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Uniform Complaint against College Park HS alleging illegal student fees

By Theresa Harrington
Monday, May 5th, 2014 at 12:28 pm in Education, Mt. Diablo school district

Here is a Uniform Complaint that has been filed against College Park HS, alleging illegal fees:

“From: Smith Family
To: “genglerp@mdusd.org”
Cc: “bursteinm@mdusd.org” ; “leea@mdusd.org” ; “nixons@mdusd.org” ; “CPBoostersTreas@Yahoo.com”
Sent: Friday, May 2, 2014 6:15 PM
Subject: Uniform COmplaint: College Park High School Mt Diablo dsitric illegal student fees

Mount Diablo Unified School District
1936 Carlotta Drive, Concord, CA 94519
925.682.8000
College Park High School 201 Viking Drive, Pleasant Hill, CA 94523
925.682.7670

Dear College Park Administration: My Uniform Complaint is:

1. non-refundable transportation fee for extracurricular sports – coaches are instructed to inform students that transportation fees are non-refundable It also says players are to ride on district transportation to and from contests. (read in the coach book)

2. sports fees now have been shifted to third party foundation which Mount Diablo School district established sports fees called the new CONTRIBUTE TO PLAY POLICY which set fees . Those fees are exactly what the boosters are charging to play. The coaches use the booster to be bill collectors so no DEADBEAT KIDS get away with playing for free. The booster are operating illegally violating state charity laws. It is not a donation as a service is received for the payment. There is a deadline and a specific amount to be paid. The principal says THE FAMILIES WHO DO NOT PAY AFFECT EVERYBODY which contradicts the state Constitution and Hartzell v. Connell that no child should be made to feel like a deadbeat or charity case because he is indigent. Parents are threatened that if they can’t get enough money then sports will be cut and this has been going on for years.

The District set a pay to play policy policy and has now shifted it to the boosters. It has not changed its practice of generating revenue from the backs of students
but just changed the language. These are not donations but fees for service. I see a letter that parent can ask for refunds but that puts burden on the parents and it shames them to ask for their money back. The principal is supposed to pay back everybody and then if they want to contribute then they can.

Nobody is going to ask for a refund because the booster parents and coaches will retaliate against their children. Read the minutes to see how these people feel about folks who fail to pay their fairshare. All the school did was post a letter on the website instead of sending the money to all of the students. He is trying to keep the money but he is the same principal who stated that “all student athletes have to pay.” All the parents should get their money back so no parents are singled out and stigmatized.

(2) Reasonable efforts to fully reimburse all pupils, parents and guardians who paid a pupil fee include but are not limited to crediting the pupil’s school financial account and sending reimbursement by first class mail to the pupil’s last known primary address as contained in school or local educational agency records. If the school has knowledge that a pupil’s last known address as contained in school or local educational agency records is no longer valid, the school may attempt to obtain a more recent address from any notices returned to the school or local educational agency by the United States Postal Service.

3. lab fees for class materials – these are disguised as “donations” but children are not informed that they cannot be required to donate. The teachers know who has paid and who has not paid and children are stigmatized if they do not pay. A donation means a voluntary contribution with no expectation of anything in return. That’s is easy to understand. That means a zero amount or whatever a person wants to give including nothing. You do not know the private lives of families and their financial circumstance. You prey on parents who want so much for their children not to be left out and even go into debt to have their children participate. The boosters will do the bidding of the administration more secretly now and still harangue people for their fairshare. Changing the language and pretending you are asking for donations has not changed the nature of the fee. It is still a fee.

Although the term “contribution” is not defined either in the Code or in the
Income Tax Regulations, it is well established judicially that in order to be
deductible under section 170 of the Code, a contribution must qualify as a gift in
the common law sense of being a voluntary transfer of property without
consideration. To the extent a transferor receives or can expect to receive, for the
money or property he or she transfers, a financial or economic benefit, as
distinguished from the incidental benefit that inures to a donor as a member of the
general public, then no deduction under section 170 is allowable. Singer v. United
States, 449 F. 2d 413 (Ct., Cl. 1971); Rev. Rul. 67-246, 1967-2 C.B. 104 Rev. Rul.
76-185, 1976-1 C.B. 60

4. caps and gowns illegal to charge this fee

5. fines and fees – students are threatened with no participation in graduation activities but adminstration conveniently does not inform students of right to volunteer in lieu of payment. It just states the part of the law convenient for administration.

Below is information related to the fees I have listed. Thank you. Sally Smith 3551 Lord St San Diego CA 92123 858-278-4275

http://cphs-mdusd-ca.schoolloop.com/groups/news_item?d=x&id=1383982239475&group_id=1263280981140&return_url=1399079162786

News Item: Homepage
Graduation Cap and Gowns-Last Day to Order!
Seniors, orders for caps & gowns and graduation announcements will be on Wed, Nov. 13th and Thurs, Nov. 14th during brunch and lunch in front of the Main Office.

These are the only order days so all Seniors must place their graduation order at this time.
Posted by: Web master Published:11/14/13
Audience: Homepage

College Park High School: Home Page

cphs.mdusd.org/‎
College Park High School
2014-2015 Pre-Enrollment at College Park High School …. If you are graduating in June, you must order a cap and gown to walk in the ceremony. Please see …
‎Athletics – ‎Master Calendar – ‎Teacher Websites – ‎Block Schedule

https://cphsathleticboosters.revtrak.net/tek9.asp?pg=products&grp=11

https://cphsathleticboosters.revtrak.net/tek9.asp?pg=products&grp=11

College Park HS Boosters Web Store
Sale Items Product NameNow sorted by: Product Name, Ascending Price

Baseball -Varsity Team Donation 1st Installment : SPRING – Please pay by March 1 $250.00
Baseball -Varsity District Donation : SPRING – Please pay by March 15 $225.00
Baseball -Varsity Team Donation 2nd Installment : SPRING – Please pay by April 11 $300.00
Baseball -JV Team Donation 1st Installment : SPRING – Please pay by March 1 $250.00
Baseball -JV District Donation : SPRING – Please pay by March 15 $225.00
Baseball – JV Team Donation 2nd Installment : SPRING – Please pay by April 11 $250.00
Baseball -Frosh Team Donation 1st Installment : SPRING – Please pay by March 1 $250.00
Baseball -Frosh District Donation : SPRING – Please pay by March 15 $75.00
Baseball -Frosh Team Donation 2nd Installment : SPRING – Please pay by April 11 $225.00
Basketball Boys : Spring/Summer Development $165.00
Boys Golf – District Donation : SPRING $50.00
Boys Golf – Team Contribution : SPRING -Covers Tournament Fees, Uniform and Golf Bag $200.00
Lacrosse Boys : SPRING $275.00
Lacrosse Girls : SPRING $225.00
Softball : SPRING $225.00
Swimming – Season Donation : SPRING $395.00
Swimming – 1st Installment : SPRING – Installment Option $200.00
Swimming – 2nd Installment : SPRING – Installment Option $195.00
Swimming- Open Donation : if you’d to make an additional donation in any amount. —
Tennis Boys : SPRING $200.00
Track & Field : SPRING $300.00
Volleyball Boys : SPRING $200.00

Here is how people think that it is okay to take the kids’ money without regard for the law (booster minutes):
Principal Paul Gengler was kind enough to stop by to discuss a couple of important issues. The first being the importance of collecting that district contribution from all student athletes, particularly since the loss of Clayton Valley HS. The families that don’t pay affect everyone because then there just isn’t enough money. A major thorn is transportation. The bill for this goes directly to the district and then to the high school and it’s paid whether there is money or not. Not anymore. From now on that transportation bill is paid FIRST. And when the money is gone, it’s gone. Coaches might unfortunately be forced to forfeit an event. Some coaches get a false sense that they have lots of money. And they need to be aware that this is a business. At the end of the day the spreadsheets have to balance. If we don’t get 90% participation contributions, the district will be forced to make cuts. These could include freshman sports, JV teams, etc.
What happens when a student’s family simply refuses to pay? The answer is tricky. Nowhere is it actually written that a coach has to play every student. So the coach can decide to not play a student who has not paid. But we all know that coaches want to win so are they really going to bench a powerful player simply because their parents chose not to pay the participation contribution? Lists of who’s paid and who hasn’t paid will be provided to all coaches. Ideally the coach needs to speak PRIVATELY with those kids and/or their parents about payment. The Boosters have agreed to set aside a SMALL amount of money to assist those families who truly can’t afford to pay this contribution.

http://cphs.mdusd.org

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Important Announcement from Principal Gengler

The following is a letter from Principal Paul Gengler:

Letter from Principal regarding athletic donations
The New Reality of High School Athletics

