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Live blog of 3-25-13 MDUSD meeting

By Theresa Harrington
Monday, March 25th, 2013 at 7:57 pm in Education, Mt. Diablo school district.

7:51 p.m. Meeting is underway, with board voting on expulsions.

Here’s 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 Expulsions Info

5.0 Reconvene Open Session
5.1 Reconvene Open Session at 7:30 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
8.0 Expulsion Recommendations
8.1 Expulsion Recommendation – Student #13-13 Action
8.2 Expulsion Recommendation – Student #14-13 Action
8.3 Expulsion Recommendation – Student #15-13 Action
8.4 Expulsion Recommendation – Student #16-13 Action
8.5 Expulsion Recommendation – Student #18-13 Action
8.6 Stipulated Expulsion Agreement & Waiver of Student Expulsion Hearing and Agreement to Complete Readmission Plan for Student #17-13 Action

9.0 Student Representatives
9.1 Student representatives will report on activities at their schools. Info

10.0 Consent Agenda
10.1 (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
10.2 (Item #2) Minutes of the meeting of February 25, 2013 Action
10.3 (Item #3) Recommended Action for Certificated Personnel Action
10.4 (Item #4) Request to decrease Full Time Equivalent (FTE) for the 2012-2013 school year Action
10.5 (Item #5) Student/Intern Teaching and Administrative Intern Agreement between Notre Dame De Namur University and Mt. Diablo Unified School District Action
10.6 (Item #6) Recommended Action for Classified Personnel Action
10.7 (Item #7) Classified Personnel: Request to Increase/Decrease Positions Action
10.8 (Item #8) Classified Personnel: Resolution of Reduction or Discontinuance of Classified Employees (Classified Layoff) Resolution No. 12/13-36 Action
10.9 (Item #9) Student Success Team Management System License Agreement between San Joaquin County Office of Education and Mt. Diablo Unified School District Action
10.10 (Item #10) Approve contract with Resource Development & Associates (RDA) for evaluation services for Tobacco Use Prevention Education (TUPE) grant evaluation for the 2012-2013 school year Action
10.11 (Item #11) Procurement and Installation of New Synthetic Track Surface for the Outdoor Athletic facility at Clayton Valley Charter High School Action
10.12 (Item #12) Authorize submission for the Contra Costa County Family and Children’s Trust (FACT) grant to support the Crossroads Program Action
10.13 (Item #13) Contract Amendment: PHd Architects: Site Addaptive and Design Modifications Required to facilitate new classrooms and use of District Pre-Checked (PC) 1440 square foot design to meet Eagle Peak site needs. Action
10.14 (Item #14) Award of Lease-Leaseback Agreement to Taber Construction, Inc. for Chemistry Classrooms 2013 at Concord/Nueva Vista and College Park High School Action
10.15 (Item #15) Final Change Order – for LLB #1594 for New Chemistry Classroom Construction at Mt. Diablo and Clayton Valley Charter High School Action
10.16 (Item #16) Notice of Completion for LLB #1594 Action
10.17 (Item #17) Request Approval to Purchase (5) 2013 Ford F-150 Pickup Trucks Action
10.18 (Item #18) Request Approval to Purchase a 2013 Ford F350 One ton Flatbed truck Action
10.19 (Item #19) Adoption of the German Honors course of study Action

11.0 Consent Items Pulled for Discussion

12.0 Recognitions

12.1 The Board of Education will recognize Teacher of the Year Nominees Info

13.0 Public Comment
13.1 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

14.0 Communications
14.1 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

15.0 Superintendent’s Report
15.1 Northgate High School – United Nations Team Info
15.2 Concord High School Boys Soccer Team – Coach Alfonzo Munoz Info
15.3 Bond Refinance Update Info
15.4 School Safety Report Info
15.5 Bay Point Attendance Boundary Process Info

