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

By Theresa Harrington
Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013 at 1:44 pm in Education, Mt. Diablo school district.

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?

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

  1. g. de la verdad Says:

    While I question the ‘districtwide’ Equity team contracts for Mary Bacon and Jon Eyler, I fully support puting a special ‘single-site’ counselor at MDHS. District schools that have high dollar parent funding can afford to have counselors paid by those sources. Students in lower income areas must be afforded the same advantage, and it is up to all of the taxpayers to support and encourage their educational needs.
    Education and dedicated counselling will benefit for a lifetime.

  2. Doctor J Says:

    Where are the discussions about the responses to the Grand Jury investigations ??? I thought Cheryl Hansen promised public discussion about them ?

  3. tmharrington Says:

    Dr. Bernard also promised to bring the Grand Jury report responses to the board, but never did.

  4. tmharrington Says:

    It’s good that the contract spells out where Martha Pollock is working. Eyler’s, on the other hand, merely says he will work with six elementary schools. Which ones and why were they singled out?

  5. Doctor J Says:

    The Board cannot legally approve the Textbook Sufficiency agenda since it requires ALL “School Site Councils” to have noticed and approved their own schools report — I cannot find a single school that has a posted agenda for a meeting that included this agenda item [I only checked about half of them and said what’s the use ?] “School Site Councils” are governed by the Brown Act notice requirements, which requires agendas to be posted 72 hours in advance on their websites ! Come on Board, please stop the HYPOCRISY ! The public is tired of the “wink and a nod” while ignoring the law and instead having darkness instead of light.

  6. Doctor J Says:

    Dan Reynolds claims he was involuntarily transferred from Mount because of his union activity criticizing the lack of leadership of Kate McClatchy. Is this the precursor for a federal lawsuit ?

  7. g. de la verdad Says:

    No one in the district is or has been more dedicated to their job at Mt. Diablo High, and the North Concord student community than Dan Reynolds. We’ve speculated about why he would ‘choose’ to leave Mt.. Now we know.
    The plea he made tonight to be returned to his neighborhood, his school, his students sounded like an employee making his own “last, best” offer to the district.

  8. tmharrington Says:

    Reynolds is not filing a lawsuit, but is pursuing arbitration through PERB.

  9. Doctor J Says:

    Dan put the blame on Dr. Bernard as the Supt, but was it really someone else ?

  10. Vindex Says:

    Kevin Honey was appointed the new Sequoia Principal. They are getting a good one. He was the VP at WCI in Walnut Creek for 8 years. A real, rah-rah guy. Loves kids and develops relationships with staff. It will take him a good year to get established, but I think he will be a good fit. Good hire.

  11. Doctor J Says:

    Honey’s Bio. Wonder why he spent 9 years as a VP without promoting ?

  12. tmharrington Says:

    The other Walnut Creek middle school — Foothill — is highlighted in this story about the latest physical fitness results:

  13. Vindex Says:

    Doctor J.. Good question. My understanding from my sources is that Mr. Honey wasn’t a “Promote to Promote” type of guy. He was very selective in his search and only applied for schools he really wanted to lead. Sequoia was on top of his list.

  14. tmharrington Says:

    Breaking news: Heard on scanner a vehicle has crashed into a building at Concord HS.

  15. Flippin' Tired Says:

    Go down the hall and ask in SASS for the agendas and minutes from the Site Council meetings from all the schools. They collect them there, you know. Most sites don’t have anyone to update their web page, due to budget cuts. You could volunteer to do it. Light costs, “Doctor.”

  16. Doctor J Says:

    Sorry, FT, The minutes usually don’t show when, where and how the Notices and Agendas are posted 72 hours in advance — minutes usually just show if a meeting was held, and are usually inconclusive if the meeting was properly noticed.

  17. Doctor J Says:

    Sound familiar ? Even Lynne Dennler is tired of the consultants. This familiar pattern prevents dollars entering the classroom.

  18. Doctor J Says:

    Two days after the Board approving a new Principal at Sequoia Middle, Julie B-M continues to advertise for the position ! Such efficiency.

  19. tmharrington Says:

    Dennler correctly pointed out that district staff is perfectly capable of analyzing data and creating reports. In fact, Susan Petersen helped lead the district’s data analysis campaign. But, now that she is a principal again, perhaps the SASS staff needs more training in creating data analysis reports, since there has been turnover in that dept.

  20. tmharrington Says:

    Here’s a new blog post that shows MDUSD students are scoring significantly lower than those countywide and statewide on California fitness tests:

    Fifth-graders scored especially poorly. I believe that MDUSD does not have dedicated PE teachers in elementary school, while some other districts — such as the high-scoring Lamorinda districts — are able to pay for elementary PE teachers in part through their parcel taxes.

  21. Flippin' Tired Says:

    LOL I am not surprised. I tell you where to get the info, you head off on a tangent. You’d rather whine than expose yourself.

