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Archive for October, 2013

A closer look at student fitness results in the East Bay

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State fitness test results for students in grades 5, 7 and 9 released earlier this week showed that many children need to eat better and get more exercise to improve their aerobic capacity, strength and flexibility.

Based on six different tests of these areas, about a quarter of fifth-graders statewide met all fitness goals, compared to roughly one-third of seventh-graders and nearly 37 percent of ninth-graders.

Alameda County’s fifth-graders scored slightly higher than those statewide, with about 29 percent meeting all six fitness goals, while the same percentage of seventh-graders as those throughout California met the goals and 36.4 percent of ninth-graders met the goals. Contra Costa County students were also in the same range, with 28.1 percent of fifth-graders meeting all six fitness goals, compared to 31.8 percent of seventh-graders and 37.7 percent of high school freshmen.

Here’s a closer look at how fifth, seventh and ninth-grade students in some local districts compared to those throughout the East Bay and state:
Grade 5 Grade 7 Grade 9
STATE 25.5 32.4 36.5
ALAMEDA COUNTY 28.9 32.4 36.4
Castro Valley Unified 49.3 47.8 54.7
Dublin Unified 32.7 55.7 59.6
Livermore Valley Joint Unified 27.3 38.2 47.8
Pleasanton Unified 32.8 40.3 57.9
Sunol Glen Unified 70.0 50.0 (Grades 5 and 7)
CONTRA COSTA COUNTY 28.1 31.8 37.3
Acalanes High 53.5 (Grade 9)
Antioch Unified 18.7 29.4 33.5
Brentwood Elementary 28.1 38.5 (Grades 5 and 7)
Byron Elementary 41.4 46.2 (Grades 5 and 7)
Clayton Valley Charter High 31.7 (Grade 9)
John Swett Unified 19.2 27.4 28.8
Knightsen Elementary 42.0 28.6 (Grades 5 and 7)
Lafayette Elementary 54.5 24.1 (Grades 5 and 7)
Liberty High 46.0 (Grade 9)
Martinez Unified 23.3 36.2 25.0
Moraga Elementary 66.7 64.9
Mt. Diablo Unified 17.8 28.1 27.1
Oakley Elementary 7.3 23.7 (Grades 5 and 7)
Orinda Elementary 53.9 44.7 (Grades 5 and 7)
Pittsburg Unified 22.2 20.4 21.5
San Ramon Valley Unified 50.0 43.8 53.0
Walnut Creek Elementary 50.8 39.3 (Grades 5 and 7)
West Contra Costa Unified 15.2 20.3 21.9

Seventh-graders at Foothill Middle School in Walnut Creek surpassed the Mt. Diablo district average and roughly matched the state average, with about 32 percent of students meeting all six fitness goals.

Anna Meehan, 13, who is now in 8th grade, said she likes PE classes because she knows it’s good to get her heart rate going faster everyday and to work a little harder as she progresses through the school year.

Maggie Claire McCoy, who is also a 13-year-old eighth-grader, said she also participates in club volleyball outside of school and is hoping to play on the top-notch Northgate High volleyball team next year. She said exercise helps to condition her body for after-school sports, as well as keeping her fit overall.

Andrew Rinella, another 13-year-old eighth-grader, said he thinks it’s a good idea to participate in after-school sports in high school, so that students can stay fit even if they don’t take PE in their junior and senior years.

Chris deClercq, chairman of the PE department at the school, said he and other teachers promote lifelong fitness and try to find something that every child can enjoy.

“We try to expose them to as many activities as we can,” he said. “Our goal is getting them to believe fitness is a good thing and that it can still be fun, even though it’s hard at times.”

Complete fitness results by school, district, county and state are available by visiting www.cde.ca.gov. Click on “Physical Fitness Test Results for 2012-13.”

Why do you think older students score better overall than younger students?

Posted on Friday, October 25th, 2013
Under: Alameda County, Contra Costa County, Education | 1 Comment »

MDUSD Board on Wednesday to hire new Sequoia MS Principal and enter into another lease-leaseback agreement

After its special meeting Wednesday afternoon, the Mt. Diablo school board will hold its regular meeting at 7:30 p.m. in the district office Board Room at 1936 Carlotta Drive in Concord.

There are several interesting items on the agenda. The closed session agenda includes: discussions regarding union negotiations, employee discipline, the Bay Area News Group lawsuit seeking documents related to the alleged sexual molestation of students by former Woodside Elementary teacher Joseph Martin, and discussion of potential litigation related to various “J. Doe claims” that are likely related to the allegations against Martin.

