Saugus Union School District Board Meeting, March 14, 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 transcript, the Saugus Union School District Board Meeting recognizes students who are receiving PBIS certificates of Excellence. These students, who have been nominated for their exemplary behavior and leadership skills, have shown kindness, creativity, advocacy for others, and are excellent students who always give their best effort in everything they do. The Board highlights their contributions to their respective school communities and congratulates them for making their schools better places.

00:05:00 In this section of the YouTube video, various students from different grades and schools are recognized for their outstanding behavior, academic achievements, and leadership skills. These students are described as respectful, kind-hearted, responsible, and good role models. They are celebrated and congratulated for embodying the values of their schools and being exemplary students, citizens, and friends. Each student receives a certificate of excellence and is recognized for their unique qualities and contributions to their school community.

00:10:00 In this section of the Saugus Union School District board meeting, students from different schools are recognized for their exemplary behavior through the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) program. The students mentioned in this section are Selena from Rio Vista, Owen from Rosedale, Bianca from Santa Clarita, Emily from Sky Blue Mesa, Courtney from Tesoro, and Pakia Lakshmi from West Creek. They are all described as kind, respectful, responsible, positive, and excellent role models for their peers, with some of them being part of the PBIS student leadership team. Parents are invited to take pictures and celebrate with their children’s achievements.

00:15:00 In this section, the school board members congratulate the award recipients and praise them for being kind, demonstrating leadership, showing responsible behavior, and helping others. They also commend the parents for raising great kids and modeling positive behaviors. The board members remind the students about the importance of managing themselves and inspiring others, and how their qualities will take them far in life. Overall, everyone expresses pride and appreciation for the students’ hard work and dedication.

00:20:00 In this section of the Saugus Union School District Board Meeting, the board discusses the process for allowing public comments during its meetings, in compliance with the Brown Act and other applicable law. Board by law 9323 outlines the process for members of the public to address the governing board on agenda and non-agenda items, and the speaker must complete a speaker card or notify the assistant to the superintendent. The state law prevents the board from acting on any matter not listed on the agenda or from discussing any such matter in detail. The first speaker, Miss Suvani Cowie, addresses both agenda and non-agenda items, speaking about health-related matters and Brown Act violations on a board member’s official Facebook page. She also discusses a policy update to provide age-appropriate education on sexual health and sexual abuse prevention.

00:25:00 In this section, a community member speaks in favor of providing age-appropriate instruction to students on bodily awareness with proper naming conventions and notes that this is an important topic for children who might not receive this education at home. The speaker expresses gratitude for the support they received from their teachers while growing up in two different worlds and stresses how important elementary education is as the foundation for further success. Another speaker, a Saugus parent, urges the district to provide more support and funding for special education, specifically the Rap Program, which supports children with moderate to severe autism. The speaker notes that the funding for special education is very limited and encourages the district to consider hiring and retaining more special education teachers and paraprofessionals, as well as reducing the student-to-teacher ratio, which negatively impacts students.

00:30:00 In this section of the video, several concerns were raised by community members during a Saugus Union School District Board meeting. Firstly, support for the rap program was discussed, with a plea for increased funding and community support in providing education and support for students with autism and their families. Secondly, a parent spoke up about the chaotic environment in his child’s kindergarten classroom and how it is affecting his child’s love for learning, appealing to the Board to address the issue properly. Finally, a man spoke out against the shunning of a board member who has been in her position for only a short while, and urged everyone to give her the opportunity to learn from her mistakes.

00:35:00 In this section, two community members address the board, with the first speaker urging Miss Greece to consider how it would feel if her child was publicly outed for their behavior in a board meeting and newspaper, due to her lack of basic knowledge of how the school board works. The speaker provides a list of resources Miss Greece should be acquainted with and requests that she step down if she can’t uphold her oath and duties. The second speaker points out that the exposure of a potentially dangerous situation was turned into an attack on a specific child and defends the people on social media who gave information to defend the child’s privacy. The speaker asserts their right as a parent to ask questions about the situation and calls for more transparency regarding the issue.

