Saugus Union School District Board Meeting, May 9, 2023

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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 honors its teacher tributes for 2023. The teachers were selected by their staff and each principal has come up to present their teacher tribute honoree for their school. One teacher, Ms. Shelly Doder, was praised for her ability to engage her students in creative and unique ways, such as transforming her classroom into a bakery shop and an operating room. Her students excel academically and socially year after year, and she is a fierce advocate for students and staff.

00:05:00 In this section, different representatives from Saugus Union School District honor exemplary educators who could not be present. Each tribute highlights the honoree’s compassion, hard work, dedication to students, and leadership roles on campus. From establishing positive behavior strategies, facilitating PBIS programs, and spearheading new projects, these teachers’ efforts go beyond their classrooms, impacting the entire school community positively and fostering an environment where students excel. The honors bestowed upon these educators are richly deserved.

00:10:00 In this section, three teachers are honored for their outstanding efforts in educating students at their respective elementary schools. The first teacher, Ms. Means, is recognized for her expertise and dedication to helping both teachers and students excel. The principal of Highlands Elementary, Ms. Bender, honors Kimberly Hirata for her three years of exceptional teaching, including her work in the Spanish dual immersion program. Finally, Ms. Jessica Smith is recognized for her strong subject matter knowledge, dedication to teaching, and positive demeanor as a teacher at Mountain View Elementary. All three teachers are praised for their commitment to going above and beyond for their students.

00:15:00 In this section, various principals and assistant principals from different elementary schools in Saugus honor the teacher honorees of their respective schools. They recognize and appreciate the teachers for their outstanding contributions to their classrooms and schools in general. The honorees are praised for their collaborative approach, calm demeanor, and dedication to their students. Despite challenges such as teaching students of different grades, they have excelled and shone as star educators, proving to be crucial members of their schools. Congratulations are given to these amazing teachers for their hard work, which is recognized and celebrated by their colleagues, students, and families alike.

00:20:00 In this section, three principals from different elementary schools present their teachers of the year, highlighting their outstanding attributes. The principal of Rosedale Elementary presents Lisa Jensen as an exceptional teacher who builds positive relationships with her students and colleagues, while demonstrating patience, grace, and perseverance during setbacks. The principal of Santa Clarita Elementary presents Aaron Weissman as a superhero at their school, with remarkable characteristics including a super smile, super shoes, super pencils, super optimism, and super intelligence, making her an RSP expert that helps all students. Lastly, the principal of Sky Blue Mesa Elementary presents Mrs. Walston as a motivator for her students, inspiring them to reach their full potential.

00:25:00 In this section, two principals from different schools introduce their respective teacher tribute honorees. The first principal introduces teacher Christine Denny, highlighting her leadership roles and positive impact on students and staff at Tesoro Elementary. The second principal introduces teacher Heather Michelson, praising her kindness, excellence, and leadership skills, as well as her work on district committees and in training student teachers at West Creek Academy. Both teachers are retiring and being honored for their decades-long careers in education.

00:30:00 In this section of the video, a teacher is being honored at the Saugus Union School Board Meeting. Mrs. Michaelson is praised for her kindness, with evidence from her students shared to demonstrate her impact in the classroom. The board presents certificates to all teacher tribute honorees, with flowers given as well.

00:35:00 In this section, members of the Saugus Union School Board express their gratitude to the teachers for their hard work and dedication at a recent meeting. Mrs. Greece expressed her admiration and recognition of the teachers’ influence and innovation, and her colleagues echoed her sentiments. They thanked the teachers for going above and beyond their call of duty, mentoring their colleagues and impacting their students in ways that go far beyond the classroom. The board congratulated the teachers for being recognized by their peers for their excellent work and dedication to their profession, and they appreciated the teachers’ role in providing the best education to all the students in the community.

00:40:00 In this section of the Saugus Union School Board Meeting, the board discusses the process for allowing public comments during meetings in compliance with the Brown Act and other applicable laws. The process outlined in board bylaw 9323 allows members of the public to address the governing board on both agenda and non-agenda items within its subject matter jurisdiction. Speakers are allowed three minutes per topic for public comment with the time allotted for each topic being 20 minutes, which may be adjusted depending on the number of speakers. Members of the public can also make virtual public comments and submit written comments to be included in meeting minutes. Additionally, the board president may take a poll of speakers to determine how best to allot time to each speaker and on each topic. The board then proceeds to listen to public comments, including a statement from a group of teachers at emblem Academy who choose to remain anonymous due to fear of retaliation from the superintendent and principal.