It is no secret since the California economic decline that our district and community has had to strategize different ways to keep athletics as a choice for our students instead of just eliminating them all together. Athletics now follows a contribution/donation/fundraising model based system as all sports are no longer funded by the district and rely very heavily on the hard work of volunteers.
Volunteer District Donation

These donations are used for coach’s stipends, athletic director stipend, dues/memberships, security, replacement/reconditioned equipment that is mandated by CIF, etc. The district has attempted to provide suggested guidelines for donations or contributions for each sport that can be found below in the matrix. In order for a sport to continue from year to year, it must acquire donations or fundraise for the 100% of the matrix guideline for each person on a team roster. For example, a team has 10 players and the guideline of the matrix recommends that each team member acquire donations or fundraise up to $100.00. The team is essentially looking to gather donations or fundraise a total of $1,000.00 to support their team. Being a member of a team is not dependent upon if a student participates in the donations or fundraising effort of a team.
District donations can be made directly to a team utilizing the CPHS web store, which adds 4% to the donation to cover the transaction fee or you may go directly to the CPHS treasurer.
FALL SPORTS
(Aug]Nov) Volunteer
Donation Level
Cheer/Spirit Squad None
Cross Country $100
Football (V & JV) $300
Football (Freshmen) $200
Golf Girls $50
Tennis Girls $150
Volleyball Girls $225
Water Polo Boys $50
Water Polo Girls $50
WINTER SPORTS
(Nov]Feb) Volunteer
Donation Level
Basketball Boys $250
Basketball Girls $250
Soccer Boys $225
Soccer Girls $225
Wrestling $200
SPRING SPORTS
(Feb]May) Volunteer
Donation Level
Baseball $225
Golf Boys $50
Lacrosse Boys $50
Lacrosse Girls $225
Softball $225
Swimming/Diving $200
Tennis Boys $150
Track & Field $175
Volleyball Boys $225
Additional Considerations

Volunteer Team Donation:
Each team may also seek a team donation that would go directly to that team to cover other expenses that may arise, tournaments, equipment, uniforms, or awards. For your convenience you may click here to donate.
Transportation:
This is decided on by each team, as they may seek a volunteer donation for any transportation needs.
Fundraising:
Most teams also do fundraising to offset the district volunteer donation, volunteer team donation, or volunteer transportation donation. All fundraising proceeds go directly to the team.
Booster Club Membership: All families are encouraged to join and members receive a discount card to all DVAL regular season games.
New this year:

Program Receives $250 for every 15 Booster members in your program
Program Receives a $250 bonus once your program reaches 75% membership (Programs with 25+ athletes)
Receive an additional $250 for your program if your program hits 100% membership (all programs)
Falcon Fundraisers

GET THE FORM >
NOTE: the Dates on the form are incorrect since this is last-year’s form.
Important Announcement from Principal Gengler

On April 15, 2014 a letter from Principal Gengler went out to parents and guardians regarding Athletic Donations for 2013 fall sports. A copy of the letter can be found here
solicitation

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Donations for …..
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Classroom Labs

Item
Qty
Amount
No Image
Drama Lab Donations

We ask that each student donate $10 per semester to help offset the cost of supplies for the Drama class. If you would like to pay for both semesters, please change the quantity to “2″. Thank you for your support!
No Image
Glass Lab Donation

We ask that each student donate $30 per semester to help offset the cost of supplies for the Glass class. If you would like to pay for both semesters, please change the quantity to “2″. Thank you for your support!
No Image
Ms McCraney ART Lab Donation

We ask that each student donate $25 per semester to help offset the cost of supplies for the Art class. If you would like to pay for both semesters, please change the quantity to “2″. Thank you for your support!
No Image
Photo 1 Lab Donation

We ask that each student donate $30 per semester to help offset the cost of supplies for the Photo 1 class. If you would like to pay for both semesters, please change the quantity to “2″. Thank you for your support!
No Image
Photo II/Adv Lab Donations

We ask that each student donate $35 per semester to help offset the cost of supplies for the Ceramics class. If you would like to pay for both semesters, please change the quantity to “2″. Thank you for your support!
No Image
Biology AP Lab Donation

Thank you for helping us defray the costs of our “hands-on” approach for science labs. We replenish chemicals, dissection specimens and replace equipment.
No Image
Donation for Human Rights Educ

The goal of the Human Rights Education class is for students to take what they have learned in the classroom and raise awareness to others on campus and in our community about important human rights issues. There are many creative ways to reach people, but they can become expensive when students need materials to work on projects outside of class or when the class wants to hand out gel bracelets to promote a cause. Any amount donated is much appreciated. Thank you for your support!
No Image
donation Video Production

Please donate $25 per quarter to help us provide consumables for our class
© 2014 | 1936 Carlotta Drive, Concord, CA 94519 | Terms & Conditions | Help
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District / HIGH SCHOOL / COLLEGE PARK HIGH SCHOOL / Physical Education

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PE Shirt

Official College Park P.E. t-shirt
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PE Shorts

Official College Park P.E. shorts
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No unpaid fines or fees.

submitted by Sally Smith 3551 Lord St San Diego CA 92123 858-278-4275

http://www.laslomaspage.com/2011/04/15/free-and-public-education-not-so-free-asb-fundraising-causes-confusion-2/

According to attorney Douglas Beteta of Morrison & Foerster, the law firm that is working with the ACLU in a pending case involving unlawful school fees in California, the legality of a school fee “depends upon how exactly the program is implemented.” For example, “blind donations might be okay,” said Beteta.
However, Beteta emphasized that schools cannot make students pay to participate in any school activity.
“Any school fee required before a pupil can participate in an educational activity, whether curricular or extracurricular, is unlawful,” he said. “On the other hand, truly voluntary donations that are not, for example, implemented with any kind of coercive element, are lawful.”
The ACLU case has brought to light the fact that, despite existing laws, some California schools are blatantly charging fees to students for class supplies, textbooks and extracurricular activities.
“I had to buy this for playing sports,” said junior Kosim Latipov. “When I went to Tri-S and [my mom] didn’t speak English, I was thinking I had to buy it to play sports.”

College Park High School Home
Home
Calendar
Students
Parents
Teachers
Administration
Athletics
Falcon Community
Resources
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CP Athletic Boosters
CP Athletic Boosters
About us
Booster Scholarships
Booster Spirit Wear
Coach Contacts
Falcon Foundation
Fundraisers
In The News
Join the Boosters
Meeting Notes
Parent Resources
Team Pages
Athletic Donations
Friends of CP
Lettermen Jackets
Athletic Donations
Important Announcement from Principal Gengler

The following is a letter from Principal Paul Gengler:

Letter from Principal regarding athletic donations
The New Reality of High School Athletics

It is no secret since the California economic decline that our district and community has had to strategize different ways to keep athletics as a choice for our students instead of just eliminating them all together. Athletics now follows a contribution/donation/fundraising model based system as all sports are no longer funded by the district and rely very heavily on the hard work of volunteers.
Volunteer District Donation

These donations are used for coach’s stipends, athletic director stipend, dues/memberships, security, replacement/reconditioned equipment that is mandated by CIF, etc. The district has attempted to provide suggested guidelines for donations or contributions for each sport that can be found below in the matrix. In order for a sport to continue from year to year, it must acquire donations or fundraise for the 100% of the matrix guideline for each person on a team roster. For example, a team has 10 players and the guideline of the matrix recommends that each team member acquire donations or fundraise up to $100.00. The team is essentially looking to gather donations or fundraise a total of $1,000.00 to support their team. Being a member of a team is not dependent upon if a student participates in the donations or fundraising effort of a team.
District donations can be made directly to a team utilizing the CPHS web store, which adds 4% to the donation to cover the transaction fee or you may go directly to the CPHS treasurer.
FALL SPORTS
(Aug]Nov) Volunteer
Donation Level
Cheer/Spirit Squad None
Cross Country $100
Football (V & JV) $300
Football (Freshmen) $200
Golf Girls $50
Tennis Girls $150
Volleyball Girls $225
Water Polo Boys $50
Water Polo Girls $50
WINTER SPORTS
(Nov]Feb) Volunteer
Donation Level
Basketball Boys $250
Basketball Girls $250
Soccer Boys $225
Soccer Girls $225
Wrestling $200
SPRING SPORTS
(Feb]May) Volunteer
Donation Level
Baseball $225
Golf Boys $50
Lacrosse Boys $50
Lacrosse Girls $225
Softball $225
Swimming/Diving $200
Tennis Boys $150
Track & Field $175
Volleyball Boys $225
Additional Considerations

Volunteer Team Donation:
Each team may also seek a team donation that would go directly to that team to cover other expenses that may arise, tournaments, equipment, uniforms, or awards. For your convenience you may click here to donate.
Transportation:
This is decided on by each team, as they may seek a volunteer donation for any transportation needs.
Fundraising:
Most teams also do fundraising to offset the district volunteer donation, volunteer team donation, or volunteer transportation donation. All fundraising proceeds go directly to the team.
Booster Club Membership: All families are encouraged to join and members receive a discount card to all DVAL regular season games.
New this year:

Program Receives $250 for every 15 Booster members in your program
Program Receives a $250 bonus once your program reaches 75% membership (Programs with 25+ athletes)
Receive an additional $250 for your program if your program hits 100% membership (all programs)
Falcon Fundraisers
Bond Rewards for Education comes to College Park

Bond Rewards
The PTSA, Athletic Boosters, and Instrumental Music Boosters are pleased to launch a brand new, joint fundraising effort this year known as “College Park HS Rewards.” College Park HS Rewards lets you earn money for CPHS doing your everyday, online shopping. Plus, you get a percentage of your purchase back too. Many well-known retailers are linked to College Park HS Rewards including Macy’s, Target, Barnes & Noble, Home Depot and Kohl’s.

