Part of the Bay Area News Group

MDUSD 10-8-12

By Theresa Harrington
Monday, October 8th, 2012 at 6:02 pm in Education, Mt. Diablo school district.

The Mt. Diablo school board meeting will start early tonight at 6:30 p.m. in the district office at 1936 Carlotta Drive in Concord.

Here is the agenda:

1.0 Call to Order
1.1 President will call the meeting to order Info
2.0 Announcements
2.1 In closed session, the Board will consider the items listed on the closed session agenda. Info
3.0 Public Comment
3.1 The public may address the Board concerning items that are scheduled for discussion during closed session only. These presentations are limited to three minutes each, or a total of thirty minutes for all speakers or the three minute limit may be shortened. Speakers are not allowed to yield their time. Info
4.0 Adjourn to Closed Session at 6:00 p.m.
4.1 Negotiations – The Board may discuss negotiations or provide direction to its representatives regarding represented employees, pursuant to EERA (Govt. Code Section 3549.1) Agency negotiators: Julie Braun Martin and Deborah Cooksey. Agencies: MDEA, CSEA, Local One M&O, Local One CST, MDSPA, and Supervisory. Action
4.2 Readmission Action
4.3 Anticipated Litigation Info
4.4 Existing Litigation Action
5.0 Reconvene Open Session
5.1 Reconvene Open Session at 6:30 p.m. Info
6.0 Preliminary Business
6.1 Pledge of Allegiance and Roll Call Info
7.0 Report Out Action Taken in Closed Session
7.1 Negotiations Info
7.2 Readmission Info
7.3 Anticipated Litigation Info
7.4 Existing Litigation Info
8.0 Consent Agenda
Action
8.1 (Item #1) Items listed under Consent Agenda are considered routine and will be approved/adopted by a single motion. There will be no separate discussion of these items; however, any item may be removed from the consent agenda upon the request of any member of the Board and acted upon separately. Action
8.2 (Item #2) Minutes of the meeting of September 24, 2012 Action
8.3 (Item #3) Recommended Action for Certificated Personnel Action
8.4 (Item #4) Request to increase and decrease Full Time Equivalent (FTE) for the 2012-2013 school year Action
8.5 (Item #5) Recommended Action for Classified Personnel Action
8.6 (Item #6) REVISED Classified Personnel: Increase in Hours for an Assistant to the Hearing Impaired Position Action
8.7 (Item #7) Award of Professional Services Contract for the Preparation of Updated Enrollment Projections/Demographic Analysis and Boundary Study for the Northeast Area of Mt. Diablo Unified School District Action
8.8 (Item #8) Award of Design Services Contract:Interim Housing for Measure C Portable Replacement Program Action
8.9 (Item #9) Award of Design Services Contract: Stadium Improvements at Clayton Valley Charter High School Action
8.10 (Item #10) Contract Amendment: PHd Architects: Modification to Incorporate Additional Classrooms at Concord High School (Nueva Vista/Summit)and Pleasant Hill Middle School (Prospect/Horizon) Action
8.11 (Item #11) Contract Amendment: LSA Associates, Inc.: Provision of Requisite Environmental Consulting Services Related to the Revised Stadium Improvement Project at Ygnacio Valley High School Action
8.12 (Item #12) Amendment to the Bylaws of the 2002 and 2010 Measure C Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committees Action
8.13 (Item #13) Award of Bid #1618 to provide Structured Cabling, Adding Ethernet Drops in Classrooms with Fiber Optic Backbone at Secondary Schools Action
8.14 (Item #14) Professional Services Agreement For Legal Services: Measure C Facilities Improvement Program Action
8.15 (Item #15) Independent Services Contracts with John F. Kennedy University Action
8.16 (Item #16) Request to Approve Independent Services Contract for Events to the “T”, Inc. Action
8.17 (Item #17) 2012-13 Contract for Sierra Pacific Tours Action
8.18 (Item #18) 2012-13 Contract for Michaels Transportation Services Action
8.19 (Item #19) Increase purchase order with Non-Public Agency Ed. Support Services Action
8.20 (Item #20) Certificate of Adopting Resolution 12-13-14 to comply with Heroes Earnings Assistance and Relief Tax Act of 2008 (HEART Act) and Worker, Retiree, and Employer Recovery Act of 2008 (WRERA) Action
8.21 (Item #21) Board Action Progress Report Action
8.22 (Item #22) Proclamation of October 23 – 31, 2012 as “Red Ribbon Week” Action
9.0 Consent Items Pulled for Discussion
10.0 Public Comment
10.1 The public may address the Board regarding any item within the jurisdiction of the Board of Education of the Mt. Diablo Unified School District that is not on this agenda. These presentation are limited to three minutes each, or a total of thirty minutes for all speakers, or the three minute limit may be shortened. If there are multiple speakers on any one subject, the public comment period may be moved to the end of the meeting. Speakers are not allowed to yield their time. Info
11.0 Communications
11.1 District Organizations – At regular Board meetings, a single spokesperson of each recognized district organization may make a brief presentation following the Consent Agenda. Items are limited to those which are informational. Info
12.0 Superintendent’s Report
12.1 Superintendent’s Report Info
13.0 Business/Action Items
13.1 Public Hearing regarding Sufficiency of Textbooks and Instructional Materials for 2012/2013 for Pupil Textbook and Instructional Materials Incentive Program and Williams Settlement Instructional Materials Funds. Action
13.2 Resolution 12/13-08 Against Proposition 32 Special Exemptions Act Action
13.3 Board Resolution in Support of Proposition 30 Action
13.4 Adoption of AP English Language Textbooks Action
13.5 Adoption of AP English Literature Textbooks Action
13.6 Strategic Plan Process – Final Steps Action
13.7 Adoption of Strategic Plan Action
13.8 Amendment to BP 2140(a) Evaluation of the Superintendent Action
13.9 Meeting Extension Action
14.0 Board Member Reports
14.1 Board reports – two minute time limit Info
15.0 Closed Session
15.1 Items not completed during the first Closed Session will be carried over to this closed session. Action
16.0 Adjournment
16.1 Adjourn Meeting”

