing to vote “no confidence” ??? Big difference.

  10. Theresa Harrington Says:

    11 were for confidence. There were also some who didn’t vote, but I didn’t catch that number.

  11. Doctor J Says:

    There must be other issues with Kate McClatchy other than QEIA

  12. Doctor J Says:

    Remember when Lawrence appointed Kate McClatchy, it was because he was making the “right fit” in his “suffle” of administrators — that was just 1 1/2 years ago. Doesn’t sound like the teachers feel it is the “right fit”. That qualifies Lawrence to now have “McClatchygate” on his resume.

  13. Doctor J Says:

    Sunpower change order must be one barnburner of a discussion.

  14. Anon Says:

    Is the board discussing why Holbrook and Glenbrook are getting solar panels?

  15. Theresa Harrington Says:

    No, but Pete Pederson told me the supt directed him to move forward with solar on closed schools.

  16. Doctor J Says:

    Thanks Theresa for the “live” blog. It was informative. As close to play by play as you can get.

  17. Jim Says:

    Theresa, great job, as always.

    Why would they install solar on schools they are closing? So that they can continue to show the “savings” from those schools’ utilitiy bills in their rationale for that project? Perhaps the $4.3mm solar change order approved tonight could have been smaller if they had scoped back the project to include only those schools where the solar will actually be used…

  18. Theresa Harrington Says:

    You’re welcome. And good news — the district plans to start posting audio of meetings in January.

  19. @Dr. J Says:

    I agree that there must be more about McClathcy; but the loss of QEIA funds is more than enough to upset the majority of teachers at MDHS. Also…you mentioned Denise Rugani; not only did she advocate for my child, but for several other moms that i know. Why is it that all of our best from the Dent are going to Pittsburg? I am aware that unlike MDUSD, Pittsburg Unified does not have any program improvement schools…right? and if so, are there other reasons that attract people like Mrs. Rugani?

  20. Tired of the Rhetoric Says:

    Mt. Diablo’s vote of “no confidence” is huge. Add that to the Northgate conversations about leaving the District and the grapevine rumor of College Park watching the CV situation with an eye towards their own petition, and you have a full revolt in process. It sure is getting interesting….

  21. Doctor J Says:

    Any skeptic might say that the “qualified budget” is just a counter measure to the recent discovery that for the last two years there has been a non-disclosed $43 Million dollar reserve, not just one year, but TWO years in a row. Any skeptics out there ? Oh, I guess maybe the unions and perhaps even the voters. It was really sweet that Linda Mayo nominated Sherry Whitmarsh to be Board President, and then Linda was elected Vice. So very telling that Cheryl voted against Sherry after the two worked “together” on the Strategic Plan that was stalled by Sherry. Then Sherry nominated Linda to be Vice. Anyone think that sounds pre-arranged ?? LOL. Well the most telling vote was Linda abstaining from voting on her own nomination, but Sherry voted for herself. Its going to be a long year with Gary having to manipulate the puppets remotely.

  22. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Jim, Pedersen told me that Glenbrook is being used by Seneca, so he doesn’t really view that as a “closed” school. The change order was to accommodate the increased load for HVAC. Perhaps the BOC will further discuss the justification for putting solar at Holbrook during its meeting tomorrow night.
    TOTR: Yes, I agree the MDHS vote is unprecedented, since I’ve been covering the district. The last vote of No Confidence was for former Superintendent Gary McHenry, who was later ousted by the board.
    Trustee Lynne Dennler’s words have become prophetic. She said CVHS was not the only school with problems, it was just the first one to do something about it (She wasn’t on the board when Northgate’s problems arose). Although Dennler suggested that the district establish a committee to facilitate discussions about problems on campuses, that was not done. I was told that MDHS staff have been complaining about McClatchy to district administrators and the board for more than a year — and that teachers have also tried to work things out directly with McClatchy, but she was not responsive.

  23. Anon Says:

    So, Eberhart aksed Richards to do a 1 page document to show they are not sitting on a 43 milliom pot of gold….I suppose when he does this we are all expected to take this as the truth. Does Gary realize that just about anyone could do this. It is easy to hide the money.
    I feel so confident in our district now that Gary has asked for this. (NOT)LOL

  24. Wait a minute Says:

    Yes Dr J,

    You have a 3 board majority that will continue to operate in the same manipulative way and try to “protect” their interests. I’m equally sure that they have illegally pre-arranged the entire vote as they undoubtedly do on everything (just not at the ButterCup anymore).