The consent calendar includes: Consultant contracts related to the districts attempts to remedy its designation as being significantly disproportionate in its identification of African-American students for special education, expulsions and suspensions; a list of schools that didn’t receive textbooks on time; school bus replacements; completion of a lease-leaseback contract; and yet another inspection contract for Alisha Jensen.

The business portion of the agenda includes the appointment of several administrators, such as a new Sequoia Middle School Principal in Pleasant Hill; a lease-leaseback contract award for a science classroom at Ygnacio Valley HS; and a deductive change order for a lease-leaseback HVAC contract.

Here is the complete 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

2.2 Board Member Lynne Dennler will participate via teleconference from 33 Hui Drive, Lahaina, HI. 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 Student Discipline – Adult student appeal of dismissal: One (1) matter from an adult education student seeking board review of the District’s decision to dismiss student from the Surgical Technology Program. Action

4.2 Expulsion of Student #01-14 from all regular schools of Mt. Diablo Unified School District Action

4.3 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

4.4 Conference with Labor Negotiators pursuant to Govt. Code Section 54957.6 Designated District representatives: President Cheryl Hansen, Interim General Counsel Jayne Williams; Unrepresented employee: Superintendent Action

4.5 Public Employee Discipline/Dismissal/Release/Complaint Action

4.6 Pending Litigation – Conference with Legal Counsel pursuant to Gov’t. Code Section 54956.9 (1) regarding Bay Area News Group, et al v. Mt. Diablo Unified School District, et al, Contra Costa Superior Court Case No. N13-1551. Action

4.7 Anticipated Litigation – Conference with Legal Counsel regarding the initiation of litigation in one (1) matter pursuant to Gov’t. Code Section 54956.9(c). Action

4.8 Potential litigation based on facts and circumstances regarding various J. Doe claims pursuant to Gov’. Code section 54956.9(3)(c). Action

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 Student Discipline Info
7.2 Expulsion Info
7.3 Negotiations Info
7.4 Conference with Labor Negotiators Info
7.5 Public Employee Discipline/Dismissal/Release/Complaint Info
7.6 Pending Litigation Info
7.7 Anticipated Litigation Info
7.8 Potential Litigation Info

8.0 Student Representatives

9.0 Board Member Reports
9.1 Board Reports Info

10.0 Superintendent’s Report
10.1 Highlights in District Info

11.0 Consent Agenda Action
11.1 (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

11.2 (Item #2) Recommended Action for Certificated Personnel Action

11.3 (Item #3) Request to increase and decrease Full Time Equivalent (FTE) for the 2013-2014 school year Action

11.4 (Item #4) Approval of Variable Term Waiver Requests Action

11.5 (Item #5) Amended Declaration of Need for Fully Qualified Educators Action

11.6 (Item #6) Classified Personnel: Request to Increase and Decrease Positions Action

11.7 (Item #7) Changes in status of the following employees Action

11.8 (Item #8) Student Teaching Agreement between Grand Canyon University and Mt. Diablo Unified School District Action

11.9 (Item #9) Approval of independent contract with Martha Pollock for $36,500 to provide specialized counseling services at Mt. Diablo High School. The contract amount should not exceed $46,080 as per contract amendment dated Sepember 19, 2013. Action

11.10 (Item #10) Approval of Non-Public School Contracts/Adjustments Action

11.11 (Item #11) Agreement between Mount Diablo Unified School District and Independent Contractor Jon Eyler Action

11.12 (Item #12) Agreement between Mount Diablo Unified School District and Independent Contractor Dr. Mary Bacon. Action

11.13 (Item #13) Approve submission of the CalSTAT grant to support district professional development during the 2013-14 school year. Action

11.14 (Item #14) Approve submission of an application to the State Board of Education to serve as a Supplemental Education Service (SES) Provider. Action

11.15 (Item #15) Public Hearing regarding Sufficiency of Textbooks and Instructional Materials for 2013-2014 for Pupil Textbook and Instructional Materials Incentive Program and Williams Settlement Instructional Materials Funds Action

11.16 (Item #16) Approval of contracts with Exploring New Horizons (ENH) for Bancroft Elementary, Monte Gardens Elementary, Strandwood Elementary, and Valle Verde Elementary School Outdoor Ed Programs Action

11.17 (Item #17) Approve contract with Westminster Woods Camp and Conference Center for Sequoia Elementary School Action

11.18 (Item #18) Budget Transfer and/or Budget Increases/Decreases for July-September 2013. Action

11.19 (Item #19) Annual Renewal of Bi-Tech Services Contract Action

11.20 (Item #20) Request Purchase Order for (2) 78 Passenger Buses Action

11.21 (Item #21) Replacement School Bus Purchase Action

11.22 (Item #22) Award of RFQ for RFQ#1657 – Integrated GPS System Action

11.23 (Item #23) Award of RFP #1665 – Swimming Pool Maintenance Service Action

11.24 (Item #24) Notice of Completion for Lease/Leaseback #1634 – Bell Products Inc. Action