16.0 Business/Action Items

16.1 Amended Contract for Assistant Superintendent, Student Achievement and School Support, for Board Action Action

16.2 Amended Contract for Assistant Superintendent, Personnel, for Board Action Action

16.3 Amended Contract for Chief Financial Officer for Board Action Action

16.4 Amended Contract for General Counsel for Board Action Action

16.5 Amended Contract for Superintendent for Board Action Action

16.6 Appointment of Construction Manager II for Measure C Action

16.7 Update on Mandated Reporting Policy and Protocol (carried over from March 11, 2013 meeting) Info

16.8 Strategic Plan – Follow-Up and Next Steps Action

16.9 Technology Advisory Committee Info

16.10 Explore the potential multi-year lease of KVHS non-commercial FM Radio license: would not interfere with District’s right to provide KVHS programming via an internet-only-stream. Action

16.11 Public presentation of District’s Initial Proposal for a Succesors Agreement with Mt. Diablo Education Association (MDEA) 2013-2016 Info

16.12 Public presentation of the Successor Agreement Proposal for California State Employees Association (CSEA)to the District Info

16.13 Procurement and Installation of Surveillance License Upgrades with Three Year Maintenance Agreement for 950 Cameras Action

16.14 Update on the Board’s Response to the Public Records Act Request of the Contra Costa Times/Dan Borenstein Info

16.15 Graduation Requirements Update Info

16.16 Title I Policy MDUSD Proposed BP/AR 6171 Info

16.17 Meeting Extension Action
17.0 Future Agenda Items
17.1 Future Agenda Items Info

18.0 Board Member Reports
18.1 Board reports Info

19.0 Closed Session
19.1 Public Employees Discipline/Dismissal/Release/Complaint Action

20.0 Reconvene Open Session
20.1 Report Out Action Taken In Closed Session Info
21.0 Adjournment
21.1 Adjourn Meeting Info”

Live blog:

Board just recognized seven teachers who were in the running for district teacher of the year, including two district teachers of the year from Monte Gardens and El Monte elementary schools.

UPDATE: Here are the names of the seven teachers recognized:

District Teachers of the Year: Carissa Sugden, El Monte; and Shannon Prichard, Monte Gardens Elementary

Additional candidates:

Elisa Peters, Oak Grove Middle School
Janet Gowers, Ygnacio Valley High
Nicholas Sanchez, Shore Acres Elementary
Nina Pate, Woodside Elementary
Virginia Hewgley, Valhalla Elementary

8: 08 p.m. Student reps are now giving their reports.

8:17 p.m. Superintendent wants to move up recognitions for high school students.
The board recognized Northgate High’s United Nations Team and Concord High’s Boys Soccer Team.

8:25 p.m. John Parker just asked board to scrutinize lease-leaseback contracts.
Hansen pulled item 10.14 and Oaks pulled 10.9.

10.9 Student Success Team Management System License Agreement between San Joaquin County Office of Education and MDUSD:
Oaks: This is a $44,000 item that I’ve not heard about. I’d just like some information about who’s in charge of documenting this. I know it used to be done by hand. Is there a reason we’re now going to an online management system?
Lock: Yes, it used to be done by hand by principals. We found data very inconsistent. Last year, there was a committee of staff who explored this new product. Every SST is documented. This process is going to really assist us in significant disproportionality monitoring because we are required to monitor all referrals. This product was originally approved by the board last year. Sold to Accelify, then back to San Joaquin County Office of Education. This contract reduces our cost by $10,000. Three year cost. Typically there could be 20-25 per school. There could be two or three for one student over the years. Administrator can be monitoring to see if staff is staying on top of the actions. We did a trainer of trainer model back in August. Those trained went back and trained their staff.

8:32 p.m. License agreement unanimously approved.

Supt announced 11.2 was pulled by staff to be brought back later (I didn’t catch which original item that was.)

