Documenter: Josef Sibala
Superintendent Adela Jones and the board expressed confidence with the drop in COVID-19 cases in Sanger, hence, in-person classes and events such as the graduation, can resume. She stated that “with 33% capacity”, 50 seniors, each with four tickets, can attend their graduation in the Tom Flores Stadium.
Fabrizio Lofaro, superintendent at Valley Regional Occupational Programs (VROP), noted the progress of pathway programs, such as the Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) classes in Sanger Adult School. He is hopeful that students can get “jobs that can give skills and pay” through short technical courses in partnership with the industry, such as “American Ambulance, and colleges, such as Fresno City College”.
The SUSD board named Katie Gault as the new Program Coordinator of Data and Assessment.
The Sanger Unified School District (SUSD), according to its website, comprises 21 schools ranging from elementary, middle, and high school, and including alternative routes and an adult school. SUSD covers Sanger and surrounding “communities of Centerville, Del Rey, Fairmont, Lone Star, Tivy Valley and portions of the Sunnyside area of metropolitan Fresno.”
The SUSD board held the meeting at the Sanger High School Multi-Purpose Room on Tuesday, May 25, 2021, at 7 p.m. The meeting coincided with the relaxing of COVID-19 restrictions, shown by the “ moderate orange tier” in the COVID-19 California Opening Tracker.
The meeting was not live-streamed. Most trustees observed social distancing requirements during the meeting yet wore no mask, except Trustees Hernandez and Vasquez. All Trustees were present with the SUSD superintendents.
Names of Officials:
SUSD Board of Trustees
Brandon Vang, President (also Trustee, Area #3)
Ismael Hernandez, Board Member (also Trustee, Area #5)
Va Her, Board Member (also Trustee, Area #4)
Jesse Vasquez, Board Member (also Trustee, Area #7)
Peter R. Filippi, Board Member (also Trustee, Area #2)
Jesse Solorio, Board Member (also Trustee, Area #6)
Jesse Vasquez, Board Member (also Trustee, Area #7)
Tammy Wolfe, Clerk (also Trustee, Area #1)
Adela Madrigal Jones, Superintendent for Sanger Unified School District
Eduardo Martinez, Deputy Superintendent for Administrative Services
Dennis Wiechmann, Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources
Tim Lopez, Associate Superintendent for Educational Services
Ryan Kilby, Chief Operations Officer
After the flag salute, the board meeting adopted with a 7-0 vote on the agenda for the May 25, 2021, regular board meeting, and the minutes for the May 11, 2021, regular board meeting. The student representative report, recognitions, and representative comments were closed due to conflict in the “athletic schedule.”
Then, trustees and superintendents discussed, starting with President Vang. First, he thanked staff and teachers for a “great job” in virtual learning in a “time of trial,” especially their efforts to “go back to normal.” Next, Trustee Solorio paid tribute to veterans in the community for “paying the ultimate price” for the country.
Afterward, in line with the last meeting on May 11, Trustee Hernandez announced the resolution 2021-20-21-034, “recognizing the Stars and Stripes Day ” to honor “military personnel (and) their service to the nation”.
From his last meeting with the California School Board Association, President Vang remarked that COVID and return to school were “main topics of discussion.” In addition, he pointed out the Annual Education Conference in San Diego in November, wherein participants can be “able to attend the conference in-person” to “hear (their) struggles” and “share notes.”
Superintendent Adela Jones noted the donation of 500 Chromebooks “free of charge” to families in Sanger by the California Emerging Technology Fund with the partnership of Frontier Communications, which will help “close the digital divide.” She praised Karen Costa-Smith, the coordinator for teacher induction, and first and second-year teachers for their “countless hours” gaining credentials; likewise, to the staff who are veterans for the “sacrifices they made” and students joining in the military.
Assistant Superintendent Lopez stated that school sites are “finishing strong,” while classes and athletics are “going on.” According to him, teachers and principals are proactive in “determining students that meet grade-level standards” with “lots of preparations.”
Afterward, the open forum was closed. Next, the board approved the consent agenda in full with a 7-0 vote.
Lastly, the board recognized Katie Gault as the new program coordinator of data and assessment. She was “honored and pleased” to “work with the district” and to make “data as accessible as possible.” She shared previous experiences with colleagues from the district. Then, the trustees and SUSD superintendent congratulated her.
Superintendent Jones updated the board on the SUSD response to COVID-19 while “waiting to see” additional guidelines as Sanger County enters into “yellow in the positivity tier,” cases down from “100 to 3.1”, and the governor’s decision to relax restrictions on June 15.
First, she said wearing a mask is mandatory but “optional” in uncrowded spaces while seeking clarification from the county health department on what “crowded events” mean.
Next, she announced, based on the 33% capacity, 50 seniors, each given four tickets, can attend their graduation at the Tom Flores Stadium. Still, families are required to mask.
Next, Adela Jones declared that the school district extends summer school with “longer days” and “extended learning,” covering a host of programs “ensuring students are engaged in school…incoming fall”. Finally, she stated the registration of 5,600 students, of which 137 students remain in a “virtual setting.” She reported that the numbers in the health update “look great.”
