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April 6, 2012 > Fremont Unified School District Board meeting report

Fremont Unified School District Board meeting report

By Miriam G. Mazliach

The following are highlights from the Fremont Unified School District (FUSD) Board meeting held on March 14, 2012.

Oral Communications/Public Comment:
Fremont Adult School Principal, Steve Giudice remarked on the school's 78th Anniversary, which was recognized via a Board resolution. Additionally, Giudice commended Fremont Superintendent Dr. James Morris, for his support of the school and multiple visitations over this past year. Morris was presented with the "Alameda Chapter's Friend of Adult Education Award" and a Certificate of Recognition.

As approved at the February 22 Board meeting, and as a precautionary measure, "pink slips" (for potential termination of positions) have been distributed to specified classified and administrative personnel, as notification is required by March 15 per Education Codes and Board Policies. Martha Kreeger and Christina Broadwin, both MSJHS parents, spoke out against this action.

Several other parents commented under the misconception that the policy would go into effect immediately. Superintendent Morris asked Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources, Robert Lee, to move to another meeting room and speak with the large group of parents to alleviate their concerns.

Agenda Item - Special Education Opportunity Report:
Dr. Lee Funk of School Innovations and Advocacy (SI&A), a consultancy group, presented his detailed review and analysis of the district's special education program, with the assistance of FUSD's Director of Special Education Services, Judith Cameron. Dr. Funk commented that the district has made continual progress on placing identified students in the "least restrictive environments." However, it appears that most Special Ed students do not leave the program; so, the district needs to take a look at criteria regarding exit procedures. Additionally, there is an over representation of African-American students in the program. Although not uncommon statewide, according to Dr. Funk, the district needs to address this disparity issue.

Agenda Item - Financial Advisory Committee (FAC):
Hugh Tebault, the chair of FAC, presented the committee's report, noting that FUSD receives less ADA (Average Daily Attendance) monies, paid by the state per student, even though Fremont district students score higher API (Academic Performance Index) growth than most districts. "This is a huge cash flow issue when you look at the nuts and bolts. We used more than we brought in."

Agenda Item - Public Hearings Sunshine Proposal/Collective Bargaining:
Time was reserved for both the Fremont Unified District Teachers Association (FUDTA) and Fremont Unified School District (FUSD), to present and receive proposals on a one-year contract successor agreement.

The motion to accept the proposals was passed by the Board with 5 ayes.

Agenda Items: District Demographic Study/Assignment Areas:
Demographer Tim Reynolds and Therese Gain, FUSD's Director of Facilities/Maintenance/ Transportation, provided an annual review of the student enrollment patterns and capacity levels at school sites. They reported that enrollment is relatively stable, but projecting the numbers over the next six years, would show more impacted/overloaded schools, especially Warm Springs, Ardenwood, Forest Park, Parkmont, and Warwick.

In line with this, several housing developments were scheduled to be designated for specific school attendance area assignment. However, during this Board meeting only two were approved: Guardino (Vallejo Mill/WHS area) and East King Avenue (Niles/WHS area).

Agenda Item - Transportation Report:
Director Therese Gain and Transportation Manager Jim Gannon discussed the status of transportation funding and related issues such as the impact of the revised bell schedules.

Agenda Item - Facilities Needs:
A consultant from WLC Architects/MGT America presented the initial draft of their final report on the condition/analysis of the school site facilities in FUSD. While findings indicated that most school sites fell in the Fair category, some fared worse. However, to fix or update all the recommendations of the Facilities Needs Assessment would cost an estimated $567,932,000. This is an even greater amount than what the proposed Bond measure would cover.

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