Extensive discussion of lease-leaseback with outside counsel talking about it.
Approved lease-leaseback contract in 4-1 vote (Hansen no)

Annie Nolen spoke about mandated reporting requirement and ID theft porgram.

Two district residents complained about their grandson being bullied.

Willie Mims spoke (I didn’t catch all his comments because I was talking to the grandparents in the lobby).

9:38 p.m. Back to rest of Superintendent’s Report:
15.3 Jon Isom is giving a bond refinance update with a PowerPoint.

9:40 pm. Superintendent is reporting on safety. Locks will be replaced along with several older doors, for a total cost of about $2.5 million. Current RFQ going out for locks. Hopefully will bring back firm responses in May and expect to bring doors back in near future.
Brian Lawrence asked about Ayers crossing guards.
Superintendent said he would have to ask principal, but the district is trying to re-evaluate the opening of the parking lot.
Brian Lawrence asked for an update from the superintendent and general counsel on the liability issues around crossing guards.

9:43 p.m. Superintendent is giving a Bay Point Master Plan update.
He said the growth projections don’t bear out a new high school, but Delta View is overflowing 100-200 students. So, a committee recommended having a public forum and asking for parent input. He said anybody can join the committee (I wonder how they’re promoting that?) The committee is meeting Wednesday.
Hansen: This surprised a couple board members because we didn’t know about the meeting. We didn’t know there were three scenarios. This has to be a team effort, where the board is informed and the board is participating.

Willie Mims: I was at Bay Point and we learned a lot and we heard a lot. One of my concerns is when you’re discussing boundaries, you have some new sections and some old sections. Concerned about possible Gerrymandering effect. I did not get a copy of the boundary proposal and would like to get one.
carries 3-2 (hansen and oaks against)

16.1 Amended contract for Assisant Superintendent, SASS (Rose Lock):

Rebecca Jensen comment:
Chastised the press. Said the FCMAT report about CVCHS costs seems to have been the match (to ignite this situation). The superintendent is very transparent. It feels as if this whole debacle is being used to do some housecleaning. Mistakes have been made, but I don’t believe them to be egregious enough to warrant this. If administrators can be so easily dismissed, what message does this send? Why would any qualified person ever want to work for our district?

Unanimously approved.

16.2 Amended contract for Assistant Superintendent, Personnel (Julie Braun-Martin):
Dennler moved approval and Oaks seconded. Then Dennler told Braun-Martin that one of her responsibilities is to interact with teachers who may lose their jobs. “This is a time of disappointment. I ask you to go above and beyond. Listen with patience and compassion. Four years ago, when I faced this position, I found you to be heartless and rude.”
Unanimously approved.

16.3 Amended contract for Chief Financial Officer (Bryan Richards):
Hansen said she is looking for a CFO who can answer questions about the budget. “I get concerns that requests for information are made and there’s not responsiveness. We have to have a CFO who can anwser questions quickly in language and terms that really answer those questions so people aren’t wondering what the heck’s going on. We need a CFO who really can be among his staff in fiscal. I think movement across the hall has not been helpful. I think people may not be managed as effectively as they could be. Payroll and fiscal is not a department where you want any unhappy campers.

Mayo: I want to express my concern that a ministerial action has been used to create firestorm of controversy. In them meantime, these employees have carried out their duties. Since December 2012, at least six attorneys have given input about these contracts. Despite this, the board still seeks other opinions. Attorneys have indicated that the action on April 23 is legally binding. I want to caution that comments made about employee performance may expose the district to a complaint. Although tonight’s action is legally unnecessary, I will support the extension as legally prepared by Roy Combs, attorney at law.

Hansen: Legal opinions are legal opinions and the only way something becomes legally binding is in a court of law with a judge making a decision. I am personally concerned that I was on this board last April 23 when these contracts came forward. I asked last April, ‘Where the heck are these contracts and why aren’t they posted for public viewing?’ I asked in the summer, ‘Where are these contracts?’ And I was ignored. The fact that we have spent money on outside attorneys is appalling to me, but I couldn’t get a second. Here we sit with a new board having to spend the first three months of their tenure having to fix the last mistakes. I am very concerned and offended. I am very unhappy that people on this board chose not to follow through. I’m also unhappy that the district administrators failed to follow through and advise the board. I resent the outside attorney fees.

