Part of the Bay Area News Group

MDUSD 8-20-12 meeting

By Theresa Harrington
Monday, August 20th, 2012 at 8:45 pm in Education.

President Sherry Whitmarsh announced the board agreed in closed session to enter into negotiated agreements with four employees related to discipline, dismissal, release, complaint.

Trustee Cheryl Hansen removed items 8.2, 8.19 and 8.23 from consent calendar.
Trustee Lynne Dennler pulled items 8.35-8.38.

I apologize for not keeping up on this tonight. I’ll update later. Please visit my Qik and YouTube websites for video clips.

11:50 p.m. UPDATE:
Board unanimously passed all items on consent calendar that were not pulled for discussion.

8.2 Hansen requested revisons to 6-25-12 mins. Board voted 5-0 to approve 6-4-12 minutes and await revisions for 6-25 mins.

8.19 Hansen requested more information about how district is trying to bring back students from outside programs. Brian Cassin said the district spends $100,000-$125,000 or more per student in out-of-state residential programs, but the district is trying to bring more back.
Passed 5-0

8.23 Salas O’Brien: YVHS field lighting
Hansen asked about status of a public hearing regarding an environmental report. Pete Pedersen said the original plan did not require a public hearing, since there was a negative mitigated declaration. It only needed board approval. However, now that the scope is being increased, a new environmental study is being conducted.
Hansen asked Pedersen to make agenda items more specific so the public knows what the contract pertains to.
Board unanimously approved contract.

I’ll add more updates later.

AUG. 21 UPDATE: Here is a recap of the rest of the meeting. Please note that I have uploaded several videos to my Qik account and am in the process of uploading the rest to YouTube. Unfortunately, I ran out of space on my flip cam and had to erase some of the earlier videos to catch the lively discussion at the end of the meeting regarding future agenda items.

8.35-8.38: Trustee Lynne Dennler removed these items to discuss concerns about how they will be implemented (see Qik videos). Board unanimously approved policies.

PUBLIC COMMENT:
CVCHS teacher Neil McChesney, a Concord High student and a CVCHS student urged the board to allow CVCHS to offer a radio class using KVHS. McChesney said he understands this will be on next Monday’s agenda. (See YouTube video)

DISTRICT ORGANIZATIONS:

MDEA President Guy Moore talked about rebuilding trust between teachers and district leaders.

Mona Ricard, a Sequoia Elementary teacher and Mt. Diablo Council of PTAs rep — and a district Teacher of the Year — talked about Prop. 38 and an upcoming meeting regarding PTA at 7 p.m. Sept. 17 in Dent Center.

Superintendent’s Report: Superintendent Steven Lawrence talked about recent Response to Intervention training for administrators.

13.1 Board unanimously appointed Thom Kwiatkoski as principal of Riverview MIddle School.

13.2 Board unanimously appointed the following elementary principals:

Beverly Tom — Valle Verde
Angela Hotchkiss — Pleasant Hill
Jenny Cronan — Woodside

13.3 Board unanimously appointed Sandra Bradley as Vice Principal of the Alliance special education program at Olympic HS.
(NOTE: This appointment is on YouTube/tunedtotheresa. Unfortunately, I erased videos of the previous appointments due to lack of space on my FlipCam. However, this video shows some of the other principals leaving.)

13.4 Board unanimously appointed Melissa Brennan as a Student Services Coordinator at MDHS.

13.5: Board unanimously appointed Maurice Burman as a Student Services Coordinator at MDHS.

13.6: Board unanimously appointed Mika Arbelbide as an accounting supervisor.

13.7: Board unanimously appointed Janelle Commins as a supervisor in Food and Nutrition Services.

13.8: Board unanimously appointed Terri Porter as Coordinator of After-school programs.

13.9: Board unanimously appointed John Willford as Assistant Project/Program Manager for Measure C

13.10: Board unanimously agreed to create new Measure C construction management positions.

13.11: Reclassification of some classified positions:
Julie Braun-Martin said there was a typo and salary for one position is lower than stated in staff report.
Board unanimously approved reclassifications.

13.12: Board unanimously approved renewal of CAC members.

