Saugus Union School Board Meeting – February 28, 2023

Transparent SCVPublic Meetings, Saugus Union School District Leave a Comment

To navigate to a specific part of the video, simply click on the timestamp links below. Each timestamp corresponds to a different section of the video, allowing you to jump to the parts that interest you the most easily.

00:00:00 In this section of the video, the Saugus Union School Board Meeting on February 28, 2023, the board discusses and approves the agenda and minutes from previous meetings. The meeting then moves onto the Artistic Achievement Awards, where students from various schools are celebrated for their artistic talents, including kindergarten student Garrett from Bridgeport Elementary, sixth-grader Eileen Flores from Cedar Creek, and second-grader Maru Algeen from Emblem Academy. Fifth-grader Ali Carter from James Foster Elementary is also recognized. The students are praised for their hard work and unique talents, showcasing the importance of artistic education in schools.

00:05:00 In this section, several students from different elementary schools are acknowledged for their exceptional artistic talents. Ali, a student from Charles Helmers’s Elementary, excels in her meet the Masters art projects, and also teaches shading techniques to her classmates during lunchtime. Hazel, from Charles Helmers’s Elementary, is a self-taught artist who adds unique characteristics to her drawings to make them stand out. Chloe, from Mountain View, is an exceptional artist who specializes in anime characters and also teaches her classmates about Mandarin Chinese. These students and others mentioned in this section, including Courtney, Madeira, and Cesar, show great creativity and talent in their artwork and are congratulated for their accomplishments.

00:10:00 In this section of the Saugus Union School Board Meeting held on February 28, 2023, the board recognizes several students from various schools for their exceptional artistic talent and creativity. Students are acknowledged for their unique artistic abilities, willingness to help others, and dedication to their craft. These students demonstrate a passion for art that shines through in their work, impressing teachers and peers alike. The board extends congratulations to all the students for their well-deserved recognition.

00:15:00 In this section of the video, the Saugus Union School Board members express their admiration and congratulations to the students who received an award for their artistic and creative abilities. They recognize the hard work and dedication that goes into developing such talents and encourage the students to keep it up. Board members also express appreciation for the students who share their artistic skills with others and make the world a more beautiful place.

00:20:00 In this section of the transcript, members of the Saugus Union School Board congratulate nominees and express interest in displaying student artwork throughout district buildings. They discuss the process for public comments during board meetings and remind attendees to follow guidelines provided in board bylaw 9323. A total of 11 speakers are scheduled and will be given a maximum of three minutes per topic. The board plans to display student artwork throughout district buildings and requests that awardees contribute pieces for display. They also remind attendees that the board cannot act on any matter not listed on the agenda.

00:25:00 In this section, a member of the community thanks board member Anna Griese for standing up on behalf of parents and children in all districts within the Santa Clarita Valley. They criticize districting and ask the community to attend a special meeting of the city council or voice their concerns through other means. They also express their dismay at the board bullying Anna Griese, and criticize board member Cooper’s pushing of what they consider to be “woke ideologies” that are causing confusion and mental illness among students.

00:30:00 In this section, three different individuals speak about concerns related to the administration of the school board. One individual discusses the sacrifices that the current administration has made, which have resulted in fentanyl deaths, confusion, suicide, and violence in schools. Another speaker emphasizes the importance of providing services for neurodiverse students, highlighting that parents work as a team with the district. Lastly, a speaker expresses concern about the lack of communication with parents during a lockdown, urging the board to create protocols and systems to respond to such situations and to communicate with parents.

00:35:00 In this section of the Saugus Union School Board meeting, concerns over school safety and communication are addressed. One board member, Anna, read a letter from concerned parents and faced backlash for being a parent advocate. A speaker expresses disappointment in the board’s response, stating that they dismissed the parents’ truth and focused on negative blame towards Anna. The speaker also questions the effectiveness of the board’s team-building exercises and suggests reaching out to Mrs. Griese to gather more information on the parent group. The importance of all students feeling safe at school and the need for better communication and collaboration among board members is emphasized.