    The problem is as they continue to operate in the same dysfunctional way with Stevie and Greg as their loyal hacks but meanwhile the wheels are literally falling off the bus, LOL.

    Meanwhile the revolt is now spreading like wildfire and Kate McClatchy has been exposed as another incompetent administrator (who is also very loyal to Stevie-remember she spoke against the charter).

    I remember suggesting to Theresa back in Oct-Nov about investigating the many complaints at MDHS regarding the thugs and gangsters regularly threatening staff and getting away with it. I’m sure this is a prime reason for the no-confidence vote.

    Honestly, I can see every HS becoming charter in the not to distant future as:
    #1–this gives them control over their schools and they can do what it takes to make them safe and sane and better places for everyone.
    #2–they get a big boost in funding by getting back the at least 1/3 of their monies that are taken right off the top by the district for “overhead” and “income redistribution”.

  25. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Richards said he has taken the expected savings from furlough days out of the budget, since the teachers’ union has not agreed to it. This will make the numbers more real and should eliminate the inflated reserves, which were on paper only.
    Eberhart said that even a legislative staffer didn’t understand the district’s budget. This was part of his reason for asking for a simple one-page document that explains it in layman’s terms.
    This idea is not new. It was discussed at a Parent Advisory Committee meeting about a year ago. It just hasn’t ever been implemented.
    While Richards admits that the midyear cut this year won’t be as dreadful as predicted, he said the district is still waiting to see the governor’s budget in January, to determine cuts next year and beyond.

  26. Linda L Says:

    Jim #17,
    The CREBs are by site and there is always the issue of the rebates. Putting solar on a school site doesn’t cost the District a penny. When you aren’t the one paying for solar any calculation is a good investment.

  27. NitWit Says:

    Linda and Jim. I am beyond serious when i say this. I will help you w/ your campaigns if you both run in November. You have to! There are some others here too but they can’t or won’t come out of hiding :)

  28. Theresa Harrington Says:

    I tried to videotape Pederson’s presentation, but had video camera storage issues. I will try to post links later.
    Pedersen did mention CREBS and CSI rebates, but said the main justification for the change order was the increased savings the district would reap in energy costs. He said four high schools are on the grid now and are already achieving savings, with many more schools ready to go online soon.

  29. NitWit Says:

    Theresa, did they mention why in the world the middle schools (i.e. Pine Hollow , DVMS) are taking soooooooooo long. I understand that maybe the double time summer installation for high school gave us unrealistic expectations. But at DVMS the project was started in August and still it’s fenced off and not done…

  30. Wait a minute Says:

    Why don’t you run Nitwit?

  31. Linda L Says:


    Think about this –

    The HVAC units have been planned since MC2002.

    Sun Power had the lowest energy production projected of any of the other solar bidders. And it was lower than what the District had projected they needed three months earlier when the solar project went before the board for the first time.

    Sun Power’s cost was the 2nd highest out of the four companies bidding.


  32. Theresa Harrington Says:

    WAM: Yes, safety and lack of discipline was cited as one of the reasons for the No Confidence vote. One teacher said a student who came to school drunk was suspended only for one period. She said another student made flirtatious remarks to a teacher and touched her rear end but was not appropriately disciplined.
    And yes, McClatchy spoke against the charter, saying it wasn’t fair to take money away from students at other schools to support the charter. Yet, it appears that her actions are taking money from her own students.
    Ironically, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, who wrote the QEIA legislation, was inaugurated at MDHS. He considers the law that provides money to low-income schools one of his proudest accomplishments.

  33. Doctor J Says:

    The financial fantasy shell game used by Eberhart and Lawrence to distort the true financial picture of the district and show “balanced budgets” to avoid the Scarlet Letter of “Qualified Budget” came back to bite them in the posterior. Now that its to their disadvantage to show “highly inflated reserves”, they must try and convince everyone they are “now finally” telling the “truth”. How do you know when habitual liars are telling the truth ? Where is the audit for the year ended June 30 ?