13.13: Board unanimously approved Measure A tax levies.

13.14: Pawar Transportation contract
There was considerable discussion of this item (see videos on Qik and YouTube).
Trustee Linda Mayo noted that the numbers on the staff report did not add up to the total amount listed. At first, Angie Goakey said there was another $100,000 because it included some summer school services in the 11-12 fiscal year. But after Lawrence asked whether it was a typo, she said it was a typo. So, Trustee Gary Eberhart amended the motion to reduce the total by $100,000.
Carolyn Patton referenced the FCMAT report, without saying when it will be publicly presented.
“We’ve had the FCMAT review,” she said. “We’ve had an outside agency that’s reviewed our transportation.”
At Greg Rolen’s request, she also elaborated on the “clustering” plan.
Mayo mentioned other transportation reports previously presented to the board (but not referenced in the current staff report).
Patton talked about the letter sent to parents informing them of transportation changes, adding that IEPs will be necessary to address students’ needs. She said there was a special education parent meeting before the summer and there will be three more. She said 191 students who were being transported to their home schools will no longer receive that service, effective the first day of school.
Patton said the parent letter did not include many details about clustering. IEP teams will determine who is eligible, she said.
Patton added that Goakey has found other districts that use clustering and said the district is compiling information about what they are doing.
Eberhart said he has met with Goakey and the general counsel and he is very comfortable with what the district is doing.
“It sounds like we’re doing a good job,” he said. “And it sounds like we’re doing a good job of communicating that to the families.”
When Hansen asked about bus drivers, Goakey asked if she was referring to the FCMAT report. Hansen said she didn’t have the FCMAT report. Hansen said it was important to communicate well with the community regarding transportation changes.
Board approved contract as amended 4-1, with Hansen voting no, due to lack of information about the students being served and the lack of a clearly stated long-term plan for reducing outside transportation contracts and cutting costs.

13.15: Board unanimously approved AA Med Trans contract

13.16: Board unanimously approved Maxim contract

13.17: Board unanimously approved Consolidated Application

13.18: French Honors Course: Info only. Board was advised to direct questions to Rose Lock.

13.19: Creation of Administrative Regulation 5131.2 regarding bullying: Info only, to be approved at next meeting.

13.20: Elimination of overflow busing for students who live less than 5 miles from overflow school (Revision to board policy 5116 – School Attendance Boundaries):

In response to questions from Mayo about students who would be affected by this proposed policy amendment, Lawrence said he would have updated information Wednesday. He said last year, the district had 79 routes and attempted to pick up overflow students on special ed routes or overflow routes. He said the district is looking at establishing a 5-mile rule, which would reduce the number of students served. He said the board received a presentation about this in March. (However, this was not referenced in his staff report for this item.) He did not mention the FCMAT findings and recommendations related to overflow busing.
For the next meeting, Hansen said she wants a list of overflow schools, the number of overflow buses per school and the number of overflow students per school. She said she has heard concerns that this policy might affect socio-economically disadvantaged students and schools hardest.

13.21: Future board action agenda items:

Board candidate Brian Lawrence said he hoped the district would measure the success of principals by how many are still principals rather than by how many have become district administrators. He mentioned district PowerPoints, then said some have suggested the public doesn’t ask enough questions. He asked the board: “Are we providing enough information and are we informing the public?”

Whitmarsh said the board president and superintendent set the agenda. However, this agenda item was being presented to get an idea of whether other board members would be interested in seeing items presented this way for consideration on future board agendas. She said there would be no discussion of the individual items listed.

At this, Hansen raised a point of parliamentary order.

Rolen said the item was being presented to achieve some sort of transparency to agenda-setting.

But, Hansen said this should not be a casual, informal proceeding. Instead, she said it should be written up as a bylaw amendment.

Eberhart said it’s perfectly appropriate for the board president and superintendent to set the agenda. He noted, for example, that board benefits had already been discussed at a previous board meeting.

Rolen interjected that Whitmarsh had admonished the board not to discuss individual items.

Hansen questioned Rolen about the need to amend a board bylaw or policy, if trustees are going to change the way they identify future agenda items.