00:40:00 In this section, a member of the Saugus Union School Board addresses the incident that occurred at the previous board meeting where board member Anna Griese was ambushed and disrespected by teachers, paraprofessionals, parents, and community members. The speaker expresses disgust at the attack on Griese and praises her for asking difficult questions concerning matters facing the district. They also discuss a program called BASIS and how some members of the community were upset when Griese mentioned it. The speaker hopes that the district can properly educate staff and students on programs like BASIS to handle incidents effectively and protect everyone in the district. The discussion then turns to the comprehensive school safety plan and a question about a paragraph related to firearm possession.

00:45:00 In this section of the Saugus Union School Board Meeting, attendees raise questions and concerns about school safety policies, including a provision for certified School employees to give permission for children to carry firearms. They also ask for clarification on safety plans for students with different educational needs, the difference between a hard and soft lockdown, and the criteria for announcing a lockdown. Attendees also suggest adding parents to the list of recipients for emergency communication, ongoing notifications for disorderly conduct instances, and psychological trauma management. Additionally, speakers recognize Ms. Bellina for her quick response to emergency situations at school and congratulate student recipients of artistic achievement awards.

00:50:00 In this section of the Saugus Union School Board meeting, two speakers express their appreciation for the chapter negotiating committee of the CSEA and the Saugus administrators association. Both speakers emphasize the importance of collaboration and kindness in improving relationships between employees and promoting a positive work environment. The CSEA speaker encourages everyone to remember their core values and to view each other as human beings first and not just colleagues, while the Saugus administrators association speaker discusses the challenges that administrators have faced during the pandemic and highlights their commitment to meeting these challenges with creativity and dedication.

00:55:00 In this section, a school district member updates the board on recent professional development efforts focused on teaching and reinforcing common behavior expectations at all 15 school sites through a positive behavior interventions and supports (PBIS) program. The multi-tiered system of support ultimately aims to help students make appropriate behavior choices and reach their full potential. Additionally, each school site is implementing unique ways to motivate their students to meet their i-Ready minutes and pass lessons with the goal of ensuring academic success, and a representative from the child development program highlights the team’s efforts to create an enriching, safe, and nurturing environment for children throughout the school year.
01:00:00 In this section, the School Board reports on the success of its after-school enrichment programs, with over 1,600 individual students signed up for classes like Mad Science, designing with art, and virtual reality. They also highlight a California state preschool teacher who attended a workshop on Early Childhood literacy strategies and is excited to begin implementing what she learned with her students. Moreover, the School Board discusses their upcoming activities in celebration of Women in History Month as well as new staff onboarding and their vision for expanded learning opportunities within SUSD. The PTA President of Rosedale Elementary, Michelle Wagner, also shares that the school has had record attendance at many of its events, including its Harvest Festival, Grandparents in Vip Day, and Reflections Gala. Additionally, the school brought back the Scholastic in-person Book Fair, raising almost $7,000 for the school library and classrooms.

01:05:00 In this section of the transcript, the individuals at the Saugus Union School Board meeting discuss upcoming events and initiatives at Rosedale Elementary School, including a multicultural night, PTA-sponsored field trips, and grants for teachers. The meeting also covers accomplishments in the student services department, such as Saugus being selected for a statewide grant to improve their Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) program and the receipt of 400 calming corner boxes for every TK through 6 classroom. The meeting attendees express excitement and pride in the positive environment they have created at Rosedale and the efforts they are making to engage with families and support their diverse community.

01:10:00 In this section, the school board discusses the introduction of calming gadgets for students and staff, including cards and other items that can be used in moments of stress. They express excitement for the benefits it will bring and note that the calming gadgets will also be available for teachers and faculty. They also discuss the upcoming School Social Worker Week and express gratitude for the invaluable work social workers do in supporting students and families. The board acknowledges the challenges of the past year and the efforts of all those involved, including the HR and business divisions, in getting enrichment programs off the ground. The board also reminds the public about an upcoming teacher recruitment fair.

