Hart Union School District Board Meeting – February 15, 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 board meeting, Mr. Messina shares a little-known story about the Abolitionist John Quincy Adams in honor of Black History Month, highlighting the importance of persistence and determination in the fight against injustice. Despite facing a pro-slavery Congress, Adams continued to bring petition after petition, bill after bill, to end slavery, earning him the nickname “hellhound of slavery.” Although he never saw the end of slavery in his lifetime, he served as a mentor to a young man who would go on to continue the fight against slavery and ultimately become a pallbearer at Adam’s funeral. Mr. Messina’s story serves as a reminder of the importance of fighting for what is right, even in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles.

00:05:00 In this section, Dr. Moore first acknowledges Black History Month and invites everyone to an art show that celebrates learning about others through the values of community, caring, creativity, and courage. She then shares her recent visits to various schools, including Bowman, which has been a model school since 1999, and Golden Oak Adult School, which has been impacting the lives of families for 75 years. Dr. Moore emphasizes the importance of education and counseling, recognizing National Counselor Appreciation Week, and invites everyone to the Many Families One Community event. Finally, Dr. Moore reminds everyone of the recent budget study session, where the district’s priorities were discussed, emphasizing the importance of transparency.

00:10:00 In this section of the William S. Hart Union School District Board Meeting, the board members discussed various updates and events. They emphasized the importance of attending the upcoming Teacher Recruitment event and congratulated Bowman High School for winning the Top Model School award for continuation education in California. The student board member highlighted the upcoming Black History Art Museum event and discussed the SEC meeting, which focused on the improvement of the drug-free youth program by identifying the why behind not doing drugs and including more student-led contributions. Additionally, a reminder was given that the budget is a living document and will always change.

00:15:00 In this section, the board members discussed some of the creative submissions for the upcoming black history art show, including a piece by student Savannah Boyejen titled “Daisy Getson Bates” honoring the little-known but impactful civil rights activist. Board members also shared updates on efforts to honor First Responders through initiatives like adding walls at high school sites, designating days to observe these groups, and featuring SROs more often. Finally, a video titled “One Bill One Pill Will Kill” by Golden Valley students was shared to raise awareness of the fentanyl crisis in the Valley. The section concluded with a brief comment urging people to read “Standing Against Goliath” by Rebecca Friedrichs, a book about the harmful impact of teachers unions on government-run schools.

00:20:00 In this section of the transcript, a speaker congratulates the CSEA on completing their contract negotiations and expresses his support for the idea of equitable grading in the Strategic plan. The speaker stresses the importance of maintaining academic freedom and respect for pedagogy in implementing equitable grading, as well as providing guidance and resources rather than directing classrooms. The speaker believes that equity shouldn’t come at the expense of breadth or exceptionalism in the district’s programs and classrooms. Ultimately, the speaker argues that equitable does not mean identical or indistinguishable, and that individual adaptation is crucial in achieving equitable access to education.

00:25:00 In this section of the video, Janice Dennington from the California School Employees Association speaks about the importance of teamwork and collaboration, using the Super Bowl as an analogy. She announces that CSEA has signed a tentative agreement for the 22-23 school year with the district and expresses her gratitude for the negotiation process. Following this, two speakers share their experiences working at Canyon High School and their efforts to support student wellness and academic success. Chris Jackson reflects on the school’s legacy of producing leaders who care about students, while Victoria Robinson highlights the dedication of teachers to building relationships with their students through quality teaching.

00:30:00 In this section of the transcript, the speaker discusses various initiatives underway to support and improve student learning outcomes in the William S. Hart Union School District. The district is focusing on understanding and addressing student needs on an individual level by offering new classes such as foundation classes and AP pre-calculus, co-teaching classes, and implementing practices to improve test scores. Additionally, the district is also implementing a new wellness and safety program called “ganas” to support young Latino males by building trust and serving as positive role models.