11.25 (Item #25) Award of Design Services Contract: MU Modernization at College Park High School. Action

11.26 (Item #26) Award of Inspector of Record (Project Inspector) Contract for New Chemistry Classroom Building Project at Ygnacio Valley High School Action

12.0 Consent Items Pulled for Discussion

13.0 Recognitions
13.1 Announcements/Awards Info

14.0 Public Comment
14.1 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

15.0 Communications
15.1 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

16.0 Reports/Information
16.1 Information Provided to Board and Community Info

17.0 Business/Action Items

17.1 Appointment of Administrator, Special Education Action

17.2 Appointment of Program Specialist, Special Education Action

17.3 Appointment of Principal, Sequoia Middle School Action

17.4 Appointment of Coordinator, Student/Community Services 9-12 – Olympic High School Action

17.5 Classified Personnel: Appointment of Transportation Dispatcher Action

17.6 Public presentation of the Initial Successor Agreement Proposal for Mt. Diablo School Psychologists Association (MDSPA) and the Mt. Diablo Unified School District’s Initial Successor Agreement Proposal to MDSPA Action

17.7 Adult Education Board Policy and Administrative Regulations 6200 Info

17.8 Proclamation of October 23 – November 1, 2013 as “Red Ribbon Week” Action

17.9 Resolution of Intent to Dedicate an Easement at Shore Acres Elementary School Action

17.10 Resolution 13/14-21 Native American Heritage Month Action

17.11 Award of Lease/Lease-back Agreement with Taber Construction, Inc. to support RFQ/RFP 1644 – Ygnacio Valley HS – SMART Science Building Action

17.12 Final Change Order for LLB #1634 – HVAC Modernization at El Monte ES, Monte Gardens ES, Westwood ES and Shadelands/Sunrise School. Action

17.13 Adoption Textbook for Sports Medicine II Info

17.14 Meeting Extension Action
18.0 Future Agenda Items
19.0 Closed Session
19.1 Items not completed during the first Closed Session will be carried over to this closed session. Action
20.0 Adjournment
20.1 Adjourn Meeting Info”

Which items pique your interest?

Posted on Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013
Under: Education, Mt. Diablo school district | 71 Comments »

MDUSD board to hold Wednesday governance workshop and determine evaluation goals for new superintendent

Now that the Mt. Diablo school board has hired a new superintendent to try to remedy problems perceived under former district leadership, trustees are ready to sit down and hammer out goals for their hand-picked Superintendent Nellie Meyer.

The board will hold a special meeting at 2 p.m. Wednesday — before its regular Wednesday night meeting — that will include a Governance Workshop to discuss the roles and responsibilities of the board and superintendent, as well as possible performance goals for Meyer based on the district’s strategic plan.

Here is the agenda for the meeting, which will be held in the board room at the district office, 1936 Carlotta Drive in Concord. The public is invited to comment on the superintendent’s evaluation goals before trustees go into closed session.

“1.0 Call to Order
1.1 President will call the meeting to order at 2:00 p.m. Info

2.0 Public Comment
2.1 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

3.0 Business/Action Items

3.1 Governance Workshop – The Board and Superintendent will participate in a governance workshop led by Dr. Sally Frazier, consultant with Leadership Associates. There are two major outcomes: 1. Gain a clear understanding of the Board and Superintendent Roles and Relationship. 2. Determine the Superintendent’s goals for 2013-14 in alignment with our District Strategic Plan. Action

4.0 Adjourn to Closed Session #1
4.1 Adjourn to Closed Session at 4:00 p.m. Action

4.2 Superintendent’s Evaluation – Based on the determination of the goals for 2013-14 that occurred in Open Session, the Board will develop criteria and expectations for the Superintendent’s performance evaluation. Action

5.0 Adjournment
5.1 Adjourn meeting at 5:00 p.m. Info”

What performance goals would you suggest the board use to evaluate Superintendent Nellie Meyer?

Posted on Monday, October 21st, 2013
Under: Education, Mt. Diablo school district | 43 Comments »

BANG v. MDUSD lawsuit lays out chronology of abuse suspicions, charges, claims and reporting related to Woodside Elementary teacher

JOSEPH ANDREW MARTIN

A lawsuit filed against the Mt. Diablo school district last month by The Bay Area News Group provides a comprehensive look at the circumstances that led to Woodside Elementary teacher Joseph Martin’s arrest and the subsequent claims made against the district.