01:15:00 In this section, members of the Saugus Union School Board meeting are thanking their staff for their hard work during a recent rainstorm that caused potential damages to the school sites. They express gratitude towards Peter Gate, director of Maintenance operations, transportation, and facilities, and John Malarkey, the irrigation specialist in charge of the native plant gardens project. They also mention other staff members like Mr. Heinlein, Mr. Sandifer, Mr. Leathers, and Mr. Tweed, who worked tirelessly to make sure that the school was up to par. The members thank the community for Measure EE that helped with the improvement of the building infrastructures, making the work of the staff easier. They are also thankful for the prompt response of Dylan and his crew from SUV Water and Roger Hutchin, who provided help during the SCV water main break.

01:20:00 In this section of the meeting, the school board members discussed various topics. They thanked the facilities team and the community for helping them prepare for the upcoming school year. They celebrated the award-winning artists from Saugus Union School District and discussed the importance of incorporating arts in education. The board members also had a conversation about comprehensive school safety plans and hoped for more dialogue before approving individual site safety plans. Lastly, they congratulated the schools that received awards and praised the hard work of the maintenance and facilities team during the weekend’s weather emergency.

01:25:00 In this section, the Saugus Union School Board members congratulate their schools and staff for their achievements and hard work, including the selection of five schools for the California Integrated Support Project grants and California Distinguished School recognitions. The board also thanks the maintenance and operations staff for their work during a weekend storm, and highlights the importance of early childhood literacy and school facilities. The members express their gratitude to everyone involved for their dedication to the school district.

01:30:00 In this section, the Saugus Union School Board discusses the approval of the consent calendar and moves on to the presentation of the Comprehensive School Safety Plan (CSSP). The CSSP is a written plan developed annually by the School site Council to address potential safety concerns on campus, from natural disasters to potential criminal activity on the school campus. The plan includes strategies, programs, and procedures to address a variety of safety issues, including social and emotional well-being. The CSSP is a living document that changes depending on a variety of factors, including physical changes to the school site and new research-based strategies. The presentation emphasizes the importance of constantly updating and learning from experiences to ensure student and staff safety.

01:35:00 In this section, the Saugus Union School District discusses their planning and preparation for school safety. They highlight their partners in planning, including site council, staff members, parents, guardians, First Responders, utility companies, insurance providers, partner agencies, and private foundations. The district also shares the safety projects and protocols they’ve implemented, such as conducting a safety assessment, installing single points of entry, improving gate security, installing intercom systems at all sites, and electronically locking exterior doors. These safety measures provide several layers of safety and allow for quicker notification and response times during emergencies.

01:40:00 In this section, the Saugus Union School Board discusses various safety projects and updates that have been implemented in their district. These include installing no-climb fencing, updating exterior lighting with LED fixtures, implementing a visitor management system, creating secured vestibules in front offices, and developing upgraded security site maps. Additionally, the board discusses the role of the site council in reviewing and revising the comprehensive school safety plans with input from fire and law enforcement agencies, as well as practicing emergency drill procedures at each site. The board is excited about the increased safety measures implemented to create a safer environment for students, staff, and the community.

01:45:00 In this section of the transcript, the Saugus Union School Board discusses the importance of drills and practice to reinforce safety procedures, as well as the site-specific goals for positive school climate, safe physical environment, and disaster preparedness. They also review the role of the site council president in the review and revision of the safety plan, including the implementation of secured entries and transparent communication policies. Additionally, the board emphasizes the need for a culture of compliance regarding safety policies, citing a report on non-compliance in another school district. Finally, the board outlines their training program for rolling out the CSSP to every staff member and involving the school community in the process.

01:50:00 In this section, the Saugus Union School Board discusses the importance of training for all employees, including guest employees, using Keenan’s safe schools training module. The training covers a myriad of topics, including active shooter situations, cyber security, and integrated pest management. The board also emphasizes the critical need to train parents and guardians and provide them with information at various meetings and events. The board’s response plans for different emergencies include four methods: duck covering, evacuation, soft lockdown, and hard lockdown, which are dependent on the situation’s specifics. The plans include preparing for all emergencies, including student allotment, which has been included in the cssp for two years now.