  22. tmharrington Says:

    Speaking of Meyer, here’s an interesting article in the Voice of San Diego that lists her prominently as part of SDUSD’s “Brain Drain” since a new supt. was appointed there:

    Now that Meyer has taken the reins at MDUSD, will there be a similar “Brain Drain” here? Or, will Meyer attract new talent to help turn the district around?

  23. Doctor J Says:

    Brain drain at MDUSD ? Impossible. When the tub is empty, it can’t drain. πŸ™‚ Sorry Theresa, you lobbed the pitch — couldn’t resist hitting it out of the ballpark [world series analogy]. πŸ™‚

  24. Doctor J Says:

    Its FREE !! Saturday Nov 2, 11 am to 4 pm Discovery Days at ATT Park. but no publicity from MDUSD. Last year 30,000 attended.

  25. Doctor J Says:

    Common Core computers are targets for thieves since District security is lax. Who will buy the replacements ?

  26. Doctor J Says:

    One week after Board appointment, Sequoia Middle School principal still being advertised by MDUSD. How

  27. tmharrington Says:

    The Bay Area science fair also includes events at other locations:

    Since you brought this up, I would also like to plug the “Homouroboros” installation art outside the Exploratorium, which was created by my brother, Peter Hudson:

  28. tmharrington Says:

    Last night, Dr. Meyer did a robocall informing parents about the College Fair tonight:

  29. Doctor J Says:

    Are any of Dan Reynolds PERB arbitration papers “public record” so we could get a clear picture of what he is claiming and what the district is “defending” ?

  30. tmharrington Says:

    I don’t know if they’re public record. He’s claiming that he was unfairly involuntarily transferred for his actions at Mt. Diablo HS, which were within his rights as the site’s union rep. I don’t know the district’s rationale for the transfer. According to Reynolds and Guy Moore, who was present at a meeting with Dr. Bernard and Reynolds, Bernard allegedly told Reynolds he was a “lightning rod” at the school.

  31. Doctor J Says:

    Looks like PERB records are public record. Theresa, do you intend to get copies and share them with the public ?

  32. Doctor J Says:

    How much of the $3.52 BILLION is MDUSD’s ? I would guess about $30 million — that really puts a damper in the negotiations with MDEA, eh ? Bryan Richards, please share the number.

  33. tmharrington Says:

    Back on the subject of the contracts for Mary Bacon and Jon Eyler, here is the district’s response to my request for information:

    The schools Eyler is working with are YVHS, OGMS, RVMS, Bel Air Elem., El Monte Elem. and Rio Vista Elem.

  34. g. de la verdad Says:

    Taxpayers being screwed and nobody even says thank you!
    We contract and pay for Hierck and his Solution Tree program, then we pay Bacon to talk to him for us! We pay Bacon to talk to Eylor, and “poof” she talks us into contracting with him too — now they can all feed at the same deep trough and scratch backs at the same time!

    I was happy to see that Whitmarsh is still making decisions for us, but have no idea who those other talking heads are.

    And, I can’t describe how thrilled I am to pay for Bacon to “organize” her up to 20 year old files in order to make her regurgitation look and smell different in 2013 than it did in 2012, 2011….

  35. Doctor J Says:

    Is the 9/16/13 Bacon statement for $7,500 for “honorarium” in addition to invoices #’s 8 [$3600] & 9 [$7,500] ? “Honorarium” is not mentioned in the contract. Interesting no “received” stamps on the invoices. Still no explanation why the Contract face dated 7-1-13 but not signed by Rose Lock until 9-4-13 and Julie B-M until 10-3-13 was not Board approved when the approved budget provided for more than $24,000 — convenient how staff plays with the $25,000 Board approval requirement by apparently backdating a contract just under the Board approval limit for work already performed and then immediately more than doubles the amount of the contract with an “extension” to $50,000 — without increasing the scope of work one iota. A year ago, there was a 7-1-12 Bacon contract for $22,000, and a 6-28-12 Bacon contract for $8,000, approved by the Board on 8/20/12 and then increased another $12,000 on 4/22/13. If my memory serves me, it was in February that Dr. Bacon was at the Board meeting the entire evening without being called upon by staff to make any presentations for approval of the CEIS plan — but she did volunteer that the Committee meetings were subject to the Brown Act and Keene-Bagley open meeting acts. It would be worthwhile to compare the 2012-13 invoices with the contracts to see what kind of pattern Dr. Bacon employs for billings that exceed the contract amounts. The other tell-tale thing would be to compare copies of all the checks and account numbers for both last year and this year, to see if the District was paying the invoices before the contracts were actually approved. This inquiry could quickly turn into “BaconGATE”.

  36. tmharrington Says:

    Lori Amenta sent the following invoice, which goes with the July Activity log:

    It appears that the September invoice goes with the August activity log, although Bacon didn’t refer to the July payment of $3,600 as an “honorarium,” so it’s a bit confusing.