Unanimously passed.

16.4 Amended contract for General Counsel (Greg Rolen):
Jack Weir: I expect the general counsel to be the district’s watchdog. The very manner in which these contracts were handled is all the evidence I need to know that there has been complete mismanagement in this regard. The public is very unhappy. Here we are trying to clean up a mess and we ought to be trying to make things better. We need new leadership at the top so we can move forward.

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128 Responses to “Live blog of 3-25-13 MDUSD meeting”

  1. Simone Says:

    Concerned Parent:
    I reside in the PH area with my husband and two children, one at CP, the other at VV. I also teach at an elementary school in the Northgate attendance area. My husband is a secondary administrator in another district
    We read the CC Times. And I read the blogs infrequently although my husband keeps up daily.

    Despite your not identifying yourself I think I know who you are. I received a letter from you several years ago attacking my character and professional ethics,the language, sentence structure and syntax are all giveaways to your style. The same hysterical tone reveals you. After your daughter’s last year with us several of my colleagues and I nominated you for ” Mother of the Year – Joan Crawford Division”.

    Speaking of your attack on Hansen – My husband took some courses through the CCCOE for his credential work five or six years ago. The instructor was Cheryl Hansen. He told me he got more out her classes than he did in his graduate school work. I met her at a campaign event in 2010 and she is exactly who she is – she is not going to be cowed or intimidated by anyone and I admire her vision, obvious passion for excellence, willingness to speak truth to power and her representing the entire educational community while the holding district leadership accountable.

    As for Mr. Lawrence’s involvement with the schools, we’ve only seen him once in three years on our site. I’ve never seen him at a CP or VV event. Here in PH, he is known as Northgate Lawrence, or, as one of the teachers at VV, christened him, “The Man Who Isn’t” We don’t get much attention over here.

    And he next time you feel the urge to release your inner “mother”, buy some wooden hangars.

  2. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Here is my somewhat “live blog” of today’s closed session:

  3. anon Says:

    Concerned Parent’s family obviously lives in the same school attendance area as Steve Lawrence’s and that’s why she sees him at events…

  4. Northgate Parent Says:


    Perhaps this is a good opportunity to look into Ms. Hansen’s credentials? I know you have a vested interest in taking down Dr. Lawrence, and that seem’s to be a full-time job!

    How about a exposé on how much Ms. Hansen’s “witch hunt” is costing the taxpayers? Then maybe look at how many great teachers will have to be laid off to pay for this personal vendetta?

    Maybe someday Ms. Hansen will “get a clue” and start doing what is in the best interests of the children of MDUSD. This Board President must be in favor of “Full Employment” for the attorneys of the Bay Area. This will undoubtedly be a long, expensive fight no matter what happens in that Board room this evening. In the end Ms. Hansen’s new slogan should be, “Putting Attorneys First.”

  5. anon 4 Says:

    you mean what is in the best interests of NGHS students in the MDUSD

  6. Anon Says:

    Northgate Parent-

    Give it up and get some counseling.

  7. Anon Says:

    Concerned Parent, Northgate Parent, Name to Be Determined, or Whoever You Decide to Be When You Grow Up – choose one and stick to it.

    I believe it has been Linda Mayo, like a demented whiplash victim, who demanded legal counsel from everything from Cure and Correct to the updated contracts. The Board voted on all of those requests and I believe that Hansen voted against employing most of those attorneys, the only time coming when Rolen was arguing he didn’t know how many documents he had for the PRA and some were confidential and the board voted to hire one from outside to go over them.