01:55:00 In this section, Mrs. Dempster discusses Mountain View School’s earthquake preparedness, including quarterly earthquake drills and participation in the Great California ShakeOut. The school practices drop cover and hold on, followed by moving to a centralized location for attendance and moving to a secondary location for safety. Staff assume various disaster roles, including student supervision, search and rescue, medical first aid, and student release. The school debriefs after each drill to adjust their practice, build muscle memory, and increase confidence in case of an emergency. The comprehensive school safety plan is not available to the public, and three components are removed at the recommendation of law enforcement. The intercom entry system installed at the schools is permanent, costing nearly seventy thousand dollars, and the proposed estimate for vestibules is under forty-five thousand dollars for one.

02:00:00 In this section, the school board discusses the costs associated with installing new security measures at each school site, with some sites needing major office shifting while others will only require a straightforward installation. The timeline for the construction of all security measures is still unknown, with hopes of rolling out as many as possible by Fall 2023. The board also discusses various scenarios that would warrant an evacuation, with the decision to evacuate based on the individual situation, and whether soft lockdowns apply to the whole school or just specific parts. The board congratulates the site teams on their compliance with security measures and logging procedures during recent visits.

02:05:00 In this section of the video, a member of the Saugus Union School Board thanks parents for their engagement in reviewing the Draft plans and asks whether the plans were reviewed with law enforcement and the fire department. The superintendent responds by saying that law enforcement gave them a lot of praise and provided some suggestions, and that the fire marshal also gave positive feedback. The discussion then shifts to how the district ensures that they are staying up to date with new procedures and implementations throughout the year, with a board member mentioning that it is part of everyone’s job to stay aware and mentioning resources such as the I Love You Guys Foundation and the Raptor visitor management system. The district also does regular assessments and walk-throughs, and will have discussions as a team when incidents happen across the nation to see how it impacts their knowledge and implementation of safety measures.

02:10:00 In this section of the school board meeting, the board discusses the importance of safety in their schools and how they are constantly learning from others’ experiences. They address a concern brought up in a public comment about a section in the school’s safety plans regarding firearms, stating that while it is a law that students can have permission to bring firearms on campus, they have never given permission for such an occasion and that it would be extremely rare for them to do so. The board members express their appreciation for the continual reflection and improvement of their safety plans and reaffirm that safety is their number one priority.

02:15:00 In this section of the board meeting, a retired educator expresses concerns about the district’s safety plan being ignored and compromising the safety of the students. The board members discuss the importance of holding staff members, parents, and students accountable for maintaining the safety culture in the district. They also mention the need for continuous learning opportunities and how lessons can be learned from failed disaster drills. Additionally, the board discusses the importance of using safety tools correctly and how mild inconveniences can prevent unforgettable tragedies. The board looks at the training schedule for the year and expresses their intention to repeat it every year.

02:20:00 In this section, the school board discusses the importance of having a school safety training plan, including in-person trainings to prepare for potential emergencies. They also talk about communication and how the determination to inform families of specific incidents is made by the principals and sometimes communicated to the board when necessary. The board recognizes the importance of being transparent while also being mindful of protecting the privacy of students. They agree that clear communication is crucial, but it’s important to strike a balance so as not to cause undue alarm or confusion.

02:25:00 In this section of the transcript, the speaker discusses the handling of weapon-related incidents in schools. They state that law enforcement is always contacted and consulted in such cases, and that the school’s philosophy is that young children can cause damage with weapons. However, they emphasize that school officials and employees do not have the role of searching out whether someone has access to weapons. The speaker also highlights the importance of communicating appropriately with the school board about such incidents. They explain that too much information about a particular student can have negative repercussions, and that every school site requires a different response. The speaker concludes by stating that while they try to get information to parents as quickly as possible, there may be delays due to the need to keep students and staff safe.

02:30:00 In this section of the Saugus Union School Board Meeting, the board discusses how they communicate with families during emergencies or incidents on campus. They recall past experiences with a Facebook group and how it was not effective in quickly communicating with parents. The board reflects on their responses to incidents and how they choose to communicate with families. They mention a recent incident that warranted a broad announcement to the entire school community for safety reasons. The board also acknowledges the importance of being vigilant, especially after experiencing a shooting in their community.