  37. tmharrington Says:

    As promised, MDUSD has launched a Facebook page:

  38. tmharrington Says:

    And here is Superintendent Nellie Meyer’s first message to the community:

  39. tmharrington Says:

    Monday’s closed session is showing up on the electronic school board calendar now, although the agenda hasn’t yet been approved:

  40. Doctor J Says:

    Yes, the tangled web is confusing — obviously a backdated 7-1-13 contract. I wonder if FSS was really working on July 1 when she claims to have signed it. It didn’t get to Rose Lock until Sept 4 when the SASS stamp shows its received; and Julie B-M didn’t sign it until Oct 3. All consistent with why the purported “July 31” and “Sept 16” invoices don’t show up on the warrants paid report through Sept 30. Why does SASS think they can continually “back date” contracts to cover up their incompetence in preparing them prior to the work being performed ? Do they really think we are stupid ? Or have they been doing it for so long that “white lies” have become the norm ?

  41. tmharrington Says:

    Jonathan Roselin has confirmed that the September invoice corresponds to the August itemized list of activities. Bacon’s invoice for September activities hasn’t yet been finalized. But, I see that she has been active with the OGMS Wildcat Equity Task Force, according to the district’s new FB page:

  42. Doctor J Says:

    GRAND JURY responses ?

  43. tmharrington Says:

    MDEA continues to keep pressure on the school board for raises and increased benefits contributions:

  44. Doctor J Says:

    To Guy Moore: Read the newspaper ! This will cost the district $30 Million dollars and lay off hundreds of teachers !

  45. Doctor J Says:

    Jerry Brown & the legislature is playing “chicken” with our children on the school bus. Do we really want to risk our children ? Read the letter from the Dept of Education — California vs. the US Government and 49 states. Wikipedia describes the “game” of chicken very succinctly: “The game of chicken models two drivers, both headed for a single lane bridge from opposite directions. The first to swerve away yields the bridge to the other. If neither player swerves, the result is a costly deadlock in the middle of the bridge, or a potentially fatal head-on collision. It is presumed that the best thing for each driver is to stay straight while the other swerves (since the other is the “chicken” while a crash is avoided). Additionally, a crash is presumed to be the worst outcome for both players. This yields a situation where each player, in attempting to secure his best outcome, risks the worst.”

  46. Doctor J Says:

    Parental involvement in LCFF decisions, including labor negotiations, continues to be ignored by MDUSD. Parents across the state are demanding tougher regulations from the state to ensure they will actually be part of the process, not just a rubber stamp. “To involve parents in preparing the budget, the law requires districts to hold a public meeting, make a presentation to a district-level parent advisory committee and, if applicable, make a presentation to an English Learner parent advisory committee. Districts must also prepare a written response to any comments submitted by the committees and approve the plan at a second public hearing.” Has there been any ACTION in MDUSD to revive the PAC abandoned by the former Supt and Board ? None. The result: SSDD. Bryan Richards prepares a “last minute” power point, doesn’t post it with the agenda — surprising even the Board — and tells the parents and Board what he created with zero parent involvement. β€œParents have to demand that as this new system rolls out, they are part of developing very specific plans that state, β€˜We are spending this amount of money, for this school, and for this program, and these are the results,’” said Lisa Berlanga, executive director of San Diego United Parents for Education, a parent organization. Parents across the state seem to fear what exactly is happening in MDUSD — and why Guy Moore is trying to rush the process — “The fear is that districts will take money intended to be spent on low-income and English learner students and use it to fulfill other obligations, such as potential employee raises.”, said Amy Redding, chair of the San Diego Unified School District advisory council that oversees funds for low-income students provided through the federal Title 1 program. The time is ripe for MDUSD parents to stand up and demand involvement in ALL financial decisions, including potential salary and benefit increases. Read this great article from EdSource:

  47. tmharrington Says:

    Ed Trust West is not happy that the proposed LCFF guidelines could allow districts such as MDUSD to divert money earmarked for needy students to districtwide raises or other districtwide uses, including central office staff.
    I was very surprised that Trustee Linda Mayo was the only one who even mentioned LCFF at the last board meeting in her 2-minute board report. She basically told the rest of the board and the public what the timeline is. Shouldn’t a staff person be giving this kind of a report? The rest of the board and public shouldn’t need to rely on one trustee to tell them what is going on in a board report.

  48. tmharrington Says:

    Hot off the presses, here’s the statewide Common Core implementation survey:

    How do you think MDUSD answered these questions, if at all? Unfortunately, the County Office of Education would not release district-level data and it doesn’t look like the state plans to either. So much for transparency.

  49. Doctor J Says:

    SASS was too busy working on their Halloween costumes to win the Dent contest again. Its clear that Common Core isn’t a priority when we see the kind of conflicting presentations given to parents — yet lots of time spent working on costumes.

  50. Doctor J Says:

    Public records: Send three identical PRA requests for the MDUSD answers: CDE, CCCOE, and MDUSD.

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