Rolen said his previous comments stood on their own and he declined to elaborate on his position.

Hansen said it appeared that the board was being asked to vote on future agenda items, therefore this new procedure needed to be formalized in writing.

Eberhart said it was an attempt to try to appease the board member who was trying to bring the item to the agenda. However, he said he thought the attempt to honor other board members in this way had failed.

“My recommendation is to move the agenda,” he said.

Mayo asked if his recommendation was to not discuss this item at all.

Eberhart repeated that he wanted to move the agenda.

Mayo said this agenda item was her idea.

“I was the one that suggested that we place the items on the agenda in this manner because a board member has felt that their agenda items were being thwarted,” she said. “I felt we needed to treat all items equally.”

She said the idea was intended to be a pilot.

“It was an attempt to honor your request,” Mayo told Hansen. “You obviously disagree with that process. So if we don’t have your agreement to try it out, that leaves it up to the president and superintendent.”

Hansen said she was not saying the agenda procedure should not change.

“Yes, my items have been blocked,” she said. “And no, I haven’t repeatedly tried to put the same item forward.”

She criticized the current procedure because agenda items are omitted. She reiterated that the proposed procedural change should be a written amendment to the current bylaw. In the absence of of a formal change, she said it appeared the board was being asked to be an advisory body to the president and superintendent.

Mayo said she recalled that Hansen had previously suggested adding “future agenda items” to agendas.

Hansen said she had suggested that, citing CSBA, but the rest of the board had rejected the idea. Although she said Rolen disagreed with her, Hansen repeated that the new procedure should be brought forward as a bylaw change.

BOARD REPORTS:

Hansen mentioned attending an administrator training. She also said she has had continued discussions with CCTV regarding televising meetings and has suggested that MDHS Digital Safari students might be able to operate the cameras.

Eberhart said: “I can’t imagine who would want to see our meetings on TV.”
He praised the air conditioning installation. He also praised district administrators.
“Our staff continues to be accessible and informative when we have questions for them,” he said. “I get answers.”

Mayo said she attended the district’s “Leadership Institute.” She also mentioned that Comcast is offering cut rates for families of students who qualify for free and reduced lunches. Lawrence said he has sent information about this to some sites, but will get it out to all campuses.

Whitmarsh thanked staff for work to get schools ready for students, who will return next week.

Dennler did not make a report.

Here is a link to the meeting audio: http://www.mdusd.org/boe/Documents/audio/2012/08202012.mp3

Here’s a link to my story about the meeting: http://bit.ly/Ovxlg0

Do you think the district should pursue televising its meetings?

[You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.]

  • Doctor J

    @Anon#49 There was an Amazon book review written by Diane Rolen and posted on the Amazon website about the book: The Courage To Be a Single Mother: Becoming Whole Again After Divorce. It described in detail her husband’s sex addiction, his philandering, and multiple sexual affairs, in and out of marriage. Shortly after it was exposed on this blog, it was removed from Amazon, which can mean nothing other than Diane Rolen’s husband reads the blogs — in between his “relationships”. And in response to another post about Greg Rolen’s duties, General Counsel Greg Rolen is in charge of enforcing and educating MDUSD about the law and policy of MDUSD of sexual harassment.

  • Anon

    Thank you Dr. J., very interesting information indeed.

  • Doctor J

    @anon#52, Since I kept a copy of the actual book review, I googled the first few words, and up popped the review, sans Diane Rolen’s name on multiple review sites.

  • Doctor J

    Did I hear correctly from Carolyn Patton that she met with the CAC during their Brown Act violation meeting to discuss special ed transportation ?

  • Theresa Harrington

    I was curious about her comments also, so I followed up with Lorrie Davis.

    Here’s what Davis wrote in an e-mail:

    “I walked out with Carolyn and clarified what meeting she was talking about because she said something like ‘CAC Government Meeting.’ Cheryl Hansen clarified it was the Parents Meeting that was held at the school next door. We also had the communication discussion when the CAC officers met with Carolyn, Greg and Mildred when the parent letter was being developed…”

    Based on this response, I think Davis is saying that Patton was referencing the Parent meeting held at Monte Gardens Elementary in May.

