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Live blog of Feb. 7 CAC meeting

By Theresa Harrington
Tuesday, February 7th, 2012 at 7:36 pm in Education.

CHAIRPERSON REPORT:
Chairperson Lorrie Davis reported that the CVHS charter will serve special ed students.
Special ed director Mildred Browne said teachers must notify the charter and the district if they want to stay with the charter. If not, they have to apply for a position, she said.
Davis said the charter hasn’t yet finalized its plans with the El Dorado SELPA.
Browne said the El Dorado SELPA won’t decide which schools to take on until March. CVHS may also contract with the county SELPA, she said.
A parent said a union rep at the school said that seven special ed employees were going to be laid-off, but that was not corroborated.

Felicia Stuckey-Smith said her office was sending out two mailings to students in the CVHS attendance area: one for all 1,800 students and one for special ed and section 504 students. Browne offered to give the letters to the CAC blog committee so they could post them.

Davis also announced that MaryAnne Talbot is leaving March 2, so this is her last CAC meeting. Davis and vice-chairwoman Dorothy Weisenberger praised Talbott’s service to the special ed community.

CELEBRATION OF SUCCESS UPDATE:
Parent liaison Hilary Shen said the “You make a difference” awards ceremony is coming up March 28. It celebrates community members, staff, parents, teachers or other students who aren’t in special ed who have gone out of their way to support children with special needs. She has nomination forms.
Past award-winners include the Walnut Festival, Buddy Play, teachers, office staff, behaviorists, students, a bus driver and a custodian.

ASSISTANT SUPERINTENDENT REPORT:
Browne reported that outside counsel Matt Juhl-Darlington wrote a summary of opinion regarding reports and opinions for children with disabilities as they relate to report cards and transcripts.

She passed out a list of Legislative bills currently proposed in the state that may be of interest.
Brown also announced that parent reps would be attending two conferences.

She invited parents to participate in the legislative advocacy day May 2 in Sacramento, when they can meet with legislators regarding issues they’re concerned about. She also mentioned that Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla is cosponsoring legislation that could help districts regarding charter schools. (She didn’t mention that the legislation would allow financially strapped districts to deny a charter based on financial impact.) Brown urged CAC members to read over the proposed legislation and decide what they would like to talk about with legislators.

CAHSEE: Brown said it was a shock to learn that the CAHSEE exemption for special ed students ends June 30. Some districts have been piloting an alternative that has been determined to be too difficult, she said. So, Brown said there either needs to be emergency legislation to extend the exemption or else special ed and section 504 students will have to pass the CAHSEE to graduate.

MOE: Brown said the state did not make its Maintenance of Effort requirement, which could cost about $8.6 million in federal funding. She said it’s still unclear how the state is going to make up for it. Special education in the state of did not spend what they needed to in order to meet their Maintenance of Effort, she said. So that will impact the amount of federal funds the state gets, she added. So, she said, the question is: Will that be passed onto school districts as far as a deficit of some kind?

Mandated reporting: Brown said the governor’s budget would eliminate all mandated reporting, which could impact incident reports related to the Hughes bill. These involve incidents where a student has to be restrained, she said. “Will we no longer document that? Will we no longer be able to do restraints?” she asked. She said the Hughes bill would be repealed, if the Legislature approves the governor’s plan.

Transportation: Brown said that funding for special education transportation is also proposed to be eliminated in the governor’s budget. If the Legislature approves this, it would increase the general education contribution to special education to pay for federally mandated transportation for district students.

BOARD OF EDUCATION REPORT:
Trustee Lynne Dennler reported on the Monday board meeting and Trustee Gary Eberhart mentioned the governance workshop and upcoming strategic planning meeting on Feb. 22, along with the CVHS charter waiver vote.

Board of Education Comments: Parent Vi Ibarra reported on recent board meetings she had attended.

Parent Advisory committee Report: Parent Tricia Tamura-Li said the PAC discussed EL Master plan. She urged parents to submit comments or concerns by Friday. Browne said there is not much in it for special ed.
Tamura-Li said the number of parents participating in the PAC is dropping and that most parents were from CPHS or Sequoia MS.

Budget Advisory committee Report: Parent Tricia Tamura-Li said the meeting got postponed to March 14. This committee is also looking for new members, she said. Members are wondering about their roles in their advisory capacity.

Equity Advisory Committee: Parent Dorothy Weisenberger reported that the next meeting is Feb. 28. She expressed concerns that the draft strategic plan doesn’t appear to include anything about equity.

EL Master Plan Task Force: Parent Morena Grimaldi said the draft plan is being presented to the community and the community can comment online. Schools also have hard copies in English and Spanish and some groups have received presentations. After information is gathered, the committee will meet Feb. 23 and in March to discuss it and decide whether or not to incorporate it. The final draft will be sent to the board in May.
She said she has pushed for a few things for special ed specifically, but asked for CAC members’ input.

This was followed by more discussion of the draft strategic plan, a nurse’s report, parent liaison report and subommittee updates. There was no extended school year report because the parent rep was absent.

Public comment: Davis read a letter from a parent who was concerned about bullying at Valle Verde Elementary.

Information/Announcement: A special ed teacher informed the group that Johnny Applegate, a wonderful special ed teacher at MDHS, died last week. Many people asked about memorial services and agreed that he will be greatly missed.

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