College Park HS Rewards gives you the flexibility to not only support CPHS, but also to direct your Rewards earnings or cash donations to a specific program at CPHS, such as a sports team, academic club or special event. When you sign at College Park HS Rewards, go to the Donate tab to select a specific program or group who has registered their program on our site. The rewards you earn will go directly to that program or group, instead of the general school fund.

We are aiming for LARGE SCALE PARTICIPATION in this effort. We will be asking you to register on the www.collegeparkhsrewards.com with your email address. Unlike other fundraising endeavors, you do not need to provide your credit card information to the company in order to take advantage of the program.

We are excited about the funding that this will bring to our school community and truly appreciate your support!
Bond Rewards-horizontal
Communist organizations
Any other tax-exempt organization not eligible to receive contributions that are tax deductible
Any organization that was subject to the disclosure requirement during the five-year period immediately preceding the fund-raising solicitation
Any organization that is a successor to an organization that was subject to the disclosure requirement during the five-year period preceding the
CP Athletic Boosters
The Athletic Boosters Club maintains this portion of the website to help parents, athletes, and staff stay abreast of what is happening with CPHS sports.
QUICKLINKS
join boosters get the
eNewsletter get activity clearance form
Make your District DonationMake your Team Donation
Scholarship Applications are Ready!

The Boosters are once again offering 5 scholarships to Senior athletes. Please work with your coach(es) to fill out the forms.
GET THE FORM >
NOTE: the Dates on the form are incorrect since this is last-year’s form.
Important Announcement from Principal Gengler

On April 15, 2014 a letter from Principal Gengler went out to parents and guardians regarding Athletic Donations for 2013 fall sports. A copy of the letter can be found here
solicitation

Shopping for

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District
/
HIGH SCHOOL
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COLLEGE PARK HIGH SCHOOL
/
Donations for …..
/
Classroom Labs

Item
Qty
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No Image
Drama Lab Donations

We ask that each student donate $10 per semester to help offset the cost of supplies for the Drama class. If you would like to pay for both semesters, please change the quantity to “2″. Thank you for your support!
No Image
Glass Lab Donation

We ask that each student donate $30 per semester to help offset the cost of supplies for the Glass class. If you would like to pay for both semesters, please change the quantity to “2″. Thank you for your support!
No Image
Ms McCraney ART Lab Donation

We ask that each student donate $25 per semester to help offset the cost of supplies for the Art class. If you would like to pay for both semesters, please change the quantity to “2″. Thank you for your support!
No Image
Photo 1 Lab Donation

We ask that each student donate $30 per semester to help offset the cost of supplies for the Photo 1 class. If you would like to pay for both semesters, please change the quantity to “2″. Thank you for your support!
No Image
Photo II/Adv Lab Donations

We ask that each student donate $35 per semester to help offset the cost of supplies for the Ceramics class. If you would like to pay for both semesters, please change the quantity to “2″. Thank you for your support!
No Image
Biology AP Lab Donation

Thank you for helping us defray the costs of our “hands-on” approach for science labs. We replenish chemicals, dissection specimens and replace equipment.
No Image
Donation for Human Rights Educ

The goal of the Human Rights Education class is for students to take what they have learned in the classroom and raise awareness to others on campus and in our community about important human rights issues. There are many creative ways to reach people, but they can become expensive when students need materials to work on projects outside of class or when the class wants to hand out gel bracelets to promote a cause. Any amount donated is much appreciated. Thank you for your support!
No Image
donation Video Production

Please donate $25 per quarter to help us provide consumables for our class
© 2014 | 1936 Carlotta Drive, Concord, CA 94519 | Terms & Conditions | Help
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District / HIGH SCHOOL / COLLEGE PARK HIGH SCHOOL / Physical Education

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PE Shirt

Official College Park P.E. t-shirt
No Image
PE Shorts

Official College Park P.E. shorts
Mount Diablo Unified School District

Your Gateway To Learning
logo
HomeCheckoutContact Us
parent parent

Shop

Pay Fines/Fees
Reports

Purchase History Unpaid Fines/Fees On Account History
Mount Diablo Unified School District

Your Gateway To Learning
logo
HomeCheckoutContact Us
Fines / Fees for

You must complete the checkout process for all fines before optional items will be available for purchase.

As administrators, it is your legal responsibility to follow the laws to protect our children. You are controlling andf directing the boosters. You have put the booster directly on the district webpage and allowed a third party to have full access to student information and use of taxpayer resources – the website, etc.

The boosters are operating illegally and failed to comply with state laws.

submitted by Sally Smith”

Do you agree with Smith’s allegations?

Leave a comment

Uniform Complaint Against CHS for allegedly charging illegal fees

By Theresa Harrington
Monday, May 5th, 2014 at 12:21 pm in Education, Mt. Diablo school district

Sally Smith, a lawyer and a San Diego Unifed School District resident, has filed three Uniform Complaints in MDUSD – against Concord, College Park and Ygnacio Valley high schools – alleging that students are being asked to pay fees illegally. She has given me permission to post each of her complaints.

Here is her complaint against Concord HS:

“From: Smith Family
To: “mcadamg@mdusd.org”
Cc: “robertj@mdusd.org” ; “bassr@mdusd.org” ; “kaiserk@mdusd.org” ; “kilcoynec@mdusd.k12.ca.us”
Sent: Wednesday, April 30, 2014 3:17 PM
Subject: Uniform Complaint: Concord High School caps and gowns, bowling class, field trip

Mt Diablo Unified School District
Concord High School 4200 Concord Blvd., Concord, CA 94521
(925) 687-2030 Phone
Dear Principal Dr. Gary McAdam :

My uniform complaint is 4 illegal student fees which students had to pay at Concord High School:

1. caps and gowns – which the court declared is an integral part of the educational experience for public school students
Cap & Gown and Announcement orders!!!

Orders for caps & gowns and graduation announcements will be on Thursday, January 16th & Friday, January 17th during brunch & lunch in the Quad. These are the only order days so all Seniors must place their graduation order at this time.

ADDENDUM TO FISCAL MANAGEMENT ADVISORY 12-02

DATE: October 4, 2013
TO: County and District Superintendents Charter School Administrators
FROM: Jeannie Oropeza, Deputy Superintendent
Services for Administration, Finance, Technology, and Infrastructure
SUBJECT: Pupil Fees, Deposits, and Other Charges: Cap and Gown for High School Graduation Ceremony
Questions have arisen recently as to whether a district can require students to purchase or pay for a cap and gown if wearing a cap and gown is a condition of participation in a graduation ceremony. This memo is intended to augment Fiscal Management Advisory 12-02, dated April 24, 2013, Pupil Fees, Deposits, and Other Charges, Section III, “Fees Not Allowed.”
In Sands v. Morongo Unified Sch. Dist., 53 Cal. 3d 863, 873-874 (1991), cert. denied, 505 U.S. 1218 (1992), the California Supreme Court found that the high school graduation ceremony is “an integral part of the educational process” because it recognizes cumulative academic achievement. Therefore, the graduation ceremony is an “educational activity,” pursuant to EC Section 49010(a), as to which a pupil fee cannot be charged.
In the CDE’s view, EC Section 38119 only authorizes districts to rent caps and gowns from a supplier and provide them free of charge to students. Therefore, a cap and gown fee is not “otherwise allowed by law.” EC Section 49011(e).
For these reasons, a district may not require students to purchase a cap and gown as a condition of participating in the graduation ceremony. The CDE recommends that a district that requires students to wear a cap and gown at the ceremony inform students that: (1) the district will provide caps and gowns for graduating seniors for use during the ceremony, and (2) students also have the option to purchase an appropriate cap and gown from a vendor. No student should be required to self-identify as indigent in order to receive a cap and gown from the district.
Download Free Readers

California Department of Education
1430 N Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
Contact Us | FAQ | Web Policy
Last Reviewed: Friday, October 04, 2013

2. bowling class

The teacher is blatantly violating the law. He has a college education and he is obligated to follow the law but he clearly chooses not to do so by taking money he is not entitled to take from students. He tries to hide the illegal fee by having students pay the bowling alley directly. He has violated

Education Code 44805. Every teacher in the public schools shall enforce the course
of study, the use of legally authorized textbooks, and the rules and
regulations prescribed for schools.
He has made students pay for the course so indigent children are excluded. An impoverished student whose family does not have the money to pay the fee
will not enroll in the course no matter how much he or she wants to participate. The teacher doesn’t care. He wants his class and demands students fees so he can teacher the class.

