The Silicon Valley Voice

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Santa Clara Unified to Improve School Safety

Having just returned from the California Labor Management Initiative Conference in San Diego, the Santa Clara Unified School District (SCUSD) School Board Members were ready to begin a speedy (technically) last meeting of the school year. Incoming Superintendent Dr. Stella Kemp was at the meeting as the interim Superintendent.


School Safety

At their last meeting, the Board heard a presentation regarding a possible contract with ICS4SCHOOLS, which would provide safety assessments of the District’s schools and sites as well as in-person trainings. ICS4SCHOOLS will also customize a response plan for each school based on each site’s assessment.


“It’s a very important topic,” said Board Member Mark Richardson at the June 27 meeting. “In terms of our schools probably the most important topic. And after discussing it with Dr. Kemp, I have faith in her support.”

The Board voted to approve the contract for ICS4SCHOOLS for the 2019-2020 school year — totaling over $74,000 for the year.


Agnews Schools to Get Synthetic Turf

The Board voted to approve the purchase of synthetic turf systems from FieldTurf USA, Inc. for the Agnews K-12 Campus. For the turf at the elementary, middle and high schools on the campus and the maintenance equipment, the total is about $3,500,000.

Larry Adams, Director School Bond Projects, clarified that they went with a natural cork turf, which relieved Board Member Jim Canova who was concerned about the controversy surrounding certain kinds of synthetic turf.

Board Member Andrew Ratermann aired concerns about the sanitary issues that often accompany cork turf, but Adams reassured the Board that the purchasing of the turf also includes a maintenance routine that would keep the turf sanitary.

“The next project will be the fields at the two existing high schools,” added Eric Dill, Chief Business Official. “So, word will be getting out to those high schools that we will get to these projects in the next calendar year.”


Concerns About Aging Wilcox Bridge

Tim Towers aired concerns about an aging, and possibly dangerous, bridge at Wilcox High School. One of the two bridges at Wilcox was allegedly supposed to be fixed with funds from Measure J, which was passed in 2004, but the bridge hasn’t been fixed, according to Towers.

“There’s two reasons why things don’t usually happen, money and politics,” said Towers.

“It really needs to get replaced,” said Towers. “The only other alternative is to close it off…you can’t put the kids’ safety at risk.”

Adams shed some light on the complications on addressing the bridge. These boiled down to issues with terms set by the Water Board. Adams also said that he will escalate the bridge issue again after completion of some summer projects that are already in motion.


Other Business

The District’s new Director of Special Education, Kathy Alaniz, was announced.

The Board recognized STEAM Expo partners: Mission College, Santa Clara Schools Foundation, Intel, Roche, Silicon Valley Power, the City of Santa Clara, and GLOBALFOUNDRIES. Representatives from each partner were in attendance to receive certificates and the Board’s thanks. The inaugural year of the STEAM Expo was at Mission College in May. The next one will be in March 2020.

The 2019-2020 Adopted Budget was also approved — it was presented at the last meeting. Dill thanked the Board for doing so and gave a shout out to Debbie Jones, Director of Fiscal Services, and her staff for all the hard work they put into the budget.

The SCUSD School Board meets next on Thursday, July 11 at 6:30 p.m. for a brief Special Board Meeting.


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