February 6, 2019
FEBRUARY 6, 2019
REDWOOD CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT
Redwood City, California
APPROVED MINUTES OF BOARD OF EDUCATION MEETING
February 6, 2019
- Call to Order
President McBride called the closed session meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. at Taft Community School, 903 Tenth Avenue, Redwood City.
Present at the closed session meeting: President Dennis McBride, Vice-President Janet Lawson, Alisa MacAvoy, María Díaz-Slocum, Cecilia I. Márquez, Superintendent John Baker and Assistant Superintendent Wendy Kelly.
- Oral Communication on Closed Session Items Only
- Closed Session 6:00-7:00pm
3.1 RCTA Negotiations Update
- Reconvene to Regular Session at Approximately 7:00pm
President McBride welcomed those present. The Pledge of Allegiance was recited.
Present at the regular board meeting: President Dennis McBride, Vice-President Janet Lawson, Alisa MacAvoy, María Díaz-Slocum, Cecilia I. Márquez, and Superintendent John Baker.
Others Present: Linda Montes, Wendy Kelly, Priscilla Aquino-Dichoso, Antonio Pérez, Jorge Quintana, Kyle Brumbaugh, Leslie Stafford, Carol Anne Bauman, Maria Stockton, Gloria Maldonado, Ann Hynecek, Michelle Smith, Bret Baird, Will Bolander, Lorena Márquez, Héctor Ovando, Abigail López, Erika García, Maritza Leal, Ángel Villegas, Patty Arrollo, Eliza Kritz, Allyson Viscarra, Alma Jiménez, Cheye Calvo, Karina Barboza Berry, and many others that did not sign in.
- Changes to the Agenda
President McBride requested that Consent Items be moved subsequent to 9.2 School/Community Reports: Citizen’s Measure T Oversight Committee FY 2016-17 Annual Report.
Trustee MacAvoy requested to pull Action Item 12.1 (Approval of Selection of 7-11 Committee Members) from the agenda and move it to a future agenda.
- Approval of Agenda
The board approved the agenda as amended, (Lawson, MacAvoy; 5-0)
- Oral Communication
- Ann Hynecek, member of School Funding Advocacy, addressed the School Board and Superintendent Baker by expressing that School Funding Advocacy had drafted a letter for parents to sign and send to Assemblymember Kevin Mullin and Senator Jerry Hill requesting full and fair funding and a cost of living adjustment for their schools. Ms. Hynecek encouraged members of the audience to send letters to their local legislative representatives requesting funds for their School District.
- Michelle Smith, parent at Adelante Spanish Immersion School and member of their PTO, commented that she emailed the School Board about the appointment of the new principal. Ms. Smith requested from the School Board and Superintendent Baker that the communication between the School District and families of those schools affected by the closure of schools be improved.
- Bret Baird, P.E. teacher at Kennedy Middle School, thanked Superintendent Baker for bringing back the Hall of Fame event. Mr. Baird informed the School Board and Superintendent Baker that a Hall of Fame event had been scheduled for March 21st, where two distinguished Kennedy Middle School alumni would be inducted.
- Maria Stockton, California School Employee Association President, expressed that she was worried about there not being a Committee on Safety. Ms. Stockton thanked Assistant Superintendent Wendy Kelly for a smooth negotiations process.
- Gloria Maldonado, former Redwood City School District teacher, addressed the School Board by stating that she was not aware there was a board meeting scheduled for that evening. Ms. Maldonado expressed concern when she looked at the calendar and noticed there had been a change of venue. Ms. Maldonado thanked the Superintendent’s Administrative Assistant Eliana García for helping her navigate the board agenda calendar. Furthermore, Ms. Maldonado commented that communicating with the School District has been challenging, as she has left a message and she did not receive a phone call back.
- School/Community Reports
9.1 Bond Program Update
Will Robertson, Program Manager for the Bond Program provided the School Board and Superintendent Baker with a brief update.