As reported by Times writer Lisa Vorderbrueggen, Bay Area News Group is asking a judge to force the district to release internal records about Martin, 45, who has been charged with 125 counts related to the alleged sexual molestation of 13 young male students between 2006 and April 2013. He was arrested in June and is in jail on $10 million bail. He pleaded not guilty in July. If convicted, he faces life in prison.

The district has refused to produce documents pertaining to Martin, citing personnel and investigatory exemptions in California’s public records law. The news organization argues in its lawsuit filed in Contra Costa Superior Court that the records are not exempt and must be produced.

BANG attorney Duffy Carolan’s 175-page lawsuit includes a 12-page complaint that outlines the chronology of the state’s case against Martin, along with three subsequent claims and a civil rights lawsuit. It also details investigative reporter Matthias Gafni’s attempts to get records related to Martin from the district.

In a June 29 Public Records Act Request, Gafni sought: “Any and all writings pertaining to Mt. Diablo Unified School District teacher Joseph Andrew Martin, 45, relating to allegations of wrongdoing (including inappropriate behavior with students), complaints, investigations, findings, discipline meted out or other action taken against Mr. Martin during his tenure at the district.”

BANG is seeking district investigations into incidents that were allegedly witnessed and reported to district officials by other teachers. For example, one complaint alleges that a teacher walked in on Martin and a male student one evening and saw that they were behind a closet door with their shoes off. Another teacher said older boys who had graduated often returned to the campus and went into Martin’s room alone, with the classroom door locked, according to claims.

In the most recent claim, a 2013 police report is quoted, which cites a 2006 internal district document that found “potential child abuse” by Martin. The police report says no one from the district reported Martin to Child Protective Services or to law enforcement authorities at the time. Instead, the district created new rules for Martin, such as keeping his classroom door open at all times, according to the claim.

Here is the complete lawsuit: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B6mS2O1_NKceZU5UbDZYenlsdVE/edit?usp=sharing

This is not the first time BANG has requested personnel-related documents from the district. In the past, I have received large files from the district in relation to personnel decisions that led to separation agreements with employees. These files contained numerous memos documenting complaints and meetings to remedy those complaints. No such documents were released to BANG in relation to Martin.

And earlier this year, Times columnist Dan Borenstein asked the school board to review documents that were withheld from his Public Records Act request by then-General Counsel Greg Rolen. Borenstein asked trustees to waive the privilege asserted by Rolen and to release documents related to employment agreements with then-Superintendent Steven Lawrence, Rolen and three other top administrators. As a result of Borenstein’s appeal directly to the school board — which bypassed the general counsel — trustees agreed to release more documents.

In this case, too, the board has the right to override Interim General Counsel Jayne Williams’ denials and release documents that are being withheld, in the interest of public transparency. Trustees Barbara Oaks and Brian Lawrence were elected last November, after pledging to usher in a new era of transparency in the district. They — along with Board President Cheryl Hansen — voted to terminate the previous superintendent’s contract a year early, in part due to mistrust in the district that resulted from secrecy and stonewalling public requests for information.

Further complicating this case is the fact that previous Interim Superintendent Johh Bernard is the father of Jennifer Sachs, who was principal at Woodside Elementary in 2006 and is named in some of the claims. Trustees hired Bernard soon after Martin was placed on a leave of absence. Bernard worked through the end of September, during the time when Martin was arrested and alleged victims began filing claims against the district. He told me that the district would cooperate fully with police and his relationship with Sachs would not affect the investigation.

Newly appointed Superintendent Nellie Meyer, who took the helm Sept. 23, has entered into a contract with Bernard’s employer — Total School Solutions — for nine months of consulting as she transitions into her new role.

Do you believe the district should release documents that it is withholding related to internal complaints about Martin?

Posted on Thursday, October 17th, 2013
Under: Education, Mt. Diablo school district | 120 Comments »

MDUSD board to meet Wednesday to vote on several items and hold a public hearing on planned Northgate High aquatics center

The Mt. Diablo school board will meet Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. in the district board room at 1936 Carlotta Drive in Concord to vote on several items of interest, including: several lease-leasebacks that still aren’t labeled with the names of the projects, an $11,700 consulting contract with the company that Dr. John Bernard works for to mentor Dr. Nellie Meyer for nine months, the YVHS field lighting project, a public hearing regarding the Northgate Aquatics project and several new and revised board bylaws, including some related to the use of social media.

