The Silicon Valley Voice

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Santa Clara Unified Welcomes New Student Senate

Santa Clara Unified welcomed students back for the first day of school in the morning and that evening, welcomed back the Board of Trustees for the first meeting of the 2023 – 2024 school year.


Student Senate

Superintendent Dr. Gary Waddell cheerfully welcomed staff and students back to school at the Thursday, Aug. 10 meeting. He also took a moment to recognize his new Student Senate. Luis Valdez from Mission Early College High School is this year’s Student Trustee. He will attend Board meetings and vote on agenda items as a representative of the Student Senate.

Santa Clara Unified high schools have also chosen their representatives: Ren Brown represents Santa Clara High School, Jovana Bierman represents MacDonald High School, Andrew Chandra represents Wilson High School, and Shiv Dagar represents Wilcox High School. Lastly, New Valley High School is electing their Student Senator soon. Senators will present reports at Board meetings throughout the school year.




COVID-19 rates in Santa Clara County are at medium levels, according to Deputy Superintendent of Operations and Chief Business Official Mark A. Schiel. Health officials are monitoring a new variant and a COVID-19 booster vaccine is expected later this fall. Santa Clara Unified expected new public health guidance for this school year but none has been announced so they are still following previous guidance.

As a reminder, said Schiel, if someone tests positive guidance states, they must isolate for at least five days after the start of symptoms — or a positive test if there are no symptoms. They can stop isolating if symptoms are gone or mild and improving and they are fever free for 24 hours without a fever-reducing medication. Additionally, Cal/OSHA says staff must continue to wear a mask for 10 days,


Staff News

The Special Education Department got their new Program Specialist when the Board approved hiring Rozina Kapadia. They also approved appointing Dan Maes as the new Maintenance/Custodial Manager. At the start of the meeting. Dr. Waddell pulled the appointment of the Cabrillo Middle School Vice Principal from the agenda.

The Board also approved the updated job descriptions and name changes for Nutrition Services. They are updating all the current Nutrition Services job descriptions to better reflect the new work they’re doing, and this will also assist in recruiting candidates. Later in the meeting, they also discussed a new Sous Chef position that will be voted on at a future meeting.


Other Business

The Board passed a resolution implementing the Native Gardens (EATING) Project which will allow Pomeroy and Scott Lane Elementary schools to create outdoor environmental education classroom areas and expand the school gardens between the classroom wings. The schools had applied for and have been awarded a grant through the Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority, Measure Q. The total cost to implement the project is $312,500 and the grant awarded $200,000.  The District will fund an additional $62,500 and an in-kind match of $50,000 from the Special Reserve Fund for Capital Outlay covers the rest of it.

The Board voted 5-1, with Board Member Jodi Muirhead voting ‘no’, to cancel the second February Board meeting. The District is on break that week.

Board Member Andy Ratermann was absent from the meeting.

The Santa Clara Unified Board meets next Tuesday, Aug. 15 for a special meeting and their next regular meeting is on Thursday, Aug. 24. Meetings are live-streamed on the District’s YouTube page and agendas are posted on their website.


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