Most notably, the board is revisiting whether to endorse Prop. 30, after no trustee made a motion to endorse it last month. The board endorsed Prop. 38 in a split vote, 3-1-1, with Hansen against and Dennler abstaining.

Also, Whitmarsh and Hansen are proposing two very different alternative ideas for moving forward with the strategic plan.

Under item 13.6, Hansen proposes an approach that would allow site councils to weigh in, with board approval in December.

Under 13.7, Whitmarsh proposes adopting the strategic plan tonight as presented.

Which strategic plan proposal do you support?

OCT. 9 UPDATE: Here is a link to audio of the meeting: http://www.mdusd.org/boe/Documents/audio/2012/10.8.2012.mp3

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  • anon

    If Whitmarsh supports something it has to be a stupid idea.

  • Hell Freezing Over

    Whitmarsh allowed the “strategic plan draft” to languish for months on end, with no action and refusing to keep the process of community involvement alive.

    Only after she got off the fence and decided at the very last moment before the doors were closed to state her candidacy and run in the 2012 election did she dust the draft off in an incredibly selfish and totally embarrassing action to claim she actually kept one of her campaign promises from 2008.

    If whitmarsh truly supported a strategic plan she would welcome input from site councils in the weeks to come.

    She’s pulling the same crap with the YV football field lights issue = ignore the other parents and school neighbotprhoods and change the comlexion of the ation without input or board discussion – after all, she probably hasnt heard any complaints, didn’t get any emails or phone calls against it …

  • Doctor J

    I really miss Th’s live blog

  • Theresa Harrington

    Sorry, I videotaped a lot. It’s very hard to take notes, videotape and blog at the same time.

  • Anon

    someone buy Theresa a tripod and videocamera

  • Doctor J

    Theresa, aka Superwoman, we have high expectations. :-)

  • Doctor J

    Linda Mayo votes against Prop 30 — supporting the State PTA position. Hey Linda, what about AB 1575 ?? Why do you support destroying sports, science, math, field trips and camps in MDUSD ?

  • Anon

    At least Linda Mayo states her position clearly and votes her conscious. I don’t always agree with her, but she has always acted respectfully.

  • Theresa Harrington

    Anon: Someone has loaned me a tripod for the Flip Cam, but my phone cam doesn’t have tripod capability. But, thanks!

  • Doctor J

    @Anon#8- Linda Mayo’s conscious is to support destroying sports, science, math, field trips and camps in MDUSD by supporting AB 1575 just because the State PTA says to ?? Sounds more like sheep following the other sheep over the cliff instead of representing her MDUSD constituents. Who should Linda Mayo be more allegiant to, MDUSD or the State PTA ? The good book says no person can serve two masters.

  • Doctor J
  • Theresa Harrington

    The board voted 4-1 to endorse Prop. 30, with Mayo voting against, saying she preferred Prop. 38. The board also voted 4-1 to adopt the strategic plan as presented, with Hansen voting against, saying she preferred to get more input and buyin. The board also defeated Hansen’s suggestion to publicly discuss the superintendent’s goals in a 1-4 vote, with Hansen the only trustee in favor.

  • Doctor J

    @Anon#8 I do acknowledge Linda’s stating her position on some controversial issues and admire that. I remember she voted on a Meas C issue involving the tax rate revision, saying she had promised those to whom she had solicited that the tax rate would not rise. However, it was easy for her to vote against it since it was clear to pass. But I did admire her for acknowledging the obvious.
    @TH I was unclear on the Strategic Plan vote — there was a 4-1 vote in favor of the Strategic Plan as presented, or was it modified to reflect to reorganized the priorities based on the posting of the “dots” ?

  • Doctor J

    I continue to be confounded by Linda Mayo’s blind faith support of AB 1575 which will devastate MDUSD’s sports, science, math, field trips and camps.

  • Theresa Harrington

    Dr. J: Mayo made a motion to prioritize the goals based on the dots, but the rest of the board didn’t support that idea, so she withdrew the motion.
    In the end, there was no prioritization based on the dots, even though Whitmarsh said previously that the whole point of having the dot-sticking meetings was to prioritize the goals because there were too many. So, it looks like board could have adopted this plan last February after all, instead of waiting seven months ostensibly to prioritize it. Now, the superintendent and his staff have to come up with strategies for implementing all of the goals.
    Also, FYI, Superintendent Lawrence, Board President Sherry Whitmarsh and Trustee Linda Mayo all said they were at the 5k.

  • Doctor J

    @TH#15 Steven Lawrence actually agreed to come back to the board with “strategies” for “implementing all of the goals” ? What is the timeline ? Or is this just supposition based on what should happen with a real Strategic Plan ?

  • Theresa Harrington

    Lawrence did not make any comments. Although Mayo said she would like implementation to begin in 2013, it appeared that Eberhart and Whitmarsh expected implementation to begin immediately. They said the community was tired of waiting for the plan and that they wanted to present the superintendent with clear goals. However, I don’t recall them stating any specific timeline for when the strategies should be completed.
    Also, there was a bit of drama when Eberhart and Whitmarsh tried to cut Hansen off when she was speaking. They both tried to call the question and end debate, but Hansen said they couldn’t do that, since she had the floor and was allowed 10 minutes.
    The board recessed and Rolen went behind closed doors to research the issue. When he returned, he agreed with Hansen that she had 10 minutes and Eberhart and Whitmarsh did not have the right to stop her from finishing her comments.

  • Doctor J

    I hope you got it on camera !

  • Doctor J

    Steven Lawrence’s latest frantic job search: Desert Sands Unified. Do you think he meets the qualifications ? If so, which ones ?
    “The Desert Sands Unified School District seeks a superintendent who:
    • Has excellent communication skills
    • Is enthusiastic and compassionate
    • Is a progressive and visionary thinker
    • Has the highest personal ethics
    • Is a collaborative and inclusive leader
    • Is accessible and visible in the schools and in the community
    • Is trustworthy and honest
    • Has strong human relations skills
    • Has the courage to make difficult decisions based on what is best for students” http://www.leadershipassociates.org/content/docs/DSUSD%20PositionDescriptionFINAL.pdf

  • anon

    For Eberhart and Whitmarsh to say the community was tired of waiting for the strategic plan is classic hypocrisy. Gary blustered for years about a strategic plan and disn’t do one thing to get it one done. Whitmarsh did all she could to delay, obstruct, and stall one as Hansen dragged them kicking and screaming to doing one. Whitmarsh only did it for her campaign and the one they approved, based upon dots, is meaningless. Well, after the new board comes in the they can go back and do it right.

  • anon

    Dr. J,
    As a longtime MDUSD parent, I have never been told to pay for anything, or else. It is always very clear that it is a request, not a requirement to pay for a field trip. I am always more than happy to pay it, as I am able to. I know there are some families that can not afford it, and somehow their kids still go, and that is fine by me. It’s the ones who can afford it, but refuse to pay it, on some misguided principle that they are clinging to. No one will tell us where that money comes from to pay for those kids, and my suspicion is that those of us who are paying are most likely padding the accounts.
    We need to face the ugly reality that education is no longer completely free.
    My fear is that if 30 or 38 passes, and those funds come in, the state may find a way to cut education funding elsewhere.
    Have you honestly heard from any parent who’s child was not allowed to participate in any curricular or extracurricular activity for lack of a payment?

  • Theresa Harrington

    Anon: I believe there are “optional” trips that only students whose parents can afford to pay are allowed to go on. These includes trips to Disneyland, Washington DC or other countries.
    Often, schools or classes will fundraise to help defray costs for everyone. And if the entire group can’t afford to pay, they don’t go at all. I believe this is what happened when the Concord High barbershop choir wanted to go to China. They were invited based on their audition, but I think they weren’t able to raise enough money to go and the families could not all afford to send their children.

  • anon

    TH, thank you, yes, optional trips are just that, optional. I was in high school marching band, many decades ago and did a whole lot of my own fundraising to pay for items such as band shoes, busing, hotels, etc.
    I never understood why the football team never had to pay for their busing though. If an activity takes place on a school day, and is part of the curriculum, no one should be forced to pay, but if enough funds do not come in through “donations”, then the activity does not happen.

    I just wish the school would be honest and tell us where the money is coming from for those who do not pay. I find it hard to believe that is costs 10 bucks per kid for a bus to take 64 Kindergarteners 5 miles down the road to a pumpkin patch for two hours.

  • Anon

    Anon #21,

    News flash: Education has NEVER been free. I costs each tax paying resident of California a gargantuan sum.

    Of course, you are probably not a tax payer and therefore you consider it “free”.

  • Theresa Harrington

    Anon: The adopted strategic plan is not based at all on the dots. The approved plan is the exact same plan the board drafted in February. I wonder if those who stuck dots on paper feel their time was well-spent, now that the board completely ignored their input. It’s unclear why Whitmarsh waited so long and insisted on hosting dot-sticking sessions at all, if she never intended to incorporate the feedback into the plan when she presented it for board approval.
    Dennler was a bit wishy-washy on the plan. She said she might have been willing to go along with Hansen’s idea of sending it to the site councils, if the site councils had more training and time to digest it. But, in the end, she voted for Whitmarsh’s idea to approve the plan “as is.”

  • Doctor J

    @anon#21 AB 1575 is not about whether a family “can afford it” — its about a “free education” regardless of family wealth. As AB 1575 indicates, “encouraging” donations is fine, but “pressuring” for donations is not. No more lists of delinquent “donations”, no more writing on the board who hasn’t contributed, and no more discrimination against those who can’t afford it. Can’t Linda Mayo and her husband “afford” their health insurance ? Maybe they should get “real jobs” with benefits ? The “ugly reality” is that our Constitution of the State of California guarantees a “free education” and every child, regardless of their parent’s economic status is entitled to be a cheerleader or a football player or a clarinet player or a thespian. Every child. Let me repeat EVERY CHILD. As a society, we are way too concerned about compensation the Board members before providing for children. It is absolutely outrageous how our Board members have raped the children of the district through extravagent spending on their own benefits. Add up Gary’s 18 years of MDV and you will be appalled. Or you should be.