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 Pending Litigation – Conference with Legal Counsel pursuant to Gov’t. Code Section 54956.9 (1) regarding Taylor, et al v. Mt. Diablo Unified School District, et al, Contra Costa Superior Court Case No. C12-00609. Info

4.3 Pending Litigation – Conference with Legal Counsel pursuant to Gov’t. Code Section 54956.9(1) regarding Bay Area News Group v. Mt. Diablo Unified School District, et al, Contra Costa Superior Court Case No. N13-1551. Info

4.4 Anticipated Litigation – Conference with Legal Counsel regarding the initiation of litigation in one (1) matter pursuant to Gov’t. Code Section 54956.9 (c). Info

4.5 Potential litigation based on facts and circumstances in four (4) matters pursuant to Gov’t. Code Section 54956.9(3) (c). 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 Pending Litigation Info
7.3 Pending Litigation Info
7.4 Anticipated Litigation Info
7.5 Potential Litigation Info

8.0 Student Representatives
8.1 Student representatives will report on activities at their schools. Info

9.0 Board Member Reports
9.1 Board reports Info

10.0 Superintendent’s Report

11.0 Expulsion Recommendations

12.0 Consent Agenda Action
12.1 (Item #1) Recommended Action for Certificated Personnel Action

12.2 (Item #2) Ed. Code 44263 – BOARD AUTHORIZATION Action

12.3 (Item #3) Student Placement Agreement between Saint Mary’s College of California and Mt. Diablo Unified School District Action

12.4 (Item #4) Memo of Understanding between Contra Costa County Office of Education Intern Program and Mt. Diablo Unified School District. Action

12.5 (Item #5) Memorandum of Understanding between University of the Pacific and Mt. Diablo Unified School District. Action

12.6 (Item #6) Recommended Action for Classified Personnel Action

12.7 (Item #7) Classified Personnel: Request to Increase Positions Action

12.8 (Item #8) Fiscal Transactions for the month of September 2013. Action

12.9 (Item #9) Approval of Contract with Non Public Agency STE Consultants for Services for the 2013-14 School Year Action

12.10 (Item #10) Adjustment to the Agreement Between Mt. Diablo Unified School District (MDUSD) and the Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE) to Provide Temporary One-to-One Assistant Agreements for Special Education Students During the 2013-2014 School Year. Action

12.11 (Item #11) John F. Kennedy University – Independent Services Contract for counseling services at designated schools. Action

12.12 (Item #12) Award of RFP No. 1647: LEA Medi-Cal Claims & MAA Reimbursement Services including CRCS Services Action

12.13 (Item #13) Increase to Independent Service Contract with AA Medtrans Action

12.14 (Item #14) Final Change Order for LLB Project #1642 – Remodel of Art Classroom (Auto/Metal Shop) at Northgate High School Action

12.15 (Item #15) Notice of Completion for Lease/Leaseback #1642 Action

12.16 (Item #16) Notice of Completion for Lease/Leaseback #1632 Action

12.17 (Item #17) Notice of Completion for Lease/Leaseback #1633 Action

12.18 (Item #18) Notice of Completion for Lease/Leaseback #1620 Action

12.19 (Item #19) Amended Certificate of Signatures Action

12.20 (Item #20) Agreement Between Mt. Diablo Unified School District (MDUSD) and Total School Solutions to Provide Consulting Services to the Superintendent During the 2013-14 Fiscal Year Action

12.21 (Item #21) Approval of contract with The YMCA at Camp Arroyo for Bel Air Elementary School Outdoor Ed Program Action

12.22 (Item #22) Resolution 13/14-16 Disability Awareness Month Action

13.0 Consent Items Pulled for Discussion

14.0 Recognitions

15.0 Public Comment
15.1 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

16.0 Communications
16.1 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

17.0 Reports/Information

18.0 Business/Action Items

18.1 Appointment of Coordinator, Student/Community Services 9-12 – Ygnacio Valley High School Action

18.2 Final Change Order for LLB #1632 – HVAC Modernization at Bancroft, Mountain View, Silverwood and Valle Verde Elementary Schools Action

18.3 Final Change Order for LLB #1633 – HVAC Modernization at Gregory Gardens, Hidden Valley, and Strandwood Elementary Schools Action

18.4 Public Hearing Regarding the Draft Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration for the Northgate High School Aquatic Center Info

18.5 Adoption of Resolution Accepting Final Environmental Impact Report for the Ygnacio Valley High School Sports Field Lighting Project Action

18.6 Approval of Ygnacio Valley High School Stadium Lighting Project Action

18.7 Award of Bid for Bid #1645 Sports Field Lighting Action

18.8 Award of Inspector of Record (Project Inspector) Contract for Sports Field Lighting Project at Ygnacio Valley High School Action

18.9 Final Deductive Change Order – L/LB #1620 – Taber Construction, Inc. for Construction of Twenty-four (24) New Classrooms at Eight (8) Sites and Five (5) General Science Buildings at Five (5) Middle School Sites Action