Course Description:
Bowling is two 18-weeks course open to all Junior and Senior students. This class meets Monday’s &Thursday’s at Clayton Valley Bowl.
The schedule will be as follows: 3rd period will start at 10:20 A.M. Class will be released at 12:05 P.M. Wednesday students will meet at Concord High during regular school hours. Please see Mr. Kilcoyne for a make-up slip. Missed work must be completed within two weeks of excused absents. Please have rides taken care of and pay attention to times and dates. To enroll, students will need parental permission to provide their own transportation and donate $90.00 at the first class session. The donation must be paid within the first week of class. The donation for this class will be refunded if we do not have 100% participation. Enrollment in this class requires total commitment. All sessions must be attended. Work, sports conditioning, practice, or games cannot interfere with class, without prior arrangements and teacher approval. The hours must be obtained to receive the PE credit.

It was not a donation. It was a fee for a service in return. A donation must be voluntary, for any amount or none at all and no student should be identified for the amount he or she contributed in anyway to include no contribution. That is making children feel like deadbeats who did not contribute
their fairshare. Here is the IRS definition of donation:

Although the term “contribution” is not defined either in the Code or in the
Income Tax Regulations, it is well established judicially that in order to be
deductible under section 170 of the Code, a contribution must qualify as a gift in
the common law sense of being a voluntary transfer of property without
consideration. To the extent a transferor receives or can expect to receive, for the
money or property he or she transfers, a financial or economic benefit, as
distinguished from the incidental benefit that inures to a donor as a member of the
general public, then no deduction under section 170 is allowable. Singer v. United
States, 449 F. 2d 413 (Ct., Cl. 1971); Rev. Rul. 67-246, 1967-2 C.B. 104 Rev. Rul.
76-185, 1976-1 C.B. 60

Here is FCMAT information.

http://www.fcmat.org/stories/storyReader$1372

Can a teacher tell students that they must raise funds for their classroom?

Question: If there is a teacher that is teaching an AP class and he wants his students to do a fundraiser to raise money for that class with the money going towards buying materials, such as a projector or even to help pay for the AP tests?
Response: Although Education Code section 48932 allows the governing board to authorize student body organizations to conduct fund raising activities, students should participate and make contributions to fund raising events voluntarily. In addition to the fact that students cannot be required to participate in fund raising events (by teachers or any other party), they also cannot be excluded from an activity because they did not participate in raising the funds (i.e. not participate in a class or activity). In this situation, it can be perceived that the students are being asked to fundraise so that the teacher can have class supplies. It can also be perceived that if the student did not fundraise, the AP class would not exist or the student could not be in the AP class. This is not the intent of ASB fundraisers.
Students can use the proceeds from fundraising to purchase goods and services that promote the general welfare, morale and educational experiences of the students. AP tests, although optional, are normally considered a district responsibility. That is especially true in this case as the question relates to an AP class, which means that AP tests are a direct result of the class and not an “extra” over and beyond what the district should supply. Projectors for a class can be allowable in some cases, but if the projector is only used in that specific class as a means of teaching curriculum, and is not used outside of the classroom at all in other extra curricular events, it might also be viewed as a district requirement. There is often a fine line between what the district should provide and what an “extra” is that the district would not normally provide in order to teach the curriculum of that class. Sometimes that can vary from district to district based on what is normally supplied to classrooms regardless of the subject.
As you can tell, there are a lot of things to consider when both fundraising and spending ASB funds. After looking at these guidelines, hopefully such questions in the future will be easier for you to answer.
11/8/05
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KCSOSEd-DataAudit AppealsEd-JoinCDECCSESAC

3. Grad Night Field Trip for seniors.

These people are collecting money from students of which they are not a charity which I checked the California Attorney General website and found this:

CONCORD HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETIC BOOSTERS 130220 Charity Delinquent CONCORD CA Charity Registration Charity
CONCORD HIGH SCHOOL CHOIR BOOSTERS, INC. CT0204335 Charity Current CONCORD CA Charity Registration Charity

However, it is a school fundraising group under the control of the administrators and the seniors are an identifiable group but only those who pay can go. That’s real easy for the adults just to collect the money but shifting the collection of fees to the parents is still not legal. Students have been excluded
from this wonderful school experience. They cannot claim it is separate from the school because it is clearly only for Concord seniros and the aprents are given full access to the students by the school. It is a school field trip and fees have been charged blatantly. A record was kept of each students and how much money was collected.
Grad Night
Grad Night is a parent-sponsored fun, safe and sober activity that occurs immediately following graduation. Tickets are available now for $75 until October 31st (payments made after October will increase by $25 each month with a maximum cap amount of $150). Permission slips are available in the CHS main office at Student Services.
Permission slips and checks may be made payable to CHS Grad Night and can be returned in a sealed envelope with Grad Night written on the front to the Grad Night Box in the school office or mailed to:
Kim Kruse
4621 Wilson Lane
Concord, CA 94521
The next Grad Night meeting will be November 5th at 7:00 pm at 1779 Thornwood Drive. Parents of all grades are welcome to attend. For more information, please contact Kim Kruse at kkruse@astound.net.

Fiscal Report
Copyright © 2010 School Services of California, Inc.
Volume 30 For Publication Date: March 26, 2010 No. 6
Ask SSC . . . What About the Students Who Didn’t Help with the Fundraising Efforts for the Field Trip?
Q. Every year near the end of the school year, our school’s 8thgrade class takes a trip to a theme park. The trip is optional for the students, and all fees are absorbed by the money generated through fundraising by the interested students. If a student wants to attend, but did not participate in the fundraising, can the district stop that student from attending the trip?
A. Education Code Section 35330(b)(1) is the provision of law that states the following:
No pupil shall be prevented from making the field trip or excursion because of lack of sufficient funds. To this end, the governing board shall coordinate efforts of community service groups to supply funds for pupils in need.
(2) No group shall be authorized to take a field trip or excursion authorized by this section if a pupil who is a member of an identifiable group will be excluded from participation in the field trip or excursion because of lack of sufficient funds.
The Code views the students who did not take part in the fundraising efforts, regardless of the circumstances, to be a member of the identifiable group.
The 2009 edition of the Associated Student Body Accounting Manual & Desk Reference by the Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team (FCMAT) comments further on the provision of law by adding “. . . nor may a student be left behind for failing or refusing to participate in fund-raisers.” FCMAT’s manual is considered by the school finance community to be a solid source of good business practices and sound, practical advice for the complex environment of student body operations.
This implies that districts should not stop the student from participating in the trip to the theme park. Furthermore, the school has an obligation to find alternative sources to support the student in order for him or her to go on the field trip.
FCMAT
Can we ask parents to contribute to field trip costs and tell them it is non-refundable if their child doesn’t attend?

Question: My question concerns refunding parents for field trips their children do not end up going on. We ask parents to help by contributing toward the cost of field trips (play tickets, ferry tickets, etc.) and many of these are non-refundable expenses since we have to purchase tickets, etc. ahead of time. Is it correct/legal for us to state when asking parents to contribute that the field trip cost is non-refundable. In the past, we have refunded the cost to parents of students not attending but it ends up being very costly when you have 5 out of 20 students sick on the day of the field trip and cannot use the pre-paid tickets.
Response: As you know, there are few allowable fees that can be charged to students and their families. The State Board of Education has made it clear that fees are not to be charged except where specifically authorized by law. This understanding, or regulation, is based on the authority in Article IX, Section 5 of the California Constitution. Fees for field trips and excursions may be charged in connection with courses of instruction or school related social, educational, cultural, athletic, or school band activities based on Education Code section 35330. But, no pupil shall be prevented from making the field trip or excursion because of lack of sufficient funds or because they refused to participate in fund-raisers dedicated to the field trip.
Stating to parents that they cannot be refunded if their student does not attend is something you will have to ask your legal counsel about, as we believe you may have issues if you begin doing this. Because you cannot tell a student they cannot attend if they don’t have funds, the reverse may apply (if their student ends up not going why they should not get their money back that they didn’t have to pay in the first place?). Be careful if you begin doing this and ask your attorney!!
3/16/07

http://www.fcmat.org/stories/storyReader$13020

If a student raises more money than the individual student goal, can he benefit from the extra money?

