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In Light of Recent Student Injuries, School Safety Report on the Way

In their last meeting this year, the Santa Clara Unified School District (SCUSD) School Board pledged to continue to put their full weight behind their objective to keep their students safe as they make their way to and from school.


School Safety and Safe Routes to School

After the recent accident on El Camino Real where several Peterson Middle School students were seriously injured, Board Clerk Mark Richardson requested that District staff prepare a report on safety to and from school.


“I would like to see us think this through so hard and explore every option, so that when it happens again — and it will happen again — when it happens again, we feel confident that we really tackled this,” said Richardson.

Superintendent Dr. Stella Kemp thanked Richardson, Board Member Vickie Fairchild and Peterson PTSA President Angela Quizon for all their work and attention on the issue. She said that Caltrans has finally put in a crosswalk countdown at that intersection and that visibility has been improved.

However, the most highly requested solution is still in limbo — there is still no permanent crossing guard at that intersection. Dr. Kemp explained that the City of Sunnyvale has promised to agendize the with the City Council, but there is a snag.

“There was a miscommunication between the City and the firm that they would have to contract with because the contract has to be amended because they’re adding another fee,” said Kemp. “And so, a lot of the challenges that we have recognized are not with Caltrans, are not with the County, it’s internal communication within the City [of Sunnyvale].”

“We have to stay there until they get it finished,” continued Dr. Kemp. “Just like watching your child get their homework done. We’re going to stay there; we’re going to stay on it until they get those crossing guards in place so our students have an adult that can help them cross safely.”


Agnews School Names

Members of the public provided input on the suggested Agnews schools names and the Board got to work on narrowing them down so that staff could prepare an advisory poll for the community.

The Board decided on two options. One option being Abram Agnew Elementary School, Dolores Huerta Middle School, and Kathleen MacDonald High School. And the other option is basically the same, but the High School would be named after Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

The poll also asks if the community prefers River Oaks Educational Campus or Coyote Creek Educational Campus as the name for the site.

The poll will be available next week on the District’s website and will be open until Jan. 10, 2020.


Centralized Enrollment Center

The long-awaited Centralized Enrollment Center is finally getting off the ground. Andrew C. Lucia, Assistant Superintendent – School Support and District Development, presented the plans for the center. He also shared updated job descriptions for two brand new positions: An Enrollment Center Technician position (starting at $27.41 up to $38.46) and an Enrollment Center Manager (with a salary range of $85,160 to $107,563).

The Board voted 7-0 to approve the new job descriptions.


Board Leadership

The Board held an election to vote on their Board President, Vice President and Clerk from amongst themselves. They voted for Dr. Michele Ryan to enter her second consecutive year as President, 6-1, Fairchild voted “no” after nominating Vice President Jodi Muirhead.

They voted for Muirhead to continue into her second year as Vice President, 6-1, Richardson voted “no.” Board Member Jim Canova was also nominated for the Vice President role by Dr. Ryan.

The Board voted unanimously, 7-0, for Richardson to continue his role as Clerk.

They also officially appointed Superintendent Dr. Kemp as Secretary of the Board.


Money, Money, Money

Eric Dill, SCUSD’s Chief Business Official, explained the 2019-20 First Interim Budget, which the Board unanimously approved. Dill thanked Debbie Jones, Director of Fiscal Services, and her team for putting the budget together.

According to Dill, the First Interim Budget is looking good — everything is up, and multi-year projections look stable.


Code to the Future

Shann Chu, Educational Technology Coordinator, presented a report on the Code to the Future program at Sutter and Montague Elementary schools, which are in their third year. Notably, Chu said the program has started to implement Programming and Game Design.

He also said the program will start using an educational version of the popular video game, Minecraft, to teach students about game design and other skills.


Other Business

Fairchild requested that the substitute teacher shortage issue be placed on a future agenda. The request was passed 6-1, with Richardson voting thumbs down.

The Board appointed the new Program Specialist for the Special Education Department — Shari Giacomini. And they appointed Lissette Moore-Guerra as the new Coordinator of Health and Wellness.

The Board also approved the rest of 2019-20 and the 2020-21 Board meeting calendar. They meet next on Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020 at 6:30 p.m.


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