  • Anon

    Theresa, can you tell me about the conversation about non public schools? I heard they want to start pulling back? I don’t know if it is all or just out of state?
    Sorry if you already talked about it. I have not read all the comments yet.

  • Theresa Harrington

    Anon: Here is the video I shot of that discussion, which was related to agenda Item 8.19: http://qik.com/video/53843938

    Basically, Trustee Cheryl Hansen wanted to know how the district is planning to try to bring students back from residential programs to save money.
    Brian Cassin said about nine students are being served out of state, at a cost of $100,000-$125,000 per student.

  • Flippin’ Tired

    I was under the impression that the district used AT&T for their internet and classroom tv usage. Why were there three Comcast trucks at Holbrook Elementary today?

  • Theresa Harrington

    Here is a list of the Top 10 Bay Area schools in terms of their performance on the CAHSEE in a variety of categories: http://www.mercurynews.com/twitter/ci_21377907/bay-area-top-10s-according-california-high-school
    Although several Contra Costa County schools made the lists, none are from MDUSD.

  • g

    The Pawar contract has some very strict regulations about how they maintain their fleet and oversee the drivers, but has CAC or anyone else from the district actually followed up on any of that on a regular/routine basis, or do we just trust our most vulnerable children to their care for an hour or two a day?

    Has anyone looked over their fleet or garage facilities?

    Do parents just let a van pull up, put their kid in it and wave bye-bye?

    Their insurance policy seems very inadequate for transporting several children at a time.

    At least with Durham, the county contract and others there are valid physical addresses and garages for their businesses.

    Pawar lists a home address in Walnut Creek, a 2 bedroom house in LA and a “Mail Shoppe” drop-box in LA.

    Do they actually run a transport business or do they just have a lot of “contracted” drivers using their own vehicles?

  • g

    Flippin’: It is Anova setting up shop.

  • Anon

    G.
    I am not sure how Pawar houses their vehicles but I do know that the vehicle aare not privately owned by the drivers. The driver that has my child is very trained. My expierience with them has been very good. They have an excellent safety record and the owner and driver are always available to me to answer any questions and provide documentation.

  • Doctor J

    Just got an itch that Lawrence is going to try to sneak some massive spending in on Monday’s Board meeting just seven days after the last Board meeting, thinking no one will be looking. And Lawrence continues to be hush-hush about the STAR test results. Cannot be good. Remember last year, he leaked them out right away and that was with an embarrassing one point API gain.

  • Doctor J

    My post on Aug 17, 2011: “The subdued nature of Lawrence’s report is to prepare the public for bad news to come on the release of the API scores at the end of the month. The district buys a computer program that gives them the ‘rough” API scores, within a point or two. Lawrence is reading the tea leaves [he ought to teach Gary how to do it]. Last year [that was really Nichols year as Supt] the District API rose a modest 11 points. But now under Lawrence with his SASS reorganization, the API score will be flat ! No increase in the district or maybe one point. Now here is the irony. Two of the persistently low performing schools, Rio Vista and Meadow Homes will post increases of over 65 and 50 points ! [High fives for them!] Yet Lawrence fires the Meadow Homes principal Toby Montez !! Go figure ! So how does the district API remain flat with gains like that ? Almost across the board in the “other schools” their scores are flat or decreasing. That is bad news for the children, bad news for the parents, bad news for the District, bad news for the Board, and bad news for Lawrence’s “leadership”. But it is consistent with the Steue record in West Sacramento and Roseville. The Board bet on the wrong horse.”

    Here comes Lawrence’s excusagram once again. How many times will the public buy it ? Remember last year: Meadow Homes rises 56 points and Toby gets fired, but Pleasant Hill Elem dropped 30 points and the female caucasian principal stayed there. This year a new principal at PHE. Lets see the results.

  • Anon

    Dr. J.,

    Are you suggesting that Lawrence is racist? It fits with what he has done to the socio-economically challenged schools in the district, but that is a pretty charged word.