    Get rid of Rolen and we save over $225,000 plus all those lawsuits from Spec Ed parents who can’t get transportation for their kids.

  8. Theresa Harrington Says:

    NG Parent: I do not have a vested interest in any outcome for the superintendent. This is a board decision.

  9. g Says:

    Some of us rely on information gleaned from somewhere other than the Northgate cocktail circuit, and base our opinions on something more substantial than sharing a ride or getting a favor/promotion from a “charming” conversationalist.

    Facts count most when you look beyond just your neighborhood and personal friendships.

  10. Northgate Parent Says:


    I use only one name, and if you don’t think this will ultimately cost this district $500,000 plus in legal fees, you are only kidding yourself. This case will go on for years!

  11. Anon Says:

    Yeah, right, first no superintendent is going to be going out there looking for another job while suing his former district. Those cases end up in mediation and adhere to the contract language dealing with termination or dismissal. Lawrence is going to be looking for a job while suing his former district? It would be career suicide.
    As far as general counsel is concerned, he
    is owed really nothing. He could be working for a law firm tomorrow, perhaps Paul Strange or Matt Juhl Darlington would offer him a position.

    “This case will go on for years” – OMG!

  12. Anonymous Says:

    Anon is right. I believe there contracts have clauses that allow them to be released with a severance; that was reported in the CC Times. Voting yes on the contract extensions just means the contracts are valid and legally binding. Within those contracts are clauses that say they board can let that person go at an earlier time, but if they do, they have to pay a 6 or 7 month severance. That’s legally binding on the employee who agreed to the contract term. So, no litigation, just a buy out. The Superintendent of Brentwood just got released and bought out for failing to discipline an employee who hit a child.

  13. Concerned MDUSD parent Says:

    Simone – It is great that your husband learned so much from MS Hansen, taking courses and learning something is the objective and important otherwise you are wasting time and money (right). Ms Hansen may have been a good educator however this is bigger than that, at the meeting she did not have a clue about RFP’s how they are responded to how vendors approach them and how to measure a winning bid and it takes more than just being an effective educator to run a business. Unfortunately you are clueless as to who I am and I have no idea who you are, our paths have never crossed as our daughters did not go to VV. Nice wrongful character attack though especially for a teacher. To the point, there has been research conducted on Ms Hansen and it is clear that her online resume does not match. CC Times is not doing the community any favors with their collusion and should conduct an investigation and bring her to the public eye as her friendly reporter has done so well with Dr. Lawrence and others. I have seen Dr. Lawrence at a variety of schools.

    Anon – nice statement “get some counseling” really.

    These all really sounds like the Hansen Rotary Shills over and over again to quote Dr. J 🙂

    Theresa – you have never heard about Hansen because no one took the time – someone did and you should be encouraged to do the same – prove it wrong this is your opportunity what have you to lose?

  14. g Says:

    Concerned. When Ms. Hansen asks questions at the meetings, such as you mention about vendors, contracts etc., she may be doing it that way because her constituents have asked her to–for the public’s understanding.

    Do not for a minute believe she is ignorant or does not do her own research.

    I think if you have proof that she is not who we think she is–it is upon you to point it out. Be specific. Some of Eberhart’s old claims were pointed out as misleading if not outright erroneous. Maybe he realized it would not be a good idea to put that test before the voters again.

    By the way, she is not trying to run a business. That’s what the overpaid CEO should be doing.

    Hansen is trying to be a primary operator of a well oiled education machine.

    Big – big difference!

  15. Concerned MDUSD parent Says:

    G no one said she is ignorant. In fact I find that she is very well spoken, direct, has some humor and is obvious that she does her research. There are facts about her past that should be reviewed, however it should be conducted by a qualified Human Resource staff to ensure that it is conducted in private and with respect. FYI this is a business, whether you like it or not, we all pay into it and I expect that a knowledgable educated CEO/CFO type run it. That has the experience and a ideally a Doctorate in education to fully understand the business requirements (to educate), who also understands state and federal policy. Have you seen the guidelines to follow? It’s overwhelming to the even the best.