00:40:00 In this section, parents are demanding transparency from the Saugus Union School District regarding any dangerous or traumatizing incidents that may have occurred in the district. They express concern over the district’s history of non-transparency and lack of disclosure, as many families have reported incidents of physical assaults, incidents that were not documented or disappeared, and depositions ignored by the district. A parent requests that the district should take steps to assure parents and families that their children are safe and protected in the school district, and they call for Board member Anna Griese to be censured, apologize and issue a formal statement to SUSVD families. They also request Anna Griese to receive additional training to better understand the district’s special education programs and board protocols.

00:45:00 In this section, representatives of various organizations and associations addressed the Saugus Union School District Board Meeting. The Saugus Teachers Association congratulated PBIS Award winners and gave an update on their recent activities, including teacher recruitment, installing flat panels, working on report cards, and preparing for parent conferences. The Saugus Administrators Association congratulated PBIS Certificate of Excellence recipients and recognized the work of school social workers. They also collaborated to create cohesive and comprehensive school safety plans and emphasized the importance of student engagement. The California School Employees Association did not have a representative present.

00:50:00 In this section of the transcript, different schools in the Saugus Union School District discuss their student leadership programs and ways to engage students in learning. A few examples include the Green Team, who work on campus beautification, the flag leaders who learned proper flag etiquette from a captain of the fire department, and the student council president and principal who lead Monday morning huddle assemblies. Schools also celebrate reading and encourage learning through field trips, SEL lessons, and fun projects like the little Heroes Film Festival and junior entrepreneurship program offered through the Child Development Program. The district aims to ensure student success through programs like these and by providing support to families and students through information sessions and spring break camps.

00:55:00 In this section, Jessica Alexander, the chairman of Cedar Creek Elementary School’s Site Council, commends the school’s administration team and teachers for their efforts in promoting class attendance during the pandemic. The school has implemented several efforts to promote attendance, including awards for good attendance, extra recess, and art lessons with the principal. They also make positive reinforcement phone calls and use Parent Square messaging to acknowledge families’ efforts in ensuring their student attends school every day. The Cedar Creek staff has gone above and beyond to keep the students engaged and positive about coming to school despite the challenges. The school facilities are also open and available upon student arrival every morning to keep them warm and dry when there is inclement weather.

01:00:00 In this section, the Director of Student Services shares exciting updates on the regionalized autism program and special day classes for students with autism at Mountain View, Emblem, and Bridgeport. With Copa dollars and learning loss dollars, they have invested in a new curriculum and teacher training for the program. Additionally, they are offering parent workshops, including one specifically focused on autism and behavior. The director mentions that over 40 families have signed up for the workshop. The district is also gearing up for matriculation time and preparing for the healthiest schools application. Lastly, she shares that Student Services is expanding their capacity by adding two new social workers and to their proactive problem-solving team, and focusing on providing support in all three tiers of the MTSS.

01:05:00 In this section, various members of the Saugus Union School District Board Meeting shared updates, including one board member reminding the community of her focus on transparency and communication while also attending a festival for families with disabilities. The board members also congratulated teachers and schools for their achievements and discussed meeting with legislators to discuss funding for schools. Additionally, they discussed safety plans and attending a teacher recruitment fair, along with humorous reference to Pi Day and college basketball.

01:10:00 was developed through a collaborative effort. In this section of the Saugus Union School District Board Meeting, they discuss the Personnel report which had to be voted on separately due to a conflict of interest. The rest of the consent calendar was approved, including a contract for the Oaks Club for a training session of about 60-70 people. The board discusses whether it’s common to hold these types of trainings outside of the district to save money or if it’s necessary to utilize outside places for these events. They also discuss the updated presentation on the educator effectiveness block grant in draft form which will be approved at a subsequent meeting. The document was developed through a collaborative effort, and the board members not involved in the process were caught up in the details.