02:35:00 In this section of the meeting, the school board discusses the importance of over-communicating in regards to school safety, but also not wanting to cry wolf and lose the seriousness of the situation. The board members also reflect on the need to address day-to-day behaviors in schools to ensure that children are engaging with school and each other positively, which requires continual improvement through workshops and parental support. Additionally, the board acknowledges the challenges new administrators face when trying to jump on board and keep up with the fast-paced nature of the school district.

02:40:00 In this section, parents and board members discuss the value of notifications about district incidents and policies to parents. One parent believes that these notifications are a crucial tool for parents to have meaningful conversations with their children about what is happening in the district. The board members also discuss the importance of consistency in district-wide policies and how to communicate these policies effectively to parents. The board ultimately passes a resolution recognizing and honoring National Women’s History Month. The district plans to highlight different women for different grade levels to provide a well-rounded experience for students.

02:45:00 In this section of the Saugus Union School Board Meeting, the governing board adopted a resolution for recognition of Conservation Bird and Arbor Day, which celebrates conservation efforts in the community. They also approved a tentative agreement between CSEA Chapter 112 and the Saugus Union School District for the 2022-23 school year, which includes salary and benefit increases. The board also approved salary and benefit increases for management, confidential, and unrepresented employees, and revised the Director of Human Resources job description to post a new position. Finally, the board passed a resolution rescinding a previous resolution declaring certain property as surplus, as the school district had found a need to rehab it.

02:50:00 In this section of the meeting, the Saugus Union School Board discusses the potential use of a school site. The site was previously considered for sale, but now it is being used to house students and will be used as a campus for the special ed preschool inclusion program. The goal is to develop career ladders up through the preschool programs and offer internships and classes on campus. The board also discusses the process for surplusing the site if they were to do something with the adjacent vacant land. The resolution passes and the board moves on to discuss their annual audit report.

02:55:00 In this section of the video, Royce is presenting the audited financial statements to the Saugus Union School Board. He explains that there are three audits being reported on, including financial statements, Federal awards, and state compliance and awards. Royce also emphasizes the importance of the auditor’s opinion, which provides a level of assurance for the governing board in making decisions. The summary of auditor’s results is discussed and Royce explains that an unmodified opinion was given with no material weaknesses or significant deficiencies identified. The schedule of financial trends is also highlighted as an important aspect of the audit report, providing historical information and important trends for the board to consider, including a projected deficit in 2022-2023.

03:00:00 In this section, the auditors present the financial statements and performance of the Saugus Union School Board. It is noted that the total long-term obligations have decreased by almost 22 million dollars, mostly attributable to the decline in pension obligation. The auditors give an unmodified opinion as it relates to Performance of measure EE, meaning that expenditures were compliant with the State Constitution and bond measure. The board asks questions about reserve percentages and material weaknesses identified in federal awards.

03:05:00 In this section of the Saugus Union School Board Meeting, the auditor discusses two specific programs that were problematic during the audit. One program required reporting, which was difficult due to lacking information to support the numbers reported. This resulted in a material weakness related to federal compliance. The other program had deficiencies in the payroll system and a lack of compliance regarding time cards and approvals. The issues with both programs were not severe enough to be classified as material weaknesses, but as significant deficiencies. The auditor also adds two caveats related to the specialized timesheets and how the data was reported to laco, which further complicated the audit.

03:10:00 In this section of the transcript, the Saugus Union School Board approves multiple audit reports and a resolution declaring an excused absence from a special board meeting. The board discusses the ongoing questions from Mr. Petzl regarding staff salary out of Bond Measure EE and discusses the need to respect his role as an advocate for the community and taxpayer. The board also thanks members who are absent and expresses appreciation for the work of a consultant helping them with implementation.

03:15:00 In this section of the Saugus Union School Board Meeting on February 28, 2023, the board members approved Resolution 2022-23 number 49 with a vote of four to zero, with one abstention. Then, they discussed the opportunity to select a nominee for the E-board of the LA County School Trustees Association, and Mr. Watson was chosen as the representative for LAKHSTA. Later, a board member expressed interest in being nominated for the position of director and was approved, and finally, they adjourned the meeting.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *