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Fremont Unified School District Board meeting report

By Miriam G. Mazliach

May 24, 2011

The following are highlights from the Fremont Unified School District Board meeting held on May 11, 2011.

Community Leadership:
Superintendent James Morris reported on the District logo contest. Over 60 students submitted entries, which the Staff and committee narrowed down to 10. Another group of community members then made a selection of the final three. Those in attendance at the Board meeting had a chance to view all the entries as they were flashed onto the screen. Now it’s time for the community to vote for their favorite logo of the three. To make your vote count, visit the FUSD website at www.fremont.k12.ca.us, by June 1.

Jamie Hintzke, Community Relations Coordinator for Alameda County Health Care Services Agency spoke about the CPR7 Program. (TCV featured this program in our December 28, 2010 issue.) The focus of the program is to increase “bystander knowledge” of CPR (Cardiac Pulmonary Resuscitation), so that more lives can be saved. Research had shown that 7th grade students were most receptive and willing to learning the techniques and teaching them to family and friends. Over 14,900 – 7th graders in Alameda County have already been trained to learn the skills of chest compression and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Students have also been given a kit containing their own inflatable mini-manikin to practice on and keep at home. The 5 Junior High Schools in Fremont were recognized as well as the 2,242 - 7th-grade students who participated in the CPR7 program.

Oral Communications:
Dianne Jones, a Parkmont parent, wanted to send a positive message to LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgender) students who are particularly vulnerable. A group of parents as well as the “It Gets Better Project,” donated over 86 books to the District’s school libraries. “Everyone deserves a safe place to learn in,” said Jones.

Brannin Dorsey, President of the Fremont Unified District Teachers Association addressed the Board and Staff regarding the status of teacher contract negotiations. “Are you really doing everything you can? It’s almost the end of the school year without a negotiated agreement.” Dorsey continued by asking the District if it really needed to be paying for the cost of an attorney who is assisting with the negotiations.

Agenda Item - Student Learning & Achievement:
Students from the first graduating class of The AVID Program at Kennedy High School came up to address the Board and speak of their experiences and future plans. Audience and Board members were visibly moved by the students’ individual stories in the face of adversity. AVID is an international program designed to assist struggling students, to become college ready. Each of the 20 students will be continuing on to higher education next year -- 18 to a four-year university and two at a two-year college. The program at Kennedy High has expanded and currently there are five AVID classes, totaling 132 students. The much admired teacher who has worked with these students is AVID Coordinator, Mr. Dave Williams.

Agenda Item - Budget and Finance:
Assistant Superintendent of Business, Micaela Ochoa gave an overview of where the district is right now, what monies are available and asked for input on what the public and Board would like our priorities to be if further cuts are to be made. Several community meetings have been held around town, to explain the budget crisis in greater detail.

Even with the uncertainty of the financial situation in Sacramento, the District still needs to go ahead and develop a budget plan. After discussion, Ochoa was given the go-ahead to build a revenue budget based on a revenue limit reduction of $679 per ADA (Average Daily Attendance). There may still be changes, but the district will need to consider various options, including class size. Board and Staff have until June 22, to adopt the final budget, but the district is still required by the State, to provide a three-year balanced budget.


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