00:35:00 In this section of the board meeting, representatives of the Ghana Mentoring Program provide an overview of their efforts to support underrepresented Latino 10th-grade boys. The program focuses on providing additional academic and motivational support, as well as teaching life skills, career goals, and emotional support. Students are selected based on several factors such as areas of need, teacher and staff recommendations. Furthermore, El Cap Goals highlights the program’s wellness initiatives, such as participation in the wellness forum and male empowerment workshops. Lastly, the program encourages open access to available opportunities and programs for these students, which has resulted in improved grades and increased engagement with the school community.

00:40:00 all, the presentation highlights the success of the Gamma program, which focuses on closing the achievement gap and building connections with Canyon High School. The program’s future goals include offering real-world experiences like field trips, having members become mentors for future groups, and expanding to other schools. The program has had a positive impact on the students, improving their grades while providing a sense of belonging and support. The board members applaud the students for their efforts, noting that the program’s success and innovative approach can serve as a model for other schools. One student expresses gratitude for the program’s persistent support, which has helped them overcome academic challenges.

00:45:00 In this section of the William S. Hart Union School District Board Meeting, students from the Ghana club were invited to share their experiences with programs on campus that help with academic and emotional success. They expressed how being involved in the Ghana club and other activities has helped them with their grades and involvement in the community. The board members expressed their appreciation for the programs and emphasized the importance of providing resources for students who may not have access to them at home. Later in the meeting, public comments were allowed on topics within the board’s jurisdiction.

00:50:00 In this section, a speaker argues that the formation of government teachers unions has led to a decline in the quality of education each year, as well as the implementation of social welfare programs that have done more harm than good, especially for African-American families. They argue that these programs have made people more dependent on government-run programs and have accelerated the decline of education. The speaker also brings up the issue of cell phones in schools, stating that too much screen time can harm a child’s mental health and contribute to the rise in anxiety and depression among teenagers. They call on the board members and community to join hands in removing distractions caused by cell phones so that kids can achieve their goals and be mentally and physically healthy.

00:55:00 In this section, two speakers address the school board, one thanking a former president for organizing a school violence prevention webinar, and the other expressing concern about the lack of support for staff working with special needs students. The parent of a special needs child urges the board to seek out grants and funding to retain staff and provide equitable education. Lastly, a speaker addresses Miss More with questions about her union’s involvement in school politics, and the concern that the union’s contracts are not being ratified properly. The speaker requests that Miss More pay attention to the details of the contracts and implies that the union may have a hand in campaigning for school board members.

01:00:00 In this section of the video, a woman of African-American and Ashkenazi Jewish descent speaks out against gender identity ideology in schools and ab1266, which she believes harms children and excludes parents from the conversation. She questions the motives of those who passed ab1266 into law and warns of the dangers of synthetically altering children’s bodies for profit and experimental medical treatment. Another speaker criticizes the corrupt teachers union and far-left ideologies that promote division, hate, and pronouns, and calls for a return to real education. A third speaker raises concerns about the lack of a documented plan for traffic control in the event of an evacuation or hard lockdown and urges the district to partner with the county to address this issue.

01:05:00 In this section, concerns are raised regarding the safety of students in Stevenson Ranch due to a lack of collaborative effort among local law enforcement and government representatives. The catastrophic evacuation of 2018’s brush fire is cited as an example of the district’s failure to have proper plans in place for emergencies. The need for a plan that facilitates emergency response and parent reunions during lockdowns or evacuations is emphasized, and it is requested that this be addressed immediately and discussed at the next meeting. Additionally, a formal resolution is requested to oppose Assembly Bill 659, which seeks to make the HPV vaccine a requirement for students in grades 8-12, as it is deemed unnecessary and serves only to benefit pharmaceutical companies and politicians. The importance of funding and improving special education, specifically for autistic students, is also highlighted.

