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Uniform complaint against Ygnacio Valley HS alleging illegal student fees

By Theresa Harrington
Monday, May 5th, 2014 at 12:34 pm in Concord, Education, Mt. Diablo school district.

Here is Sally Smith’s Uniform Complaint against Ygnacio Valley HS, along with a response from Principal Stephen Brady asking his staff to research it and get back to him.

“From: Stephen Brady
To: Smith Family
Sent: Friday, May 2, 2014 5:28 AM
Subject: Re: Uniform Complaint: Ygnacio Valley High school illegal student fees Mt Diablo district

Efa , please research this and get back to me. Rianne please assist as necessary. I will contact the district.

Thank you.

Best Regards,

Stephen Brady

On May 1, 2014, at 3:55 PM, “Smith Family” wrote:

755 Oak Grove Rd, Concord, CA 94518
(925) 685-8414
Brady, Stephen, (925) 685-8414 ex.3601, Principal.

Dear Ygnacio Valley High School Administration Stephen Brady Rianne Pfaltzgraff, and Efa Huckaby: My uniform complaint is 6 fees you are charging students.
They are:

1. fees for the Health Academy Program called SLC or HOSA
Ygnacio Valley High School

Daily Bulletin

Tuesday, February 18, 2014
HEALTH ACADEMY–What are you going to do with your life? Join Health Academy and find out! Become a firefighter, radiologist, athletic trainer, nurse, doctor, veterinarian, dental hygienist, surgeon or more! The Health Academy will show you pathways to a great career in health care. Stop by 408 or 805 for an application now!

2. sports fees and transportation fees (MDUSD Transportation Fee) – students are told they must make their “donation” before they can play and the amount is a fee because if they do not pay, they cannot play.

There is a specific amount that must be paid.

3. caps and gowns – students are told to make payment to a third party but it is the district responsibility to provide the caops and gowns per the California Dept of Education memo
CAP AND GOWNS: There are still over 100 Seniors who have not ordered their caps and gowns for graduation. You need to place an order by this Friday or the price will be doubled! You can order several ways:

(1) Call Josten’s at (925) 838-1835 and order over the phone.
(2) Order online at www,
(3) Place your order into the mail on or before Friday, December 13.

Right now orders start at $25, don’t miss out on this great deal! If you have questions, please see Mrs. Lomas, Ms. Malin or Ms. Stobing. Don’t delay, order today!
SENIORS: Your cap and gowns will be delivered on Tuesday, May 15 during lunch in the Conference Room. This is the only delivery day, so all seniors must pick up their cap and gown at this time.

4. dodgeball fees
Daily Bulletin for Friday, November 14, 2013

Ygnacio Valley High School

Daily Bulletin

Friday, November 15, 2013
Make Every Minute Count
DODGE BALL–Are you athletic or competitive? Like Team Sports? Come by the student store next to room 602 during lunch and Sign up for the Dodge ball Tournament. 5 people on a team, $2 per person. (11/15)
DODGEBALL TOURNAMENT–Are you athletic? Love playing team sports or being competitive? Come sign up for the Dodgeball Tournament in Room 602. 5 Man teams, $10 per team. Tournament starts Nov. 4th.

5. Puente program fees

Event Details
Puente Awards Night
Audience: Facility Calendar
Posted by: Eugenia Behar
Location: Multi Use Room Contact: Corissa Stobing
Start Time: 3:00 PM End Time: 9:00 PM
Email Hopper, Samantha Hopper, Samantha (925) 685-8414 ex.2463 Teacher
Email Lomas, Socorro Lomas, Socorro (925) 685-8414 ex.3602 Student Services Coordinator – 12th Grade
Email Yu, Kara Yu, Kara (925) 685-8414 ex.2464 Teacher
You are here
6. fees for field trips and other activities for school clubs – Latino Unidos is an identifiable group and students were told they have to pay to go on the field trip
Students are not told that they may participate even if they do not have the money which is the law. Everyone goes or nobody goes.

Latino Unidos
Attention Latinos Unidos! Today is the last day to submit your contribution for our annual field trip. Come to Rm. 204 today at lunch.

Atencion Latinos Unidos! Hoy es el ultimo dia para entregar su contribucion para el viaje a Alcatraz. Vengan a #204 hoy durante el lonche.
Mount Diablo Unified School District

Your Gateway To Learning
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Shopping for
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HOSA-Health Academy

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This is the first installment for 2014 SLC
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This is the second payment for 2014 SLC
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This is the final payment for 2014 SLC


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ATH CONT Girls Soccer- Ahtletic Contribution

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ATH CONT Wrestling – Athletic Contribution

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ATH CONT Boys Basketball- Athletic Contribution

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ATF Soccer – Girls- Transportaion Fee

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ATH CONT Swimming


That is my uniform complaint. Thank you. Sally Smith”

Do you agree with Smith’s allegations?

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14 Responses to “Uniform complaint against Ygnacio Valley HS alleging illegal student fees”

  1. Doctor J Says:

    I guess Stephen Brady was so shook up he hit “Reply All”. Sherry, looks like Sally Smith has some pretty good evidence. Looks like when Theresa posted, it stripped the “images” that were referenced. Who is going to pay the reimbursements ? YVHS or the district ? Sherry, why weren’t you contacted by Brady about this last Friday, since you are the PTSA president ?