Concerned with one student who tested positive, Trustee Hernandez asked about the class size of summer school. Superintendent Lopez remarked that the class capacity for elementary schools is 25 students, 32 students for high schools while depending on CDC guidelines and “looking at the numbers.” According to him, classes cover PE and other “enrichment” courses that “seek to maximize many opportunities.”
Referring to the announcement by the governor’s office, Trustee Filippi said that June 15 would witness “change dramatically”– accompanied by restrictions of more than 5,000 people indoors and 10,000 outdoors. He hopes it is a “heads-up on what to expect.”
Adela Jones indicated that they are waiting for the official notice from the California Health Department, particularly in defining “crowded events” to “ensure we are following guidelines.”
President Vang discussed the health update, which reported 0 employee-to-employee transmissions since Jan. 22. He said that this is a “trend favoring us” and proves “COVID going down.” Trustee Hernandez stressed the need to be “taking care of our kids and employees.”
Thereupon, Fabrizio Lofaro, superintendent at the Valley Regional Occupational Program (VROP), presented the annual report entitled “Regional Approach to Technical Education.”
He shared surveys of students on the “pathways in high school” and “how they continue” after high school. Most students entered “patient care, agriculture, public services, firefighting, and essential work.”
He announced that health services “expanded” due to the need for “first responders” in addressing COVID-19. According to pages 30-31 of the report, VROP has awarded a $729,907 grant focusing on health sciences and $608,423 on the welding pathways. He spoke about bringing more science courses,” especially “where (students) struggle,” such as in “anatomy and physiology.” In Advanced Welding and Manufacturing Pathways, he said that students can take classes and “certify in-house.”
After recognizing teachers, Lofaro noted the gains in the new pathway programs under VROP in “licensing and certifying” students. First, he mentioned the success of the welding program in Reedley College and how Sanger High School students have “adjusted (to their) classes.” Next, he told about new medical and media arts courses, where students “work closely” and teachers are “passionate in what they do.” Next, he spoke about the Forestry program and how competitive it is becoming “very competitive,” due to “tuition waivers” and “paid internships.”
Then, he talked about the 14 Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) courses in Sanger Adult School, of which out of “90 students” who applied, the program chose 15 students. Likewise, out of the 15 students, four students selected for the Emergency Dispatch Course were from Sanger. He hopes that students can acquire “jobs that can give skills and high pay” through short technical courses along with “American Ambulance and colleges.”
President Vang asked Lofaro about the $350 cost to enroll in an EMT class at Sanger Adult School. Lofaro clarified that the cost covers “books, stethoscope, uniform, and materials” and can be offset by “additional scholarships and grants.” Thus, the SUSD board approved the VROP report.
Then, the SUSD board approved with 7-0 vote the following:
California Department of Education Expanded Learning Opportunities (ELO) District Grant Plan.
California Department of Education Expanded Learning Opportunities (ELO) Sanger Academy Charter School Grant Plan.
California Department of Education Expanded Learning Opportunities (ELO) Quail Lake Environmental Charter School Grant Plan.
California Department of Education Expanded Learning Opportunities (ELO) Hallmark Charter School Grant Plan.
Resolution No. 20-21-038 adopting procedures and guidelines for selection of Lease-Leaseback Contractor.
Superintendent Martinez clarified that the “lease-leaseback” process “provides options in achieving higher product” and “consistent with other projects.” Trustee Filippi agreed that the process is a “routine.”
Award of Bid to Hilly Howl, Inc. for the Lone Star Elementary School Two Relocatable Classroom Buildings and Site Improvements project, in the amount of $294,734.
Ryan Kilby, the SUSD Chief Operations Officer, reported that the bid involves improving the “library and health area.” and “adding adult bathrooms.”
Award of Bid to D.H. Williams Construction for the Centerville Elementary School Relocatable Classroom Building and Site Improvements Project, in the amount of $278,000.
Superintendent Martinez said that the bid consists of developing the campus and adding “portable restrooms.” Trustee Wolfe, while looking at the plan, said: “looks great.”
District’s Sunshine Proposal for negotiations with the Classified Bargaining Unit (CSEA) for the 2021-2022 school year.
Declaration of Need for Fully Qualified Educators for 2021-2022 School Year
Second Reading of Proposed Revisions to Board Policy Concerning Personnel and Students
4000 Series- Personnel:
BP 4119.11/4219.11/4319.11 Sexual Harassment
BP 4119.25/4219.25/4319.25 Political Activities of Employees
5000 Series- Students:
Adopt revisions to Board Policy – 4000 Series – Personnel, BP 4119.11/4219.11/4319.11 Sexual Harassment and BP 4119.25/4219.25/4319.25 Political Activities of Employees; and, 5000 Series – Students, BP 5141.31 Immunizations.
Both the Public Comments in the matter of the Certificated Bargaining Unit Sunshine Proposal and the District’s Sunshine Proposal for the Certificated Bargaining Unit (SUTA) were closed.
The meeting lasted for one hour and thirty minutes, ending at 8:30 pm. The next regular meeting will be on June 8, 2021.
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