01:10:00 In this section, a concerned parent expressed the need for more funding for special education teachers and paraeducators in the William S. Hart Union School District. Although the district recently increased their salaries, they still face physical harm and high turnover rates due to the challenging nature of their work. The parent shared their personal experience, stating that it takes a heart of gold to teach these children, and they implored the district to allocate more money towards special education in order to support these dedicated professionals. The section then moved on to the school safety update, where a speaker praised the district for their prompt and efficient response to a recent lockdown at West Ranch High School, and shared positive feedback about the wellness centers in the district.

01:15:00 In this section, the speaker provides the annual school safety update and discusses the four areas of school safety identified by Prince Callan and Associates as mental health and wellness, site security, policy and training, and communication. The speaker highlights the importance of mental health and wellness and emphasizes the need to strengthen relationships in order to ensure safety on campus. The speaker mentions several initiatives currently in place, such as Capturing Kids Hearts, while also highlighting new areas of focus, including disconnecting to reconnect, staff wellness, and human trafficking prevention, among others.

01:20:00 In this section, the speaker discusses various safety measures that the William S. Hart Union School District has implemented to ensure the safety of its students and staff. These include memorandums of understanding with counseling centers, an active K9 program, fencing and buzzer video entries for added safety, and policy and training improvements. Additionally, the district has enhanced its communication efforts through the crisis go app and alternative communication solutions for areas with spotty cell service, as well as a fully updated website that includes fentanyl prevention awareness and other resources for student wellness.

01:25:00 In this section, the speaker discusses the updates made to the district’s websites to ensure consistent safety measures throughout all schools. They hope that this will make it easier for the community to find necessary information. Then, two speakers address the board on safety and wellness, with one urging voters to be cautious and do their research before elections to allocate funds for autistic programs and other necessary resources. Finally, the speaker gives an update on the second focus area of the Strategic Plan, which is to expand support structures to enhance student and staff wellness on each campus. This includes an upcoming wellness resource fair.

01:30:00 In this section, the speaker discusses the district’s focus on employee wellness and how they are leading the way in California in the areas of mental health and social emotional learning. The district has wellness centers on every campus, resource centers, mental health support, and partnerships with organizations like Straightening Reins, Wolf Connection, and Pet Partners. The district’s wellness resources are housed on their website, where students can schedule appointments and access a variety of services, including case management and crisis intervention. The wellness centers are designed to be a reprieve for students, with each campus having a unique design based on their student population needs.

01:35:00 In this section of the video, the presenter discusses the purpose of the Wellness Center and what services it provides. The Wellness Center is not a health clinic, but rather provides mental health guidance and services, such as brief therapy sessions, support groups and appointment scheduling. Trained social workers who are also clinicians lead the Wellness Center, which aims to help students maintain good mental and emotional health in order to stay focused on their education. The presenter also clarifies that school social workers are not the same as those from the Department of Child and Family Services; they are there to provide support, not to split up families. The presenter goes on to discuss the various services provided by the William S. Hart Union School District, and emphasizes the importance of developing productive relationships to inspire positive behavior patterns.

01:40:00 In this section, the speaker discusses the various initiatives and programs that are being implemented within the William S. Hart Union School District to promote student wellness, including mental health support, coaching for greatness, and a renewed focus on Human Services curricula. Additionally, measures have been taken to ensure student safety through various protocols and partnerships, such as the use of shatter-resistant film on school windows, active shooter drills, security cameras, and a district care team. Data collection and analysis will be used to expand effective programs, while clear and timely communication will be provided regarding safety protocols to all schools and their communities.

01:45:00 In this section, the board members and district representatives discussed the district’s robust wellness and safety programs. Several members praised the district’s efforts and shared personal anecdotes about their experiences with the programs, including the effectiveness of the district’s service dogs in detecting potential threats. One member requested an update on the number of students visiting the wellness center, which they received regularly. Overall, the board members seemed pleased with the progress the district has made in promoting wellness and safety, both for students and employees.