  2. Sherry Whitmarsh Says:

    Doctor J,
    I am not the PTSA president. You are incorrect.
    It’s obvious that the Smith family is not involved at these schools otherwise they would not have made most of the assertions. They don’t know the school.
    1) Health Academy – students have to apply to be in the academy. There are no fees for the application or to take the class.
    2) Transportation fee – MDUSD informed YVHS that this was legal to request transportation and that the law did not apply.
    3) Cap and Gown – the district is not paying for this so students must. If its a violation then the district needs to find the funds.
    4) The Dodgeball tournament was a fundraiser for a club. It was not a sporting event.
    5)Puente Awards – I see a donation for Puente but didn’t see fee
    6) Latino Unidos – again this is club not a classroom.
    7) Health Academy – parents who wanted to pay for SLC could do so online. This was done at the request of parents who wanted to pay online via credit card.
    8) Sports Contributions – these are contributions and not requirements for payment. I know because of my involvement in this area.
    The web store is a contribution. It doesn’t mean that it has to be paid. Anyone can go in and make a contribution. I’m not sure where there is an fee associated.
    The Dodgeball tournament was a fundraiser for a club. It is not

  3. Doctor J Says:

    On March 11, 2013 the Board revised its policy and regulations due to AB 1575 and waived its normal two meeting reading requirement — I blogged extensively about it — the law required the changes to be made before March 1, but alas Cooksey was on vacation. Item 15.13 “Approve updated Board Policy 1312.3 Uniform Complaints and corresponding Administrative Regulation 1312.3 in order to address the requirements of AB 1575 regarding the prohibition against student fees.” Ironically, or perhaps typically, the BP/AR 1312.3 revisions on Gamut claim the policy was revised on February 25, 2013 [an untruth to make it falsely look like MDUSD met the legal requirement of by March 1, 2013] — the meeting when Cooksey was on vacation in the Carribbean, and therefore the agenda item was not posted until she returned and appeared on the first agenda of March 11. It would be appropriate for MDUSD to begin telling the truth when its policies and regulations are accurately changed.

  4. Doctor J Says:

    Sherry, I did not file this complaint, but since you are actively involved in the sports fees, which you label as contributions, I would like you to answer the question I asked in the other thread: Would it be wrong for a principal to suggest to a coach that if a player did not make the suggested “contribution” that the player’s playing time be reduced ?

  5. Doctor J Says:

    Sherry, I see your response and this post missed each other, so I am quoting your response so you don’t have to repeat yourself. Sherry said: “I totally agree that it would be wrong for a principal to make any suggestions to coaches about playing time because of payment or contribution. The only reason that I could see a principal telling a coach tht a student could not play would be due to grades.”

  6. Eliza Gribbon Says:

    I have a question for Mrs. Harrington or Dr. J..
    I notice that before August, 2013 there are almost no comments. Since then, so many…Therese, Did you delete the old comments? Most come down, now, to a dialogue between you and Dr. J., and sound so nasty. Dr. J, Did you just arrive in town? Who are you and why are you so angry? I have children in the district, but hope the mean spirit of these comments can become more constructive.

  7. Doctor J Says:

    Sherry, was it Cooksey that informed you that the mandatory transportation fee was “legal” ? When was that said by whoever said it ?

  8. Sherry Whitmarsh Says:

    No, it was not Ms. Cooksey. I was informed by someone at a school that it was reviewed and is legal. I’m not going to give names on a blog. If transportation fees are not allowed, so be it. We just need the district to give the rules to the schools.

  9. Doctor J Says:

    “Mandatory” transportation fees are not allowed. In other words, you can’t require the athletes to take the school bus and pay for it, any more than you can require students to take the school bus to and from home and pay for it. Coaches are generally about as controlling as a Drill Sergeant — they want to “require it” and then have the athletes pay for it. I heard, but not verified, that the legal department had erroneously put out a power point that contained misinformation about AB1575. I don’t know if it was ever corrected.

  10. tmharrington Says:

    Eliza: When our company switched to the Disqus commenting system, the old comments became hidden from public view. However, I can still access them as the site administrator.
    It does appear that fewer people comment under this new system. Dr. J was a frequent commenter on the old system and also comments on Claycord.
    Thank you for taking the time to comment. Constructive dialogue is encouraged!

  11. Doctor J Says:

    Sherry I agree with you 100% that: “We just need the district to give the rules to the schools.” That is the job of the district [and they were received from CDE but not sent out], but it doesn’t seem like the district is performing very well in this regard. Cooksey has been correct that AB 1575 is NOT a change in the law, but since this district, and many others weren’t following the law previously, it has come as a big change. Here’s one for you: all those cheerleading uniforms for umpteen number of girls — girls and their families are not to be charged “mandatory fees”, and neither can the girls be required to attend a summer camp at their own expense. The district should have put its house in order with regard to students fees and expenses long before it began to dole out massive raises — and the “reclassifications” we have seen lately to give hidden raises and promotions.

  12. Eliza Gribbon Says:

    Thank you, Therese. I really enjoy your blog and learning about what’s happening in Mt. Diablo Schools. Dr. J seems well informed, perhaps a former employee of the district, but he sounds like part of the political right that is so anti-teacher and anti-public education. Hope we can hear from more positive voices, too.

  13. tmharrington Says:

    As I said, we welcome all voices. To be honest, many of the comments that are no longer visible to the public were rather nasty. This commenting system allows viewers to flag comments they deem inappropriate. Hopefully, as the election nears, commenters will remain civil. So far, by the way, Debra Mason is the only potential candidate who has campaign statements on file for a possible run in November. But, since her paperwork is leftover from her unsuccessful 2012 run, it’s hard to know if she’s gearing up again or just tying up loose ends from last time. Mike Langley is the only person who has told me so far that he plans to run. Lynne Dennler plans to step down. I don’t know whether Hansen and Mayo plan to seek re-election.

  14. Eliza Gribbon Says:

    Thank you, Therese. Looking forward to reading your column more often and becoming informed about the school board candidates.

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