9.2 Citizens’ Measure T Oversight Committee FY 2016-17 Annual Report
Chair of the Citizens’ Measure T Oversight Committee Mike Bolander addressed the School Board and Superintendent Baker by stating that the committee meets quarterly to review and discuss the Measure T expenditures. Mr. Bolander commented that the Redwood City School District has spent Measure T funds as stated on the ballot.
- Consent Items
Note: President McBride requested to move Consent Items subsequent to 9.2 School/Community Reports: Citizen’s Measure T Oversight Committee FY 2016-17 Annual Report
The board approved the Consent Items (Díaz-Slocum/MacAvoy; 5-0), taking the following action:
10.1 Recommendation re: Approval of Field Trip to Marine Science Institute, Adelante Spanish Immersion School
10.2 Recommendation re: Approval of Field Trip to Año Nuevo State Park, Hawes School
10.3 Recommendation re: Approval of Field Trip to CA Association of Student Leaders, Roy Cloud School
10.4 Recommendation re: Approval of Field Trip Request to Pescadero State Beach, Henry Ford School
10.5 Recommendation re: Approval of Field Trip Request to Pillar Point at Princeton Harbor, Henry Ford School
10.6 Recommendation re: Approval of Field Trip Request to Año Nuevo State Park, John Gill School – attachment
10.7 Recommendation re: Approval of Field Trip Request to Westminster Woods, Clifford School
10.8 Recommendation re: Approval of Field Trip Request to UC Santa Cruz, Garfield School
10.9 Recommendation re: Ratification of Warrant Register, January 1, 2019-January 31, 2019
10.10 Recommendation re: Approval of Professional Development with National Urban Alliance
10.11 Recommendation re: Approval of NPS/NPA Contracts
10.12 Recommendation re: Approval of Addendum to Measure U Application for Clifford School for 2018-19
10.13 Recommendation re: Approval of KIPP Excelencia Community Prep Charter School Petition for Renewal Term of 5 Years and Approve Operations MOU
10.14 Recommendation re: Approval of District Office Battery Storage Scope Reduction and Credit
10.15 Recommendation re: Approval of Interim Housing Architect Agreements with CAW for John Gill School, CSDA for Henry Ford School, and HED for Garfield School
10.16 Recommendation re: Approval of Interim Housing Portable Rental Agreements with Mobile Modular for John Gill School, Garfield School, Henry Ford School, and Roosevelt School
10.17 Recommendation re: Approval of McKinley Institute of Technology and North Star Academy Security Camera Agreement with SSI
10.18 Recommendation re: Approval of John Gill School Design Fee Add Service with CAW
President McBride (Ayes) Vice-President Lawson (Ayes) Trustee MacAvoy (Ayes) Trustee Díaz-Slocum (Ayes) Trustee Márquez (Ayes)
- Public Hearing
11.1 Renewal Hearing for Rocketship Redwood City Prep
Rocketship’s Principal Karina Barboza Berry opened the Public Hearing by leading the Power Point presentation, which provided information about Rocketship’s history, overview of the educational program by grade levels, EL supports, Special Education program, attendance, student services, overview of parent engagement, LCAP overview, Title I overview, and a summary of their first interim budget report.
- Lorena Márquez, 5th grade student at Rocketship, commented that she is motivated by her teachers and classmates to do better academically. Lorena stated that she is also taught to be empathetic towards other students and her community. Lorena commented that Rocketship has instilled in her the desire to attend college.
2. Héctor Ovando, 2nd grade student at Rocketship, commented that he has been a student at Rocketship for 3 years and his teachers and classmates have helped him learned. Héctor commented that he would love for his school to remain open for 7 billion years!
- Abigail López, parent at Rocketship, commented that her daughter was diagnosed with autism at the age of 2. Ms. López stated that her daughter has had a tremendous academic growth at Rocketship and commented that she was extremely thankful for the support she and her daughter have received at Rocketship.
- Erika García, Education Specialist at Rocketship, commented that the reauthorization of Rocketship was very important to her. Ms. García commented that as an educational specialist, she is able to give a voice to those that do not have one. Ms. García stated that she loves her students and shared that she has witnessed a great transformation in terms of academic growth and confidence.