18.10 New and Revised Technology Policies – BP 3513, BP/AR 4040, BP 6162.7 Action

18.11 Board Bylaw 9323 – Meeting Conduct Action

18.12 Board Bylaw 9323.2 – Actions By The Board Action

18.13 Board Bylaw E 9323.2 – Actions By The Board Action

18.14 Meeting Extension Action

19.0 Future Agenda Items
19.1 Future Agenda Items Info

20.0 Closed Session
20.1 Items not completed during the first Closed Session will be carried over to this closed session. Action

21.0 Adjournment
21.1 Adjourn Meeting Info”

Just as there are neighbors around Ygnacio Valley High scrutinizing the proposed field lighting project, there are also neighbors around Northgate High who are carefully reviewing the planned aquatic center. Here’s information I received in an e-mail from one neighbor:

“The Pool WILL be available for Open Community Swim and Clinics all year. The following is included in the Mitigated Negative Declaration in small footnotes below Table 1 on page 18:

e) Open community swim may occur all year when school is not in session and the pool is not in use by MDUSD. During the summer, open community swim use would include lap swimming, which could occur Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. It is possible that community use lap swimming may occur during the school year, but that use would only occur during non-school hours when the pool is not in use by MDUSD. For community lap swim use. it is assumed that there would be a maximum of 96 swimmers per hour (6 swimmers per lane). On Saturdays, the pool would be open from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. for open recreational pool time: however, there may be events for which the pool is open until 9:00 p.m. It is assumed there would be a maximum of 100 swimmers in the pool at one time for open recreation pool time.

f) It is estimated that the pool deck could accommodate up to 500 spectators and 100 competitors/coaches. However, given the length of swim meets (approximately 13 hours for Championship and Invitational Meets), and how spectator and competitor attendance at swim meets typically occurs (spectators and competitors come and go during the event), it is assumed that the maximum number of spectators (including the general public as well as swimmers/players at the meet) would not exceed 500 people at any one time. It should be emphasized that this is a very conservative estimate (so as not to underestimate impacts). Most Championship and Invitational Meets would experience far lower maximum attendance levels.”

Neighbors are concerned about how this community use will affect them.

What items on the agenda are the most interesting to you?

Posted on Tuesday, October 8th, 2013
Under: Education, Mt. Diablo school district | 62 Comments »

Ygnacio Valley HS neighbors ask MDUSD board to delay vote on field project

The Mt. Diablo school board on Wednesday expects to vote on an Environmental Impact Report related to proposed field improvements at Ygnacio Valley High, along with the project itself, a construction award and a contract for inspection of the work.

This vote comes on the heels of a Sept. 30 community meeting, where neighbors, parents and staff came together to discuss various options for mitigating some of the adverse impacts of the project such as noise, light and trash.

The meeting got off to a rocky start — with some neighbors complaining they had no input into the agenda for the meeting or the alternatives presented. However, after those present broke into groups and began talking, it appeared that the neighbors genuinely felt like the district was listening to their concerns. The groups came up with a variety of ideas for conditions that could be imposed on the project, which didn’t necessarily coincide with those laid out by Tim Cody in his PowerPoint presentation: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B6mS2O1_NKceQnM3eUZLc05IYlU/edit?usp=sharing.

Here are notes from the meeting prepared by a YVHS staff member, who commented at the end that some of the recommendations conflicted with each other: http://esb.mdusd.k12.ca.us/attachments/d0638c4c-2204-42b5-80e1-2e1bb7c72833.pdf

As a result of this meeting, Tim Cody compiled an “Exhibit D,” which outlines different options for possible use conditions: http://esb.mdusd.k12.ca.us/attachments/d0638c4c-2204-42b5-80e1-2e1bb7c72833.pdf

The neighbors who live around the school have sent the following letter to the school board, expressing their dissatisfaction with Cody’s Exhibit D and asking the board to postpone its vote so both parties can spend more time talking out a compromise: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B6mS2O1_NKceTkYzUk5ObG9fOEU/edit?usp=sharing

They have asked that this letter be included in the official record for the Oct. 9 meeting.

Do you think the board should postpone its vote to allow more time to work out a mutually agreeable deal with the neighbors?

Posted on Tuesday, October 8th, 2013
Under: Education, Mt. Diablo school district | 12 Comments »

MDUSD board to meet Monday with Walnut Creek City Council

One of Mt. Diablo school board President Cheryl Hansen’s goals has been to begin meeting again with City Councils in each of the cities served by the district. Although the board did this many years ago, it stopped the practice and has had sometimes icy relations with some city leaders, such as those in Clayton, due in part to the Clayton Valley High charter conversion.

