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Monrovia School Board Recap – May 9, 2012

Recap of May 9th Monrovia School Board Meeting.

As of the Board Meeting, there are 21 days left in this school year…and we are already getting set for next year.

Wednesday’s regular meeting was preceded by Closed Session that included considering 2 expulsion cases, some personnel issues and approval of paying legal fees. During open session, President Wong reported out the only action taken during closed session was a unanimous vote on paying the attorney’s fees.

Many of our meetings include honoring some of our outstanding student achievements, and Wednesday was no exception. Dozens of our students participate in ROP (Regional Occupational Program) and Skills USA competitions and our students always place well locally, regional, state-wide and this year, one team will be headed to Nationals in Kansas City, MO June 23 – 27, 2012. Fundraising is already underway to help get these students to the competition, including a Pancake Breakfast being hosted at Applebee’s Memorial Day Weekend, contact Katie Chick @ 626-471-3052 for more information and to purchase tickets. Congratulations to all our winners!

We had two public speakers:

  1. Charlotte Schamadan, representing Quota International, Monrovia and Duarte Chapters, announced a new program they are launching to create a voluntary database for our community’s disabled residents to register with Quota and in the event of a natural disaster, emergency personnel will respond first to their homes and be aware of the disability and respond accordingly.
  2. Debbie Elliott-Penzer, representing the Monrovia Schools Foundation, came to inform parents that were still some spots available in the fee-based summer program being offered. Several classes are full, or near capacity…so contact them today: www.monroviaschoolsfoundation.org

The Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee presented their final annual report and reported “The Committee has determined that all Bond proceeds were expended only on project costs and that no Bond proceeds were used on teacher or administration salaries or other operating expenses”. We also thanked the committee for their hard work, it is a vital element of the process and we really appreciate their time and hard work: John Pentecost - Chair, Gene Hartigan - Vice Chair, Roy Lamb, Erik Nordahl, Luis Plascencia, Charlotte Schamadan and John Watson. 

Other highlights:

 

  • Approved new AP course: AP Environmental Science and set a textbook, “Living in the Environment: Principles, Connections, and Solutions” out for review for 30 days for the new class
  • Approved offering Transitional Kindergarten at Plymouth starting Fall of 2012. This is the first year of the new law requiring children to be 5 years old by earlier and earlier dates. This year students must be 5 by Nov. 1st (past years CA had one of the latest, and therefore, youngest set of kindergarteners in the country). Our District, like many others, will be offering this two-year program to students that would have no longer qualified for kindergarten (because of their birthday) in a way that will create a meaningful program to prepare children for school and generate income for our district. Applications are already being accepted at Plymouth.
  • Received an Attendance Report for the 2011-2012 academic year and received some good news: with increased enrollment and increased days-at-school, our district will be eligible for an additional $400,000 (See photo). This is great news…but as Board Member Gililland asked “Will this be an actual check we receive or something the State defers as they have with over $8million of our anticipated funds” – and that remains to be seen. I’m sure the State would say “the check is in the mail”.
  • Approved annual declaration for the need for “fully qualified educators”. The declaration shows we “could” have 3 staff members in need of a special certification that allows them to teach a second language, but otherwise, we are good.
  • Received for first reading a few new Board Policies and Guidelines on a variety of topics including: school calendar, foster youth and transitional kindergarten.
  • Approved two expulsions: one with a vote 5-0 and one a vote 4-1.
  • Approved our 2012-2013 School Board Meeting Schedule.
  • Received a report on our music program from Patrick Garcia that included our Music Showcase on May 16th at the MHS Auditorium, a dance program to be offered at Plymouth, Monroe and Wild Rose next year sponsored by the Boone Foundation and a summer program August 6 - 24, 2012, open to all incoming 8th - 12th graders being run by CAL Arts.

The biggest item we had to consider and an item I know I look forward to not having on future Board Agendas: Resolution Implementing Certificated Layoff. This is a resolution School Board’s must approve by May 14th (State law) in order to retain any ability to reduce staff to balance the district budget. There was significant discussion on the language used by the Administrative Law Judge (proposed v final), what the time-line is for staff and what the odds are for our staff to be retained to name a few. With their being so many variables and lack of stability with a lot of school funding, it’s difficult to definitively answer or predict what the State will do but for our District to remain solvent, we must prepare for the worst and hope for the best. The Resolution was approved.

We will be meeting jointly with the Personnel Commission on Tues., May 15th to honor the "Classified Employee of the Year", Terrie Maertens and Instructional Assistant at Quest and thank the family of Helen Bravo for her 30 years of service to Monrovia Unified School District. 

Our next Board Meeting is Weds., May 23rd and we are  gearing up for Graduation/Promotion season to honor all our students for their outstanding work this year. Information on end of the year school activities can be found on the District website, as well as the individual school web pages.

Alex Zucco

www.facebook.com/AlexZucco

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Timothy Ramirez May 15, 2012 at 10:01 PM
Good to hear about the SkillsUSA trip and fundraiser! it is great to know that the school board supports us in our trip to nationals!

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