    If you want a well oiled education machine thats what it takes. Just my 2 cents about running a district that has varied economical geographies, aging infrastructure, declining population, labour laws, unions etc.

  16. g Says:

    Concerned, we agree about a lot. I too have said that Steven Lawrence has the potential ability to be a good superintendent. Coming from, at best, poorly executed experience with a district 1/4 the size and with even less demographic diversity than MDUSD did not make him an adequate candidate.

    He has now had three-plus years to get in the groove and learn the ropes. He has progressed–he has not excelled.

    As I have iterated before, he has been sorely hampered here by his own lack of proper experience, but mostly by poor prior board leadership and egregious legal advice.

  17. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Concerned Parent: As I have previously stated, the CC Times is not in collusion with anyone. What are the specific allegations that you are asking to be proven wrong?

  18. g Says:

    If I may add…Hansen is an elected official—and in that roll is not at the behest of ANY human resources department—in fact, quite the reverse is true in this case.

    I would think Concerned’s claims and any proving documents should go to the FPPC, if they go anyplace.

  19. Rocco Says:

    Didn’t Oaks say that staff in the District are afraid of retaliation by the two administrators? What if “Concerned MDUSD Parent” is part of some retaliation against Hansen for having the courage to stand up to these guys?

  20. Anon Says:

    Dear Concerned Parent,

    You criticize Ms. Hansen’s questioning about the RFP process. Could you please educate us all on why you believe Ms. Hansen’s questioning regarding the RFP process for the district’s lease-leasebacks was unwarranted. Perhaps she is concerned that the district is not in compliance with the Public Contract Code – Isn’t that her job to perform somekind of due diligence before approving such a large contract? Could you tell me where in the law that an invitation to complete an RFP equates to a competitively advertised bid process?

    Also, based on your posts, it concerns me that you may be a district employee or a construction worker being paid with school bonds. Either way, your mentality is precisely why school districts continue to get away with breaking laws and abusing taxpayer dollars. Your accusations about Ms. Hansen appear nothing but a tactic of deflection.

  21. Anon Says:

    Concerned Parent…You should also know that literally anyone can become a school board member, if elected,…even persons with a criminal record. Voters need to do their own due diligence rather than relying on a newspaper. I call out to the legislature to prohibit persons from running for school board who have committed crimes…especially offenses that make a person inappropriate to be around children.

  22. Theresa Harrington Says:

    For those who received pink slips, the Alameda County Office of Education is holding a job fair April 24:

  23. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Please note that I have updated this blog post with the names of the seven teachers recognized when the district Teachers of the Year were announced.

  24. Doctor J Says:

    Does anyone else find it is fascinating that the next closed sessions will be April 2 during Spring Break ?

  25. help the kids Says:

    What about the Technology Committees report that got cut off Monday night. Super important for our kids-lot more important that the stuff this blog is focusing on. What do you know about the work this committee has done? Do you know what it means for the future for our kids? Do you know how what this committee has recommended will effect the districts ability to implement the new Common Core Standards. Do you know what the new Common Core Standards mean for the future of education. What year are we preparing students for? How do we prepare them for the future? These are questions you might want to consider.

  26. Theresa Harrington Says:

    HTC: I will write more about the tech recs in the future. I have also already written about the Common Core. It’s too bad the work of the Tech Committee was completely under the radar until it was ready to make recommendations. This would have been a great topic for occasional Superintendent’s Reports and/or Superintendent’s News Updates.

  27. help the kids Says:

    Not sure what radar we are talking about. They said in the presentation Mar 25th that the committee was people from all levels including parents and students.

    Trusting and waiting for this process to happen maybe hard but it is the best way to get fair and with no pressure (including from the press) input from everyone.

  28. Theresa Harrington Says:

    How were the committee members selected?

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