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November 26, 2013 > Fremont Unified School District Board meeting report

Fremont Unified School District Board meeting report

By Miriam G. Mazliach

Highlights from Fremont Unified School District (FUSD) Board meeting, November 13, 2013

SuperintendentÕs Report:
Supt. James Morris reported that earlier, in Closed Session, the Board approved Karen Russell as the new Director of Special Education.

Furthermore, Morris stated that he was Òspeechless with prideÓ over the selection of Washington High School student, Harshdeep Singh Nanda as one of only three students in the State being considered to serve as a voting member on the State Board of Education. Currently, Singh serves as a local representative and recently spent five days in Sacramento, Òbeing grilled, screened and questioned,Ó said Morris. Next, the final three candidates will be interviewed by Governor Brown who will make the final decision in May. Best of luck Harshdeep!

Agenda Item Ð Mission Valley Regional Occupational Program (MVROP):
Tom Hanson, Superintendent of MVROP and Margie Trujillo, Director of Educational Services presented an overview and an update. They detailed the schoolÕs various business and industry partnerships, technical and automotive programs, green technology, health and medical internship opportunities and overall success stories.

Oral Communications (Public comments on non-agenda items):
A group of Irvington students commented on the lack of seating, tables or adequate coverage for students at lunchtime or during inclement weather. They asked the Board to see what can be done to ameliorate the situation.

Agenda Item Ð Health Care and Emergencies:
Board reviewed the First Reading of the Health Care and Emergencies Policy which hasnÕt been revised since 2006. In particular, discussion ensued regarding Automatic Electronic Defibrillators (AEDs) presented at the previous Board meeting. In the interim, Supt. Morris met with principals to discuss the idea of placing these life-saving devices at locations in the schools. Alameda County Emergency Medical Services (ACEMS) had previously stated that they had reserved nine (free) AEDs for use by Fremont Unified School District, at high schools and at Tak Fudenna Stadium. Some principals had voiced concerns around how training, compliance in proper utilization, or the security of the equipment during off school hours. The Supt. and several Board members also felt that the small amount of AEDs would not be sufficient. They estimated that 27 AEDs would be a more useful number for the districtÕs schools. However, FUSD would then have to incur those costs. Each machine costs approximately $2,000. The First Reading was approved, but Staff will gather more information and come back at a future meeting for the updated (Second) Reading of the policy.

Agenda Item Ð Data Dashboard:
Supt. Morris gave an overview of the current Data Dashboard, or as he called it, the ÒBrainchild of the Board of Education.Ó Established in 2011, it states the school districtÕs priorities and goals. The Data Dashboard serves as an accountability tool or report card on how well the district and its 33,000 students are doing. Morris commented that FUSD was one of the most successful school districts with high API scores, positive budget certification, strong and knowledgeable teachers, board, administrators, parents and students. He noted however that an achievement gap exists for Hispanic and African American students and that the district has clear plans to assist in that area. Overall, Morris reiterated Òthe importance of strong academic success balanced with raising caring, thoughtful student citizens of the future.Ó

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