- Maritza Leal, parent at Rocketship, addressed the School Board by asking to consider Rocketship’s request for a 5-year renewal. Ms. Leal commented that at Rocketship, teachers have a lot of respect for their students and encourage them to be the best they can. Ms. Leal urged the School Board to approve Rocketship’s renewal.
- Ángel Villegas, 3rd grade student at Rocketship, commented that his favorite memory is when his teacher sings a song during his ELA class. Ángel commented that the songs in his ELA class make him feel happy. Ángel commented that his favorite subject is math and he is grateful to have Rocketship as his school. Ángel urged the School Board to keep Rocketship open.
- Patty Arrollo, parent at Rocketship, commented that her daughter is learning a lot being at Rocketship. Ms. Arrollo expressed that the teachers and staff are patient with students and each student receives individual attention. Ms. Arrollo requested that Rocketship’s renewal request be approved.
- Eliza Kritz, teacher at Rocketship, commented that she is committed to develop strong skills for teachers. Ms. Kritz added that Principal Barbosa visits classrooms every day and she makes herself accessible to teachers, staff and parents. Ms. Kritz stated that teachers are trained so that students can develop strong academic skills. Ms. Kritz commented that parents always offer to volunteer and students value their culture and have a strong desire to attend college.
- Allyson Viscarra, 5th grade student at Rocketship, commented that teachers at Rocketship have taught her to be fearless and have given her the tools to advocate for change. Allyson asked the School Board for an opportunity to keep Rocketship open.
- Alma Jiménez, mother of students at Rocketship, expressed that prior to attending Rocketship, her children were behind academically. Ms. Jiménez added that her children made significant academic gains when they transferred to Rocketship. Ms. Jiménez commented that her children were offered exactly what they needed to succeed academically. Ms. Jiménez asked the School Board to consider approval of Rocketship’s request for facilities for five years.
Superintendent Baker welcomed RCSD School Board members and RCSD Cabinet members to ask Rocketship staff specific questions concerning their budget, EL program, Special Education, attendance, expulsion rates, professional development, uniform complaints, mandated reporting, technology, and staff training.
Trustee Márquez thanked Rocketship for their presentation and commented that being Latina, she appreciates the support they offer to the Latino/a community. Furthermore, Trustee Márquez commented that the term, “Accidental Activist” and the quote used at the beginning of Rocketship’s presentation offended her. Trustee Márquez expressed that as a Latina parent, she loves Redwood City schools and is supportive of the Redwood City School District.
Trustee Díaz-Slocum commented that in the past when Garfield Community School was a charter school, the Redwood City School District worked collaboratively for the benefit of the students. Trustee Díaz-Slocum added that Rocketship has become another option for families in Redwood City; however, some Rocketship students have returned to the Redwood City School District schools. Furthermore, Trustee Díaz-Slocum expressed her concern with the previous administration and Rocketship’s inability to secure their own facility for their school.
In response to Trustee Díaz-Slocum’s comment, Chief Growth and Community Engagement Officer Cheye Calvo, expressed that Redwood City families deserve a high quality education and their own facility; however, Rocketship faced numerous challenges with the facility located on Charter Street. Mr. Calvo added that Rocketship worked with both the City of Redwood City and the San Mateo County to secure their own facility, but when they faced challenges, they sought the use of facilities from the Redwood City School District. Mr. Calvo assured the School Board that Rocketship continues to work in securing their own facility. Furthermore, Mr. Calvo expressed interest in the possibility of purchasing land at fair market value from the Redwood City School District.
Trustee Díaz-Slocum asked about the process in which a complaint is handled. Once a parent has communicated with the principal and requires communicating with administration, where do parents go? Furthermore, Trustee Díaz-Slocum asked where are the board meetings posted on their website?
In response to Trustee Díaz-Slocum’s question, Mr. Calvo replied that at Rocketship, the principal and staff encourage conversation and decision-making at the site level and everyone is welcome to attend the site council meetings. Mr. Calvo added that school site council meetings are posted on their website.
Trustee Díaz-Slocum recommended that Rocketship improve their website to make their complaint process and school site council meetings more accessible to families.