When I covered the Walnut Creek City Council several years ago, city leaders met about once a year with the Walnut Creek School District, but complained that Mt. Diablo district officials did not seem interested in holding similar meetings.

Now, the idea is being revived and the leaders of both agencies will meet at 6:30 p.m. Monday at Walnut Acres Elementary to discuss issues of mutual interest. The meeting is in the multiuse room at 180 Cerezo Drive in Walnut Creek.

Here is the agenda:

“1. OPENING
a. Pledge of Allegiance
b. Roll Call
c. Comments from (Board President) Cheryl Hansen, (Mayor) Cindy Silva

2. WALNUT CREEK SCHOOLS
a. Boundaries / Enrollment (handouts)
b. Programs
c. Building Projects
d. Academic Achievement

3. SCHOOL SAFETY – CITY / SCHOOLS

4. BUDGET / ACADEMIC SHIFT
a. Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF)
b. Common Core

5. CITY BUDGET / CITY SERVICES
a. Crossing Guards and Crisis Counselors
b. After School Programs
c. Other (AAA, CAE Programs, Library Services, Aquatics, Ball Fields)

6. PUBLIC COMMENT

9. ADJOURNMENT

Directions to Walnut Acres
From Walnut Creek: Ygnacio Valley Rd. to Wiget Ln. Right on Wiget Ln. to Cerezo Dr. Left on Cerezo Dr.
From Concord: Oak Grove Rd. to Ygnacio Valley Rd. Right on Ygnacio Valley Rd. to Wiget Ln. Left on
Wiget Ln. Left on Cerezo Dr”

Although both agencies livestream and videotape their regular board meetings, it is unclear whether this meeting will be livestreamed or videotaped. I have been told by the Walnut Creek city clerk that the city won’t be videotaping the meeting. I have left messages with the district to find out if the district will.

As a reminder, the board met with the Pleasant Hill City Council April 15.

What issues do you think are most important for district trustees and Walnut Creek council members to discuss?

OCT. 7 UPDATE: I have been informed that tonight’s meeting will be livestreamed and videotaped.

Posted on Sunday, October 6th, 2013
Under: Mt. Diablo school district, Walnut Creek, Walnut Creek City Council | 16 Comments »

Sustainable farm on sanitary district property a political hot potato

Central Contra Costa Sanitary District Board meeting

Central Contra Costa Sanitary District Board meeting

A proposal to create a sustainable farm on Central Contra Costa Sanitary District property appears to be fraught with political wrangling.

Although it is one step closer to coming to fruition after trustees voted Thursday to allow staff to enter into negotiations with the project’s organizers, the deal is far from done.

Project creator Carolyn Phinney and farm manager Bethallyn Black dreamed up the idea of the “CoCo San Sustainable Farm” with the goal of growing organic produce using recycled water to provide salads for schools and fresh vegetables to the local food bank.

But politics overshadowing the deal bubbled to the surface during the meeting, when Board President James Nejedly accused Phinney — who was not present — of posting false allegations about him on Facebook. Nejedly also noted that the press (me) was videotaping the proceedings.

I videotaped part of the debate to provide a record for the public, since the district doesn’t videotape its own meetings. Ten clips from the meeting are at www.youtube.com/tunedtotheresa. Shorter Tout excerpts are at http://www.tout.com/m/4wyf8z.

Nejedly and some other trustees said details of the plan were vague and confusing, including basic information such as how much property is needed for the project to be successful. Although it was originally conceived to encompass 33 acres of land next to the district’s Martinez treatment plant, it was later scaled down.

The district wants to consider leasing some property for other potentially more lucrative uses, like allowing agencies such as Caltrans to dump dirt on it.
The farm proposal was embraced by Trustee Mike McGill, who served on the Enterprise Committee that reviewed the proposal, along with Nejedly. But Nejedly said the Facebook posts accused him of being a “sour grape” who wanted to “gut” the project.

The committee recommended pursuing an agreement for 10 plantable acres, with the condition that five acres could be vacated if necessary with 60 days’ notice. The committee also recommended pursuing a Request for Proposal for the remaining acreage, and a land use permit for the entire property. Staff recommended that the board create an ad hoc committee to negotiate the lease terms.

After back-and-forth discussion between Black and trustees, some questions remained. Based on the Facebook posts, Nejedly said farm manager Black was being given inaccurate information by Phinney. Black said she hadn’t spoken to Phinney in about a week and hadn’t seen the posts.

Still, Nejedly was determined to clear his name. He read several of the Facebook accusations aloud, then refuted them, saying he has always supported the project and that he was the one who suggested the district should provide the land for free.