00:45:00 In this section, concerns are raised about the toxic environment at Emblem Academy caused by a lack of emphasis on character counts and a disconnect between the principal, teachers, and staff. Teachers feel undervalued and have noticed a lack of support from the current principal. Parents are also concerned about the lack of engagement and communication from the principal, as well as insufficient support for special needs students. The community is calling for new leadership to prioritize the well-being of the students, staff, and emblem community.

00:50:00 In this section of the video, two speakers at the Saugus Union School Board Meeting express concerns over the leadership style of Dr. Moshayedi, principal of Emblem Academy. One speaker, a mother of a special needs child, alleges that Dr. Moshayedi interfered with her son’s aide and threatened to take it away for chronic absences, which is illegal. Another speaker, Christine Loveold, speaks on behalf of the teachers and staff who have been subjected to Dr. Moshayedi’s verbal abuse, creating a toxic workplace with an atmosphere of fear and retaliation. Both speakers call for Dr. Moshayedi’s immediate removal as principal of Emblem Academy.

00:55:00 In this section of the video, two parents raise concerns about the behavior and actions of Saugus Union School District Principal, Sahar Moshieri. The first parent, a father, recounts his unsuccessful attempt to speak with Moshieri about a distressing situation in his son’s third-grade classroom. He also describes Moshieri’s failure to accommodate working parents during an after-school program and accused her of reacting condescendingly to his wife, who is a teacher. The second parent, a mother of a child with autism, alleges Moshieri talked down to her, yelled at her, and made inappropriate suggestions regarding medication for her daughter’s energy and sleep problems. Both parents express their fear of retaliation from Moshieri and a troubling sense that she is not approachable or friendly.

01:00:00 In this section, a parent recounts an incident with an administrator where she was harassed over including a comment about medicating her child in meeting paperwork. The administrator later added a comment that the parent’s statement was not true. This section also includes testimony from a teacher and parent about the toxic and hostile work environment at MM Academy and a lack of care for students from the principal. Teachers feel unheard and bullied, while parents have had rude and dismissive interactions with the principal. There is a plea for administrative change and for parents and students to be treated better.

01:05:00 In this section, two speakers at the Saugus Union School Board Meeting of May 9, 2023 discuss their negative experiences with the current head administrator at Emblem Academy. One parent shares their dismay at how the administrator treated them and their child, making them feel unheard and intimidated. Another speaker, a former Marine and current employee, addresses the qualities of good and bad leaders and provides examples of Dr. Zahar’s leadership. The speaker notes that many parents and teachers are afraid to speak up and offer input, and some parents are even labeled as combative for asking questions. The overall message is that Dr. Zahar’s leadership style is toxic and creates fear and resentment in the Emblem Academy Community.

01:10:00 In this section of the Saugus Union School Board Meeting, several concerned parents spoke out about safety and liability issues at Emblem Academy, calling for the reconsideration of the principal, Dr. Moshietti’s position. They raised concerns about the school’s policy to force sick children to attend school and the lack of safety measures in the classrooms. Parents also reported incidents of aggressive behavior from students with no action taken by the school and the punishment of victims of bullying. One parent specifically discussed the difficulties her son faced with the COVID protocols due to his autism, with little compassion or understanding shown by Dr. Moshietti during their meeting.

01:15:00 In this section, a parent at the Saugus Union School Board Meeting expressed her frustration with the school principal’s expectations for her son’s attendance and how it was difficult to provide doctor’s notes every time her son is sick, as it is traumatic for him. The principal threatened to report her to the school board and issue a truancy ticket and a fine if she did not provide a doctor’s note for any absences in the future and even threatened to call CPS on her for neglecting her son. The parent also explained her son’s challenges, having autism and difficulty sleeping, and how it is unfair that the principal did not understand her son’s needs. Another parent then shared his distressing experience with Dr. Moshier, the principal at his daughter’s school, where no accountability was taken for bullying incidences resulting in his daughter having a split lip and being assaulted by another student.

