WSCUHSD board to appoint new trustee at Sept. 22 meeting

By Camille Escovedo, Staff Writer, A new face may be joining the West Sonoma County Union High School District school board by the end of its Sept. 22 special meeting, where the board will interview and appoint a new trustee to take former trustee Laurie Fadave’s place., September 22, 2021

A new face may be joining the West Sonoma County Union High School District (WSCUHSD) school board by the end of its Sept. 22 special meeting, where the board will interview and appoint a new trustee to take former trustee Laurie Fadave’s place.

The main session of the meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. at the West County High School theater in Sebastopol. A link to the agenda updated as of Monday, Sept. 20 is available here. In-person attendees need to wear a mask and provide proof they’ve been fully vaccinated or that they tested negative in a PCR COVID test at least 72 hours before the meeting, while others can attend virtually by watching the meeting streamed on the district’s Youtube channel.

After Fadave filed to resign on July 27, the school board has had 60 days to settle on a provisional appointment or call for a special election to fill her seat, by law. The remaining board members voted on Aug. 25 to fill her vacancy with a provisional appointment and since then, three individuals submitted their applications to meet the Sept. 10 deadline. Those candidates are Steve Griffith, Patrick Nagle and Bill Olzman, as listed in the updated agenda.

The board will go over the interview process and interview the runners-up before voting for the incoming trustee-to-be, who will be sworn in and seated at the same board meeting, according to the agenda report.

“In the event that a governing board fails to make an appointment or order an election during the 60 day period, the county superintendent is required by law to order an election to fill the vacancy,” the report said.

First, however, the board will consider approving a resolution allowing the district to get a district public address system (PA system) and associated equipment on an emergency basis for West County High School and Student Services Center A.

With board approval, the district can contract with PCD Audio & System Integration to replace its “outdated and malfunctioning” PA system and equipment, to be funded from Measure A Bond money, the agenda report said.

An improved PA system was a serious need identified after West County High School experienced a lockdown Sept. 9 due to a rumor that a student may be on campus with a gun. Staff and students at some of the school’s different sites didn’t hear the PA system alerting there was a threat and that lockdown procedures would be starting, the report said.

Unless the PA system’s malfunctions are addressed, that critical information might not reach those areas again in an emergency, and as an emergency condition, the district can swiftly contract to fix this without going through a competitive bid process.

The report said district staff support the PCD contract proposal to replace the PA system and related equipment for $397,983.37.

In addition, the board is scheduled to hold a public hearing ahead of a resolution coming right after on whether the district offers its students sufficient or insufficient instructional materials, like textbooks, “in specified subjects consistent with the content and cycles of the curriculum frameworks adopted by the California State Board of Education.”

Next, the board will consider approving a resolution to state “there is sufficiency of standards-aligned textbooks and instructional materials in all subject areas at our district schools,” the report said.

Before the main meeting, the public may speak during a brief open session at 5:30 p.m. on items on the closed session agenda before the board enters closed session to conference with legal counsel regarding the CARE v. WSCUHSD lawsuit and then meet with West County Teachers Association labor negotiators.

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to reflect new information that became available about applicants for the vacant trustee seat and virtual participation in the updated board meeting agenda.