  34. NitWit Says:

    WAM: honestly they are much smarter than I am.

  35. Doctor J Says:

    Has it been made public why MDHS is losing the QEIA funds ? In 18 months Kate McClatchy seems to have done a lot of damage. I thought each school had an assigned SASS administrator to “coach” the principals to be successful — supposedly the purpose of SASS when Lawrence announced its formation. Who has been her coach ? I thought the SASS personnel were to be evaluated annually based on how successful they were coaching. Telling last night that job descriptions for SASS personnel were passed 18 months after the department was formed. What happened to the annual department evaluation that Lawrence promised ?

  36. ANON Says:


    Outstanding suggestion for Jim and Linda L. Please be aware that we will be kicking off the “Defeat Eberhart and Whitmarsh in 2012” campaign early next year.

    Our goal is to become such an overwhelming movement that Gary and Sherry choose to not even submit their papers to run.

    –The Committee to Defeat Eberhart and Whitmarsh

  37. Doctor J Says:

    Theresa, was Kate M. present ? What was the reaction of staff and the Board when the “No Confidence” vote was presented ? Interesting they would use one of Gary and Sherry’s tactics — but apparently this is not the first “no confidence vote” against Kate McClatchy. More interesting is your report made on July 9, 2010. Let me quote a few sections that are enlightening: “Superintendent Steven Lawrence and Julie Braun-Martin, assistant superintendent for personnel, have said they were trying to find good matches for schools where principals have retired or have been promoted to new positions.” “Lawrence has said the swap of principals between Mt. Diablo High and Olympic continuation high was based on those administrators’ preferences. (Cheryl LeBoef is moving to Olympic and Kate McClatchy is moving to Mt. Diablo High.)” “Lawrence decides who to recommend for specific positions, with input from her, Lock said.” Rose Lock said: ““We want to make sure they are equally proficient and competent,” she said. “We want to develop them (through coaching and professional development), because we could be moving them around as needed.” She acknowledged that the district does, however, try to match principals to schools where they would best fit. “We certainly are sensitive to the needs of each school,” she said. “We do ask for (community) input, to make sure we have the right person.” ” Even more telling is Realia’s post in response: “Kate McClatchy was “promoted” from Olympic because she continually forced VPs to resign, had multiple complaints made against her by teachers (Gail Isserman and Mildred Browne conducted one-on-one interviews with the Alliance program staff so they could air their concerns), and the teachers conducted a no-confidence vote in which only two teachers voted that they had confidence in McClatchy’s leadership of the school (the vote results had not been forwarded to the district, but surely McClatchy or someone got wind of it). MDUSD will do anything to protect incompetent administrators – because if they fire any of them it gives credence to complaints made and offers affected parties evidence on which to sue the district.”
    So if Realia has reliable information, history is just repeating itself and Lawrence’s appointment of Kate McClatchy was flawed to begin with. One last point: she was appointed in the same meeting as Mr. Nugent. How ironic.

  38. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Since I was sitting in the back (and trying to videotape and take notes at the same time), I couldn’t really see the board’s reaction. I don’t believe McClatchy was there. I also had heard about the Olympic No Confidence vote, but didn’t report it at the time because I was unable to find anyone who would speak on the record. They were fearful of retaliation.
    MDHS employees are also fearful of retaliation, said teacher Dan Reynolds. But, they feel so strongly that they are wiling to take this step to try to get the district to respond to their concerns. The union is supportive of the MDHS teachers.
    Teachers said they will lose the QEIA funding because McClatchy refused to create a master schedule that complied with QEIA requirements.
    Linda: SunPower won the bid because the committee evaluating the RFPs felt it met most of the criteria they were looking for, including long-term stability and a proven track record.
    Nitwit: No mention was made of schools behind schedule. In fact, Pedersen said many schools were ahead of schedule.

  39. Anon Says:

    NitWit and ANON-
    smart isn’t required for a board member . . . obviously . . . just get two candidates who will vote with cheryl hansen . . .

  40. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Things got a bit tense toward the end of the meeting, when the board discussed the facilitated governance workshop and Hansen’s ideas for changes. Eberhart and Whitmarsh strongly favored the workshop, while Hansen said professional adults should be able to have a discussion about board policies and procedures without a facilitator and save the district $2,000.

