Student representation in the Santa Clara Unified School District Board of Trustees meetings has been lacking due to COVID-19 and in-person meeting restrictions. At the Trustee meeting on Thursday, Oct. 13 the District announced its plan to have that representation back but with a new structure.
Student Board Members
Board meetings have changed a lot over the past few of years because of COVID-19. Meetings weren’t live streamed before COVID-19. Now that the meetings have been back in-person for some time now, it’s time to bring student participation back too, the Board agreed.
Communications Director Jennifer Dericco and Interim Superintendent Dr. Gary Waddell created a new structure for Student Board representatives. The new structure would have a Superintendent Student Council comprised of all the student leadership from each secondary school. Then, each high school selects one Student Senate member. Then, there is one Student Trustee and any high schooler on the Student Council is eligible for nomination. Each Student Senate member casts a vote on behalf of their student body to elect the Student Trustee.
The Student Council will meet quarterly with Dericco and Dr. Waddell to share leadership best practices and provide feedback and suggestions to the Student Senate and Student Trustee. The Student Trustee will attend all Student Senate meetings while the Student Trustee and Student Senate Members will attend all Superintendent’s Student Council meetings.
Before Board meetings, the Student Senate meets with Dericco to go over the agenda with the Student Trustee. In addition to the Student Trustee, Student Senate members attend board meetings on a rotating basis to present school reports. The Board of Trustees agreed that they miss the school reports.
With this process, Dericco said they hope to have a Student Trustee by Dec. 8 but this process will happen in the Spring and Summer in the future so they can be involved by the beginning of the next school year.
The Board didn’t need to vote on the plan but gave it their praise and the green light to go into motion.
In this week’s health updates, Chief Business Official Mark Schiel reminded the community that the new COVID-19 booster is now available for children five and under.
Some changes have come down from the State regarding COVID-19 testing plans. The District already has a testing plan in place and is waiting for clarification if its current plan needs to be adapted to fit the new guidance. Also regarding testing, Shiel said they again plan to send at-home COVID-19 antigen tests home with students and staff for them to test before returning to school from the upcoming holiday break.
There were no updates on MPX, formally known as Monkey Pox.
At the last Board meeting, they heard about an agreement between Santa Clara Unified and Stanford University to start a “Research Practice Learning Partnership” that is focused on inclusive education. The agreement passed unanimously. It will begin at Agnew Elementary, Huerta Middle and MacDonald High schools once the program is formed.
Board Members Jim Canova (Trustee Area 1) and Jodi Muirhead (Trustee Area 6) had no opposition for their seats on the Board of Trustees, earning them four more years on the Board. They formally recognized that they didn’t need to hold an election in November 2022 for those Trustee Areas.
The next Board meeting is on Thursday, Oct. 27.