01:20:00 In this section, several speakers address the school district’s handling of bullying and legal issues with parents. One parent shares a concerning incident regarding her daughter not receiving lunch and being ignored by school staff when she stated she wasn’t eating. Another speaker, a community member who regularly volunteers at schools, criticizes the district for ignoring bullying and legal issues with parents, urging the board to take action and stop speaking ill of parents who are trying to improve conditions for their children. Lastly, a group of parents from a special education program express their concerns and objections to an incident at Charles Helmer Elementary School.

01:25:00 In this section, a group of parents express their concerns with the quality of education and support for special education students in the Charles Hammer School in Saugus. They have noticed a lack of classroom support, academic structure, and curriculum catering to each student’s individual needs. Many have also raised concerns with the inconsistency of student’s identified goals and the intimidation they face from the school administration. Due to a high turnover of support staff, the students exhibit an increase in distracting behaviors, not meeting their IEP goals. The parents have requested the school administration to communicate openly, frequently, and accurately with them and to provide progress reports. They are asking for their voices to be heard to ensure their children receive the assistance they need.

01:30:00 In this section, a parent describes a principal’s disruptive and unprofessional behavior during her daughter’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings. The parent states that the principal was eating, drinking, applying lipstick, and distracting others in the room. The parent was unable to concentrate on her daughter’s goals and requested that the principal not attend future IEP meetings. The principal refused to leave and the situation escalated until the parent requested a meeting with someone else from the district. Additionally, the parent shares concerns over their daughter’s medical absences and receives a threat letter, leading to the parent’s questioning of the school’s rules and regulations. Another parent speaks in support of the first, criticizing the principal’s behavior and calling for her removal. The meeting showcases concerns from the community over the leadership and support provided to teachers and staff in the district.

01:35:00 In this section, a teacher addresses the school board, expressing concern about the negative effects that the board’s leadership and culture are having on teachers and their ability to effectively educate students. The teacher explains that teachers are losing their passion and patience due to micromanagement, lack of trust, and fear of retaliation. Additionally, equity is being affected as low-grade teachers are being asked to lie about tutoring hours, and upper-grade teachers are not being given the same opportunities. The teacher calls for change and requests that the board start listening to teachers, giving them the support they need and the freedom to teach as they were trained to do.

01:40:00 In this section, a parent shares her concerns about her son’s experience with a teacher and the lack of response from the principal to her emails. She describes her son’s fear of the teacher and his refusal to ask for homework due to the teacher’s yelling. The parent requested that her son be moved to a different class for the sake of his mental health, but the principal denied her request, even though the school had space for other students. The parent eventually had to email the district to get a response from the principal, and her son was moved to a different class. The parent then shares a video recording of her son’s phone call with the principal, in which the principal told her son that he should feel comfortable with his teacher, which the parent perceived as an attempt to manipulate her son.

01:45:00 In this section, a parent thanks the teachers for their hard work and dedication to their students. She shares her personal experience with her son who had an IEP and how the teachers helped him achieve a 4.0 GPA. However, she also expresses her concern about the current principal and the negative impact she is having on the children, urging the board members to attend a school event to see for themselves. Another speaker congratulates the honored teachers and acknowledges their commitment to students and the community, as well as the district’s participation in the Relay for Life event and National Teacher Appreciation Week.

01:50:00 In this section of the Saugus Union School Board Meeting, various individuals express their gratitude towards different groups within the district. The parent-teacher organizations are commended for their efforts to spoil the staff with goodies, and the school district is recognized for providing yummy cookies to all the sites. The Classified School Employees Association (CSEA) thanks the teachers for their hard work and dedication and expresses their excitement for the upcoming Classified Appreciation Week. The Saugus administrators Association discusses their work as a professional learning community and how collaboration between all staff members is key to moving mountains and doing hard things for the children. Finally, the school year’s end is approaching, and there is joy in honoring and thanking the teachers who have dedicated themselves to ensuring their students succeed.

01:55:00 In this section, various representatives from the Saugus Union School District express their gratitude for the hard work of teachers, staff, and community members. They honor those who have received the Teacher Tribute Honoree award and express their appreciation for all who support the children and families in the district. Representatives from the Child Development Program discuss their plans for after-school and summer enrichment programs, as well as their emphasis on professional development. The Student Services department discusses their staffing efforts and upcoming parent engagement meetings. Overall, the section focuses on expressing gratitude and highlighting the various programs and initiatives being undertaken by the district.