Trustee MacAvoy thanked Rocketship for their presentation. Trustee MacAvoy expressed that she took offense by some of the slides in the presentation. Trustee MacAvoy commented that the same passion that Rocketship showed during their presentation for their school, is the same passion that the Redwood City School District community has for their schools. Trustee MacAvoy stated that approving Rocketship’s initial petition was a difficult process, but valued providing an additional option for families. Trustee MacAvoy expressed her concern with Rocketship’s deficit spending, which is reflected on their budget reports. Trustee MacAvoy further stated that she has asked the California School Boards Association and RCSD’s counsel for additional help if Rocketship continues to operate under a deficit.
In response to Trustee MacAvoy’s comment, Mr. Calvo assured Trustee MacAvoy and the rest of the School Board that the Redwood City School District would not be held responsible to repay Rocketship’s deficit spending.
Furthermore, Trustee MacAvoy mentioned that the Redwood City School District has received complaints from neighbors regarding the traffic in and out of Kennedy Middle School. Trustee MacAvoy expressed that neighbors need to be honored and respected at all times. Trustee MacAvoy touched on the Special Education subject, expressing that the students with the most severe special needs are referred to the Redwood City School District and Rocketship is not taking on a fair share of students that need special education services. Trustee MacAvoy recommended that Rocketship look into making sure that no students gets denied services.
In response to Trustee MacAvoy’s commented concerning Special Education services, Principal Barboza Berry expressed that Rocketship honors all the needs of the students based on their Individualized Education Program (IEP).
Vice-President Lawson commented that Rocketship had stated in their presentation that 8.2% of their students were classified as students needing special education services but the CA Dashboard states that Rocketship only has 6.6% of special education students, which is a much lower percentage than KIPP, Connect or the District. Trustee Lawson asked what does Rocketship do to identify students with disabilities.
In response to Vice-President Lawson’s comment, Principal Barboza Berry replied that when a student comes to them with an IEP, they follow it.
Furthermore, Mr. Calvo added that Rocketship actively recruits students with special needs. Mr. Calvo commented that often times, transportation is a challenge for families. Mr. Calvo added that Rocketship has seen a rise in the number of students needing special education services and they are open to ideas on how to better engage and serve the community.
Trustee MacAvoy expressed her concern about being unable to find Rocketship’s board members on their website. Trustee MacAvoy added that in the past, she has emailed Rocketship’s School Board and never received a response. Trustee MacAvoy commented that she would like for parents to have access to the their board meetings since they appear to happen only four times a year, during the day and outside the district boundaries. This does not seem to be very transparent or accountable to parents or the public.
Vice-President Lawson recommended that Rocketship improve their traffic monitoring in order to ensure student safety.
In response to Vice-President Lawson’s recommendation, Principal Barboza Berry expressed they would work on the traffic issue.
President McBride thanked Rocketship for their presentation and commented the students had been great! President McBride also thanked the parents and expressed that Principal Barboza Berry’s story had been emotive. President McBride made reference to Rocketship teachers visiting families’ homes and accounting for parent participation. President McBride commented that legally, a school could not demand parent participation.
In response to President McBride’s comment, Mr. Calvo replied that parent participation is not mandatory, but teachers are evaluated based on their parent-teacher participation. Mr. Calvo expressed that Rocketship encourages families to participate and become involved, but Rocketship does not require parent involvement and participation.
Furthermore, President McBride made note about the board minutes and board meeting agendas. President McBride commented that there were no attachments to each agenda item topic. President McBride referenced the November 29, 2018 board meeting and commented that he was unable to find documents corresponding to agenda topics. President McBride asked what would be a solution to providing corresponding documents to board agenda topics.
In response to President McBride’s comment, Mr. Calvo stated that the November 29, 2018 board agenda item had been particularly addressed in the public business meeting. Mr. Calvo commented that they would follow up on this request.
President McBride asked what percentage of English Language Learners reclassify each year and under which criteria?
In response to President McBride’s question, Principal Barboza Berry commented that students are reclassified based on teacher observations, reading level, internal assessments, ELD instructional materials, LCAP and SBAC scores.
