Oakdale Joint Unified School District Board, teachers and classified staff have settled contracts. On Monday, Feb. 1 during its monthly scheduled meeting, contracts for all district employees, as well as salary increases for management, classified positions and board compensation were approved.
An increase of 4.55 percent was ratified and approved by the board. The salary increase for all staff will be retroactive to July, 2015.
“I want to thank OTA, specifically Marty Fauria who was the lead negotiator,” Assistant Superintendent Terri Taylor said, noting her pleasure with being before the board Feb. 1 with agreements in place. “It was a pleasure, as I said Marty, to negotiate with you … it was refreshing.
“It turned out really good for everybody, because there was overwhelming support from the teachers for the proposal.”
Taylor then asked the board to ratify the agreement, which was approved.
In the area of reports, Superintendent Malone introduced Ken Reynolds, President of SchoolWorks, to the group. SchoolWorks has been called on to aid the district with review of the current disproportionate enrollments at the elementary sites, most specifically the crowding of Fair Oaks Elementary. He noted that Reynolds and his company last teamed with the district in 2005 for the Boundary Study prior to the addition of Sierra View Elementary to the district.
Reynolds addressed the board, reviewing the process and data SchoolWorks collects as part of their study.
“Is there truly an issue or is it a perception,” Reynolds said in relation to Fair Oaks. “We first started by looking at the demographics, looking at the projections and we did verify, overcrowding at Fair Oaks is existing and will get much worse in the coming years.”
Reynolds reported that current enrollment at OJUSD Elementary Schools is as follows: Cloverland 518; Fair Oaks 888; Magnolia 624 and Sierra View 694.
As a result of the study two options in the way of boundary re-zoning were given to the board for consideration. The board will review the options and discuss the options at the March 14 board meeting. Public feedback collected during the Boundary Study Public Forum hosted this Thursday, Feb. 4 at Magnolia Elementary Auditorium, will also be weighed with the decision process. The Forum will begin promptly at 6 p.m. and is open to the public. All of the information shared with the board during Monday night’s meeting will be reviewed during this time.
Both options presented to the board involve movement at three of the four elementary schools: Fair Oaks, Cloverland and Magnolia. Sierra View, with the second largest enrollment number, would remain untouched.
“I wanted to make sure the community was aware of a couple of things in regards to future growth,” Malone said. “There’s a couple of things we need to be aware of. As we do these boundary studies and as we shift kids, the Fair Oaks district is going to continue to grow.”
The superintendent also noted growth which is scheduled for the east end of town in the Stearns Road and Wamble areas as part of the North County Corridor.
“I think it’s safe to say, the North County Corridor is going to happen,” Malone stated. “I’m not in a position to tell the community when that’s going to happen, but I know it’s on the books. When that comes, that’s going to impact greatly, Sierra View. There was a very strategic reason we left Sierra View, because we know this is coming.”
Prior to review of Consent and Action items, Sierra View parent Nate Ludlow addressed the board during Public Comments noting concern with the cost of school bus rental to the schools and custodial/repair protocol at the school sites.
“The PTC’s we’re doing fundraisers all the time and we’re spending thousands on busses,” Ludlow stated. “I’ve talked to multiple teachers at multiple schools and they’re not even going to pursue field trips.”
“I’m unaware of any field trips that have not taken place due to funding,” Superintendent Malone said. “Nothing has come to me that funding is an issue for any field trips. If it did we would certainly find a way to fund those field trips.”
Malone also addressed the protocol and procedure in which facilities are maintained and repaired, noting the internal paper trail which is in place to ensure jobs are being completed.
“Just know when you talk about facilities, you are talking something near and dear to my heart,” Malone said. “As the Superintendent, I’m telling that to you and everybody in the community, I want the best facilities we can possibly have.”
The meeting was called to order shortly after 6:30 p.m. As is customary, OJUSD elementary students began the meeting leading the Pledge of Allegiance. Magnolia Elementary students Andrew Wilkinson, Audrey Clark, Easton Ehrlich and Madelyn Hammond did the honors.
The next OJUSD Board Meeting will be hosted Monday, March 14 at Oakdale City Council Chambers, 277 N. Second Ave., Oakdale. Open session will begin at 6:30 p.m.