  41. Doctor J Says:

    I thought SASS has someone assigned to monitor QEIA compliance ? Again, who is assigned from SASS as the “coach” ? Sounds like another ball that got dropped.

    Wonder what the mood is around Dent and MDHS today ? With Lawrence’s temperment reputation, I wonder if he was blindsided by the vote, or knew it was coming ? The $64 question is what does he do about it ?

    Wait until this hits the press wires. I think Torlakson used to teach and coach at MDHS. Now the author of QEIA loses its funding because the principal refused to implement a compliant schedule ? Gary, time to press speed dial and warn him.

  42. Jim Says:

    NitWit — thank you for the vote of confidence, but I would not serve on the MDUSD board. I don’t believe in school “districts”, fundamentally — especially the large ones that attempt to enforce a one-size-fits-all monopoly on a diverse student population with distinctly different needs. (There are entire countries that operate just fine without school “districts”.) I worked in education for 13 years, with teachers, schools and districts all over the country, and I can tell you that much (though not all) of what is wrong with education in this country may be found in district offices. Many of them exhibit the problems that we see at MDUSD. The only puzzle is that MDUSD seems to be as dysfunctional as even some of our poorest-performing large urban districts, even though the problems facing MDUSD really aren’t at the same level.

    I understand that certain small suburban and rural districts do a good job running their schools. The scale is small enough that parents and voters can keep close tabs on things, and the student populations in those districts tend to be pretty homogenous, with similar needs. But the vast majority of students in the U.S. attend schools in big districts that are not like that, and almost to a one, those districts are not doing a very good job.

  43. Theresa Harrington Says:

    While I was looking at the MDHS website, I came across this very nice post from students thanking Miramonte HS for donations of supplies:
    Here is a Q&A posted today about the loss of QEIA funding:

  44. School Teacher Says:

    I wish people didn’t have to be so PC about their wording. From the way it sounds, MDHS is not “exiting” QEIA, it is being terminated because of conditions not being met. And it sounds like it is due to the class size issue. Does that “just happen”, or there someone who should have be watching out for that?

  45. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Teacher Dan Reynolds said staff asked McClatchy to create a QEIA-compliant master schedule, but she failed to do so. This is a big part of their complaint against her.

  46. Jim Says:

    Hmmm…one of the district complaints against the CVHS charter was that they did not yet have a master schedule — for the 2012-13 school year. Now we learn that one of the district high schools didn’t have an acceptable master schedule even for THIS year! How DO the MDUSD staff make those criticisms with a straight face?!?

  47. Wait a minute Says:

    Yes, Dent is a walking and talking hypocrisy.

    They tried to put 56 “Condition” on the charter that they (the MDUSD) themselves cannot even pass!

  48. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Perhaps the fact that SASS administrators have been working without job descriptions for more than a year has contributed to a lack of oversight.
    According to the newly created job description for the Director of Secondary Support (which the board has not yet adopted), that person should have been helping to resolve complaints, supervise state and federal applications, provide technical support and guidance regarding compliance, monitor the resolution of operational problems, disseminate information on state and federal mandates, monitor the master schedule and take “leadership in creating healthful human relationships which will provide a suitable climate for learning and teaching:” This position is currently vacant.
    Wasn’t the charter also required to provide job descriptions?

  49. Doctor J Says:

    When Kate McClatchy took over in July 2010 it sounds like the warning letter had already been sent in Feb 2010 and everyone was aware, except the public. Another closely guarded secret of the district. Plenty of opportunity to fix it, but once again no action from the district. I don’t recall this issue ever being discussed at a Board meeting. Did Lawrence keep this a secret from the Board members ? Once again, who knew what and when did they know it. Its now called QEIAgate.

  50. Theresa Harrington Says:

    According to my blog notes, McClatchy was appointed to the position June 22, 2010. However, there are no minutes posted on the district’s website for that meeting and the agenda report does not specify who was appointed to which positions:

  51. Anon Says:

    Is there some kind of law that says how long they have to post minutes? It seems that no minutes 6 month later is just wrong. How long does it take to approve minutes?

