Complaints about the handling of discipline of a student at Sierra View Elementary School was addressed by the Oakdale Joint Unified School District Board of Trustees at the regular meeting on April 22.
In reports, board President Mike Tozzi read a prepared statement about the Sierra View incident regarding a student who had bullets at school and how the administration handled the discipline. Some parents had complained about what they felt was inadequate handling of the incident by school administrators at the March 13 board meeting. Three or four of those parents were present at the April 22 meeting as well. Tozzi said that the statement was joined by trustees Mike House and Tina Shatswell, and some of it also by Bill Dyer. Tozzi added that a trustee isn’t obligated to put their name to a statement.
In the statement, Tozzi gave a summary of the transcripts from parents’ comments at the March 13 meeting. He also read that in the incident report to the board it showed how the administrators responded to parent concerns and conducted a search. Further, the statement read that the education code and district policy states that the site administrator has sole, legal discretion to consider the intent and other factors when implementing discipline. In the statement, Tozzi said both points of view were valid and both need to be taken into account. He also said that children are going to talk to their parents about incidents at school and those accounts are from the individual student’s perspective. He spoke about student confidentiality and further stated that the comments in the statement are not to be perceived as critical or judgmental and the board understands how the school administration arrived at its decision. Then he stated the matter was closed. When Tozzi asked if there were any comments, no one spoke.
In other business, the board unanimously approved the adoption of a resolution in support of Assemblywoman Kristen Olsen’s bill to amend California’s Constitution to prevent state education budget deferrals. OJUSD is facing nearly $7 million in deferred funds from the state for the school year.
Also in business, the board approved the third quarter developer fee report where OJUSD Chief Business Officer Susan Dyke said that the report shows good news. She said that in all of last year, the district collected a total of $152,000 in developer fees, while by the third quarter of this year the district has already collected $360,000. She said that in “good times” the developer fees were as high as $2 million.
The board also adopted the school year calendar for 2013-2014. It shows students will start school on Thursday, Aug. 8, 2013 and will finish on Thursday, May 22, 2014. There will be three furlough days on Feb. 7, March 21, and April 28, 2014.
In consent items, two new positions were approved for Instructional Intervention Specialists. The positions will support accelerated achievement of under-performing subgroups by providing support to teachers and administrators in the implementation of IS4 (the OJUSD instructional strategies effort), transition into Common Core standards, on-site professional development, and implementation of academic interventions. The positions will be teachers on special assignment. Approved for temporary assignment to the positions are teachers Lissa Jones at Oakdale High School and Gillian Wegener at Oakdale Junior High School. Both positions will be available to support elementary sites as needed. The positions will be paid for through categorical funds – Title III and Economic Impact Aid.
In organization reports, Oakdale Teachers Association President Stacy Graham stated that this year’s School Bell award winners are Keeli Beland and Cheryl Thompson from Oakdale Junior High School. Late Oakdale High School counselor Kim Stogdell will also be recognized. The California Teachers Association School Bell Dinner will be on Friday, May 3 at the Seasons Event Center.
Graham also announced that she will not run again for OTA president, adding that a new president will be announced in a couple of weeks. Graham served as the OTA president for two years.
It was also reported at the meeting that trustee Mike House was recently inducted into the University of the Pacific Hall of Fame for sports. House said it was for the 1978 and 1979 seasons.
The next regular meeting of the OJUSD Board of Trustees will be at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, May 13 at the OJUSD Technology and Staff Development Center, Building B, 331 Hinkley Ave., near Oakdale High School. Prior to the start of the meeting there will be a reception for the district’s retirees.