High school district to consider hybrid model in April, potential merger in Fiscal Recovery Plan

By Camille Escovedo, Staff Writer, Sonoma West Times & News, March 9, 2021

The March 10 board meeting of the West Sonoma County Union High School District (WSCUHSD) offers a lot to digest, from possibly reopening for a hybrid learning model in April to including the potential consolidation of Analy and El Molino high schools onto one campus in the district’s Fiscal Recovery Plan.

The agenda can be accessed here: https://simbli.eboardsolutions.com/SB_Meetings/ViewMeeting.aspx?S=36030891&MID=5910.

While the main open session meeting starts at 5:30 p.m. over Zoom, the board is scheduled to enter a closed session at 4:35 p.m. for a conference with labor negotiators from West Sonoma County Teachers’ Association (WSCTA) and California School Employee Association (CSEA).

Back in the public meeting, the consent calendar includes a request from the director of facilities & bond construction management to approve a Surplus Property Declaration to recycle or hand off to another school or district textbooks that are either damaged or out of use from Analy High School.

The consent calendar also lists for approval paying warrants from Feb. 1 through Feb. 28, 2021 and the Feb. 10 and Feb. 17 board meeting minutes, the agenda said.

After the board makes known any actions taken during the closed session, the agenda moves on to reports from student board representatives, the principal of El Molino, associations, board members and Superintendent Toni Beal.

Trustees to consider resolution on conditions for hybrid learning model

First up for discussion and action is the board’s opportunity to vote for a declared or write-in candidate to fill a vacancy for a representative in the California School Boards Association (CSBA) Delegate Assembly from Subregion 3-A, or Sonoma County, according to the agenda.

The candidate up for consideration per the attached “biographical sketch” is Omar Medina, UndocuFund coordinator and a director on the Santa Rosa City Schools Board. The agenda states every Sonoma County public school board that belongs to CSBA needs to turn in their votes postmarked by March 15 for the ongoing election.

Next, the trustees will consider approving a resolution running through conditions needed to transition from distance learning to a phased-hybrid model for distance learning and in-person, on-campus education, marking “the week of April 19, 2021 as a target date for returning to school,” the agenda said.

The resolution selects the week of April 12 to April 19 as the start time only if the county keeps up “a COVID-19 case rate between 1 and 7 per 100,000 people over a five-day average.”

Further, the resolution said the district will base its decision for when the transition takes place on whether all its staff and support providers “have had access and opportunity to receive a Food and Drug Administration approved COVID-19 vaccination series.”

WSCUHSD Board to discuss Fiscal Recovery Plan and second interim budget report

After, the board is slated to consider approving a Fiscal Recovery Plan that includes the potential consolidation of Analy and El Molino high schools onto one campus, to be delivered within the second interim budget report.

The agenda said the trustees will discuss recommendations developed by the Superintendent’s Budget Committee, such as a six-period or modified six and seven-period day, moving the Laguna High School program onto El Molino school grounds and merging the comprehensive schools to one location.

The board will soon after move on to consider approving the second interim budget report and allow Board President Kellie Noe to certify its positive status, “based on the current projections that the district will meet its financial obligations for the current fiscal year and the two subsequent fiscal years with the approval and adoption of the Fiscal Recovery Plan,” the agenda said.

The WSCUHSD board will also consider approving budget revisions from the month of February 2021.

Layoffs from reducing, halting some services for 2021-22 school year on the table

Among several items coming from Mia Del Prete, director of human resources, for approval is a resolution on reducing and discontinuing some services for the 2021-22 school year.

The agenda named anticipated enrollment and funding among elements that “drive decisions regarding possible layoffs” and said Del Prete and school administrators “have met with the certificated employees that will be directly affected by the reduction or discontinuance of certain particular kinds of services for the 2021-2022 school year.”

Trustees will also receive the monthly personnel report for approval. The attached document titled “January Personnel Report” lists several employment terminations.

According to the personnel report, Analy Vice Principal Sandy Frey is slated for an effective departure date of June 30, 2021, the reason stated as “Misses special education.” The document lists eight certificated employees leaving, among them teachers, school nurses and a guidance counselor all leaving to retire, except for one teacher’s reason listed as “moving out of state.”

However, the report logs Laguna Principal Allie Greene as beginning certificated employment as summer school principal on April 1and Tricia Maxson as WASC coordinator at Analy on March 1.

The agenda said the board is also to consider approving the memorandum of understanding with CSEA on the pay rate for classified substitute positions.

Next, the board is slated to consider approving a districtwide comprehensive safety plan that includes procedures related to disasters and security, reporting child abuse, informing teachers of “dangerous pupils,” COVID-19 response and more, according to the drafted plan.

Last, the agenda lists a resolution headed to trustees for approval “authorizing emergency procurement of air purification systems and other necessary products and services to address the spread of COVID-19 to allow for the reopening of schools,” but as of late afternoon on March 9, it appears the agenda duplicates the safety plan item information where that resolution item would be.

This article was produced by Sonoma West Times & News, the hometown newspaper of Sebastopol and west county since 1889. See more news at sonomawest.com