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Student Expulsions Approved
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Oakdale Joint Unified School District’s Monday night meeting began with a closed session, and Superintendent Marc Malone addressed those on hand for the public portion of the meeting, confirming the expulsion of two OJUSD students had been approved by the board at that closed session.

The regular school board meeting began at 6:30 p.m. in the Oakdale City Council Chambers.

“With consideration of privacy rights, we will not address them by name,” Malone stated of the two students. In addition, Malone shared that one student was assigned an expulsion period of Fall 2014 to Spring 2015, while the second student’s expulsion would be for a full calendar year.

“There are some violations that require a full year,” Malone said, noting the expulsions came under the guideline of California Education 48900. That portion of the code deals with a variety of infractions, from possessing weapons on school grounds to making threats to possessing controlled substances.

In a meeting that covered a wide range of topics, Magnolia Elementary school students Kaili Jericoff, Nicole Carter and Natalia Wetenkamp formally began the meeting by leading the Pledge of Allegiance after being introduced and acknowledged by Trustee Mike Tozzi.

Present for Public Comment were community member Mickey Peabody, addressing the issue of Co-ed Physical Education at the freshman level and Pat Bicknell, extending an invitation to an upcoming event in Hughson examining the viability of Common Core.

Peabody acknowledged that it had been a number of years, since she has come before the board, noting that in 2013 she received a call that her granddaughter (whom she cares for) was failing PE. Upon further investigation Peabody learned of the student’s unease with the co-ed environment. She also noted a clipping she had come across titled “PE, Where Self Esteem Goes To Die” and provided copies to the board members.

Superintendent Malone addressed the issue of segregated versus integrated PE at the high school level noting, “We would be violating student Civil Rights. This is mandated by the WASC (Western Association of School and Colleges) process, that it is integrated and co-ed.”

Further discussion centered on the grading process; Malone informed the room that the PE grades are based on skill, participation and testing of skills.

Peabody graciously thanked the board for their time and said, “I didn’t expect you to change your curriculum, I just think it’s an interesting topic.”

Bicknell approached the podium inviting board members and administrators alike to attend a special event to be hosted Nov. 5 at 1 p.m. in Hughson. The speaker noted accreditation and accomplishments of event speakers Sandra Stotsky and James Milgram, members of the Common Core validation committee who did not approve the new standards.

“As a board, you have a responsibility of determining the best curriculum for this district,” Bicknell said. “I encourage that you make this a priority.”

Student board member Rachelle Pabalan gave a report of Homecoming events and the success of the Drama Department’s production of Mulan. She was also acknowledged by Malone for being the recipient of a Nordstrom Scholarship of $10,000 presented to her earlier that day.

An extensive report of Section 504 Plans was offered by Larry Mendonca, Assistant Superintendent of Pupil Services and Facilities. Mendonca outlined and reviewed the differences between Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

The board also approved observing Red Ribbon Week during the week starting on Monday, Oct. 27.

The next school board meeting will be Monday, Nov. 17 at 6:30 p.m. at the OJUSD Technology and Staff Development Center, 331 Hinkley Ave., Oakdale.