SCUSD Observer

Sacramento, California

Board Meeting Highlights of 1/15/09 Redux

With a commentary of best practice/suggestions….

(Board meetings are structured into six major sections: Closed session items, Sharing/learning/communication, Public comment, Strategic plan/other initiatives, Consent items, and Reports/financial information.)

At the Board meeting on 1/15/09 the following occurred:

Closed session: The Board met in closed session for two hours to discuss one expulsion, two active legal cases, two anticipated legal cases and collective bargaining/negotiations. No action was reported out. Expulsion was acted on during consent agenda.

Best Practice: Open meeting law requires a closed session agenda to be position-specific when unrepresented management is discussed.


1. An oral and written report was shared concerning the student advisory council. The report highlighted work at the community, after school and site leadership levels.

Best Practice: Student Member Lopez prepared a written report for the public.

2. SCTA and SEIU shared budget concerns.

3. A Board facilities committee report was shared as well as a brief update on the community engagement process.

4. The availability of the Strategic Plan update on the SCUSD website was shared as a means to conserve costs.

5. Board President Grimes presented a detailed oral report concerning 10 items such as committee process, dropout prevention, principal leaders and other initiatives.

6. Our CFO gave a brief overview on the charter school petition process.

7. Concerning the superintendent search, Mr. Grimes shared that a committee of 7 would be created from the 3 executive committee members and his selection of an additional 4 from a pool of candidates nominated by the Board and community. His selections would be confirmed by the executive committee and approved by the Board. This committee would develop a request for qualifications for a search consultant. Mr. Houseman spoke in favor of staying with an interim superintendent until the budget stabilizes, Ms. Bell spoke in favor of maintaining the Board’s commitment to the public and Mr. Grimes stated that this is the start of a traditionally 4 to 6 month process.

Suggestion: The superintendent search item should have been a conference/action item to allow for a Board vote on this process and eventual expenditure of significant funds.

Public comment: Members of the public presented ideas concerning identifying schools at risk for closing, parent training workshops, community engagement process, district website clarity concerning open enrollment and community engagement, inequity in Crocker Kindergarten enrollment and improvement at Washington School (small school, big progress)

Suggestion: Include public comment in the minutes. Adopt the 3 minute limit of other boards.

Public Hearing: The Visionary Institute of Math and Science Charter Petition was shared. This is a proposed direct funded charter for 350 6, 7 & 8th graders. The educational focus is math and science with visual and performing infused throughout. The proposed site is a reconstructed army base. The students they want to serve attend Rosa Parks, Kit Carson, Fern Bacon, CA Middle, W.C. Wood and John Still. All these schools are in PI status. All except Kit Carson (P1 and CA Middle (P4) are P5.


1. The LEA Plan which is a part of NCLB was presented to the Board. After receiving questions from the Board concerning translation support, offering parents more implementation responsibility, some of the fiscal commitments and the poverty challenges faced by the district, staff asked for an extension to 2/12 to allow for greater community input and engagement.

Best Practice: LEA Plan will be taken to DAC and other committees in its final form for discussion and possible revision.

2. The Board discussed a resolution in opposition to the Governor’s budget.

3. Ms. Bell presented information on Coherent Governance. Mr. Houseman also shared his research in the area. They shared that policy governance seeks to focus a Board on a few areas related to student achievement for deeper discussion and ultimately policy creation to govern the work of the district.

4. Budget Study Session:

5. Credential Waiver:

Consent Agenda: Board minutes, emergency work, lower bus emissions, grant agreements, surplus materials and completion notices approved. Adjustment to bid threshold approved to $76,700. Board committee assignments approved. Personnel transactions and student expulsion approved

Best Practice: Board committee assignments/meeting dates did not include executive committee and added/changed the committees. Policy Governance has brought to the new Board for the first time. Both warranted placement as a conference agenda items.

Reports: Surplus computer equipment listed..

Suggestion: Update Board as per St HOPE financial agreement.


Written by scusdobserver

January 21, 2009 at 4:13 pm

Posted in Board Meeting

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