  • Theresa Harrington

    In anticipation of the API release Thursday, Tom Torlakson has unveiled a new “snapshot” that provides five years of data for schools: http://www.cde.ca.gov/nr/ne/yr12/yr12rel94.asp

    Regarding Eberhart, now that he is on his way out, he took time during his board report to slam Hansen, saying it’s important for everyone to be unified. This is somewhat surprising considering the amount of rancor that he and Paul Strange dished out while serving on the board when former Supt. Gary McHenry was at the helm. He appears to believe in a bit of a double-standard: It was okay for him to foster divisiveness in the interest of making changes, but he does not appear to believe that Hansen has the same rights to work toward changes she believes are necessary.

  • anon

    Anon #24,
    Of course it is not free in the respect you are stating. My point is that every child is entitled to a free and appropriate education, the FREE being that the family of the child is not required to pay for the education.

    What on earth makes you think I am not a taxpayer? The IRS would certainly disagree with you, as would my checkbook and the Contra Costa County Tax Collector who just sent me a bill for $4024.24. Of which $346.59 goes directly to MDUSD, and $27.93 goes to Community College Bonds.

    Dr. J,
    Is MDUSD unique in providing benefits for board members? Do other elected officials receive MDV benefits? Just curious as to how it compares.

    I have never been involved in a school where names were posted as to who has payed, and who hasn’t, whether it was for a school donation, or a parent club donation. That is appalling by all measures.

    If only we could rally parents and the community to put as much enthusiasm into supporting education as they do into supporting their sports teams (professional teams that is).

  • Anon

    It’s incumbent on the district to inform the parents and to develop a new policy for requesting parent fees, starting with UMDAF. In addition, create a district 501c3 foundation to unite fundraising for sports, music and academics, which could increase the total amount that can be collected. Do something besides waiting for Sacramento to increase revenue because it ain’t happening . . .

  • Theresa Harrington

    Anon: The suggestion you are making requires proactive leadership. Too often, MDUSD is reactionary.
    At least the superintendent belatedly announced last night that the PAC has disbanded and he is meeting with feeder patterns. However, Hansen said he should have let the public know sooner, so the meetings could be publicized. Lawrence didn’t mention how he is publicizing them.
    Apparently, a Northgate feeder pattern meeting is to be held this week, but I haven’t heard anything about it. He said a YVHS meeting will be held next week.
    Although he said these meetings are intended to draw out more parents than the PAC, it appears that the parents are largely hand-picked by principals, since public notices are not always going out.

  • Doctor J

    Lawrence is toast. Unless he can land the gig at Palm Springs.

  • Theresa Harrington

    The item about publicly discussing the superintendent’s goals was interesting. Whitmarsh said she didn’t want to do that because some goals may be related to areas in which the superintendent needs to improve.
    Mayo opposed the idea, saying she could not support it until the board is able to “conduct respectful conversation in open session and closed session.” She also said that she did not believe the board was violating the Brown Act (by discussing goals in closed session).

  • anon

    TH @30,
    I recieved information regarding the feeder pattern meetings from both of my students’ schools, via parent club mass emails, the only communication we receive from the schools. There was no “hand-picking” about it.

  • Theresa Harrington

    Anon: Thanks for that info. It appears that each feeder pattern may be handling the invitations differently. Parents at the CAC meeting said very few people were told about the College Park feeder pattern meeting. But, the Diablo View MS feeder pattern appears to have been better informed. I don’t know how well publicized the Concord HS and MDHS meetings were.
    But, I receive parent club mass emails in the Northgate feeder pattern and have received no notifications about a superintendent’s meeting.

  • Theresa Harrington

    Please note that I have added an Oct. 9 update to this blog post with a link to audio of the meeting.

  • Theresa Harrington

    Please note that I have uploaded several video clips from the meeting to my http://www.qik.com/tharrington account and will now begin uploading videos from my Flip Cam to my YouTube/tunedtotheresa account.