01:15:00 In this section of the Saugus Union School District Board Meeting, board members discussed an adjustment to the previously approved Educator Effectiveness block grant which provides funding for effective staff development for all levels of employees. Due to various funding sources, the board was able to reallocate some of the funds and extend the deadline to 2026. The stakeholder survey identified early literacy, math, equity and diversity, and science standards as the top priority areas for coaching and staff development. The board discussed the alignment of the funding to different budgets and the tie-in to various topics in staff development and coaching. Overall, the adjustment to the grant will allow the district to continue focus on professional development and coaching for staff at all levels.

01:20:00 In this section, the speaker discusses the difference between traditional staff development and coaching, with coaching being more hands-on and focused on learning in the classroom. The district has switched its focus from spending more on staff development to more on coaching, which can lead to significant changes and growth for teachers. The district has also partnered with a company called Playworks to provide coaching services to all school sites in person. The district has the flexibility to do the coaching twice if they want and has also continued working with making sense of mathematics for math coaches. Additionally, there is funding to keep intervention doses going for the next two years, which will allow for coaching and guidance to continue for tier one and tier two interventions.

01:25:00 In this section of the Saugus Union School District Board Meeting, the Director of Curriculum and Instruction presents an update on the Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP). The plan is focused on major subject areas, including 21st Century Learning and Technology integration, with a specific emphasis on coaching and intervention through professional learning communities and social and emotional learning. The presentation includes details on the different programs and professional development efforts, from the Play Works coaching company to the Orton Gillingham training. The LCAP survey received 150 responses out of about 350 teachers and 100 administrators, with a list of the highest priority topics included. Some board members asked about the number of responses and the accuracy of the feedback, but overall, the presentation was well-received.

01:30:00 In this section of the Saugus Union School District Board Meeting, the use of a one-time block grant is discussed, and the ways in which the funds will be spent, including coaching and professional learning for certificated and classified staff. The allowable uses of the grant are discussed, but it is unclear at this time which specific areas the training will focus on. It is suggested that the community would benefit from a breakdown of the acronyms used in education to better understand future presentations. The Board also learns that there is flexibility in how the funds are spent, allowing for changes in plans as needed. The balance between training and coaching is appreciated, with one member drawing a metaphor to sports and the importance of time spent in the film room.

01:35:00 In this section of the Saugus Union School District Board Meeting, the board members discuss the importance of direct and immediate feedback from expert practitioners on the implementation of what they’ve learned in the field. They also discuss the allocation of funding for coaching and the increase in funding for coaching in the upcoming year. They explain that the increase is due to an extension of the Playworks program in a reduced way, in order to help schools transition and teachers to complete functions on their own. The board members also discuss the Playworks program, which focuses on safety, psychological safety, student leadership, and training yard supervisors and students in real-time. Finally, they mention the first reading of board policies and administrative regulations series 6000 instruction.

01:40:00 In this section, the school board discusses two contracts with Olivo Learning, one for structured PE activities during the instructional day and one for enrichment in the after-school program. The first contract provides teachers with planning time and allows for collaboration during the day while still providing structured activities for students. The second contract addresses the waiting list for the after-school program and will allow more students to participate in enrichment activities. The board is hopeful that these contracts will meet the needs of students and families while also providing support for teachers.

01:45:00 In this section of the meeting, the Saugus Union School District board discusses the challenges faced in hiring permanent staff for the after-school program, but notes that they have had success in hiring more permanent employees. The district plans to work with a new company to get more kids off the waiting list and is looking to test it in the fall or spring. The expanded learning opportunities program combines various programs like child care and child development programs and is funded by the state. The board explains that the qualifications for the after-school program will remain the same, even with the new combined program. When questioned about the funding for the after-school program, the board explains that it is an ongoing funding designated year after year, allowing for the hiring of permanent staff. They also approve the updated salary schedules for certificated staff.

01:50:00 In this section, the Saugus Union School District Board approves salary schedules for employees and an increase to the classified substitute pay schedule. The board also approves the school safety plans for the 2023-24 school year and motions to approve the second interim for the 2022-23 school year. The board discusses how they transform raw employee data into a usable format and make adjustments for employees who start later in the year or have different pay frames due to absences.