  52. Anon Says:

    Whoops that was 1 year 6 months ago

  53. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Yes, Trustee Cheryl Hansen pointed out last night that minutes are supposed to be distributed by the next meeting:
    It’s unclear why the June 22, 2010 minutes are missing.

  54. Doctor J Says:

    @Theresa, here are the portion of the approved minutes of June 22, 2010 [note the public comments about Mt. Diablo High]:
    “16.2 Approval of Administrative Assignments for 2010-2011
    In an attempt to find the best match for each school, District staff has gathered input from site staff members and parents. For those positions that we feel we have a match, we will announce the person filling the position; otherwise, we will continue to search for qualified candidates. The District requests approval of administrative assignments for 2010-11 as announced.
     Diane Sargent, Site Based Program Specialist, assigned to Meadow Homes Elementary School
     Linda Hayes, Vice Principal, assigned to Northgate High School
     Cynthia Goin, Principal, assigned to Wren Elementary School (approved at the June 15 meeting)
     Rhys Miller, Principal, assigned to Valle Verde Elementary School
     Sandy Bruketta, Principal, assigned to Hidden Valley Elementary School
     Spoogmai Habibi, Principal, assigned to Ayers Elementary School
     Christine Huarjado, Principal, assigned to Riverview Middle School
     Ean Ainsworth Vice Principal, assigned to Riverview Middle School
     Kate McClatchy, Principal, assigned to Mt. Diablo High School
     Liane Cismowski, Vice Principal, assigned to Mt. Diablo High School
     Cheryl LeBeouf, Principal, Assigned to Olympic High School
     Katie Gaines, Vice Principal, assigned to Olympic High School
    Public Comment
    Dan Reynolds, English teacher at Mt. Diablo High, expressed concern that administrative changes were made at the school during the summer without input from staff. He asked the Board how the principal swap will affect the restructure plan as he would like to offer his input and help. Colin Jones, science teacher at Mt. Diablo High said he would like to see the students, parents, and teachers become engaged to help dispel the message that Mt. Diablo High is a failing school.
    Allen moved, Eberhart seconded and the Board voted 5-0-0 to approve the administrative assignments for 2010-11 as presented.”

  55. Theresa Harrington Says:

    I see that the minutes are available if you search the ESB website:
    Interesting that there’s no link on the district’s board site, however.

  56. Doctor J Says:

    I found them on the August 24 2010 Consent Agenda for approval of minutes.

  57. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Bond Oversight Committee meeting is tomorrow night at 7 p.m.:
    Agenda says there is a “minority report” with the annual report. Not sure what that means, since there is no staff report other than the Quarterly Report online.

  58. Doctor J Says:

    @TH#57 Actually it says: “Annual Report: Minority Report”. Minority of what ? Race, gender, political party, religion, what ??? I am not sure this is a proper description and may not meet the Brown Act minimal requirements. How could the public figure that out ? No mention of the audits. Interesting.
    Guess they are going to spends thousands of dollars importing the attorney ?

  59. Realia Says:

    Dr. J, I assure you that the no-confidence vote was taken in spring 2010 at Olympic High School with the results I previously posted. Alt. Ed. Program Director Dr. Mildred Browne admitted in a faculty meeting the following year, after months of requests from Olympic teachers, that McClatchy had received the no-confidence vote and that she, Dr. Browne, was aware of it. So, despite the publicized vote, McClatchy was promoted to be the principal of an even bigger high school. It’s really the Peter Principal, I mean Principle, in action.

    One should check out Olympic’s current principal, Marc Lopes, to see how the feeder pattern of administrators to MDHS is going. He’s cut from the same cloth at McClatchy – blame teachers for everything, let students do whatever they want with little-to-no consequences. And like McClatchy, he has issues. It’s a matter of time before his actions and inaction will snare him and the district. And I suspect he may be subject to a no-confidence vote in the near future.

    By the way, Dr. J, very nice record keeping. That’s why I only post what I know to be true – I never know when it might be quoted in the future, and it’s a lot easier to remember and confirm/defend the truth than a lie.

  60. Doctor J Says:

    Realia, no doubting your word. Olympic is a revolving door. Since June 2010 [18 months] there has been McClatchy, LeBeouf, Benson, and since July Lopes.
    Lawrence really knows how to pick quality principals. Remember Nugentgate ?

  61. Realia Says:

    Oh no, Doctor J. Marc Lopes was named co-Principal soon after Benson arrived in the middle of last year, when Le Beouf was seemingly forced out to make room for the ascension of certain proteges. After Benson was transferred from her Small Necessary High School, Lopes was made the principal of that school, then Olympic, after only being in the district for a few months as a counselor. Then Benson suddenly resigned near the end of the year. At the end of last year, Lopes won almost every administrative award for “turning around” Olympic. Well, yes, he has turned it around – and on its head. Perhaps those were his marching orders from “Dr.” Browne. No one ever accused her of being subtle.

  62. Alicia M. Says:

    A “minority report” is a summary of findings presented by members of the BOC who disagree with the majority. I’ve asked that a minority report be issued along with the annual report so that the public can be informed of each BOC member’s findings relating to the expenditure of bond proceeds and compliance with the California Constitution.

  63. Anon Says:

    want to commend theresa and the times for printing the mdhs story . . . the public will want more coverage about dropping the $3.2mil qeia football . . .

  64. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Soon, I will post the comments teachers made at the meeting, along with links to the video. The loss of funding will likely cause layoffs and class size increases, making it more difficult for the school to meet district goals and objectives and NCLB targets, one teacher said.
    However, they had many additional concerns about McClatchy, which they explained in searing detail.

  65. Doctor J Says:

    @Realia #61 I find no Board action approving Lopes as co-principal with Benson, but that doesn’t mean I doubt your word. I am just wondering who was appointing Lopes to all these positions without Board action ?

  66. Anon Says:

    won’t dent find a way to spread the 3.2 million cuts to the other schools

  67. Theresa Harrington Says:

    I don’t believe so. Superintendent Lawrence has explained that categorical funding such as QEIA directly benefits specific school sites. So, when it is lost, it affects only the school involved.
    He contrasted this with unrestricted revenues, which are spread throughout the district, saying the loss of CVHS as a charter would impact everyone.
    However, it is interesting to note that the amount lost at MDHS ($3.2 million) could be more than the amount Lawrence has estimated would be lost due to the charter ($1.8 to $4.2 million).

  68. Realia Says:

    Dr. J, I believe the Superintendent can transfer administrators from site to site within the district without board approval. I suspect the co-principal scheme was never formalized and was simply a chess move by “Dr.” Browne to help her protege get the job at Olympic, but I do believe the official transfer of Lopes to Olympic was part of a board meeting in May or June. He made references to his faculty about needing board approval to make his position official before he could start planning for this year (the plan is that there is no plan except continually coming up with new ideas and then not following through on them, then trying them again, etc. – all with no teacher input).

    Someone should look into the current state of the school McClatchy left behind. Some teachers are out for various work-related reasons (one already quit mid-year). There’s no money for anything – but the music studio that Comcast paid for and McClatchy allowed to be turned into a storage room, with very expensive equipment, is being revived and a part time engineer is to be hired (students will then be able to earn credit for making raunchy hip-hop music). Oh, and there’s a club for illegal aliens and their families that was started by the outgoing Student Services Coordinator.

    Theresa, you mention searing comments the teachers made about McClatchy. These same concerns were expressed by the Alliance staff when numerous complaints forced Gail Isserman and Mildred Browne to interview the Alliance staff (Olympic teachers begged to be interviewed as well, but they were rebuffed – Browne only cares about her Alliance program, even though she oversees Olympic and other Alt. Ed. sites, as well). One teacher gave one of the interviewers a long laundry list of McClatchy’s misdeeds and how they were examples of unprofessional conduct making her unfit for the job. Then McClatchy was inexplicably promoted after the interviews and the no-confidence vote and, well, we can now see how that’s working out.

  69. Doctor J Says:

    @TH#67 More importantly, the “notice” to correct the problem arrived in Feb 2010 and NOTHING was done to try and correct the situation to avoid the loss. The big question is WHAT has Lawrence been doing to correct the MDHS QEIA funding situation for the last 22 months ? Obviously Kate McClatchy has done nothing. Or has she ?

