WSCUHSD board to discuss school colors, interim superintendent

By Camille Escovedo, Staff Writer, SoCoNews, February 8, 2022


Another night of influential decision-making approaches at the West Sonoma County Union High School District’s public board meeting Wednesday, Feb. 9 at 6:30 p.m. The Zoom link and agenda are available at this link.

Beforehand, the school board will take public comments on the closed session’s agenda at 5 p.m. and then enter closed session.

Mid-year LCAP update and consolidated high school colors

First comes an election in which the trustees will choose a representative and an alternate to vote on the board’s behalf for who will fill the vacancies on the 11-member Sonoma County Committee on School District Organization.

Each school district is to designate a representative who will cast their votes by absentee ballot, which is the extent of their responsibilities in that role, according to the report.

Second, the board will consider approving updates to the district’s COVID-19 safety plan regarding anything new coming from the California Department of Public Health and Sonoma County Public Health and what Interim Superintendent Donald Evans recommends.

The trustees are slated to decide where they’ll hold the upcoming March 2 school board meeting afterwards.

Then, Evans is scheduled to present the annual mid-year update on the district’s three-year Local Control & Accountability Plan (LCAP) to the board.

The update examines the district’s progress in providing the services the district set out to deliver, see what money was used as assigned and how effective the district’s actions are to meet its goals regarding student outcomes. From there, WSCUHSD may adjust its actions, services, budgets and possibly pitch other efforts to meet its aims.

Next, the board may take action on what colors to fly for the comprehensive high school. The standing recommendation is that the trustees make the school’s current colors of red, blue and gray permanent. These colors have represented the high school since its consolidation last year.

The board of trustees are then scheduled to consider approval of the monthly budget update and approval of the district’s 2020-21 financial audit report, conducted by Michael Ash, his staff and the Christy White, Inc. auditing firm.

The monthly personnel report comes up for approval afterwards.

Shoes to fill for next superintendent and county committee members up for election

Among the most consequential decisions of the night will be the board’s possible approval between the district and retired administrator Eric Hoppes to serve as interim superintendent. The report said he is expected to fill the role for four months, March 1 to June 30, once he is released from a family obligation. So far, Donald Evans holds the keys as superintendent in the short term.

Ahead of the vote, the board will consider approving changes to the auxiliary salary schedule to include a daily or hourly rate required to hire such an interim superintendent. Hoppes is slated to be paid $600 a day, or $75 an hour during his 87 days in the position.

The report adds that Hoppes would receive a laptop for district duties, $40 a month in phone allowance from March through June and work off a calendar he and the board agree to. Further, “the district will pay the monthly premium of $1,265 for medical, dental and vision” for those four months.

After deciding on the employment agreement, the board will be buckling down for a discussion on a superintendent recruitment timeline put together by Mia Del Prete, the district’s director of human resources. The trustees are to give feedback on the timeline “that includes posting and closing dates, the makeup of the committees, advertisement opportunities and proposed dates for interviews,” the report said.

Next, the 2022-23 school year calendar arrives for board approval, awaiting ratification by West Sonoma County Teachers’ Association.

The night is set to end with the board considering a resolution to cut classified employees because of a lack of work and/or funds. The district proposes cutting the full-time equivalent of three and a half positions – one FTE administrative assistant, one FTE custodian, one FTE outreach therapist and 0.5 FTE food service worker – “due to the loss of COVID-19 funds.”

The position for a food service worker is already vacant, according to the report, which said Del Prete would inform the remaining two classified workers before the Feb. 9 meeting that they would be laid off when the current school year ends.

The report states the district began a one-year agreement with West County Community Services (WCCS) for an outreach therapist because the district couldn’t find one to enlist and that WSCUHSD is to inform WCCS that it can’t get into a second agreement for the coming school year.

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