  • Doctor J

    @Anon#65 I said the policy change recommended by Lawrence has a disproportionate impact on the hispanic community — I did not label him. It will be interesting to see how his Aug 27 report on the impacts will jive with the March 12 report. So why did Lawrence wait until 2 days before school starts to propose a Board policy change that goes into effect “immediately” ? Why did Lawrence wait 5 1/2 months between his March 12 report and August 27 to propose the Board vote ? Was it to silence vocal parents because school will not have yet started ? What did Rose Lock say at the Board Meeting on the Delta View bus stoppage ? Start on first day or in January ?

  • Theresa Harrington

    I spoke to Charles Ramsey, President of the WCCUSD school board yesterday, about CAHSEE results in that district. He said the board was so unhappy with STAR test and CAHSEE results at Kennedy High that they completely overhauled the administration there, including putting in a new principal. He said the leadership team there was clearly not working and that something had to be done.
    You don’t often hear that kind of blunt talk in MDUSD, accepting accountability and taking decisive actions to remedy deficiencies.

  • Doctor J

    @#67 Nice to see the WCC School Board paying prompt attention to the test results; and taking decisive action. Just the opposite of MDUSD; there is the Maxwell Smart ‘Cone of Silence’ from Dent. Just as I pointed out last year: 53 point API gain at Meadow Homes and they fire Toby but leave in the caucasian female principal at PHE who had a 30 point loss. This year the PHE Principal suddenly retires at a relatively early age. It will be interesting to see what leaving her in another year cost those students in API. And it will be interesting to see if Dr. Newling was able to build on Toby’s 53 point gain. I would love to see a graphics chart of the high schools on API and CAHSEE with notes on principal changes to see if any of the musical chairs has made a difference.

  • Doctor J

    Compare: WCCUSD Supt shares the STAR & CAHSEE scores immediately with the Board, whereas MDUSD’s Lawrence doesn’t — as of yesterday late afternoon, still had not been shared with Board members. Steven why are you so afraid about having an open and honest conversation about student achievement, improving instructional quality, and holding your “instructional leaders” aka Principals accountable ?

  • Theresa Harrington

    I would like to clarify that the WCCUSD Board President was referring to last year’s STAR scores and he had not yet received the CAHSEE scores from the WCCUSD Superintendent. He was commenting based on what I told him about his district’s scores. That district’s decision to replace the leadership at Kennedy HS was based on last year’s scores.

  • g

    Whatever other reasons MDHS may have for poor performance, ie demographics, travel time, substandard facilities, teachers with their chins on their chests, etc., I don’t imagine spending a majority of the year taking a leak in stairwells helped with morale building.

    There is no question that morale has a remarkable influence on performance, for both students and teachers.

  • Theresa Harrington

    Yes, and Cindy Gershen’s nutrition program at MDHS seems to be having a positive impact on morale there. She is a consummate collaborator and team-builder.
    Gershen is a wonderful example of a person who is able to effect changes by presenting a vision that everyone can get behind — then working together with all stakeholders to fulfill it.

  • Wait a Minute

    Those qualities right there make Cindy a better candidate to be the MDHS principal then McClatchy.

    Hell, Cindy would surely make a much better Superintendent then Stevie Lawrence.

  • Theresa Harrington

    Agenda for Monday’s meeting is posted: http://esbpublic.mdusd.k12.ca.us/public_agendaview.aspx?mtgId=347
    There’s another AIS interpreting contract on consent calendar.
    KVHS is finally up for discussion and supt. is promising more info re overflow busing.
    Also, many of Hansen’s agenda items are included.

  • Doctor J

    @WAM, Cindy would at least put a stop to the ridiculous Dent Center time wasting pot lucks full of fatty, high caloric, high carbohydrate, and otherwise unhealthy food that the District isn’t even allowed to be served to children — working at Dent is guaranteed to add 20 lbs. How many emails does it take to determine who is bringing the Ptomaine Salad on Monday ?

  • Wait a Minute

    How appropriate-$69,000 for Rolen’s BFF!

  • Theresa Harrington

    Perhaps some of the Dent administrators should head over to the MDHS’s football practices to see how Gershen is feeding those hungry teens.
    Gershen says she started by feeding the school’s staff because change comes from the top.