02:00:00 emotional section as Dr. Hawkins begins by thanking everyone for coming out and speaking. Dr. Hawkins and Dr. Stevenson are reaching out and speaking with individuals who shared their concerns at the meeting. She congratulates the teachers and talks about attending a tribute that celebrated them. Dr. Hawkins also expresses her pride in the district for participating in Relay for Life, a team-building event that provides an opportunity to give back. This event is something near and dear to her heart as her son was diagnosed with stage four metastatic melanoma in December.

02:05:00 In this section of the transcript, a member of the Saugus Union School Board thanks the organization for raising over $23,000 for cancer research and acknowledges the hard work of two individuals who helped organize the event. The member also thanks those who donated to the cause and encourages others to consider doing so as well. Additionally, the member discusses the importance of Teacher Appreciation Week, advocates for better support and recognition for teachers, and expresses concern about the high number of teacher resignations in the district. The member also thanks parents for speaking up during the meeting.

02:10:00 In this section of the video, several members of the Saugus Union School Board express their gratitude towards the teachers in the district and congratulate the future tribute honorees. They also acknowledge the community for coming out to support an important organization. One member urges people to reach out to their congresspeople to secure the funding promised by the federal government for special education. The members also mention attending various events such as the Labor Management initiative, the teacher tribute, and the PBIS talk. They encourage others to attend the PBIS talk and move on to discuss the consent calendar.

02:15:00 In this section, the Saugus Union School Board provides an update on their progress for the local control and accountability plan (LCAP) writing adjustments for 2023-2024. The board has finished input gathering sessions and is working with DLAC and PAK, the two groups responsible for providing input. The board is also working closely with LA County Office of Education, which takes in the LCAP ahead of time and provides feedback on certain areas. The LCAP is a three-year plan that describes goals, actions, services, and expenditures supporting positive student outcomes and addressing all eight state local priorities. The board has organized received input into themes that align with the three key areas: conditions for learning, engagement, and pupil outcomes. The board’s focus on goal one is to engage parents in school community and decision-making processes to create a core instructional program for all students.

02:20:00 In this section, the Saugus Union School Board discusses their Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) connected survey and educational partner input for goal one, which focuses on school and family communication. They explain that they gathered input from a variety of educational partners, including parents, teachers, and staff, and prioritized their suggestions based on the biggest impact for them personally. School and family communication came out on top, with tools such as Parent Square supporting two-way communication and engagement. They also present survey data that aligns with this goal, showing improvements in feedback from students, staff, and parents compared to the previous year. The board then moves on to discuss goal two, which focuses on responsive school environments for social-emotional learning needs.

02:25:00 In this section, the school board discusses survey data on student and staff engagement. Only 51% of students and 77% of staff regularly look forward to attending school, which is a barrier to learning. The district is working to identify solutions and prioritize several goals, including providing English language development opportunities and closing the achievement gap. They have piloted a program called Mango, which allows students to learn English through their home language, and also plan to continue implementing professional development and targeted interventions through PLC systems and technology access. The district is recognizing the success of these efforts and using survey data to propose new changes and strategies for the future.

02:30:00 In this section of the transcript, the Saugus Union School Board discusses their focus on equity, diversity, and cultural proficiency in their schools. The district has prioritized providing opportunities for students and staff to see themselves represented in the school, with the goal of ensuring that everyone feels welcome. The school is already taking steps to achieve this, including creating grade-specific lessons and incorporating diverse content into their curriculum. They are also seeking student feedback to identify areas where they can improve, and will use this input to adjust their plans for the upcoming year. Despite the progress made, the school recognizes the need for continued work and is committed to building their toolbox of resources to increase capacity in this area.

02:35:00 school better, according to student feedback, is more activities that allow them to connect with other students and engage in interactive activities. The Saugus Union School Board is seeking input from students and proposing adjustments, such as increasing family and community liaisons’ daily hours, providing additional parent engagement programs, expanding social worker and behavior team members to reach more students, and prioritizing the needs of unduplicated count students. The board received qualitative input from both survey data and educational partners to make these adjustments. They surveyed 3,546 students (approximately 87% of fourth, fifth, and sixth graders) and asked open-ended follow-up questions to gain further feedback and suggestions from them.