President McBride asked about Rocketship’s expulsion rates.
In response to President McBride’s question, Principal Barboza Berry replied that the expulsion rate is 0.
Furthermore, President McBride asked what was the percentage of bilingual teachers and how many hold a BCLAD (Bilingual, Crosscultural, Language and Academic Development) credential?
In response to President McBride’s question, Principal Barboza Berry expressed that she did not have the exact percentage of bilingual teachers at Rocketship, but in the event that teachers were unable to communicate with parents, there were other staff members that could help.
Chief Business Official Priscilla Aquino-Dichoso referenced Rocketship’s financial reports. CBO Aquino-Dichoso commented that before she joined the Redwood City School District, she was aware of Rocketship’s financial reports in her work at the San Mateo County Office of Education. CBO Aquino-Dichoso expressed that based on the financial reports submitted to the Redwood City School District, Rocketship has continued to operate under a negative fund balance for the last 5 years. CBO Aquino-Dichoso asked Rocketship what is their plan to address the negative ending fund balances.
In response to CBO Aquino-Dichoso’s comment and question, Chief Financial Officer Keysha Bailey expressed her regret for submitting the audit reports late to the Redwood City School District. CFO Bailey commented that Rocketship is reducing their negative fund balance to a lower rate and are committing to keep Rocketship financially solvent. CFO Bailey commented that there had been a shift in personnel, which affected the completion of the first interim report.
CBO Aquino-Dichoso further commented that the Redwood City School District has faced many budget challenges and as a result, has made the decision to consolidate schools to maintain financial solvency. CBO Aquino-Dichoso expressed her concern and reiterated that the Redwood City School District would keep Rocketship’s financial reports under close review.
Trustee Díaz-Slocum asked CFO Bailey and Mr. Calvo to make sure that the Rocketship Organization would support Rocketship Redwood City in the event that they became financially insolvent, in order to avoid having Redwood City School District be deemed financial responsible for Rocketship Redwood City.
In support of Trustee Díaz-Slocum’s comment, Trustee MacAvoy expressed that the Redwood City School District is also going through a challenging financial time and the entire School Board and RCSD administration is concerned about Rocketship’s finances.
Assistant Superintendent Wendy Kelly asked if Rocketship had any miss-assignments for the 2018-19 school year or any problems with credentialing?
In response to Assistant Superintendent Kelly’s question, Mr. Calvo replied that there was a particular case where a teacher decided not to move forward with the credentialing program and administration was unaware of it. Mr. Calvo commented that Rocketship has been working with the San Mateo County Office of Education regarding this matter.
Assistant Superintendent Kelly asked if there were any teachers on an emergency credential?
In response to Assistant Superintendent Kelly’s question, Mr. Calvo replied that he did not have the information available at the moment, but would provide it to her at a later time.
Superintendent Baker asked Rocketship staff what was the rate of teachers that stayed with Rocketship since the year it started in Redwood City.
In response to Superintendent Baker’s question, Mr. Calvo commented that he did not have the information in hand, but once he did, he would send it to Superintendent Baker.
Furthermore, Superintendent Baker asked about students’ homework assignments. Superintendent Baker asked when students receive additional work or homework, how are parents able to help their children? Are parents able to access the assignments easily?
In response to Superintendent Baker’s question, Principal Barboza Berry commented that she is always available, as well as other teachers. Principal Barboza Berry commented there is a homework club and cafecitos where parents can communicate directly with staff.
Superintendent Baker asked about homeless students and foster youth, does Rocketship identify those students or are they self-identified? How do homeless students and foster youth receive support?
In reference to Superintendent Baker’s question about homeless students and foster youth, Principal Barboza Berry commented she would send that information to Superintendent Baker once it was available to her.
Superintendent Baker thanked Rocketship, School Board members, and members of the Cabinet for their questions and comments. Superintendent Baker commented that RCSD is reviewing charter schools’ petitions with Counsel.
Public Hearing on Renewal of Rocketship Redwood City Prep adjourned.