  • Doctor J

    There is something fishy about the Meadow Homes consultant contract for about $60,000 at about $900 per day. Didn’t the Board recently approve a $200,000 plus contract on the same subject ? I don’t recall Meadow Homes having this in their Nov 2011 SIG application. Is this a friend of Mary-Louise ?

  • Doctor J

    @WAM#76, It certainly gives new life to Diane’s Amazon Book Review. I wonder if Marisol was one of the people alluded to by Diane ? Who approved these contracts for “legality” ? Where is the conflict of interest disclosure ?

  • Theresa Harrington

    Once again, the agenda report lacks specificity: http://esbpublic.mdusd.k12.ca.us/public_itemview.aspx?ItemId=5717&mtgId=347
    Although the district did name the contractor, it did not state the amount of the contract in the agenda report. Even though it is being funded through SIG, the public shouldn’t have to hunt through the contract to find out how much this is costing.
    Thank you for pointing out that this is a $900 a day contract for a person who is traveling from Firebaugh,CA at a total cost of nearly $60,000.
    It will be very interesting to see next year’s STAR results to find out if this investment pays off.

  • g

    As to AIS Contract; 1) They know they will end up paying her at least the same as last year–roughly $110,000.00–so why don’t they just give us a true idea of costs right up front?

    2) How hard would it be to “proof-read” this crap before publishing it? Once again…again… they give us a copy of a two year old contract with a dollar figure of $24,500.00!

    Or–maybe her legal advisor prefers to have the published contract show that low dollar figure in case the IRS comes calling mid-year.

  • Doctor J

    @TH#77 Or maybe walk to school like they want the children to walk ten miles to and from school ? Can you believe that Lawrence proposes a Board policy change and hasn’t even done the homework to know how many children it will affect and how far they will have to walk to school ? So unprepared. So unprofessional. He could care less about the children, he just focuses on the money to pay his next raise.

  • Hell Freezing Over

    FYI – if you are going, the August 27 agenda shows the mtg starts at 6:30 pm; an hour earlier than stated on the district’s page for board mtgs.

    http://www.mdusd.org/boe/Pages/boe-sam.aspx

    Probably need the Aug 27 board mtg start time confirmed, or check if it is a typo.

  • g

    Item 14.1: Here they go again jumping the gun on contracts that the new board should get to decide upon.

    Contract for an Interim Assistant Superintendent of Student Services AND Special Education, with an Automatic increase of status in one year.

    “Immediately upon expiration of this Agreement, the Interim Assistant Superintendent will be awarded a two-year contract as Assistant Superintendent, Pupil Services and Special Education
    on July 1, 2013…”

    They’ll fill in the blanks (the name) of this new high roller on Monday, I guess….

  • Theresa Harrington

    HFO: Yes, 6:30 p.m. is the correct start time. I received an email from the superintendent’s secretary noting the early time.
    Dr. J: It does seem a bit odd that the board would agree to automatically promote the interim assist. supt to the position permanently in this contract, without conducting a competitive job search and without allowing the new board to weigh in. It will be interesting to see if the board candidates have any comments regarding this.
    Regarding the overflow busing, it is surprising that there is still no FCMAT report (which addressed overflow busing) and that Lawrence has not attached the March PowerPoint, to which he previously referred.

  • http://www.k12reboot.com Jim

    @80 — So in the contract shown in that link, the vendor is Kathryn Catania, President of Strategies of Success, which Bizapedia shows as a Nevada corporation whose other officers appear to be family members. What is odd is that the Fresno County Office of Education also shows her as an assistant superintendent:
    http://www.fcoe.org/departments/curriculum-instruction
    and as an “Administrator” of FCOE’s ASSIST program:
    http://www.fcoe.org/departments/asist

    It appears that she takes the intervention programs that Fresno County offers to its districts and peddles them on the side, under her own family’s business. One hopes, at $900/day, that she will have enough time for the students in the troubled schools of MDUSD.

  • Theresa Harrington

    I wonder if Fresno minds that she is doing all this work on the side.
    It’s hard to believe she can be fulfilling her obligations as an assist. supt. in Fresno while also spending about 60 days out of an 180-day school year in MDUSD helping out Meadow Homes Elementary.
    And this contract includes travel reimbursement. Isn’t there anyone closer than Fresno who could provide this service?