  • Anon

    Anon33-I’m an active volunteer at my kids schools but have not repeat not received any notice of the feeder pattern meeting. I receive regular enewsletters and there’s been nothing about this alleged meeting. The purported reasoning to increase attendance would be laughable if it wasn’t so tragic. This is a misinformation campaign and it’s a shameful way to run a public school district-repeat shameful.

  • Doctor J

    News ! Linda Mayo said “She also said that she did not believe the board was violating the Brown Act by discussing goals in closed session.” Sorry, Linda, but you should go to jail for that !

  • Theresa Harrington

    Actually, I don’t think she said what they were discussing. I just added that as context so readers would know what she meant.
    She said that a board member seems to have suggested they have been violating the Brown Act and she didn’t think that was true.

    Also, for Northgate feeder pattern families, the Bancroft Elementary calendar makes no mention of a superintendent meeting with parents this week: http://www.mdusd.k12.ca.us/bancroft/calendar2.php

  • Doctor J

    @TH My quote in #38 is from YOUR post, and it appears you have now modified your post. Was my quotation incorrect ?

  • g

    One might contend that “goals for the Supt” were pretty well spelled out in criteria for choosing and hiring a supt. which I believe was given at least a small amount of public input.

    Whether the choosing and hiring methods took Lawrence’s past record into account is highly questionable, however.

    It would seem then that those goals, if they change in any way, OR if they are not being attained by this person, should be given the same public consideration of requirements, input and scrutiny.

    Clearly, Mayo disregarded the public’s well-earned interest and concern about the subject and Eberhart (continually referring back to ‘goals equal evaluation’) prefers hiding the public’s business behind closed doors.

    Goals of a school superintendent should be set by the stakeholders In Public!

    The twice annual evaluations of whether or not he is reaching those goals are, in fact, subject to closed session, with some limited open session “reporting out” as to new goals, guidelines or timelines that he has been given.

    This board is sick to the core!

  • Theresa Harrington

    My comment did not include quotation marks around that portion, so it wasn’t a direct quote. I modified it to show that the part in parenthesis was added for context, but was not a direct statement made by Mayo.
    Please note that I have posted the videos from the meeting, if you want to see how the discussion unfolded: http://qik.com/video/54936755.
    Mayo’s comments are at the tail end of the above clip.

  • Doctor J

    Orignially TH said in post #32 referring to Linda Mayo: “She also said that she did not believe the board was violating the Brown Act by discussing goals in closed session.”

    Now TH says in post 32: “She also said that she did not believe the board was violating the Brown Act (by discussing goals in closed session).”

    Just posting this for total clarification since TH can modify her posts, but we can’t modify ours. Nuff said.

  • g

    With or without quotes, there is no question that the agenda item being discussed was Supt. Goals. Mayo was clearly referring to “a board member” contention that suggested that there may have been Brown Act violations during some of the MANY (6-7 in just 12 months) so-called Superintendent Evaluations. The same concerns of Brown Act violations might be said of the MANY General Council Evaluations during that same period.

  • Doctor J

    the Board still has not changed its policy towards having the Supt. chair PAC == Parents Advisory Committee, a Board Established committee to advise the Board. Steven Lawrence may not like that they are subject to the Brown Act, but his modus operandi appears to be to avoid any meeting where the law controls his actions.

  • Anon

    This whole mess had gotten ridiculous. It is time to recall Mayo along with voting NO ON WHITMARSH!

  • Theresa Harrington

    Here is my short story about the meeting: http://bit.ly/SKyRhm

  • Doctor J

    Emphasis on short. :-)

  • Theresa Harrington

    Many YVHS grads fondly remember music teacher Bill Burke – who died recently — as an inspirational man who helped them launch successful music careers: http://www.contracostatimes.com/twitter/ci_21735069/bill-burke-remembered-beloved-mt-diablo-school-district

  • Theresa Harrington

    Yes, I was busy working on the Bill Burke obituary today. I’ll try to post more about the meeting in my blog.