Question: Our Junior students sent out letters for parents/friends to sponsor them on the Junior College tour trip, with a goal of $200.00. One student collected $85.00 more. The question is: Do those dollars stay in the Junior trip account, or can they be transferred to that specific student’s expenses on an upcoming golf trip? Can it be refunded in cash to that student?

Response: When fundraising occurs for a field trip or any school sponsored activity, there are a couple of basic rules in place. One is that the fundraising must be voluntary. A student cannot be forced to fundraise, and must not be disallowed from attending the activity just because they did not fundraise. Another basic rule is that the fundraising that occurs is to benefit the entire trip/class/group of students, not individual students. So the student who collected $85 more than the goal, does not directly benefit from the amount he collected, even the initial goal of $200. All of the money raised from each student goes into the same account, and all of the juniors attending the trip will benefit from the total amount collected, regardless of whether they fundraised or not.

5/6/09

CALIFORNIA CODES
EDUCATION CODE
SECTION 35330-35332

35330. (a) The governing board of a school district or the county
superintendent of schools of a county may:
(1) Conduct field trips or excursions in connection with courses
of instruction or school-related social, educational, cultural,
athletic, or school band activities to and from places in the state,
any other state, the District of Columbia, or a foreign country for
pupils enrolled in elementary or secondary schools. A field trip or
excursion to and from a foreign country may be permitted to
familiarize students with the language, history, geography, natural
sciences, and other studies relative to the district’s course of
study for pupils.
(2) Engage instructors, supervisors, and other personnel to
contribute their services over and above the normal period for which
they are employed by the district, if necessary, and provide
equipment and supplies for the field trip or excursion.
(3) Transport by use of district equipment, contract to provide
transportation, or arrange transportation by the use of other
equipment, of pupils, instructors, supervisors or other personnel to
and from places in the state, another state, the District of
Columbia, or a foreign country where those excursions and field trips
are being conducted, provided that, when district equipment is used,
the governing board shall secure liability insurance, and if travel
is to and from a foreign country, liability insurance shall be
secured from a carrier licensed to transact insurance business in the
foreign country.
(4) Provide supervision of pupils involved in field trips or
excursions by certificated employees of the district.
(b) (1) No pupil shall be prevented from making the field trip or
excursion because of lack of sufficient funds. To this end, the
governing board shall coordinate efforts of community service groups
to supply funds for pupils in need.
(2) No group shall be authorized to take a field trip or excursion
authorized by this section if a pupil who is a member of an
identifiable group will be excluded from participation in the field
trip or excursion because of lack of sufficient funds.
(3) No expenses of pupils participating in a field trip or
excursion to other state, the District of Columbia, or a foreign
country authorized by this section shall be paid with school district
funds. Expenses of instructors, chaperones, and other personnel
participating in a field trip or excursion authorized by this section
may be paid from school district funds, and the school district may
pay from school district funds all incidental expenses for the use of
school district equipment during a field trip or excursion
authorized by this section.
(c) (1) The attendance or participation of a pupil in a field trip
or excursion authorized by this section shall be considered
attendance for the purpose of crediting attendance for apportionments
from the State School Fund in the fiscal year. Credited attendance
resulting from a field trip or excursion shall be limited to the
amount of attendance that would have accrued had the pupils not been
engaged in the field trip or excursion.
(2) Credited attendance shall not exceed 10 schooldays except in
the case of pupils participating in a field trip or excursion in
connection with courses of instruction, or school-related educational
activities, and which are not social, cultural, athletic, or school
band activities.
(d) All persons making the field trip or excursion shall be deemed
to have waived all claims against the district, a charter school, or
the State of California for injury, accident, illness, or death
occurring during or by reason of the field trip or excursion. All
adults taking out-of-state field trips or excursions and all parents
or guardians of pupils taking out-of-state field trips or excursions
shall sign a statement waiving all claims.
No transportation allowances shall be made by the Superintendent
for expenses incurred with respect to field trips or excursions that
have an out-of-state destination. A school district that transports
pupils, teachers, or other employees of the district in schoolbuses
within the state and to destinations within the state, pursuant to
the provisions of this section, shall report to the Superintendent on
forms prescribed by him or her the total mileage of schoolbuses used
in connection with educational excursions. In computing the
allowance to a school district for regular transportation there shall
be deducted from that allowance an amount equal to the depreciation
of schoolbuses used for the transportation in accordance with rules
and regulations adopted by the Superintendent.

4. fees charged for lost or damaged educational materials – school failed to inform students that they may volunteer in lieu of paying money
The school extorts money from students because they cannot graduate if they do not pay the fines and they are not told of their legal right to work volunteer time instead The students want very much to participate and get their diploma which they earned with their hard work in courses so they have paid.

48904. (a) (1) Notwithstanding Section 1714.1 of the
Civil Code,
the parent or guardian of any minor whose willful misconduct results
in injury or death to any pupil or any person employed by, or
performing
volunteer services for, a school district or private
school or who willfully cuts, defaces, or otherwise injures in any
way any property, real or personal, belonging to a school district or
private school, or personal property of any school employee, shall

be liable for all damages so caused by the minor. The liability of
the parent or guardian shall not exceed ten thousand dollars
($10,000). The parent or guardian shall also be liable for the
amount of any reward not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000)

paid
pursuant to Section 53069.5 of the Government Code. The parent
or guardian of a minor shall be liable to a school district or
private school for all property belonging to the school district or
private school loaned to the minor and not returned upon demand of an

employee of the district or private school authorized to make the
demand.
(2) The Superintendent of Public Instruction shall compute an
adjustment of the liability limits prescribed by this subdivision at

a rate equivalent to the percentage change in the Implicit Price

Deflator for State and Local Government Purchases of Goods and
Services for the United States, as published by the United States
Department of Commerce for the 12-month period ending in the third
quarter of the prior fiscal year.

(b) (1) Any school district or private school whose real or
personal property has been willfully cut, defaced, or otherwise
injured,
or whose property is loaned to a pupil and willfully not
returned upon demand of an employee of the district or private school
authorized to make the demand may, after affording the pupil his or
her due process rights, withhold the grades, diploma, and transcripts

of the pupil responsible for the damage until the pupil or the pupil’
s parent or guardian has paid for the damages thereto, as provided in
subdivision (a).
(2) The school district or private school shall notify the parent

or guardian of the pupil in writing of the pupil’s alleged misconduct
before withholding the pupil’s grades, diploma, or transcripts
pursuant to this subdivision. When the minor and parent are unable
to pay for the damages, or to return the property, the school

district or private school shall provide a program of voluntary work
for the minor in lieu of the payment of monetary damages. Upon
completion of the voluntary work, the
grades, diploma, and
transcripts of the pupil shall be released.

I request that the money is returned to the students from whom adults took the money in violation
of the free public education right. Thank you. Sally Smith”

Do you agree with Smith’s allegations?

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Congrats to 46 East Bay California Distinguished Elementary Schools!

By Theresa Harrington
Friday, May 2nd, 2014 at 2:00 pm in Alameda County, Contra Costa County, Education, Mt. Diablo school district, West Contra Costa school district

California Distinguished School Certificate received by Hanna Ranch Elementary in 2012

California Distinguished School Certificate received by Hanna Ranch Elementary in 2012

Congratulations to the nearly 50 elementary campuses in the East Bay that have been named 2014 California Distinguished Schools!

State Superintendent of Schools Tom Torlakson announced this week that 22 Alameda County schools and two dozen Contra Costa County schools are among 424 elementary campuses statewide designated as distinguished, based on innovative strategies for narrowing the achievement gap.

“I applaud these strong, thriving schools that are making such impressive strides in preparing their students for continued success,” Torlakson said in a prepared statement. “This award is well-deserved by these school communities for their enduring dedication to high standards, hard work, and unwavering support.”
Here is a list of East Bay 2014 California Distinguished Schools by county and district.