01:55:00 In this section, the speaker explains the effort and complexity involved in building a budget for the Saugus Union School District. With over 5,300 line items to balance between revenue and expenses, the senior accountant, Liz, and another named Helen Carrera were instrumental in making the process easier. The budget is divided program by program, with any changes in variances or upsets reflected by moving one object code to another, which itself is a cumbersome process. They also discuss the revenue side, which is subject to many adjustments as funding amounts change, such as federal aid, for which they could wait for grant letters until May. There have been changes in medical funding, and the district is responsible for the funds received later than anticipated. The speaker also mentions how the Arts Grant has increased revenues for the district.

02:00:00 In this section, the speaker discusses the recommended reduction in funding from the state which makes it necessary to use reserve funds, and how federal funding falls short in supporting special education and other restricted funding sources. It is explained that the biggest increase in expenses comes from a nine percent increase in salary and benefits, and that other increases are due to inflation and changing needs in the district. The largest increase in expenses is found in contracts within the special education department due to changing needs which are not known until a year goes on. The speaker also explains the increase in the 6000 category due to the need to purchase capitalized assets such as a truck for the ground department, and the need to spend three percent of the budget on MMO.

02:05:00 In this section of the video, the speaker discusses the district’s checkbook and revenue projections. She explains that they started the year thinking they’d have $23 million, but with compliance and restrictions, they now have $34 million. However, with restricted funding and committed funds, the unrestricted balance is $21.9 million. She also mentions the importance of having a 3% reserve, which amounts to $3.9 million, and notes that the district has a payroll loan of almost $4 million and burden rate for accounts payable of between $3 million to $5 million a month. The speaker goes on to talk about other funds the board is responsible for and then discusses the multi-year projections, highlighting how assumptions have changed in just a few months, such as the cost of living allowance increasing from 6.56% to 13.26% and the percentage of low-income, English learners, foster youth, or homeless students going up.

02:10:00 In this section, the speaker discusses the different grants and fund balances received by the district and the need to adjust the revenue and corresponding expenditures as plans change. They highlight the decrease in the Arts, music, and instructional materials block grant and the increase in local revenue through medical billing while noting that the employee retirement system rates remained the same. The speaker also touches on the changes between the first interim and second NMR, citing a jump of almost three percent in Cola, and the decrease in projected P2 Ada due to changes in enrollment. They discuss CPI, which they use to increase the budget codes to protect the district’s purchasing power. Finally, the speaker explains how the district is looking at multi-year projections by funding source and the decrease in their fund balance due to spending out all the grant funds.

02:15:00 In this section of the Saugus Union School District Board Meeting, the district’s reserves and spending plans for grant money are discussed. The district’s true reserve is at 12% for the current year, expected to decrease to 10% next year and then rise to 11.1% in the final year. The committee that was established to spend the art grant has had its first meeting and is planning the allocation of the dollars. Prop 28 money is also discussed, posing a risk should there be an economic downturn. There is a large increase in books and supplies expenditures for the 2023-2024 school year to accommodate the math textbook adoption. The district is still struggling to acquire equipment, and there have been numerous funds over the years that have come in for one-time spending.

02:20:00 In this section, the board discusses approving a resolution that declares the futility of bidding for the purchase of vehicles due to the lack of availability on the state contract list. The board is presented with the option to purchase the needed vehicles from a local dealership instead of bidding, but one member of the board expresses concern about the high cost and the possibility of using funds that could go towards teachers. The resolution is eventually approved.

02:25:00 In this section, the Saugus Union School District Board Meeting votes to approve the purchase of flooring material for two elementary schools and goes through the first reading of board policies in various series, including business and non-instructional operations, roles, objectives, and comprehensive plans, community relations, and hate-motivated behavior policies for students. The board policies are being updated to reflect newer programs based on best practice, CSBA recommendations that are tied to Ed code, and more diversity in the board policies. The meeting is adjourned, and the next board meeting is scheduled for March 28.

Leave a Reply

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