- Action Items
12.1 Recommendation re: Approval of Selection of 7/11 Committee Members
Per Trustee MacAvoy’s request, this Action Item was pulled from the agenda and scheduled for a future board meeting.
12.2 Recommendation re: Approval of Variable Term Waiver Request
The School Board approved the Variable Term Waiver for Bernadette García for the Special Day Class Preschool Teacher position at Fair Oaks School (MacAvoy, Díaz-Slocum; 5-0).
President McBride (Ayes)
Vice-President Lawson (Ayes)
Trustee MacAvoy (Ayes)
Trustee Díaz-Slocum (Ayes)
Trustee Márquez (Ayes)
12.3 Recommendation re: Approval of District Wide Area Network Services (WAN)
The School Board approved the wide area network services (WAN) (Díaz-Slocum, Lawson; 5-0).
President McBride (Ayes)
Vice-President Lawson (Ayes)
Trustee MacAvoy (Ayes)
Trustee Díaz-Slocum (Ayes)
Trustee Márquez (Ayes)
- Board and Superintendent Reports
13.1 Report from Board Members and Superintendent
Trustee Lawson reported attending her first Bond Program Committee meeting. Trustee Lawson also reported meeting with Trustee MacAvoy, Assistant Superintendent Linda Montes, Director of Student Services Antonio Pérez and Director of Wellness Andea Garen to review and discuss the Climate Survey questions for this coming year’s survey. Furthermore, Trustee Lawson reported attending the LCAP meeting with Trustee MacAvoy. Trustee Lawson also visited the Roosevelt School Reading Fair, a Kennedy Middle School tour, and a Redwood City Chamber of Commerce meeting.
Trustee MacAvoy reported attending the Superintendent’s Advisory Committee meeting. Trustee MacAvoy also attended the Roosevelt Reading Fair and commented that she appreciates everything that Roosevelt administration and staff do to make this event happen. Trustee MacAvoy also attended the California School Boards Association Annual Conference meeting.
Trustee Díaz-Slocum did not have a report.
Trustee Márquez reported attending the Superintendent’s Advisory Committee meeting and the 7-11 Committee meeting along with Trustee MacAvoy.
President McBride reported attending a Bond Program meeting. President McBride also attended a Human Trafficking Awareness event at Sequoia Hospital. President McBride commented that he, Superintendent Baker and Deputy County Counsel Rosendo Padilla met with the Orion Site Council to discuss volunteer hours for the Orion Alternative School parent participation letter request. President McBride was a judge for the Roosevelt School Reading Fair. President McBride also visited Michelle Beutler’s class and commented that the students’ speeches were great!
Superintendent Baker reported attending many of the same events as School Board members. Superintendent Baker reported attending the Superintendent’s Symposium in Monterey. Superintendent Baker also reported meeting with Kathy Kwan and commented that it had been a great lunch meeting. Superintendent Baker commented that Ms. Kwan agreed to offer the Redwood City School District funding for an additional year. Superintendent Baker added that Ms. Kwan has provided the Redwood City School District with $5.2 million in funding in the last few years. Superintendent Baker also reported meeting with Christina Huezo from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. Superintendent Baker expressed that he and Ms. Huezo discussed possible funding for summer school.
14.1 Information on San Mateo County Investment Fund – December, 2018
14.2 Williams Quarterly Report, 2nd Quarter (October 1, 2018-December 31, 2018)
There were no comments or questions on both information items from the School Board or Superintendent Baker.
President McBride reported receiving a number of emails from parents and staff regarding Adelante Spanish Immersion’s principal.
- Other Business/Suggested Items for Future Agenda
Trustee MacAvoy requested that a special board meeting be agendized before February 20th to discuss the selection of the 7-11 Committee members.
- Board Agenda Calendar
17.1 Changes to the Board Agenda Schedule
Superintendent Baker commented that the Community Schools report has been rescheduled to March 13th.
- Adjournment (Action Required)
The board adjourned the meeting at 9:47 p.m. in honor of Carlos Morales, Maria Morales’ father (Díaz-Slocum/Márquez; 5-0).
Alisa MacAvoy, Clerk