WSCUHSD board to approve new vice principal, finalize layoffs

By Camille Escovedo, SoCoNews, May 11, 2021

The West Sonoma County Union High School District board’s regular meeting at 6 p.m. on May 12 looks to be a busy one, with the board setting the seal on final layoffs and discussing the contract for a new vice principal for the consolidated high school.

The agenda and Zoom link information for the meeting is available HERE.

Beforehand, the trustees will meet in closed session with legal counsel regarding the lawsuit from the Community Alliance for Responsible Education (CARE) challenging the consolidation decision. The closed session also includes a conference with labor negotiators, listed in the agenda to include unrepresented employees and Superintendent Toni Beal.

The open session settles in with special recognition of the 2020-21 year’s recipient of the Becky Hopper “Make a Difference Award,” student board representatives and those retiring from the district, the board agenda said.

Community members have a chance to give input on topics not covered in the open-session agenda afterwards, followed by the board considering approval for the consent calendar and then a report out on any actions taken during the closed session.

Reports from student representatives, associations, Board President Kellie Noe and Superintendent Toni Beal go next, including Beal’s updates on the unity committee, the New School Model committee and the LCAP committee.

 Proposed new schedule allows electives at El Molino campus, possible new wellness class

The agenda said the board will consider approving a new bell schedule for the coming school year that will still start each day at 8:30 a.m. and provide transportation options for students to take advanced elective classes like agriculture, dance, culinary and woodshop at the El Molino campus at the end of the day.

Next up for possible approval is a proposed new course on wellness that could be offered as soon as this fall. According to its request document, students would join at the IMPACT Team’s recommendation depending on factors like whether depression or anxiety impacts their grades and attendance.

A teacher and the district’s marriage and family therapist team would work together to provide the class where students would learn coping strategies with a daily routine that includes group counseling or another connection-building activity and with units that address topics like positive psychology, family communications, managing emotions like stress and anger, and risk-taking and substance abuse, the document said.

Afterward, the board will have a routine rebranding process update since voting to hold off on the rebranding timeline “until such a time when the budget allowed for full implementation,” at the May 5 special board meeting, the agenda said.

At the May 5 board meeting, Beal said the request came in light of costs related to the pending lawsuit, election changes regarding the California Voting Rights Act (CVRA) to be made by November 2022 and a potential recall election at the start of next year.

Then, the board is scheduled to consider approving the monthly budget update for April and then to consider the monthly personnel report, in which some teachers, academic counselors, bilingual paraeducators, an outreach therapist and a secretary are listed to provide summer school services.

 Finalizing layoffs, announcing new vice principal

The day has come for the board to take final action on not rehiring certificated staff impacted by the March 10 vote to reduce service for the coming year, finalizing layoffs that must be delivered by May 14, according to the agenda.

Next, the trustees will consider approving the employment contract of a new vice principal for the consolidated high school, to be introduced by Director of Human Resources Mia Del Prete at the May 12 meeting when the candidate takes the offer and signs the contract, the agenda said. 

Per the agenda report, four of the 26 applications that came in while the position was up “nationwide” from April 16 to April 30 were from active district employees, and nine candidates were selected for interviews.

The finalist rose above the three that moved on from the first round of interviews on May 5 to the second committee on May 10, when the decision was to be made and position offered, the agenda said.

Last, the board is scheduled to approve a “Declaration of Need for Fully Qualified Educators” to file with the Commission on Teacher Credentialing “for the purpose of estimating the number of emergency permits that may be required in the coming school year,” the agenda said.

The declaration would certify that there aren’t enough certificated individuals that qualify for those educator positions by district employment requirements.

According to the declaration form, WSCUHSD estimates a need for three CLAD/English Learner Authorization emergency permits, meaning applicants that already have a teaching credential. The State of California Commission on Teacher Credentialing states CLAD as an acronym for “Crosscultural, Language, and Academic Development.”

The declaration form also lists the district’s expected need for limited assignment permits — five for single-subject and three for special education.

According to the May 12 agenda, the board may re-enter closed session if needed before the meeting is to be adjourned, leaving May 26 as the next scheduled board meeting.

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