  • g

    I think it’s just like Kern Co getting the FCMAT contract, which is a big money maker for them, and Poway Transportation Director, and other similar districts’ personnel) doing work for FCMAT.

    If it’s a money maker for the individual, maybe they accept less salary from their employer as a win-win for both. Of course that means MDUSD is paying our costs AND supplementing other districts’ costs.

    I noticed on the new un-named Interim Asst Supt position that there is a clause stating that they may work/lecture, etc. outside the district (if it isn’t on school time), meaning they could use up all that very generous “sick/vacation” time, if they want to.

  • http://www.k12reboot.com Jim

    @87 Theresa — Below is the CA DoE’s list of approved intervention providers, if you are in Year 3 of Program Improvement:
    http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/ac/ti/daitproviders.asp

    That’s why they can charge $900/day. There aren’t a lot of ‘em to deal with all the train wrecks in California’s public schools. Her personal contact info is there. You could call her and see how busy she is! (that is, if the contract doesn’t turn out to be “attorney-client privileged” info again…)

  • Doctor J

    Why does Sue Brothers come to mind ? Steven has to appoint her before the STAR test results are made public, and we see what really happened at CVHS under her watchful eye. Steue is on their way.

  • g

    We have so many Directors, and Asst. Supts. of this and that, I’ve lost track.

    Who is the new un-named person replacing?

    Rumor has it that Hukkanen is on her way out, –but Rose hasn’t told anybody yet?

  • Theresa Harrington

    g: But this contract doesn’t appear to benefit Fresno. It appears to benefit Catania and her company.
    This reminds me of former Hercules City Manager Nelson Oliva, who solicited out-of-town contracts for his daughters’ company while collecting his salary from Hercules, which some alleged violated his employment contract.
    The new unnamed person is replacing Mildred Browne, who requested a leave of absence after the board did not renew her contract when it renewed contracts for Lawrence, Rolen, et al.
    The problem with this person not being named is that the public has no opportunity to voice its opinion. In contrast, the public was able to speak for and against the other contract renewals.
    Instead of giving this person an automatic permanent contract at the end of the interim period, the district could bring the permanent appointment back to the board in June, so that the public could comment on it and the new board could have its say.

  • Doctor J

    @TH, The problem is the Lawrence “owes” Sue Brothers. And then Sue Brothers will owe him. Its a symbionic relationship.

  • Doctor J

    I don’t recall Mildred Browne’s departure, in whatever form, ever on the Board agenda. Did I miss something ?

  • Theresa Harrington

    No, I don’t believe Browne’s departure has ever been noticed on a board agenda. But, Julie Braun-Martin confirmed to me in an email that Browne was trying to negotiate a leave of absence. It does seem premature to appoint her replacement without approving her leave, however — unless she was one of the four negotiated dismissals/releases approved by the board last Monday.
    Regarding your hypothetical speculation about Brothers, would it make sense to leave YVHS without a principal two days before school starts? Would such a decision reflect the district’s motto of putting students first?

  • g

    There was something about her retiring and being double-dipped back into the system I think. By all the contracts on this Agenda, I’d say she hasn’t relinquished much.

  • Theresa Harrington

    Browne still appears to be in her position, signing contracts and agenda reports. I don’t recall seeing anything about her retiring or being rehired as a consultant on a board agenda.

  • g

    Theresa, On July 18 you reported that you had asked JBM if there was a succession plan in place for Mildred Browne’s departure, and she had not replied yet. Did she EVER reply to that question? Or did you get an “ignore” response.

  • Theresa Harrington

    In checking my emails from Braun-Martin, this is the response I received on July 18:

    “I am not at liberty to discuss Dr. Browne’s leave as the details are still being worked out and also it is a personnel matter.”

  • g

    The funny thing is, that even though Lawrence is coming to the board on this agenda to approve the appointment of a new interim Asst Supt., there still has been NO notice to the public that Browne is leaving/changing jobs.

    It isn’t even a by-the-way on the agenda.