01:50:00 In this section, a member of the board emphasizes the importance of focusing on employee wellness to benefit students’ well-being in the classroom. They also bring up concerns about teen girls’ mental health after the CDC released a report and the prominence of human trafficking in Santa Clarita. Additionally, the board member raises concerns about site security and accessibility of wellness areas for students on certain campuses. A student member of the board also chimes in to commend the board’s efforts and offers to help advertise mental health resources to students.

01:55:00 proposed compensation changes for CSEA Chapter 349, as required by California government code section 354.7.5. The report highlights the major provisions of the collective bargaining agreement and the costs incurred in current and subsequent fiscal years. The report is being forwarded to the Los Angeles County Office of Education for their review and presented for the board’s approval. The board expresses appreciation for the work being done in social emotional learning and wellness, and hopes to make even greater progress in the next four years.

02:00:00 In this section of the William S. Hart Union School District Board Meeting, the board discussed a potential compensation increase for CSEA Chapter 349, which was ultimately approved with a 10% increase to unit member salary schedules and a one-time payment for classified unit members. The District also announced a partnership with Infosoft to address job openings and assist in recruiting hard-to fill positions. Additionally, the board approved a professional development program with Cal State Northridge to support teachers, administrators, and paraprofessionals in implementing inclusion, co-teaching, and instructional strategies for all learners. Finally, the board addressed the Bowman High bid package, which was discussed by Mr. Otofka.

02:05:00 In this section of the board meeting, the William S. Hart Union School District is discussing the open bids they received for the Bowman High School fencing improvements project. The lowest responsive responsible bidder, Gold Coast Fence Incorporated, has been recommended. The proposed fence will address gaps in the current perimeter fencing and will block off the portable classrooms at the back of the school. There will be one entrance and one exit to the campus, and the gate at the back of the school will be locked except during school hours. A board member asks about involving more local contractors in the future, and the representatives confirm that they do reach out to local contractors regularly.

02:10:00 In this section, the board discusses reaching out to local contractors to get them more involved with the district, including a transition away from Planet Bids to a new gov system that will require no fees. They also approve a bid package for Bowman High fencing improvements and discuss the proposal for HVAC improvements to add air conditioning to district high school gymnasiums. The cost of adding air conditioning will involve a full analysis to determine any structural building modifications and upgrading electrical infrastructure that may be necessary. The board member, John Minkus, expresses concern over spending $270,000 on gym air conditioning before ensuring that the classroom air conditioning is functioning properly.

02:15:00 In this section of the school board meeting, the district proposes adding air conditioning to the gymnasiums and increasing utility costs, as well as presenting a fee proposal for analysis to determine the initial and ongoing costs. While some board members express concern over the cost, others argue that teachers and students suffer from the heat in the gyms, and therefore it is a necessary expense. The board also approves revisions and deletions to board policies and regulations and nominates candidates for the California School Board Association delegate assembly election.

02:20:00 In this section, the board nominates three individuals for positions on the district committee and approves the 2023 governing board meeting schedule. The board approves an agreement with Castaic for a credentialed librarian to sign off on certain materials for up to 25 hours a year, and discusses the difficulty in reading attachments and asks for larger paper in the future. They also bring up the possibility of starting the school year earlier than usual, but no definite plans are made.

02:25:00 In this section, the board approves the consent calendar, and the members discuss items for future consideration. One member suggests hosting a vendor fair to encourage local vendors to do business with the district, but expresses uncertainty about its effectiveness. Another board member raises the issue of creating a Career Tech Ed Center at the Bowman campus and suggests exploring the feasibility of teacher housing. Additionally, there is a need to provide better support, funding, and staffing for the libraries to improve literacy rates, and the board agrees to have quarterly updates on social and emotional learning.

02:30:00 In this section of the video, the board members are ending the meeting and making a motion to adjourn in honor of Michelle Jenkins, who recently passed away at College of the Canyons. The motion is quickly seconded and approved by all members in attendance.

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