  70. Theresa Harrington Says:

    The difference with Mt. Diablo teachers, however, is that they chose to go public with their No Confidence vote, with a presentation to the school board.
    Did the Olympic teachers ever consider such a move? Are there any Olympic teachers now who would be willing to speak “on the record” about this?
    Dr. J: As you will see in the comments to the board (when I post them shortly), teachers say McClatchy told the site council she did not master schedule for QEIA. They say she knowingly failed to comply with QEIA requirements.

  71. Doctor J Says:

    @TH #71 Sounds like sabotage by Kate McClatchy. The question is whether she did that with or without the knowledge of Lawrence or other district officials.

  72. Flippin' Tired Says:

    I’ve heard Mr. Reynolds speak at numerous board meetings. He is very passionate about Mt. D students and finding ways for them to be successful. Might he consider being an administrator? He’s a very dynamic young man and clearly the students respect him.

  73. Doctor J Says:

    @FT #72 Does Mr. R have an administrative credential ?

  74. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Dr. J: Teacher Dan Reynolds said Jen Sachs and Bryan Richards made a presentation to the site council about the funding. It’s unclear if they knew McClatchy didn’t intend to comply, however.
    Here’s the blog post with the teacher comments and video links:
    I don’t know if Reynolds has an administrative credential, or if he has any desire to be an administrator.

  75. Anon Says:

    Mr. R is very high up in the MDEA – the word in the union is he’s building his resume for a CTA staff job down the line.

  76. Flippin' Tired Says:

    I have no idea of his credentials, but it’s plain to see that he is a strong, popular teacher who is very pro-student. These are the kind of educators we need to clone.

  77. Number Eight Says:

    TH #67,

    This is a tragedy for MDHS teachers and students, but it WILL affect all the high schools. When they layoff 22 teachers then seniority rules will kick in and we can expect teacher turnover at the other high schools. The NGHS principal stated he didn’t want transfers from CVCHS, but now NGHS should expect many more from MDHS. This turnover is the absolute worst thing for all the students. What’s the rationalization for why they lost the QEIA funding?

  78. Theresa Harrington Says:

    6:44 p.m. UPDATE: When I originally wrote this, I believed the person who called was a teacher. I later learned that Gary Peterson is a vice principal at MDHS. He told me his name, but not his position at the school, when he called.

    I have just heard from a teacher (actually a MDHS vice principal) who did not join those at the board meeting, who said the district couldn’t afford to comply with the requirements because it would have needed to hire more teachers. He said he didn’t believe it was McClatchy’s fault. I am checking with district officials to get clarification about this.

    You make a good point about bumping. It would appear that this bumping could exceed any bumping as a result of the CVHS charter, which district officials have warned the community about.

  79. NitWit Says:

    I think it is time for all high schools in this district to wake up and stop living in their bubble. We all must demand accountability and corrections to the woes at all schools, as it is clear what happens at one, will impact ALL others. Northgate was all up in arms about a few CV transfer teachers? Let’s see what happens with a layoff of this magnitude at Mt. Diablo. Let’s see what happens when the school (MDHS) deteriorates even further and kids start to transfer to Northgate and other schools. How about let’s just see what happens when the kids who need it the most aren’t getting support and the drop out rate soars. It affects all of us one way or another. When are we going to stop living in a vacuum?

  80. Theresa Harrington Says:

    The city of Concord recently enacted a truancy ordinance to address students who aren’t in school.

  81. Irene Says:

    I agree with the fellow that recommended Mr. Reynolds as MDHS principal. This is an individual who is very much capable of doing the job and doing it with stlye. He is well liked by peers, students and parents. He has that genuine love for the kids and want them to do well. Look at his track record that will show that he will do whatever it takes to do what is right. What do you say Dan would you take the position if its avaliable? And it best be because if its not I will start something with those fools that we call the Board . . . . .with the exception of Cheryl Hansen.

  82. Irene Says:

    McClatchy was fully aware of QEIA funding, why do you think she alway made some lame excuse why she didnt have when asked by Mr Reynolds during several site council mtgs. Poor Mr Simms had no idea that he was suppose to have the plan done when he had to sit in on a mtg for her. Something came up….. sure it did. This was something that she was aware of and could have fulfilled. She had ample time too. Its not like she was busy because all she was doing was giving orders for others to do.

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