ALAMEDA COUNTY

Alameda Unified: Edison Elementary

Dublin Unified: Harold William Kolb Elementary (also award for Exemplary Physical Activity and Nutrition Program)

Fremont Unified: Ardenwood, Fred E. Weibel, James Leitch, John Gomes, Joshua Chadbourne, Mission San Jose, Mission Valley and Niles elementary schools

New Haven Unified: Pioneer Elementary

Newark Unified: James L. Bunker and John F. Kennedy elementary schools

Oakland Unified: Achieve Academy, Montclair Elementary and Think College Now

Pleasanton Unified: Donlon, Henry P. Mohr, Phoebe Apperson Hearst, Vintage Hills and Walnut Grove elementary schools

Sunol Glen Unified: Sunol Glen Elementary

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY

Lafayette Elementary: Lafayette Elementary

Mt. Diablo Unified: Mt. Diablo, Sequoia, Silverwood, Strandwood, Valle Verde and Walnut Acres elementary schools

Orinda Union: Del Rey, Glorietta, Sleepy Hollow and Wagner Ranch elementary schools

San Ramon Valley Unified: Bollinger Canyon, Coyote Creek, Golden View, Greenbrook, Hidden Hills, John Baldwin, Live Oak, Neil A. Armstrong, Rancho Romero, Sycamore Valley, Tassajara Hills and Vista Grande elementary schools

Walnut Creek School District: Walnut Heights Elementary

The “signature practices” that helped earn these schools their recognition will be posted online later this year. Signature practices of past campuses named as California Distinguished Schools are at www3.cde.ca.gov/signaturepractices.

Each school is visited by a team of local educators to see how the signature practice have been implemented. In Contra Costa County, a team of 19 educators from the Contra Costa County Office of Education, along with 18 school district administrators and four retired district administrators visited the sites, according to a news release.

Greg Santiago, principal of Hanna Ranch Elementary in Hercules, was one of the district administrators on the site visits. Hanna Ranch was one of two West Contra Costa district elementary sites named as California Distinguished Schools in 2012.

Its signature practices were analyzing test data to provide extra support to low-performing students and trying to close the achievement gap between high-achieving Asian and Filipino students and lower-achieving African-American and Latino students by using culturally relevant teaching methods.

One such teaching methods is “call and response,” which allows students to chant responses to teachers’ prompts instead of raising their hands to be acknowledged. In reading the signature practices, it is clear that the principal keeps the staff, students and parents focused on them.

The school’s description of signature practices states: “The principal’s message about academics is simple, ‘You may not get it the first time, but you never give up!” Santiago heads up a school equity team, which walks through classrooms with a checklist that includes these questions: “Are students engaged? Are they participating? Is there bell-to-bell instruction?”

I met Santiago last month during a ride-along with Hercules School Resource Officer Greg Sanchez, who told me when we arrived: “This principal has got it down.”

What are the signature practices at your school?

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MDUSD board to hear proposal to create a Northgate district

By Theresa Harrington
Wednesday, April 30th, 2014 at 8:16 pm in Education, Mt. Diablo school district

Here is the agenda for tonight’s MDUSD board meeting now in progress at 1936 Carlotta Drive in Concord. You can watch it live at http://www.livestream.com/mtdiablounifiedschooldistrict

“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.
5.0 Closed Session Agenda
5.1 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. Info/Action
5.2 Discipline, Dismissal or Release of Public Employee Action
5.3 Conference with Legal Counsel – Anticipated Litigation (Gov. Code Sec. 54956.9(b) Significant Exposure to Litigation: 2 cases Info/Action
5.4 Conference with Negotiators – Unrepresented Employees – Diablo Managers Association. Negotiators: Dr. Nellie Meyer and Larry Schoenke, Interim General Counsel Info/Action
6.0 Reconvene Open Session
6.1 Reconvene Open Session at 7:30 p.m. Info
7.0 Preliminary Business
7.1 Pledge of Allegiance and Roll Call Info
8.0 Report Out Action Taken in Closed Session
8.1 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. Info/Action
8.2 Discipline, Dismissal or Release of Public Employee Action
8.3 Conference with Legal Counsel – Anticipated Litigation (Gov. Code Sec. 54956.9(b) Significant Exposure to Litigation: 2 cases Info/Action
8.4 Conference with Negotiators – Unrepresented Employees – Diablo Managers Association. Negotiators: Dr. Nellie Meyer and Larry Schoenke, Interim General Counsel Info/Action
9.0 Recognitions and Resolutions
9.1 Appreciation for Service to Board Presidency Info
10.0 Board Member Reports
10.1 Board Reports Info
11.0 Superintendent’s Report
11.1 Superintendent’s Report Info
12.0 Reports/Information
12.1 Mt. Diablo High School Seniors “Sugar Smart” Info
13.0 Consent Agenda Action
13.1 (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
13.2 (Item #2) Recommended Action for Certificated Personnel Action
13.3 (Item #3) 17.11 Approval of Provisional Internship Permit (PIP) Request. Action
13.4 (Item #4) Recommended Action for Classified Employees Action
13.5 (Item #5) Classified Personnel: Request to Increase and Decrease Full Time Equivalent (FTE) for the 2013-14 and 2014-15 School Year Action
13.6 (Item #6) Approve contract with Sunbelt Staffing to provide a Teacher of the Visually Impaired for the 2013-2014 school year. Action
13.7 (Item #7) Approve contract with Exploring New Horizons (ENH) for El Monte Elementary School Outdoor Ed Program Action
13.8 (Item #8) Approval to increase Silver Spur Outdoor Ed Contracts with Highlands Elementary and Wren Ave Elementary Schools Action
13.9 (Item #9) Approve 2013-2014 Interagency Agreement #29-513-15 between Mt. Diablo USD and Contra Costa County Mental Health Services Division Action
13.10 (Item #10) Approve 2013-2014 Interagency Agreement #28-325-4 between Mt. Diablo USD and Contra Costa County Mental Health Services Division Action
13.11 (Item #11) Approve 2013-2014 Interagency Agreement #74-371-5 between Mt. Diablo USD and Contra Costa County Mental Health Services Division Action
13.12 (Item #12) Approve submission of the Elementary and Secondary School Counseling Grant. Action
13.13 (Item #13) Approve submission of the Farm to School grant. Action
13.14 (Item #14) Williams Quarterly Summary Report Action
13.15 (Item #15) Approve Contract Amendment Number Ten to Capital Engineering Consultants, Inc. Action
13.16 (Item #16) Award Design Services Contract to PHd Architects, Inc. for Building E Window Replacement at College Park High School Action
13.17 (Item #17) Award of Independent Services Contract to Enviro-S.T.A.R. for the Oversight of Hazardous Materials Abatement/Removal related to Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning Renovations at Various Sites. Action
13.18 (Item #18) Award Project Inspector Contract to MWC & Associates to support Clayton Valley Charter High School Athletic Facility Improvements project. Action
13.19 (Item #19) Award Professional Services Contract to Capital Engineering Consultants, Inc. for auditing, planning and engineering services required by California Clean Energy Jobs Act (Proposition 39). Action
13.20 (Item #20) Minutes for the Special Board of Education Meeting held on October 7, 2013 Action
13.21 (Item #21) Minutes for the Board of Education Meeting held on September 25, 2013 Action
14.0 Consent Items Pulled for Discussion
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 Business/Action Items
17.1 Opportunity for public response to the Sunshine Reopener from Local One, Clerical, Secretarial & Technical (CST) Unit. Info
17.2 Create Job Description for Technology Customer Help Desk Technician II Action
17.3 Revise Job Description for Attendance/Student Records Coordinator Action
17.4 Reclassification of Classified Positions in the California School Employees Association (CSEA) Unit Action
17.5 Reclassification of Classified Positions in the Local One, Clerical, Secretarial, Technical (CST) Unit Action
17.6 Reclassification of Classified Positions in the Teamsters, Maintenance, Operations, and Facilities/Transportation/Landscape/Warehouse/Food and Nutrition Services/Technology and Information Services/Substitute Custodian and School Bus Driver Unit (M&O) Action
17.7 Implement Staff’s Recommendation to Decrease the Number of Certificated Employees Due to a Reduction or Elimination of Particular Kinds of Service Action
17.8 Request authorization to submit the 2014-2017 Technology Plan to the California Department of Education Info
17.9 Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Applied Technology Education Act Funds for 2014-2015. Action
17.10 Meeting Extension Action
17.11 3D Modeling Course of Study Info
17.12 Adoption of “Pre-Calculus” Course of Study Info
17.13 Request to Approve Equipment Grant Application for Nutrition Services Action
17.14 Minutes for the Board of Education Meeting held on April 9, 2014 Action
17.15 Minutes for the Special Board of Education Meeting held on March 5, 2014 Action
17.16 Draft Report to the Board of Education concerning Bay Point Master Planning Info
17.17 Proposal from Parent Organization Info/Action
18.0 Future Agenda Items
18.1 Future Agenda Items Info
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 Reconvene Open Session
20.1 Reconvene Open Session Info
21.0 Adjournment
21.1 Adjourn Meeting Info”

Do you agree with the proposal to divide the district?

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Congrats to National Merit Scholarship Corporation winners and to top high schools in US News and World Report rankings!

By Theresa Harrington
Friday, April 25th, 2014 at 3:46 pm in Education

Congratulations to the 22 East Bay high school seniors who are National Merit Scholarship Corporation Program winners!

