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February 7, 2012 > Fremont Unified School District Board meeting report

Fremont Unified School District Board meeting report

Article and Photos by Miriam G. Mazliach

The following are highlights from the Fremont Unified School District (FUSD) Board meeting held on January 25, 2012.

Closed Session/Superintendent's Report:
Superintendent Dr. James Morris reported on the following appointment, unanimously approved by the Board: Karen Russell as Director of Special Education

Community Leadership/Superintendent's Report:
Superintendent Morris announced that Irvington High School student Irving Hsu and Mo Luo from Mission San Jose High School each won $1,000 as semi-finalists in Intel's "Science Talent Search," in addition to $1,000 for their schools.

It was a night for accolades as Resolution Certificates were presented to the following individuals and organizations:

Brian and Hattie Hyman Hughes of the Fremont Bank Foundation, for giving back to the students in the community. In partnership with FUSD, the foundation also helped support the recently held "Beyond the Locker" Sports Camp, which trained Robertson High school students to mentor Horner Jr. High students.

Tony Stewart, who as founder of the "Beyond the Locker" program, was recognized for making a positive difference in the lives of young people.

Local students, Alexia Dentoni and Kayla Doty of Irvington High School and Vincent Dentoni from Centerville Junior High. During the holiday season, they helped raise over $19,000 for the "Make A Wish Foundation," through the Macy's "Letters to Santa" campaign.

"Bring Me A Book Foundation," whose ongoing focus is to donate books to all children. To date over 55,000 children in nine states and seven countries have received books as well as all Fremont pre-school classes. The organization has received funding for a third year.

Dr. Morris commented, "It really takes a community effort to make kids successful. Thank you all for what you've done and what you do for the future generation."

Oral Communications/Public Comment:
Pastor Horatio Jones of Family Bible Fellowship Church in Newark invited the community to attend their topical series of programs, four Sundays in February, during African-American History Month. Visit for more details.

Desrie Campbell, President of the Fremont Education Foundation reminded people to attend the annual "Excellence in Education" fundraising gala, to be held at the Fremont Marriott on Friday, February 24. This year, attendees are encouraged to wear "safari" attire. Proceeds benefit the Innovative Education Grants Program. To purchase tickets visit

Regular Board Agenda Item - State Budget Update:
Assistant Superintendent of Business, Micaela Ochoa gave an overview and detailed that in the Governor's budget he has projected a $9.2 billion budget gap, which he hopes can be diminished by proposed increased taxes and additional spending cuts. If tax measures don't pass, then an estimated $370 per ADA (Average Daily Attendance or monies paid to the district per student), would be lost. Most Transportation would be cut, if not already. Transitional Kindergarten would be in limbo, as no funds would be available to implement.

Regular Board Agenda Item - Review and Accept Audit Report:
There is a requirement of school districts to undergo a yearly independent audit. Ms. Lam, representing the audit firm of Vavrinek, Trine, Day and Company explained her findings of a "clean audit" for the district for Fiscal Year 2010-2011. A motion to accept the study was unanimously passed.

Regular Board Agenda Item - Internet Safety:
Director of Technology, Dr. John Krull gave a detailed presentation on the filtering measures FUSD utilizes to prevent unauthorized online access and the safeguards which are in place to shield students from inappropriate material on the Internet. Having a secure and verifiable safety policy in effect is an important requirement in order for the district to continue to receive an "E-Rate" or discount for telecommunications and Internet access. As administered by the FCC, FUSD must have these protective technology measures in place under the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA). Additionally, an Internet Safety Steering Committee has been formed and has already created an "Internet Safety" informational pamphlet that has been made available to students and parents at each school.

Regular Board Agenda Item - Update on 2002 Bond Refunding:
Chet Wang of Keygent Advisors/Public Finance & Management Consulting, related that by waiting for the right time in regard to interest rates, the "refinancing" of the district's 2002 Bond resulted in an incredible $18.4 million savings (22 percent value). Assistant Superintendent Ochoa explained, "The savings are attributable to future tax bills. Fremont taxpayers will see a reduction in their future tax bills on the assessed value of their home."

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