02:40:00 In this section of the Saugus Union School Board meeting, members discussed feedback received on a recent survey asking students for suggestions on how to improve their school experience. One suggestion was to implement free seating during lunch, which would boost morale and make school feel more welcoming. Another suggestion was to not classify students by gender and to focus less on gender. Students also suggested leading by example and saying more positive things to help stop bullying and making school a safer place. The data gathered from the survey will be used to identify actions or ideas for improving schools, and will be shared with parents and administrators.

02:45:00 In this section of the Saugus Union School Board Meeting, the board is discussing how they use survey data to develop and adjust plans for the coming year. One member asks for more details on how they are using the connectedness survey to address issues such as bullying and behavioral problems. Another member questions the accuracy and sufficiency of the parental feedback, but the superintendent defends the statistically significant number of responses and discusses different scenarios for English language development. The board discusses ways to increase parent engagement and reach more parents with surveys in the future.

02:50:00 this section, the school board discusses how ELD (English Language Development) instruction is managed in the classroom, and whether there is a need to increase the number of instructional aides to support it. Some members ask how ELD instruction affects the other students in classroom, while others suggest that having designated ELD instruction could be beneficial. The conversation then shifts to reviewing the results of recent surveys on academic intervention programs and getting feedback from students. The board expresses appreciation for the positive results but also acknowledges that there is still room for improvement and plans to conduct more surveys in the future to gather student feedback on how the school is doing.

02:55:00 In this section of the Saugus Union School Board Meeting, board members discuss obtaining qualitative information from students and the results of student listening sessions. Dr. Hawkins reports that the survey results were surprising, and that the listening sessions with students and parents have provided a lot of insight into bullying. The principles are taking notes during the sessions and it is expected that the gathered data will be presented during the next meeting. Board members also touch on goal number four and the importance of gathering and following up on student feedback.

03:00:00 In this section of the meeting, the board members discussed the success of their teachers and staff in implementing PLC into their culture and acknowledged the role they played in that achievement. They also discussed the upcoming Peace Officers Memorial Day and passed a resolution recognizing the contribution of Peace Officers to the community. Furthermore, the board was given information about the Community Advisory Committee, which provides a resource for parents with children in special education services. The committee collaborates with school administrators to discuss and improve services.

03:05:00 parent representatives for the Community Advisory Committee (CAC) and to appoint two parent representatives for a two-year term. The board was informed that CAC provides support to families on various topics and each district is represented on the committee. The board was not required to vote on this, just to be informed about it. The board then approved revisions to the peer assistance and review program handbook and a memorandum of understanding for the teacher induction program, which is a two-year program helping teachers get a clear teaching credential. The board also discussed the cost of this program, which is $2,000 per year, and asked if districts ever reimburse teachers for this as part of their package to attract teachers. It was noted that this is not currently a practice in any of their districts.

03:10:00 In this section of the transcript, the Saugus Union School Board discusses the local certification of universal transitional kindergarten (TK) teachers. Effective August 1, 2023, all TK teachers must meet certain criteria unless they started teaching before July 1, 2015. The criteria include having a multiple subjects teaching credential with 24 ECE units on top of that, a child development teacher permit, or a local agency equivalent to those 24 units. The board determines that teachers who have taught at least one full year and/or had a wonderful year of teaching three and four-year-olds are equivalent to having the 24 additional units. Additionally, the board discusses the first reading of board policies and administrative regulations regarding community relations and personnel.

03:15:00 In this section of the Saugus Union School Board meeting, various updates and amendments to the district’s policies and administrative regulations were discussed, including updates to reflect changes in laws regarding gun violence and employee security. The board also approved a large adjustment in the architect’s fee for projects at James Foster Elementary School, and approved a memorandum of understanding with the city of Santa Clarita pertaining to Northbridge Park, a project that creates a relationship between the district and the city and provides additional space for play area to be used during school time.

03:20:00 In this section, the school board members express gratitude to the city, as well as Dr. Hawkins and Mr. Heinlein for addressing issues with the Helmer site and creating a play area that they believe will be a benefit to the community. They also declare certain district-owned property as surplus and confirm that they will sell well. The board approves all motions and moves to adjourn the meeting just six minutes before the deadline.

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