The students were chosen based on their strong performance on the 2012 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, along with essays and information submitted with applications about extracurricular activities, awards, leadership, academic accomplishment and a recommendation.

Corporate sponsors provide National Merit Scholarships to finalists who are children of their employees, residents of communities the companies serve, or who plan to pursue college majors or careers encouraged by the sponsor. Scholarships range from $500 to $10,000 per year and be used at any regionally accredited U.S. college or university.

Here is a list of the 13 Alameda County students and nine Contra Costa County students who will receive the awards, in alphabetical order by city, followed by the student’s name, school, probable career field and scholarship sponsor:

ALAMEDA COUNTY
Albany: Suzanne Becker, Albany High, computer programming, Novartis
Albany: Naomi Hamada, Albany High, engineering, Chevron Corporation
Dublin: Florian Stumpf, Dublin High, medicine, Nelson F. Peterson scholarship from Hoffmann-La Roche
Fremont: Eric Deng, Mission San Jose High, mechanical engineering (automotive), Lockheed Martin
Fremont: Anish Kannan, Mission San Jose High, computer science, Macy’s Inc.
Fremont: Sanjay Sreekumar, Mission San Jose High, computer science, E*Trade Financial Corporation
Fremont: Grace Wu, Mission San Jose High, English literature, Automatic Data Processing, Inc.
Fremont: Jonathan Xu, St. Francis High in Mountain View, computer science, MetLife Foundation
Livermore: Steven Wang, Granada High, computer engineering, Boeing
Pleasanton: Melody Huang, Amador Valley High, economics, Moody’s Foundation
Pleasanton: John Malchar, Amador Valley High, public service, Calmer L. Johnson/John W. Leslie scholarship from Illinois Tool Works Foundation
Pleasanton: Alicia Yang, Foothill High, oncology, Nelson F. Peterson scholarship from Hoffmann-La Roche
Union City: Katie Chang, James Logan High, business management, CSC

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY
Moraga: Jennifer Li, Miramonte High in Orinda, biological engineering, Bayer
Moraga: Julia Shen, Miramonte High in Orinda, medicine, Nelson F. Peterson scholarship from Hoffmann-La Roche
Orinda: Talbot Jacobs, Oakland Preparatory School in Oakland, economics, Chevron Corporation
Pleasant Hill: Larry Wang, Acalanes High in Lafayette, computer science, Bayer
San Ramon: Aditya Bhumbla, California High, computer science, Chevron Corporation
San Ramon: Liyang Huang, Dougherty Valley High, biotechnology, Nelson F. Peterson scholarship from Hoffmann-La Roche
San Ramon: Jamie Shen, Dougherty Valley High, history, Chevron Corporation
San Ramon: Allison Zhong, Dougherty Valley High, medicine, Novartis

Here is the a link to the entire list of California winners: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6mS2O1_NKceQ1MtWFNHY0NKTFk/edit?usp=sharing

Congratulations also to East Bay schools named in US News and World Report’s recent ranking of the best high schools in the state and country. Here are 13 that made the top 80 in California, listed by state rank, national rank, school, city and county:

6, 44: American Indian Public High, Oakland, Alameda
11, 67: KIPP King Collegiate High, San Lorenzo, Alameda
20, 143: Campolindo High, Moraga, Contra Costa
29, 184: Leadership Public Schools, Hayward, Alameda
34, 200: Piedmont High, Piedmont, Alameda
43, 248: Miramonte High, Orinda, Contra Costa
46, 256: Amador Valley High, Pleasanton, Contra Costa
47, 257: Aspire Lionel Wilson College Preparatory Academy, Oakland, Alameda
48, 260: Acalanes High, Lafayette, Contra Costa
64, 327: Foothill High, Pleasanton, Alameda
67, 334: Dougherty Valley High, San Ramon, Contra Costa
74, 363: Oakland Charter High, Oakland, Alameda
80, 373: Leadership Public Schools, Richmond, Contra Costa

Here is a link to the entire California list: http://www.usnews.com/education/best-high-schools/california/rankings?schooltypepublic=y&schooltypemagnet=y&schooltypecharter=y

Many of the highly ranked schools in low-performing districts are charters, while others are in high-performing districts, such as Piedmont, Pleasanton, Acalanes and San Ramon Valley.

What do you think is the secret to their success?

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Schools mark the 75th anniversary of The Grapes of Wrath

By Theresa Harrington
Monday, April 14th, 2014 at 11:49 am in Education, Mt. Diablo school district, Walnut Creek

photo 2 (3)

Northgate students were encouraged to post this photo to Instagram to mark the 75th anniversary of Grapes of Wrath

Northgate students were encouraged to post this photo to Instagram to mark the 75th anniversary of Grapes of Wrath

To mark the 75h anniversary of the publication of The Grapes of Wrath today, schools throughout the state are participating in a variety of activities as part of the California Teachers Association’s “California Reads” program of teacher-recommended books for students of all ages.

The epic struggles of the Joad family in John Steinbeck’s novel are being rediscovered and honored in classrooms, theaters and lecture halls today, this month and throughout the year, according to a CTA news release.

Northgate High English teacher Daniel Reynolds has taught the book for nine years to his high school juniors in the Mt. Diablo school district.

“The ‘Grapes of Wrath’ is relevant to students today because the struggles of the Joad family, and of all the families dispossessed by the Depression, are the struggles of millions of people today,” Reynolds said in a prepared statement. “Steinbeck reminds us that people want to work, they want to provide for their families, they want a little piece of land they can call their own, an education for their kids, they want to be healthy, and ultimately they want all these same things for everyone else too. Students feel a lot of this already, but struggle to put their feelings into words. The ‘Grapes of Wrath’ helps them do that.”

Reynolds’ students at Northgate High in Walnut Creek will participate in a variety of activities during lunch today. Projects include a 75-foot multimedia timeline based on events in the book, an interactive social media experience designed by Reynolds, an Instagram scavenger hunt related to the novel, a student’s website documenting what other classmates are doing to honor the book, square-dancing instruction in the gym, birthday cake, outfits created by students similar to what the characters wore, and an art show with music.

The book tells the story of the Joad family’s migration from their farm in Oklahoma to California, where they were exploited and forced to work for starvation wages by unscrupulous growers. Reynolds said the book shows the power of working together against great and menacing odds.

“The ‘Grapes of Wrath’ evokes the American themes and progressive ideals of collective action and reasoned dissent,” Reynolds said, “and reminds us that we all do better when we all do better.”

In Fremont, American High School English teacher Deborah Thorsen recently finished teaching the book for a fifth time to her junior students.

“I tell my students that this is the kind of book that can change the way you look at the world,” she said. “It tells them that they have a chance to change the world. It shows them that society isn’t nice. They come away from the book with a sense of injustices, but wanting to do something about it.”

The book, which won a Pulitzer Prize, is on the California Department of Education’s recommended literature list. It has sparked numerous teacher lesson plans, both in high schools and colleges.

The Martha Heasley Cox Center for Steinbeck Studies at San Jose State University houses extensive archives — including “Grapes of Wrath” manuscripts and first editions –- on the fifth floor of the Martin Luther King Jr. main library downtown, next to SJSU. The campus plans a Wednesday stage production of the novel, immediately followed by a discussion with Steinbeck scholar Susan Shillinglaw, who teaches English at the university and will speak about her new book, “On Reading the Grapes of Wrath.” An opera based on the novel will be performed May 9 and 11.

APRIL 1 UPDATE: I visited the Northgate campus after school Monday and saw some of the signs Reynolds had posted to get students thinking about themes in the book.

One sign asked: “When someone warns you about the negative consequences of an action, do you stay away (and learn from their warning), or do you do it anyway (and learn from doing things for yourself — even if that means taking negative consequences?”

Reynolds said afterward that he considered the day a success.

“The idea was to have a celebratory nature, encouraging the students to think about the quotes,” he said. “All over campus during lunch and most of the day it was everywhere for people to see.”

Do you think “The Grapes of Wrath” is relevant today?

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Concord police chief and MDUSD teacher express support for mandated reporting bill

By Theresa Harrington
Saturday, April 12th, 2014 at 9:37 am in Education, Mt. Diablo school district

Earlier this week, Concord Police Chief Guy Swanger and Mt. Diablo school district teacher Anita Johnson spoke in support of AB 2560, which is related to mandated child abuse reporting, at an Assembly Education Committee hearing.

The bill, proposed by Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla, D-Concord, would require all teachers to read a statement and attest that they understand their responsibilities to report suspected child abuse to Child Protective Services or law enforcement when they apply for and renew their credentials.

“In my district and cities throughout California, there have been cases of unreported student physical and sexual abuse,” Bonilla told the committee, which is headed up by Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan, D-Alamo. “There’s been a growing trend where mandated reporters have reported suspected child abuse only to school administration and not to law enforcement or Child Protective Services.”