He reminisced about his childhood growing up with wildlife and said he is so committed to advocating for recycled water that he once drank some to show John Coleman, an East Bay Municipal Utility District director, that it’s not so bad.

By the end of the discussion, trustees agreed to McGill’s motion to pursue an agreement for 15 acres, which would allow 10 acres to be planted and five to be used for educational purposes. Trustees also agreed to protect two of those acres from a requirement to vacate in a short amount of time, which could allow structures to be built.

In addition, trustees agreed to pursue a Request for Proposals on the remaining property, in case someone might want to pay to dump dirt on it or propose other ideas that could generate money for the district. Trustees also agreed to pursue a land use permit for the new uses.

But they balked at McGill’s suggestion that the proposal should come back to the full board without first returning to the Enterprise Committee. Other trustees said they wanted the committee to review it and make a recommendation. Nejedly abstained.

Phinney said afterward that she stood by her Facebook posts and she didn’t go to the meeting because she didn’t want feeding thousands of children to be about “personality or politics.”

It may be too late for that.

However, she’s looking at the bright side.

“I’m trying to be optimistic,” she said, “now that the farm can move forward and bring great benefit to the community.”

More information about the proposal is under Item 8a at http://weblink.centralsan.dst.ca.us/WebLink8/DocView.aspx?id=673819&dbid=0

Do you support the sustainable farm proposal?

Posted on Friday, October 4th, 2013
Under: Central Contra Costa Sanitary, Central Contra Costa Sanitary District, Contra Costa County | No Comments »

MDUSD Community Advisory Committee to discuss transportation issues tonight

I have heard that some parents are frustrated with the Mt. Diablo school district’s busing this year and that many are planning to show up to tonight’s Community Advisory Committee meeting, which will include a transportation presentation.

Here’s the agenda for the meeting, which will be held at the district office, 1936 Carlotta Drive in Concord:

“AGENDA
DATE: October 1, 2013
TIME: 7:00 – 9:15 p.m.
PLACE: Dent Center – Board Room

1. Call to Order 7:00
2. Introductions (7:02 – 7:05)
Please notify the audience during introductions if you are recording the meeting. Please let us know if this is your first time attending a CAC meeting.

3. Adoption of Minutes – September 3, 2013 (ACTION ITEM) (7:05 – 7:10)

4. Presentation – Transportation – Tom Bishop (7:10 – 7:35)

5. Chairperson’s Report – Dorothy Weisenberger (7:35 – 7:45)

6. Ongoing Business (7:45 – 8:20)
6.1 Assistant Superintendent’s Report – Dr. Kerri Mills
6.2 Board of Education Report – Lynne Dennler and Barbara Oaks
6.3 Board of Education Comments – Dorothy Weisenberger
6.4 Budget Advisory Committee Report – Tricia Tamura-Li
6.5 Equity Advisory Team – Denise Lambert

NETWORKING BREAK

7. New Business (8:30– 9:00)
7.1 Assistive Technology/AAC – Christian Patz
7.2 Extended School Year – Samantha Espinosa
7.3 Autism Task Force – Vi Ibarra
7.4 DELAC Committee – Denise Lambert
7.5 Advisory Commission on Special Education – Morena Grimaldi
7.6 Parent Liaison – Hilary Shen

7.7 Sub-Committee Updates will be reported at November’s meeting
Parent & Community Education Committee – Julie Nibblett
Membership & Publicity Committee – Audra McDonald
Legislative Committee – Denise Lambert
Blog Committee – Autumn Green

8. Public Comment (9:00 – 9:10)
Public comment is an opportunity to share concerns and comments with the CAC. In the interest of time, speakers are limited to three (3) minutes each with a total of fifteen (15) minutes for all speakers. Please respect student and personnel privacy. CAC members and district staff might not be able to respond to individual concerns in this forum, but will take your contact information and follow-up with you.

9. Information Items/Announcements/Adjournment (9:10 – 9:15)

DON’T FORGET – - BRING A FRIEND TO THE MEETING!!”

Are you satisfied with the district’s transportation service this year?

OCT. 2 UPDATE: I attended the first part of meeting and recorded the Transportation Report. I have uploaded the six video clips to my You Tube account at http://www.youtube.com/tunedtotheresa.

Many parents expressed deep concerns about problems, including students being stranded. Transportation Director Tom Bishop was fairly candid about the problems and promised to try to rectify them. At one point, he said: “The district shot itself in the foot. But neither Kerri nor I were here when that happened.” This could have been viewed as an indictment of Greg Rolen’s transportation management.

At the end of his report, some parents praised Bishop for his dedication in trying to remedy problems.

Posted on Tuesday, October 1st, 2013
Under: Education, Mt. Diablo school district | 2 Comments »