Johnson discussed three instances in which children might have been better protected if teachers had reported their suspicions to police. In one, Johnson said a teacher noticed that her student came to school with bruises the day after calling a parent to discuss missing homework.

When the principal found out, he reprimanded the teacher for calling the parent, saying he knew that would happen, Johnson said. When asked if he would report the incident to Child Protective Services, the principal said that was not the appropriate thing to do because the agency might remove the child from the home and put her in the “system,” which would be far worse than where she was.

In another incident, when a middle school teacher told a student she was going to call his father because he hadn’t turned in an assignment, the boy said, “Don’t tell me Dad. He’ll beat the crap out of me.”

The boy seemed truly frightened, Johnson said. Yet, the principal told the teacher it wouldn’t be right to report this to authorities, because parents have the right to reprimand their children.

“My final example is the situation from my own district, Mt. Diablo Unified, in which many teachers at a particular school reported to their administrator that they felt there were odd things happening in a certain classroom and that the teacher had made some weird comments about young boys,” Johnson said. “The administrator assured these teachers that she would investigate.”

Yet, it wasn’t until the boys themselves accused that teacher of molestation that the teacher was removed from the classroom, Johnson said.

“The bottom line,”Johnson said, “is to make sure teachers know they are responsible for reporting to an outside agency and not their administrator.”

She said teachers want to do the right thing and reminders are always good.

Swanger, who worked in the San Diego police department before coming to Concord about three years ago, expressed strong support for the bill.

“It’s a time-tested formula that some form of in-service training and/or ongoing communication is the key to compliance,” he said. “And I believe that there is no more important law that we should require 100 percent compliance (with) than following the mandatory reporting law.”

He said these laws are violated when a person working in the school system who suspects abuse does not completely understand or know their legal requirements.

“They believe notifying a supervisor, a principal or a peer meets their requirement,” he said. “And worse, that supervisor or peer does not understand their legal requirements.”

Although the mandating reporting law has been on the books for 29 years, Swanger said it’s evident by the large number of cases involving failure to report, particularly in districts where he has served, that the law is not sufficient. He said some teachers have received little or no training regarding the law, while others are told they must report suspected abuse to an administrator.

“The most troubling scenario that some of them have shared with me,” he said, “is that the worst failures occur when the offender works in the system.”

Here is a link to the committee testimony, along with more information about the bills on the agenda that day: http://calchannel.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=7&clip_id=2019

Do you support AB2560?

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YVHS presents “Legally Blonde” this weekend and next weekend!

By Theresa Harrington
Friday, April 4th, 2014 at 11:30 am in Mt. Diablo school district

Members of YVHS Legally Blonde cast join De La Salle and Carondelet Legally Blonde cast members on YVHS stage after show.

Members of YVHS Legally Blonde cast join De La Salle and Carondelet Legally Blonde cast members on YVHS stage after show.

Ygnacio Valley High invites the community to come to its production of “Legally Blonde” this weekend and next weekend. Kelly Cooper, the school’s Performing Arts Chairwoman and Dance Director, is trying to get the word out about a show she says shouldn’t be missed!

“This is our most ambitious musical to date, with a ton of music, a huge 38 person cast, 8 person backstage crew, and literally 116 costume changes,” she wrote in an e-mail. “Parents and students have worked over the weekends to build outstanding sets (our wings are exploding!!) and we have put together a cast and a musical we are proud to present to you and to the community.”

The show opens today at 7:30 p.m. and continues at 2 p.m. Saturday at Ygnacio Valley High, 755 Oak Grove Road in Concord. It will continue at 7:30 p.m. Friday April 11 and at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

“Legally Blonde is based on the movie of the same name, but a ton of hilarious scenes and great songs that will get stuck in your head for days (trust me on that one),” Cooper wrote. “A musical without an audience is a tragedy (pun intended) and WE NEED YOU!!”

Tickets for evening shows are $8 for students and $12 for adults, while tickets for matinee shows are $5 and $8.

“Come support this completely self funded program and (see) these VERY talented and supremely dedicated students shine,” Cooper says.

Here’s a list of some of the key roles played student stars, along with their grade levels:

Elle Woods- McKenna Duncan (11)
Warner Huntington III- Matt Boer (12)
Emmett Forrest- Devin Rader (12)
Vivienne Kensington- Rory Tank (12)
Brooke Wyndham-Danielle Tortolani (12)
Serena- Kayla Samuels
Pilar-Rhyndyl Sardina
Margot- Maddie King
Paulette- Aaliyah Minor

Here’s a link to a flyer for the show: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6mS2O1_NKceeWttZ1I3azBISHM/edit?usp=sharing

Let us know what you think of the show!

April 8 update: Please note that I have added a photo to this blog post of the Legally Blonde cast members from DeLaSalle and Carondolet’s production who came to see YVHS’s Legally Blonde show last Saturday night posing together on stage!

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MDUSD logs documents related to teacher molestation arrest withheld from Bay Area News Group’s Public Records Act request

By Theresa Harrington
Friday, April 4th, 2014 at 10:56 am in Mt. Diablo school district

The Mt. Diablo school district’s attorney has responded to a court order to produce logs of documents being withheld from Bay Area News Group’s Public Records Act request seeking “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…”

Martin was placed on administrative leave in April and was subsequently arrested and charged with 150 counts of molestation involving 14 former students while he taught at the Concord campus. His trial has been postponed until May.

The district provided Bay Area News Group, or BANG, with two notices related to the court order.

The first is a Notice of filing, which includes a short list of two documents the district is withholding from Bay Area News Group that are not protected by attorney-client privilege:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6mS2O1_NKceZ2I4OXZCS0Z4amc/edit?usp=sharing

It lists two e-mails from the district’s associate general counsel Deborah Cooksey to Concord Police Detective Tamara Roberts, which discussed criminal charges against Martin. The district claims several privileges that it argues entitle it to withhold the documents from the public, including official information, pending investigation, confidential information, attorney work product privilege and deliberative process privilege.

In its discussion of the documents, the district states that the e-mails contain information regarding an “unfinal personnel decision by the district’s legal counsel.”

“If the district is required to disclose this information, it will commit the district to premature personnel decision and expose the district’s legal counsel investigatory process,” the district argues.

“Said communication also evidences the legal counsel’s work product and impressions. Further, said document may potentially be excluded from the definition of a public record,” according to the district.

It concludes by arguing that the e-mails reveal the district and legal counsel’s “investigatory efforts both as to allegations of wrongdoing and on confidential personnel decisions,” which it argues are expressly excluded from disclosure.

The second item provided to BANG is a Notice of Lodging Privilege Log, which states that a confidential privilege log of documents protected from disclosure due to attorney-client or attorney-work product privilege has been lodged with the court: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6mS2O1_NKceWlhqcUdqVW1UUDQ/edit?usp=sharing. It does not include Exhibit A, which is the list of documents being withheld.

Interestingly, the district did not list the letter that was sent home to Woodside Elementary parents when Martin was placed on his leave of absence. It is difficult to imagine how that letter could be construed to be subject to attorney-client privilege or attorney-client work product.

Do you agree with the district’s decision to list only two e-mails as potentially responsive to BANG’s Public Records Act request and to keep the list of “confidential privilege” documents provided to the court secret?

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MDUSD board to meet tonight with Concord City Council

By Theresa Harrington
Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014 at 1:08 pm in Concord, Education, Mt. Diablo school district

The Mt. Diablo school board will hold a joint meeting tonight with the Concord City Council to discuss issues of mutual interest.

The meeting is at 6:30 p.m. in the district office board room at 1936 Carlotta Drive in Concord. The public is invited to comment on items on the agenda, which include:

A Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) presentation by MDUSD Superintendent Dr. Nellie Meyer.

An oral presentation regarding the Family Justice Center by Concord Police Chief Guy Swanger.

An information exchange between the school board and city council including updates on items of mutual interest and a discussion of partnerships and other areas of cooperation. Discussion items may include: district enrollment, student achievement, Common Core State Standards, development and educational opportunities for high school students, school/community safety, shared fields, updates on current and planned improvement projects, MDEA Second Annual Academy Awards and the communication between the district and city council. No formal action will be taken.

Here is a link to the agenda, which didn’t show up on the district’s web site home page until today: http://www.mdusd.org/boe/Documents/agendas/2014/04-02-14.pdf

Because the media was not notified in advance of this meeting, I was unaware of it until this morning, so was unable to inform the public about it in today’s Contra Costa Times.

Other items of interest that could be discussed include Clayton Valley High’s expansion plans and De La Salle’s planned middle school academy in Concord.

Do you believe the district adequately informed the community about this meeting?

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